History of the Union House
Leonard Dietrich was the original proprietor of the Union House in 1876, owning it until 1893 when it
was sold to Henry Eberhard (Eberhardt). Around 1898 John Eidenmuller (Eitenmiller) became proprietor
and owned it until at least 1906. By 1908 the proprietorship belonged to Henry L. Taubert, listing it in
Pekin City Directory as a Sample Room and Summer Garden (beer garden). Henry was owner until about
1930, when the name of the hotel was changed and in 1932 the building was not listed in the city
From The Pantagraph, 15 Feb 1881- Leonard Dietrich, proprietor of the Union House in Pekin, will
enlarge that establishment in the spring. The east side of the building will be torn out and a new brick
wall built. An additional story will be built over the entire building, similar to that of the White House,
presenting a neat and tasty improvement. The plans are all completed and the contract given. This
improvement will cost about $2000.
Leonard Dietrich was born in Neustadt, Germany 6 December 1838 and came to America in 1867 with
his bride, Katherine Hoffman Dietrich. For many years he conducted the Union House at Court and
Second streets. He loved music and was a member of Gehrig’s band and other musical organizations.
He died 3 October 1919 and was buried at Lakeside. He left a son George, daughter Anna Winkel, son
August and daughter Emma Apfel.
Henry Eberhard was born 6 October 1865 in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany to Hyronimus & Christine
Eberhardt. He wed Mary Lautenschlager in Pekin in 1888. He had the Union House but a short time
before moving to Peoria where he worked as a carpenter before moving to Los Angeles, California
where he died 14 April 1932. He’s buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery.
John H. Eidenmueller was born in Hesse-Darmstadt 29 October 1846 and had fought in the Prussian
Army during the Franco-Prussian War. He married Julia Becker in Pekin 22 December 1872. They had
eight children of whom five survived, William, Mrs. Carl Lucas, Mrs. George Heilman, Mrs. Alfred Arnold
and George. Mr. Eidenmueller had been a cobbler by trade but was one of the proprietors of the Union
House. He died 31 March 1927 and is buried at Lakeside.
Henry Louis Taubert, a lifelong resident of Pekin, died Tuesday morning, 30 January 1934, at his home,
1116 Broadway. He was a son of August F. and Mary Zuckweller Taubert, and was born in Pekin, July 7,
1870 and until a few years ago had been actively engaged in business here. His marriage to Miss Mary
Wagler took place in Bloomington, March 10, 1902 and he is survived by his widow, three children,
Henry Louis of Spring Lake; Mrs. Dorothy Radeos and Russell Kenneth Taubert, Chicago; and two sisters,
Mrs. Catherine Brown of Chicago and Mrs. Louise Harris of Pekin. In his earlier years he was a
cigarmaker, but for many years he conducted the Union Hotel at Court and Second Streets. He was a
musician of ability and had been a member of Bauer’s and Gehrig’s bands of this city. He was a member
of the Knights of Pythias. Burial in Lakeside Mausoleum.
A million thanks to member Fred Massaglia for donating this photo. It is the only known photo of the
Union House in existence. We gave it the whole next page in hopes the image would be clear enough
for someone to recognize a relative.
History of the Union House