The sturdy German element in our national commonwealth has been one of the most important factors in furthering the substantial and normal advancement of the country, for this is an element signally appreciative of practical values and also of the higher intellectuality which transcends all provincial confines. Well may any person take pride in tracing his lineage to such a source. As one of the able and enterprising citizens whom the German Fatherland has contributed to the United States, and as one of the prominent and progressive citizens of the flourishing town of Moscow, Latah County, Idaho, Franz Louis Koehler is worthy of distinct recognition in this work.
Mr. Koehler is a native of the province of Bavaria, Germany, where he was born on the 8th of October 1859, coming of stanch old German stock. He received his educational discipline in the excellent schools of the Fatherland and there instituted his association with the practical affairs of life by learning the brewing business, a line of enterprise in which the sons of the German empire have ever been the leaders. He was employed in the leading breweries of his native land, becoming thoroughly familiar with every detail of the business and with the methods employed to secure the maximum excellence in products. Finally determining to try his fortunes in the New World, Mr. Koehler embarked for the United States in the year 1883, the vessel on which he secured passage dropping anchor in the harbor of New York city in due course of time. Upon his arrival here he was entirely unfamiliar with the language of his adopted country, but was amply fortified by strong mentality, industrious habits, a thorough knowledge of the brewing business, and by a cash capital of one thousand dollars, with which to make a start for himself. Mr. Koehler readily secured employment in the line of his trade, and worked in leading breweries at Cincinnati and St. Louis prior to removing to the far west. He eventually became a resident of Portland, Oregon, where he was engaged in work at his trade and whence he came to Idaho, becoming foreman of the Boise City Brewery, where he remained until 1890, when he came to Moscow, where he effected a lease of the Moscow Brewery, which he continued to operate on this plan until 1895, when he purchased the property. He forthwith remodeled the plant, supplying it with the most modern and approved facilities, increased its capacity to meet the demands of his rapidly expanding business, and has made the brewery a model, both in its equipment and in the superiority of its product. Mr. Koehler is an expert in the brewing business, and in addition to this is not satisfied with anything short of the highest grade of products, so that he spares neither care nor expense in his efforts to insure desired results. He utilizes the finest barley known in the Palouse valley and the best Oregon hops, while every process of the manufacture is conducted with the single view of securing the highest possible excellence. Adulterated or improperly matured stock he will not tolerate, and this fact is recognized and appreciated by the public, whose patronage is thus freely accorded, so that the business is constantly increasing in extent and importance, the products of the brewery being sold principally in Moscow and contiguous territory. The product is pronounced by competent judges to be equal in flavor and permanency to the best eastern beers, and there is a perceptibly increasing demand for it. The capacity of the brewery is two thousand barrels per annum.
In the city of Spokane, Washington, in the year 1891, Mr. Koehler was united in marriage to Miss Bertie Herman, a native of Switzerland, and their happy home has been brightened by the presence of a son and a daughter, Adolph Louis and Freda Emma. Mr. and Mrs. Koehler are communicants of the Roman Catholic Church and in politics our subject gives his support to the Republican Party. He is a man whose reliability and integrity are beyond question, and he merits the respect and esteem which are so uniformly accorded him in the community where he lives and in whose advancement he maintains a lively interest.