Peter N. Jonte (1801-1873)
Peter N. Jonte was born in 1801 in Belfort France. He immigrated to the United States where he met Susan Christy, who became his wife at some time in the late 1820s. Although their early history is unclear, Peter N. Jonte begins to show up in Cincinnati Directories in 1825. He was first a grocer, then transitioning into the cooper business. He opened the Covington Lager Brewing Company on Scott St in 1837 and is briefly listed in the City Directories of that time as “brewer” before selling the company in 1845 and returning to his cooper business on Race St.
Peter and Susan had six children together, including one named William who lived only four years and is also buried in Linden Grove. Their other children, Alfred, Robert, Mary Elizabeth, Peter, and Kate, all stayed in the Cincinnati area. Alfred and Robert also became coopers, opening a business together in Cincinnati on Poplar St about a mile away from their parents on Race. Their son Peter became a surveyor and engineer, Mary Elizabeth married and kept house, and Kate was a school teacher and later a dressmaker.
Peter N. Jonte passed away in 1873. In the late 1870s Susan, now a widow, moved to Dayton KY before buying a house in Bellevue on Prospect St around 1883. She lived there until her death in 1899. Her will left her estate to be divided between her surviving children. Her house was left to her one unmarried daughter Kate. However, Kate only remained in the house until around 1910 when she moved in with her sister Mary Elizabeth Copen in Cincinnati.
Peter N. Jonte, Susan, and William are buried in Linden Grove Cemetery. The rest of the Jonte children were buried in Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati.
Covington Lager Beer Brewery
The Covington Lager Beer Brewery, located at 621-625 Scott St, was run by Peter N. Jonte from 1837 through 1845 when he sold it to Charles Geisbauer. It went by the “Covington Brewery” under Mr. Geisbauer until its sale to John Brenner and John Seiler in 1881. John Brenner took sole control of the brewery in 1884 and it became “The John Brenner Brewing Co.” The brewery was modernized and made larger in the late 1800s, appearing to be quite successful. In 1917 it changed hands and names once more, taking on the name of the new owner and becoming the Phillipp Jung Brewing Company. In 1918, just one year later, the brewery closed its doors permanently.
A Note: During the early-mid 1800s there were actually two individuals named Peter Jonte living in Cincinnati. The other Peter Jonte was also in the brewing business and also from France. He operated a brewery in Cincinnati on the corner of Sycamore and Abigail (now 12th St) before retiring back to France.
Sources: The Cincinnati City Directory for 1825, 1829, 1834; Shaffer’s Advertising Directory for 1839-40 [Cincinnati, Covington, and Newport]; Williams’ Cincinnati Directory and ; U.S. Federal Census of 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920; Ohio Wills & Probate Records 1786-1998; Various Newspapers