Thursday, May 15, 2014

Jacob Kuebeler and the Kuebeler Monument at Oakland Cemetery

Erecting the Kuebeler Monument
Oakland Cemetery
Sandusky, Ohio
Charles E. Frohman Collection

When Jacob Kuebeler passed away in the spring of 1904 at his home in Sandusky, Ohio, the local paper heralded the millionaire as its wealthiest citizen. Indeed, he was! Jacob Kuebeler had gained his wealth through years of hard work. One of sixteen children, Kuebeler was born in Herigen Hessen, Nassau, Germany in 1838. At the age of 22, left his homeland, arriving in Sandusky just before the Civil War. The following year, he married Christina Zimmerman. They were the parents of two daughters.

For the next four years he toiled in a Sandusky brewery. After spending a short time in Akron at the Oberholz Brewery, Jacob returned to Sandusky. With his brother August, he founded a small brewery in Sandusky. It was known as Jacob Kuebeler and Company. Only 20 barrels could be produced each day, but Kuebeler’s product was an immediate favorite. Kuebeler had only a single horse and wagon to make deliveries.


Jacob Kuebeler and John Stang
Courtesy of Sandusky History

The business grew and in 1893, stock was issued under the name Kuebeler Brewing and Malting Company. Three years later, Jacob Kuebeler’s brewery merged with the Stang Brewery with Jacob Kuebeler as its president. The Kuebeler brewery was one of the largest businesses in the city and later became part of the Cleveland and Sandusky Brewing Company.


Kuebeler also invested in local enterprises. Among them were the Cedar Point Pleasure Resort Company, Diamond Wine Company, Oak Harbor National Bank, Gilchrist Transportation, and others. Kuebeler’s brewery and businesses were responsible for much of the local employment.

According to the Sandusky Register, more than 3,000 people paid their respects at the Kuebeler home. The funeral cortege was a half mile long. It seemed only fitting that this great brewer and businessman should have a monument worthy of his accomplishments. To that end, Joseph Carabelli, the successful Italian sculptor and stone cutter of Cleveland was commissioned to create an appropriate marker for Jacob Kuebeler’s gravesite at Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery. Sandusky’s cemetery was typical of the park-like cemeteries of the Victorian era that flourished after the Civil War and spread rapidly throughout Ohio

Carabelli, designed monuments for all of Cleveland’s most prestigious families, including that of John D. Rockefeller. For Kuebeler, Carabelli created a magnificent obelisk that weighed 80 tons and was 48 feet high, twice the height of any monument in Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery.

Above is a rare image produced from a glass plate negative in the Charles E. Frohman Collection. Taken in September 1907, the picture features Joseph Carabelli himself. He and his workmen were about to hoist the Kuebeler obelisk atop the sections that make up the base of the monument. Carabelli, wearing a vest, is pictured standing near the obelisk. Today, Carabelli’s work on the Kuebeler lot still remains the tallest monument in Oakland Cemetery.Below is a photo taken by local commercial photographer Ernst Niebergall.

Kuebeler Monument
Photograph by Ernst Niebergall
Charles E. Frohman Collection


Dorene from Ohio said...

Outstanding post, Nan! That monument still causes visitors to stop and look at it at Oakland Cemetery!

Unknown said...

This is a great post about an interesting monument to an interesting person.