Historic Evansville

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F W Cook Brewing Co

F W Cook Brewing Co


F W Cook Brewing Co

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a.k.a. City Brewery

a.k.a. Cook & Rice Brewery

11 NW 7th St, formerly 214 upper 7th
Evansville, IN

Quick Timeline

1853 Cook & Rice City Brewery opens in "cornfield"
1885 Renamed F W Cook Brewing Co
1891 Destroyed by fire and rebuilt
1950 Building loses top dome
1957 Out of business
1965 Razed for civic center


seventh and sycamore
District: Downtown
Latitude: 37.97392297336
Longitude: -87.568105459213
View map of nearby sites



The City Brewery was founded in 1853 by Frederick Washington Cook and Jacob Rice in what was then a cornfield beyond downtown. It split from the "old brewery" and opened its own at 11 NW 7th St. By 1880, the Cook & Rice City Brewery had an ice house, malt house, stable, and office that covered entire block bounded by 7th (M L King), Sycamore, 8th, and Main.

After Rice's death in 1885, it was renamed F W Cook Brewing Co. Upon F.W.'s death in 1913 (at the age of 81), his son Henry ran it until his death in 1929. Then Henry's brother, Charles Cook, took over keeping the F W Cook name. destroyed by fire Dec 3, 1891 new brew house and office completed Mar 1893

Large fire in 1905 destroys much of plant

The plant was closed during Prohibition. warehouse 804-20 sycamore

After Prohibition ended in 1933, the company renamed itself F W Cook Co. The reorganization was done to include the purchase of the abandoned downtown Evansville railroad line of the remains of the Evansville & Princeton Traction Company. This third-mile section of track down 9th St linked the brewery to the Chicago & Eastern Illinois RR yard at 9th & Division Sts. The new railroad was called the Cook Transit Corporation and had one "box motor" electric locomotive. A 2-person crew would switch out the brewery twice daily - between 15 and 25 cars, Monday through Friday.

In early 1950 the brewery completed an extensive remodel of the 7th St offices and the rathskellar, which included the removal of the building's dome. About the same time Anton Hulman, sportsman and financier, bought controlling interest of the brewery.

After the workers went on strike 1955, Hulman ceased operations. The brewery closed its doors for good in September 1957 after selling beer it had already made. Their Goldblume brand was brewed in other locations until 1972 and revived by the 1988-1997 reincarnation of the Evansville Brewery. The F W Cook corporation was dissolved January 1961.

Property bought by the city in 1963 to make way for the Civic Center Complex. The building was razed in 1965, and the former Evansville Jail and Courts building now occupy the site.


There was a tavern, The Rathskeller, in the basement of the brewery building

In 1935 & 1936 they sponsored a semi-pro baseball team, Cook's Glodblumes.

The Louisville & Nashville railroad took a case to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1912 against Cook because the L&N RR refused to accept shipments from Evansville to dry counties in Kentucky. Cook had won in the Circuit Court and received an injunction forcing the L&N to ship kegs and cases of beer.

F.W. Cook was also the president of the Evansville Suburban Newburgh Traction company - an interurban railroad - and Cook Realty which operated Evansville's largest amusement park.

See also

Press article: "102-Year-Old Cook Brewery Closing Friday"
Press article: "A Tall One Downed"
F W Cook residence
Henry Cook residence
Charles Cook residence
Cook's Park Businesses / Commercial Downtown district

Research notes

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