Sunday, September 23, 2018

Immigration to and Emigration from Schwäbisch Hall

One of Hastings' early shopkeepers, Frederick Breyer, was included in a book recently published by the city archive of Schwäbisch Hall in Germany. The translated title of the book is "Immigration to and Emigration from Schwäbisch Hall: 1600-1914." For those of you who speak German, we now have a copy of the book in the Historical Society library. Here is an online version. Some of the following material is from our files and some is information translated directly from the book. The photos included in this post are the same ones provided to the authors of the book.

Friedrich Breyer (known as Frederick Breyer in the U.S.), was the son of a railway linesman from Uttenhofen. Friedrich was born in Heilbronn, Germany in 1869 and raised in Schwäbisch Hall. In 1884, he emigrated to the United States at the age of 15 with his 22-year old half-sister Catharina (his mother’s illegitimate daughter). His younger brother Christian Breyer (born in 1872) followed his siblings to New York in 1889, but vanished without a trace in August of 1890. 

Proprietor Fred Breyer behind the counter of his meat market, Breyer's Prospect Market Choice Meats, at 3 Spring Street, c. 1910

Frederick settled in Hastings-on-Hudson in 1899, where he married a native-born American and opened a butcher shop on Spring Street. Named "Breyer's Prospect Market," the shop was a mainstay of the village's commercial district for several decades.

Fred Breyer is in the center behind the dog, his son Fred, Jr. is seated on the barrel, and Anna Rohrbach is standing on the far right, c. 1910. This location today is the home of Giordano Beauty.

Frederick's business must have flourished, because he was able to purchase a Ford Model T truck for his establishment in the 1910s. 

Prospect Market truck, likely in the late 1910s

Prospect Market truck, overlay Google Map.

In 1920 Breyer sold his business and retired; he died in 1925. His obituary called him one of the most remarkable men of Hastings, because he continued with his trade -- without any obvious impairment -- despite ultimately losing his eyesight completely. 

Fred Breyer, Jr. on the Warburton Avenue Bridge with Demmler children, one of whom is probably Charles Demmler. Photo is c. 1905-1910.

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  1. Guten abend back to Schwäbisch Hall! I live in Dobbs Ferry NY and my home is approximately 100 meters from Hastings, which is down the street. My family comes from Crailsheim, also a town in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, roughly 32 kilometres east of Schwäbisch Hall. I know my family tree back to 1650 and have the names of more than 50 relatives buried in and around Crailsheim. My mother was born in Germany and moved to New York 80 years ago this week! But when they moved to New York, their shop was in the Bronx and it took us many decades to come to Dobbs Ferry.

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