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.
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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 Co.