"History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Wisconsin"

Compiled by George O.Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others. Printed in 1924 by H.C.Cooper. Jr. & Co., Minneapoli-Winona MN. ill. 787 pages. The first two hundred pages are history of the three counties, the remainder of the book is biographies.


Leidiger, Louis G. secretary, treasurer and manager of the Leidiger Brewing Company, of Merrill, Lincoln County, was born at Sturgeon Bay, Wis., in 1882, son of Ernst and Amelia (HENDRICKS) LEIDIGER. The father, Ernest, was born in Milwaukee County, this state, in 1857, son of Gustav and Pauline LEIDIGER, who were natives of Germany but were married in the United States. Ernst LEIDIGER was reared in Milwaukee County and learned the machinist's trade. In 1877, at the age of 22, he engaged in the brewing business at Sturgeon Bay, Wis., with his brother Louis. In 1887 they sold the business and Ernst returned to Milwaukee, where he remained for a time, subsequently, however, going back to Sturgeon Bay, where he engaged in the shoe business with his brother-in-law. Later he sold his interests there and came to Merrill, where in 1896 he started the Leidiger Brewery, in which concern he was active until his death. He was a stockholder in the Ollhoff Lumber Co. and the Merrill Knitting Co., also in each of the three banks, and was one of the original stockholders in the Merrill Veneer Co., whose plant was later destroyed by fire. In addition to these business interests he owned a nice farm. He was married at Bailey's Harbor, near Sturgeon Bay, in 1880, to Amelia HENDRICKS, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Adam HENDRICKS. They had four children, namely: Emma, wife of A. P. SCHEWE of Merrill; Olga, wife of J. C. WEBB of Merrill; Lillian, wife of Dr. D. J. O'REILLY of Merrill; and Louis G. of Merrill. Louis G. LEIDIGER was reared at Sturgeon Bay and attended school both there and in Milwaukee, subsequently working for several years in the Leidiger Brewery. He then took a course in a business college, and later attended the brewery school in Chicago, from which he was graduated with a full knowledge of all branches of the brewing business. In was in 1900 that he became connected with the Leidiger Brewing Co. at Merrill and until his father's death he acted as its superintendent. Since then he has had full charge fo the company's interest here. He is a stockholder in the Citizens National Bank and in the Lincoln County Bank, and he formerly had a similar interest in the Merrill Veneer Works Co. He has rendered good service as a public official, having been for five former years a member of the county board, during one year of which he was chairman. His fraternal affiliations are with the Elks, in which lodge he is Past Exalted Ruler, the Eagles, the Germania Society and the Merrill Social and Sick Benefit Society. In 1908, at Wausau, Wis., he was married to Josephine DUQUETTE, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Louis DUQUETTE. Her father is now deceased but her mother is living and resides in Wausau. Mr. and Mrs. LEIDIGER have two sons, Louis and Ernst, both of whom are attending school in Merrill. A brief historical account of the business concern with which Mr. LEIDIGER has been connected for so many years will be appropriate in this place. The Leidiger Brewing Company, represented at the time by Ernest LEIDIGER and his two brothers, Rudolph and Louis, started business in 1896 in a small frame building at the corner of River and Nast streets, Merrill. The company was incorporated for $25,000 and engaged in the manufacture of beer, their initial output being about 3,000 barrels per year. The original officers were: Rudolph LEIDIGER, president; Ernst LEIDIGER, vice president; and Louis LEIDIGER, secretary and treasurer. This composition of the company continued until the death of Louis in 1900. As he was a bachelor his stock fell to his mother, Mr. Pauline LEIDIGER, who assumed his position. In that year improvements were made on the plant, and in 1901 an ice-machine was installed, some of the frame buildings were veneered with red brick and other replaced with solid brick structures, with a total frontage of 100x100 feet; in addition to which the output was increased to 12,000 barrels per year. Ernst LEIDIGER later became president of the company and so continued until his death in 1922, at which time his son, Louis G., who was already a stockholder, became secretary, treasurer and manage. The other officers are: A. R. LEIDIGER, president, and Amelia LEIDIGER, vice president. The concern is now engaged in the manufacture of cereal beverages and all kinds of soft drinks.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 651-652; History of Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties Wisconsin; Compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others 1924, H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co

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