When I learned that the Anheuser Estate and Museum were open in Kimmswick Missouri, I hightailed it down to take a peek. The house that was first purchased by the Anheusers was bought in 1916 as a summer house for the Anheuser family. The house was built in 1867 and sits on 23 acres with a horse arena and a wonderful view of the mighty Mississippi.
By the time this house had been built the Anhesuer family had long made their fortune in the brewery. The estate was purchased by William and Olga Anheuser and it was in 1943 that they gave it to their son Fred and his wife Mabel-Ruth in1943. Fred and Mabel Ruth registered it as their primary residence as Fredmar Farms in 1945.
The Anheuser brewery connection is through Fred’s great grandfather, Eberhard Anheuser. He was the founder of E. Anheuser Brewing Company. Fred Anheuser was a German born soap manufacturer that in 1860 along with William D’Oench, a local pharmacist, purchased a brewery on the brink of bankruptcy. D’Oench stayed in the business until 1869. The merger between Anhesuer and Busch happened on both a business and personal level when Adolphus, a wholesaler who had immigrated to St. Louis from Germany in 1857, married Eberhard Anheuser’s daughter Lillie in 1861. After the Civil War, Busch began working as a salesman for the Anheuser brewery and bought out D’Oench’s share of the company in 1869.
Fred worked in the refrigerated truck section of the brewery but retired in his early 30’s and started up a tack business with his wife who also loved horses. Fred was the last Anheuser to work at the brewery.
Fred met Mabel-Ruth when he took French at Columbia University and she was his teacher.
The two liked the quiet country life and although they had several other residences they lived mostly at the estate they called Fredmar farms. Mabel Ruth won many equestrian events especially with her prize winning Palamino Buttercup. The arena that is now used by a non-profit group is named after the horse.
The estate is filled with brewery but mostly horse memorabilia from the days when the couple bred horses and lived the life of a country gentleman and his wife.
I loved the visit to the Anheuser Estate and Museum. In an upcoming issue of Farm World check out my column for more details.
ocated at 6008 Windsor Harbor Rd., Kimmswick, Missouri tours are available every Thursday in April thru November from Noon until 4 p.m. Cost is $5.00 per person. Reservations should be made for groups of 15 or more. To schedule a date and time call the Kimmswick City Hall at 636-464-7407.