Frederick Sheide was an interesting character. In addition to running a successful bottling business, he included politician, internal revenue agent, night club proprietor and bootlegger on his resume.
According to a story in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, printed at the time of his death in March, 1944, Frederick Sheide served as Babylon Town Clerk in 1907, Babylon Town Supervisor from 1909 to 1911 and served in the State Assembly in 1913, representing the 2nd Suffolk District. He also served as Excise Commissioner and at one time was Chairman of the Democratic Committee. Another story in 1911 described Sheide as a man of “parts” – clerk, Assemblyman and county chairman and conducts a bottling business at the same time”
According to a recent (July 13, 2016) issue of the “South Bay’s Neighbor” he started the Sheide Bottling Co. on May 1, 1900 with 5 employees. Three years later, a November 15, 1903 item published in the “American Carbonator and American Bottler” announced:
The Sheide Bottling Co., Lindenhurst, Long Island, is a model establishment and does a nice business.”
Over their first 15 years the business grew considerably as evidenced by several stories that appeared in Babylon’s “South Side Signal.” One, published in their July 18, 1913 edition announced that the business was transitioning from horse drawn wagon delivery methods to gasoline powered trucks.
The Sheide Bottling Company has purchased a new automobile truck for their growing business. The truck is expected tomorrow. Two horses and the fine little pony are for sale.
Another, in the “Signal’s” May 8, 1914 edition announced:
The Sheide Bottling Company has installed a latest model bottling apparatus. The machine, which weighs 1700 pounds, can bottle 600 boxes of mineral water a day.
The above improvements in both production and delivery methods enabled Sheide to expand his geographical reach as evidenced by another “Signal” item, this one published on November 26, 1915.
The Sheide Bottling Company extended it’s route west from Freeport to Lynbrook and east from East Islip to Patchogue.
An advertisement found in the August 25, 1916 edition of the “Signal” specifically touted Sheide’s then fleet of delivery trucks, (The picture’s quite grainy but still with a look!). It announced:
All goods delivered within a radius of 25 miles.
As early as 1914 Sheide was advertising what he called his “Imperial Carbonated Beverages” as evidenced by this advertisement that appeared in the December 4, 1914 edition of the “Signal.”
By 1920 he was also serving as the local Suffolk County bottler for Ward’s “Orange (and Lemon) Crush.” This is confirmed in advertisements within several issues of the “Brooklyn Daily Eagle” between June and August of 1920 (right side at bottom).
Frederick listed his occupation as bottler/mineral water manufacturer in both the 1900 and 1910 census. In the 1920 census, Sheide changed his occupation to “deputy collector internal revenue” and an August 8, 1920 story in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle referred to him as “the head of the internal revenue forces” in Patchogue Long Island. His wife Agnes listed her occupation as mineral water in 1920 so apparently they continued running the bottling business during this period.
By 1927 Sheide was manager of the Plaza Roadhouse, a club on Merrick Road in Lindenhurst. This is confirmed by advertisements for New Years Eve Celebrations in both 1927 and 1928.
Whether the bottling operation continued as part of this business is unclear but he certainly maintained connections with the beverage industry during Prohibition, albeit illegally. An October 11, 1931 news story talks of his arrest:
Former Assemblyman Frederick Sheide, prominent Suffolk County Democrat, who once operated as Federal internal revenue agent out of Patchogue, today was arrested by Federal agents here while he was making a delivery of 10 half barrels of beer.
The agents were not satisfied with a simple truck seizure and transportation charge against the former divisional chief. They went to Sheide’s Plaza Roadhouse here on the Montauk Highway and located a drop of 70 half barrels behind the main house.
Sheide was the Federal prohibition chief who in his reign in 1921 said home brew was the prohibition man’s biggest problem in Suffolk County…
It was the first time Sheide had been nabbed by Federal agents in the several year operation of the plaza…
Despite the arrest, Sheide was still a Democratic Party leader in Copaigue, Long Island, at the time of his death in 1944.
I’ve found a total of three bottles. Two were produced in private molds; one is a 27 oz. machine made and the other an 8 oz. tooled crown. Both exhibit a great image of a light house embossed on the back of the bottle.
The third is machine-made that’s embossed utilizing a standard slug plate. It’s a rather odd-sized 10 oz.
The machine made bottles were found in the western portion of the bays so I’m guessing they were made after the company extended its route to Lynbrook in 1915.
This post was updated on April, 30, 2023.