I confess. When I see a reference to a brewery in someone’s family history, my research radar becomes very active. Today is one of those days. It starts with a baby girl being born on February 3rd in 1868 in Uniontown and ends with her husband working in a brewery across the river in Illinois. So today’s story is mostly about that brewery.
Angelina Concordia Frenzel was born on this day in 1868 and was baptized as a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. When she was 19 years old, she married Clement Martin Immanuel Palisch. Although he was born in Altenburg, by the time he was married, it is recorded that he was living across the river in Fountain Bluff, Illinois.
The first four children born to this couple died in infancy. Three are buried in Perry County. The first child to live beyond infancy was born in Illinois. By 1897, we find the Palisches living in Murphysboro, Illinois. In the 1900 census, Martin is shown as having the occupation of brewery laborer.
I had to know what brewery was located in that town. I discovered that there was a brewery in Murphysboro known as the Broeg Brewery which started in 1868. In the late 1880’s, that brewery, under new ownership, became the Murphysboro Brewing Company. In 1899, this brewery was renamed again to be known as the Rudolph Stecher Brewing Company. This is about the time that we find Martin Palisch and his family living in that town.
When I see the portrait of Martin Palisch below, I think this would have been what he looked like during the time when he was working at the brewery.
Rudolph Stecher was a German immigrant who arrived in New York in 1867 at the age of 17. It was there that he received training in brewing beer and making barrels. When he was in his twenty’s Rudolph took his skills of being a brewer and cooper to St. Louis, Missouri. There, he became an important employee of the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company. It wasn’t until the 1890’s that Stecher moved to Murphysboro and eventually became the sole proprietor of the Rudolph Stecher Brewing Company. Here is a photo of Rudolph joining several of his employees enjoying some of the product they made.
The main product of this brewery was Red Seal Beer.
I am convinced the fact that R.S. being both the initials of Rudolph Stecher and Red Seal is not a coincidence. This brewery continued successfully until the 21st Amendment was ratified in 1919 and brought Prohibition to America. Martin Palisch is said to have worked at this brewery until it closed at that time.
It was during the time of Prohibition that Rudolph Stecher died in 1926. There were efforts to restart the brewery after Prohibition was repealed in 1933, but it was never the same.
Martin and Angelina had several more children in Illinois. Here is a family photo of the Palisches.
They were members of Immanuel Lutheran Church, a congregation that was organized in 1897, about the same time his family moved there. Both Martin and Angelina are buried in the Immanuel Cemetery.