Bremer Ehrler, Secretary of State for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, 1988-92, was born in Louisville July 10, 1914, one of four sons of Dominic E. and Sophia Bremer Ehrler. His grandfather, Joseph Maria Ehrler, a Swiss immigrant, founded Ehrler’s Dairy. As a young man, Bremer worked on the family dairy farm on Poplar Level Road. He graduated from Du Pont Manual High School in 1931. In 1941 He married Elizabeth Greive. They had four sons and two daughters. In 1942, he volunteered for the army, where he saw four years of active duty in the adjutant general’s branch. He remained in the Army Reserve and retired in 1968 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
In 1936 Ehrler took a job with the U. S. Post Office, where he worked until his retirement in 1973. In 1962, he became Louisville’s Postmaster. He also served as president of the National Association of Postmasters and on the Postmaster General’s Advisory Committee. As Kentuckiana District Manager/Postmaster, he was responsible for 1,300 post offices and a budget of $100 million.
In 1973 Ehrler was elected to the post of Jefferson County Clerk, a position he held for three terms. He was an innovator who initiated the first computerized vehicle-registration system and the first electronic voting system in Kentucky.
On December 21, 1984, Governor Martha Layne Collins appointed Ehrler, a Democrat, as Jefferson County Judge-Executive after incumbent Mitch McConnell was elected to the U. S. Senate. Ehrler held that post until January 6, 1986. In 1987, he was elected Secretary of State, a position he filled until 1992. In 1993, he was appointed to finish an unexpired term as Jefferson County Sheriff.
Active in civic organizations, Ehrler served as president of the Louisville Rotary Club from 1987-88. He was named Rotarian of the Year for 1993-1994 and he received the Lifetime Service Award from the Rotary Club in 2000. He is Past Chapter Commander of the Military Order of the World Wars, having served as Commander in 1995.
Ehrler has received many honors for his years of public service. Bremer Way and Ehrler Drive, located east of Poplar Level Road in Louisville, are named for him and his family. The building occupied by the Jeffersontown branch of the Jefferson County Clerk’s office is also named for him. Ehrler lives in retirement in Louisville.
Kentucky Birth Index, Office of Vital Statistics.
Kleber, John E., ed. The Encyclopedia of Louisville Lexington, 2001.
U.S. Census, 1930.