Friday, October 19, 2012

"Elsa" - Another Werk Home in Westwood

Continuing the series of Werk family homes, "Elsa" on Fleetwood Avenue is also commonly know as the Werk Mansion.
Fleetwood Avenue - Source
Casimir L. Werk Sr. was born in 1844, the eldest child of Michael and Pauline LaFeuille Werk. He followed in his father's footsteps, becoming director of the M. Werk Company. In 1878, he married Pauline Herancourt, daughter of George Herancourt, president of the Herancourt Brewing Company.

Original Sketch of C.L. Werk's home, published in 1880. Source
Biography of Casimir L. Werk, as published in The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography in 1922:
WERK, Casimir Louis, manufacturer, was born in Cincinnati, 0., July 4, 1844, son of Michael and Pauline (LaFeuille) Werk. His father, a native of Alsace, was the founder of the M. Werk Co., manufacturers of soap, candles and glycerin at Cincinnati, also founder of M. Werk & Sons, manufacturers of native wines, Cincinnati. After completing his education at Polytechnicum, Karlsruhe, Germany, the son entered his father’s soap business, and upon the latter’s death, in 1893, took the management of the business. He had formerly been a director in the Cincinnati Gas & Electric Co., and at his death was a member of the directorate of the Cincinnati Union Stock Yards Co., Dayton & Michigan Railroad Co., and Foulds Milling Co., Chicago. Being a good violinist, he found his chief recreation in music. He held membership also in the Business Men’s and Western Hills Country Clubs (Cincinnati). Politically he was a Republican. A man of large vision and high ideals, his dominating personal characteristics were unlimited capacity for work, a surplus of energy, keen foresight, and minuteness in detail. During his long residence in Cincinnati, he was an essential part in every movement and undertaking that had for its purpose the improvement of the Queen City or the betterment of the people. He was married in Cincinnati, 0., Feb. 27, 1878, to Pauline, daughter of George Herancourt, president of the Herancourt Brewing Co., and left six children: Casimir Michel, vice-president of the Herancourt Brewing Co.; George H., a physician; Emil E., secretary and treasurer of the M. Werk Co.; Casimir L. Jr., a broker; Pauline L., wife of Arthur Kleve, and Lillian E., wife of Edwin C. Price. He died in Cincinnati, 0., Nov. 8, 1919.
After Casimir L. Werk's death, the home transferred ownership to Casimir L. Werk, Jr. and his wife Elsie Haberthear, and they did not have any children. Casimir, Jr died in 1955 and Elsa, for whom the home is named, remarried. She passed away in 1986.

Living Room redecorated by Elsa Werk - Source

Circa 1960's - Source
The home then went through some several owners until 2009, when it was foreclosed upon. Luckily, the current owners of making strides towards its restoration. The following pictures are from the real estate listing  by Ron Schaible in 2009.


  1. always shocked you don't get more comments. thanks for putting in the all the hours of hard work so we can reap the benefits in a mere 5 minutes or so.

    nice to hear its being restored. i always find those arched entryways so neat.

  2. I was one of the two owners of Casamir-Elsa from 2001-2005 and we found it almost impossible to find any photographs or history about the house that we were living in so it's fascinating to read about it now. Thank so much for posting this information. I am curious if you were able to dig up any more information that you haven't posted yet.

    Many great memories were created in that house and I had the fortune to meet the current owner and witness how he and his wife are lovingly restoring the home to it's original beauty.

    1. I moved a family out of this house. Wonder if it was yours?

    2. I moved a family out of this home around this time frame. Could it be yours? Worked for Berger Allied

    3. My Grandmother was the daughter of Thomas J. Werk. Her name was Inez Elva Werk. We believe that Thomas was descendant from Gustav, 1st cousin to the Original Michael Werk. I have photos of my great-granfather in "jennys castle", Eugenia Werk's home. She was his Aunt by all accounts from my grandmother. There was a falling out in the family after the fire of Casmir's house. I really would like to talk with anyone who might have more info.

  3. thank you for posting this info about the mansion. We've driven by it before & were in awe of such an interesting home!

  4. I too would intentionally drive by the house hoping some day to be able to visit it.

  5. Why did I read the castle was demolished in 1939?

  6. My grandpa was Louis Werk

    He often told us about the castles Werk’s had in Cincinnati

  7. My grandpa was Louis Werk

    He often told us about the castles Werk’s had in Cincinnati


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