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While the career of William Kratz has not been unusual, it has been highly commendable and fully entitles him to mention in this book as one of the representative citizens of Washington county. As a merchant he conducted a constantly increasing business, winning that success that came through capably organized effort and intelligently directed activity. He conducted a general merchandise establishment in Schleisingerville, where he also held valuable realaty interests. Although a native of Washington County, his birth having occured on May 28, 1859, Mr. Kratzis of German lineage, his parents having been born, reared and married in Hesse-Darmstadt. In 1846 the father, Adam Kratz, together with the mother and a family of five children emigrated to the U.S. Upon his arrival here the father located on a farm of 150 acres on Cedar creek. There were but few settlers in this section at that time and Mr. Kratz was one who reclaimed the wilderness and diligently assisted in promoting the early agricultural development of Wisconsin. Reared amid the pioneer conditions of his childhood home, the early advantages of William Kratz were very meagre. At the age of 15 he left home and fitted himself for life's duties by learning the shoemaker's trade. Several years later he came to Schleisingerville and established a small shoe store and repair shop. Frugal habits and simple tastes enabled him to save the greater portion of his earnings and from time to time he enlarged his stock of goods, adding a stock of general merchandise in 1892. Limited by capital, his line was necessarily small, but with the development of his trade he increased his stock and carried one of the largest assortments in the county. Mr. Kratz took an active interest in all local enterprises and was one of the organizers of the State Bank, of which he was a director, and of the Farmers Supply Company and the Washington County Telephone Company, and owned stock in both of the later concerns. Married June 5, 1886 to Miss Katherine Schmitt, who was born in Fond du Lac, they had 8 children, William, Edwin, Walter, Oscar, Lydia, Clara, Hilda and Katie. Affiliated with the German Evangelical church, and served on the village board.

White, Wheel, Building, Horse

Photograph, Shelf, Black, Shelving

Shelf, Furniture, Shelving, Retail

Window, Building, Door, Tree

Currency, Money, Font, Circle

Coin, Currency, Money, Nickel

Coin, Money handling, Money, Currency

Smile, Drinking establishment, Black, Black-and-white