Charles Hires
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Charles Elmer Hires (1851 - 1937)

Charles Elmer Hires
Born in Elsinboro Township, Salem, New Jersey, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 5 Jan 1875 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United Statesmap
Husband of — married 28 Dec 1911 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniamap
Died in Haverford Township, Delaware, Pennsylvania, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 24 May 2019
This page has been accessed 719 times.


Notables Project
Charles Hires is Notable.
American pharmacist and an early promoter of commercially prepared root beer. He founded the Charles E. Hires Co., which manufactured and distributed Hires Root Beer.

Charles Elmer Hires was born on August 19, 1851 in Elsinboro Township, Salem, New Jersey, United States.[1][2][3][4][5][6] He was a son of John Dare Hires and Mary Williams.[7][8][9][10]

At 12 years of age Charles was apprenticed to a Cumberland County druggist making $1 a week.[11]

At the age of 16, he attended night classes at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science.[11]

By the age of 18, he had saved $400 which he invested in a drug store.[11]

In 1875, Charles developed the beverage which became to be known as root beer.

Charles married Clara Kate Smith in January 5, 1875 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[12] It was while they were on their honeymoon that Charles first encountered root beer. After experimenting with the recipe and test-marketing it out of his drugstore, he introduced it at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia.

Charles married Emma Waln in 1911 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.[13]

Charles died on July 31, 1937 in Haverford Township, Delaware, Pennsylvania, United States from a stroke. [10][14] He is buried in Westminster Cemetery, in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, United States.[8][11][14][15][16]


  1. New Jersey Births and Christenings, 1660-1980, Charles Hires, 19 Jul 1851; citing Elsinboro Twp,Salem ,New Jersey.
  2. United States Census, 1860, Chas Hires in entry for Jno D Hires, Year: 1860; Census Place: Elsinboro, Salem, New Jersey; Roll: M653_707; Page: 8
  3. United States Census, 1880 Chas Hires in entry for E A Falcoe, 1880; citing enumeration district ED 155, sheet 9A
  4. United States Census, 1910, Charles E Hires Sr., Haverford, Delaware, Pennsylvania, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 140, sheet 20B, family 353
  5. United States Census, 1920 Charles E Hires, Haverford, Delaware, Pennsylvania, United States; citing ED 167, sheet 3A, line 21, family 46.
  6. United States Census, 1930 Charles E Hires, Haverford, Delaware, Pennsylvania, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 69, sheet 16A, line 14, family.
  7. 8.0 8.1 Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1967; Certificate Number Range: 077001-080000
  8. United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925, Charles E Hires, 1920; citing Passport Application, Pennsylvania, United States, source certificate #25167, Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 - March 31, 1925, 1183
  9. 10.0 10.1 New Jersey Deaths and Burials, 1720-1988 Charles E. Hires, 31 Jul 1937
  10. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Charles Hires Dead; Root Beer Magnate The Philadelphia Inquire. (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) 01 Aug 1937, Sun. Page 1.
  11. Pennsylvania Marriages, 1709-1940 Charles E. Hires and Clara K. Smith, 05 Jan 1875; citing Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  12. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marriage Index, 1885-1951. [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.
  13. 14.0 14.1 New Jersey, Deaths, 1670-1988 Charles E. Hires, 31 Jul 1937; citing Death, Woodbury, Gloucester, New Jersey, United States, Division of Archives and Record Management, New Jersey Department of State, Trenton
  14. Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 1177
  15. Find A Grave, memorial page for Charles Elmer Hires (19 Aug 1851–31 Jul 1937), Find A Grave Memorial no. 485, citing Westminster Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA

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