Hendren Township

Clark County, Wisconsin

Notes on Family Life

Recorded by George Plautz Jr. during Angie’s visit to Washington, DC, October 2001.

Barb Grasich, Tone Grasich’s wife, [Anton Gerdesich] had red hair. She had heart problems and her daughter (--raised her but not biological daughter) came to get her body in Florida.

George was a little butterball—wrapped his arms and legs up in the blankets, grandma gave him to Angie and she dropped him.

Emil was born in the same bed with Angie and her mother. Fourteen foot snowbanks outside. The doctor came the next day and the neighbors came in the morning (Mrs. Lukas and Mrs. Bukovec), they gave Emil a bath. Kokaly’s bought a horse from the Plautzes. Darvin was born on December 6th and Emil was born on December 14th.

Angie made egg noodles and chicken soup when Rose was born. Angie was ten years old: she cooked them for her mother. Lukas kids were over at that time –asked Dad to get doctor – Rosie was turned around (breach birth) and the doctor had to turn her around.

Originally bought 40 acres and then purchased 20 acres across the road. Her mother bought 80 acres over four miles away.

Emil was one year ten months old when his father died. The funeral was held on the 13th and there were snow clouds and snow flurries. Angie was the only girl to go to the funeral.

Before Rosie was born the family put the farm on auction and moved to New York. [I don’t know who this is she is talking about]

John Popovich bought clothes for the kids. John Popovich went off to war but it had ended. John stayed with the Plautzes around 1917-1919.

Stefan Plautz (father) would also borrow money from Uncle Peter Zunich.

Stephen Jr. went to school in Lacrosse for business and got a job at the bank in Greenwood. Worked at restaurant to pay for his education. Steve worked in Superior, Wisconsin, as a laborer but came back home to work in Greenwood at the bank. He wasn’t born to be a laborer. He also had several other jobs. One day he pulled his suitcase and left to go to Chicago to follow a girl he was interested in but she wouldn’t marry him. This is why he wasn’t home when his dad died. Steve graduated from Willard North School in March of 1918.

Angie went to Milwaukee at the age of 17 with Joe and Mary Plautz. She worked at Briggs & Stratton. Worked for six months in 1928 and then went back to work on the farm. George Kuge was a barber in Milwaukee. The Ganther’s owned the candy company and introduced Angie to the Bohtes. The Ganther’s were also Slovenian.

Joe and Frank Luzovic, Mary Ramosh and Jennie Ramosh came to Milwaukee for work and Angie roomed with Jennie. Slept downstairs at John & Jenny Ganther and ate with Joe and Mary Plautz.

George came to Milwaukee from the service (late 40’s), seeing a long line—he stood in the line and finally found out they were selling silk stockings (rayon), so he bought Angie a pair, only Jenny Ramosh wore them and ripped them.

Angie went to a dance with Margaret Lukas and her mom locked her out.

Went back to work at Briggs & Stratton. Then she worked at a candy and cookie factory. She was a supervisor, inspector, and loaded candy for twenty years. Then they went to Florida, moved in 1952.

While there Angie worked at Johnson Electronics at the old airport. She worked at Martin Marietta from 1962 to 1973. Stayed there ten years and four months. She was laid off from Martin Marietta. She worked on the Pershing missile. Ray Levesque worked at the Cape also.

She went to work at Scott Electronics in Ft. Lauderdale "Castlebury". Emerson Electric took it over.

Mary Plautz, (mother) built a new home in 1929.

Bohtes in Milwaukee

John Bohte (father) married Agnes.

John Bohte (son) married Jenny Ganther after the death of her husband. Lived in West Allis. Her daughter Jenny married and had two children.

Joe Bohte (son) 1910

Mike Bohte (son) died young but had a couple of kids.

Agnes Bohte (daughter) died at 33 and left three kids

Lived in West Milwaukee on 56th street belonged to West Allis. ??

Badavinac’s in West Allis.

They were related, cousin in Sheboygan, Wisconsin [Slapnik].

John & Martha Murn in West Allis

Had three children: Wilma, Marie, and John Morn

Martha Murn, Antonia Slapnik, and Badovinac’s were all related.

Badavinacs – Nick






Through conversation;

Angie was at the store the day her father died. He couldn’t talk and laid down in the back room of the store. Since she couldn’t leave the store she had to wait for a neighbor who lived near the store before she could go home and get her mother. The neighbor was Willie Schwab, who used to pump up the gasoline lamps and put the lights on in the store. When he came to the store, Angie went home to get her mother and brother, Mike to stay with her. Angie believes her father could not talk because he had cancer of the vocal cords. The doctor wanted to do a biopsy on a hole in her father’s head to see what the problem was, but her mother declined the biopsy. The death certificate states that he died of heart problems. The Lunka’s bought the store from the Plautzes.

As told by Angeline Plautz Levesque to Rose Plautz Pakiz December 2001.

As a very small child Ang had a sick spell. Steve walked to Willard to phone the doctor. Mr. Cesnik said a doctor was coming to treat another sick person and he’d send him to our house. When Steve came home Ang’s fever had broken so Ma sent Steve back to tell the doctor he needn’t come. Years later a doctor in Florida told Ang that at some point in her life she’d had rheumatic fever.

Ang had to make dinner and Ma sent her in ½ hour before meals. Mrs. Lucas would give pork stored in lard and that was a big treat!

Steve gave Angie a haircut. She went to Lucas’s and Mrs. Lucas said never let him cut your hair again. Pa cut Sophie and Roses hair, and cut Sophie bald. Mrs. Lucas also didn’t like that. Apparently Ma had other things on her mind. She didn’t even seem to notice.

At Christmas Steve brought candy and goodies for Christmas Eve. He hid them in the old barn and brought them in Christmas Eve. Peanut shells were all over. We trimmed the tree with popcorn, which the kids ate after. Steve brought the tree.

At the age of 13 (1924) she worked in the store Pa owned in Willard (where he stayed much of the time) and kept house for him. Steve started in partnership with Pa, but didn’t care for the partnership and went to LaCrosse and worked for his education in business. (Editor’s note: See above, Steve followed girl to Chicago, he would have been 23 and completed his education in Lacrosse before 1924.) Later he worked at the Farmers & Merchants Bank in Greenwood. Steve brought white shirts home to wash. Ang would iron & scorch them, wash them again. Steve was pleased. (When did Steve move to residence in Willard proper? He married in 1930. When did he start working at F&M Bank in Greenwood?)

In October 1926, Pa got sick while in the store. Ang & Pa were sitting by the potbellied stove in the evening waiting for Willie Schwab to come get the gas lamps ready for the night. Suddenly Pa got up and went back to the living quarters and lay in bed. Willie came and put the lights on and stayed with PA while Ang ran home to get Ma. Ang was scared of the walk home through the dark woods. John happened to be home (John and Joe worked in Milwaukee) with the car, so Ang, Ma & John came back at midnight to call the doctor at the only phone available (at the Plautz store). Pa died two days after on October 11, 1926, and buried on the 13th. George Bishop was the undertaker. Pa had had a large lump on his neck and Bishop questioned if it was cancer. Pa had it burned out, but there was a hole, which came back. The church records say he died of dropsy (congestive heart failure). The older boys and Ang went with Ma to the funeral (that would have been Steve, John, Joe, Frank, and Mike), but the rest stayed at home. At the store the next morning, Sally Ocecek, Fr. Novak’s housekeeper came and Angie told her that Pa had died and to send Fr. Novak to the house. Fr. Novak gave a nice eulogy. Pa was buried from Holy Family Catholic Church in Willard.

Angeline left for Milwaukee in December 1928, at the age of 16, going on 17 the next week. She went with Joe & his wife Mary who had the upstairs of the Ganther’s house. Ang & Jennie Kirn ate meals with Joe & Mary, but shared a room in the Ganther’s downstairs apartment.

Angie and Jennie’s first job was at Briggs & Stratton in West Allis. Mary worked there too. Joe worked at the tannery.

Ang had promised Ma she’d come to help at home for the summer. Margaret Lucas also came from Chicago to help her parents. When Ang came home from Milwaukee for the first time, the younger kids were washing milk cans down by the windmill. She said we were all scared to come see her. Ang went to a dance with Margaret Lucas in Willard. Ma locked the door on Ang for going out. When Ang returned she crawled through a window and ran upstairs and hid in a closet.

In August of 1929 Angie went back to Milwaukee. Margaret rode the same train to Chicago. Ang went back to Ganthers. Joe & Mary, and got her old job back at Briggs. She then got a job at Johnston’s Cookie & Candy around 1933. She was there for 19 years. In 1944 she married George Kuge in West Allis. Ang worked at Johnston’s until 1952 when she and George moved to Orlando, Florida, where she currently lives. When at Johnston’s between 1933 and 1952 she would bring a huge bag of seconds cookies that we kids looked forward to. She would also bring chocolates.

Ang came be train to Wausau at Christmas and Frank would meet her at Helen & Leo’s.

George’s note: Mrs. Lucas was from Moverna vas near Metlika and her maiden name was Dergance, her husband was from Metlika. The Dergances were supposed to be related to the Plautzes through grandmother’s mother.

Joe and Mary Ramosh married in May of 1928, Joe was working at the tannery. Mary was in Milwaukee having moved there in 1922 to find work. The Ramosh family moved back to Willard in 1928.

Joe and John Plautz incorporated Plautz Bros. in 1930. Sometime in 1929 Joe Plautz started a trucking operation after having been laid off from the tannery and then started a gravel company and hired his two brothers, Frank and Mike to help. Joe was 23 when the company was incorporated. Matt Dergance who was chairman of the Town of Hendren asked Joe if he could haul some gravel for the roads. Matt was married to Mary Vodash who may have been a relative of Mary Popovich’s through her mother.

Katy Podrovitz moved to Tioga in 1917 and married John in 1930. So John must have been living at home.

Ann went to Chicago to work for a family sometime in 1930, before coming to Milwaukee where she worked for John Morn at their bar, and American Can, and Martin Kokaly worked at American Motors. Joe worked at American Motors after working at the tannery below the viaduct. Joe boarded with the Romosh’s in Milwaukee. That’s how he met Mary Romosh. Jennie Romosh and Angie Plautz boarded with the Luzovec’s (sister Frances Romosh). There were two bedrooms and Joe Plautz and Frank "Shorty" Luzovec, who married Ramosh sisters, shared the upstairs apartment. The apartment was rented from the Ganther’s. Downstairs, Angie and Jennie stayed in a room of the Ganther’s apartment.

Neillsville Canning Company bought the beans that were picked by the Plautz’s, as well as other families in the Willard area.

Joe went to North Dakota to thresh oats, as did John. John met Katie at the old SNPJ Dance Hall. Angie went to the dance there and Mike took her home on his horse in six inches of snow and she was sliding on the horse worrying if it would dump her. Mary would get out of work so she could sleep on the porch as she would go to the dances and be tired. Joe would have been to Willard North School from 1915-1923. What Joe did from 1923 until 1928, when he married Mary is not known. He moved to Milwaukee earlier than 1928 but he wasn’t around when his father died in 1926. So he may have went to Milwaukee as early as 1925. John worked in Milwaukee for a short time and came back to Willard. What he did from 1919 to 1929 is not known. He was known to have been home when his father died and he married Katy in 1930 after meeting her at the SNPJ dances.

Mary went to Milwaukee and worked in a bakery at 60th and Burnham for a short while. She went back home because she could not stand to get up so early in the morning. This must have been in 1930 or so after she graduated from school. She married John Zaller in 1937. It was the only wedding that her mother, Mary Plautz, had at home. All the rest of the girls married away from home. Rose’s wedding was held at John and Katy Plautz’s and Frances Podrovitz Plautz helped Katy with the parties.

Helen would come home on the weekends since the barbershop was closed on Saturdays. Helen would cook for the day so there was enough left on Sunday. Helen met Leo in Willard as the Albrights lived outside of Greenwood near Willard. Frank would give her a hard time regarding the fresh vegetables she took from the farm.

John and Katie Popovich had a farm next to Mary and John Zallar. Frank Plautz bought the farm from him. (this according to Angie) Steve Plautz stood up for his uncle at the wedding in Duluth. His mom, and Steve and Rosie went up for the wedding. This was in 1923. Grandpa fixed soup with cracklings and Angie didn’t like it.

Steve met Alice where? Steve was 17 years old when he started working at Greenwood. That would have been 1918. What happened that he went to Chicago sometime during 1925 to follow Schwab girl to Chicago. Worked in a bank at Chicago for a while and she married someone else. Came back home and returned to work at the bank? Had a coupe and went to Eau Claire to have his sinuses operated on. Steve and Alice stayed with ma for a while with Floyd and the twins, then after that they bought the house in Willard. Rosie helped Alice to care for the twins. Apparently Steve didn’t buy the new house until after 1934. When was Steve Plautz town clerk? In the Narodni Adresar it says 1930…when did he start and end?

From Steve’s obituary

Before his marriage, he worked for Northern States Power Company five years.

On June 11, 1930, he and Alice Robey were married at St. Paul, Minnesota. Since 1930, he has been living at Willard. He had worked in Chicago as a bank teller for two years, then went to Duluth and worked as a bank teller. He was employed by the Greenwood Bank as a cashier for many years, then worked as bookkeeper for Plautz Bros. Inc.

He was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church; Knights of Columbus and was on the Clark County Electric Board of Directors.

1917 graduated from school went to Lacrosse worked in Chicago for two years then Duluth then Northern States Power Company for 5 years.


John Plautz bought a new car in 1927. John and Steve were the first people to attend Willard School in 1910. Joe Plautz had a new truck (Chevy) to take potatoes to Milwaukee and grapes back to Willard in 1929. In 1928 Mary, Helen, Ann and Sophie were in North Willard School. {Mary born in 1913 would have been 15, Ann 14, Helen, 12, and Sophie 8.} Kids didn’t start school until they were 8 and graduated when they were 16.

What did John do after he graduated? In 1910 he was 7 years old, by the year 1919 he would have graduated grade school. What did John do between 1919 and 1930? John stopped at Ganther’s with Katy on their way to Waukegan to get married in 1930. Angie remembers them stopping. Grandma paid $500 so that John would be an equal partner in Plautz Brothers, Joe paying the rest of the incorporation and truck costs. George recalls this and wondering who or where his mother got $500 from.



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