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Columbia and K. G. Schmidt Breweries

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Logansport was home to more than just one brewery during its history, but the brewery located in the 400 block of High Street is the most widely known. The brewery sat on the south bank of the Eel River, between the river and High Street. It had several names, managers, and owners. Bottles can be found in antique shops near and far. Sometimes someone will literally uncover an old brewery bottle from the ground or riverbanks. Most often, if a bottle is found from that particular brewery, it bears the brand name “Columbia” or “K.G. Schmidt.”

1866-1889: City Brewery. Founded by August Frost on the north side of High Street, west of Fifth. He sold it to John Hurbner.

1889-1890: Logansport Brewing Company. Opened and operated by a German immigrant brew master named John Mutschler.

1890-1895: Logansport Brewing Company. President and manager Eugene Prager. Employees included Adolph Mutschler.

1895-1920: Columbia Brewery. In the first year, the general manager was Harry Brookmeyer Jr. and the company’s Secretary was John G. Keip. The next year, Keip became the general manager. In 1915, Jacob Maier, a brew master, was listed as an employee. In 1920, management was taken over by Frank V. Albert and a superintendent, Carl Bauer, was employed. Also, according to the city directory of the year 1920, the business was manufacturing “soft drinks and ice.”

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PROHIBITION BEGINS: 1920-1933

By 1921, People’s Garage was housed in the west half of the building and the rest of the building was vacant. The building housed other various businesses including Wide Awake Transfer — a buy, sell, and trade business for large items such as stoves, ranges, and furniture — John McCormick’s Feed Store, and Cass County Farm Products.

1935-1951: K.G. Schmidt Brewery. The president of the company, a man born and raised in Chicago, was George K. Schmidt. Ernest Schmidt was vice president and George K. Schmidt Jr. served as secretary-treasurer. The company was named for George Sr.’s son, Kaspar George Schmidt who died young.

By 1952 the building was vacant. Since 1954, a TV repair shop and other various businesses have occupied spaces in the building on and off.

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