Friday, August 31, 2012

Iowa Brewers

I found Joseph Heisler's name on a U.S. Civil War Draft Registrations in June, 1863.  Both Joseph and his brother, Christian, are listed.  Joseph's age is listed as 28, and Christian is 31.  Curiously, both are listed as "married," but only by use of ditto marks.

Christian is in the 1860 Census in a separate household with his wife, Catherine.  His age is given as 28, and his  occupation is "Brewer."  Joseph is included with his father's household, his age given as 23 (or possibly 25), and his occupation is "Farm Labor."

At the time, brewing was a major industy in Dubuque County, Iowa, owing to the many German immigrants to Iowa in the 1840s and 1850s.  According to  the "History of Dubuque County, Iowa," published in 1880 by Western Historical Co., there were four breweries in existence in 1863:
  1. Dubuque Brewery, established in 1846, with major additions in 1856 and 1860;
  2. Key City Brewery, established in1852 as "City Brewery";
  3. Western Brewery, established  in1846; and
  4. Iowa Brewery, established in 1855.
So yes, at one point, Joseph could very well have been a brewer!

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