William M. Bartz, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of William M. Bartz

WILLIAM M. BARTZ. Old Germany has given the United States many of the best agriculturists and progressive people which populate our country. They are a class of people who are noted for their honesty and industry and who have immigrated to America from their "Fatherland" with but little financial means and laid the foundation of their lives by strict economy and frugality and reared honorable and upright families. Mr. Bartz, the subject of this sketch, is one of the worthy German-American agriculturists and an honored citizen of Porter county, Indiana. He is a native of Prussia and was born July 1, 1847, the second in a family of four children, two sons and two daughters, born to Gottlieb and Augusta (Evert) Bartz. Two of the children are yet living, Rosa, who lives in Germany, and Mr. Bartz? Father Bartz, a native of Prussia, was a tailor by trade and he was educated in the schools of his country and served as a soldier in the German army. He could well recall the great Field Marshal Von Moltke and King Wilhelm. He had seen Prince Bismarck, whom he declared was an honor to his Fatherland. Both he and his wife were members of the Lutheran Evangelical church. He died in Germany. Mother Bartz was also a native of Prussia, and is deceased.

Mr. Bartz, the subject of this sketch, was reared in his native land until he was sixteen years of age. He assisted his father at the tailor's trade. When he was sixteen years of age he concluded to bid adieu to his dear Fatherland and come to America to cast his lot among the home-seekers of this country. He bade his parents farewell May 5, 1865, and sailed from Bremen in a sailing vessel bound for New York. The voyage lasted seven weeks and two days. He landed in New York July 9, 1865, in a strange land and among a strange people, without money. He proceeded at once to New London, Wisconsin, with the family that sailed with him, and he worked with the boys of the family in the harvest field and then he hired out to a farmer at fifteen dollars per month. He remained in Wisconsin till the spring of 1866, when his uncle, Gottlieb Evert, brother to his mother, who resided in La Porte county, came after him. He went with his uncle to La Porte county and was there until 1867. He then engaged as a wage earner and worked in Morgan township. So it is seen he began life at the bottom of the ladder.

The first land he purchased was twenty acres, with a little shanty ten by fourteen feet and with hardly any improvements. He went in debt for part of the price and by industry he cancelled this debt and added to his purchase until in 1911 he had ninety acres of fine land and a modern residence and good improvements.

Mr. Bartz wedded Miss Louise Kaupke, March 3, 1880. Eight children have been born, six sons and two daughters, seven of whom are living. Edward L. was educated in the public schools and he is employed in the elevated street railway in Chicago; he married Miss Emily Schulte, (lnd they have two children, Evaline and Raymond. They are members of the Lutheran church. Asa I. was educated in the public schools and was a student in the University of Valparaiso. He resides with his parents and is a Republican. Fred H. is now a student in the commercial department in the University of Valparaiso, after having spent one year in the high school. Abbie G. has finished a course in the public schools and has taken musical instruction. Roy I. is in the eighth grade and Almira M. has finished the seventh grade. Walker M., the youngest, is in the first year of high school. Mr. and Mrs. Bartz have endeavored to give their children good practical educations to fit them for the higher walks of life. They also lost one of their children, Otto William. This son was one of the finest characters among the young men in Porter county, Indiana. His prestige and honesty of manhood was the synonym of integrity and was an honor to his dear parents as well as to his many friends. He was a young man of an excellent business education, a graduate of the class of 1906-7 in the Business College of Valparaiso University, and had the esteem of his classmates and teachers. President Brown can point with pride to this young man as one of his excellent scholars. He was a traveling salesman for the Great Harvester Company and had traveled throughout the Aregentine Republic, South America, for almost two years. This fact shows what confidence the Harvester Company had in him, since he was permitted to handle their great interests in such a productive country. Otto was a traveler of more than ordinary scope, having visited the city of London and the great Westminster Abbey, and was a young man of great business ability and an honor to his dear father and mother and brothers and sisters. He died March 3, 1911, and his remains are interred in the Lutheran cemetery.

Mrs. Bartz, the mother of these children, was born in Pulaski county, Indiana, April 1, 1862. she is the youngest of four children, two sons and two daughters, born to John J. and Hannah (Thies) Kaupke. Four are yet living. The eldest is William, who is a resident of Rock Island, Illinois. He is a traveling salesman, is married and has two children. Lewis is a resident of La Porte county, Indiana, is an agriculturist, is married and has three children. Minnie is the wife of George Reaugh, a resident of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and they have two children; Mrs. Bartz is the youngest. The father Kaupke was born in the province of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, in 1812 and died in 1891. He was reaerd in his native land until 1853, and was a well educated man. He came to America in 1853 in a sailing vessel, leaving Hamburg bound for New York and was eight weeks in crossing the Atlantic. He came through to Pulaski county, Indiana. He died in Mrs. Bartz' home in Washington township. He was a Democrat, and he and his wife were Lutherans. Father Kaupke was a grand man in his church work and he aided much in the organization of the church in Medaryville, Indiana. He walked from Medaryville to Michigan City to see the pastor and get him to preach for his people. He was a man who was well known for his pure life and was one who was held in high esteem. He was interred in the cemetery at Medaryville, where his church affiliations were. .Mr. Kaupke was first married to a Miss Geiron and to them two children, both sons, were born, John and Fred. The parents were married in Germany and one year afterward they landed in the United States. His wife and son John died of cholera and the only child left was Fred, the half-brother of Mrs. Bartz. Fred Kaupke is a resident of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and is a partner in a large wholesale coffee and tea house and also a director in one of the banks in Cedar Rapids, which shows he is an active and successful business man. He wedded Miss Laura Reid and they have three children, one son and two daughters. He is a Republican and both he and his wife are devout members of the Christian church, in which he is an elder.

Mother Kaupke was born in the same locality as her husband and she died in 1871. She was also earnest in her religious belief. Mrs. Bartz has in her possession her mother's church certificate, given by her pastor in 1854, which is a valued heirloom.

Mrs. Bartz was reared in her native county of Pulaski till the age of eighteen and was educated in the German schools. Mr. and Mrs. Bartz have traveled the greater part of their lives together for thirty years, sharing the joys of life as well as the sorrows. She has done her part nobly and well in the rearing of her family and in the establishment of her home. She is a member of the Lutheran church.

Mr. Bartz is a Republican and east his vote for General Grant, Blaine, Garfield and McKinley. He has been selected as delegate to the county convention to represent his people's interests. He was elected assessor of Washington township in 1900 and besides his official position he has been Mr. Lee's deputy for two years, which indicates his standing. He and his wife are friends of the public schools, which they consider the bulwark of the nation. Their attractive estate of ninety acres of excellent land lies within three miles of the city limits of Valparaiso and the place is a most desirable homestead. It is known as "Forest Glen Home," and is an abode of hospitality and good cheer. Mr. and Mrs. Bartz and their estimable family are held in the highest esteem by all who know them and we are glad to add this text to the roster of the best citizens of the county.

Source: Lewis Publishing Company. 1912. History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company. 881 p.
Page(s) in Source: 575-577

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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