Trade card for the Giesecke Boot & Shoe Manufacturing Co. Circa 1885 – 1901.
Grand! And it is, this lithograph from an unknown company showing two children riding a duck (or goose?) The girl, sitting “side-saddle” holds a parasol, while the boy sits astride holding the reigns and is turning back to gaze at her. The duck or goose, take your pick, is about to be happily paddling his way thru some lily pads. The reverse shows:
“Not how cheap, but how good
For Fit. For Wear. For Economy buy
‘Little Shoes for Little Men and Little Women’
None genuine unless stamped on bottom ‘Little Shoes for Little Men’ trade mark registered.
The Giesecke Boot & Shoe M’f’g Co. Makers”
Owner and president of the company, William Frederick Giesecke, was born in Germany December 4, 1833. He emigrated to the U. S. around May 1, 1858. City directories show that he was manufacturing shoes and boots in St. Louis, Missouri at least from 1870, with addresses centering on Washington Ave. He paired (no pun intended) with Edward A. Meysenburg from about 1876 – 1881. And 1885 thru 1901 directories show the business name as it appears on this trade card. By 1904 the business is under the name of Giesecke – D’Oench – Hays Shoe Co., and the 1908 directory shows there were factories in both St. Louis and Jefferson, Missouri. The obit below from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, dated March 21, 1910, gives more information:
Sources: Edwards’ St. Louis Directory, 1870. p. 360. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.
Gould’s St. Louis City Directory, 1876. p. 343. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.
Gould’s Street and Avenue Directory, 1881. p. 428. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, 1795-1905; Roll #: 329; Volume #: Roll 329 – 20 May 1889-24 May 1889. (Ancestry.com)
Gould’s St. Louis Directory, 1895. p. 554. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.
Gould’s St. Louis Directory, 1901. p. 707. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.
Gould’s Street and Avenue Directory, 1904. p. 757. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.
Gould’s Street and Avenue Directory, 1908. p. 658. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.
“W. F. Giesecke, Retired Shoe Manufacturer, Buried Monday.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 21 March 1910, main edition. (newspapers.com)
This is so interesting as one of my husband’s ancestors, Henry S. Biest, was the vice president of the Giesecke – D’Oench – Hay Shoe Co Per an article about his marriage – St. Louis Post Dispatch 4 Jul 1920, p 22 (newspapers.com) Per the article: the company was bought by the Friedman-Shelby Shoe Co. which later merged with the International Shoe Co. Per City Directories, he worked for Giesecke, Meysenburg & Co. as early as and Thanks for sharing this card and all the information about Giesecke!
Hi Kelly Anne, you’re very welcome and thank you!
I keep running across this site as well as checking in every now and then and haven’t touched base yet but my name is William Frederick Giesecke and yes it was my Great Great Grandfather who started the company. We are going to take a trip down to the St. Louis/Jefferson City area and see what we can find as far as locations and sites to include the house he apparently built for his daughter.
Hi Bill, that’s awesome! Thanks for you comment! Anne
My 2nd great grandfather, employed as bookkeeper
Gould’s St Louis Directory, For 1878
LORENZEN, August; bkpr GIESECKE, MEYSENBURG, & CO., r 1103 S 13th
Hi Lou, thanks for the comment! Anne
Anne, this is great stuff. William Frederick Giesecke was my great, great Grandfather. All of our family hails from St. Louis originally and then spread out to Jefferson City and Kansas City. Not sure who Bill Giesecke is, never heard of him but would like to know more about him. We have heard many tales of the old shoe company. Folklore has it that William gave Ferd Annhauser his first loan to start his brewing company in St. Louis. He had also immigrated from Germany. We all know how that turned out! We had also heard that the Giesecke name back in Germany is associated with the manufacture of machines that are used around the world by national reserves to count currency. In fact, in many smaller countries they actually print the national currency. Any reference to this history in your research of William? Thx for all of this! John Marshall Giesecke, Jr.
Hi John, you’re very welcome! Glad you found the post. I did a quick Google search and see there’s a Giesecke & Devrient. There’s a Wikipedia entry for them, so there must be plenty of references. They’re headquartered in Munich and were founded in 1852 by Hermann Giesecke and Alphonse Devrient, initially doing high quality printing, including currency. I didn’t get lucky with the Anheuser connection with Giesecke, but I wouldn’t be surprised if what you say was true. Just due to guessing that most people got help starting out in business somehow. Anne 🙂