Editor’s Note: This is part nine in a series about the rich history of and associated with East Sacramento’s award-winning East Lawn Memorial Park.
Among Sacramento’s identity during its earlier years was undoubtedly its position as a brewery city. And with a recent review of the records of East Lawn Memorial Park, the remains of at least seven high level local brewery men are interred at this East Sacramento cemetery.
Among these men was Philip Scheld, former owner of the Sacramento Brewery, which was located at 28th and M (now Capitol Avenue) streets.
The brewery, according to the 1880 book, “History of Sacramento County, California,” was established in 1849 by a German immigrant named Peter Kadell, who during the following year began brewing beer at that site. Peter’s surname is also spelled “Cadel” in other historic references.
According to The Sacramento Union, in its June 15, 1872 edition, the brewery was rented by Philip Scheld in 1853 and purchased by him a year later.
The 1880 county history book indicates that Philip became involved in the brewery business in Sacramento in 1852.
Another version of this story, as described in the 1890 book, “An Illustrated History of Sacramento County, California,” notes that Philip “rented the brewery on the East M Street, and a month later bought it.”
Prior to becoming a Sacramentan, Philip, who was born in the town of Giessen in the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt in Germany on Oct. 13, 1827, attended government schools and worked on his family’s farm.
He later immigrated to the United States with his brother, Henry. They arrived in Philadelphia after a five-week voyage on July 11, 1845.
While residing in Philadelphia, Philip worked in the bakery industry and Henry dedicated himself to the cabinet making trade.
Both brothers eventually made their way to California. Henry arrived in 1849 to become a miner.
A year later, Philip, who was then living in Baltimore, was inspired by a letter that he received from his brother to head to California immediately.
After arriving in San Francisco on March 24, 1850, Philip traveled to Sacramento aboard the steamer “Hartford” before heading to El Dorado County.
He reunited with his brother in Volcano (Amador County) several weeks later.
Philip and Henry eventually worked together teaming between the mines and Sacramento.
Both the 1880 and 1890 county history books recognize Philip as becoming involved in the hotel business outside of Sacramento.
According to the 1890 county history book, this venture began after Philip and his business partner, Daniel Troy, acquired a hotel as a default method of payment for their work baking for that hotel.
Philip and Daniel had a larger hotel built to replace the hotel they acquired, and they also had a second hotel built. They continued in this business until the fall of 1852.
After Philip became the proprietor of the Sacramento Brewery, the brewery underwent many changes, including the construction of new buildings, an increase in its property size, and the addition of Switzerland native John Oschwald as co-owner of the brewery in 1869. That partnership continued until 1876.
The aforementioned June 15, 1872 edition of The Union notes that in 1860, Philip had the old brewery moved to the rear portion of the property and had a 61-foot by 42-foot, brick building constructed on the site’s northeast corner.
The 1880 county history book described the building as having been expanded to a size of 120 feet by 100 feet. The “two-story, brick addition” was built at a cost of $4,000 by Martin Madden, who was described in the Jan. 1, 1883 edition of The Union as “the leading builder in this part of the state.”
On Oct. 2, 1873, a fire occurred at the brewery’s two-story, 24-square-foot, brick, malt house.
The fire began when the malt that was being burned in the kiln overheated. The damage, which was contained inside the building, was financially covered by the brewery’s insurance.
Another building at the brewery caught on fire on Oct. 11, 1877, resulting in $1,500 in damages.
In between these fire years, Philip, who married Germany native Margaret Fritz on April 7, 1858, was involved in a near fatal accident.
During the early afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 14, 1874, following a morning of hunting several miles east of Sacramento, Philip Scheld was driving his buggy with his son, Adolph.
As Philip was resting his arm against the muzzle of his rifle, one of the buggy’s wheels ran into a squirrel hole, causing the firearm to discharge. A shell passed through his left arm, just below his shoulder, and exited out the other side of the arm.
Although the injury resulted in Philip losing his arm to amputation, it was believed that he would have bled to death had the powder of his rifle not severely burned his arm, thus slowing the bleeding.
Oddly, 20 years later, Adolph accidently shot and killed Frederick C. Glueck while he was target shooting with some of his military friends.
The Union, in its Jan. 1, 1877 edition, noted that the brewery included extensive sheds and outhouses and had utilized 200 tons of barley and three tons of hops and produced 3,000 barrels of beer in the past year.
At that time, the brewery also included a 40-foot by 100-foot malt kiln and a 40-foot by 100-foot storehouse.
In the 1880 county history book, the operation of the brewery, which was then located on nearly a whole block of land, was described as follows: “It has steam power for mechanical purposes, three steam pumps, and is complete in every particular, employing throughout the year six or seven men, and having a capacity of eighteen barrels per day.”
The Union, in its Jan. 1, 1880 edition, noted that the brewery’s advantages for the manufacture of beer and shipping throughout California were “unsurpassed by those of any competitor in business.”
The 1913 book, “History of Sacramento County, California,” recognizes the financial rewards that the brewery brought Philip, as follows: “Still in the pioneer period of the ‘50s, (Philip) identified himself with the brewery business that by his own industry and sagacity brought him a fortune.”
The same book also referred to the Sacramento Brewery as “one of the most profitable properties of the kind in the state.”
Evidence of the wealth of Philip, who was a millionaire, could be seen through his stately home, which he had built at 1105 L St. in 1880.
In February 1869, while still dedicating himself to the brewery as its proprietor, Philip became one of the original directors of the Capital Savings Bank of Sacramento at the southwest corner of 4th and J streets.
And from about 1878 to 1913, he was involved with Sacramento Savings Bank at the northwest corner of 5th and J streets.
In the final 12 years of that time, Philip served as president of this latter named bank.
Following his aforementioned accident, Philip continued his role in the brewery’s ownership for many years thereafter.
Beyond his brewery and banking activities, Philip also owned a considerable amount of property in Los Angeles County, served as a longtime local firefighter, president of the Sacramento Rifle Club and a director of the Sacramento Beet Sugar Company, and was a member of the Sacramento Turn Verein.
He died at his L Street home at the age of 85 during the early morning of July 30, 1913.
His funeral was a private affair held at his home two days after his passing and he was interred at East Lawn Cemetery during the same day.
Philip’s remains are located inside the Scheld family mausoleum on the Folsom Boulevard side of the cemetery.
This mausoleum is East Lawn’s only private, family mausoleum that contains both large and small crypts.
Also interred in this mausoleum are the remains of Margaret, who passed away at the age of 80 in 1916, Adolph, who died at the age of 84 in 1946, and three other members of the family – Adolph’s wife, Leila C. Scheld (1869-1936); Adolph and Leila’s daughter, Margaret Scheld Cook (1897-1961); and Philip’s niece, Ottilie Fritz (1865-1917).
Another Scheld family member, August C. Fritz, a Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany native who died at the age of 21 on Feb. 27, 1872, had his funeral services at the Sacramento Brewery during the afternoon of the following day. He was originally buried at the New Helvetia Cemetery at 31st Street (today’s Alhambra Boulevard), between H and J streets.