By Herman Wiley Ronnenberg, PhD
Lecturer in History, Retired ~ University of Idaho
About Herman Wiley Ronnenberg: A retired teacher and freelance historian specializing in the history of brewing and brewers, Dr. Ronnenberg participates in multiple major breweriana collecting clubs and publishes regularly on the topic. He has also conducted archaeological field work in California, Arizona, Idaho, Virginia, Alaska, Belize, and Peru.
Pictured above, the Spokane Brewing and Malting Company, owned and operated by the Galland Brothers. Photo courtesy of Herman Wiley Ronnenberg.
Solomon Galland was a Prussian Jew endowed with a desire to see the world and prosper financially. In his early youth, he left his homeland for Australia. Just after the great California gold rush of 1849, he left the great southern continent for San Francisco to operate a store and take advantage of the huge influx of people to California. When news of the Australian gold rush reached America, Solomon reversed course to briefly return to pursue that business opportunity. By the late 1850s, he was back in America and heading to Oregon with his wife, Adelaide Goodman Galland. There, during the 1860s, while Solomon rose in Masonic lodge circles, his family added sons Julius in 1860, Theodore in 1863, Adolph in 1865 and Samuel in 1869. Salomon endowed them with his own desire for success. These four brothers were destined to become titans of business in eastern Washington.
In 1883, Solomon, his wife, and their four sons came to Farmington, Whitman County, to engage in general merchandizing. Eldest son Julius had by this time earned admission to the Bar, studying law under Senator Joseph N. Dolph. He prepared especially for railroad and corporate legal work and was ready for the many opportunities available when the family moved to the Palouse country.
Mr. Galland, Sr. died a few weeks after the move, and his four sons carried on the business. Samuel was only a youngster of 15 but as ready as his brothers. On the Washington Territorial Census of 1885 for Whitman County, Mother Adelaide, 44; and sons Julius, 25; Adolph, 19; and Samuel, 17, all lived together. Under the business name of Galland Brothers, the family operated a store in Farmington from 1881 to 1887. In the fall of 1888, they opened a store in Palouse and in the spring of 1889 added another at Wallace, Idaho. The business in Farmington was probably purchased from H. F. Stratton. While in Farmington, the Gallands struck up a friendship with John F. Kelly who in his later years acquired a great deal of Spokane real estate. Their Spokane bank was later named to administer Kelly’s estate.
One of the Galland newspaper ads for their Farmington store read:
“Fall Announcement! Best Quality, Latest Styles Lowest Prices/These are three features that has (sic) from year to year increased our business until we stand peerless above all competition/Mr. Julius Galland while in the east buying goods for the Palouse Store will not neglect anything required for trade here/The new styles are ready/High Class Goods/The Strong Inducement of Low Prices/In which we shall demonstrate the cheapest and choices stock is that of Galland Bros.—Farmington, Wash. Terr.”
Julius Galland and four other Farmington businessmen incorporated as the Washington & Idaho Railroad on July 12th, 1886 with the expressed purpose of building a railroad and telegraph line from Farmington to Spokane Falls, with a branch to Wardner, Idaho. This was three days before the Coeur d’Alene Railroad and Navigation Company was formed. By October, Julius’ company had surveyed to the old Coeur d’Alene Mission.
Farmington also needed a bank. Julius Galland, John Burke, who would be soon involved with another Galland business venture, and eight other businessmen, incorporated the Bank of Farmington on January 14th, 1887. The bank had $50,000 in capital from selling stock with a par value of $100.
In September of 1888, the Palouse newspaper noted that Julius Galland had returned from a trip to Chicago, and he reported that protection vs. free trade seemed to be the only political issue of interest. Julius was soon one of the directors of the Security State Bank of Palouse. A minor gold rush to the Palouse River and the Hoodoo Mountains led brother Adolph Galland to claim mining land on the north fork of the Palouse River. Little was found regarding his success or lack of it in mining.
The marketing area of the Galland businesses included Moscow, Idaho, as evidenced by a suit in Idaho District Court. Northwestern and Pacific Hypotheek Bank (Northwestern and Pacific Mortgage Company) successfully sued Julia F. Gaylle, J. R. Gaylle, and The Galland Trading Company for $762.25 on May 13th, 1896. The court ordered land in Latah County, Idaho, to be sold to cover the judgment rendered for the plaintiff.
The brothers began to believe that Spokane, with its railroad and closeness to the mines of the Silver Valley, would be the commercial hub of the region, and they made plans to relocate there. Farmington historian, Marshall Shore, believed the Gallands were like many Farmington folks who moved elsewhere and then enjoyed great success. The family had formerly been involved with beer brewing in Europe and that industry appealed to them.
In the fall of 1891, the brothers sold their Wallace store and began construction of the Galland-Burke brewery in Spokane. The immense structure was located on Broadway Avenue, between Post and Lincoln Streets, overlooking the namesake falls of the city. The articles of incorporation were filed on July 13th, 1891 with capitalization of $100,000. W. S. Norman, Julius Galland, John Burke, George Truax, and Theodore Galland were the principal stockholders. Of the 1,000 shares, two Galland Brothers owned 799 when first incorporated.
By June of 1892, the brewery was functional. On the Spokane City Directories Julius was president in 1892 and 1893; Theodore was secretary in 1892 and secretary-treasurer in 1893. John Burke was vice president both years, and Samuel Galland was manager in 1893. Soon Samuel and Adolph Galland began to buy into the company and by February 1895 the four brothers wholly owned the company. In the first year, Galland-Burke was selling to at least 60 Spokane saloons and many saloons in other towns.
A news report out of Lewiston, Idaho said: “Theo Galland of the Galland-Burke Brewery at Spokane is in the city [Lewiston].” This is an example of the company searching out business opportunities in area where new railroad connections made the import of Spokane beer feasible. Another example of business practices comes from Ritzville, just west of Spokane. Harry Mueller opened “Harry’s Place” in Ritzville in December 1901. He leased the building from Sam Galland of the Galland/Burke Brewing & Malting Company of Spokane, who had just built it. Brewers often had the capital to build saloons, buy them, or least obtain the required and highly expensive licenses for the saloonists.
A series of transactions involving the merger or purchase of the Henco Brewery, the New York Brewery, and the Galland-Burke Brewery resulted the reincorporation on May 1st, 1902, of the Spokane Brewing and Malting Company for one million dollars. Theodore, Adolph and Samuel Galland were among the principal stockholders. Julius Galland was the vice president and financial manager. In Boise, Idaho, the merger was described as the end of the beer war which had gone on for two years, and prices had gone up from $1 to $2 per barrel. All three breweries were operated, at least initially, as branch breweries. Julius and Samuel Galland bought a site on the west side of Washington Street between Trent and the River for the new Spokane Brewing and Malting Company site.
In 1902, brother Theodore left Spokane to take over the management of the Gambrinus Brewing Company of Portland, but because of failing health was required to give up that position and return to Spokane in about 1907. In 1908, the first of the brothers, Theodore, passed away; he was 45 years of age and single. The Galland family had a financial interest in this west-side brewery, which made it possible and desirable for a family member to be on site to oversee operations.
In 1906, while Theodore was still alive, the brothers organized the Northwest Loan and Trust company, which engaged in general banking in the Granite Building in Spokane. Samuel Galland was secretary; Theodore was president; Julius vice-president and manager. Julius’ legal training was of great help in setting up the corporation. In 1914, the business was consolidated with the Spokane & Eastern Trust Company, and Julius joined the staff of the latter corporation as vice-president.
A local Lind, Washington newspaper, the Lind Leader, on October 27th, 1911 had an article about Spokane breweries. Headed by Julius Galland, the Spokane Brewing and Malting Company was heading off action by the city council to end brewery control of saloons, they reported. Julius was heading up opposition to this Hayden resolution. Mr. Schwabe, in Lind, had the “Spokane” saloon featuring Gilt Top Beer from the Galland Company. Julius Galland admitted that they held leases on 50 or 60 saloons that required the saloons to sell only Spokane Brewing and Malting Co. beer. As part of their advertising, Galland gave away openers with Gilt Top advertising, the square hole was to adjust early carbide headlights, it was called a “Prestolite Wrench.”
During 1914, Washington State voted in favor of prohibition. Samuel Galland explained that the company was not moving and had 16 months to decide a course of action before the law went into effect. Their company remained producing near-beer during the 17 years prohibition was in effect in Washington State. A few saloons stayed open serving such legal beverages, but the brewery was not profitable with this small output.
In 1921, the Galland Brothers Corporation was formed to oversee all their diverse interests. Most of their money went into real estate and business buildings. “Always unfaltering believers in the future of Spokane,” the Galland brothers kept putting money into business property and the erection of business buildings. “The Spokane Realty Company, which they control, is the owner of perhaps the largest group of central property in the city, headed by the Realty building on Riverside Avenue, near Bernard Street.” During that year, a second of the brothers was to pass away.
Samuel Galland had been married in June 1907, to Miss Edith Hexter, of Portland, Oregon, a daughter of Levi Hexter, then deceased, who had been in the wholesale hardware business as a member of the firm of Hexter, May & Company. Unto Samuel Galland and his wife were born two children, Samuel, Jr. and Theodore. On October 26, 1921, after a year of ill-health, Samuel Galland died.
Julius and Adolph and his wife all lived in the Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane in the 1920s. Adolph Galland had been married in June 8th, 1898 to Miss Maude Reubens, a daughter of Louis Reubens, Spokane businessman and Jewish community leader. In 1926, Julius died, leaving Adolph as the only remaining Galland brother. Julius Galland, dying at age 66, left $400,000 for “religious, education and charitable purposes.” The gift was for Jews and Gentiles alike. Julius was a member of the Elks Lodge #228, a Shriner, and a member of B’Nai B’rith. Samuel’s son, Theodore, took over much of the work of the family businesses.
In July 1933, Theodore Galland announced the brewing company would issue 7%, 10-year bonds to raise $150,000 to put an addition on the brewery. Legal beer had returned. Also that year, the directors of the Sunset Brewery in Wallace, Idaho voted to spend $35,000 for repair and re-outfitting of the brewery. Theodore Galland and his relative, Joseph Ruebens, were on that board of directors. The family kept their interests diversified. Theodore Galland explained in the press that he favored 3.2% beer returning—“anything stronger was just for intoxication.” The brewery got back in production, and, despite some early trouble with organized labor, was soon in full production.
In December of 1936, the Goetz Brewery bought the old Galland-Burke Brewery building from the Spokane Brewing and Malting Company, establishing Spokane Breweries, Inc. Adolph Galland, last of the four brothers, had died on September 3rd,1935. The Galland family heirs and other stockholders were finished with the brewing business in Spokane. In 1964, the original Galland Burke Brewery building at Broadway and Lincoln burned. The physical evidence of an era was gone.
The brothers contributed to Washington Children’s Society and the Shriner’s Hospital for Crippled children. They set up a scholarship for a worthy Spokane student to attend Washington State at Pullman. The Galland family also remembered their Palouse sojourn by giving scholarships to Washington State College at Pullman. The brothers were all members of the Masonic Lodge, and at least Julius was very active as a Republican.
Old friends in Farmington often followed the lives of the Galland family through their years in Spokane. From their early business start in Whitman County, the four Galland brothers, and then, in turn, their children, built a legacy of business success and philanthropy. The unwritten rules they seem to believe in were simple. Keep management and ownership in the family whenever possible; diversify your financial interests, that is, hedge your bets; advertise; and give something back to those who made your success possible.