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c. 1850 - 1861
Wagner and Herman
1870 - 1879
Peter Gabel arrived in Houston in 1844 and soon after started
a soap factory. Sometime in the early 1850s, he opened his brewery on
Preston Street between Caroline and San Jacinto. It is not clear how big
the brewery was; the malting house was on Preston, and Gabel lived in
a home around the corner at 313 San Jacinto St.
Also working at the brewery was his half brother John Wagner,
and another cooper from Germany named Henry Schulte. Gabel's touch proved
magic, and the brewery prospered. Sometime around the beginning of the
Civil War, Schulte left to found his own brewery, perhaps when Gabel was
forced to close. Gabel still used the facility, he made cider and distilled
whiskey, most likely until 1869, when Wagner put the wheels in motion
to take over the brewery operations with a partner named Herman. The brewery
opened under the Wagner and Herman name in 1870 and lasted until 1879.
But Gabel didn't retire. During the war, he began selling
Rhine wine, amassing a large collection and storing it in the cellar of
the malting house, eighteen feet underground.
Gabel died very wealthy in 1896, and in July of 1897, the
last remnant of the brewery, the malting house, was demolished.
-Thanks to reader David Hornburg, who
supplied me with copies of obituaries of Peter Gabel, Henry Schulte and
John Wagner. There was quite a bit of information there. Thanks, David.