George Raps

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George Raps (born March 31, 1853 in Racine, Wisconsin; ) was a saloon keeper and real estate developer.

Raps was the son of W. A. and Anna B. Steininger Raps who emigrated from Bavaria to New York, and then to Wisconsin. In 1865 the family moved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee and farmed and ran a hotel. George was the fourth of their seven children and attended public schools in Racine and Union University in Tennessee, initially pursuing the study of medicine.

After two years in college, Raps left to begin working in business in Courtland, Lawrence County, then moved to Nashville, Tennessee until moving to Birmingham in 1882. He opened the George Raps & Co. Saloon in 1883, expanding it into one of the city's largest such establishments, which displayed his collection of curiosities, such as a pipe smoked by Sitting Bull's grandmother.

That same year he married fellow Wisconsin native Nellie Reilly and had two children, Nellie R. and George, Jr.

He developed the City Market at 19th Street and Avenue D in 1885, providing space for Birmingham Fire Station No. 2 which served the Southside. The company named their steam pumper, purchased in 1887, the "Nellie R. Raps" after his daughter. In return, he outfitted the company with new blue cashmere uniforms.

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