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Josephine Kurz




c: 1895
 Mary Ferm Collection

Josephine Kurz
1872 - 1929

Parents of Katherine Kurz

Peter Joseph Kurz
Born: November 2, 1820 in Scharen, Kr. Kastellaun, Rheinland
Married: January 27, 1856 in Green Bay, Brown County, Wisconsin
Died: October 1, 1898 Bella Plaine, Shawano County, Wisconsin

Buried St. Mary Cemdtery (now St. Michael Cemetery), Town of How, Oconto County, Wisconsin

Katherine Bibelhausen - wife
Born: November 25, 1835 in Valwig, Rheinland
Died: June 22, 1915 in Ladysmith, Rusk County, Wisconsin
Buried: Riverside Cemetery, Rusk County, Wisconsin

Josephine Kurz - daughter
Born: July 14, 1872 in Belle Plaine, Shawano County, Wisconsin
Died: September 17, 1929 Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Buried: Riverside Cemetery, Rusk County, Wisconsin
 



c: 1895

c: 1886

Josephine Kurz was the last born to Peter Joseph Kurz and his wife Katherine Bibelhausen. She entered the world on the family farm in Belle Plaine, Shawano County, Wisconsin. Her young life was surrounded with close family and friends. Her oldest brothers had already strcuk out on their own by the time she was born, but she had two younger brothers in the household, along with older 2 sisters and two older brothers. Her father, having been a professor in Germany as a young man, kept detailed records and description in German of each of his offspring's births. Josephine was the final entry in that area of his records.

 Living within a short wagon ride of the Kurz farm was her mother's youngest brother Frank Bibelhasuen and his large family. They farmed and owned a grocery store. Although she was their aunt, Frank's oldest children were so close to her own age that they all went to school together, and they remained close friends for life.

 In and around the nearby villiage of Shawano lived three more maternal uncles and their families, Joseph and John Bibelhausen had farms and ran successful cattle setting businesses. Anton was blacksmith. Her maternal aunt Veronica Schraa and her husband and children ran a butchershop and grocery in Shawano County. The Muskovich family were close neighbors and dear friends.


February 20, 1890
Shawano, Wisconsin
Josephine (standing left) is Maid of Honor at the wedding of her brother Peter Kurz and Rose Muskovich with the bride's brother Joseph Muskavitch/Muscavich or Joseph Holl as best man.

Henry Kurz Collection

Starting in childhood, Josephine collected a very large number of photographs featuring friends and family, with whom she stayed in touch over the years. It was the fashion of her youth to exchange small personal photos and Josephine enjoyed this greatly. 

On October 1, 1898, her father Peter Joseph Kurz Sr., at a youthful age 78, was found in the potato patch where he had been hoeing. He was on the ground, semi-concious and failing. Taken to the house on the  family farm, the doctor was called for, but he died a short time later. Josephine was age 26 and her life was about to change. There was now just her mother and two younger brothers living there along with her. The farm was soon sold and the family moved to a house in Richland Township, Shawano County, where her younger brothers, Henry and Vincent, began working in the local lumber mill.  Brother Peter had gone to Minnesota to help his older brother John farm near Warren. In 1900 Peter married Rose Muskovich and Josephine was one of the witnesses and maid of honor.

Mother Catherine Kurz, Josephine, Henry and Vincent then moved to Ladysmith in Rusk County, Wisconsin. Catherine Kurz's sister Marie Oppemberg and her husband and sons were already settled there. Marie's husband was a foreman in a local mill and at first Vincent and Henry were to take jobs there. Soon, however, they were offered work at a local meats and grocery store. They had learned the butchering trade in Shawano while working evenings and weekends from their uncle Schraa. Soon they bought the store and named it Kurz Brothers Meat and Groceries. The new brick shop was built in 1912 on Miner Street in Ladysmith.  Josephine tended to the household chores while her brothers worked at the store.


Josephine was always social and made visits to family and friends, often quite a distance away. These included railroad journeys from her Ladysmith home to Milwaukee, Oshkosh, Antigo, Shawano and all the way to Fall City, Oregon to see her oldest brother and sister. Brother Phillip Joseph "Joe", who, after young adult years of adventuresome pioneering in Minnesota and the Territories of Oklahoma and Kansas, suffered much of his life from spinal Tuberculosis and lived those years with, and under the care of,  his sister and her family, Katherine Kurz Meier Murry who settled farming a pioneered fruit tree production in Oregon in the late 1800's. While there in 1906 she attended the funeral of her sisters youngest son in August and in November she was godmother to her sister's youngest daughter. She wrote continuously to her siblings and extended family members, sharing in their lives. The family actively sent photographs of members, homes and life events.

In 1909 her sister Katherine Kurz Maier Murry in Oregon died of breast cancer, three year after her youngest child, Pearl was born. By 1915 her oldest brother Phillip Joseph had also passed away there from Tuberculosis. There were still numerous correspondances and exchanged photos with the families of brothers Jake in Kansas, Anton in Oklahome, Peter in Minnesota, and John in Dakota, also sister Veronica in Hayes, Wisconsin.


Composite photograph of youngest and
oldest Kurz siblings.

Last born Josephine and first born Phillip Joseph Kurz.
Mary Ferm Collection

Left to Right:
Brother Vincent, Josephine, mother Katherine and brother Henry relax on the front porch of their home in Ladysmith in the early 1900's. (c:1910)

Ron Kurz Collection


1910 saw the marriage of her youngest brother Vincent Kurz to Margaret Sophia Prausa and the couple started their own home and family in Ladysmith. In 1912 her uncles Joseph and John Bibelhausen of Shawano, Wisconsin, both passed away, her aunt Marie Oppemberg (also spelled Optenberg) moved to Oregon and her brothers opened the new brick store on Miner Street. On June 22, 1915 her mother, Katherine Bibelhausen Kurz passed away in Ladysmith at their home. She was buried in Riverside Cemetery near Ladysmith. Josephine continued to live with her younger single brother Henry in 1920. Shortly afterward, Henry married the cousin of Vincent's wife, Caroline Haarl, 1927 in Minnesota. Josephine moved to Oshkosh where she lived until her death September 17, 1929 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, burial was at Riverside Cemetery, Rusk County, Wisconsin

 
Josephine was supported by the Kurz Brothers Meats and Groceries
on Miner Street in Ladysmith, Rusk County, Wisconsin
Henry Kurz Collection


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