Biography of Herman C. Baehr
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

HERMAN C. BAEHR, former mayor of Cleveland;. and the first citizen of Cuyahoga County ever elected three consecutive terms to the office of county recorder, has numerous substantial achievements in business and public life to his credit.

Cleveland also holds in high esteem the memory of his father, the late Jacob Baehr, and his mother, Mrs. Magdalena Baehr. Jacob Baehr was born in Heidelberg, Germany, March 13, 1824, and he and his brother Henry were the only members of the family to come to America. Henry settled at Cleveland, where for many years he conducted a bakery. Jacob Baehr was left an orphan by death of his parents when he was six years of age, and was reared among strangers. He secured a good education, and served an apprenticeship at the trade of brewer. He secured a certificate as master brewer, malster and cooper. He became identified with the revolution in the German states in 1848, and upon the failure of that liberal movement, he, like thousands of others, expatriated himself and came to America. He made the journey in a sailing vessel that was seventy four days on the ocean before it landed its passengers at New York. He came at once to Cleveland, where a classmate, named John Burkholder, was living, and it was upon Mr. Burkholder's advice that Cleveland was destined to become a large city that Jacob Baehr was attracted here. He arrived in Cleveland without money, but with a knowledge of a good trade. His first employment was as a cooper making barrels for the then thriving pork packing industry. In 1836 he moved out to Keokuk, Iowa. That was the year the first railroad crossed the Mississippi River, and still much of the State of Iowa was an unbroken wilderness. At Keokuk Jacob Baehr formed a partnership with another brewer and engaged in the brewery business until 1866, when he returned to Cleveland and established a brewery on West Twenty fifth Street. Jn connection he operated a restaurant, and continued this business until his death on February 18, 1873. Jacob Baehr was reared in the Mennonite Church, and held to that faith until his death. He was deeply religious and would not employ anyone not an attendant at some church, and refused to sell the product of his brewery to one whom it was known drank too freely. He would not pennit lewd talk on his premises. However, he was not bigoted, and as there was no Mennonite Church in Cleveland his family attended Saint John's Episcopal Church and the Protestant Evangelical Church, and his children were all confirmed by a minister of the latter denomination.

Jacob Baehr married Magdalena Zipf, who was born in Friesenhein, Baden, and came to America at the age of seventeen, accompanying her sister Salome, who married Jacob Wieber. Mrs. Magdalena Baehr upon the death of her husband took the active management of the business, and conducted it with all the energy and wisdom that she had previously displayed in the management of her household. Mrs. Magdalena Baehr was one of Cleveland's noted women. She gave liberally of her means to many worthy causes. She was founder and president of the Altenheim Society, being the head of that institution until her death. In founding this home for aged couples she stipulated that man and wife should not be separated and this was the first home for the aged that admitted married couples. Mrs. Magdalena Baehr died March 30, 1909, at the age of seventy four. She was the mother of nine children, but only two are now living: Katherine, widow of Jacob Killins, of Cleveland; and Herman C.

Herman C. Baehr was born in Keokuk, Iowa, March 16, 1866, and the family soon afterward returned to Cleveland. He attended the public schools of this city to the age of fourteen, and then went to work in his father's brewery. In order to master the brewer's trade he went abroad and attended Lehman's Scientific Academy at Worms, on the Rhine, where he was graduated with the degree Doctor of Medicine. He was one of the first if not the first in Cleveland to employ completely scientific principles in the manufacture of beer. At the age of twenty one he took charge of the Baehr Brewing Company, and when it was consolidated with the Cleveland Sandusky Brewing Company he became secretary and treasurer of that corporation, and continued an active official therein until 1903.

Mr. Baehr was a staunch friend and admirer of the late Mark Hanna, and wielded much influence in behalf of that famous Ohio citizen during his remarkable political career. It is said that his affiliation with Mark Hanna was largely responsible for Mr. Baehr entering politics. In 1903 his friends insisted that he accept the republican nomination for county recorder. He was elected and twice reelected, the last time by 28,000 majority. He also served as a member of the Cleveland Park Board. In 1909 he was asked to become a candidate for mayor, but refused until 45,000 people signed and presented to him a petition demanding his candidacy. He was elected and served as mayor from January 1, 1910, to January 1, 1912.

Mr. Baehr was formerly president of the Forest City Savings and Trust Company, and since its consolidation with the Cleveland Trust company has been a director of the latter institution. A number of years ago he was elected president of the West Side Chamber of Industry. He took charge at a critical time in the fortunes of this organization, and revived it and gave it a vigorous influence in the affairs of that section of Cleveland. He was twice elected president and served about a year and a half. He is a member of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce and many civic organizations. He is affiliated with Bigelow Lodge No. 657, Free and Accepted Masons; Thatcher Chapter No. 101, Royal Arch Masons; Forest City Commandery No. 30, Knights Templar; Lake Erie Consistory of the Scottish Rite, Al Koran Temple of the Mystic Shrine, Al Sirat Grotto and is past master of Lake Shore Lodge No. 6, Knights of Pythias.

Mr. Baehr married, April 21, 1898, Miss Rose Schulte, who was born at Rochester, Pennsylvania, daughter of August and Lucy Schulte. Her father for many years was a prominent provision merchant in Cincinnati and was the inventor of "boneless ham."

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

Privacy Policy for OnlineBiographies


Cuyahoga County, Ohio Biographies

Names A to G
Names H to P
Names Q to Z



New York



For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium

Family Tree Maker 2012