January 4, 1904: Captain Frederick Pabst is buried at Forest Home Cemetery, three days after passing away at his home at the age of 67.
The New York Times reported on New Year’s Day, “Capt. Frederick Pabst, president of the Pabst Brewing Company, which operates one of the biggest breweries in the world, died at his home, 2000 Grand Avenue, this noon… while he knew that was suffering from an incurable disease and…could not live more than a few months longer…Capt. Pabst was a daily visitor at the brewery until ten days ago…he leaves an estate worth about $12,000,000.”
Captain Pabst was Milwaukee’s most charming beer baron, a self-made man who had literally gone from rags to riches during the golden age of the German Athens. Despite amassing vast personal wealth throughout the Gilded Age, the Captain was known as the most giving man in Milwaukee, donating tens of thousands to local charitable causes. He supported his heritage by welcoming new immigrants with a traveling library of German books. The Milwaukee Sentinel reported on January 2, 1904 that nobody would miss him more than the city’s poor and underprivileged. Years after his death, people would still toast “To Frederick Pabst, Milwaukee’s most beloved citizen” in the city’s saloons and beer halls.
“I like to treat people well, because it is pleasant to think that after I am gone there may be someone who will say that old Fred wasn’t such a bad fellow after all.” Well said, Captain Pabst. Well said.