Butchers & Meat Packers

1903 Baltimore Butcher Association Elects Officers

First Butcher in Baltimore was a German Lutheran by the name of Andrew Steiger

Adam Appel (to 1893)

Mr. Appel was a native of Germany.  He came to this country with his parents in 1854.  They came to Baltimore and were well respected and admired butchers.  Their business grew rapidly.  Adam worked with his father until 1872 when he opened his own butcher business and was located at the Hollins Market.  He stayed at the market for twenty years…actually until his death in 1893.

Mr. Appel was a moral man and honest.  His business grew and his circle of friends widened as well. 

He married Alary Hoehn, also a native of Germany.  Ms. Appel took over the business upon the death of Adam.  There were no children.

Aulbach, Johann (8-18-1818 to 6-3-1870)

Johann ‘John’ Aulbach was born on August 18, 1818 in Aschaffenburg, Bavaria, Germany.  He immigrated to Baltimore in 1851.  He married Catharina Christina Seemann, born July 11, 1825, in Hobbach, Eschau, Unterfranken, on April 19, 1847 at Zion Church of the City of Baltimore.

John and Catharina raised their family on Belair Road, near the Baltimore Cemetery.  Two of their ten children Sophie and August, tragically passed during the smallpox outbreak in 1858, which killed 300 persons in Maryland, according to Cordell, Medical Annals of Maryland, p. 705 .  The other children, Marianna, John, George, Maria Martha, Katherine, Emma, Annie, and William, continued to live with the family, married and some stayed in the area. 

John was a Master Butcher by trade.  He proudly served the East Baltimore area with his operation of two stalls (#11 and #26) at the Fells Point Market. His wife carried on after his death.  He was a member of the Baltimore Schutzengesellschaft (the Shooter’s Club) for the eight years preceding his death. 

John passed away on June 3, 1870 at the age of 51.  John was immensely popular, which was evidenced by the reported 400-500 mourners at his burial in June, 1870.  John’s burial service was preached by Rev. Pastor Maier from St. Matthai Kirche.  Mourning music was provided by J. Linhard’s Musikcorps.  There were eight riflemen and eight friends that took turns carrying his body to the cemetery.  His pallbearers were H.H. Elbring, Wieghorst, Diestler, Mayo, Frank, W. Heise, Ch. Seise, and Buschmann.  His fellow shooters were Schreier, Dollinger, Allicott, Rottberg, Brauer, Arbin, and Kamp.  The family rests at Baltimore Cemetery.

Catherine died on August 12, 1892.

Information courtesy of his 2nd great-granddaughter, Gail Abe                

Binkert's Meat Products, LLC

Egon Binkert (   to 12-2-2018)

Egon Binkert, born shortly after the end of WWI in Geisslingen, a town on the Swiss border, was the first son of the family Johann Binkert on the family farm. Work began early, at 14 he tended to the horses in the fields and performed whatever chores had to be done to maintain the farm. He wanted to learn a trade but his parents told him “You’re going to become a butcher” which required another three years of schooling and passing his certification test.

Soon WWII approached and he was drafted into the Luftwaffe, only to return home to learn that two brothers, Erich and Bernhard, were lost on the Eastern Front. Egon worked as a butcher in Switzerland and Germany until, after more schooling, he earned his Meisterpruefing in October 1946 in Konstanz near Lake Constance. The test for the Meisterpruefing required long studies in techniques, business practices, tax and the laws required to establish his own business. He continued his schooling and apprenticeship for five years.

Because of the poor post war business climate in Germany, he decided to immigrate to America and establish a business here. So on September 21, 1953, he and a German girlfriend arrived at the port of New York. This was a Monday, and the next day, he went to work. Only two months later in November, he was married in Baltimore. In November, 1953, he became the proprietor of Binkert’s German Meat Products, and after 50 years, in 2013, his daughter Sonya took over the operation of the business.

It was a struggle for Egon, his wife Irmgard and daughter Sonya, to build up the business, but in 1980, they were able to begin new construction and move to their current location; 8805 Philadelphia Road in Rosedale MD. It was difficult to establish the business, but also hard to end his direct involvement in the day to day operation.

The many German-born, German-American, and Americans who had lived in Germany as well as other Europeans have become his client base for generations. Also in the German business community after WWII, others have found their business, particularly the German School in Washington DC, the German Bundeswehr, stationed near Dulles Airport, and newer German immigrants who found their new home in America. All of these customers are thrilled that German style wurst is made in Baltimore.

Egon and Irmgard retired in 2000, both at the age of 81.  Their only daughter Sonya and her German-born husband Lothar Weber took over the business that year and have been fortunate to be able to watch the business’s popularity grow.  Besides old and new restaurants, hotels and specialty stores, they also supply local organizations and schools for their fairs, parties and Oktoberfests.  The store has expanded to include imported grocery items from Germany.  Binkert’s patrons are varied; many locals and neighbors frequent the shop, as well as customers from bordering states who arrive with coolers to take the goodies back home.  In addition, Binkert’s is also online, shipping sausages and other German delicacies all across the country.

Egon Binkert passed away on December 2, 2018 at the age of 99.

The shop is located at 8805 Philadelphia Rd.  Their phone is 410-687-5959.

[Information was supplied by Sonya Binkert Weber]

Click here for Binkert's


John Blöcher (1-18-1863 to 7-26-1929)

Henry Blöcher (1-11-1875 to 7-12-1951)

John Blöcher

John Blöcher was born in Wallau, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany.  He learned the trade in Baltimore from another well-known butcher, Ruppersberger.  He opened his own shop on December 2, 1886 at 2801 Layfayette Avenue.  This plant became a model ‘slaughterhouse’.  He also operated a stall at the Cross Street Market.He married Pauline Repp on June 28, 1887.  Together they had four children, three daughters and one son.

He was well respected in business as well as in the German community.  He was a member of the Sincerity Lodge 181, Merchant’s Council 576; Unkel Bräsig Verein; President of the Mechanics Exchange Fishing Club and a member of the Metzger Verein #1 of Baltimore.


Henry Blöcher was born in Wallau, Hesse-Darmstadt and was the brother of John.  He came to the U.S. in 1891 and learned the butcher trade from his brother.  In 1901, Henry opened his own shop at Riggs Avenue and Monroe Street.

Henry married Elizabeth Kepp on june 12, 1900.  Together they had two sons, only one surviving to adulthood, John, Hr. 

He was also a member of Sincerity Lodge 181 and the Metzger Verein #1 of Baltimore.  He was a member of the Grocers Association a

John & Henry are buried at Western Cemetery

Bloecher & Shaaf

Henry Bloecher

Wilhelm Schaaf

Their shop was located at 250 Hollins Street.  Both principals served as Master Masons of Sincerity Lodge, Henry in 1910 and Wilhelm in 1915.  

Conrad Bodenbender (3-9-1855 to 8-2-1919)

Mr. C. Bodenbender was born March 9, 1855 in Kurhessen and learned in his native country the Meat Business. In 1872, he came to Baltimore and worked his trade for 22 years ago. His butcher shop was located on Harford Road and Mr. Bodenbender also had a stall in the Belair market. He was president of the Butchers Singing Group (Metzger Gesangerein), a member of the Butchers Association, No. 1 of Unkel Brassig Verein and Kurhessen Association.

He was married to Mary Louise Marquardt (1860-1938).  Together they had two children Wilhelm George (1887-1907) and Mary Katherine.  They are buried at Loudon Park Cemetery

Esskay Meats

William Schluderberg (9-29-1839 to 4-5-1921)

Thomas J. Kurdle (9-21-1855 to 10-2-1934)

The company was founded in 1858 by German immigrant William Schluderberg. William and his brothers Conrad and George all purchased land in Highlandtown to open butcher shops.  Several years later, he and three brothers began their pork butchering business son old ‘Butcher’s Hill’ in Canton.  As business increased he founded the Schluderberg Meatpacking Co. at Bank and Third Street.    Esskay was a result of a merger in 1919 between his meatpacking company and that of Thomas J. Kurdle.  The plant moved to Fifth and Philadelphia Rd.  It was one of the largest in Baltimore.  It was incorporated as Schluderberg-Kurdle Co., but soon became known as Esskay…which was a result of the combination of the first part of the principals last names (S and K).  William Schluderberg was born in 1839 in Hessen, Germany.  He immigrated with his mother and step-father in 1851.  Also immigrating were his brothers Conrad (worked with his brother in the meat business), Henry (butcher died in 1893) and George.  He married Sophia (Falk) and together they had nine children, three of which survived to adulthood.  He was a large property owner in the Highlandtown area at one time having over 40 rental properties in the area.  He was a Republican, a member of the Butcher’s Association and a member of the Canton German Lutheran Church.   He was a director of the American Bank.  William Schluderberg served on the Board of Directors for the German Union Fire Insurance Company. The 1930 Federal census has the family living at 1029 Third Street in Highlandtown (ED12; District 52).  His obituary (Baltimore Sunpaper 4/6/1921) states that the services were conducted by Rev. John Fleck of St. John's Lutheran Church, assisted by Rev. Paul A. Schinatz, Pastor of the Fifth Reformed German Church.   His obituary also states that he was be buried from his home on Park Heights Avenue and Clarks Lane.   

He and his wife Sophia are buried at Oak Lawn Cemetery.  

Thomas Kurdle

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.

Thomas Kurdle is buried at Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery.

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.

Goetze Meats

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 germanmarylanders@gmail.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. 

Hildebrandt, Charles H.E.  (12-1856 to 6-3-1922)

Charles was the son of Charles and Mary Hildebrandt. His father Charles was born in Hesse Cassel and his mother Bavaria.  Charles was born in Baltimore.  Charles was a butcher and had a stall in the Richmond Market for more than 30 years.  He was married to Annie (1858 to ?) in 1882 and according to the 1920 census they lived at 1000 McCulloh Street with their children Charles H. 3-1883 (17), also a butcher by trade; Nettie L. 5-1884 (16); Minnie K. 5-1887 (13); Jacob A. 8-1888 (11); Mary I. 2-1891 (9); William H. 10-1892 (7); Edward R. 1-1895 (5); James L. 4-1897 (3); Fannie E. 9-1899 (8/12), all of which were born in Maryland. 

Mr. Hildebrant was the brother of John L. Hildebrandt, Vice President of Hopkins Place Savings Bank and to Albert Hildebrandt, owner of the Charles H. Hildebrandt & Son Musical Instrument store.

Charles died after being struck by a truck at Maryland and North Avenue.  He died at Maryland General Hospital just two hours after being struck.

His obituary stated he was active in Eleventh Ward politics. 

Charles Hildebrandt is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.

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.

Kreil, Charles

Located at 5221 W. Henrietta Street.

Manger Packing Corp.

George M. Manger (1-12-1837 to 11-18-1909)

Manger Packing Corp. was founded by George Manger in 1954 and initially located on Paca Street.  In 1865 they moved to Butcher’s Row.  George immigrated from Wetter Germany (one census records indicates Bavaria, but his immigration record and ship transcript says Wetter, which is in Nordrhein, Westphalia) His wife Elizabeth (3-28-1838 to 9-28-1918), was also born in Germany, according to the 1880 census.  She immigrated to the US in 1846.  George received his schooling in Germany and immigrated to the US aboard the ship Elise which left Bremen in September 1854 and arrived in Germany in November 1854.  He was naturalized in October 1860.A 1909 Sunpaper article reported that George and Elizabeth celebrated their 50th Anniversary.  According to that article, the couple had 7 children and 38 grandchildren.  The 1880 census lists the family on Garrison Lane.  The children living at that home at that time were Dora, daughter 18 (Dorothea Manger Plitt (1862-1924); George M. (1866-1913); Frederick, (1868-); Annie (1872-1949); John Adam (1874-); Amy (1876-); William Henry (1879-1948) and Mary Sella a servant.  Another son, Harry was born in 1882 and died in 1924. 

Manger's has been in its current location at 124 S. Franklintown Road, since the 1880s.  It was at one time known as ‘Butchers Lane’.  The plant is currently managed by Alvin Manger, fourth generation, who grew up in the house in front of the plant.  

We took the tour of the plant offered by the Baltimore Historical Society on February 2017.  We met the family that currently manages the facility, including Alvin Manger, Jeff Manger and Jordan Manger (three generations, father, son and grandson). 

The business was a typical German business where the butcher usually lived in the house in front of the butchering plant.  Hogs were driven to the Gwynns Falls, which ran behind the homes.  The sausages were made behind the house and the butchers would take their wares to the city markets, which were abundant at the time.  The butchering operations at Manger stopped in 1968 and now they receive their meats from high quality operations across the country.  Manger ceased their market sales in 1980.  They also lost another son, Charles in 1871.  He was one year old.

George, Elizabeth and other family members are buried at Loudon Park cemetery.

The plant in 2017 was producing about 20,000 pounds of sausage per week.  Their clients include private grocery chains as well as several museums and the ballparks.  They are open to the public two days per week, Friday from 10:00 am to 4:00 and Saturday from 7:00 am to noon.  According to a recent Sunpaper article, Manger makes a special blend half smoke for Ben’s Chili Bowl in DC. 

The fourth (Alvin Manger), fifth (Jeff Manger) and sixth (Jordan Manger) generation now work at Manger’s.  Jordan who is a young man just out of college works with the spices, which they receive from Elite spices.  They often experiment with new blends and tastes. 

On the day of our tour, they expressed their hopes to expand their operations at the current location.

Charles 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 leading markets. 

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 1893.


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.

Henry 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.

In 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.

The 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, Ferdinand Wagner.

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.

Henry 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.

After 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)

James 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 inherited.

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 Road.

Harry's 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

Ruppersberger Sons

Gustav Ruppersberger

John Ruppersberger

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)

Jacob was 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) Shafer.

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 baby Shafer. 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 St. 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 Bahr


Treuth, Johann Ernest (5-3-1809 to 8-15-1893)

Treuth, Charles W. (1-7-1860 to 10-28-1916)

The Treuth 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.

The business still exists in Baltimore and they have been serving the beef industry for over 100 years. 

Ernest and Margaret are buried at Melville Methodist Church cemetery in Elkridge, Howard County. 

Charles W. and Marie Treuth are buried at Loudon Park Cemetery.

Information 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 popularity.   

He was a family man with a beautiful home on Harford Rd.  Earlier address shows him at 616 Light Street. 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.