Anna Elisabetha Dexheimer

b. 11 September 1828, d. 23 December 1895
  • Anna Elisabetha Dexheimer was born on 11 September 1828 in Biebelnheim, Rheinhessen.
  • She was known as Eliza during her proprietorship of Germania Brewing Company in Detroit.
  • She married Frederic Grieser say 1855.
  • A carte de visite photograph found in the album of Elisabeth's sister Philippina Harmson appears to have been made about 1867 of the four eldest Grieser children, Mary, Louis, John and Nicholas (by G. Grelling, Artist, Detroit).
  • Frederic Grieser and Anna Elisabetha Dexheimer, appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1870 in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan. Other members of the household included Maria J. Grieser, Louis Grieser, John Grieser, Nicholas Grieser and Lina Grieser.
  • Anna Elisabetha Dexheimer became a widow at the 21 January 1873 death of her husband Frederic Grieser.
  • Anna Elisabetha Dexheimer appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1880 in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, at 294 Sherman Street and brewer John Schmidt.. Other members of the household included Louis Grieser, John Grieser, Nicholas Grieser and Lina Grieser.
  • She was keeping a saloon, according to the 1880 census.
  • Anna Elisabetha Dexheimer appeared in the 1890 Detroit, Michigan, City Directory at 294 Sherman listed as the Elizabeth Grieser (Widow Philip F.).
  • Anna Elisabetha Dexheimer died on 23 December 1895 at age 67 in Detroit, Michigan.
  • The following, which appeared in "Brewed in Detroit," by Peter H. Blum, is to be taken with a grain of salt ["relatives" Louis and Nicholas actually were sons of Elizabeth, brothers of John]. Germania. The story of the Grieser brewery illustrates the determination to continue in the face of tragedy. Fred Grieser started a home-brewing operation at the northeast corner of Sherman and St. Aubin in 1871. His untimely death two years later left his forty-one-year-old wife Elizabeth with a ten-year-old boy, John. Eliza, as she was known, buckled down and became one of the few women to run a brewery. If she could make a go of it, perhaps John could take his father's place someday.
         In 1874, Eliza Greiser's brewery turned out 1,237 barrels, 1,355 the following year. In 1876, she was also operating a saloon as part of the establishment. A relative, Louis Grieser, came to live in the house and helped to brew. Nicholas Grieser, another relative who was a bookkeeper for the Hawley Malt Company, boarded at the home.
         Finally, in 1885, twenty-two-year-old John Grieser was ready to take his place in the brewery. The name was changed to Germania Brewing Company in 1888, with John in charge. Nicholas Grieser left Hawley to join the family firm. By 1890, John was married and living at 193 Chestnut with his wife, Ellen. The Germania Brewery was small but provided a livig for the Griesers. In December 1895 Eliza Grieser died at sixty-four. Tragedy struck again in March, when John died suddenly at thirty-three, leaving an even younger widow.
         Nicholas Grieser took over as brewmaster. However, time was running out for Germania, and the family closed the brewery in August 1898. The following July, Karl Zahringer and John Honer either purchased or leased the small plant and resumed production. brewing operaiton shut down permanently in 1900.
  • It is an educated guess that Anna Elisabetha Dexheimer married Frederick Grieser, pending further research. Although her stated age indicates that she was born about 1832 rather than late 1828, it is possible that she may have consistently under-stated her age, possilby because her husband appears to have been younger.
  • Photographs of present-day Biebelnheim.
  • Fellow family researcher Becca Pascoe has generously shared her information about the families of sisters Anna Magdalena "Lena" Dexheimer Harms and Anna Elisabetha "Elisa" Dexheimer Grieser.
  • Last Edited: 23 May 2013

Family: Frederic Grieser b. 18 August 1833, d. 21 January 1873