Biography of William F. Zoeller
Allegheny County, PA Biographies

WILLIAM F. ZOELLER, member and chairman of the Knoxville council, and a prominent wholesale liquor dealer of Pittsburg, was born, in 1859, in East Birmingham, now the twenty sixth ward of the city of Pittsburg. His parents, John and Fredericka Zoeller, were both natives of Germany. The former died in 1887, and the latter, at the age of seventy six, is now living with her son. Mr. Zoeller's paternal grandfather came to this country from Wiirtemberg, Germany, in 1832, and located in Allegheny county, on a farm which is now partly owned by the subject of this sketch. William F. Zoeller received his primary education in the public schools of his native ward, after which he attended the Western University of Pennsylvania for two years. He then learned the bakers' trade, which he followed for five years in the city of Pittsburg. About the time he reached his majority he became associated with Jacob Gommel in the wholesale liquor business. The firm handled several specialities, the foremost among them being Swiss stomach bitters (first prepared by Dr. Arnold Koch in 1870) and black gin. In 1886 Mr. Gommel died, and since that time the business has been carried on by Mr. Zoeller. The trade of the house has increased from year to year, until its goods are distributed all over the United States by jobbers, and a number of traveling men are employed. Mr. Zoeller also makes a wild cherry tonic and a cough cure that meet with popular favor wherever they are introduced. In the midst of all his business cares, Mr. Zoeller finds some time to devote to the general good of the community. Politically, he is a republican, as were his father and grandfather before him. His election to the council attests his popularity with his neighbors, and his elevation to the chairmanship of that body shows that his fellow councilmen have full confidence in his integrity and executive ability. Besides his duties as councilman and the demands of his wholesale liquor trade, he is a director and first vice president of the St. Clair savings and trust company. Mr. Zoeller's wife was Miss Carrie Dowden, a daughter of B. A. Dowden, of Pittsburg. They have four children: Karl W., aged twenty two years, and traveling for his father's firm; Joseph Roy, aged seventeen; Carrie F., aged sixteen, and Robert F., aged nine. Mr. Zoeller and family are members of the Evangelical Lutheran church. In all his business transactions he has been punctual in the performance of his promises, and his standing in business and political circles to day is due to his square dealing and to the fact that he never betrayed a friend.


From:
Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
personal and genealogical with portraits.
Publishers: Northwestern Historical Association
Madison, Wis. 1904.


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