AUGUST DIERKER, TINSMITH
by Mary Louise (Quist) Wallace, granddaughter
[from “The Towpath” – October 1988]
My grandfather, August Dierker, came to New Bremen as a young man with his bride, Wilhelmina (Volp). He was the town tinsmith and roofer. He had various names such as “Skinny”, “Peanuts”, etc. He was, in his older days, sort of a town “character”, however, I feel as a young man, he was highly respected. I do know that he “did well” and had a large brick home built at 14 South Main Street in 1891. Later, he added a porch around the front and sides. I used to roller skate there on rainy days. My mother, Minnie (Dierker) Quist, was raised there.
In 1913, Grandpa purchased a Reo touring car and my mother would drive them around in it on Sunday afternoons. This Reo was still around when I was a child and Grandpa had it propped up. I recall it had an American flag sticker on the passenger side of the windshield.
We lived with Grandpa after Grandma died in 1928 until he died in September 1939 at the age of 85. Dierkers had the first bathroom in New Bremen and people came from miles around to see his tin bath tub and “indoor plumbing”. He put on all the slate roofs in and around New Bremen.
[Editor’s Note: Mary Louise Quist was the daughter of Carl & Minnie (Dierker) Quist. She graduated from NBHS with the class of 1940. Her mother had passed away in February 1939 and her Grandfather Dierker in September 1939 as stated above. Her father, Carl Quist, remarried to Esther (Fearing).]
In his tin shop, August Dierker carried wood-burning Garland ranges, stove pipe and hundreds of other items. His shop was located next to (west of) the Hotel Hollingsworth (in 2008, “The Grille”). He had a pot-bellied stove (see picture below) in his workshop where the old men would gather around. He was a red-hot Democrat and an avid Cincinnati Reds fan.
Grandpa Dierker told me that when he was 12 years old, he “clumb a tree” so he could view Abe Lincoln’s body. The body was transported by train through the Midwest so the people could view him lying in state. Piqua, Ohio (where Grandpa was raised) was one of the stopping points for this famous train.
I must add that life with Grandpa was never dull. I was (sadly) the one who found him lying on the floor at the back of his shop. He had died with his boots on.
Mary (Quist) Wallace
EDITOR’S NOTE: August Dierker was born January 29, 1854 at Piqua, Ohio. Left an orphan at the age of 3 through the death of his father, he started working at a tender age. He was little more than 13 years old when he entered the tin shop operated by Mr. Geier, but quickly became adept at his trade.
Mr. Dierker also found time to interest himself in civic affairs. He completed two terms as a member of the Village Council and was also a Trustee of St. Paul Church at the time the present church on North Franklin Street was erected. (New Bremen Sun – 1927)