The now and then postings of the discoveries and contributions of the Miller and Bechtold families .

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Collateral Wanderings: For the Brew that is True - Seek Nunnings!

Wonderful paydirt for the family history of the McCaffrey-Byrnes!

1. Henry Nunning married Johanna Arndt

2. William C. Byrne married Julia Nunning

3. Alexius Byrne married Margaret McCaffrey

4. Hugh Byrne

5. Shivonne and Dreslaine

Above, the house built for August Nunning. big photo link
1401 Jules Street
Saint Joseph MO 64501

The Daily News history of Buchanan County and St. Joseph, Mo. 
From the Time of the Platte Purchase to the year 1898 

 Page: 289

Henry Nunning was the second brewer. He came from La Porte, Ind., in 1854, and established himself at Eleventh and Faraon streets, also near Smith's branch. After a time his business outgrew the old establishment and he built a modern brewery on Faraon street, near Fifteenth. This plant is now operated under lease by the St. Joseph Brewing Company.

Dreslaine's G-Great Uncle August Nunning:

Page: 520

AUGUST NUNNING, retired brewer, was born at Laporte, Ind., Oct. 8, 1854, the son of, Henry and Johanna (Arndt) Nunning, both of Germany. Mr. Nunning came with his parents to St. Joseph in 1855. His father established the second brewery in St. Joseph, locating on Faraon street and Frederick avenue, and later at Fifteenth and Faraon streets, where he built a modern and model plant. Our subject was educated in St. Joseph and spent four years at school in Germany. Upon his father's death assumed the management of the brewery and conducted it with success and profit until 1804, when he leased the plant to the St. Joseph Brewing Company, who operate it at this time. Mr. Nunning lives in a commodious and modern house on Jule street, near Fifteenth, [see above photo] and devotes his time to study and to the care of pet stock. He is an enthusiast on the subject of domesticating pheasants and is proud of his success. He started with five birds and this spring his flock increased to seventy-five. There are seven varieties of pheasants and all are beautifully marked. In England these birds live in a half domesticated state and are fattened with grain, sometimes attaining a weight of five pounds. Their flesh is very excellent food, and they hybridize easily with most other gallinaceous fowl.. The Americans have outstripped the English in the matter of domesticating the pheasant, the Ohio farmers being in advance of others, and they contend that this bird is as easily grown as the game chicken. Mr. Nunning's experiments lead him to believe that there is a good future for the pheasant and he derives much pleasure in watching and aiding the developments of this industry.

Page: 551

ST. JOSEPH BREWING CO.— Our two oldest breweries are perpetuated by this corporation. In 1894 Joseph Kuechle built the first brewery on Charles street between Seventh and Eighth streets. In 1855 Henry Nunning built the second brewery at the junction of Frederick avenue and Faraon streets. Upon the death of Mr. Kuechle the business of this brewery was carried on by his heirs until the formation of the St. Joseph Brewing Company in 1887. This corporation operated the plant, which has since been condemned, until 1894, when a lease was made for the famous brewery which the late Henry Nunning erected on Faraon street, near Fifteenth street, when his business outgrew the first primitive plant. The product of the St. Joseph Brewing Company has always been in the front rank for excellence and has taken scores of premiums. Their bottled product as well as the draught beer is equal to the best manufactured anywhere. The officers of the St. Joseph Brewing Company are: James Self, president; N. G. Schlupp. vice-president, and A. J. Brunswig, secretary and treasurer.

Encyclopedia of the history of Missouri:

a compendium of history and biography for ready reference. Vol IV

 By Howard Louis Conard

Link for the down-loadable book!

Nunning, August,
manufacturer, of St. Joseph, was born October 8, 1854, at LaPorte, Indiana, son of Henry and Johanna (Arndt) Nunning. He was educated in the public schools of St. Joseph, Missouri, and after completing the course prescribed in the study of the common branches he went to Germany and acquired a knowledge of business methods and practice in one of the best institutions of the kind. He left the school room in 1871, and returning to St. Joseph, entered his father's office. In 1880 the young man united in partnership with his father in the brewing business, and the firm was known as Henry Nunning & Son. Soon after the death of the founder of the extensive establishment it passed into the hands of the son, and was continued under the name of the A. Nunning Brewing Company, and up to this day is counted among the leading breweries of the western country. In addition to the business which he first engaged in after leaving school, and which grew at so profitable a rate under his management, Mr. Nunning has been connected with a large number of other enterprises, and is looked upon as one of the most public-spirited men of St. Joseph. His capital has been wisely invested in several of the substantial institutions of the city, and his name has for many years been prominent in the commercial affairs of the city in which he lives. Mr. Nunning was a director in the State National Bank of St. Joseph up to the time the stockholders decided to quit business. He was
one of those who took the initiative in making St. Joseph a live stock center, and this industry, which he helped to establish, has grown to be one of the foundation stones of St. Joseph's business life. When the project of having the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway Company extend its lines westward from St. Joseph was in its first stages Mr. Nunning was one of several men of means and enterprise who assisted very materially in pushing the plans to a successful end. He was a stockholder in the tobacco industry, is a stockholder in a large brick manufacturing plant, is one of the owners of the Commercial Block, and is connected with many other companies and corporations that have helped to advance the city where his interests are located. Mr. Nunning has been a life-long Republican, and takes more than ordinary interest in politics, although office-seeking has never entered into his experience. He is a Catholic in religious belief, and supports all worthy causes with a liberal hand. He is a member of the order of Red Men and the Turnverein. His intimate friends know him best as a lover of books, birds and the beautiful in art, and his elegant home would be a feasting place for the eye that has not had the privilege of exploring its beauties. There is probably not a more tastefully arranged home in St. Joseph, and probably not a library containing choicer books in Missouri, and there is certainly not a more extensive collection of birds of gaudy plumage in the State than those of August Nunning. He loves the society of books, revels in artistic association, and possesses a hobby for birds. Near his home in St. Joseph he has a large pheasantry that numbers in its collection some of the rarest specimens, as well as the more familiar types of native birds, wild ducks, animals of the woods and fields, and numerous pets of many families. Mr. Nunning was married, in 1876, to Miss Mary Blair, of St. Joseph, Missouri, whose father was a prominent contractor of that city.

Nunning, Henry, manufacturer, of St. Joseph, was born near Warendorf, Westphalia, Germany, March 16, 1821, and died March 26, 1884, at his home in St. Joseph. His father and mother belonged to two of the oldest families in Germany, and their ancestors were distinguished in business life, in the social circles of the time, and on the battlefield struggling in the defense of the dictates of their consciences. For many generations back the families were residents of that portion of Germany. The Nunning home was a fixture in the province. It stood through the varying changes of centuries, and the homestead still stands and is inhabited by descendants of its founders. Mr. Nunning received a common school education in the town near which he was reared, and was known as a young man of receptive mind and retentive memory. He mastered the rudimentary branches so thoroughly that at an early age he was competent to engage in business and to begin the life struggle on his own account. The desire to broaden the horizon of his experience proved overweening, and in 1851 Mr. Nunning came to America. He had learned the trade of brewer at Munster, in Westphalia, and it was his fixed intention to follow that business in this country. The landing at New York was followed by an early departure for Buffalo, where a brief sojourn was indulged in. From Buffalo he went to Fort Wayne, Indiana, and at that place likewise his stay was of short duration. The young man deckled upon a location at LaPorte, Indiana, and it was there that he settled in 1851 and engaged in the brewing business. His field was more limited at that place than he desired, and in 1854 he widened his scope of operations by moving to St. Joseph, Missouri. There he established the Henry Nunning Brewery, in 1855, after spending several months in prospecting for a desirable location, and in satisfying himself that he had found it. Under the name first given the business was continued until 1880, when Mr. Nunning's son, August Nunning, was admitted to a partnership with the father, and the firm name of Henry Nunning & Son was settled upon. Up to the death of Henry Nunning, and since the responsibilities were assumed by the son, the brewery established so many years ago has continued to be one of the leading establishments of its kind. The products of the brewery are familiar throughout a wide stretch of country which St. Joseph claims as her territory, and the practical acquirement of knowledge relating to the business and the mastery of the trade from the rudiments to the minor facts that are possessed only by the expert brewer, by the founder of the concern and owner through long years, resulted in putting the Nunning brewery in the position it occupies to-day. Mr. Nunning's military career was marked by faithful service in the German Army, including participation in the Baden Revolution. In politics he was an active Republican, although he possessed no desire for public life, and never asked the people for an office within the gift of their franchises. He was married to Miss Johanna Arndt, of Michigan City, Indiana, and to them eight children were born. August Nunning succeeded the father in the management of the business.

Mrs. William C. Byrne, a daughter, resides in St. Joseph, Missouri, and Mrs. James T. Carbry, whose husband was counted among the leading capitalists of St. Joseph, is another daughter. Miss Louise Nunning died some years ago, and her remains were interred at St. Blasien, in the historical Black Forest, Germany. The other four children died in infancy. Mr. Nunning died March 26, 1884, at his home in St. Joseph.

Where to stay in St. Joseph's Missouri? Why not at the Nunning Bed and Breakfast!

Build in 1887 for August Nunning, owner of the Nunning Brewery, this elaborate Queen Anne style Victorian boosts of all it's original grandeur and luxury like no other. There was no expense spared when Mr. Nunning built his home at 1401 Jules Street in Saint Joseph, Missouri. His home has stood the test of time and still remains in its original state, just as I am sure he would have wanted it, to be appreciated by all generations, past, present and future. The Nunning House includes 34 original stained glassed windows including the spectacular stained glass window at the landing of the staircase that measures 5.5 feet wide and 8 feet tall of Romeo & Juliet. The front parlor is bird's eye maple with 3 sets of 10 foot tall pocket doors with original hardware, 7 elaborate original fireplaces, cherry wood dining room with built-in china cabinet, walnut gentlemen's parlor with a beer cooler built into the floor, and oak foyer to greet you as you step back in time to experience luxury in 1887...did we mention the tunnel 30 feet below the basement floor?

From another website:
"The house we went to look at was the Nunning House. If you've never been to St. Joe then it's hard to get an appreciation for the wealth that once resided there. This house, as well as dozens of others, went well beyond what I was used to seeing in mansions. The craftsmanship, detail and quality of materials was easy to see everywhere I looked. But the thing that dropped my jaw, was the tunnel beneath this great house. I wasn't allowed to go into it during that initial visit, but was lucky enough to see it during a book signing event a year or so later. Now remember this is plumb in the heart of the city in a residential neighborhood. The tunnel is a brick lined, barrel vaulted variety that's tall and wide enough for a horse drawn wagon. The ceiling of the tunnel is 16 feet below the floor of the basement!

Mr. Nunning, who built the house in the 1880s, also owned a brewery at the time. The tunnel connected his house to the brewery which was roughly a block away. I believe the brewery burnt down in the early 1900s and somewhere around that same time the tunnel was blocked off about 100 feet into it - going away from the Nunning House. How cool is that! What writer could resist? You have an old, somewhat dilapidated Victorian with a half-collapsed immense tunnel under it. If that doesn't set the stage for a haunted house story then I don't know what does!"


  1. Good stuff Marty, keep up the good work. Happy Easter!

  2. This might explain why my husband, Michael (Dreslaine's son) loves beer! Although Great, great, Great uncle might be disappointed to hear that Michael has been pheasant hunting...