History of the Wainwright Brewery in St. Louis
With Mention of Tinker and Straub

October 14, 2019

Joseph Wainwright was a brewer in what was to become Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood. He was in Pittsburgh in 1815 or just before and had money from his father’s mills in England. The Wainwright brewery grew to become one of Pittsburgh’s largest and merged with Pittsburgh Brewing in 1899. Two of Joseph’s sons, Samuel and Ellis walked away from a sure thing to buy a brewery in St. Louis. They did well.

The Move to St. Louis
All the books that were written in the 1800’s have Samuel & Ellis Wainwright moving to St. Louis in 1846 or 1847. The later books pretty much copy what was published in the earlier ones and there is little to nothing to dispute that. Except the city directories. The 1838 & 1840 Keemie’s St. Louis directory has Wainwright & Coutts as proprietors at 21 Almond St. in which Charles Coutts was a stone cutter also living on Almond Street. These two books do not show a first name. Ellis Wainwright was 39 years old in 1839 so it is reasonable to say he was the one that came to St. Louis. His brother Samuel was 17 that years and old enough to have migrated with Ellis. Boys his age were experienced workers at that time. Other authors elude that Samuel was the principal owner of the brewery but age says otherwise.

The 1842 & 1844 directories have Ellis
Wainwright & John Whitnell having the Fulton Brewery at Almond Street. Ellis Wainwright was an alderman for the Second Ward. Whitnell was an alderman for the First Ward.

What Was Typically Written
About August 1846, Samuel & his brother, Ellis moved to St. Louis. It was widely published that they went to purchase the shuttered Fulton Brewery (1831 – 1839) at Main and Almond Streets. The company operated as Ellis & Samuel Wainwright. Ellis died in 1849 but the company continued until about 1851 when Samuel bought Ellis’ interest. On October 1, 1845, Samuel married Catherine Dorthey Smith of St. Louis but the wedding took place in Pittsburgh. Their son, Ellis, would eventually become president of the company.

What is Wrong with “What Was Typically Written”
First if all, most of the dates I have seen in old documents have been shown to be off by a year from other documents. I cannot find the origin of the 1846 date. Clearly it is wrong as the directories have Wainwright in St. Louis well before then. All documents have Samuel and Ellis as if Samuel was the one who led the move. Samuel was in his teens when they arrived in St. Louis. It was Ellis that was the driving force in this move. A lot of authors glean what they want to write a story, which in most cases can be fine. But when writing an historical account one needs to look deep and question and verify.

Fritz & Wainwright
In 1848, George Busch established a malt house and lager brewery at Third and Plum Streets. Afterwards he built beer cellars between Ninth and Tenth Streets on Gratiot and Cerre Streets. In 1853 he erected a brewery over the cellars.
Busch partnered with Charles A. Fritz in 1855 but by
1857 Fritz purchased Busch's interest in a malt-house and lager beer brewery and took the name of Fritz, Wainwright & Co. and engaged exclusively in the manufacture of lager beer. The 1857 St. Louis City Directory has Fritz & Wainwright at Gratiot and Cerre Streets and shows Busch on Plum Street.

Note: The brewery over the cellars would eventually be razed and a new brewery built on Papin Street. In 1883.

An 1853 advert has Fritz & Wainwright selling Busch’s beer. The malt house was located at Third Street at Plum and the brewery at Tenth Street.
Missouri State Gazetteer and Business Directory has the brewery at Tenth between Cerre and Gratiot, and the malt house at Stoddard Ave, between Chouteau Ave. and Hickory.

1970 Samuel Wainwright & Company
The business continued until 1870, when Fritz sold his interest to Lorenz Lampel and Robert Jacob. The business became known as Wainwright & Co. Samuel became president of the firm until his death in 1874.

1875 Samuel & Ellis
After Samuel’s death, his son Ellis bought out Jacob’s interest in 1875. The company was now known as Samuel Wainwright & Co.

1883 The wainwright Brewing Co.
The Wainwright Brewing Company incorporated in 1883 with a capital stock of $200,000., which was increased to $400,000 in 1886. A new brewery was built this year between Tenth and Eleventh Streets and Gratiot and Papin Streets.
Pen & Sunlight has 1884 and not 1883.

1889 St. Louis Brewing Association
The St. Louis Brewing Association was an English syndicate that was made up of English businessmen that were investing in American breweries. A syndicate’s aim was to acquire several breweries to build a stock portfolio. The Association acquired 18 of the 30 breweries in St. Louis.

The Wainwright Brewing Company was sold to the Association this year. Ellis Wainwright became president of the Association. William A. Haren was secretary and C. D. Wainwright was associated with the company.

The St. Louis Brewing Association

St. Louis Breweries Ltd. was the company controlling the St. Louis Brewing Association. St. Louis Breweries was registered under the English Companies Act in England in 1889. St. Louis Brewing Association was incorporated in Missouri in 1889.
Moody's Manual of Investments: American and Foreign, Volume 13, Issue 2 has more on this. Moody’s indicated that the Association had 18 breweries, 1 malt house, 1 ice house and 4 depots. As of September 30, 1920 there were 3 breweries and the ice house-cold storage house operating.

Partial list of breweries controlled by the Association:
Anthony & Kuhn Brewery
Anton Griesedieck Brewery (assumed closed)
Bremen Brewery
Charles G. Stifel Brewery
Cherokee Brewery
Chouteau Avenue Brewery (now used as a malt and ice house)
Excelsior Brewery
Green Tree Brewery
Phoenix Brewery
Henry Grone Brewery
Heim Brewery
Hyde Park Brewery
Klausmann Brewery
Wainwright Brewery
It is assumed that four breweries were closed at inception or prior to 1896 when they were listed in
Western Securities Reports of the Corporations.

1889 The wainwright Brewing Co.

Wainwright Building, St. Louis
Seventh & Chestnut Streets
Owner: Wainwright Brewing Co. Opened in 1892.
Architect: Louis Sullivan, d.b.a. Adler & Sullivan
Ellis Wainwright consolidated his company in 1889 with a brewery syndicate, which became the St. Louis Brewing Association. Ellis became the President of the new company. In 1890 he wanted to build a showplace building for his brewery concern, which included the Brewery Association.

The American Skyscraper, 1850-1940: A Celebration of Height by Joseph J. Korom, Branden Books, 2008 and Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, and the Skyscraper, Donald Hoffmann, Courier Corporation, January 1, 1998


Ellis W (Pittsburgh January 23, 1809 – 1849 St. Louis)
Brother of Samuel W (1822)
Son of Joseph W. Wainwright and Elizabeth Greaves
Husband of Mary Elizabeth Ealer

Samuel Wainwright
(Pittsburgh March 6, 1822 – St. Louis October 19, 1874)
Brother of Ellis W (1809)
Son of Joseph W. Wainwright and Elizabeth Greaves
Husband of Catherine Dorothy Smith
Samuel had a son, Ellis (August 3, 1850 – St. Louis November 6, 1924)

Ellis Wainwright (Godfrey, Il August 3, 1850 – November 6, 1924 St. Louis)
Son of Samuel (1822)
Husband of Charlotte Dickenson Wainwright
Godfrey, Illinois is several miles north of St. Louis.

Joseph W. Wainwright, father of the three above.
(Penistone, South Yorkshire, England October 17, 1779 – Pittsburgh December 23, 1866)

Zachariah Wainwright (Pittsburgh February 4,1818 – Pittsburgh April 6, 1871)
Brother of Samuel (1822) and Ellis (1809)
Son of Joseph W. Wainwright and Elizabeth Greaves
Husband of Elvira Phillips

Charles Wainwright (Pittsburgh June 3, 1823 – Pittsburgh 1825)
Son of Joseph W. Wainwright and Elizabeth
Here for reference only.

George Busch
Was not related to Adolphus Busch as Adolphus emigrated to America in 1857.

George Tinker
(Slippery Rock Twp., Butler County, Pa. March 25, 182 – d)
Son of Joshua and Ann (Wainwright) Tinker. George’s uncle on his mother’s side was Joseph Wainwright of Pittsburgh.
George Tinker
moved to St. Louis on October 16, 1851 and worked as a maltster, learning the trade from his uncle Joseph Wainwright of Pittsburgh. He worked at the Fulton Brewery but afterwards in1852 went with Z. W. & G. Tinker at Third Street between Plum and Cedar Streets. William Smith came on board in 1857 and the company was known as the Tinker Brewing Company.

Augustus W. Straub
Son of John N. and Elizabeth (Greives) Straub of Allegheny City, Pa.

Joseph’s sons Ellis and Samuel moved to St. Louis where they engaged in the brewing business. They, like their father became very successful, which leads to this caution. Should you search for information yourself, please be aware that what you read pertains to Pittsburgh and not St. Louis as your source material may not be clear on this. The Wainwright brewery in St. Louis was erected in 1883.

Samuel Wainwright of Pittsburgh established the Wainwright Brewery in St. Louis. His son, Ellis Wainwright (b. August 3, 1850 Godfrey, Illinois – d. November 6, 1924 St. Louis) financed the construction of the Wainwright Building in St. Louis. Ellis consolidated the Wainwright Brewing Co, and established the St. Louis Brewing Association. St. Louis, half the brewery was blown down during a storm as reported in the Daily Argus, May 28, 1896.

Pittsburgh Brewery
2506 Carondelet Avenue
Today, it’s the east side of Broadway between Sidney and Victor.
A. Leussler & Co. There is nothing on this brewery of the owner but I find it interesting that it was named the Pittsburgh Brewery. Pittsburgh brewers always had an active market downstream from the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers. Pittsburgh Porter was well received and I can’t help but think the origin of the Pittsburgh Brewery name came from this.


Encyclopedia of the History of St. Louis: A Compendium of History and Biography for Ready Reference, Volume 4, Part 2, William Hyde, Howard Louis Conard, Southern History Company, 1899.

Missouri State Gazetteer and Business Directory, Sutherland & McEvoy, 1860.

Pen and Sunlight Sketches of St. Louis , Phoenix Publishing Company, 1892, describes the evolution of the Wainwright brewery (page119). It has Fritz & Wainwright starting in 1854.