John Brenner Ghost Tile in Over-the-Rhine

John Brenner Ghost Tile in Over-the-Rhine

Poor John Brenner… The tile spelling out his name has been thoroughly disrespected, and is that urine I spot in the corner, or some other yellow liquid? Umm, eww…

John Brenner Ghost Tile in Over-the-Rhine

I looked up Mr. Brenner and found the following description, “He is an energetic and enterprising business man, noted for his honorable methods and sterling integrity” [in the book Leading Manufacturers and Merchants of Cincinnati and Environs; he’s also mentioned in History of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio: Their Past and Present]. He figured prominently in the development of various breweries in Cincinnati and Covington, detailed here, but I haven’t come across a mention of this storefront on Elder St. between Race and Elm in Over-the-Rhine. So, what was it?

Update: Looking at my photos again, it’s pretty obvious that the tile spells out “John Breiner.” Huh. John Brenner was a local brewery figure, but I can’t find anything about John Breiner. Anyone have information about him?


10 thoughts on “John Brenner Ghost Tile in Over-the-Rhine

  1. How long ago did you take the picture? I tried doing an MLS search for the location and didn’t find anything under the realtor’s name for this spot – thinking I could trace the location back to find some history or former owner.

  2. 1910 Census has John Breiner, age 30, b in Hungary, living at 1818 Race with wife Anna, 23, and daughter Frances, 4 mo. He immigrated in 1906; occupation: gents’ furnishings.

    1920 Census: John Breiner, 39, res 126 Elder St., occ: storekeeper, dry goods, living with Anna, Frances, and daughter Gladys, age 5 mo.

    Per his death certificate, he was living at 126 W. Elder St at the time of his death, 27 Oct 1941. Occ: own business, retail drygoods store.

    An obit was published in the Cincinnati Post 31 Oct 1941, p. 32 col. 5.

  3. More:
    The Breiners were living at the Elder Street address by 18 July 1915 (per the death cert of a newborn son).

    Ownership of the building was transferred to Anna’s name in Oct 1942. She died in Feb 1956. Ownership was transferred to Manuel & Emma Cohen in June 1958, and from them to Mary Ann Catanzaro in Oct 1973. For subsequent sales, see the county auditor’s website:

  4. Hello, My name is Beau Breiner. I am the great-grandson of John Breiner. The reason that his name is on the tile in front of the building is because it is the entrance to what was formally “Breiner’s Dry Goods”

  5. Wow, Beau, I’m really glad you stumbled across this. If you know any other details of your ancestor’s business or have images you’d care to share, please let me know. I love learning more of this kind of neighborhood history, and I know that plenty other people do as well.

  6. This is Beau’s father Mike (Grandson of John Breiner) I have some great pics but do not know how to attach them, Can you help?

  7. Hi there. I’m emailing you right now. There’s no way for you to add the photos but, if you’d like to send them to me along with any other information, I would be honored to post them here on your behalf.

  8. Pingback: John Breiner Ghost Tile in Over-the-Rhine « Visualingual

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