Heritage \ Writings \

Brothers, Alfred G. and Rudolf G. Boehringer
Born in Germany, they settled in Bay City where they established floral business.

1915 Bios. (Added Nov., 2008)

History of Michigan, Vol. II, by Charles Moore (1915)


For twenty years the name Boehringer Brothers has represented the finest greenhouse products in Bay City and all that part of the state. They have a splendid establishment at 325 Park Avenue, and from their hot houses they supply more flowers than any other single establishment in northern Michigan. The business, like many other substantial concerns, was started on a modest scale and has been growing from year to year, until the plant now covers large acreage and is supplied with all the facilities for the growing of roses, violets, carnations, chrysanthemums, and other flowers. The proprietors are Albert G. and Rudolf G. Boehringer, both of whom are thoroughly experienced and scientific floriculturists, and through their energy and enterprise have never had occasion to fear competition.

Alfred Gabriel Boehringer, the old the brothers, was born Sept. 20, 1868, at Brettach, Wuetemberg, Germany, a son of Rudolph and Barbara (Widener) Boehringer, and a grandson of Gabriel Boehringer. Rudolph Boehringer, who died at Brettach, February 18, 1885, at the age of forty-eight, was a farmer, and also did a large business as a beet-sugar contractor. He contracted to supply a beet-sugar factory with the products from twelve of fifteen villages, and after the beets were out of the ground he stored and kept them until the factory was ready for manufacture. His wife, Barbara Boehringer, who was born October 8, 1840, some years after her husbandís death moved to Bay City. There were seven children in the family and the four who reached maturity all came to Bay City, as follows: Pauline, wife of George Nusselt; Albert G., and Rudolph G., and Amelia.

Albert G. Boehringer grew up in his native locality, was educated in the schools there, and after the death of his father in the fall of 1885 came to America and located in Bay City. He was then seventeen years of age. His uncle Albert had emigrated to America, and found a home in Bay City in 1868, and in 1885, while visiting Germany, being without children of his own, he persuaded his nephew to go back with him to Bay City. During the first year Albert G. Boehringer worked with his uncle, who was a butcher, and then secured employment with the John A. Irvine Greenhouse Company. During the five years spent with that company, he acquired a thorough practical knowledge of both horticulture and floriculture, and at the same time was diligently continuing his studies in preparation for an independent business career. During three winters he attended night school, and then took a course of special study in the Michigan Agricultural College at Lansing, where he specialized in horticulture and floriculture. On his return to Bay City in August, 1893, he formed a partnership with his younger brother Rudolph, under the firm name of Boehringer Brothers, and thus launched the enterprise which in twenty years has been constantly growing. They began with one acre of ground and two small greenhouses, and at first divided their attention between vegetables and cut flowers and potted plants. Almost every year saw the erection of a new green house, and also the acreage has been increased until the pleasant plan covers twelve acres of ground, and there are thirteen green houses. More than fifty thousand square feet are under glass, and it requires nearly two miles of steam pipes for the heat of those houses. The brothers have made a special reputation in the growing of carnations, and have improved several seedlings by hybridation and fertilization until the Boehringer carnations are among the finest and most perfect flowers of the time. Besides the local business, both brothers are technical and scientific men in their profession, and have a large reputation as landscape gardeners, and among their work in this connection they have assisted in the laying out of the beautiful park system of Bay City. Their trade in flowers goes throughout northern Michigan. When they started, the two brothers did practically all the work, but at the present time they require the assistance of fifteen employees.

Alfred G. Beohringer was married July 25, 1894, to Miss Margaret Weber. Mrs. Boehringer, who was a daughter of Philip Weber, died February 17, 1911, and is interred in Elm Lawn Cemetery. Six children were born to their union, three sons and three daughters, named as follows: Alma M., a graduate of the Bay City Business College, and now a bookkeeper for the firm of Boehringer Brothers; Dorothy W.; Nelda Gertrude; Edwin Oscar; Carl Herman; and Albert Williams. Mr Albert Boehringer is prominent in the German Lutheran Church, has served as president of the Lutheran Society seven years, and was twice elected vice president of the State Society. He has been a trustee of the German Lutheran in Bay City for twelve years.

Rudolph G. Boehringer, the junior member of the firm was born in Brettach, Germany, June 23, 1872. His early training and education were given him in his native village, and in 1888 he followed his older brother to America, and at the age of sixteen began work in the Irvine Greenhouse at Bay City. After four and a half years under the Irvine Company, he was in the employ of Charles Breitmeyer a year, and then joined his brother in the partnership above described, and has since contributed his full share to the successful operation of the business. Both brothers are Republicans in politics, and as self-made men who have risen on their own resources to places of influence and prosperity, they enjoy the highest esteem of the community.

Rudolph Boehringer was married in Bay City, September 25, 1900, to Miss Emma Gansser, who was born in Wuetemberg, Germany, and was two years of age when her parents, August and Johanna (Bauer) Gansser, located in Bay City. Rudolph and wife have three children, Elsie, Clara and Rudolph Jr.

August Gansser, brother of Mrs. Rudolph Boehringer, has long been a well know citizen of Bay City, and has made a reputation as an author, and among his works was the history of Bay and Saginaw counties, published in 1905, a work which will always remain a permanent monument to his careful and painstaking endeavor as a historian.

Rudolph posting on The Rotarian. - Added Dec., 2009.

The Rotarian, Dec., 1943.

Why I Don't Miss!
A few 25-year men give their reasons.

Programs Keep Me Coming.
Notes Rudolph J. Boehringer
Bay City, Michigan

The good fellowship, the educational programs, and the worth-while purposes to hold my interests, to keep me coming week after week, since back in 1918.

It hasn't been an easy matter to keep up this perfect attendance, though the practice became a habit after I had completed my first 100 percent year. On occasion my health has threatened to cut my string of consecutive meetings, but somehow I always managed to carry on, and have always felt better for doing so.

Whenever business calls me out of Bay City, I make arrangements to attend in the city which I am visiting. It has been a real pleasure to meet with fellow Rotarians in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Atlanta and many other cities throughout the United States.

I hope that I may continue my perfect record for many years to come.

Additional Notes.

    1894 - Censu: Bay City, Bay, Mich.

  • Boehringer, Barbara - b. 1840 - mother.
  • Albert G., son - b. 1869.
  • Rhudolph, son - b. 1872.
  • Mollie, daughter - b. 1876.

    1920 - Census: Bay City, Bay, Mich.

  • Boehringer, Albert G. - b. 1869 Germany.
  • Wilhelmin, wife - b. 1878 Germany.
  • Carl, son - b. 1904, Mich.
  • Albert, son - b. 1906, Mich.
  • Fredrick, son - b. 1915, Mich.
  • Margret, daughter - b. 1917, Mich.

    1930 - Census: Bay City, Bay, Mich.

  • Boehringer, Rudolph - b. 1873, Germany - immigrated 1887.
  • Emma, wife - b. 1871, Germany.
  • Clara (Ceister), daughter - b. 1902, Mich., - widow.
  • Ceister, Kenneth S., grandson - b. 1929, Mich.
Related Pages/Notes

Related Pages:
Gansser, Agustus
People Referenced
Bauer, Johnanna
-Alfred G. (subj. 1)
-Alma M. (dau. subj. 1)
-Albert W. (son subj. 1)
-Amelia (sister)
-Carl H. (son subj. 1)
-Clara (dau. subj. 2)
-Dorothy W. (dau. subj. 1)
-Edwin O. (son subj. 1)
-Elsie (dau. subj. 2)
-Gabriel (g-father)
-Nelda G. (dau. subj. 1)
-Pauline (sister)
-Rudolf Jr. (son subj. 2)
-Rudolf Sr. (father)
-Rudolf G. (subj. 2)
Breitmeyer, Charles
Gansser, August
Gansser, Agustus H.
Gansser, Emma (wife subj. 2)
Irvine, John A.
Nusselt, George
Weber, Margaret (wife, Sub1)
Weber, Philip
Widener, Barbara (mother)
Subjects Referenced
Bay City, MI
Bay City Bus. College
Boehringer Bros., greenhouse
Brettach, Wuetemberg
Elm Lawn Cem., Bay City
German Lutheran Ch.
Irvine Co., greenhouse
Lansing, MI
Lutheran Society
Mich. Agricultural College
Carl H. Boehringer

Carl, son of Albert and Marguerite, was a U.S. deplomat stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Japan when Pearl Harbor was attacked. He was among 45 embassy personell incarcerated by the Japanese.

Carl, born Feb. 11, 1903, graduated from Bay City Eastern High School in 1921, afterward he attended Michigan Agricultural College (1925) and Georgetown University Service School. He married Norma Eunice Chambers, of Illinois on Jan. 12, 1938, at the Akasaka Ward Office, Tokyo. Carl spent 21 years in the U.S. Foreign Service, and afterwards took a position with U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Japan. He died Dec. 18, 1972, in Hong Kong.
Source: Article Dec. 12, 2011, by Dave Rogers, MyBayCity.com. [View]
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.