Gebhard Brewery Morris, Illinois

One of the most successful business men in Morris in the 1800’s was Louis Gebhard.  He was born in Bavaria Bayen Germany in 1833.  He immigrated to the United States in 1851.  He arrived in New York aboard the ship Splendid.  Eventually, he located in the Morris area. 

     He established a brewery in 1866.  The first building was one and one half stories and was made of brick.  It was located on Washington Street near Nettle Creek. The business remained at this location until 1896.  Because of the success of the brewery, an expansion was necessary.

     He erected a a multi-story brick and steel brewing house. There was a large brewing room.  Grain was processed in the upper floors.  Approximately 10 years later, a brick and steel addition was made to the north side of the brew  house.

Gebhard Brewery
    At the same time, a 2 and one half story brick and timber building was constructed.  . This served at the bottling plant. 

Gebhard Bottling Building
     Louis Gebhard was succeeded in the business by his son William.   He diversified his holdings by getting into the construction business.  His organization built homes and commercial properties in Morris.  It became one of the leaders in the area.

     The brewery ultimately closed during Prohibition.  Machinery was dismantled and sold.  The brew house stood vacant for years.  For a time it was used as a flour mill. It was known as Morris Milling and later Brown Mill.  It is currently abandoned.

     The bottling building was at a time used by Lindsey Light and Chemical Company and the American Wick Company.  It is currently abandoned.

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