Herman the Brewer

I will begin today with an admission that there is some dispute about the birthdate of today’s main character. Our German Family Tree states that Herman Ludwig was born on January 22, 1859. However, his later death certificate not only states that his birthday took place on January 21st, but it also says he was born in the year, 1858. Herman’s story is one that I have a desire to tell, so I am going to set aside the birthday dispute to relate his story on this blog today. I will let you determine which birthday you think is most accurate.

Herman Ludwig was the son of Casper and Catherine (Schreiner) Ludwig. Herman’s baptism record can be found in the record books of Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. Below is an image of Herman’s baptism record. I think it clearly gives his birthday as January 22, 1859.

Herman Ludwig baptism record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

We have this photograph of Herman’s parents.

Casper and Catherine Ludwig

Casper was a brewer who operated and brewery and tavern in the town of Old Appleton, Missouri. Here is a photo of his tavern.

Casper Ludwig’s Tavern

Herman Ludwig can be found in his first census in 1860 at the age of 1.

1860 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

I was unable to find Herman’s family in the 1870 census, so the next census entry I can show for him is the one taken in 1880. Herman was 21 years old and was following in his father’s footsteps as a brewer.

1880 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

Herman’s wife was going to be Clara Gerhardt. Clara was born on February 25, 1862, the daughter of Julius and Emilie (Heine) Gerhardt. Clara was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Below is her baptism record.

Clara Gerhardt baptism record – Immanuel, Altenburg, MO

Clara can be found in the 1870 census for St. Louis, although I cannot figure out why she was living there. Perhaps this is not the Clara Gerhardt from this area.

1870 census – St. Louis, MO

Next, we find Clara living in the Union Township in the 1880 census where she is shown to be 18 years old.

1880 census – Union Township, MO

Herman Ludwig married Clara Gerhardt on April 13, 1882. We can view this couple’s marriage license.

Ludwig/Gerhardt marriage license

The photos of Herman and Clara shown below must have been taken fairly early in their marriage.

Herman and Clara Ludwig

Our German Family Tree lists 9 children born to this couple. One of them, a girl named Anna, was born on January 22, 1891, so she would be celebrating a birthday today also. Here is Anna’s baptism record from the books of Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown.

Anna Ludwig baptism record – Grace, Uniontown, MO

The Herman Ludwig household can be found in the Apple Creek Township in this 1900 census. There were 8 children in the family. Herman continued his occupation as a brewer.

1900 census – Apple Creek Township, MO

A story is recorded that the Ludwig’s home was destroyed in a fire in Old Appleton which precipitated their move to the city of St. Louis before the 1910 census was taken. Herman continued his occupation as a brewer in St. Louis.

1910 census – St. Louis, MO

The last census in which we find Herman Ludwig was the one taken in 1920. He is not listed with any occupation at that time.

1920 census – St. Louis, MO

We have a few other photographs that were taken of Herman and Clara Ludwig.

Clara and Herman Ludwig

We also have this photo of Herman that was said to have been taken in 1924, a few years before his death.

Herman Ludwig

Herman died in 1927 at the age of 69. His death certificate, as expected, shows that Herman’s occupation was a beer brewer. This death certificate is where we find Herman’s birth listed as January 21, 1858.

Herman Ludwig death certificate

Clara Ludwig can still be found in the 1930 census for St. Louis.

1930 census – St. Louis, MO

Clara Ludwig died in 1939 at the age of 77. Her death certificate is displayed below.

Clara Ludwig death certificate

Herman and Clara Ludwig are buried together in the Concordia Cemetery in St. Louis.

Herman and Clara Ludwig gravestone – Concordia, St. Louis, MO

Herman Ludwig was a man who kept the same occupation throughout his life. However, his location made one major change along the way. The debate continues about when he Herman was born.

One thought on “Herman the Brewer

  1. Thank you writing this article. Herman Ludwig was my great grandfather and they lived on South 7th street near the brewery in St. Louis. My father told me that Herman put his family on a barge and took them up the Mississippi River to St. Louis after the house burned.


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