I haven’t often written about deaths recently, but I couldn’t resist one today. It is another story that is connected to the production and distribution of beer, and when I get a whiff of beer, my radar goes up, and I start researching. I cannot help myself.
Walter Deer (yes, that rhymes with beer) died on February 21, 1964. He did not live quite long enough to see the Cardinals beat the Yankees in the World Series later that year. Walter Deer does not sound like a Perry County name, and it isn’t. However, he married Gertrude Palisch, and Palisch is a Perry County name. In fact, Gertrude was the daughter of Martin Palisch who was the main character in an earlier post titled Enjoying a Red Seal. That story, too, was about brewing beer.
Gertrude was born in 1900 and when she was 23 years old, she married Walter Deer. This photo shows Gertrude as a young child.
Walter was the son of Herman and Anna Deer. In the 1900 census, when Walter was only three years old, his father’s occupation was given as a driver of a beer wagon in St. Louis. Even before Walter married Gertrude, we see from his World War I draft registration that Walter’s employer was the Green Tree Brewery in St. Louis. That would have been in the year 1918 or 1919.
There were all kinds of breweries in the St. Louis area at the end of the 1800’s. This one plate from the Compton and Dry Pictorial St. Louis Atlas contains six different breweries. This magnificent drawing was made to show St. Louis in 1875.
One of the bigger ones was the Green Tree Brewery. On this plate, it is identified by the number 7. Here is a magnified picture of this brewery.
I am always looking for a Perry County connection to the beer making industry. I now know of three breweries in the St. Louis area that had such connections. In addition to the Green Tree Brewery, there was the Cherokee Brewing Co. which was owned by George Loebs and the Gast Brewing Co. which had a connection with the Rev. Gotthold Loeber family by way of marriage.
If you look now at the location included in the plate above which shows six breweries, you would mainly see the massive Anheuser Busch plant which produces an incredible amount of beer. I am one of those guys who would prefer seeing a bunch of small breweries producing a variety of their own beers instead of the few huge breweries that produce most of the beer which stocks the shelves of American stores. I am happy that there seems to be a movement back to smaller operations producing their own craft beers these days.
One of the buildings that once housed the Cherokee Brewing Co. has once again been transformed into being a brewery. Here is that brewery in the Compton and Dry atlas. It is listed as number 6.
The new business there is called Earthbound Brewing. You can find their website here:
You may also find this blog and this post interesting:
In researching for this post, I ran across a fantastic resource. You also may find it very interesting and useful. The Compton and Dry Pictorial Atlas of St. Louis in 1875 is an astounding collections of drawings of historic St. Louis. You can find it here:
In fact, if anyone can find the Gast Brewing Company on one of these plates, please let me know where you found it. I have not been able to locate it yet.