Schoenhofen Mausoleum

This stunner was hard to get good shots of the day I was there just due to the time of day and angle of the sun, so I tried to get a lot of detail photos to make up for it.

Peter Schoenhofen was a German immigrant who started a brewery in Chicago that became a big success. The eponymous brand lasted a bit over one hundred years, founded in 1861 with operations closing down in the early 1970s.

Peter died in 1893, and his sons predeceased him. After his death, his wife Elise (nee Knepper) went back to live in Germany, in Baden Baden, for her health, passing away there in 1907. She was returned to Chicago for entombment with her husband.

Four of her five surviving daughters also lived in Germany at the time of her death (one who had become a countess), with only daughter, Emma Theurer, remaining in Chicago. Her husband Joseph had been vice president of the company under Peter and became president when his father-in-law died, running the company until his own death in 1913.

Joseph and Emma’s son Peter Theurer headed the company after that until he died in 1931. I didn’t find too much information beyond that, but Peter’s sister Reta had also married a brewer so it’s likely family interests remained to continue leading the company, either Reta’s husband or other sons, grandsons or sons-in-law of the five Schoenhofen daughters.

The records of who all are entombed in this pyramid are unclear and it seems from some interior photos on @findagrave that some of the entombed may have been cremated. It also might be the case that some relatives are buried around the pyramid.

The design of the mausoleum though was clearly influenced by the Egyptian Revival style and probably even more by the Victorian fad for Egyptian iconography as this is really quite over the top. I’d be curious to know who was responsible for its creation, and I kind of hope it was Elise just going all in on the design in her grief.

RIP Schoenhofens

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