In 1888, George J. Schmitt worked as a pharmacist's assistant in the Gale and Block Drug Store, located in the Palmer House Hotel. The pharmacy was selling spring water, and Schmitt realized that here was a product that could be delivered directly to customers.
Otis Hinckley was, at the time, a water delivery man for the White Rock Corporation. Hinckley and Schmitt became partners and purchased water from White Rock for delivery to customers. Their business rapidly expanded to include many varieties of spring and bottled waters, along with water cooler service to offices - an innovative service which they pioneered.
Now a division of the Suntory Water Group, Hinckley & Schmitt, Inc. continues to deliver natural spring water and filtered water in Chicago and throughout the United States.
Otis Hinckley and George Schmitt, with their families, are buried in neighboring plots in Rosehill. Their graves are in the opposite order of the familiar brand name -- Schmitt is on the left, Hinckley on the right.
Special thanks to Lisa DeVries, Marketing Manager at Hinckley & Schmitt for information on the company, its history, and the pictures of GJS, OWH and the truck.
Left: George Schmitt