Adolphus Busch, Beer Baron

Adolphus Busch

Born July 10, 1839, Kastel, Grand Duchy of Hesse (now Germany)

Died October 10, 1913, Lindschied, Germany

Certain foods go together like peanut butter and jelly, bread and butter, or salt and pepper. There are pairs of names like that, too, in the entertainment world like Laurel and Hardy, Rowan and Martin, and Penn and Teller—that don’t seem quite complete without the other.  In the world of beer the pair that came together to create “the King of Beers” was Anheuser and Busch.

Adolphus Busch, a German-born brewer, teamed up with his father-in-law, Eberhard Anheuser to found the Anheuser Busch Brewing Company.  Adolphus was the second child of twenty-two children born to Ulrich and Barbara (Pfeiffer) Busch.  Not expecting to inherit much of his father’s estate, Busch immigrated to the United States and settled in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1857.  Adolphus worked several different jobs.  In 1861, he met and married Lilly Anheuser, Eberhard’s daughter.  When the Civil War broke out—he joined the Union Army and served for six months.  Adolphus went to work in his father-in-law’s brewery business.  In 1879, Adolphus became a partner in the business and the name was changed to Anheuser Busch.

Even though, Busch himself preferred wine to drink over beer, he was keen to produce the best beer possible—adopting the latest technologies, including pasteurization and refrigeration, to not only brew the best but get the best to market.  Busch built a large network of brew houses, ice houses, and bottling factories to build his local brand into a national brand.  Pasteurization allowed Busch to ship beer cross country and keep it fresh.  In 1882, Busch bought the brand name and trademark for Budweiser—the beer that is synonymous with Anheuser Busch.

All the while Busch worked at building his brewery, his family grew.  Adolphus and Lilly had thirteen children—eight sons and five daughters.

While on vacation in his home country of Germany, Adolphus died on October 10, 1913.  His body was returned to St. Louis in 1915 where he was buried in the Bellefontaine Cemetery.  His funeral was one of the largest ever seen in that city with thousands of people lining the streets to catch a glimpse of his funeral cortege.  Busch’s wife, Lilly, had the family mausoleum torn down and the “inhabitants,” including her parents, reburied in the lot the new mausoleum was to be built.  The building resembling a church was designed by Thomas Barnett from the architectural firm of Barnett, Haynes, and Barnett, widely known for their classical designs.  The Gothic revival-style tomb is constructed with unpolished red granite quarried in Missouri.  The slate roof is topped with a copper spire.  In the cartouche in the arch above the doorway is carved the famous words of Julius Caesar, “”Veni, Vidi, Vici,” or “I came, I saw, I conquered”.

The mausoleum is befitting a beer baron, except for the grapevines decorating the building.  The grapevines are not only a nod to the German wine producing area Adolphus grew up in but also to his favorite drink—wine.

This entry was posted in Famous graves, Mausoleums. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Adolphus Busch, Beer Baron

  1. janowrite says:

    Great blog, and I loved this post – fascinating story and marvelous Resting Place!

  2. Sarah C McKinzie says:

    Thank you for sharing this history. It is very interesting, especially after viewing the emotional Superbowl add with this related story. Thank you for providing more depth. Hope all is well with you and your family! Sarah

  3. You have a great site! and clearly love cemeteries. I just launched and hope you enjoy it as well. Barry Fleig

  4. Well done. I enjoyed this and the photos were great. One correction, Adolphus was the 21st of 22 children. The second from last.

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