Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Treber Family History and Family Heirloom Pendant

Comments are added at end of article

I recently had the pleasure to talk to John Treber’s great grandchildren. David Treber DHS58 and his wife June Korpi Treber LHS58 (Lead High School) are very friendly and shared interesting information for dhsclassmates web site.

John Treber (age 24) moved to Deadwood in 1877 and started the "Herrmann and Treber, Wholesale Liquor Merchants". Their sign is prominent in the above famous picture of early Deadwood. In later years it became a one owner business.

Treber (as shown on the left) was an active part of Deadwood Business Club that guided Deadwood as it matured. John’s cigar, liquor, spirits business prospered as did his reputation for quality products. John was born in Germany and migrated to St. Louis where he excelled with his brewing ability. He became life long friends with Adolphus Busch of the famous Anheuser-Busch. In later years, Busch obtained John Treber's release from a German prison. John was on a visit to his homeland when he was sent to prison for leaving Germany without serving a military duty requirement. After 5 months of ineffectual government wrangling, Mrs. Treber made a personal plea to Busch. Busch contacted his close friend Kaiser Wilhelm II and John was quickly released from prison. John and his family happily returned to Deadwood.

John's business grew as did the relationship with Busch. John imported the AB beer from St. Louis. His own beer was also of the highest quality. John built a large building behind and across from the Bullock Hotel.

1904 Treber Building center right, from John Korneman Collection

His building, at the foot of Brown Rocks, housed all of his businesses and high technology production facilites. John had his own stable building too. In his quest for quality products, John also imported the unique liqueur Benedictine, a French gourmet spirits product of plants and spices. It was considered to also have medicinal properties which helped with Deadwood area sales

After John's death in 1936, his 7,000+ sq. ft. home was converted into a large number of apartments. The home, then apartments, was located on Deadwood President's Hill. It sadly burned down in 1991.

June and David Treber enjoy being part of a group of Treber family historians. June rightfully remains proud of her Lead High School (LHS) and noted the LHS58 classmate link

This extensive link also shows an embedded information link about The 2010 All Lead/Deadwood High School Reunion this coming July 1-3, 2010. The reunion details are listed in the commercial "Classmates" site that requires membership to view.

Another interesting item June shared with me is an image of a Treber Family heirloom gold colored pendant. It is in shape of football and is inscribed “DHS 27”. It is about ¾ of an inch in length. I believe the original DHS colors were gold and black and then changed to orange and black. 1927 might have been the change event commeration.

Courtesy Copyrighted Treber Family Collection Image

I hope to have more articles about the Treber family history


April 17, 2010: Florida Beach Basics has left a new comment on your post "Treber Family History and Family Heirloom Pendant":
how interesting - thanks to all for sharing both the memories and the photos. marge


Anonymous said...

I am wondering if this particular Treber family
may have come from Wollstein, Germany (Prussia ) in the early 1700's with the original forebears name of Johann Nicholas Treber and Anna Maria Hoffman.

While Johann died at sea on his way to the US, his sons, Sebastian and Peter survived and settled in Ulster, NY in 1710.

Tom Traver (Treber)

dave iverson. Deadwood, SD said...

hello, the Treber story is a cornerstone of historic deadwood. I became interested in the Treber history quite by accident. My wife and I were hiking an area about a mile outside of Deadwood and happened on a small piece of old pottery. We were on a ridge where you could see both Terry Peak and Bear Butte. It was a forrested area with no signs of civilization in any direction. We began scratching around for more pieces of what turned out to a broken old whiskey jug. It really got interesting when we found a piece that said "dea" and ended where it was broken. Many days of excavating and we found about 3/4 of the jug. As we pieced it together the words "john Treber Deadwood" became visible. That is what started our facination in this remarkable family history. Cool stuff!

katiewornek said...


My name is Katie Wornek and I am a researcher for a television show called American Ride ( We are interested in using the photo of Deadwood found at the top of this blog entry. Do you know if the image has an active copyright and, if so, do you know how I can obtain the rights to use the image?

Thank you for your help. Rather than commenting back, please reach me at


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