George A. Mayer

by Edmund Starling, 1886


The old gentleman of whom this is but an imperfect sketch, was born in the City of Mosbach, Germany, January 1st, 1797. He received what may be termed a liberal education in his native country, and, on the twenty-ninth day of February, 1824, married Miss Margaretta Strohauer, unto whom there were born nine children, only three of whom attained to their majority, Louisa, Jacob F. and Virginius M., the latter being born on the high sea during his mother's coming to this country. Mr. Mayer, before leaving Germany, became a member of the Milhausen Immigration Society, whose agent in this country was John Roebling, the great Master Engineer, who was latterly chief in charge of the building of the Brooklyn bridge, the grandest iron and steel structure known to inventive genius. Mr. Roebling, by accident lost his life before the completion of the work, and was succeeded by his son.

Mr. Mayer arrived at New York in August, 1832, and settled at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where he remained until the early part of 1834, when he removed to Evansville, Indiana. He had learned the trade of gunsmithing in the old country, and, from this, determined to earn his livelihood in this new land. He remained in Evansville but a short time, but while there, built, on the corner of Main and Second Streets, the first two-story frame building, and the first building erected in Lamasco by a German in that town. While he resided in Evansville, there were only four or five hundred inhabitants, and not exceeding eighty houses, all told. In February, 1835, he removed to Henderson, and was among the first occupants of the present residence of F. W. Reutlinger, corner of Fourth and Elm Streets. He immediately embarked in gunsmithing in an old frame shanty situated on the northeast side of Mill or Second Street, between Main and Water. He continued in this building for several years, when he removed to the old Fulwiler brick on Main Street, now adjoining C. H. Johnson's book store. By close attention to business, honest work, and reasonable compensation, Mr. Mayer held the entire gunsmithing trade of the county for several counties, and his prudence led him to lay aside enough to increase his business and make himself financially comfortable. His trade continued to incread until he found it necessary to have a more roomy store house, and, to that end, he purchased and built the present house, now occupied by his son, Jacob F. Mayer. In this house he continued to do business in partnership with his sons, Jacob F. and Virginius M., whom he had educated most excellent business men and mechanics, until old age bade him desist from further labor and spend the remainder of his days in rest and quiet. Of his three children, Louisa married French Gobin, an influential and esteemed citizen, and they had two children, one of whom is now living, Maggie J., who married Joseph B. Johnston, and they have had six children, four of whom are now living, Eugenia, an accomplished young lady, just grown Joseph Russell, Robert Evans, and Gilbert Ludson. Mrs. gobin died March 18th, 1874.

Jacob F. Mayer has been twice married, first to Miss Lucie Bond, of Iowa, by whom he has three living children, Fred. V., Walter and Harry. Fred. married Miss Elsie Wymond, of Evansville and has one child, a daughter. Mr. Mayer married, secondly, Miss Mattie Woodruff, of New Jersey, a highly cultured and devoted Christian lady, by whom he has had four children, three of whom are living, Frank, Herbert and Maurice. Virginius M. Mayer married Miss Lottie Lotze, of Cincinnati, a lady of high, social and domestic character, and unto them have been born three children, Amanda, a charming young lady just budding into womanhood, and George Adolphus and Virginius, both very promising. Mr. Mayer removed several years since from Henderson and is now handsomely domiciled in Cincinnati. Like their father, both Jacob F. and Virginius M. have accumulated each a handsome estate. The first wife of the subject of this sketch died in Henderson, on the twentieth day of January, 1853. On the twentieth day of December, 1854, he married Elizabeth Worsham widow of Philip Ludson Johnston. She died June 4th, 1875.

Mr. Mayer was scrupulous in all his dealings, and has always, through his business life, aimed to give perfect satisfaction, and to oblige, to the fullest extent, his patrons. He has throughout his entire life, shown himself a man of marked energy and sound judgment. It is not astonishing, therefore, that, in his career and character are to be found elements composing a man very useful as a citizen and very successful in business affairs. During his life in Germany, he was a member of the Army Reserve Force; his brother David was in Napoleon's Russian Campaign, was present at the burning of Moscow, and was one of the number who perished in Napoleon's memorable retreat. For seven or eight months in 1848, Mr. Mayer was totally blind, cataracts having formed over his eyes, but he subsequently recovered, and now, at his old age, enjoys a good eyesight. He is a great reader, loves his smoke and glass of wine, and awaits the coming of his Maker with a spirit becoming a philosopher.

-The History of Henderson County, Kentucky by Starling 1887 page 806-08;

Return to the Henderson County KyGenWeb Home Page