From the mid-nineteenth century on, families ran most American breweries — fathers passing the properties and business down to sons. Among the founders of the United States Brewing Association were men like Frederick Lauer whose father had been a brewer in Bavaria, and John Katzenmeyer, bookkeeper for A. Schmid & Co. Katzenmeyer was the first secretary of the USBA, and his son Richard followed in his footsteps.
The Miller Brewing Company followed this familial pattern as well. Frederick J. Miller was born in Germany in 1824 and came to the United States in 1850. He founded Miller Brewing in 1855. The Milwaukee based company was a large regional brewery prior to Prohibition. Frederick Miller married twice and had a total of eleven children. Five survived; these three sons and two daughters provided the heirs for the brewery. The sons, Ernst, Emil, and Fred, never married.463
When Frederick J. Miller died in 1888, Ernst, the oldest son, became president. The three boys, along with a brother-in-law named Carl Miller (no relation), kept the brewery going during Prohibition. Fred A. Miller, one of the brothers, was president of the company at the beginning of World War II. When he died
463 William Downard, Dictionary of the American Brewing and Distilling Industries (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1980), 119-120; Miller Brewing Co., Communications Department, Corporate Affairs Division, “Miller History,” Fall 1991, Beerhistory.com, http://www.beerhistory.com/library/holdings/millerhistory.shtml (accessed January 4, 2006); Associated Press, “150 years of Miller Beer,” 2005, WKBT.com, http://www.wkbt.com/Global/story. asp?S=3633152; (accessed December 20,2005)