The 1930 census has Thomas Kurdle living at 2818 Ailsa. He was 74 years old and living with his wife, Margaretha who was 68 years old. The census states he was born in Bohemia, as were his parents. Margaretha was born in Maryland, but both parents were born in Bavaria. The 1920 census has them on what appears Aliceanne Street and has his time of arrival as 1854. In 1910 they were at 3809 Eastern Avenue. It also states his year of immigration as 1878.
Their slogan, which became quite famous was “Taste the difference quality makes”. They also served as the primary sponsor for ‘Sam and Friends’, which was a base and start for Jim Hensen and his puppets. They were also one of the few companies involved in Sports Marketing and for many years were a sponsor of the Baltimore Orioles, the Naval Academy and the Ironbirds.
They built their main plant in 1919 and throughout the years made many additions. They were one of the first meatpacking companies to provide training to their employees as well as a library, insurance, a credit union, etc. The plant kept many people in the area employed.
The company was acquired by Smithfied Foods in 1985 and operate as an independent operating division of Gwaltney and Smithfield Packing. They ceased production at their East Baltimore Company in 1992.
Esskay website: http://www.esskaymeat.com/history.html
According to the 1922 Packers Enclyclopedia: Wm. Schluderberg-T. J. Kurdle Co.—Baltimore and 6th Sts. President, W. F. Schluderberg; Vice-President, Joseph Kurdle; Secretary, Theo. Schluderberg; Treasurer, Albert Kurdle; General Manager, W. F. Schluderberg; General Superintendent, A. M. Eastman. Employes, 400. "Esskay." Products- Sausage—Fresh and smoked. Pork products, "Esskay"; lard, "Esskay," "Oriole"; compounds, "Southern Rose," "Pearl." Branches—1727 Eastern Ave., Baltimore, Md., and Roanoke, Va. Also exports.
John A. Gebelein
John A. Gebelein (10-14-1868 to 10-20-1943)
John Gebelein lived on Castle Street in 1920. He was 51 at the time and owned and operated a pork packing business. He was born in Maryland to German parents. He and his family lived on Sulgrave Avenue in 1930. The name of his company according to the German Citizens of Baltimore (1929) was the J.A. Gebelein Company and was located at 725 N. Castle Street. His son Andrew took over the business and is listed at 731 Castle Street in the 1930 federal census.
According to the 1922 Packers Encyclopedia- 725-743 N. Castle St. Individual ownership. Sausage—Fresh and smoked. Trade Mark—"Castle Brand." Retail
Market—One at Bel Air Market.
He married Anna E. (1869-1949) and together they had two children, Paul (1894-1925) and Catherine (Helmbright 1895-1975). They are buried at Loudon Park Cemetery.
Albert Goetze, Sr. (8-31-1891 to 5-18-1973)
Albert Goetze, Jr. (1923 to 9-2007)
Robert Goetze (1925 to 2008)
Goetze Meats was founded by Albert F. Goetze and was called the Albert F. Goetze Meat Packing Company. The plant, which at one time employed about 1000 persons, was closed in the mid-1970s. According to the 1890 Baltimore Directory, Albert’s father, Albert C. Goetze was also a butcher and owned his own shop, which was located at Chew (now Ashland Avenue) near Chester. The 1910 census lists the family residence at 1729 Chester Street. Albert F. Goetze established the meat packing plant, which was located 8422 Bellona Lane in Baltimore.
Albert Frederick Goetze was the son of Albert G. Goetze (1863 to 1929) born in Anholt, Germany and Dora Goetze (1862 to 1958), born in Bremen, Germany (both according to the 1920 Federal Census). Albert F. Goetze was born August 31, 1891 in Baltimore, Maryland and married Nellie Pauline ( to 1986). The family lived at 1515 Lakeside Avenue. As a child, Alfred F. lived with his parents on Chester Street and later on Rutland Avenue. The company’s slogan was ‘Don’t Guess, Get Goetze’s’.
Albert’s sons were also involved in the business. His son Alfred Jr.(1923 to 2007) became the firm’s president. In 1968, he became the President of the Eastern Meat Packers Association. He was born in Baltimore and educated at McDonogh School and later Cornell University with a degree in mechanical engineering. His full profile is in the ‘Military’ section of this site. His son Robert Goetze (1925 to 2008) was a graduate of McDonogh School and attended the University of Pennsylvania, when his studies were interrupted by WWII, where Robert served as an ensign in the Navy in the South Pacific from 1944 to 1946. He earned a degree at the Wharton School of business and became general manager and vice president of sales at the plant. He later became president of Sinclair Auto & Truck Fleet Leasing Co., which initially used commercial vehicles from the meat-packing business. He sat on the boards of the American Meat Institute, Susquehanna University and was a founding member of the Maryland Presbyterian Church on Providence Road. He served on committees for the Salvation Army and the Baltimore Junior Chamber of Commerce).
The company ceased operations in 1975.
The family is buried at Lorraine Park Cemetery.
Albert & Dora Goetze (parents of Albert Sr.) are buried at Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery.
Mr. David Brinegar sent me several photos of his father. His father Robert Brinegar, Jr., worked for the Goetze Meat Packing plant in Baltimore in the 50s. There are others in the photos and he has asked if anyone knows the people in the photos to make contact. Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are on know someone in the photos. Thanks David for sharing.
Andrew Heinold Meat Packing
Located at 808 N. Chester near Madison Avenue. They also operated a stall at Northeast Market (located at Monument and Chester).
The family, according to the 1910 census, lived at 832 Chester Street. His occupation was listed as butcher of pork. He lived with his wife Elizabeth () and his son Edwin (1903 to) and George (1905 to). Both of Andrew’s parents were born in Germany.
In reviewing census records (1920), I also came upon a Kate Heinold (1854 to) living at 808 Chester Street. She is listed as the Head of Household living with her daughters Mary and Kate. Mary’s husband Edward Hall also lived at the house and his occupation is listed as an Engineer at a slaughterhouse; daughter Kate worked at the slaughterhouse as a clerk.
C. Hohman & Sons
Conrad P. Hohman (1865 to)
Frank Hohman (1890 to)
Located at 2138 E. Monument Street. It was a partnership and they employed, according to the 1922 Meat Packers Encyclopedia, 65 employees. 2138 E. Monument St. General Manager, Geo. A. Hohman. Hogs, 1,200. Sausage Fresh and smoked. Trade Marks—"Blue Band Brand" and "Triangle Brand." Retail Markets—North East Market and Belair Market, Baltimore.
According to the 1930 census, the family, Conrad and his wife Cora were living at 1345 Homestead Street in Baltimore. He is listed as a Butcher in a wholesale meat packing business. His father was born in Germany. In 1920 they lived on Washington Street and their son Frank (1890 to ), who also worked in the meat business lived with them.
Henry Kaufman (1852 to )
The Kaufman family were meat packers and butchers. Henry Kaufman (1852-) lived and worked at 323 Leeds Ave., also on Leeds Ave., was Elmer Kaufman and his family and Harry Kaufman and his family (All from the 1920 Federal Census). Again, all were meat packers. The Kaufmans (Henry, Harry and Elmer were all listed as born in Maryland to German parents. The Kaufman Packing Company, Harry J. Kaufman, proprietor, was located at the Union Stock Yards (source: German Citizens of Baltimore 1929).
According to the 1922 Packers Encyclopedia, President, Harry T. Kaufman; Vice-Presidents, Walter C. Kaufman, J. Louis Kaufman and Elmer R. Kaufman; Secretary,
Halver B. Kaufman; Treasurer, J. Louis Kaufman; General Manager, Walter C. Kaufman; General Superintendent. J. Louis Kaufman. Employees, 25. Products — Sausage, Fresh and smoked. "Blue Seal." Retail Markets—607-609 Lexington Market and 18-20 Hollins Market, Baltimore, Md.
Located at 5221 W. Henrietta Street.
Messersmith (1828 to 1893)
Charles Messersmith was a native
of Germany, coming to the US when he was about four years old. His parents settled
in Baltimore. Charles, at an early age,
went into the butcher business, where he was successful his entire life. By good business ethics, he amassed a small
fortune by the standards in those days and he also helped contribute to the
growth of the city. He confined his business
to veal and grew to the point where he operated stalls in most of Baltimore’s
He married Miss Louisa E.
Saumnig, a native of Baltimore, but of German parentage, in 1849, and together
they had ten children, four of these are boys also entered their father in his
business. They were Charles E., Samuel J., John K. and Oliver. Four of the daughters were Mary, Louisa, Ella
and Lillie. Charles Messersmith died in
Located at 2806 Pennsylvania Avenue. The corporation, according to the 1922 Meat Packers Encyclopedia, they employed 30 persons.
Henry Ferdinand Riefle (5-15-1812 to 5-6-1862)-Butcher
Butcher and leading citizen of Baltimore, Maryland.
F. Riefle sold meat at the No. 1 stall in Lexington Market, Baltimore.
Henry was a member of the "Butchers' Association of Baltimore" and was a
signer of the resolution "that from May 2nd they would not charge more
than twelve and a half cents per pound for beef, and if they were unable
to furnish it at that price, they would vacate their stalls." This
resolution grew out of the oppressions under which they and the general
public suffered from the extortions of forestallers and the monopolist
cattle-dealers. In 1832, when they realized their tradesmen were victims
of a monopoly, organized the "Butchers' Hide and Tallow Association" --
the object being to salt their own hides and render their own tallow,
thus protecting themselves against impositions by controlling their own
business. One of the eight directors of the Association was Henry.
1839, he petitioned the Mayor of Baltimore regarding the selling of
stalls in Lexington Market and in 1853, records show he protested a
matter regarding the Elysville Railroad. In 1856, he petitioned against
outlaw huckster competition with tax-paying stall owners in city
markets. He was also a member of the Butchers' Loan and Annuity
Association, Zion Lutheran Church, and was active in real estate transactions.
Riefle family had its origins in Pforzheim, in the Black Forest area of
Baden, German Republic. Henry immigrated from there to Baltimore in
1832. He was the first son, second child of Michael and Carolina Wagner
Rufle. Henry's parents were married on May 22, 1808, and between 1812
and 1819, the family name was changed from "Rufle" to "Riefle." The
trade of meat cutting extended to both lines of the family, including
his father and his grandfather, Johann Rufle, and his mother's father,
Henry Francis Riefle (10-18-1838 to 5-5-1920)
Henry Francis was the third child, first son, of Henry Ferdinand and
Jacobina Rufle (Riefle). He was baptized 12/18/38 at Zion Lutheran
Church. Henry learned to be a butcher by trade (with his father), and
after his father's death, he bought out Stall No.1 at Lexington Market
from his mother for $5,500.
After April 9, 1870, he married Elizabeth Jane Coulson Riefle. They had two children: a son, James Henry ("Harry") Riefle, and a daughter, Elizabeth Jane ("Bessie") (Munder) Riefle.
bought various properties. He purchased five acres of the Marburg
Estate along Reisterstown Road, which had a house for he and his family
to live, and ground to establish a slaughterhouse for business.
Elizabeth Jane died after giving birth to Bessie, he married a second
time -- his neighbor, Sarah Frances Matthai. In 1886, Sarah
and Henry had a daughter, Theresa Jacobina (Rivers) Riefle.
Bio courtesy of his great-granddaughter, Mary Shafer Bahr
James Henry Riefle
(3-7-1871 to 11-14-1955)
Henry ("Harry") Riefle was the son of Henry Francis Riefle and Elizabeth Jane (Coulson) Riefle, both of Baltimore. His
grandparents on his father's side were Henry Ferdinand Reifle of Pforzheim and
Jacobina Rohrbacher of Weingarten. His grandparents on his mother's side were
James Coulson of Washington, DC and Elizabeth Ann Seltzer of Baltimore.
Harry grew up on the old Marburg property (on Reisterstown Road), which he
When Harry's mother died, his father married Sarah Frances Matthai (a
neighbor), thereby Harry gained a step-sister, Teresa (Rivers).
Harry became a partner with his father in the firm of Henry F. Riefle and Son
(c. 1895) and operated No. 1 stall in Lexington Market.
It is probable that Harry's father, knew Jacob Conrad Shafer (see bio this page) of Jacob C. Shafer Pork Packing. So,
before Harry married Florence, one of Jacob's daughters, it was probably due to
the fact that both families were in the meat business and in the same locale.
In 1900, Harry having left his father's meat business, married and worked at
his deceased father-in-law's meat business, training his young brother-in-law,
Fred Shafer, to take over.
Harry and Florence first moved to Arlington, and then to Forest Park. They had
six children by 1928: Conrad Shafer, James H. Riefle Jr., and four daughters, Florence Elizabeth [Bahr], Katherine [Worthington], Caroline Amelia [Beatty] and Jane Coulson [Reilly].
It was also that year when Harry built a home in Homeland at 216 St. Dunstans
endeavors were always in real estate -- buying five parcels of land in NorthWest
Baltimore, as well as other successful transactions from 1871 to 1917. He would
collect rent by visiting tenants.
Harry was a Christian, a trustee and superintendent of St. Marks Methodist
Church as well as a Sunday School teacher. He also was an usher at a tent
revival when Billy Sunday came to Baltimore in 1916.
Using charter boats, he also loved to fish in the Chesapeake Bay.
The Riefle family is buried at Green Mount Cemetery.
Biography courtesy of Mary Shafer Bahr
Founded in 1868 by Gustav Ruppersberger, who immigrated from Germany. This firm name is found in the 1922 Meat Packers Encyclopedia.
His was the last slaughterhouse in Baltimore and was ran continuously for over five generations. The name was changed to George G. Ruppersberger & Sons, Inc.
One of the last president’s John, Jr., was a 1941 graduate of Catonsville High School. Began studies at the University of Maryland, but was drafted into the Army in 1942. He served as an Infantry Sergeant in Germany and Japan. After the war he returned to the University of Maryland and received his BA. He was an All-American Lacrosse player and enjoyed sailing. He as a member of the Ascension Evangelical Lutheran Church. He is interred in Druid Ridge Cemetery.
L. Sellmayer & Sons
Ludwig Sellmayer (8-1858 to)
Located at Third and Fleet Streets in Highlandtown. They were pork and beef packers and sausage manufacturers.
The 1900 Federal census has the family living at 501 Eastern Avenue. With Ludwig was his wife Dorothea (10-1872). Ludwig was born in Germany. Dorothea was born in Maryland to German parents. Ludwig immigrated in 1868. He is listed as a butcher. Living with him were his sons John (9-1884); Ludwig (1-1889); George (10-1897) and Edward (1-1900). On the 1920 census, John was working as a Clerk in the Slaughterhouse. He was married to Katherine (1886) and living at 706 Third Street.
Jacob Conrad Shafer (1-11-1836 to 6-24-1901)
born in Sontra, a small town in the Werra-Meißner-Kreis in northeastern Hesse,
Germany, the second son and fifth child of Frederick and Wilhelmina (Ulrich)
In 1852, at age 16, Jacob emigrated from Germany with monetary help from his
older brother, Nicholas Shafer, who was already an established farmer in Ohio.
Jacob, after being so sea sick that he asked to be thrown overboard, landed in
Annapolis and went on westward to live with Nicholas and his family to pay back
the $100 travel loan to his brother. According to Baltimore records, Jacob was
naturalized June 13, 1853. The 1860 Ohio census shows Jacob (at age 26) still
living with Nicholas.
Then, by 1870, he was living in Baltimore at 679 (2313) Pennsylvania Ave. He
married Hannah Filmore (Horn) Shafer (daughter of Benjamin Horn and
Regina Reppert), on January 23, 1873 at the parsonage of Whatcoat Methodist
Church. By 1878, they lived at 69 (311) N. Paca St.
Jacob and Hannah's children were: Elizabeth Wilhemina (Barrett), Mary Catherine
(Walker), Hannah Regina (Hook), "Hansi" Florence Shafer (Riefel), Jacob
Frederick Shafer, Emma Estelle Shafer, Clara Estelle Shafer, and lastly, a stillborn
Jacob initially worked for Peter Sweeney, an Irish pork packer, but Jacob
eventually bought him out, founding the Jacob C. Shafer & Co. Pork Packers.
Sweeney's old building was demolished and the new plant was relocated on Louisiana
(Lexington) & Diamond in 1870 at a cost of $250,000, which was noted for
its 4-floor sub-cellars for curing meat and its 4 floors above ground, as well
as an adjacent curing plant on Clay St.; both buildings connected by a tunnel.
In the "Baltimore Sun," an article and photo of the
"Meat-Packing Plant's Four Floors of Cellar" (dated May 19, 1940, by
E.T.Baker), informs about the cellars for curing meat, the mechanical
refrigeration, and advances in storing and handling meat, stating it was for
its time, the "showplace of the East." Swift Meat Co. (in Chicago)
and other meat companies sent their representatives to see it. Two articles in
the "Evening Sun" (dated Nov. 6, 1951), "Shafers, Sweeney's
Dispute Origin of Tunnels" with photos, is self-explanatory by title, and
the other, the "Caverns of Greene Street" (dated Aug. 1, 1986, by J.
Kelly), refers to the mystery behind the cellars. See the 1940 Article, click here.
By 1886, the Shafers lived at 1701 Linden Ave. (the same address as shown in
the movie "Avalon"), and by 1888, they lived at 194 (645) W. Franklin
Jacob loved music and invited the best of musicians visiting Baltimore to his
home, developing a small musical coterie. Jacob most likely attended the
Baltimore Symphony, and invited the concert master of the BSO, Mr. van
Hulsteyn, to teach his son the violin. The Shafers (and near and distant
relatives) had musical talents and also were associated with teaching and
playing at the Peabody Conservatory.
Besides his children and music, Jacob also loved many carriage horses, some of
which were named "Jicase," "Prince Albert,"
"Bismarck" and "Otto."
The Shafer's summer home was "Gehrman's Place" (in Cloverlea,
Arlington) near Kate Ave. Hannah died in 1897 and he continued raising their
family. Jacob died of diabetes at age 65. His obit ran in the "Baltimore
Sun" on or about June 24, 1901.
After his death, his son-in-law, James Henry ("Harry") Riefle (see bio this page), left his own
father's meat business and ran the company until Jacob's son, a promising
violinist, took over (late 1901).
Mr. Jacob Shafer is buried at Loudon Park Cemetery.
References online include: mdarchives.state.md.us/megafile/msa/speccol/sc2900 -
Vol. 284, page 157 and vol. 534, page 1269; wikipedia; hshsales.com.
Biography courtesy of Mary Shafer
Johann Ernest (5-3-1809 to 8-15-1893)
Charles W. (1-7-1860 to 10-28-1916)
family has been in the butcher and meat packing business in Oella, near
Catonsville, for generations, although Ernest Treuth, [Johann Ernest Treuth, originally Treut] the "patriarch" was
a cooper at the Avalon Nail & Iron Works in Avalon, Baltimore County along
the Patapsco River. A massive flood in 1868 destroyed the village and factory,
however, their house was spared. Johann Ernest was born in Eckartshausen, Hesse-Darmstadt
and married Margaret [Margaretha] Hopp [6-18-1816 to 4-2-1882], born in
Langendiebach, Hesse Kassell. They emigrated
to the United States with their daughter and the parents of Margaret [George
Phillip and Anna Elizabeth Hopp]. Johann
Ernest’s son Charles was the first butcher in the family. Johann Ernest and Margaret also had 5
daughters. Charles was born in 1860, married
Marie and his son’s Charles and William also became butchers.
still exists in Baltimore and they have been serving the beef industry for over
Margaret are buried at Melville Methodist Church cemetery in Elkridge, Howard
and Marie Treuth are buried at Loudon Park Cemetery.
provided by Dave Pardoe and the website of J.W. Treuth http://www.jwtreuth.com/.
William Weaver (1830 to )
Mr. Weaver was a native of Germany.
He came to the United States with his parents when seven years old. He received
six months' schooling in America. He began life as a butcher at the age of sixteen.
When his employer failed, young Weaver took the business, and made a success of
it. He conducted this business from 1848 until 1886, at which time his son
Adolphus became proprietor.
In 1877, with Edward C. Harman, he
began the business of manufacturing of bricks, with a yard on the Washington
Road near Gywnn's Falls. With excellent management, this business too became
very successful. Mr. Harman left the
business just prior to Mr. Weaver’s death.
Mr. Weaver joined the Republican
party when it was in its infancy and continued a prosperous worker in the party
until his death. He was a candidate for several political offices, but never
served in any. His loses due to inactivity during the campaigns than lack of
He was a family man with a
beautiful home on Harford Rd. He married
Sophia P. Brown a native of Germany.
They had four sons, Adolphus H., Edward E.,William C, and Harry A. They had three daughters, Louisa, Emma and Sophia. Their
sons inherited a great deal of their father’s business integrity. Harry was
born in 1873 and graduated from the University of Maryland Law School in
1895. He left law to join in his
father’s business with Edward. They sons
were members of Christ Lutheran Church.
He was a director in the National
Fire Insurance Company for many years, and in the past served as president of
the Butchers' Building and Loan Association, and was president of the Harford
Road Improvement Association. He was a member of the Masonic Order and of St.
Stephen's Evangelical Church, of which congregation he was president for more
than thirty years.
One reference listed William's name as Henry, however checking the 1870 and 1880 US Federal Census, the name is shown as William and the seven children cited on the two (Sophia, Henry A and Emma on the 1880). The 1880 census shows the family residence as 616 Light Street. Other records show that the sons followed the father's footsteps and went into the butcher/grocer business.
Wetzelberger Brothers Meat Packing
The company was founded in the early 19th century. Located at 239 S. Conkling Street. They also operated a stall at Northwest Market. They had a stall in the Southeast Market located on Broadway.
One of the latter family members working for the company was William Wetzelberger (to 1962). He was actually a driver for the business.