(second period)Grand Parade, Cork, Bandon, and Queenstown
Hilser Brothers - Cork and Bandon - 1900
Hilser Brothers - Cork, Bandon, and Queenstown - 1921
Hilser Brothers - Cork, Bandon, and Queenstown - c.1930
This business was founded by Henry Hilser in the last years of the 19th century and established at Grand Parade, Cork. Henry resurrected the name of his father's and uncle's, Richard and Joseph Hilser, original business that was established at Cork in 1860. Henry's father and mother, Richard and Josephine had arrived from Germany in 1860, but Richard was to die early, and it was perhaps his brother, Joseph, who may have trained Henry, and his younger brothers, Frank and Gregory, into the trade. Henry's mother was Josephine, her maiden name was Duffner, and she was no doubt part of the Duffner family of German watchmakers, who also made Ireland their home in the second part of the 19th century.
Henry Hilser was born on the 12th July 1875 and was baptised 'Henry Patrick Hilser' at the Catholic church of St Peter and Paul's at Cork, just six days later, on the 18th July 1875.
The 1901 Irish census reveals that Henry is a 25 year old Watchmaker and Jeweller, born in Cork, and not married. He lives with his mother, and still head of the family, Josephine, who is a 52 year old widow, born in Germany, and his brother, Frank, a 23 year old Watchmaker and Jeweller, born in Cork and unmarried. Also resident at the time of the census was 59 year old Sophie Duffner. The family are all Catholics, and have one servant living with them and live at 11, Buxton Hill, in the Sunday's Well area of Cork.
The 1911 Irish census reveals Henry as a 36 year old Jeweller of 4, Sunday's Well Road, he is now married to 32 year old, German born, Amelie, they have five daughters, Rita, 9 years old, Amy, 7 years old, Mary, 6 years old, Elsie, 4 years old, and Ursula, 2 years old, they were all born in Cork city. The family are described as Roman Catholics and have two servants living with them.
The 1911 census shows that 62 year old Josephine is still living at 11, Buxton Hill, but now has her 30 year old son living with her. Gregory Hilser is described as a Jeweller born in the city of Cork, he is unmarried. The household has one live-in servant.
In 1902 Henry exhibited his mother's family's clocks from their factory located in the Black Forest region of Germany at the Cork International Industrial Exhibition.
Henry Hilser also opened a shop in Bandon, and later, one in Queenstown, and was followed into the business by three of his five daughters, Mary, Ursula and Rita. Rita left the business when she married but Mary and Ursula remained in the business until they joined by their nephew Harry.
Harry trained as a watchmaker in Switzerland after studying jewellery in the Cork School of Art. In 1962, Harry doubled the size of the original shop in the Grand Parade when he took over the adjoining tobacconists. His daughter Miriam, fifth generation of the family has since entered the business. Miriam is a registered valuer and both Harry and Miriam are past presidents of the Retail Jewellers of Ireland. The firm are still in business today.