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

The last word in modern construction

“Evansville’s new $175,000 Greyhound Terminal is not only the last word in modern construction but it is one of the most beautiful and imposing structures in this area. Contributing greatly to both of these outstanding points was the George L. Mesker and Company of Evansville. Fireproof construction and strength are clearly denoted by the terminal. … Continue reading

Columnar paradox

It is the Mesker spotter’s curse—he cannot traverse a historic downtown or Main Street without examining the buildings for traces of their work. He does this whether he has time or not, whether alone or with company, on business or for pleasure (oh, how his family suffers). The rewards come often, but then again so … Continue reading

Indiana 500

When in May 2007, the Old Exchange National Bank in Okawville, Illinois, was honored as the 500th Mesker facade identified in the state, we made it a big deal. This was during my first tour of duty at the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and in the midst of “one of the most successful historical detective … Continue reading

Majestic

In order to offer such a vast array of building products, both Mesker companies often relied on other manufacturers for supply of raw material or finished goods. This wasn’t always made obvious to would-be customers nor did it need to. For example, in the early 1900s Mesker Brothers Iron Works sold what appear to be … Continue reading

National Database Tops 2,000!

Just in time for the holidays, Mesker facades 2,000 through 2,006 come from Loogootee, Indiana. Among several brick fronts with various degrees of historic integrity, two adjacent buildings claim a higher level of pedigree. Originally purchased by Huebner Shirey & Co, the facades at 200 N. John F Kennedy Avenue and 105 Wood Street were … Continue reading