Master Butchers of Georgetown

The most prominent members of the syndicate of butchers that owned most of the real estate in Upper Georgetown during the 19th century. 


Peter Dill  (1821?-1897), the King of the Georgetown Schuetzenfest in 1868, was born in Bavaria. In 1858 he lived at 340 High Street (Wisconsin Avenue, at 35th).

“Fire in Georgetown.––Fire broke out in the rear of Mr. Peter Dill’s premises on the heights on Georgetown, about one o’clock yesterday morning. His property is on the upper part of High street, and his house and furniture, for the want of water, were entirely destroyed. He was insured for $800, which will not cover half the loss. The property is too elevated for Potomac water to be available. The adjoining frame houses on the north, owned by Mr. Temple Sherman, one occupied by himself and the other by a colored woman, were entirely consumed. No insurance.” (National Republican, July 17, 1867)

Dill invested in the omnibus line which preceded streetcars, prospered as a butcher, and became proprietor of Lower Cedar Point Farm, 400 acres and 15 room house on the Potomac, about 70 miles south of the city, as an excursion resort and “summer watering place.” ”Excursion to Dill’s Pavilion for the benefit of Mt. Pleasant Church and School.” (Georgetown Courier, January 2, 1869, June 26, 1875; “Affairs in Georgetown,” Evening Star, December 20, 1897, p. 16)


Michael Homiller (1780?-1837?) was probably born in Philadelphia. He is not found in 1820 DC census, but in 1821 was a witness of his neighbor William Kuhns’ will. Homiller acquired land on the west side of what is now Wisconsin Avenue, just below Calvert Street.

William Homiller (1810-1871), the first son of Michael Homiller, was born in Pennsylvania before his father’s arrival in Georgetown. He was a leading Catholic of Georgetown. In 1858 lived at 415 High Street (Wisconsin Avenue and Calvert). “Leather store of William Homiller & Co. on High Street”. (Georgetown Courier July 3, 1875)

Charles Homiller (1814-1888) was born in Philadelphia. His 1855 Assessment shows 60 acres, a house, and a log dwelling and stable. In 1858 lived at 415 High Street with brother William, but he also had a house near Fulton and Tunlaw. 1860 Census p.168, 4th ward of Georgetown: Master Butcher.

Jacob Homiller (1817-1887), butcher, 411 High Street, in 1858, but 379 High Street in 1871. In 1902 Elizabeth, widow of Jacob Homiller, lived at 2548 Wisconsin (now 2348?). Their daughter Louise married Ephraim S. Randall, of the Washington and Potomac Steamboat Company.

Michael H. Homiller (1839?-1883?) was a son of Charles Homiller, and both served on the Vestry of St. Albans Church. The 1860 census lists him as a master butcher. Michael H. Homiller marched in Lincoln’s first inaugural with his neighbor Thomas Weaver, and was a marshal of the civil procession of Lincoln’s funeral procession. (National Intelligencer, April 18, 1865)

Armistead Homiller (1849-1881), also a son of Charles Homiller, lived at 415 High Street, appeared in newspapers accounts of the “Ring Tournament”, acting as “Knight of Ivanhoe”(Star, October 14, 1867), and the “Knight of the Villa” in tournament at College Villa (now McLean Gardens), a picnic, tournament and dance for the benefit of the Catholic Church of Tenleytown. (Georgetown Courier, October 10, 1868)


Benjamin F. Hunt (1827?-1875), a native of Culpeper County, Virginia, was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, July 1, 1875. The firm of B.F. Hunt and Sons––William F., and George W. Hunt––continued in operation at Mount Alto through 1890. Hunt’s brother-in-law, James Andrew Hoffman (1845-1906), was in partnership with Hunt.


Lewis Kengla (Sr.) (1770?-1829) was probably the son of a German immigrant, and came to Georgetown by way of Frederick, Maryland. As early as 1806 he had a butcher stand in the Georgetown market, and in 1816 he was assessed by the city of Georgetown for a two-story frame house on west side of what is now Wisconsin Avenue, near W Place, on lot 271 of Beatty and Hawkins’ Addition to Georgetown. Kengla later added lot 270 to the property.

Lewis Kengla (Jr.) (1809-1869) The 1860 Census lists him as a farmer, and his sons, Jacob (1832) and Lewis (1834), as butchers.

Henry Kengla (1812-1903) followed his father in the butcher trade, and accumulated most of the land that is now Glover Park. Never married, he walked across the field every day from his house on Back Street to take meals with his nephew, Joseph. In 1883 to 1888 he owned the steamer Mary Washington (1874-1902) that he bought from––and sold back to––Ephraim S. Randall, of the Washington and Potomac Steamboat Company––who was married to Jacob Homiller’s daughter Louise. When he died in 1903, Randall was his executor.

Lewis C. Kengla (III) (1834?-1909?) The Hopkins 1887, 1903 Baist, shows Lewis C Kengla where the Westchester Apartments are today.

Jacob H. Kengla (1832-1898) son of Lewis Jr. “Drovier and Cattle Dealer” in 1870 census. Committee to benefit projected Catholic Church in Tenallytown. School Board, Washington County, 1874. 1876, bought from WDC Murdock, pieces of Friendship and St. Phillip and Jacob. 1880, J.H. Kengla and Co., cattle broker.

Joseph T. Kengla (1840-1927) was a dealer in beef, lamb, veal and mutton, with a stand in Centre Market. The house at 350 High Street was built about 1870, opposite and a little north of Observatory Lane, on a lot that fronted 100’ on Wisconsin Avenue, and ran to Tunlaw Road. It was numbered 2536, 2336, 2324, and 2120 at various times. In 1924 when Glover Park was born, Joseph T. Kengla was listed at 2536 Wisconsin, which corresponds to 2336 today. By that time the Kenglas had been here more than a century. After he died the house was torn down to make way for the Calvert Theater; today it is the location of the Sheffield Apartments.

William F. Kengla (1839-1812), butcher, 360 High Street, married Helen R. Yeabower. Operated a slaughterhouse on ”the heights”. (Georgetown Courier, August 15, 1874)

George M. Kengla (1848-1893) In 1881 Weaver, Kengla and Company––George Kengla, Joseph Weaver, and John Kelley––made soap at 3244 Water Street, Georgetown.


Andrew Frederick Scheele. In the 1860 census he appears as A. F. Scheill, age 24, master butcher, but in the 1870 census, as Andrew F. Sheely, 41, beef butcher. In the 1865 assessment he has a story frame house and slaughterhouse on the east side of High Street. Georgetown directories, 1870-1874, put him at 378 High Street, with two other butchers, Benjamin Baker, and John W. Sebastian.


Brothers John C. Schneider, Jr. (1846-1896) and Louis Schneider (1850-1932) were business partners who lived near the intersection of High Street and Schneider’s Lane––roughly, Wisconsin Avenue and Calvert Street. On the back of the lot near Tunlaw Road was a frame building which was known as Schneider’s Slaughter House.


Michael Weaver (1786-1872) was of Pennsylvania German origin, by way Frederick County, Maryland. He raised his family on Wilberforce Street.  “Michael Weaver, perhaps the oldest butcher in the District, died at his residence on Georgetown Heights last Wednesday, the 23rd of January, 1872, age 86.”  (Georgetown Courier, January 27, 1872)

Theodore Barnes (1844-1918), beef butcher (1870 census), was Michael Weaver’s stepson. He built a house at 2433––later 2133––Wisconsin Avenue. Like his stepfather, Barnes was in the meat business. “Theo. Barnes is building a fine frame dwelling opposite the residence of Henry Weaver, on Pole Hill.” (Georgetown Courier, May 6, 1871. Weaver lived about Hall Place.)

Henry Weaver (1816-1893) married Mary Ann Barnes. He was a Trustee of Congress Street Methodist Protestant Church, and was involved with his brother Joseph Weaver in the founding of Mount Pleasant Chapel, the ancestor of Saint Luke’s.

Joseph Weaver (1826-1881) was born on Wilberforce Street. Assessed in 1865 for a fine two-story frame building with stables on the east side of Wisconsin Avenue; in 1875 he bought Mount Hope (3308 R Street; Robert D. Weaver sold this house in 1926). After 1850 or so the bulk of Joseph Weaver’s agricultural operations would have been located on the Weaver farm, Whitehaven, on both sides of  Conduit Road, in what is now Palisades. (His brother Charles Weaver farmed north of Conduit Road.)

Robert Weaver originally worked with his father Joseph, at Weaver’s Meat Store, on the southeast corner of Wisconsin Avenue and Dumbarton Street. In about 1900, at age 48, he got out of the business, and used the money to organize the Metropolitan Rail Road, of which he was president until 1916. He was, for a time, president of the Georgetown Gas Company and the Washington Gas Light Company, and vice president of the Farmers and Mechanics Bank of Georgetown.


Christopher Yeabower (1815?-1866) Master butcher born in Darmstadt, Hesse; His signature on his will is in German script, possibly Christoph Gebauer. In 1846 he bought the northern part of lot 256 in Beatty and Hawkins’ Addition to Georgetown, from Benjamin Bohrer, and lived at 390 High Street (just south of Guy Mason Center).

Daughters Helen and Mary married William F. Kengla and Robert D. Weaver.  Son John H. Yeabower died on Georgetown Heights, at age 29. (Georgetown Courier, July 20, 1872)



 Carlton Fletcher

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