Skip to main content Skip to footer

Otto Bremer Trust


Last profile update: 11/09/2017
Last grant data update: 06/15/2018

At A Glance

Otto Bremer Trust

(formerly Otto Bremer Foundation)

30 7th St E

Saint Paul, MN United States 55101-2201

Telephone: (651) 227-8036


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation






Trust established in 1944 in MN - Otto Bremer emigrated from Germany in 1886, after completing his apprenticeship in banking. He began his banking career as a bookkeeper for the National German American Bank in Saint Paul. Thirty-five years later, in 1921, Mr. Bremer was elected chairman of the American National Bank, of which he was a stockholder and director. He remained in that position for thirty years combining with it a wide range of political, financial, and corporate activities, including the presidency of the Schmidt Brewing Company, which he assumed at the death of his brother, Adolph, in 1939. Active in community affairs, Mr. Bremer served as Treasurer of the City of Saint Paul for ten years, played a key role in the creation of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party, and advised presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was named by Franklin D. Roosevelt to manage the Federal Home Owners' Loan Corporation of Minnesota It was Mr. Bremer's deep concern for his holdings in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin, that prompted the formation of the Otto Bremer Foundation. Mr. Bremer realized that his death might initiate procedures that could disrupt many of the banks in which he believed so strongly. Through the foundation, he sought to insure the perpetuation of the Bremer banks and the ultimate return of his wealth to the trade territories of the banks and the City of Saint Paul The Otto Bremer Company, which is now the Bremer Financial Corporation, was formed in 1943 with the transfer of Mr. Bremer's stock in these countryside banks, in order to perpetuate their banking relationships. The Otto Bremer Foundation was created the next year and eventually received ownership of the assets of the Otto Bremer Company. As a charitable trust, the foundation could channel back into these communities philanthropic dollars earned from the deposits made by citizens in their local Bremer bank

Purpose and Activities

The mission of the foundation is to assist people in achieving full economic, civic and social participation in and for the betterment of their communities.