THE STAG HOTEL / CAFE / BAR
Located on the east side of Vine between 4th and 5th Streets, the Stag was three entities: a hotel, a cafe, and a bar. The first item above is the folded front of an advertising postal that was held closed only by the stamp. Mailed in 1909 it also had a stamp on the back that was also cancelled, unfortunately that stamp has fallen off. They may have added the 2nd stamp for fear that the stamp holding it closed would be damaged or come off, instead it was the 2nd stamp that fell off although I am sure that did not happen until many years later. The center item is a business card from the new manager that was placed inside. The 4th item is a ad for the hotel while the next image shows what this complex looked like six years later in 1915. Obviously the business venture was not a booming success. The last image is a newspaper artists rendition of the owner of the Stag, Joe Coyle.
Two postcards of The Stag
Redtop Hospitality Room Red Top Rye
211 E. Court St.
By the end of WWII the Red Top Brewery was one of Cincinnati's three big breweries, along with Hudepohl and Burger. They had bought the buildings of old John Hauck Brewing Co. on Dayton St. at Central Avenue plus the facilities of the Cliffside Brewery on West McMicken in 1945. In 1947 a million barrels of beer and ale were being produced. Due to badly timed expansion the company faced mounting financial losses. Redtop sold out to a Miller High Life distributorship in 1955. It was then sold in 1957 to a Michigan firm which closed Red Top and laid off its 150 employees. In 1961 the buildings were sold for use as light manufacturing and storage.
These two cards are from a set of at least four cards.
Unfortunately I was unable to obtain the other two. One of the missing cards show the Bottling Department and the other shows
a view of the buildings exterior. This brewery started in 1849 on Augusta St. between John and
Smith Sts. In 1863 it was moved to Freeman Ave. at Court St. The Bottling Dept. was added in 1879 and was located north of the
main building on Fillmore St. In 1863 production was 5000 barrels a day, 80,000 barrels were produced in 1890.
Prohibition forced the brewery to close in 1919 but it reopened in 1933. The brewery closed for good in 1937.
Nothing remains of this brewery.
The Foss-Schneider Brewing Company put out a booklet that was available at the 1888 Centennial Exposition. The postcards above were taken using some of the images in this booklet.
WINDISCH-MUHLHAUSER BREWING CO.
The front and back of this very rare postcard is shown in the first row above. The page of the book opens up as shown in the second row, inside is the folded up advertisement shown in the last image.
The Windisch-Muhlhauser Brewing Co. Early Illustration Two Burger Brewing Photographs
The signed Ellen H. Clapsaddle card above was used to advertise Windish-Muhlhauser's Lion Beer that was produced at their Lion Brewery plant. The four story Lion Brewery was located on the s.w.cor. of West Liberty St. and Central Parkway. When first constructed in 1866 it stood along the Miami & Erie Canal. There were two huge stone lions that stood on top at each end of the plant (see illustration and Burger photos). Across the canal were the warehouse and wagon shed. During prohibition they tried to survive by producing root beer and malt extract but had to close in 1922. In 1934 the complex was leased by the Burger Brewing Co. who, in 1943, enlarged and modernized the facilities. They also removed the two stone lions. Burger finally closed in 1973 and the complex was then bought by Hudepohl Brewing Co. who then merged with the Schoenling Brewing Co. (I need a drink!)
The Live Oak Distilling Co.
95 Sycamore St. (In 1894)
The Hermit Distilling Co.
The Hermit Distilling Co. was a maker of wines and whiskeys and was located from 1898 to1914 at 1008-1010 Richmond St. and from 1916 to 1918 at 100 Duane.
The Standard Distilling Co.
The Standard Distilling Co. operated from 1887 to 1918. It had offices in most major cities and several distilleries around the country. It started out has Standard Distilling Co. (1887 - 1904) and the "The" was added from 1905 to 1918. Their addresses thru the years were: 13 W. Pearl St. (1887), 9 Sycamore St. (1889 - 1894), 59 E. 2nd St. (1895), 323 E 2nd St. (1896 - 1903), 213 E 8th St. (1904 - 1913), 1021 Broadway (1914 - 1918). This card was mailed in 1907. The Hanover brand was one of 14 brands used by the company.
The Hudepohl Brewing Company put out this postcard in the 1980's. They revived the Christian Moerlein name in 1981 as a tribute to Cincinnati's long tradition and history of the brewing industry. The label is from an 1890's ad. The 2nd image is a Christian Moerlein ad.
The Kayser & Hegner Co.
The Distillers & Wholesale Liquor Dealers began business in 1878 as Kayser & Hegner. In 1893 they changed the name to The Kayser & Hegner Co. and then in 1913 they became The Kayser & Hegner, Siemer Co. (see below). They were in business at 86E 2nd Street from 1878 to1883, from 1884 to 1895 they were located at 52-57 E 2nd Street, and from 1896 to 1916 they were in business at 321 E 2nd Street.
The Frederick Siemer Co. 138 W. Court St.
Herancourt Brewery Employees
This great postcard image was sent to me by Ron Grothaus. Sitting at the top
left with his arms folded is his grandfather, George B. Grothaus.
George M. Herancourt opened the Philadelphia Brewery on Harrison Pike near the Mill Creek (1400 Harrison) and operated it until 1881. It was then incorporated as the Herancourt Brewing Co. and continued until 1919 when it closed due to prohibition, It did not re-open.
Red Hen Whiskey Consolidated Hopewell Co.
124 East Pearle
The back of this Fernbank Dam card has advertising from
The George Bieller Sons Co. for, "The finest Gin sold in
Cincinnati". They were located at 7th & Main.
MEIER'S WINE CELLARS, INC.
Aerial View of Meier's
Storage Vault Champagne Room
Meier's Wine Stube Main Room Color Version Stube Garden
Meier's is located on Plainville Pike near U. S. Route 22 and Ohio Route 3 in the heart of Silverton. Visitors are welcomed at the old world Wine Stub and Gardens. Meier's produces Isle of St. George Sauterne and other Ohio State Wines and Champagnes. The last image is a present day aerial photograph of the facilities.
The card above shows a dog holding on to a bottle of Catawqua (wine?) produced by the Consolidated Hopewell Co. The only listing for this company is in 1903 and gives an address of 30 Main St. I can find no other information.
THE ATLANTIC GARDENS
I have not seen any postcards of the establishment
but since it closed in 1904 I believe there must be some "out there".
When it first opened in 1879 it was a highly respectable watering hole. As can
be seen in the 1st image above it was located between the Enquirer building and
the Palace Hotel. It
became the home of the sporting gentry of Cincinnati. John L Sullivan knocked
out "Professor" Mike Donaldson here in December 1880. Since prize
fighting was illegal both fighters wore gloves which was loudly razzed by the
patrons. The tavern had a raised dais along one wall where the musicians
would play and there was a water fountain in the lobby.
Slowly the Gardens began to go downhill, according to legend the Atlantic had been open continuously day and night and the place was packed to the doors. Fights were constantly breaking out and the atmosphere was thick with smoke and profanity. It became a haunt for sailors on furlough and the doors closed for good in 1904.
Sapporo Beer Truck Pabst Delivery Truck
The Sapporo Beer truck postcard shows beer being delivered to Bellamah's Deli. The building it is parked in front of is the Hauck Building located at 975 E. McMillan. The Pabst Blue Ribbon truck is making a delivery to G-Jays Pony Keg on Central Avenue. The old theater next door was originally the Metropolitan Theater (1915), it became the State Theater in the 1940s. In 1984 it became Allison's West End Cinema which closed in 1989.
GEORGE REMUS - A CINCINNATI BOOTLEGGER
George Remus was born in Germany in 1876 and migrated to
Chicago at the age of 5. His father was incapacitated when he was 14 and George
supported the family by working at his uncle's pharmacy and attending the
Chicago College of Pharmacy. At 19 he passed the state's pharmaceutical exam and
obtained a license by claiming he was 21. Two years later he bought the
pharmacy. He quickly became tired of the pharmacy business, and began to
study law. He completed the 3 year law course in 18 months and became a lawyer in 1900, at age 24.
He specialized in criminal defense, especially murder, in one year he had defended 18 persons accused of murder and became rather famous. By 1919, when prohibition had become effective in many states, Remus was giving counsel to various individuals charged with violating the liquor laws and he saw what huge profits could be made by the sale of liquor. He divorced his wife after he began having an affair with his beautiful and ambitious secretary (Imogene Holmes). Alcohol Prohibition started in January 1920, and within a few months Remus saw that his clients, a rather crude and ignorant lot, were becoming wealthy very quickly.
He memorized the Volstead Act (that enforced prohibition) and found loopholes whereby he could buy distilleries and pharmacies so as to sell liquor himself under government licenses for medicinal purposes (he was still a licensed pharmacist.) Most of the liquor would disappear on the way to market because he would hi-jack it. He moved to Cincinnati (with his girlfriend Imogene) because 80 percent of America's bonded whiskey was produced within 300 miles, and the city contained many distilleries. He bought up most of America's best known whiskey manufacturers including Fleischmann Distillery that he bought for $197,000 and which came with 3100 gallons of whiskey already made.
Remus ran his business from a palatial suite in the Remus Building located at Race and Pearl streets. It contained consulting rooms, library, and a kitchen with a chef.
In less than 3 years he made $40 million and his organization had as many as 3,000 loyal, well paid employees. One Covington associate received $208,000 in commissions for safely handling his liquor consignments. His entire operation depended on "The Fix". He bribed hundreds of police, judges, and government officials including $500,000 to the U.S. Attorney General. He estimated that during his heyday he had spent over $20,000,000 in bribes. He was quoted as saying, "Men have tried to corner the wheat market only to learn there is too much wheat in the world, I tried to corner the graft market, but there isn't enough money in the world to buy up all the public officials who demand their share of the graft."
Rumor had it that George bribed federal agents to guard the bonded whiskey at his warehouses. Remus extracted the whiskey from the barrels and replaced it with water so that when federal inspectors checked the warehouses, all the barrels would be full. After his operations expanded to Indiana and Kentucky, he became known as the "King of the Bootleggers." He needed 12 lieutenants to manage the procurement, distribution and public affairs, better known as bribery. Shipments were sent out by car, truck, and even full boxcar loads. He deposited huge sums of money into various banks. In one quarter in 1921, he banked $2,700,000 in a single Cincinnati bank. His net worth was estimated at $70,000,000.
Although Bugsy Siegal is acknowledged as the founder of Las Vegas, he did it with the money George was able to provide. George is also regarded as putting Newport, Kentucky on the map. Newport became known as "Little Mexico," because law enforcement in this area of Northern Kentucky was as lax and corrupt as that of Tijuana, Mexico. Newport was famous for its nightlife and illegal gambling activities. During and after prohibition, it was estimated that there were over 30,000 speakeasies in Cincinnati and Newport.
George and Imogene, who he had married in Newport, Ky. in 1920, held many lavish parties at their mansion in Price Hill at 825 Hermosa Avenue known as the "Marble Palace." On New Year's 1922-23. The guests included 100 couples who were as well-connected as you could get. At dawn Remus presented all their male guests with diamond jewelry (he had bought out the contents of a jewelry store), and gave each guest's wife a brand new automobile for the drive home. A similar party was held in June 1923, during his problems with the government, when he gave the 50 women guests a brand new Pontiac. This was his high point. The 2nd image below shows the Remus family during this time. Although they are not all identified Remus and his wife Imogene are shown seated in the center. Imogene's brother, George Brown, is behind her. Her daughter Ruth is below with her hands on her knees.
$1,000,000 Home Family Portrait
Remus was finally shut down by a few honest federal agents who
couldn't be bought. On May 16, 1922 Remus along with his 12 lieutenants were
sentenced to prison. Remus found
himself sentenced to 2 years in Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, which was (for
rich inmates) much like a luxury hotel. Remus fought his conviction for the next
2 years going all the way to the Supreme Court, he lost. 59 police officers and
federal agents eventually pleaded guilty to taking bribes from Remus and other
bootleggers. All the high ranking officials he had bribed turned their backs on
On January 24, 1924 he left to serve his term. He had previously entrusted several million dollars with friends for safekeeping. He turned his diamonds over to his wife, he also gave her power of attorney to manage his affairs, and rode to prison in a special train car reading Dante's Inferno.
While Remus was in jail, his wife Imogene took up with an extremely handsome prohibition agent named Franklin Dodge. Dodge resigned from the Bureau of Prohibition. Together, he and Imogene liquated Remus' assets and hid as much money as possible. Some other things they did were trying to have Remus deported, claiming his father had never become a citizen, trying to murder George by offering a gang $15,000, after they sold the Fleischman Company they gave George $100 as his share of the proceeds. After George was released from Atlanta on November 2, 1925, Remus had to serve another sentence at Dayton, Ohio.
Returning from jail
When he returned to Cincinnati and went to his mansion he discovered his doors and windows were boarded up. After he finally got inside he discovered everything including the furniture, sculptures, art, chandeliers and anything else of value had been removed..
Mrs. George Remus formerly
Mrs. Imogene Holmes
Imogene proceeded to file for divorce in 1925 which George contested with such vigor that it was 2 years in coming to trial. On October 6, 1927 the day the divorce was to be finalized, Imogene and her daughter (from a previous marriage) had left the Alms Hotel and was traveling through Eden Park on their way to the Court House when they were spotted by Remus who was in his car driven by his chauffeur. He had his chauffeur chase the cab and forced Imogene off the road near the old gazebo next to the reservoir. She started running towards the entrance to Eden Park under the Viaduct. Remus jumped out and chased her. He shot her in the abdomen while her daughter tried to stop him near the old viaduct over the entrance. She died soon afterward at Bethesda Hospital. Remus went to the police station and turned himself in.
Remus With Detectives
Remus & his daughter
at his murder trial.
Remus the expert criminal defender was now on trial for his life. This trial made national headlines for a month, sharing front pages with Lindbergh's flight to Paris. Remus pleaded temporary insanity, a novel approach at the time. The prosecutor in the case was 30-year-old Charles Taft, son of former President and then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, William Howard Taft. He was also the brother of the future Senator of Ohio, Robert Taft. He later became Mayor of Cincinnati.
Remus Working Out
During his trial Remus would work out as shown above. On the left
he is doing a little shadow boxing, and on the right with a medicine ball and a
Having long been the most generous man in town, he was very popular in Cincinnati, and he so successfully vilified Imogene and her boyfriend Dodge that the jury deliberated only 19 minutes before acquitting him by reason of insanity. The courtroom exploded in jubilation. The state of Ohio then tried to commit Remus to an insane asylum since he had been found insane, but prosecutors were thwarted by their previous claim that he could be tried for murder because he was not insane.
The Remus Jury Remus with two jurors
The first photograph above shows the members of the jury. They are front row left to right: Robert E. Hosford, M. J. Normile, Harry G. Bird, Henry Sandberg, James E. Clark and John Trautmann. Back row Frank Olgates, Joseph Lambert, Ruth Cross, Joseph Schwab, Henry Huitink, E. Ricking, and Fred Oberschmidt. After his acquittal, Remus is shown shaking hands with Robert Hosford and Mrs. Ruth Cross, two of the jurors.
George Remus's mother
Mrs. Marie Remus-77
Remus was committed to the Lima State Hospital for the Criminal Insane. Three months later the Allen County Court of Appeals declared him sane, and he was released.
1932 Press Photo
George Remus tried to get back into bootlegging after his sentence, but soon retired when he found that the market had been taken over by vicious, well-armed gangsters. He moved to Covington, Kentucky and lived for another 20 years in relative obscurity. When he died in 1952 at 79 he only had a few thousand dollars to his name. He is buried in Falmouth KY.
A little sidebar: Remus quite frequently stayed at the famous Seelbach Hotel in Louisville on business trips and for pleasure. While staying here he met another frequent visitor, F. Scott Fitzgerald and they became friends. Fitzgerald wrote his novel "The Great Gatsby" using Remus as his model for the title character Jay Gatsby. By the way Remus was a lifelong teetotaler. His mansion was torn down in 1935 and the large iron gate that stood at the entrance can now be seen at the entrance to Elder High School.