1883 History of Brown County Ohio book published by Beers.
However, Michael wasn't always a maker of cigars. When he arrived in Levanna, Brown County, Ohio in 1852 from his native Germany, he was a blacksmith by trade. After a year in Levanna, he purchased some land and opened a vineyard. He must have seen some success in his endeavor as his name is listed as producing wine in the Vintage of 1858. Then tragedy struck. In the summer of 1865, while tending his grapes, Michael suffered sunstroke and was forced to end his career as a grape grower and wine producer. The following year, he established his cigar making business and enjoyed a good trade in Ripley.
The photograph shows Michael in front of his store which was probably located on Main Street. To his left is his son-in-law, Nicholas Becker. The young man to Michael's right is unknown.