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THE J.M. SCHOTT & WILLIAM C. SCHOTT FAMILIES

Disclaimer: Please note that the J.M. and Wm. C. Schott families and their descendants have no relations or affiliations with Walter, Charles or Marge Schott. Marge was once the controversial owner of the Cincinnati Reds and a Buick dealership.

THE UNION OF THE RIEDLIN & SCHOTT FAMILIES

In 1914, William Charles (Will) Schott married Lucia (Lucy) Riedlin, the daughter of William Riedlin, who operated and owned the Bavarian Brewing Co. from 1882 until 1919. Will was the son of Johan Michal (J.M.) Schott, operator of a Cincinnati cooperage he founded in the early 1870s. This marriage between the Riedlin and Schott families established a union that extended the family  ownership and operation of the Bavarian Brewery from 1882 until 1965 - a period of over 83 years. The following provides some background about the J.M. Schott and William C. Schott families. The Wm. Riedlin Family is examined in another section.

J. M. SCHOTT

Similar to many people involved in the brewery business in the latter half of the1800s, J.M. Schott was from Germany. He emigrated from Frankfurt, traveling from the port of Bremen to America, arriving in New York City in July of 1866. However, J.M. was originally from the small village of Gleussen, near Coburg, located in the Franconia area of Bavaria. With a background in brewing and cooperage (barrel-making), he found a job with Schaefer Brewing in the New York for about three years. It was there that J.M. became friends with a son of Christian Moerlein, who was serving as an apprentice. Through this acquaintance, J.M. became aware of an employment opportunity at the Morelein Brewing Co. in the Over-the-Rhine (OTR) area of Cincinnati. With the prospects of obtaining a better job and life, He moved his family to this area around 1870.

By 1872, it appears that J.M. may have left Moerlein and  was working on his own as a cooper living on Pleasant Street in the OTR. By 1876, J.M. and his family had settled on the east side of Browne St. (now McMicken Avenue) between Tafel Street and Marshall Avenue. They lived on the upper floor of a three-story building that he owned, while operating a saloon on street level. J.M. established a cooperage firm next to the saloon in the late 1870s or early 1880s. All his sons worked at the cooperage and eventually became part owners in it before his death in 1903. (They continued to operate this frim into the late 1930s or early 1940s.)

A Possible Early Schott & Riedlin Connection. It is notable that both J.M. Schott and William Riedlin arrived in Cincinnati in the same year (1870) and both lived in the OTR. However, J.M. was about fifteen years older than William and had four children before William married in 1877. Whether the two men knew each other before William moved to Covington, KY, in 1882 is unknown. Although the OTR had thousands of inhabitants and some 300 saloons, it is possible that the two men became acquainted with each other in the 1870s, as they were both saloon owners. Besides possibly knowing one another through the same occupations, the two men may have also have known each other through other business associations. After William Riedlin became involved with the Bavarian Brewing Co. in the 1880s, it appears the brewery may have become a customer of J.M.’s cooperage. Through this connection, the two men could have been familiar with one another as well. Further, there is a likely possibility that Will Schott and Lucia Riedlin met through acquaintances who were directly or indirectly connected to their family businesses.

THE J.M. SCHOTT FAMILY

Before contraceptives became common in the mid-20th century, it was not unusual for families to have several children or more. Newborn deliveries usually occurred in homes by midwives into the early 1900s, not in hospitals. Due to advancements in delivering babies, infant deaths were more prevalent a century ago than today. John Michael and Elise Schott had nine children, seven of whom survived childhood, including five sons and two daughters. Shown in the photo on the side, left to right are;

THE THREE YOUNGEST SCHOTT SONS

From left to right is a photo of William, George and Lou, taken around 1890. They were born in 1884, 1881 an 1879, respectively. Their older brothers, Chris and John Jr., were born in 1867 and 1869. The difference in the ages between the younger and older Schott boys was 10 to 17 years. Essentially, the three younger boys grew up together, making them closer to one another than to their older brothers. In the summers, the younger brothers would often visit the Miami and Erie Canal nearby - just a couple blocks from their home - go swimming together. (Today, this canal is now occupied by Central Parkway.) Louis and William became especially close friends and, later, business associates. However, the oldest, Chris, may have been closer than John to their younger brothers, particularly in business affairs. Chris named each of his four sons after his brothers.

George, Lou, John Michael, John Michael, Jr., Dorothea (Dora), William C. (Will), Christian (Chris), Elizabeth (Elise) and Magdalena (Lena). There was a wide range in the age of the children, spanning about 20 years. Dora was the only child born in Germany, in 1865. Chris and John were born in New York City in 1867 and 1869. The other children were born in Cincinnati. Will, the youngest child, was born in 1884. The photo on the side was taken in the early 1890s.

William Charles Schott, the youngest of the Schott clan, known by family and friends as Will, was born on January 3, 1884. The pictures on the left were taken when he was at the ages of about 3 and 10 years. Will was born almost 20 years after his parents had their first child and 18 years after they arrived in the U.S. from Germany. By the time Will was a boy, his father and older brothers had secured economic and housing stability for their family. However, like all children in the family, Will was still expected to contribute to the family welfare. As a boy, he would clean the bar, including the brass spittoons. When he became older, he worked at the saloon as a bartender. (See the photo below right.) Will also worked for the cooperage firm when he was in school, while he attended college and after he graduated.

THE J. M. SCHOTT SALOON

The saloon and building where Will lived and worked with his family was located at the northeast corner of Tafel and Browne St. (the later street is now McMicken Avenue). This three-story building is shown in the lower left photo below. Even though this brick building no longer exists, the frame building on the right in the lower left photo still remains. It is located west and downhill from the University of Cincinnati and just north of the OTR.

 

Above the entrance to the saloon, carved in stone, was the name J.M. Schott and the date of the building. The main corner entrance to the building led to the bar shown lower right photo. Will is tending the bar. Because of the relationship J.M. Schott developed with the Moerlein family when he arrived in New York and in Cincinnati, his saloon featured Moerlein Beer - the brand name can be more clearly seen when selecting and enlarging the photo below right.