One of the earliest breweries was established by Frank Spitz near River, Second and Elm, on the Raccoon River. He ran a successful business until when while crossing the ice on the Raccoon River, carrying a bag of malt, he broke through and died. Andrew Sommers then purchased the plant, called it Union Brewery. A year or two afterward, in 1866, it sold to Adam Aulmann, a German immigrant. Upon purchase of the brewery, Aulmann began to improve the property. In 1872 the old buildings were torn down and large brick buildings erected. These were added to in 1874 and subsequently, the Union Brewery became well known throughout the county and State. Adam Aulmann died December 31, 1874, and the plant was then leased to Alois Mattes, who managed it for eighteen months. At this time Adam’s son, William Aulmann and John B. Schuster took control of the brewery and managed it until 1881 when the strict Iowa prohibition law caused the brewery to close. Aulmann & Schuster remained partners until in November 1895, handling as agents for beer made by brewers outside of the State.