216 N. 33rd Street



The History of the Building


Built 1887. Three-and-one-half story red brick Victorian mansion with brownstone basement and trim. Ornate wood trim of circular porch, in excellent condition; wood, balustrade replaced with iron. Three-story corner turret with pressed metal brick and brownstone detail and slate conical roof; elaborate iron grilles and gable detail. Architect: A.W. Dilks.”

(Inventory of Buildings in Powelton from the application submitted to the National Register of Historic Places, 1985)


Previous Residents of 216 N. 33rd Street


1887, Mar. 15: Title to 72 feet along Powelton Ave. west of N. 33rd St. transferred to Frederick A. Poth by John Sellers, Jr. and wife.


1887, Jun. 10: Title to an additional 4 feet along Powelton Ave. transferred to Frederick A. Poth by John Sellers, Jr. and wife.


1889 Directory (fall, 1888): Frederick A. Poth, President at 237 Green St.

                          Frederick J. Poth, clerk

            In 1887, they lived at 704 N. 5th St.


1891: Frederick Poth develops houses at 3301-3317 Powelton Ave.  The family continues to own them until 1953.


1894 Directory: Frederick A. Poth, president at N. 31st & Jefferson St. (F. A. Poth Brewing Co.) and v-president of Integrity Title & Insurance Trust and Safe Deposit Co.

                         Frederick J. Poth secretary at N. 31st and Jefferson Sts.

                                    The 1895 directory lists him living on School House Lane, Roxboro

                         William O. Poth, clerk


1896, Feb. 15, Phila. Inquirer: “Frederick A. Poth, the brewer, has purchased from James McGuire the property at the southeast corner of Thirty-fifth street and Powelton avenue, for $142,000.”


1897:  “Mr. and Mrs. F. A. Poth… have left for Europe, where they will make a six-weeks’ stay.”  (Phila. Inquirer, July 25)


1898 Blue Book: William O. Poth and George J. Roesch were members of the Powelton Club. (For a brief history of the club, see the Powelton History Blog.)



Frederick A. Poth        60        Brewer; born in Germany

Helena Poth                54        Born in Germany

Emma B. Poth             33

William O. Poth          24        Manager of a brewery

Clare M. Poth              21

Harry A. Poth              20

Frank L. Poth              18

Bridget Harkins           22

Kate Mc Gee               35

Delia Moran                23

Earnest Thomas          22

(ED 578, p 4A)

          For a laudatory biographical sketch, see the entry in the 1911 Philadelphia: Pictorial and Biographical. 

            Emma Poth married Edward A. Schmidt in 1886 linking the two brewer families.

            Harry Poth attended the William Penn Charter school until 1898 and graduated from the Pennsylvania Military academy in 1902.  On Oct. 19, 1910, “Harry A. Poth and Mrs. Mary P. Skelly, of 601 North Thirty-fourth street, were united in marriage… at the Cathedral House by his grace Archbishop Ryan.  Mr. Poth is widely known in business and social circles.  The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Patton [601 N. 34th St.].  Only members of the two families attended the ceremony.  Mrs. Albert Pancoast [601 N. 34th St. in 1906], sister of the bride, was matron of honor, and Dr. E. M. Fury, of Norristown, best man.  Mr. and Mrs. Poth will make an extended wedding trip and on their return will reside at St. David’s.”  (Phila. Inquirer, Oct. 20)


Frederick A. Poth


1901, March 9: Death of William Otto Poth, 24 years old, in New York. Funeral services at his parents’ home, 216 N. 33rd St.


1902, April 23: Marriage of Clare Poth to Alfred Wolstonholme.  The marriage was performed by Rev. Charles M. Armstrong at the home of the bride’s parents.


1905, Jan. 21: Death of Frederick A. Poth at age 64.  He died from the effects of diabetes.  He had moved to 4118 Parkside Ave., the “Brantwood,” which he had built.

            In addition to being president of F. A. Poth & Sons brewery, “Mr. Poth was vice president of the Integrity Title Insurance and Safe Deposit Company.  He was prominent in Masonic circles and also belonged to a number of German singing societies.”  (Phila. Inquirer, Jan. 22)

            Following Frederick Poth’s death, his son, Frederick J. Poth, was elected president and his son-in-law, Edward A. Schmidt, was elected to the Board of Directors.  Son Harry A. Poth was secretary and treasurer.


            Helena M. Poth died April 17, 1916 in Atlantic City.  She was living in St. Davids, probably at the home of her son, Harry.


1908 Directory: George J. Roesh, Secretary & Treasurer, Charles Roesch & Sons Co,



George J. Roesch         46        President of wholesale beef co.; parents born in Germany [Prussia]

Mathilde A. Roesch*   37        Married 17 years, 3 children, 2 surviving

Claire H. Roesch         12        Born in N.J.

Helene M. Roesch         8       

Caroline L. Evans        35        Governess; single

Josephine Weber          37        Cook; born in Germany, immigrated in 1896

Minnie Amerio            46        Laundress; married 11 years, 2 children; born in Germany, immigrated 1899

Hesson Ito                   25        Butler; born in Japan, immigrated 1903

Barbara Eickinger        29        Chambermaid; born in Germany, immigrated in 1903

(ED 533, 3B-4A)

* Mrs. Roesch was the daughter of Frederick and Helena Poth.


George Roesch was the son of a butcher.  In 1880, his family lived at 326 George St.  In 1895, George and Mathilde lived at 3300 Spring Garden St.  He worked for Charles Roesch & Sons which had three locations including one near 30th and Arch.   In the 1910 Census (in June), they were living at 706 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City, N.J. where they were renting (for the summer).  In 1900, they were living at 221 N. 34th St. (see there for more biography.)


1915, Aug. 29: Death of Mathilde H. Roesch, wife of George J. Roesch and daughter of Helene M. and Frederick A. Poth, suddenly at her summer home, 1804 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City, N.J.; funeral at her late residence, 216 N. 33rd St. (Phila. Inquirer, Aug. 31, 1915)


1916, Dec. 1: Death of George J. Roesch, 52 years old; funeral at his late residence, 216 N. 33rd St.  (Phila. Inquirer, Dec. 3, 1916)

            In 1920, Claire (age 22) and Helene (18) were living with their aunt and uncle, Emma and Edward Schmidt in Radner, Delaware Co., Pa.


1918 Directory: Margaret L'Amarus



Helen M. Wells            28        Dormitory matron; born in Iowa, father born in Conn., mother in Iowa

(ED 688,4A)



Ruth A. L. Dorsey       52        Dean of women, Drexel University; single; father born in Maryland; renting

(ED 397, 9A)

            In 1940, she lived with her sister Ethel L. Dorsey at 4600 Spruce St., Apt. 1-C.  She was still Dean of Women.  In 1838, she earned $4,200.  She had five years of college education.  Her sister was a registered nurse who earned $4,150 with four years of high school.


1939:  Became the home of the Drexel University chapter of the Alpha Pi Lambda Fraternity. 


1947, Apr. 17: Title transferred to Alumni Corp. of Alpha Pi Lambda Fraternity by Estate of Frederick A. Poth.


1948, Dec. 21: Title transferred to Drexel Institute of Technology by Alumni Corp. of Alpha Pi Lambda Fraternity


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Revised 11/3/2013                                                                                                                 About Powelton Village