Anton Reymann Biographical Sketch, 1902
-from "HISTORY OF WHEELING and Ohio County, West Virginia and Representative Citizens." Edited & Compiled by Hon. Gibson Lamb Cranmer, 1902; p. 426-27.
Anton Reymann, proprietor of the Reymann brewery, the largest establishment of the kind in West Virginia, was born at Gaubickelheim, near Bingen-on-the-Rhine, Germany, September 15, 1837. In 1853, he came with his parents to the United States, the family landing at New Orleans, from which city they came up the Mississippi river to Galena, Ill., where they made their first settlement. Their residence there was of short duration, however, and the prevailing disease of chills and fever soon caused them to seek a home elsewhere. In the fall of the same year they came to Wheeling and made a permanent location. George Reymann, the father, engaged with P. P. Beck, a brewer, and the two purchased the ground where the present brewery stands, and opened a summer garden. Only a few years were spent in this business, Mr. Reymann retiring and Mr. Beck dying. George Reymann was a man of good education and while in the old country was in the employment of the German government as a teacher. In 1862 he returned to Germany and remained one year. His death occurred in 1882, at the age of seventy-five years, but his widow survives, past eighty-five years of age. After coming to Wheeling, Anton Reymann entered the public schools and attended the Fourth ward school until they were closed in the spring of 1854 on account of the small-pox. He then entered the employment of P. P. Beck, and served an apprenticeship of four years in the brewery business. He completed his knowledge of the trade at Cincinnati, where he went in 1858 and remained one year, working at different breweries, and then spent two years in different St. Louis breweries. At the outbreak of the war he returned to Wheeling with the intention of enlisting in the army, but upon the solicitation of his friends his enlistment was delayed, and later, Mr. Beck's health failing he took charge of the business of the latter, and was thus prevented from enlisting at all. In 1862, he was married to a daughter of Mr. Beck, and upon the death of that gentleman he formed a partnership with his widow in the brewery, taking charge of the establishment. The business was then of small proportions, the output being about 2,000 barrels per year. Several years later Mrs. Beck's retired from the business, and Mr. Reymann rented the establishment, which was then located between Market and Main streets. In the latter part of the sixties, when it became necessary to make extensive repairs, Mr. Reymann purchased the entire business, and removed the plant to the present site, erecting new buildings, to which more have been added from time to time, until the plant is the largest in the state with a capacity of over 100,000 barrels per year. In 1880, a stock company was formed for the prosecution of the business by the admission of Henry Hess, as manager; Frederick Happy, foreman; Charles Smith, assistant foreman, and August Walter. Mr. Walter retired in 1881, and Herman Grimm took his place as secretary, and at the same time Oscar Burdats became traveling agent. Mr. Reymann is interested in various other enterprises, being a large stockholder in the Wheeling & Elm Grove railroad company, president of the Wheeling Park company, president of the State Fair association and vice president of the German Fire Insurance company, of which he is one of the originators. He was one of the founders of the German bank, and is a stockholder in both the Warwick and North Wheeling Pottery companies. Mr. Reymann is a member of the Ohio lodge, F. & A.M. In 1880, Mr. Reymann visited Germany, and took his family there in 1885, and again in 1889. His son, Paul O., has been a student at the university of Berlin, since 1888.
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