Sebold Leopold Vilsack was born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. At the age of 17, after graduating the parochial schools of Sharpsburg, he began apprenticing in the brewery of Anton Benitz in Pittsburgh. When Benitz died in 1858 Anton's brother John took control of the firm. Then followed a succession of owners, through which Vilsack gained experience and seniority.
Finally in 1870 Leopold Vilsack became junior partner in the brewery under Edward Frauenheim. This partnership persisted until the brewery was merged into the Pittsburgh Brewing Company syndicate in 1899.
Vilsack married Dorothy Blank in 1864. It was a union that produced eight children, several of whom followed their father into the brewery.
After the turn of the 20th Century both Leopold and his wife suffered increasingly declining health. It was expected they would die during the summer of 1906 but they recovered enough to make it through the next year. Mrs. Vilsack passed on November 12th of 1907 and Leopold Vilsack, in deep mourning, died suddenly the day after Christmas.
The brewery he guided into maturity, now called the Iron City Brewing Company, continued on through Prohibition, the rationing of WWII and the industry consolidation of the 1960s. It still produces beer to this day.
Learn more at the links below
Pittsburgh Brewing Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA