Gretsch Family in Manhattan 1875-1909


According to the Manhattan City Directory, William Gretsch, wine, 98 Fulton, h. 16 St. Mark’s Place.

At the time there was a Deutsch-Amerikanishche Schuetzen Geshellschaft Halle, at 12 St. Mark’s Place. This was a  shooting club, a place of social possibilities, beer drinking and parties. No doubt William spent time here. That building survives.


William Gretsch married Marie Rittmuller in Manhattan. They were both living at 23 Waverly Place, Manhattan at the time of the wedding. Witnesses were John A. Fuchs and Adolph Mayer. N.B. William’s father in Mannheim had married Justine Fuchs just before his death in 1873. Was this John A. Fuchs perhaps related to William’s step mother? N.B. In subsequent years, William was in the liquor business with Adolph Mayer. In the 1880 census, Adolph Mayer is listed as a wine merchant.

23 Waverly Place was a large building which housed 24 separate family units in the 1880 census. Possibly both Marie and William were boarding there at the time of their marriage


On November 10th, Pauline Gretsch married Conrad Benzing in Manhattan. She is living at 167 Essex Street. witnesses were  Fred Gretsch and Mary Schmann.

In the 1880 census, a Minna (? perhaps this is Mary)  Schmann was living at 144 Essex.

Conrad was living at 74 Third Street in Manhattan. Fred Gretsch at the time was living at 46 Third Street. Also. just a few years later Louis Gretsch was also living on East Third Street number 46. This was at the time of his naturalization in 1884.
167 Essex Street in the 1880 census housed 18 families. Possibly Pauline worked as a housekeeper with a family or simply was a boarder.

This neighborhood is very near the present day, Tenement House Museum at 108 Orchard Street. it is also very near the entrance to the Williamsburg Bridge on Delancy Street. The bridge was built ca. 1904.


Fred Gretsch at the time of his marriage was living at 46 E. 32nd
Street in Manhattan


According to Louie Gretsch’s naturalization application, he was
living at 58 East 3rd Street on September 9, 1884.
N.B.  In 1878, Conrad
Benzing was living on East Third Street at the time he married Louis’s sister


Click to enlarge image

At the time of their marriage, Max and Philipina Gretsch Morgner living at 300 East 20th, NYC. This
building at 304 East 20th St is in 2003, the New York Health and Racket Club.
Perhaps, the same building was there when Philippine and her husband lived

Click to enlarge image

In 2003, there is a children’s playground at the 300 number on East 20th Street. .PS 40 is just a
little east of Philippine’s old building on the same block.

Click to enlarge image

This cornice is near
east 20th and Second Ave and is of the same vintage as Philippine’s absent

It is interesting that Philippine and her husband lived in
Manhattan. Most of the Gretsch family lived at the time in Brooklyn. Was she
perhaps, attempting to show some independence after she returned from Germany?
It didn’t last long. she soon moved to Brooklyn. By 1895, Max and Philippine
were back in the same neighborhood. What drew them here? Did Max have family


According to the Manhattan Directory, Louie Gretsch &  Rehmke,
wines, 98 Fulton, home 434 E. 87th Street.


According to the Manhattan Directory, Louie Gretsch &  Rehmke,
wines, 98 Fulton, home 434 E. 87th Street.


Click to enlarge the image

Jacob Gretsch dies at 247 E. 21st Street NYC.
The home of his sister Philipine MorgnerWindow across
the street from 247 E. 21st Street. Picture taken in 2002.  The building that
Philippine lived in is no longer there but she might have looked out her window
and seen this building at 248 E. 21st  Street.


Februray 29, Emilie and Wilhhelmine pay off their mortgage in Brooklyn early.While Emilly was a school teacher, she made extra money making dresses.

Click to enlarge the image

July, 25th, Max Morgner died at 247 E. 21st Street (Manhattan)This is a larger view of the building across from Philippine address.

Max Morgner bdgh. 247 E. 21st Street(Were Max and Philippine running a bdgh (Boardinghouse)when he died?)


Louis Gretsch, wine 42 Frankfort St. Mhtn., h 20 Vernon Ave

Louis Gretsch & Co., very goodClick on image to see an enlargement..

This jug which says “L.Gretsch & Co. 142-44 Grand St., NY”
was found by William Gretsch, great great grandson of Jacob Gretsch.  During his high school years in Morris Plains, New Jersey,  William (Bill) Gretsch worked at Merchant’s Hardware Store.  He graduated from Morristown High School in 1951.  Bill Gretsch found this jug in a store room there and was allowed to buy it.  Bill thinks the jug was probably in the store when the Merchants first bought the business.  As of yet, we have no history of the jug, other than it probably came from the liquor business of Louis Gretsch, who was the brother of my great grandfather. Since it was purchased circa 1950, this jug has held a prominent spot in first Bill’s father’s home and now in his own home.

During the California Gold Rush, Anna Maria Von Gerichten Gretsch’s brothers went to California and started several liquor businesses which were very successful. Anna Maria’s step son, William Gretsch went to California and worked with them for awhile. Later, William moved to New York City. There he began his own wine business. When he returned to Germany for health reasons in the early 1890’s he left his business to his half Brother Louie Gretsch.

It is interesting to note that Emily Gretsch does not mention anything about this liquor business in her essay on the history of the Gretsch family in American. You can read her essay in the library section of this website. Emily was a school teacher and I imagine that she frowned on liquor and choose to leave out this part of the family history.


May 2, David Kling and Rosa and children are listed in census as living at W. 97th Street in Manhattan.

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