“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Waterloo in Monroe County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Schorr Brewing Co.

117 North Main

ó Waterloo, Monroe Co. Ill., Laid Out in 1818 ó

Schorr Brewing Co. Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Thomas Smith, November 2, 2019
1. Schorr Brewing Co. Marker
Inscription.  The first brewery established in Waterloo, the Koechel brewery, was built at this location in 1847 by john and Elizabeth Koechel.

It is believed to have been a wooden structure which was replaced by a brick building in 1852. John Koechel ran the brewery until brewery in the mid 1870ís until john Michael Schorr and henry Wilmesmeier purchased the property in 1881 for $8,000.00.

J. Michael Schorr learned brewing skills in Germany from his family, which had a long line of skilled brew masters dating back to 1532. Schorr immigrated to the United States in 171 and moved to St. Louis. After purchasing the Koechel brewery, the original building was torn down and a three-story brick building was built in its place, with three fermenting cellars underground.

The new brewery, which became known as the Michael Schorr Brewing Company, encompassed 117-123 North Main Street and expanded west to what is now Church Street. At 117 North Main was the Schorr residence and is the building standing today. The house consisted of two parlors on the south end of the building and a kitchen and a dining room on the north side. The center
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door on Main Street was original to the Schorr home, the brewery complex included brewery offices, a brick courtyard, buildings for brewing and bottling, a steam power plant, horse stables, a wagon shed, coal storage and a large vegetable garden.

When Michael rebuilt the brewery, he also constructed Schorr Lake (located at present day “Lakeview Park”) as a source of water and ice for the brewery and he added a large icehouse, lined with cork for insulation. As the lake was over a mile away, Michael installed a private system to pump water to his brewery and as a result, the Schorrís were the first in Monroe County to have indoor plumbing and electricity. The coal supply was provided by a set of railroad tracks laid out through the center of the complex.

During Prohibition (1920-1933) the brewery attempted to continue by making a legal product called “near beer.” This was unsuccessful and operation were halted. Years later, in preparation for the Repeal of Prohibition, the brewery renovated and geared up to again produce beer. However, the brewery could not recuperate profits. Thus, portions of the property of the west side were sold, but the house, office and buildings on Main Street stayed under Schorr family ownership.

It is believed that the first use of the Schorr home space as a tavern was circa early 1940ís when J.
Schorr Brewing Co. Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Thomas Smith, November 2, 2019
2. Schorr Brewing Co. Marker
The building is currently home to JV's Bar and Grill
Oscar Schorr, son of J. Michael, lived upstairs and operated a tavern downstairs, followed by Carl Bode Jr. who was a great-grandchild of J. Michael. Stories say Kenny and Bill Bode swam in the flooded 3rd cellar of the basement during their childhood. The building transferred from owner to owner until approximately 1960 when Dorthy Welsch purchased the building and ran the tavern as “Welschís.” In March of 1973. John Pottoff and his father, Lanny, went into business operating “Johnís.” In 1985, the Potoffs sold the building to the current owners, Jeff and Denise Vogt, who continued the propertyís tradition by opening a tavern named “JVís Downton Bar and Grill.” The American flag mural on the north side of JVís was painted by Joe Krump and Denise Vogt after the 9/11 terrorist attack.

Researched by Gibault Students Logan Kesler, Max Mechler, Riley Menard and Adam Zeveski
Erected 2019 by Waterloo Beautification Committee.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. In addition, it is included in the Illinois, Waterloo Beautification Committee series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1847.
Location. 38° 20.205′ N, 90° 9.04′ W. Marker is in Waterloo, Illinois
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, in Monroe County. Marker is on North Main Street north of Flower Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 117 North Main Street, Waterloo IL 62298, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Oldendorf-Horn Building (a few steps from this marker); Patriotic Mural (within shouting distance of this marker); Porta Westfalica (within shouting distance of this marker); The Bellefontaine Spring & House (within shouting distance of this marker); Legend Tells How Waterloo Got Its Name (within shouting distance of this marker); The Peterstown House (within shouting distance of this marker); Early Politicians (within shouting distance of this marker); Lincoln Whig Campaign (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Waterloo.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 3, 2019. It was originally submitted on October 2, 2019. This page has been viewed 368 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 2, 2019, by Thomas Smith of Waterloo, Ill. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 12, 2024