Eberhardt & Ober History

September 3, 2015

This document gives some history to the Eberhardt & Ober Breweries (plural) individually in a time-line fashion. You may find a surprise or two when comparing my work to some others.

The Hopkins maps that are available on-line from the University of Pittsburgh Digital Library goes back only to 1872. They do have a Louis Keyon Map of 1835 but it shows the Vinial Street – Troy Hill areas as undeveloped lots. The Ober brewery was along Vinial Street whereas the Eberhardt brewery was along Troy Hill Road.

Ober Brewery Timeline

None of the “Ober” Breweries had a direct connection with Eberhardt until the merger with Pittsburgh Brewing in 1899. As they were neighbors they could have had a working relationship but were totally separate companies. The Eberhardt & Ober Brewery was never associated with any of the Ober breweries.

1857 Leonhart Schlaffner & Weiser
AKA Leonard Shaffner Brewery
AKA Shaffner & Veissert Amber Brewery
12 – 18 Vinial St
Established in 1857 by Schlaffner & Weiser.
Noted in the
Industries of Pittsburgh, published by the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce for 1879 & 1880.

1858 Koenig & Weiser
12 – 18 Vinial St
Established in 1858 as noted in the
Industries of Pittsburgh, published by the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce for 1879 & 1880.

1840 – 1860 Koenig & Ober Brewery
12 – 18 Vinial St
George Ober was with Koenig & Weiser in 1860 (at age 37) and took full control in 1864, according to Dick Ober in a City Paper story.
Ober & Koenig took control in 1860 and in 1863 George Ober became sole proprietor. The following year Charles F. Ober became associated with his brother, under the firm name and style as at present, as noted in the
Industries of Pittsburgh, published by the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce for 1879 & 1880.
Note: A John Koenig came to Allegheny in 1846 and Jacob Koenig in 1878.

George Ober was born in 1823 and came to America in 1840 when he was 17. He married Mary Vogel and they had 15 children.

1860 Gottlieb Siedle Restaurant
The 1860 Pittsburgh Directory lists Gottlieb Siedle (see 1878 G Siedle, below) as having a restaurant at 218 Liberty Street in Allegheny City.

1863 George Ober Brewery
16 Vinial St
George was sole proprietor from 1863 until his retirement in 1878.

1870 John P. Ober
George Ober’s son, John P., was born on August 21, 1848. He quit school at the age of 14 and started working in the (Ober) brewery. Try that today? At the age of 22 in 1870 he left for the Eberhardt Brewery down the corner.

1878 F. L. Ober & Brother Brewery
When George Ober retired in 1878 the brewery went to his sons, Frank L. and Charles F. Ober. They renamed the brewery F. L. Ober & Brother Brewery.

The 1901 Hopkins atlas shows Mary Ober as the property owner of the lot belonging to George Ober. F. L. Ober owned the adjacent lot, towards Spring Garden. They did not own it in 1890. The Ober Brothers Brewery was between Mary Ober’s lot and Troy Hill Road. The Penn Brewery loading dock and grain silos are currently on this lot.

The F. L. Ober property may have been miss-identified as a brewery in old document and repeated by modern day websites. It was to have been known and formed by Frank & Charles Ober, George’s sons, supposedly after E & O was formed.

1878 G. Siedle Brewery (1878 – 1899)
10 Vinial St
The 1872 Hopkins Atlas (Plate 92) has the Eberhardt & Ober Brewery at the corner of Troy Hill Road and Vinial Street. Siedle was adjacent to them and George Ober was adjacent to Seidle. Seedle also owned the land across the street where the current bottling house stands. Ober also had two lots next to Siedle.
Gottlieb Siedle was a brewer, identified in Old Bayardstown (page 177).

Note: Benz & Siedle Duquesne Brewery, Butler Plank Road in Duquesne. The 1872 Hopkins Atlas (Plate 92) shows Siedle property at a location that would support this.

1890 Mary Ober
Mary Ober, wife of George, was the property owner in 1890 of George’s original lot at 16 Vinial Street (not today’s number). Hopkins 1890 Atlas: Plate 8. However, the Ober Brothers owned the lots between Mary and Eberhardt & Ober.

1890 F L Ober Property
The Hopkins Atlas of 1890 and 1901 shows lots on Vinial across from the Ober brewery belonging to F L Ober Brothers. This indicates that the bottling house was not constructed until later. But, 1907, March: the Select Council of Pittsburgh passed ordinance 638 granting the Eberhardt & Ober branch of Pittsburgh Brewing Company to place a thirty-six inch conduit under Vinial Street connecting the brewery to the racking room of the bottling house.

1891 Electrical Lighting
The Eberhardt & Ober Brewery became the fourth brewery in Pittsburgh to install a plant and 200 incandescent lamps. The contract for the installation went to the Edison Company, Pittsburgh office.

1893 Aaron & Co. Malt House, Louis Israel
Vinial Street (behind the F. L. Ober Brewery)
Louis Israel Aaron (1840 – 1920) was behind the brewery as shown on the Sanborn Fire Insurance map of 1893, page 95. Hopkins, 1890, above, does not show the presence of the malt house.

1899 Pittsburgh Brewing Company
The brewery was sold to the Pittsburgh Brewing Company in 1899. After that sale, Frank retired from the business but Charles became a superintendant with PBC.

Amber Brewery
F. L. Ober & Brothers
12, I4 &16 Vinial St
Preceded by Obr & Keonig since
Noted in the
Industries of Pittsburgh, published by the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce for 1879 & 1880. I do not have a clear indication when the Amber Brewery was designated.

Ober Family

George & May (Vogel) Ober had three sons:
John P Ober who went to Eberhardt
Charles F Ober: became a superintendent with Pittsburgh Brewing
Charles married Mary Amella Sauer of Allegheny
Frank L Ober: retire after the sale to Pittsburgh Brewing

George was born in 1823 and came to America at 17 (1840)
He partnered with Koenig (also known to be King)
George retired in 1878 and at that time, Frank and Charles F took over the brewery, renaming it the F. L. Ober & Brother Brewery

George Ober’s father, Peter, lived and died in France.

Eberhardt Brewery Timeline

1856 Conrad Eberhardt
Thurston, in Facts and Figures, has Conrad having a brewery at Ohio Street and Chestnut Street about 1856. I have not see this referenced by others and wonder if Thurston misidentified the location or date.

1848 Conrad Eberhardt Brewery
Troy Hill Road
This brewery originally established in 1848 at the time faced Troy Hill Road and would eventually include the property that is now the parking garage. The rear of the brewery would include the land having the stone courtyard, stonewall, and the lagering caves. The Eberhardt brewery would not have ownership of the building now having the restaurant and brewery.

It was William Eberhardt and his brother-in-law John P. Ober who formed the Eberhardt & Ober Brewery. This was separate from the George Ober Brewery that was on the adjacent properties.

William Eberhardt Brewery
I do not believe this was ever a company but miss-identified by others when John Ober came on board with the Eberheardt Brewery, still under the control of Conrad having day-to-day operations undertaken by William.

1870 William Eberhardt Brewing Company
Brother-in-laws William Eberhardt and John Peter Ober purchase the Conrad Eberhardt Brewery after Conrad retires. The brewery is not associated with the Ober Brewery on the adjacent lot.

1883 Eberhardt & Ober Brewery
The Eberhardt & Ober Brewery is formed (January 1) with the acquisition of the John N. Straub Brewery that was located on South Canal Street, also in Allegheny.
John N. Straub was 73.

The officers of the Eberhardt & Ober Brewing Co. were:
William Eberhardt, President
John N. Straub, Vice President (John died in 1891)
John Peter Ober, Treasurer
John G. Walther, Secretary (he is unknown to me)
Theodore F. Straub, Superintendent

Peter Straub Notation
Peter was to have worked for E&O under John N. Straub, but E&O did not absorb John’s brewery until 1883. Peter had his own brewery in St. Marys by the 1870’s. Peter was in Allegheny (twice) and most likely worked for John N. Straub at the Straub Brewery on South Canal Street in Allegheny City, which was established until the 1840’s. The Mt. Zion Historical Society got it right.

1883 Brewery Collapse and Fire
Date unknown but assumed to be the E & O Brewery
Michael Brunk, the great-great-grandson of Gottlieb Siedle sent this information (August 2015): …
if you go in the lower level below the restaurant of the Penn Brewery, and look at the stonewalls of the lower foundation, you can still see the black lines marking where the fire burned out after it collapsed the brewery above.

Architect Joseph Stillburg designed the buildings in 1883 and this may have been a result of the fire.

1899 Pittsburgh Brewing Company
The Eberhardt & Ober Brewing Company AND the F. L. Ober Brewery merged with the Pittsburgh Brewing Company.

John P. Ober became treasurer of the Pittsburgh Brewing Company and held many other offices in Pittsburgh until his death on November 11, 1909.

1899 Conrad Eberhardt dies
Conrad Eberhardt died soon after the merger on March 25, 1899.

The above is wrong on my part and correct by Bob Mills, a descendent of the family. The University of Pittsburgh Library supports this.
“Conrad Eberhardt died after the merger on March 25, 1899” – actually it was William that died on this date. Conrad died ~9/21/1875 aboard ship from Europe. He had a secret 2nd family in, I think, Alsace. We believe he was robbed & murdered, then buried at sea. I have not found any contemporaneous articles about his death, but have found later articles about the court case brought by the “wife” in Alsace.
“...and Conrad not retiring until 1883” -- this was obviously William since Conrad was dead.

1953 Property Sale
Pittsburgh Brewing Company sold the E & O property to the Kovalchick Salvage Company for $100,000. The agreement was made on October 27, 1953.

1986 Pennsylvania Brewing Company
Tom Pastorius founded the company that year and after that acquired the R & O property. See the Penn Brewery History page.

1987 National Register of Historic Places
The brewery sitting on 40 acres and containing 6 buildings and 5 structures, at the time, was placed on the list of National Register of Historic Places (#87001984).
The architectural style is Romanesque, Classical Revival, Italianate.