George E. Muehlebach
George Edward Muehlebach assumed leadership of the Muehlebach Brewing Company in 1905 at the young age of 23, when George Muehlebach, his Swiss-born father and founder of the brewery died. Educated at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic School and Webster School, young George graduated from Spaulding’s Commercial College by age 17. Summer jobs at the brewery at 18th and Main had familiarized him with all operations of the brewery, which was founded in 1868. Under Muehlebach’s leadership the brewery’s size and sales doubled between 1905 and 1913.
A Kansas City promoter, he built the Muehlebach Hotel at 12th and Baltimore in 1916, became a bank director, board member of Research Hospital, and a member of several prestigious clubs.
As a teenager, George had played first base on the Muehlebach Brewing Company’s Pilseners baseball team, spawning a keen interest in the sport. He owned the Kansas City Blues, twice American Association champions, from 1917 to 1932.
Muehlebach built a half-million dollar ballpark at 22nd and Brooklyn in 1923, the only park in its league free of billboards. Under various names, Muehlebach Stadium was Kansas City’s ballpark until the Truman Sports Complex was built.
After producing non-alcoholic drinks during Prohibition, Muehlebach Brewing closed in 1929. When Prohibition ended, George E. Muehlebach was the city’s first Liquor Control Director. He returned to brewing in 1938 as vice-president and general manager of a partnership with Schlitz Brewery at Third and Oak Streets.
A personally modest man known for his fairness and generosity, George Muehlebach died on January 11, 1955. Today the Hotel Muehlebach is a reminder of his role in Kansas City.
A version of this article previously appeared at http://www.kchistory.org/content/biography-george-muehlebach-1881-1955-b...
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