02 April 2014

Henry and John Mauer - Pioneer Brewers

The problem with a lot of historic Texas breweries is that they were transient, and it is often difficult to get any information about the owners, much less the physical brewery. Combine that with the elaborate handwriting and inconsistent spelling on census forms and you have all sorts of problems.

For years, I have heard about Henry Warner opening a brewery in Fredericksburg in 1875, then selling it to John Mauer in 1877. I found Mauer on the 1880 census in Fredericksburg, but could never find Henry Warner. Now I know why. His last name wasn't Warner: it was Mauer.

John Mauer was born in 1838 in Hesse Darmstadt. His brother Henry was born in 1842.

Shortly after the Civil War, they were living in Louisiana, where they married and had their first children. John married Louisiana native Charlotte. Henry married Emilia, from Iowa. John junior and Edward Mauer were both born around 1867. Both men's second children, Gertrude and Emilia, were both born in Texas around 1869.

In 1870, the two families were living in Marlin, and were listed on the census of that year as brewers.
There was no Marlin brewery on the Federal tax rolls. Business must not have been good. The Mauer brothers moved to Fredericksburg where they opened a lager brewery in 1875. In 1877, Henry left, leaving John in control of the brewery.

John's brewery closed in 1884. Local legend has it that John was in some way connected to the Lone Star Brewery, which opened the same year. Unfortunately, John and his family disappear after this time. His widow, Charlotte reappears in 1917 and 1919 in El Paso, but is not listed on any census between 1880 and 1919.

Henry, on the other hand, appears in 1855 working as a brewer in Seattle. With him is his wife Emilia and their son Edward.


 Handwriting of the time was florid, and often difficult to read. If someone can confuse “Lando” with “Laredo”, or “Walters” with “Wolters”, it is entirely possible that someone misread “Mauer” as “Warner”. This would also account for Henry Warner's absence from any census.


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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:00

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