Brewery heiress Lisette Best Schandein’s golden years were filled with tremendous wealth — and tremendous controversy.
By the 1890s, Lisette was the most extraordinarily well-connected woman in Wisconsin: she was the daughter of Philip Best, founder of Milwaukee’s first breweries; the wife of Emil Schandein, founder of the Milwaukee Deutsche Gesellschaft; and the sister of Maria Best, the wife of Captain Frederick Pabst. As stakeholders in the Second Ward Savings Bank, Northwestern Mutual Insurance Company, and the Milwaukee Brewers Assocation, Emil and Lisette Schandein were royalty in the German Athens. They held their heads high above the wealthiest people in Wisconsin, the United States and the world.
Lisette’s most notable act of charity destroyed her family three decades later, in a sensational courtroom trial that could have easily ruined the Pabst brand name as well.