Mrs. Charles Meisterhans, Sr.

Mrs. Charles Meisterhans, Sr.

From the Collection of the Dallas History and Archives Division, Dallas Public Library.

Perseverance and a need to provide for two small children are likely what led a German woman to open one of the earliest breweries in North Texas.

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Her name was Francisca Yetzer, a single mother who picked up the pieces after her husband died in 1868 while moving the family from Marshall, Texas. John Yetzer was a partner in a brewery there, and had set his sights on starting one of his own in Dallas. Francisca pressed on with the plan after John's death, eventually announcing her "new brewery" to be in full operation with an ad in the Sept. 11, 1869, edition of the Dallas Herald. She offered "the best of lager beer" for five cents a glass at the brewery, where she produced about 150 barrels of beer by hand during her first year in business.

Francisca would leave the day-to-day workings of the business to her second husband, Charles Meisterhans, after they married in 1871, but not before making a name for herself as the matriarch of North Texas beer.

By Brian Brown/Special Contributor

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