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Thrity miles south of Fort Worth, Cleburne sprang up at a transportation crossroads.The Town was named for General Patrick Cleburne, who had lead several area residents in the Civil War.
The Cleburne Brewery 1868-1878
John Geupel was born in 1829 at Wunsiedel, Germany. His parents died in seperate tragedies and he learned tinsmithing. In 1844, he came to the United States. He arrived in New York and travelled to Alabama. Eventually, he wound up in Marlin, Texas, where he joined the Texas 20th Regiment of the Confederate Infantry, and fought in the Civil War.
In 1868, he was in Cleburne, whe he founded the Cleburne Brewery. The brewey faced Main Street on Buffalo Bayou, the water source. Geupel brought German lager recipes to Texas. Originally, he sold his Old German Lager for ten cents a bottle. Then he had an ingenius marketing idea: Package twelve bottles together for a one-time sale for $1.29. The idea was so popular that, even though he still sold his bottles for ten cents, no one bought them.
He brought in Fritz Wulfert as a partner, apparently in 1875, when only Wulfert is listed in the tax records. That same year, they sold the brewery to Fritz and Elijah Guffee.
This information came from Randall Scott, who has written a novel featuring his great-great-grandfather, John Geupel, called The Tinner. He also added some followup information on the final fate of the Cleburne Brewery.
"The Guffee brothers knew nothing about brewing beer so they partnered
with Mike Dixon, a self-proclaimed Brewmaster whose only expertise was
mass consumption of the brew. A couple of years later, deep in debt, Dixon
killed John Guffee on Cleburne's downtown boardwalk in an argument over
the proceeds from the brewery, one buffalo nickel. Elijah saw the murder
of his brother from across the town square where he immediately leveled
his rifle and dropped Dixon on the spot.
With both John and Elijah, and well as their "brewmaster," dead, the brewery closed in 1878.