By Rebecca Billman
The Cincinnati Enquirer
MARIEMONT - Louis Joseph Gerwe, former owner of Bromwell's - one of downtown Cincinnati's oldest companies - died Nov. 16 at his home.
Mr. Gerwe, 92, was the second generation of his family to own and operate Bromwell's, which was originally a manufacturer of wire products. The business went through several changes since it was founded in 1819 by Jacob Bromwell, a weaver of screens, sieves and other wire goods.
Mr. Gerwe was 14 when his father, Joseph B. Gerwe, acquired the company in 1923. He quit Holmes High School four years later to help run the business. The only time he ever worked away from Bromwell's was during World War II when he put in a stint at Cincinnati Milling Machine Co. helping to produce war-related goods.
Retailing was in Mr. Gerwe's blood. Born in Ludlow in 1909, he grew up working at his father's hardware store there. He didn't retire from Bromwell's until he was in his 80s and after that, he called the store regularly to check up on business and to offer his advice.
Mr. Gerwe's son Gary is the current owner of the store, which deals in fireplace accessories and gifts, and is located on West Fourth Street.
As a young boy, Mr. Gerwe walked around Covington with his grandfather in the evenings and watched the firefighters train the horses to back into their harnesses in order to pull the wagons.
During the 1930s, he played piano with the local Hauser Orchestra.
Mr. Gerwe was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Tonnies Gerwe and a son, David.
In addition to his son, Gary, survivors include two other sons, Bill and Joe; two daughters, Lyn Kraussnd Louise Bruemmer; 15 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Services have been held.
Ex-coroner accused of drug scam
Want to blow up Cinergy Field? Buy a ticket for the chance
Speeches, letters honor Rev. Booth
Sycamore teachers talking strike
IN THE TRISTATE
New displays, kids' activities featured
$100K raised for criminal reviews
Heart device cuts deaths, hospitalization
Obituary: Louis J. Gerwe, ran Bromwell's
Tristate A.M. Report
RADEL: Meeting a need
MCNUTT: Christmas walks
GUTIERREZ: Home-sales slump
FAITH MATTERS: Love served for Thanksgiving
BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
Portman backs schools in legal fight
Hamilton group wants baseball team by '05
Firm to design Milford park
Clermont kids learn to help those in need
Political parties unite to oppose `eccentric' board member
Ohio ethnic groups hail NATO growth
Malpractice bill contains lawmakers' message for court
Twister wrecks tight city budgets
USDA suspends regional director
Veterans wait for state's second home
N.Ky. market idea gets one OK
Researcher denies fish poaching
Union reps accuse Patton of `bad faith'
Craven did not waver in denials
New hall is on the way
Former Salvation Army worker charged in Christmas toy theft
State may release felons to save money
`Hillbillies' reality show under fire