B. December 1, 1839
D. February 26, 1920
Joseph Sauer was born in
Germany, came to America at the age of eleven and met
his wife-to-be Margaret Devine in New Jersey.
They married in New York and had fifteen children,
eleven of whom lived to mature age. The family came
to Louisville in the early 1860's and in 1873 to
LaGrange where Joseph opened a brick yard.
Brick for the courthouse, the Sauer Building, and all
the pavements in LaGrange were made by him. In
1875 he ran a mercantile business with his brother,
Charles Sauer, who had been here for a few years.
Their partnership was dissolved in 1901 and
Joseph continued the business until his death.
Joseph was a pioneer in the introduction of many
articles, back then almost unheard of, but today in
common use. He was one of the most prominent
business men of LaGrange.
He died at the age of 80
and his remains were taken to Louisville on a special
interurban car. Knights Templars were in charge
of the funeral. He was laid to rest at St. Louis
Cemetery beside his wife and four of his children.
In 1920 his obituary
listed his surviving children as: Mrs. Lavinia
Bates, Mrs. Annie Morrison, Mrs. Joseph Kilcourse,
Mrs. G. B. Young, Mrs. Chester Thompson, Miss Julia
Sauer, Mrs. Delmar Caldwell, Mrs. Walter Overstreet,
William Sauer and Foree Sauer.
The Sauer Building still
stands on Main Street. The large, two-story
brick building is between 1st and 2nd Street,
facing north. It was built in 1874 by
Caspar Sauer and Son (Casper / Casper Sauer was
Joseph's father). The merchandise business
was in the first floor and the second story was
often spoken of as the "opera house".
It became the entertainment center for Oldham County
used for minstrel shows, dancing, plays and musical
performances. Flyers and posters stated the
gathering place as "Sauers Hall".
Joseph Sauer lived on
Madison. The brick yard was behind his home.
According to old maps this would be the home that
still stands on 110 Madison Street. The next
street behind Madison is now called Sauer Alley.
Again, according to maps, it appears several Sauer
relations lived on Madison at one time.