Today is the birthday of George Isaiah Amsdell (September 3, 1820-February 17, 1906). He was born in upstate New York and founded the George I Amsdell Brewery in 1854, when he was 27, in Albany. His brother joined the firm three years later, renaming it the Amsdell Bros. Brewery. But in 1892, his brother Theodore left the business and it reverted to the George I. Amsdell Brewery. After his death in 1906, the family soldiered on, but in 1912 the name changed again to the Amsdell-Kirchner Brewing Co., suggesting a new partner, and in 1916 it became the Citizens’ Brewing Corp. before closing for good in 1920.
This biography of Amsdell is from “New York State Men: Biographic Studies and Character Portraits,” published in 1910:
“Brewer, was born at Kinderhook, Columbia County, N.Y., September 3, 1820. [Sources vary on the year of his birth. Some also cite 1825 or 1827; and at least one claims he was born the 2nd rather than Sep. 3.] He attended a boarding school at Chatham, and at the age of eleven he removed to New York and resumed his studies at a private academy at Bloomingdale. In 1843 he removed to Albany and connected himself with his father’s brewery business in the town of Guilderland, Albany county. In 1851 he formed a copartnership with his brother, Theodore M., under the firm name of Amsdell Brothers, and established a prosperous brewery in Albany. In October, 1892, the firm was dissolved, George I. continuing the business and establishing a branch in New York city under the management of his son, George H. Mr. Amsdell was vice-presidnet of the old Albany City Bank in 1865 and was a trustee of the Albany City Savings Institution at the time of his death. He was Alderman of the old Ninth Ward of Albany during the Civil War, and was one of the committee to raise men and funds for the Union army. He was member of Co., B, Albany Continentals, and the Tenth Regiment N.G.S.N.Y. Mr. Amsdell was of English descent, and on his mother’s side traced his ancestry to the Pilgrim band of the Mayflower. His father, William Amsdell, came to America in 1818, settled in Albany in 1820, where he died in 1870. Mr. George I. Amsdell died February 17, 1906.”
Here’s is Amsdell’s obituary from the New York Times: