STEPHEN BUHRER : BUHRERS GENTIAN BITTERS
Stephen Buhrer was born on the Zoar farm in Tuscarawas County, Ohio on the date of Dec 25 1825. He was born to Johann Casper and Anna Maria Miller Buhrer. When his father Johann Casper died he was bound to the Society of Separatists, who operated the communal farm at Zoar. Stephen Buhrer would work at the farm during the day and received his education attending evening classes at night. While at the Zoar farm he would learn the Coopering Trade. At the age of seventeen he would move to Cleveland to work as a cooper. Some time in the 1840s he would open his own coopering shop. He would end up selling the coopering shop in 1853 and by 1856 he was rectifying and distilling alcohol. He expanded his business to produce Gentian Bitters and a bottler of mineral waters along with producing sewer gas traps. By the turn of the Century he was a wholesale distributor of alcoholic beverages. Along with operating his business he would serve as a three time city councilmen and in 1867 was elected Democratic mayor of Cleveland and served for two terms. After his second term as mayor he would return to the city council for one more term. He would be in the business until his death in 1906.
His company was located at 64 & 66 Merwin Street, Cleveland, Ohio.
Below is a trade card.
Tradecard courtesy of www.peachridgeglass.com
1865-1868: Stephen Buhrer, distillers and rectifiers, 64 and 66 Merwin.
Ad from the 1865 Cleveland Directory.
1867-1870: Stephen Buhrer, City Mayor, wife Eva Mary, son John S. Buhrer, daughters Mary J. and Elizabeth I. Buhrer.
1870 United States Federal Census and - History of Cuyahoga County, Cleveland, Ohio 1873: Stephen Buhrer, wines and liquors, 64 and 66 Merwin Street.
1874-1875: Stephen Buhrer, Representative 10th and 11th Wards Clevelend - History of Cuyahoga County, Ohio Stephen Buhrer, distiller and rectifier, Manufacturer of Buhrers Gentian Bitters, 64 and 66 Merwin Street.
Ad from the 1876 Cleveland City Directory
1876: Stephen Buhrer, distiller and rectifier, Manufacturer of Buhrers Gentian Bitters, 64 and 66 Merwin Street.
1876: Stephen Buhrer, distiller, 64 and 66 Merwin Street.
1880: Stephen Buhrer, Rectifier of Spirits, wife Eva Mary, son John S. Buhrer, daughters Mary J. and Elizabeth I. Buhrer.
Ad from the 1894 Cleveland City Directory.
1900: Stephen Buhrer, Proprietor of Mineral Waters, wife now Margueretta.
1902-1907: Stephen Buhrer, wholesale liquors, bitters, Manufacturer of Buhrers Gentian Bitters, 64 and 66 Merwin Street, 1907 only residence listed.
Below are photos of two different Gentian Bitters bottles.
Cleveland City Directorys.
U.S. Federal Census.
The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History.
Frank & Frank Jr. (Wicker) Bottle Collection.