Welcome to my genealogy blog. Ancestors I Wish I Knew is a combination of genealogical information and stories about individuals in my family tree. The focus is on those from my Cochrane, Eitelbach, Merrett, Minarcik and Richards lines and their descendants.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

#11—Yes, Please, I would like a Beer and a Song—Frank Huelster

I am always pleasantly surprised when I find information about one of my relatives whom I know little to nothing about. Frank Huelster, who is my great great uncle, fell into that catagory.  From the census, I knew that he migrated from Germany with his wife, Anoinette in 1893. Once in the United States, Uncle Frank and his wife lived in Brooklyn, New York.  There they raised three children:  Francis, Elizabet, and Walter. 

                On a whim the other day, I put his name into the database , called The Postcard, which contains a number of newspapers in New York State.  Much to my surprise, up popped his obituary, which was a goldmine of information.

                In terms of work, Uncle Frank first worked as a bookkeeper at the Steiger Publishing.  He then moved to the Lieberman Breweries.  While initially he was a bookkeeper, eventually, he became the superintendent of the bottling department.    A little more research revealed that Lieberman Breweries were
located in Brooklyn, and were the brewers of Rheingold beer.  If you grew up on the East coast, you know that Rheingold beer was not only very popular, but also famous for its yearly contest for “Miss Rheingold”, who would be featured in their advertisements. 

                What surprised me most was what his involvement in the Germany community in Brooklyn, New York, particularly in German choral groups.  Using the internet, I learned that in Germany communities in the United States, there were many clubs and organizations devoted to music.  Typically they performed works by classical composers such as Wagner, Strauss, Handel, etc. and participated in singing festivals.   However, they also engaged in social activities like dances and travel.  Uncle Frank was a member of the Schwaeblschen Saegerbund, a German singing society, and the vice president of Arion Singing Society.  A little more research and I found that the Arion Society described as an elite choir of men, who performed regularly in their own building’s auditorium.

                Uncle Frank died in July 11, 1938.  He along with his wife, who died in 1933, are buried in Maple Grove Cemetery in Queens, New York. 


 The Postcard  (http://fultonhistory.com)

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