Thomas H. Gardner
(1876 - 1935)

Brewery Executive and City Councilman
Lubeck Beer

Thomas Gardner came to the U.S. from England. He was involved in real estate and local politics. Gardner used his contacts and relationships developed through his real estate and political contacts to become a partner in the Security Bond and Mortgage Company or SBMC in 1927. SMBC was developed to liquefy unsold inventory of a dozen local land development companies. The company collapsed with the financial panic of 1929.

 

Gardner was later affiliated with Lubeck Brewing until his death in 1935. Lubeck was perhaps Toledo's most infamous brewery. It began as The Maumee Brewing Company, which was the last Toledo brewery to appear in the 19th century. The brewery was built on Superior in Toledo’s Tenderloin District, next to the Hoppe & Strub Bottling Company, which had operated since 1889 bottling beer for Pabst Brewery of Milwaukee. The bottling building still stands today, looking much as it did over 100 years ago, now occupied by Spaghetti Warehouse. 

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The Lubeck Co had clear gangster ties. Its Vice president was Edward Stanton, a mob lawyer, and a major investor was Alfred “Big Al” Polizzi, boss of the Cleveland crime family. The brewery even sent some of its beer to the Manhattan Brewing Company in Chicago (known as “Al Capone’s brewery”).

 

The brewery closed in 1938, but the Lubeck brand continued to be produced at Chicago’s Manhattan Brewery into the mid-1960s.

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