Today is the birthday of Mathias (sometimes spelled Matthias) Leinenkugel (April 16, 1866-June 3, 1927). He was the oldest child of Jacob Leinenkugel, who in 1867, along with John Miller, co-founded the Spring Brewery in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. In 1884, Jacob bought out Miller and the name was changed to the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. Mathias served as president of the family brewery from 1907 until his death in 1927. Miller Brewing Co. bought the brewery in 1988, but it continues to be managed by the Leinenkugel family.
Jacob Leinenkugel and his family, though I’m not sure, it seems likely that Mathias is the tall boy standing next to his seated father.
This biography is from Chippewa Falls History:
Mathias “Matt” Jacob Leinenkugel was the oldest of the children born to Jacob Leinenkugel. He was born April 16th, 1866. He grew up in Chippewa Falls with the rest of the Leinenkugel family. In 1889, he married Kathryn M. Watzl. Kathryn was born in 1868 in Montpelier, Wisconsin to John and Maria Watzl. Growing up around the brewery, naturally Mathias started working there. He started work there as a salesman from 1900 to 1907. In 1907, he was promoted to President of the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewery. He stayed in this position until his death on June 3rd, 1927.
Outside of the brewery, Mathias had a great family life with his wife and children. They lived at 821 North Bridge Street here in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. In 1890, they had their first child, Josephine Katherine Theresa. She was born December 6th, 1890. She would go on to be married twice, and have three children. Her first marriage was to Joseph (John) Black on April 16th, 1912. They were married in Chippewa Falls and remained there after their marriage. Unfortunately, John passed away in 1932 (John Black Dies).
After John’s passing, Josephine re-married on February 15th, 1941 to Thomas Gibbons. They spent the rest of their years together in Minnesota, as Gibbons was Ramsey County Sheriff until the mid-50’s.
This is his obituary from Find-a-Grave:
Mathias Jacob Leinenkugel was born the oldest child of Jacob Mathias Leinenkugel and Josephine Imhoff (Imhof on her death card which was all in German). He was born 16 April 1866 in Sauk City, Sauk Co, Wis.
In 1867 his parents came to Chippewa Falls and his father Jacob, trained by his father Mathias in the brewery trade, began a brewery.
Mathias worked in the brewery as a salesman and in the 1880’s met Kathryn M Watzl who was living in Chippewa Falls. They married at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Chippewa Falls, Wis on 18 June 1889.
Mathias was eventually president of the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewery in Chippewa Falls. They lived at 821 N Bridge St.
Mathias and Kathryn had 3 children: Josephine Catherine Theresa Leinenkugel, Jacob Mathias Leinenkugel, and Karl J (became Carl) Leinenkugel.
Mathias was ill a couple years with pulmonary tuberculosis and died in Chippewa Falls, Chippewa Co, WI on 3 June 1926 at age 60 years 1 month and 17 days of age. His death was recorded in Vol 21 page 34 of the Chippewa Co Court House records.
The brewery around 1930.
And this fuller history is from the website Chippewa Falls History:
When people hear the name Leinenkugel, most would think of the beer or maybe even Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. As the owner of Colette’s Tavern says, “Some people get hysterical when they find out I have it. The beer’s got some kind of charm.” Most, however, do not think of the rich and interesting history that has gone into the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company. Most of this history comes from its origins and how over five generations, the business has kept within the Leinenkugel family. To properly tell the history of this family, we must start at the beginning with Jacob Mathias Leinenkugel himself. Jacob Leinenkugel was born May 22nd, 1842 in Prussia to Matthias and Maria Leinenkugel. Jacob and his entire family arrived in New York on August 2nd, 1845. They had taken a ship, the American, from Amsterdam to New York, New York. Jacob Leinenkugel was three at the time of this trip. The Leinenkugel family settled in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin and stayed there to raise their children. In 1865, Jacob Leinenkugel married Josephine Imhoff in Sauk City, Wisconsin. Two years later, Jacob, Josephine and their son, Mathias, all moved to Chippewa Falls when Jacob started the Spring Brewery, now known as the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company.
The brewery was constructed in 1867 on property along the Duncan Creek which Jacob had purchased from Hiram Allen. Jacob Leinenkugel established the Spring Brewery with John Miller. In their first year alone, they “…delivered 400 barrels…with a small cart pulled by a horse named Kate.” Originally, the Brewery only had two teams of horses, which meant they could deliver kegs of beer up to ten miles outside of Chippewa Falls. “During the early years, Jacob Leinenkugel drove the wagon himself.” The Spring Brewery was named as such because it was built near the Big Eddy Springs in Chippewa Falls. These springs “…poured nonacidic, non-alkaline water that the brewery uses without treatment to this day.” The Spring Brewery soon became the Jacob Leinenkugel Spring Brewery Company when John Miller sold his share in 1883.
It is said that “Jacob Leinenkugel…was more than a brewer of Leinenkugel’s beer. Described as a noble, magnanimous man and a generous contributor to Notre Dame Church, he served two years as mayor.” Indeed, Jacob Leinenkugel was more than just a brewer. He also had a rich family life. He had five children with his first wife, Josephine. The oldest, Mathias “Matt” Jacob was born in 1866. Their oldest daughter, Rose, was born in 1867. Their next oldest son, William, was born in 1870. Susan, the second oldest daughter, was born nine months later in 1870. And finally, they had one child who was born in 1873 but sadly passed away as an infant. Josephine Leinenkugel passed away in 1890, at the age of 44. A few years later, Jacob Leinenkugel re-married in 1892. He married Anna Wilson and had two children. Della, the oldest, was born in 1894 and Edward was born in 1896.
Leinenkugel’s fermenting tanks in 1897.