Smatterings of Biemiller Genealogy

by John B. Biemiler, aka, Jack, oldest son of Carl L. Biemiller.
Also included is a note from Lawrence Biemiller, who is of another Biemiller clan.
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From stuff I've picked up, there were four branches of the family originating in Bavaria in the United States. Our branch was Philadelphia, and later Camden NJ. A large group is in Baltimore, more on them anon.

According to Carl jr. (Carl, second oldest son of CLB, the author) there is a branch in Minn. most noteworhty was a US Congressman in the 1940s thru the sixties...forget his name, however. The last branch was, again according to CLB, two spinsters in New Orleans, La. who died, I believe in the 1950s.

Now the Baltimore branch. Some years ago I got a painting, which I still have, of a four masted schooner painted by O. M. Badger in 1908. The ship has clearly its name painted on the side as "John B. Biemiller". In the background is Block Island, which fixes the location...can tell by its cliffs. The painting had been given to the woman who gave it to me by her Father, name of Adams, who was the ship's Captain.

The question was who was John B. Biemiller? To our knowlwedge I was the first and only. Daughter Suzanne (Jack's), now living in Philadelphia, did research, after I had written the Smithsonian and found the ship was built in Bath Me. at the Bath Ironworks and was given to the Portugese Government as part of WW l reparations. The ship's name was changed to Tagtide and she was sunk in 1927.

What Suzanne found, at the Bath Maritime Museum, is the ship was owned by the Biemiller family in Baltimore and was in the ice and timber trade. Through an art dealer, I discovered that Badger painted these pictures as ego things for boat owners.

Picking up the phone book, I found some Baltimore Biemillers and discovered that John was the leader of the band in the late 1890s. All was quiet for several months when I received a phone call from John B. Biemiler, also going by Jack as do I. Somewhat disconserting to have a phone message from yourself. Turns out he is a Minister in Fort Myers, Fla. and the painting he remembers being in his Grandfather's house.

A note from Lawrence Biemiller:

The "John B. Biemiller" wasn't owned by the Biemiller family. It was owned by a syndicate of investors, and it was named after John B. Biemiller because he was the largest shareholder, owing 1/16th, as I recall. He was in the ice and coal business -- not timber, as far as I know. The ship, though, was not particularly connected to the Biemiller Ice & Coal Company -- it was a personal investment on John B.'s part. As I remember -- I haven't looked at the papers in years -- it carried general coastal cargo, which probably would have included timber as well as ice (packed in sawdust), coal, and probably grain.

I am mystified about the John B. in Fort Myers who remembers seeing the painting at his grandfather's place. My younger brother, John W. Biemiller, of Lancaster, Pa., has the copy of the painting that belonged to the John B. Biemiller who invested in the ship. It was given to him by that John B's son, Lawrence, who was our grandfather (1900 - 1985). I'm actually Lawrence E. Biemiller III, if you're keeping score -- my grandfather was named after a business associate of John B's named Lawrence Elwood, and then my father was named after my grandfather, and then I got named after dad. My brother has never lived in Florida and works in economic development.

Just to confuse matters, the Biemiller Ice and Coal Company logo lists three Biemillers -- John B. Biemiller, John B. Biemiller Jr., and Charles T. Biemiller. I'm assuming that the John B. Biemiller who was my great-grandfather, and who invested in the schooner, was actually John B. Jr. Anyhow, that adds another John B. to the scorecard.

My brother had the painting of the schooner cleaned a few months ago, and in the process the restorers discovered a signature and date on the back of the canvas -- S.F.M. Badger, 1907. There are letters from Captain Adams to John B. Biemiller at the Maryland Historical Society, in Baltimore, but I haven't looked at them since my grandfather gave them to the society in the 1970s. I guess I should make a point of going sometime. At the very least I can find out Captain Adams's first name for you! Also, now that I think of it I don't think the builder was the Bath Ironworks -- that's the surviving shipbuilder there now, but I think at the turn of the century there were several shipbuilders in Bath.

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