Saturday, May 16, 2015

Rose Munch nee Irber and more on Dayton's Bluff

In the last blog I wrote about the children of Andreas Irber and Anna Kumshier. See that blog here.   Information about their historic neighborhood is available at "Historic Saint Paul: Dayton's Bluff"

In this blog I am particularly interested in Rose Irber. Beginning as early as age 14, Rose was employed by the Minnesota Shoe Company. The 1891 St. Paul City Directory listed her employment with the company as a stitcher.  

One of her older brothers, Joseph Andrew Irber, was employed as a salesman for the Gotzian Co.  

In "Gibson's Suburban Directory of St. Paul and St. Paul Proper, and Additions, 1889"   C..Gotzien and Co, is listed as manufacturers and jobbers in boots and shoes; also proprietors of Minnesota Shoe Co: 187 and 189 E. Third St.

Letterhead for C. Gotzian & Co. 

Rose married Alfred Emil Munch Sr. on February 18, 1895 at age 19.  They moved into the 2nd floor of 719 Case Street. The house was just down the block from Rose's family home. Alfred's occupation was listed as machinist in the 1895 State Census, and the 1900 Federal Census.

A History of the Seeger Refrigerator Co. 
Emil Dietrich Munch
Alfred's father, Emil Dietrich Munch, was a Civil War Captain in the Minnesota 1st Light Artillery Battery. He was one of the first settlers on Dayton's Bluff.

 Emil Dietrich married Bertha Seeger, daughter of Wilhelm Seeger Sr., and Johanna Christiana Wolff.
Bertha's brother, John Augustus Seeger, later was the founder and President of the Seeger Refrigerator Company.  

John Augustus married Elvina Sitzinger Yeorg. Her father, Anthony Yeorg, started one of Minnesota's first breweries at his home on the corner of Eagle and Washington Streets on the upper landing of Saint Paul

The book From Arcade Street to Main Street was very helpful in sorting out the principals and the history of the company. 

As reported in the book, most of the records of the company were destroyed.  Former employees reported the disposal of quantities of manuscript and printed materials relating to Seeger's History between 1902 and 1955. Destroyed were ledger and journal books, blueprints of products, correspondence files, photographs of the factory operations.

Dayton's Bluff

The development of Dayton's Bluff as a residential location began in the 1840s. The area was named for Lyman Dayton, an early pioneer who  built a home on the Bluff in the 1850s.

Swede Hollow, view towards Dayton's Bluff, courtesy MHS

Feed, flour, and lumber mills were built in the area to take advantage of Phalen Creek as a source of water power. When a railroad was built north of East 7th Street in the late 1860s, more industries, including Hamm's Brewery, grew up along its corridor. Soon a railroad depot called “Post's Siding” was built at present-day Earl Street and East 7th Street, and a community of workers surrounded the industries. It was the start of what would be a long history of manufacturing in the community. source

Hamm's Brewery and Mansion. courtesy MHS

Dayton’s Bluff was separated from downtown St. Paul by a huge wetland formed by the merging of Phalen Creek and Trout Brook. Eventually roads and two bridges permitted easier access and the neighborhood became part of what historians call “the walking city.”

Looking down Third Street towards Downtown from Dayton's Bluff

New people began moving into the area starting in the 1860s. Large communities of German and Irish immigrants, along with older “Yankee” stock, established businesses, churches, and cultural institutions. As police stations, fire stations, and schools were built, the residents began demanding better roads, streetlights, and other city services.  source:

The railroad tracks north of Seventh Street attracted early business and industry. The St. Paul Plow Works and the Wood Harvester plant made agricultural implements. Minnesota Terra Cotta, near Seventh and Earl, made unique kiln-fired products for building ornamentation. source:

The streetcar arrived and the neighborhood expanded. New 
development, both commercial and residential, sprang up 
near the streetcar line, which went up East 7th Street and 
ended at Duluth Street. source:

Steady growth between the 1880's and 1920's created homes for both wealthy and working-class families. There was a wide variety of retail outlets including grocery and meat markets, taverns, barber shops, restaurants, department stores, gas stations and movie theaters.  source:

The general prosperity lasted until the 1930's when the Depression hit hard. 

Dayton's Bluff State Bank ca. 1930, courtesy MHS

Further changes occurred in the 1940's and 1950's as the community aged, housing stock deteriorated, and long-time residents left the area. source: on the web, "Historic Saint Paul: Dayton's Bluff"