Mathias Leinenkugel: The Oldest

Mathias “Matt” Jacob Leinenkugel was the oldest of the children born to Jacob Leinenkugel. He was born April 16th, 1866 (Find a Grave Memorial). He grew up in Chippewa Falls with the rest of the Leinenkugel family. In 1889, he married Kathryn M. Watzl (1910 Federal Census). Kathryn was born in 1868 in Montpelier, Wisconsin to John and Maria Watzl (1870 Federal Census). Growing up around the brewery, naturally Mathias started working there. He started work there as a salesman from 1900 to 1907 (1900 Federal Census, 1910 Federal Census). In 1907, he was promoted to President of the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewery. He stayed in this position until his death on June 3rd, 1927 (Brewer’s Digest, 1920 Federal Census, Find a Grave Memorial).

Outside of the brewery, Mathias had a great family life with his wife and children. They lived at 821 North Bridge Street here in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin (City Directories). In 1890, they had their first child, Josephine Katherine Theresa. She was born December 6th, 1890 (Minnesota Death Index). She would go on to be married twice, and have three children. Her first marriage was to Joseph (John) Black on April 16th, 1912. They were married in Chippewa Falls and remained there after their marriage. Unfortunately, John passed away in 1932 (John Black Dies).

Joseph (John) Black Obituary (Courtesy Chippewa Herald)

Joseph (John) Black Obituary (Courtesy Chippewa Herald)

After John’s passing, Josephine re-married on February 15th, 1941 to Thomas Gibbons (Gibbons-Black Marriage). They spent the rest of their years together in Minnesota, as Gibbons was Ramsey County Sheriff until the mid-50’s (City Directories).

Their second oldest, Jacob Mathias, was born December 5th, 1893 (Jacob Mathias Leinenkugel – Find a Grave). He attended Chippewa Falls High School and in his sophomore year, he won 2nd place on their Debate Team (Monocle 1911). After graduation, he went on to attend University of Wisconsin-Madison and become a lawyer, working for the U.S. Government (U.S. School Yearbooks, 1930 Federal Census). His family is most well-known because his children and grandchildren would go on to be the faces of the Leinenkugel Brewing Company.

Their third and youngest child, Carl J., was born September 5th, 1908 (Social Security Death Index). He attended Chippewa Falls High School and graduated in 1928 (1928 Monocle). After graduation, he attended University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Columbus School of Law. (1929 Periscope, U.S. School Yearbooks) He returned to Chippewa Falls for most of his life, and eventually became the Secretary and Vice President of the Leinenkugel Brewing Company (City Directories).

Carl Leinenkugel, Jack Dempsey, and Ruth (Mrs. Carl) Leinenkugel (Courtesy: Chippewa Falls Main Street)

Carl Leinenkugel, Jack Dempsey, and Ruth (Mrs. Carl) Leinenkugel (Courtesy: Chippewa Falls Main Street)

In addition to their family, Mathias and Kathryn had a few other people stay in their home with them over the years. In 1900, they had one boarder, Emma Martin, stay in their home with them (1900 Federal Census). Then, over the next few years, they had a couple servants in the house with them. In 1905, they had Mary Niesen employed in their home (1905 State Census). And finally, they had Rose Homer employed in 1910 in their house, as well (1910 Federal Census).


Mathias Jacob “Matt” Leinenkugel (1866-1926) – Find a Grave Memorial. N.p., 4 Sept 2012. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Chippewa Ward 8, Chippewa, Wisconsin; Roll: T624_1703; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0062; FHL microfilm: 1375716.

Year: 1870; Census Place: Montpelier, Kewaunee, Wisconsin; Roll: M593_1720; Page: 445B; Image: 896; Family History Library Film: 553219.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Chippewa Falls Ward 8, Chippewa, Wisconsin; Roll: 1780; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0045; FHL microfilm: 1241780.

“BD Revisits the Jacob Leinenkugel Co.” The Brewer’s Digest Feb. 1978: 14-37.

Year: 1920; Census Place: Chippewa Falls Ward 8, Chippewa, Wisconsin; Roll: T625_1978; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 65; Image: 704.

U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.

Minnesota Death Index, 1908-2002 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2001.

Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social Security Administration.

Wisconsin. Wisconsin State Census, 1895 Microfilm, 10 reels. Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin.

Chippewa Falls Main Street, Inc. Images of America: Chippewa Falls Main Street. Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2001. Print.

“John Black Dies Christmas Night, Rites Wednesday.” Chippewa Herald-Telegram [Chippewa Falls] 27 Dec. 1932: n. pag. Print.

“Gibbons-Black Marriage at St. Charles Church.” Herald-Telegram [Chippewa Falls] 15 Feb. 1941: n. pag. Print.

1911 Chippewa High Monocle. 1911. Yearbook. Chippewa Falls.

U.S. School Yearbooks [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.

Year: 1930; Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: 305; Page: 19A; Enumeration District: 0393; Image: 306.0; FHL microfilm: 2340040.

1928 Chippewa High Monocle. 1928. Yearbook. Chippewa Falls.

1929 University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Periscope. 1929. Yearbook. Eau Claire.


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