Today is the birthday of Otto Flood Emmerling (June 1, 1889-December 2, 1992). He was the son of John Emmerling, who founded the Empire Brewery of Johnston, Pennsylvania in 1878. It was technically known as the Emmerling Brewing Co. the entire time it was in business, until it was closed by Prohibition in 1920. His son Otto, was born during the Johnstown Flood that began on May 31, 1889, when his mother Philomena went into labor, and he was born the next morning, on June 1 (though some record indicate June 2, but his grave’s headstone shows June 1), so that when he passed away in 1992, he was last survivor of the great flood. It was for that reason he was given the middle name “Flood.” He and his brother took over the family brewery in 1911, shortly before their father died, and continued to run it until it closed for good when Prohibition took effect in 1920.
The Johnstown Flood, known locally as “The Great Flood of 1889,” which occurred on May 31 of that year.
There’s not much biographical information I could find about Otto, nor any photos of him. He only ran the family brewery for nine years, and must have lost it entirely due to prohibition, and I couldn’t find out what he turned to afterwards or how he made his living between 1920 and 1992, or most of his life.
This is the Emmerling brewery, also known as the Empire Brewery in Johnston, Pennsylvania, which also served as the family’s residence.