Descendant Host: Henry Kurz
Mary Ferm Collection
1878 - 1947
Peter Joseph Kurz
Henry Louis Kurz - son
1880 Federal Census page for Belle Plaine, Shawano County, Wisconsin, showing the Peter Joseph Kurz Sr. family living on the family farm in June 1880. Henry was then 2 years old.
Rita Neustifter Collection
The family, made up of Mother Katherine, Henry, Vincent and Josephine were found living in town of Hutchins in northwest Shawano County, Wisconsin on the June 1900 Census, which indicates that the Shawano County farm was sold very shortly after Peter Joseph Sr.'s death in October 1898.
Less than 2 years afterward, Henry had assumed
as wage earner for the household at the time of his father's death.
and Vincent were working as laborers on the 1900 Census. Upon
in Hutchins, Henry, at about age 19, went to work in a pulp mill to
care of the family and managed to save some of his money. They work was very hard and the hours were long. Henry worked
a 12 hour day for 10 cents an hour. Every other week they would switch
to nights, so he got one day off between shift changes. When he
back from nights to days, he worked 24 hours straight. There was no
just a straight daily/hourly labor wage. In his senior years Henry
how difficult this time in his life was.
Henry J. Kurz
Henry came to Ladysmith in the year 1902 which was found in brother Vincent's obituary. In 1903 Henry bought a meat market from the Jez family. It was a small business to begin with. Later in life, Henry had related learning marketing from his aunt Gertrude Bibelhausen and her husband Anton Liegl, of whom he had very found memories. It is probable that he also learned meat processing and marketing from his Uncles Joseph and John Bibelhausen who also lived in Shawano County and was in the meat business, farming and cattle sales for years. His Uncle Frank Bibelhausen and wife Maggie ran a grocery for many years in Shawano and since the families were close for the years of Henry's childhood, he was thought to have also learned grocery business there during frequent visits.
There were also other extended Bibelhausen
family members in
the Ladysmith area in the early 1900's. Katherine Bibelhausen Kurz was
living near one of her sisters. On the 1910 Census for Rusk County I
her younger sister (Ann) Mary Bibelhausen Wenzel Optenberg living just
outside of Ladywmith with her second husband Herman
two doors away was one of Ann Mary's sons from her first marriage, John
Wenzel and his family. Herman was an engineer in a local mill
age 60, John worked at the same mill, was married and had 4 children.
is probably that this part of the close Bibelhuasen family had some
initally on the move to Ladysmith, which was a considerable distance
his mother's close Bibelhausen family in Shawano.
Henry, front left, sits for a family photo with sister Josephine, mother Katherine and brother Vincent.
The Kurz Brothers Meats and Grocery Building on Miner Street in Ladysmith, Rusk County, Wisconsin, (building is dated 1912).
Ron Kurz Collection
Kurz Brothers Meats and Groceries
on Miner Street in Ladysmith, Rusk County, Wisconsin
Besides owning the majority interests in the Meats and Grocery, Henry also owned a farm just outside of Ladysmith, across the Flambeau River. It was there that he processed the meats sold in the store. Henry looked after his brother Vincent and that family until his own wedding to Caroline. His bride was the cousin of Vincent's wife Margaret. Marriage and starting a family at age 53 significantly changed Henry's responsibilities and, combined with the stock market crash of 1929 that began the Great Depression, lead to the break up of the Kurz Brothers Meat and Grocery business. The store on Miner Avenue was rented out and Henry used another building in Ladysmith from which to sell the meats processed at his farm and plant.The 1930 Federal Census forLadysmith, Rusk County, WI. shows the Henry Kurz residence with his wife Caroline and daughter Mary Ann. Also living at the home was Henry's widowed mother-in-law Anna Haarl.
Children of Henry and Caroline Kurz: Mary Ann and Henry
left to right
Mother Caroline, Mary Ann, maternal Grandmother Anna Haarl, Henry, Henry Louis Kurz . (standing)
Caroline Ann Kurz
Henry Kurz Collection
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