Wainwright Comparative Notes
Lawrenceville Neighborhood of Pittsburgh


October 12, 2014

Joseph Wainwright


Joseph Wainwright
For a brewer that most people would not know about had it not been for Pittsburgh Brewing, Wainwright was one of the major players in Pittsburgh’s brewing community. Joseph and Elizabeth had 11 children, yet he had time to build a brewing empire. He and his sons had more brewery locations than most others in Pittsburgh and the family had real estate second to Ben Cartwright’ Ponderosa.

Joseph, born in Yorkshire and came to America in 1803. He purchased the island.
Before brewing he build a woolen mill, grist mill and an oil mill, subsequently called Winterton Mills. He retired from brewing in 1852 and turned the business over to his sons Zachariah and Jarvis. Jarvis left the business and moved to Zanesville. Zachariah continued with the business until 1860 and then gave the business to his three nephews; SJ, JZ and HE. In 1865 ?

Family members dispute the Yorkshire birth and I agree and yet disagree, as there is some evidence to support both claims. I am looking into this and will update when I have something solid.

Birth & Marriage
Joseph Wainwright was born in Berkshire, England on October 17, 1779. He married Elizabeth Greaves in 1782. They came to American and settled in Pittsburgh in 1803. After his arrival to Pittsburgh he established the Winterton Brewery in 1818. I cannot find the significance of this name. Joseph died on December 23, 1866.

Real Estate Holdings
During his early days in Pittsburgh he acquired a good bit of real estate and was a wealthy man. He is associated with the Lawrenceville area of Pittsburgh but he also had land in Garfield. He transferred his breweries to his sons in 1852.

Wainwright Brewery Locations


Wainwright Brewery
The Wainwright brewery was established in 1818 by Joseph Wainwright, an English immigrant, and was continued by his sons, Jarvis and Zackariah after his retirement in 1852. As Englishmen it was natural for the brewery to produce English style ale and the first “style” was known to be Table Beer and then produced Ale and Porter. Whether it was from competition from the Germans for a change in taste Wainwright started producing lager in 1879.

Winterton Brewery
36
TH Street Lawrenceville


Wainwright St (now 36
th St) between Smallman and AVRR. This brewery was identified by Thurston to be an ale brewery in 1876. Local historians refer to it as being the first to be built by Joseph Wainwright in 1818. How it came to be named Winterton eludes me but it does have strong ties to Joseph’s young days in England. The brewery building itself was not massive but the land was the size of a small park.

After plant closure the brewery operations moved to 36
th St and Charlotte. See the Hopkins Atlas 1872, Plate 51 old 15th Ward. Today the land supports warehouses and industrial works. In 1900, Wainwright was shown to be the owner of the land that but it was being used by the Pittsburgh Junction Railroad. This supports the case that the plant was closed after the Pittsburgh Brewing buyout.

Hopkins 1872 Atlas, Plate 51 shows the Winterton Brewery along 36
th St with ownership by Z. Wainwright. The brewery is between the Allegheny River and AVRR. The land is between the river and Smallman Street. Wainwright also owned land along 36th St between Charlotte St and Lafayette St.

This was a very sizable piece of land along the Allegheny River. The 1882 atlas identifies the land as the Estate of Z. Wainwright, indicating that the brewery was probably closed at this time. Winterton Manufacturing was incorporated here in 1910 and Zachariah was treasurer.

The property along Lafayette Alley was not indicated to be a brewery on the 1872 map (Hopkins Atlas, 1872 Plate 51). Lafayette runs parallel between Butler and Charlotte.

Land owned by Wainwright becomes Winterton Brewery after the Smallman Street brewery closes. This land is very small compared to the original site, as it is only a few house lots in width. Other lots were purchased and by 1900 the company controlled three-quarters of the block.

Hopkins Atlas, 1900 Plate 27 identified the property as Wainwright’s and as the Winterton Brewery of the Pittsburgh Brewing Company.

The 1918
Brewer’s Handbook identified the Wainwrigh Brewery at 36th Street and Charlotte Street belonging to Pittsburgh Brewing. The Brewmaster was listed to be Joseph Gangwisch.

Penn Avenue Location

A family member says that Wainwright had a building at 3615 Penn Avenue and it was razed about 1952 or 1953. The four-story icehouse completely collapsed about 1885 or 1886. The family has a photo of the building but I seem to have lost it in my old e-mail archives.

Wainwright Brewery
46
th Street Lawrenceville

Church St (now 46th St) in the old 17th Ward
Shown on Hopkins Atlas, 1872, Plate 58 as Wainwright Brewery
Hopkins 1872 listed J. Wainwright Brewery at the corner of Forty-sixth Street and AVRR as a leading business in Allegheny County.

John P. Gangwisch started the Allegheny Valley Brewery in 1876 but the St. Julien Brewing Co. was charted in 1882 and was established here. St. Julien was out of business by 1884. It is know that Gangwisch partnered with a Mr. O’Reily in 1882 as Gangwisch, O’Reilly & Company. Could they have been doing business as St. Julien? In the 1900’s it is known that Gangwisch was the brewer at 36
th Street under Pittsburgh Brewing.

The Straub brothers had control of the Union Brewery that Gangwisch established in Bloomfield. When St. Julien went out of business in 1884 (or before) Gangwisch would no longer be in control of a brewery of his own.

Summary of locations:

36th Street at Smallman, Winterton Brewery, 1818
36
th Street at Charlotte, Winterton Brewery from around 1876
46
th Street at Church Street, Wainwright Brewery from 1893 until 1899

Supplemental Information


Pittsburgh Brewing Merger

The November 3, 1899 Pittsburgh Dispatch identified Wainwright and Frauheim & Vilsack beers in separate entries. More detailed information on the merger can be found in the Pittsburgh Brewing page.

American Breweries Review, Volume 19, January 11, 1905, page 16, listed George Silber as brewmaster for Wainwright. He was elected as a member in the Brewmasters’ Association of Pittsburgh. Gangwisch was brewer in 1900 but I have little else on this.

Wainwright Island
(McCullough Island)

The 1882 Hopkins atlas also shows an island but it is named after McCullough. Local historians say the island was named after Wainwright. Plate 23 of the 1900 atlas identifies Wainwright Island as the shore area along the Allegheny River. This gives credence to the opinion that the river diverted and the island became a part of the mainland. On December 28, 1753, George Washington and Christopher Gist crossed the icy Allegheny River when ice hit and sank their raft. They found safety on Wainwright Island and not Herr’s Island, which is commonly called Washington’s Crossing. Wainwright Island was also known as McCullough Island as it was under their ownership afterwards.

Mrs. Wainwright had a home on Ewalt Street (43
rd St) off Butler Street shown on the 1872 atlas. The Ewalts were connected to the Wainwrights through marriage. Edwy married Abigail Ewalt.

St. Louis Caution

Joseph’s sons Ellis and Samuel moved to St. Louis were they engaged in the brewing business there. They, like their father became very successful, which leads to this caution. Should you search for information yourself, please be aware that what you read pertains to Pittsburgh and not St. Louis as your source material may not be clear on this. The Wainwright brewery in St. Louis was erected in 1883.

Samuel Wainwright of Pittsburgh established the Wainwright Brewery in St. Louis. His son, Ellis Wainwright (b. August 3, 1850 Godfrey, Illinois – d. November 6, 1924 St. Louis) financed the construction of the Wainwright Building in St. Louis. Ellis consolidated the Wainwright Brewing Co, and established the St. Louis Brewing Association.

Did You Know?

The old English definition of Wainwright is a person who builds wagons.