Today is the birthday of Joseph Seelinger (June 23, 1863-October 17, 1939). He was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, the son of Joseph F. Seelinger, who owned the Erie City Brewery for a time. Originally founded in 1861 by George Frey, Seelinger bought in 1870, renamed it the Joseph F. Seelinger Brewery in 1872, but closed it for good the same year, and relocated to Norfolk, Virginia and opened the Onyx Saloon.
This short obit is from Find-a-Grave:
Joseph Seelinger aged 76, operator of one of Norfolk’s Bygone popular restaurants, and who entertained such prominent personages as President Grover Cleveland, when the latter came to Norfolk on duck hunting trips, died yesterday afternoon at 4:30 at his residence, 318 Mowbray Arch.
Mr. Seelinger came to Norfolk in his early life from Erie Penn. and became widely know throughout the city by the fastidious diners with whom cost was not a factor. In the gay days of Norfolk his place was the center of fashionable gatherings, especially around the holiday seasons.
Mr Seelinger was an active member of Norfolk Lodge No. 38, BPOE. He was the son of F Joseph and Elizabeth Stemmer Seelinger, he is survived by his sons Sherman E and Joseph P Seelinger and two daughters Mrs. C J Aydlette and Mrs C C Dixon.
The family never looked back and found success with the restaurant saloon in Virginia. There’s also an entertaining account of the time Saloon Owner “Joe” Went Gunning with Grover Cleveland. That may be Seelinger in the trade card below, but nobody seems to be able to confirm it.