Like father, like sons

Every legacy has its origins and the four Mesker brothers and their respective companies owe their genesis to a certain John Bernard Mesker (1823–1899). John Bernard Mesker was born in Germany on February 22, 1823, and came to America in 1835. Settling in Cincinnati, John trained as a “tinner,” a craftsman who worked with tinplate, … Continue reading

Found in the archives

The post below appeared in the “Found in the Archives” series of the Vanderburgh County Clerk’s Records and Archives blog on May 20, 2015. After an early Mesker artifact was unearthed and featured in the Endangered Heritage display for National Preservation Month, it was spotted by historian and friend Dennis Au. Subsequently, I was asked … Continue reading

The forgotten brother

Bernard, Frank, and George are the best known of the six Mesker brothers. However, one more brother also made important contributions to the ornamental iron work trade in Evansville and the surrounding region. As Bernard and Frank were establishing a niche for their business in St. Louis, George continued to work for their father in … Continue reading

From Industries of St. Louis to Courthouses of Montana

Documentation of early Mesker work is often a challenging task due to lack of catalogs (needed for design confirmation) and a significantly smaller pool of comparables, especially of the surviving kind. The earliest known extant examples of the work of J.B. Mesker & Son and George L. Mesker & Co. are from 1876 (New Harmony, … Continue reading

2,500th Mesker—or is it?

It may be in name only, but this storefront at 107-109 Water Street in Belton, Texas, is indeed the 2,500th Mesker facade to be entered into the national database. Despite the nameplate identifying the maker as Mesker & Brother from St. Louis, Missouri (same as Mesker Brothers), the company did not manufacture these columns but subcontracted them … Continue reading

1,900 y contando

During last week’s trip to attend the Illinois Main Street Statewide Conference in Galesburg, Illinois, I decided to take scenic routes instead of the interstate. I wanted to drive through several towns I haven’t yet been to. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a handful of Mesker facades in Prairie City, Avon, and Fairview. I … Continue reading