Andrew John Biemiller Genealogy

Thanks to Suzanne (maiden name Biemiller, daughter of brother Jack)
for providing Andrew Jr. with the Link to this site.

Andrew John Biemiller (Jr.) Writes:

I read with interest of Carl Biemiller.

My father, Andrew John Biemiller, was acquainted with a Carl Biemiller. I had understood that Carl was from Baltimore, and that he had been in baseball. (I understand that this Carl was from N. J.) They couldn't find a connection in the U.S. (It is also possible that they met at Cornell. My father graduated from Cornell in 1926, and I understand that Carl Biemiller also attended Cornell in the late '20's.).

Eric’s note:

Since Dad wasn’t born until 1912, it is doubtful; “my” Carl Biemiller went to college at age thirteen or fourteen. In fact, Carl L. Biemiller never attended college.

My great, great grandfather, Andreas Johann Biemiller, emigrated from Bavaria in 1848. I'm coming to suspect that he came from Mossbach, Bavaria. Andreas settled in Sandusky, Ohio, where he prospered. I'm told all of my father's great grandparents came over on the same boat, and all settled in northern Ohio. Biemillers are not that common, even in Bavaria. (Both I and Suzanne found 4 in the Munich telephone book.) So we suspect that there may have been some connection. I have also been in touch with Karl Biemuller (no doubt closer to the German spelling) who lives in Germantown, Philadelphia. He also had several ancestors named Karl and Andreas or Andrew. They seemed not very inventive about names! My father moved to Milwaukee where he had quite a political career, and then to Washington where he was first in congress, and then chief lobbyist of the AFL-CIO for 20 years.

An addendum: Andreas had a fishing business and apparently made a large fortune. At one time, he owned all of Cedar Point. (There is now a well-known amusement park on Cedar Point, which projects into Lake Erie.) There was at one point a Biemiller Opera House in Sandusky.

On Andrew John Biemiller:

He was born in 1906 in Sandusky, Ohio, and lived there until 1922. He graduated high school at age 16 and went to Cornell. He graduated in 1926, majoring in History. One of his professors, Carl Becker, got him an instructor's position at Syracuse Univ. He was teaching history to students older than he was. After two years, he enrolled in the Univ. of Pennsylvania in History. He joined the Quakers--mainly because most socialist activity took place at Race St. Meeting. He got increasingly into politics and was one of Norman Thomas's campaign managers during Thomas's run for the presidency in 1932. In 1929, he met and married my mother, Hannah Morris, a Philadelphia Quaker. In 1934, he left graduate study and moved to Milwaukee, Wis. to establish a political career. He was elected to the Wisconsin State Legislature in 1936, a Progressive. Since the party had not previously been in power in Wisconsin, novices took the responsible positions. My father was speaker of the legislature. He was re-elected in '38 and I think in '40. In '42, we moved to Washington (Bethesda) where he worked as labor problem-solver for the War Production Board. (I was born in 1939.)

In 1944, he moved back to Milwaukee to run for Congress for the 5th district as a Democrat. He was elected. He ran again in '46, '48, '50, and '52. He was elected in '48. In 1948, he and Hubert Humphrey were instrumental in passing a civil rights plank, which led to the withdrawal of the southern states (where the "Dixiecrats" ran Strom Thurmond on a segregationist platform). Harry Truman and the Democrats did well in the election that fall.

In 1953, he joined the AFL-CIO's "legislative department" (lobbying). In '56 he became director of the AFL-CIO lobby, remaining in that post until 1979. His most significant political accomplishments occurred during that period, especially in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. However, his greatest disappointment was failure to pass a comprehensive national medical insurance system--which was almost passed in 1968.

He retired in 1979 and died in 1982.

My grandfather, Andrew Frederick Biemiller, was also from Sandusky. He married Pearl Weber in the 1890's. He had a falling out with his mother, who cut him off from the family fortune. He did reasonably well as a traveling salesman, dealing in "dry goods" and foods to general stores in northern Ohio. He died in 1918 of the "Spanish flu" (when my father was 12).

My great grandfather, John Biemiller, my grandfather, father, myself, my son, and (at present) my grandson were/are all only sons. Each had one or more sisters (except possibly John).

My father told me that John Biemiller died at age 23, 3 months before my grandfather was born. He had already managed to father Andrew Frederick's two sisters, Cora and Barbara. A busy young man!

Brother Jack Biemiller (oldest son of Carl L. Biemiller) recalls:

My Father, Carl, spoke well of your Father, as when your Dad was representing the AFL/CIO, guess who was doing the same job for The NAM? (National Association of Manufacturers). Yep, none other than Carl Biemiller! Dad, who sometimes had an over active imagination, used to tell the story...always after several scotches...of how he outfoxed Andy Biemiller during the debate on the passage of the Taft-Hartley bill.

According to Dad, he Carl, arranged for a photographer to sort of shadow Andy Biemiller during his activities in lobbying various Senators during the very intense lobbying on both sides before the vote was to be held. As I recall, according to my Dad, your Dad was an excellent story teller and his jokes were well received by all. During this time CLB got a shot of your Dad wagging his finger, during the telling of a joke, and the picture published with the caption of "Andrew Biemiller, Chief Lobbyist of the AFL/CIO, threatens Senator "X" if the Senator should vote against the wishes of labor on this important legislation." That's the story and Dad did have a picture of your Father wagging a finger at someone. Now whether that was ever published, could well constitute a leap into faith.

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