The Kroger

Charles Kroger born in Holstein, Germany on November 5, 1832. Charles came to America in 1862 mining in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and finally Montana.

Charles met his wife Anna who was also from Holstein, Germany in Deer Lodge and they married November 17, 1870. The family returned to Germany to visit family in 1974 and then returned to Beartown for a short time. In Beartown he mined and became a brewer. Charles and Anna had four children; Dora Catherine, Walter, Henry and Fred. Henry was the first white baby born in Philipsburg October 25, 1875. Son Fred was in the first graduating class of Philipsburg 1898.

Charles and Anna moved their family to Philipsburg in August 1875 where he purchased property on the eastern end of Broadway Gulch and built a brewery.

Charles operated the Kroger Brewery and the brew was sold under the Silver Spray name. In February 1910 the brewery began harvesting their ice crop at Kroger’s Pond with large teams hauling ice to town. It was reported the ice was crystal clear and 12 inches thick. Charles operated the brewery until his death on July 28, 1898.

Charles was a member of the Flint Creek Lodge of the Mason’s, member of the Pearl Chapter No. 14, Order of the Eastern Star, Cable Lodge No. 9, and Golden Encampment No. 2.

August 24, 1893 was a depressed year for the county however the wedding of the only Kroger daughter and the well-known Lawrence Hauck was described as a brilliant social event. The wedding took place at the Kroger home in the evening allowing out of town guests time to arrive by train. The bride was exquisitely dressed in white with lace and pearl trimmings, tulle veil with orange blossoms, and carried a bouquet of white roses and carnations. The reception was held in the beautiful Kroger gardens with The Philipsburg Mail describing the wedding in detail along with guests and their gift presented to the couple. The couple received such items as feather pillows, silver cake knife, water set and tray, silver salt spoons, embroidered doilies, porcelain candy dish, center table and rocker, pickle castor, plant of myrtle, white flannel blanket, pearl agate teapot with mountings and silver fruit basket.

After Charles died Anna lived in the home by the brewery until 1912. She then purchased a residence on Broadway and lived there until her death February 25, 1928. Anna was born on November 23, 1844 living to be 83 years old. Anna loved to work in her flower gardens and make patchwork quilts.

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