Francis J “Frank” Thill Sr.

Francis J “Frank” Thill Sr.

Death 19 Jan 1890 (aged 60–61)
Williamsburg, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Burial Woodside, Queens County, New York, USA
Plot Section 6, Range 18, Plot Y, Grave 3
Memorial ID 52110784 View Source
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Francis Thill was a Brooklyn Glass manufacturer during the nineteenth century.

About 1829 - 1830 Born in Luxembourg (Holland)

1839 As a boy he came from Holland and settled in the Eastern District. For a time he worked in a glass house…

1852-09-04 Francis Hill naturalized. John Meyers, witness. Vol. 10, Pg. 26, City Court, Brooklyn, NY.

1854-06-09 First child Catherine born. (D. Birtz*)

1855-08-10 Daughter Elizabeth born. (D. Birtz)

1856-57 Founded the Empire State Flint Glass Works, cor. Kent & Taylor sts. A.K.A. "Kent Avenue Glass Factory" Production included blown ware in clear, colored and flint. Thill partnered with Andrew Lininger, a Brooklyn piano manufacturer.

1857-01-18 Daughter Margaret born. (D. Birtz)

1859-07-15 Public notice given that Common Council was to pass an ordinance directing lots on Taylor st. between Kent and Wythe to be fenced. By order Streets Commissioner, July 13th (Brooklyn Eagle, pg. 4)

1860-04-27 Daughter Helena Elizabeth born. (D. Birtz)

1860-06-27 Census 3d District, 16th Ward, City Brooklyn
Nicholas Thill, glassblower, born Holland. Wife Catherine, born Belgium. Son Nicholas, age 5/12, born New York. Could this be Francis Thill or a brother? Francis' oldest son Nicholas was born in 1867. Francis Thill not found in 1860 census.

1862-03-14 Son Henry born. (D. Birtz)

1863-08-02 Daughter Mary Ann born. (D. Birtz)

1865 Son Francis J. born. (D. Birtz)

1865 Brooklyn directories (most likely compiled Fall 1864) list Francis Thill as a "glass manufacturer."

1865-06-14 Empire State Flint Glass Works attended annual convention United States Flint Glass Association at the Astor House.

1865-08-10 - Fire broke out between noon and 12:30 in morocco factory owned by Thomas Shevill at corner Taylor av. and Kent st., Williamsburgh. Fire spread to the bottling department of the Empire State Flint Glass Works, a four-story building. Both properties destroyed. The glass works were owned by Messrs. LENINGER [LININGER], [T]HILL & Co., and their loss is estimated at $100,000; partially insured. There were about three hundred men and boys employed by the respective firms. During the progress of the fire at the Empire Works three firemen ascended the roof of the building with a stream of water, and persisted in remaining there contrary to the advice of Capt. WOGLOM, who warned them of their danger. A few minutes only elapsed after this warning when the roof fell in with a loud crash, carrying with it the three men. Two of them, however, (DANIEL MAGRATH and JOHN MCKENNA, of Engine No. 5, Eastern District,) managed to extricate themselves with slight injuries. The other man (GEORGE STEWART, of Engine No. 12, Western District,) was terribly injured, and would doubtless have perished but for the gallant conduct of a citizen named G.W. MORRIS, who resides in South Sixth-street, who rescued him at the peril of his own life. Mr. MORRIS was partially unconscious when he emerged from the ruins, but after a little care was enabled to go home. STEWART was taken home, and now lies in a very precarious state. The police, under Inspector FOLK and Capt WOGLOM, of the Forty-fifth Precinct, rendered valuable assistance; and the firemen, under Chief Engineer DOYLE, did arduous and willing service. Shortly after the fire a man named JOHN HAGGERTY, residing at 81 Kent-avenue, was assaulted in a lager-bier saloon near by, and was so badly injured about the head with an iron pot, that his life is despaired of. A young man named ANDREW TROY, said to have been with the assailants, was arrested by Officer GILDER-SLEEVE, and locked up. (New York Times, August 11, 1865)

1865 - Thill, sole proprietor, rebuilt glasshouse.

1865-11-14 Patent no. 50,988 for button fastener. Invented by Florian Dahis. Assigned to Francis Thill and H.B. Voss. Secures clothe through an opening via a spring and latch behind the button.

1866 - the Brooklyn directories list "Thill & Company, Empire State Flint Glass Works" listed. Directory most likely compiled Fall 1865.

1866-12-03 Fire almost entirely consumed the Brooklyn Flint Glass Works with half-million dollar damage. Building owned by Empire Flint Glass Works and located at State street near Hicks.

1867-01-05 Son Nicholas E. Thill born

1868 Daughter Mary born. (D. Birtz)

1868-10-12 Warrant issued for glass worker George Griner who assaulted Francis Thill by throwing a glass vessel that broke and cut through his cheek. Foot of Taylor st. Griner arrested by Officer Nicolson. Griner held.

1868 (Fall): the firm of Thill and Wapler first appear in Brooklyn directories. Francis Thill partnered with Charles W. Wapler for the production of glass shades and chimneys. The Wapler glass factory was built near Green Bank, NJ at a new German settlement called "Hermann City" on the Mullica River in Burlington county. The town relied on a railroad line from Tuckerton and the work at the glasshouse. The construction of the glasshouse was marred by the death of a principal investor, slow construction and the Panic of 1873. In 1873, Thill sold most of his interest in the glasshouse to Wapler and, for a short time, continued an interest in the venture through a limited partnership with a glassblower Charles Brome.

1869-09-17 New York Herald-Tribune reports the American Institute Fair display, "Thill & Wapler of Warren st. exhibit a quantity of glass, including glass shades, porcelain glass plates for photography, colored cane and tube glass for fancy work, and a 42 pound retort." The Institute closed its 39th annual exhibition in early November, Thill & Wapler of 22 Warren st. received honorable mention for glass shades.

1869-12-05 – The firm of Thill & Wapler offer for sale six lots and brick buildings suitable for manufacturing (malt house, foundry, soap factory, &c.) in the Eastern District of Brooklyn on Wallabout Creek.

1870-07-20 Census 19th Ward, City of Brooklyn, Kings Co. Wilson St.
Francis Thill, 41, glass manufacturing, b. Luxembourg
Elizabeth, 34, b. Luxembourg
Catherine, 16, b. NY
Margaret, 14
Elizabeth, 10
Harry, 8
Annie, 7
Franklin, 5

1870-11-07 For Glass Shades – Thill & Wapler, 22 Warren st. (American Institute Fair)

1870 November - Son A. John born. (D. Birtz)

1872-04-12 Francis Thill, et al sued by John Wycoff VanSlicen.

1872 October - Son Charles born. (D. Birtz)

1873-02 The Manufacturer and Builder trade publication reported the premiums awarded by the American Institute at the 41st Annual Exhibition, 1872; "Thill & Wapler, 22 Warren st., Glassware."

1873-05-19 Limited partnership formed between Francis Thill, general partner, and Charles Browne [Brome], special partner. Under the name of F. Thill, manufacturer of glassware. Browne contributed $10,000. Period of partnership: 5-26-1873 to 5-1-1876

1874-03-28 Baltimore Sun reported lawsuit trial in Court of Common Pleas (Judge Carey): Francis Thill and Charles W. Wapler, for goods sold and delivered; juror withdrawn and case continued with leave to amend. Thill & Wapler apparently the plaintiff in the article.

1874-09-21 Son Albert P. born. (D. Birtz)

1876-05-30 Real estate transfer: Kent av. southerly cor. Taylor st., 100 x 149¨C. Brome to Francis Thill, all title. $10,000

1876: John La Farge (1835 - 1910) earliest opalescent glass experiments were conducted at Francis Thill's glass house in Brooklyn. La Farge and Louis Tiffany were stained glass window contemporaries.

1876-08-29 Daughter Cecilia-Pauline born. (D. Birtz)

1876-12-16 Worker Harry Frank, 19, "shamming" hydrophobia. Was drinking whiskey in saloon at 67 Kent av. Employed in the glass factory of Francis Thill at foot of Taylor st. He had been bitten by a dog on 24 August. Quickly recovered from the City Hospital and was released. (New York Herald, Dec. 17, 1876, pg. 5)

1879-09-07 "The Empire State Flint Glass Works, Kent avenue, Brooklyn, of which Mr. F. Thill is the proprietor, are among the oldest in the Eastern District of Brooklyn, having been founded by him in 1856. Thoroughly acquainted, as he was, with every detail of manufacture, and turning out ware exceptionally good, the manufacture, from small beginnings, grew in his hands. The original premises having been burnt down in 1865, Mr. Thill being a heavy loser, the present large factory, 100 by 140 feet – the entire premises covering six city lots – was erected on its ruins. It contains two furnaces, with fourteen large and nine small pots made of imported clay. There are four layers for annealing and six annealing ovens. The productions are in great variety, including vases, urn-jars, ring-jars, fish-globes, siphons, chimneys, founts, retorts, receivers, the various articles of glass used for chemical purposes, with a general line of flint and colored glass-ware, also oval and square shades for clocks, statues, and flowers, fully equal to French manufacturer. The glass is remarkable for its lucidity and freedom from bubbles and strise. The works are in full activity, over 200 men and boys being employed at high wages. Brooklyn may well be proud of such a manufacturer." (Engineering and Mining Journal, Vol. 28)

1879-12-27 Charles Clinnock sued Francis Thill to recover half the profits from sale of certain lamps. Judge Reynolds, City Court.

1880-06-01 Census, City of Brooklyn, Kings Co. 68 Wilson St.
Francis Thill, 50, glass manufacturer, b. Holland
Elizabeth, 43, b. Belgium
Margaret, 22
Elizabeth, 19
Harry, 18, Clerk in Store
Annie, 16
Frank, 15, Clerk in Store
Nicholas, 13
Mamie, 11
John, 9
Charley, 7
Albert, 5
Cecillia, 4

1881-03-04 Wythe ave c s 80 ft s Wilson st, 20 x 77.4 h & j. Michael Donohue to Francis Thill $6,000

1881-10-08 Wythe av s w s, 50 s e Wilson st, 50 x 100, hs & ls. Lena Juhring, widow and with ano. Exrs. J. C. Juhring to Francis Thill. 4,700 (pg. 950, Real Estate Record and Builders Guide)

1881-11-22 Francis Thill patent no. 249.965 for combined globe and shade and chimney. Invented by William M. Marshall of Philadelphia. Assigned to Andrew N. Cole of N.Y. and Francis Thill of Brooklyn.

1882-03-30 Wilson st., 50 ft e Wythe av. 20x80 Mary S. Good to Francis Thill $6,500

1882-11-08 Daughter Margaret married Henry J. Heidenis at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Brooklyn (Great grandson John Brennan).

1883-05-29 Daughter Lizzie H. married to J. Henry Haaren of N.Y. at Sts. Peter and Paul by Rev. Sylvester Malone.

1883-12-30 Francis Thill and daughter Annie, no. 68 Wilson st., Eastern District: New Years celebrants.

1884 - "Other large houses engaged in the hollow glass ware manufacturer are the Empire State Flint Glass Works of Francis Thill; he makes all kinds of flint and colored glass ware, and has been in business since 1857; his capital is $80,000; number of hands, 160; wages paid, $75,000; annual product, $175,000." (page 760, The Manufacturing Industries of Brooklyn and Kings Counties, Vol. II, Henry R. Stiles, 1884)

1884-08-05: Francis Thill made remarks about Grover Cleveland , the Democratic candidate for President, "You won't find any Cleveland men in this place," said Mr. Francis Thill, proprietor of the Empire State Flint-Glass Works, at Clymer street and Kent avenue. "There are 180 men employed here, and I don't believe you will find a single Cleveland man amongst them." The remark appeared in a Jackson (Michigan) Citizen article which did not contain a second comma ending Thill's quotation. Thus, it appears Thill went on to state, "Glass-men everywhere know what they may expect from the Democratic party, and they will not trust in power. It is not necessary to explain the theory of free trade and protection to these men. They know that if free trade were introduced in this country that these doors must close up. That's all there is about it.Moreover, they are red-hot for Blaine."

"My grandfather came home from the bank one day and divided the gold pieces he withdrew from the bank into three piles. He explained to those present what the gold was for: one pile is for the household expenses, one pile is for my ruby glass, and one pile is for the Republican Party." - as remembered by Miriam C. Brennan, great-granddaughter of Francis Thill, July 28, 2012

1885-10-01 Strike at glasshouses in Eastern District began.Workers were not satisfied with their wages which varied between $10 and $30 a week. Some belonged to the union American Flint Glass Workers' Association. Manufacturer statistics cited that workers in the Eastern factories completed 25 pieces a day.

1885-01-30 Francis Thill's glassworks mentioned as stockholder of a new Brooklyn arc and incandescent electric light company.(Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

1885-10-10 Francis Thill, member of the Eastern Association of flint glass manufacturers. Association issued ultimatum to striking workers to return to factories by the 19th at old wages.

1885-10-17 The Eastern Flint Glass Manufacturers' Association met at the Astor House in the afternoon. They agreed to draw off their fires at their factories rather than to accede to the strikers' demands for higher wages. The 18 factories of the association employed 4,000 to 5,000 men, girls and boys. 3,000 were non-union employees and did not include glass-blowers. The strikers were all union members and glassblowers. The factories prepared their inventories for an all-winter close-out of the workers

1886-03-20 Seventy boys in Francis Thill's glasshouse began strike against his factory at Kent and Taylor. Demanded fifty cent raise.

1886-03-23 THE STRIKE OF THE INFANTS ENDED The seventy small boys who refused last week to continue work as helpers in F. Thill's glass factory, Kent avenue and Kent street, surrendered yesterday afternoon and resumed work at their employer's terms. They will be paid at the old rate of from $3.50 to $5 a week (Brooklyn Daily Eagle, pg. 4)

1886-09-17 Thill and other business owners from Eastern District met in Holser's Assembly Room, 136 Broadway, to protest the proposed building of elevated railroad structures over the thoroughfares of Franklin, Wythe, Division and Kent avenues. Thill on a committee formed to canvass the district.

1887-04-21 "The Empire State Flint Glass Works, of Brooklyn, will continue to the old and well-known business of F. Thill's Sons & Co. Mssrs. Thill and Langan will take charge of the indoor departments, while Mr. Funk will attend to the outdoor sales and collections." (The Electrical World, Vol. 11 – 12, April 21, 1887)

1887-12-31 Most glasshouse manufacturers, including Empire State Flint Glass Works shut down to strike against fight union worker control of industry. (1888-01-02; Paper: Wheeling Register)

1888-01-05 The glass workers, in good spirits, speculated that Thill would break from the manufacturers' strike and resume production, thus ending the industry strike. (1888-01-06; Paper: New York Herald)

1888-04-16 Empire State Flint Glass Works resumed work. (Albany (NY) Evening Journal (April 17, 1888) pg 2.

1888 Francis Thill retired from business in favor of his sons who continued the glassworks. He was successful and accumulated a fortune.

1889-04-27 Myrtle av, n s 178 ft e Kent av, 23.3 x 100, Abraham Allmayer to Francis Thill, mort. $6,500

1889—09 Francis Thill attacked with dropsy.

1889-11-20 Marriage of dau. Annie C. to Daniel J. Sullivan at bride's parent's house no. 68 Wilson st., Brooklyn by Rev. Sylvester Malone.

1889-12-23 Martin Beihn (husband of Francis Thill's daughter Catherine) on the Sixth ave. "L" in a disturbance with a widow named Lena Schwindt. Biehn, a retired hardware merchant who "was not engaged in any business at present, but manipulated bonds on the street," had Lena arrested for not returning his bonds that she said was a gift to her. She was at least 250 pounds and her husband had died January 1889 and had been a tailor near 39th and Broadway. After his death, Lena sold the business. Since March, Biehn visited her regularly and she alleged he made love to her, despite him having a wife and three children. Biehn was a small (not over 110 lbs.) short, bald man with a big moustache. Lena lived at 427 W. 39th st. and was 40 years old. Biehn was 43 years old.

1890-01-19 (Sunday) Francis Thill died of dropsy at his residence 68 Wilson st. age 61. He had 11 children; 6 sons and 5 daughters. Member Sts. Peter & Paul Church on Wythe avenue, near South Second street, since he settled in that section. Father Malone officiated at the funeral at his residence at 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 21st. Mass at the Sts. Peter & Paul church, Wythe av. and South 2nd St. Interment at Calvary Cemetery. Omit flowers.

His death certificate states he died of pulmonary congestion and interstitial nephritis and buried on January 21, 1890 in Calvary Cemetery.

1890-01-23 Unsafe building at 633 Myrtle St., owned by Francis Thill heirs, collapsed. Miraculously, no deaths. NYT article lists Empire glass works as 578 Kent Ave.

1890-03-15 Local health department officials inspected an old malt house the corner of Kent and taylor where drying grain created a nuisance smell via the fires used in the process. Their investigation resulted in disinfecting and stopping the grain drying activity – which should have been done outside the city. These measures stopped the problem. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle, pg.6)

1890-03-29 Charles Nevin, 18, of 69 Keap st. charged by his sister Mrs. Francis Thill with entering her apartments, at the above address, and stealing a gold watch and chain and a diamond ring, all valued at $100. Arrested by Detective Sergeants Dolan and Holland of the Sixteenth Precinct.

1890 and 1892 Brooklyn directories list "Francis J. Thill and Francis J. Thill, Jr, glass, Kent Avenue, corner Taylor Street" and "F. Thill Sons & Company, glass merchants" at the same address. The directory also listed "Harry Thill, glass" at the same address.

1891-01-5 Son Harry F., age 29, died after a short illness. Funeral service at ten o'clock morning on the 7th at the Church of the Transfiguration, Marcy av. and Hooper st., with a solemn requiem for his soul.

1891-03-05 Martin Biehn died after a short illness. Residence: 245 W. 24th st. Funeral from St. Vincent de Paul's Church. This was probably the husband of Francis Thill's daughter Catherine.

1891-05-30 Rodney st, s s 362.5 w Bedford av., 16.9 x 100, Francis J Thill to Howard M Field. Price: Nom.

1891-06-06 Martin J. Biehn (probably Francis Thill's grandson) accepted at the College of the City of New York. He had attended preparatory grammer school no. 55.

1891-11-23 Brooklyn suffers a scarcity of water due to a blizzard. The Empire State Flint Glass Works, 112 to 114 Kent ave., operated for an hour in the morning. The factory had a well but it was out of order, having been neglected. It could possibly be repaired if the necessity arose.(Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 11-23-1891)

1893-01-07 F. Thill's Sons & Co., manufacture flint glass goods. The firm's factory is situated at Kent avenue and Taylor street. The firm employs between fifty and sixty workers. The works have been closed for nearly a month. From May up to that time work had been carried on at half time. Mr. Thill said he did not consider the tariff alone to blame for the dullness of trade. An important factor was scarcity of cash. A similar condition of things exists in the glass factories in Greenpoint.

1893-06-19 Francis Thill's son Peter Thill, a house painting contractor, wounded in midnight shooting in New Brunswick, NJ. Thill was shot by his employee Guersing because of his teasing of the shooter over his love affairs. Nicholas Thill and half-brother Herman Menchen both detained as witnessed.

Connecticut Appellate Decisions
THILL'S SONS & CO. v. PERKINS ELECTRIC LAMP CO., 63 Conn. 478 (1893)
Decided December 13th, 1893.

This suit was brought to recover the price of certain lots of glass bulbs sold and delivered by the plaintiffs to the defendant. Judgment was rendered for the plaintiffs. The defendant appealed to this court, and has assigned several reasons of appeal all of which are based on rulings of the Superior Court in respect to the admission of testimony.[email protected]&OLDURL=/gpc/index.htp&OLDREFURL=http%3A//

1894 June – July: Nicholas Thill began to engage in real estate transactions that in 1898 led to his arrest for fraud upon complaint of his family.

1896-01 Bankruptcy notice listed for creditors against Francis J. Thill, John A. Thill and William F. Langan lately conducting business under firm name F. Thill & Sons Co. Notice listed by Nicholas E. Thill. Creditors had until March 12th to file claims.

1896-07-26 Nicholas E. Thill and a friend narrowly escaped death when their horse ran away and dashed into a fence. They were traveling from Milford, Pa. to Port Jervis, NY. The horse was killed. Thill and his friend were thrown from their carriage seats.

1897-04-01 Francis Thill's son Francis J. Thill died in St. Christopher's Hospital. His will, prepared only two days before he died, named his brother Nicholas E. Thill, executor.. John B. Neville, brother-in-law, witness. Francis J. Thill was survived by his only child Anna Marie, an infant residing at 50 Rush st. Relatives later claimed that Nicholas deceived his brother in signing it as a power-of-attorney document instead of a will.

1897-04-23 Nicholas Thill replaced as President of the Loyola Union.

1897-09-23 The Court upheld Nicholas Thill as executor of his brother Frank J. Thill's estate per will.

1897-10-11 His youngest dau. Cecilia, 21, died of heart disease at home, 68 Wilson St. Member, Church of Sts. Peter and Paul.

1898-04-29 Nicholas Thill charged $50 for failing to perform properly as guardian of his late brother's estate on behalf her five-year old child Anna Maria Thill. Brooklyn Daily Eagle on May 1, 1898 noted he had been fined before on similar charges.

1898-08-23 Nicholas Thill arrested for mortgage fraud upon complaint of his sister Catherine Biehn of 245 West 24th St., Manhattan. Nicholas Thill was a real estate dealer with offices at 611 Wythe avenue, Brooklyn. Beihn demanded $6,000 damages and interest back to July 1, 1897. Another order of arrest was upon complaint of their mother Elizabeth Thill for fraud and demanded judgement of $11,784.49. She claimed that in 1895, 1896 and 1897 she gave her son money for water and taxes; instead he used the money for his own use. She also said that in November 1895 he purchased a property at 651 Wythe ave. and gave her a fraudulent deed. Additionally, in 1897 and 1898 he had her sign checks and mortgage bonds for his own use. Another complainant against Nicholas Thill was his own mother Elizabeth Thill. The family was anxious to keep the matter quiet but newspapers reported the story.

1898-09-27 Upon her consent, the complaint of his mother against Nicholas Thill was vacated. However, the charges stemming from his sister Catherine's complaint kept him in jail.

1898-10-05 Nicholas Thill, in jail on above-listed fraud charges, removed as assignee for his brother Francis J. Thill's estate, per complaint by Elizabeth Thill.

1899-03-15 Fire broke out at 2-12 Taylor street Martens, Hoag & Co. business. "To the left is a large unoccupied three-story brick building formerly used as Thill's Empire State Flint Glass Works, while almost adjoining this building are the coal pockets of Thomas J. Taylor." No fire damage reported to the Thill works or the coal pockets.

1900-01-09 Surragate's Court: "Contested calendar at 10:30 – No. 9, the accounting of Francis J. Thill."

1900-10-23 Judgement: Hill, Nicholas – Anna M. Thill $2,259.88 (Brooklyn Eagle, pg .17)

1903-08-20 Nicholas E. Thill, of Brooklyn, NY died at New London, Connecticut. (NYT, August 23, 1903, pg. 16 obituary and FamilySearch,org)

1905-03-24 New York Supreme Court: "BIEHN, Appellant v. THILL, et al., Respondents. (Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, March 24, 1905.) Action by Martin J. Biehn against Nicholas E. Thill and others. No opinion. Motion denied."

1913-02-03 Elizabeth Thill (nee Birtz) died. Widow of Francis Thill. At her home 68 Wilson St., Brooklyn. Requiem Mass at Church of the Epiphany on Feb. 6th at 10 o'clock, south 9th st. near Bedford av. Interment Calvary Cemetery. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle, February 4, 1913, pg 18, col. 1).

1918-06-02 (Brooklyn Daily Eagle, pg 6, col 2) To Sell Thill Realty. A number of parcels of valuable real estate will be offered at public auction at the Brooklyn Real Estate Exchange on June 7th, under the direction of the Supreme Court in the partition action involving the estate of the late Francis Thill. Mr. Thill was for more than, fifty years a well known figure in Williamsburg, and part of the property to be sold, being a plot 100 feet by 110 feet, corner of Kent avenue and Taylor street, was for many him used as a glass works. In 1863 the entire plant was destroyed by fire while the firm was being operated under the style of Thill, Waplar & Leininger. After the fire Mr. Thill took over the business himself, and rebuilt the plant. From 1839 until the time of his death, in 1890, Mr. Thill resided in Williamsburg and took an active part in the public affairs of his time. The properties to be offered are: 611 Wythe avenue. 644- 6 Wythe avenue. 71 Wilson street, 94, Wilson street, 83 Hall street, 633 Myrtle avenue and Taylor street and Kent ave.

The above 1918 review of the Thill property is very interesting. It serves as a belated obituary for the glass manufacturer. Written 18 years after his death, it contains an error that leads to a greater understanding of his career. The Empire Flint Glass factory was originally a partnership of Thill and Leininger. Following the fire, Thill emerged as sole proprietor. Four years later, Thill partnered with Wapler on a separate and subsequent venture in the South Jersey glasshouse which failed after only six months of production. The fact that Wapler is mentioned in the 1918 article is important and shows that Wapler's glasshouse was more that just a minor business venture in Thill's glassmaking career.

Twice in June 2010 called Calvary Cemetery at 718-786-8000. Women checked the name Francis Hill and Francis Thill and date-of-death for his grave location. They did not find a record of him. Since then, however, Find A Grave contributors did locate the grave.

From 1924 issues of The [Brooklyn] Standard Union, we read the following correspondence between old-timers with details of Thill's Glasshouse not found elsewhere:

The Brooklyn Standard Union, Sunday, March 23, 1924, cols

To the Editor of The Standard Union:

Was very much interested in recent “Question Box” communication concerning the Wallabout section of the Nineteenth Ward. I recall Thill’s glass house… Do any of the crowd remember Paddy Mack and Pasty Murphy, usually a gentlemanly fellow, but how that boy could fight when occasion demanded? He was a glass blower in Thill’s.

The Brooklyn Standard Union, Sunday, March 30, 1924, cols 7-8.

To the Editor of The Standard Union:

In answer to “Nineteenth Warder,” Thill’s glass house stood on the corner at Taylor street and Kent avenue, up to a few years ago when the property was sold and the old building pulled down. It was owned by Frank Thill, a massive man, who did a big business and gave employment to a great many men and boys of the Nineteenth Ward. After his death it was continued a short while by his sons. Then something happened and it was closed and never opened again. Now, old timers, see if you know any other men whose names I’ll mention who worked in Thill’s. There was Jim Winters, Hughie’s father. Who ran for alderman against A. D. Baird about 1880; Patsey Murphey, Patsy Cullen, “Stack” Delaney, Paddy Mack, Tommy Day, John Hanna, “Kruick” Day, Johnny Vogel and “Cork” Williams. Then there was Billy Nolan, Billy Baxter, “Buckey” Baxter. “Lump” Mulligan, “Shorty” Daughty, “Shad” Day who got blown up on Murphy’s tugboat, Danny Cullen, Tom Stanton and his brothers, Henry, Bill and Pat; his father Malachi; Tommy Delancy, George Henderson, Charley Dawson and his brother Tom, Tommy Kearney, Charley McKeever, who kept a saloon on Kent avenue; Dan Mundy, who is a lieutenant of police to-day, his brother Jim, who kept a saloon on Wythe avenue; “Sketch” McFadden, Dan McCleary, who was the Democratic leader of the Nineteenth Ward; Jim Dunn, whose father worked in Taylor’s; Ed Smith, Tom Gallagher, Ed Campbell, Johnny Lyons, Mike Bannon, Henry Ring and Pete Mundy who stopped the runaway horses of Laura Jean Libby, the writer.


The Brooklyn Standard Union, Sunday, April 13, 1924,, col:

To the Editor of The Standard Union:

…Do I remember the glass-house? I worked there when I was a “kid.”

The Brooklyn Standard Union, Sunday, May 4, 1924, page 5, cols. 3-4:

Recalls Frank Thill as Pioneer Glass manufacturer of Brooklyn and the First Seltzer Siphon Made at his Plant.
To the Editor of The Standard Union:

Regarding recent communications of Nineteenth Ward old-timers concerning Thill’s glasshouse, beg to add the following: Frank Thill, who was born in Luxembourg, started the first glasshouse in Brooklyn in 1858 on Meserole street, between Union avenue and Lorimer street. From there, he went to Concord, near Gold street. Later the Concord street glasshouse was taken over by Rausch, also a Luxembourger.
In 1861 Frank Thill opened the glassworks at Taylor street, near Kent avenue. There he manufactured for the government medical and prescription bottles during the Civil War. Other articles made were for Tiffany & Co., and Ball & Black, of Broadway and Prince street, Manhattan; antique glass (colored) for chandeliers and windows was also manufactured by him. Thill also had the first patent for seltzer water siphons. Pulp’s thermometers, shades, globes (as high as five feet), water balls, pipes, walking canes, and different varieties of glassware too numerous to mention.
Tony and Frank Leininger were associate partners until 1864, when the first great fire destroyed the works. The only things saved at the time were the United States Government patterns and several other moulds.
Mr. Thill then started to build up on a larger scale the State Flint Glassworks with Peter Carels, at one time a candidate for Alderman in the Sixteenth Ward. Mr. Carels was a brother-in-law of Frank Thill. Later Nicholas Wapler became a partner. In 1896 Frank Thill turned over the business to his sons, Frank, Jr., and Henry Thill. With them were associated William Fink and William Langon, who were the outside men.
Frank Thill was a massive man. He not only directed a big business, but was at the bench himself, working and making some of the finest work known at the time in the glass market. He was a great friend to the poor and helpless. Frank Thill died in 1905 and now lies at rest in Calvary Cemetery.
“Old Eureka,” resident of the Nineteenth Ward, mentioned men and boys of the Nineteenth Ward who worked at Thill’s. How about the Sixteenth Ward and other parts of the city, such as Peter Young, Peter Pastorel, Dominic Birtz, James Short, Tom Schmitt, Alec Schmitt, Hans Thill, who was over six feet tall; Frank Francois, Tony Schild, Andy Degner, Pat Degner, Thomas and Billy Monohan, Tony Meyer, Henry and John Hauprecht, and John Reitz and his brother. John Reitz was later Assemblyman several times, representing the old Sixteenth Ward locality. He was a lieutenant of Senator Jacob Worth.
Pot-making for the glass melting was a great undertaking. It took several months to get the material seasoned and tried out for use. John Thill had charge of this branch of the work. Peter Magerus, later the hotel man at Hammels Station, Rockaway, was at the head of the packing room.
Old Sixteenth Warder.
Jamaica Oaks.

My corrections:
Frank Thill died in 1890, not 1905.
Frank Thill’s in-laws were the Birtz family.
Thill’s plant was the Empire State Flint Glass Works.
Frank Thill may have partnered with Charles Wapler, Nicholas Wapler’s brother.
Peter Kinn was a Division Deputy for Brooklyn with the U.S. Internal Revenue. (1895 Brooklyn Daily Eagle Almanac, pg. 232)


*Some of the children birth dates courtesy Daniel Birtz, Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., Canada.

GPS data courtesy J. Rayder:

Latitude: N 40d 43m 59.43s
Longitude: W 73d 55m 39.23s
Altitude: 21.90m