Soda Water – the other bottled beverage

Setzler Wine garden 3600 Independence Avenue, circa 1900.
x Kansas City Public Library, Missouri Valley Special Collections

Michael Bushnell
Northeast News


To date, our Historic Postcard series this summer has focused on Kansas City’s local brewing history, chronicling the stories of local brewing companies such as Heim, Muehlebach and Goetz. This week, we’ll take a look at other local bottlers who focused on another carbonated beverage, Soda Water.

Image courtesy of the Kansas City Museum


Twin Springs Bottling Works was founded in 1862 by Philip Setzler after he emigrated from his native Germany. The company was located at 3712 E. 6th Street and Setzler built his home nearby at Independence Avenue and Monroe. Sanborn Fire Insurance maps from that period show his bottling operation located roughly where the strip shopping center that houses Buy the Pound thrift store is located today.

Images courtesy of: Hometown Beer: A history of Kansas City’s Breweries by H. James Maxwell and Bob Sullivan Jr. Copyright 1999, Omega Innovative Marketing, Kansas City, MO


In order to have a constant supply of pure spring water, Setzler bought a roughly 15 acre parcel that came complete with fresh water springs, something vital for the production of flavored soda water.


Images courtesy of: Hometown Beer:
A history of Kansas City’s Breweries

Setzler also planted a small vineyard on the north side of Independence Avenue between what is today Askew and Monroe Avenues. He built a brick structure, probably used for storage of casks and soda bottles and offered wine for sale to patrons who could relax on the lushly planted grounds.
While Setzler’s bottling success was well known, he was also active in civic affairs, sitting on the first school board formed in the city. In 1925, Setzler’s sons who had taken over the operation of the company upon their father’s death, were responsible for bringing the National Convention of Soda Bottlers to Kansas City in 1925, during the height of Prohibition.

Images courtesy of: Hometown Beer: A history of Kansas City’s Breweries


Following WWII, the company was sold to the B-1 Beverage Company in St. Louis, Missouri. An entry in the 1946 Index of Trademarks issued by the US Patent Office lists the company as the B-1, Setzler Soda Water Company, manufacturers of non-alcoholic, non-cereal, malt-less beverages. A search of the Missouri Secretary of State’s web site shows all entries for B-1 Bottling Company in St. Louis, MO as being dissolved as of 1956.

x Kansas City Public Library, Missouri Valley Special Collections
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