George M. Muehlhauser was the proprietor of the Ogontz Garage located at the corner of Decatur and Market Street from 1919 until 1951. Hewson Peeke wrote in his 1916 edition of A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio that though George M. Muehlhauser was only a little past the age of thirty-five, he had been more or less closely associated with business concerns in Sandusky for twenty years. Mr. Peeke considered Mr. Muehlhauser to be one of the hardest working and successful businessman in Sandusky.
Born in Sandusky on March 10, 1879, to C. A. and Elizabeth (Fettel) Muehlhauser, George M. Muehlhauser was the older of the two Muehlhauser children. George married Susan Eckler in 1900. They had four children: August, Mildred, George, Jr., and Wesley. George Muehlhauser had several jobs before opening the Ogontz Garage. He worked in his father’s furniture business, and had held positions with the Sandusky Automobile Company and the Dunbar Manufacturing Company.
In 1916, the Ogontz Garage was the local agency for Cadillac and REO cars. By the 1920’s the garage focused on REO and Packard vehicles. An advertisement (shown above) in the September 24, 1921 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal featured the REO Speed Wagon, a vehicle which was said to have “revolutionized transportation.” The REO Speed Wagon was a pneumatic tired truck which was used for hauling and making deliveries. It boasted “great power, endurance, and low upkeep.” Of course, the REO Speed Wagon was the basis for the name for the band of the same name. During the 1913 Perry’s Victory Centennial, the Ogontz Garage advertized in the souvenir program. Proprietor George M. Muehlhauser stated that his fireproof garage was “fully equipped for any and all repairs” for the tourists visiting Sandusky and the Lake Erie Islands for the Perry’s Victory Celebration.