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Biography of William H. Kranz

For more than seventy years the name of Kranz has been associated with the business development of Racine and has long been a synonym for progressiveness and reliability in commercial circles. The wholesale paper and stationery business conducted under the name of Kranz was established by John Kranz and since his death has been conducted by his son, William H. Kranz, whose name introduces this review. The latter was born in Racine, July 18, 1856, and the former in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany. Having arrived at years of maturity, he wedded Elizabeth Ritchie, a native of Lensburg, Switzerland. It was in the year 1844 that he came to the United States, settling first at Rochester, New York, but in 1845 removing to Racine; where in 1850 he established business on his own account as a dealer in paper and groceries. His trade grew and with its substantial growth he developed the wholesale paper and stationery business which is now conducted by his son, who joined him in the enterprise in 1881. The father remained active in the management and control of the business until 1898, when he retired to spend his remaining days in the enjoyment of a well earned rest, his death occurring in this city in 1904. His wife was a daughter of August Ritchie, who, on coming to the United States with his family, settled first at St. Louis. Missouri, but afterward removed to Walworth County, Wisconsin, where he cast in his lot with the pioneer settlers. William H. Kranz is therefore a representative of two of the old families of this part of the state. Reared in...

Biographical Sketch of Bros. Bownam & Kranz

The firm of Bowman & Kranz Bros., lumber and coal dealers of Holstein, Iowa, was organized July 1, 1886, purchasing the business of S. H. Bowman Lumber Co., the pioneer lumber dealers of Holstein. Their large building, 80 x 100 feet, with all the smaller buildings, were located near the railroad depot. H. G. Kranz was born in Altenberg, near Cassel, Germany, February 7, 1865, a son of Adam and Elizabeth Kranz. He received a good education in his native language, attending school until 15 years of age. When eighteen, he came to Odebolt, Iowa, Sac. Co., and found employment at Holstein, Ia., with the Bowman Lumber Co. He married Margaret McKay, a daughter of James McKay, of De Witt, Clinton County, Iowa. They had one child, Leslie H. Kranz. J. C. Kranz, also a member of the firm of Bowman & Kranz Bros., was born in Altenberg, near Cassel, Germany, a son of Adam and Elizabeth Kranz. He received an education in his native land, and in 1878, came to Odebolt, Iowa, where he was employed as a farm hand on the Wheeler farm. He held the position of foreman of the place, and later was superintendent and manager. After 8 years of employment at the Wheeler farm, he came to Holstein. He married Sallie Witt, who was born and educated in Davenport, Iowa. They had 2 children: Ervin and Enrine. J. C. Kranz was one of the directors of the National Bank, president of the Holstein Building Co., and treasurer/director of the Holstein Town Lot...

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