Bio: Preuss, Friderich Wilhelm Carl (1869 - 1938)


Contact: John Erickson Preuss



Surnames: Baeseman, Baumgard, Eggbrecht, Erickson, Fandre, Halkowitz, Hannaman, Hannaman, Heintze, Kratowhil, Kratowhil, LaJanesse, Lajannesse, Lindberg, Munchen, Pelatzke, Pelatzke, Pospychalla, Preuss, Rienow, Schmidt, Schroeder, Skeels, Wendlandt, Zietlow, Zimmerman, Zube


----Source: Family Records


William Preuss (25 Aug 1869 - 30 Oct 1938)


Friderich Wilhelm Carl Preuss was born in Arnswalde, Brandenburg, Köenigreich Preußen (the Kingdom of Prussia) on 25 August 1869 to August Carl Preuss and Wilhelmina Wendlandt.  He was baptized 12 September 1869 at St. Marien Evangelisch Kirche (St. Mary's Protestant Church) in Arnswalde.  Other than that, almost nothing is known of his life in Preußen / Germany.  The town of Arnswalde was located about 100 miles northeast of Berlin, and was mostly destroyed during World War II.  The town has been rebuilt, and is now known as Choszczno, Poland. 


Wilhelm emigrated from Bremmen, Germany 6 April 1895 on the SS Oldenburg under the command of Captain Richard Heintze.  The Oldenburg docked in New York 18 April 1895, and Wilhelm went through the immigration process at Ellis Island on 19 April 1895.  He then re-boarded the Oldenburg for the continuation of the voyage to Baltimore, Maryland.  Wilhelm disembarked 21 April 1895 when the Oldenburg arrived in Baltimore.  The Baltimore manifest indicates Wilhelm's passage was paid by his cousin.  When Wilhelm disembarked, he had a railway ticket to Wausau, $80.00 in his pocket and he intended to live with this cousin.  The name of this cousin not known.  (The witnesses on the marriage certificate of William and Johanna are Carl and Martha Zietlow, and Emil and Emilie Eggbrecht.  Perhaps one of these people is the cousin.)  At some point between New York and Wisconsin, Friderich Wilhelm Carl Preuss became simply William Preuss.


Johann Zube, Ernestine Schmidt Zube and Johanna Zube emigrated from Bremen on the SS München arriving at Ellis Island in New York on 2 March 1894 with 1 piece of baggage.  We do not know the departure date, but a crossing was typically about 12 days.  On the passenger manifest, Johann is identified as a laborer, and the family's intended destination is indicated as "Missoury."  Instead they went to Wausau.   


William married Johanna Louise Zube in Wausau on 10 November 1895 and they lived in Wausau.  William was 26 and Johanna was 17 at the time of their wedding. 


Their first child Gertrude Olga (15 August 1896 – 17 October 1968) was born in Wausau. 


Between 1896 and 1924 William and his family moved 7 times: Wausau, Wisconsin to Milbank, South Dakota to Chicago, Illinois to Nekoosa, Wisconsin to Dowagiac, Michigan to Edgar, Wisconsin to Downer's Grove, Illinois to Wausau, Wisconsin).  They may also have lived in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. 


Twins Emil Ernest (8 July 1899 - 29 June 1946) and Herman Henry (8 July 1899 - 12 September 1979) were born in Milbank, South Dakota.


Almost immediately following the birth of the twins, William and Johanna and their children moved to Chicago, possibly to be closer to her family, possibly for better work opportunities.  


Between March 1902 and May 1905 the Preuss family moved to Nekoosa, while the Zube family moved to Port Edwards. 


Johann Zube died 2 May 1905 in Port Edwards – but may have been living on a farm in Armenia at the time of his death.  He was buried 3 May 1905 in Riverside Cemetery in Nekoosa. 


At the time of the 1905 Wisconsin census (June 1905) the Preuss family and widow Ernestine Zube were living together in Nekoosa.


At the time of the 1910 US census (April 1910), the Preuss family and Ernestine Zube lived together above the W. Preuss Bakery in Dowagiac, Michigan.


The family returned to Wisconsin and lived in Edgar from about 1910 through at least September 1918.


A newspaper article in the Wausau Daily Record Herald of October 6, 1913 states that "A model bakery is conducted by William Preuss who came from lower Michigan about three years ago and grasping the opportunity went into business in Edgar.  His shop is modern and sanitary and the appetizing morsels contained therein are tempting to those that hunger."  The Preuss family is not picked up again in the 1910 US census in Edgar, Wisconsin (May 1910).  These conditions could be met if the family moved from Dowagiac to Edgar sometime between May 1910 and the end of that year.


A classroom photo taken at the Edgar Grade School about 1911-1912 contains Herman and Emil Preuss.


Gertrude Olga Preuss married Lawrence Joseph Skeels 25 October 1916 in Chicago, Illinois. 


The Preuss family was living in Edgar on 12 September 1918 when Emil and Herman registered for the World War I draft together.  At that time Herman was working as a laborer at the Edgar Basket and Manufacturing Company while Emil was unemployed.  Herman may have been a little nervous when he registered because he incorrectly listed his birth date as 8 July 1889 instead of 1899.  


By the time of the 1920 US census the Preuss family had moved to Downers Grove, Illinois.


But by 1924, the Preuss family was back in Wausau. 


Herman Henry Preuss married Helen Eleanor Rienow 11 June 1924 in Wausau. 


Emil Ernest Preuss married Helen Emma Erickson 19 November 1924 in Wausau. 


This second Preuss twin's marriage resulted in sisters-in-law named Helen (Rienow) Preuss and Helen (Erickson) Preuss living in Wausau at the same time.


Emil and Helen's first child Donald Emil Preuss was born 26 August 1926 in Wausau. 


Ernestine Schmidt Zube died 23 March 1927 in Bensenville, Illinois at age 84.  It is not known where she is buried. 


Lawrence and Gertrude Skeels divorced sometime between 1930 and 1936. 


Emil and Helen's second child Audrey Caroline Preuss was born 15 May 1931 in Wausau.


Gertrude (Preuss) Skeels married Joe Lajannesse (2 November 1903 – 4 July 1973) on 4 January 1937.  There were no children from this second marriage.  Joe and Gertrude LaJanesse are buried at Pine Grove Cemetery in Wausau.


William Preuss died at home in Wausau on 30 October 1938.  He is buried next to his father-in-law John Zube at Riverside Cemetery in Nekoosa, Wisconsin. 



Tombstone of William Preuss (1869 - 1938)

Riverside Cemetery in Nekoosa, Wisconsin




William Preuss and associates in Edgar, Wisconsin (ca.1915)

 Ben Straub Photo, Edgar, Wis.

The Photo above was taken about 1915, taken in front of H. Pelatzke Northwestern Hotel (Now Shimmels Tavern).

L to R.  Front row: Walter Kratowhil, Mel Zimmerman, unknown, Shimmel Pelatzke,  Baumgard girl and Helen Pelatzke Straub.

2nd row: Nick Syzmanski, Arnsdorf, unknown, Wm. J. Hannaman, Herman Pelatzke, Isador Bach, Mr. Baumgard, Louis Lindberg, Mike Halkowitz, Wm. Preuss, Unknown, Hy. Baeseman, Tony Hannaman, Gust Hannaman and Wm. Fandre.

Last row: Mrs. Baumgard, Mrs. Celia Pelatzke, Lucy Pelatzke Kratowhil, Emma Hannaman,

Mary Pospychalla, Unknown and a Mr. Schroeder.  3-6-67. 



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