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Story of William August Kretzer


Wilhelm Frederick was born March 27, 1871 in Wemissen Hanover, Germany a son of Wilheim Kretzer and Caroline Seger. There isnít any information on him before he came to the United States. So we start the story on him with his arrival in America. He came alone. I donít know if his parents were alive or dead when he left Germany. He left from the port of Bremen, Germany on the ship SS Elbe and landing in New York City, New York on September 26, 1893.

See the SS Elbe Passengers List line 10 for William name

Information on the ship:

Ship Name Elbe,  Years in service was 1881-1895,  it had two Funnels and four Masts

Ship Description: Builder: John Elder and Company, Glasgow, Scotland. Tonnage: 4,897. Dimensions: 418' x 44' (440' overall length). Single-screw, 17 knots. Compound engines. Four masts, two funnels. iron hull.

Shipping Line: North German Lloyd


List of the passengers from the SS Elbe has his name listed as Wilhelm Frederick Kretser or Kretzer.

Variation of the spelling of the name are; Kretser, Kratzer, and Kretzer

American version of the name is William August Kretzer

After a short period of time in New York City he migrated to Illinois and settled in Adams County around the Marcelline area in Mendon Township.

He met Anna Caroline Maria Montag. Her parents and she were part of the large German community . On February 27, 1896 William and Anna were married in the Zion Evangelical and Reformed Church of Ursa, Illinois by the Rev Ernest Reimeyer. Witnesses were Miss Sophie Montag & Heinrick Hesse.

Anna Caroline Maria Montag was the daughter of Henry Montag and Catherine Dover. She was born January 22, 1872 on the farm located in Ursa township Quincy Ward 7, Adams, Illinois.

Marriage Certificate

William and Anna


Marriage License Issue by the State

After their marriage they settled on a farm located on the West line of Mendon Township.

They had two children before 1900, Edward born 16th of Nov. 1897 and August born 21 of Aug. 1899.

Ed and Gus

William had been studying to become a Citizen of the United States and on October 01, 1900 he took the oath, and became a citizen.

Between 1900 and 1910 they had five more children, Ella born Jan. 31, 1901, Catherine born Jan. 3, 1903, Emma born Nov. 5, 1904, Marguerite born May 5, 1907, and Carl born June 27, 1909. Also in that 10 year time frame there was a child named William born and died shortly after birth, year unknown.

Kretzer Family taken about 1908

On August 17, 1911 Julius was born, their last child .

In October of 1918 the family suffer a lost, their daughter Ella Mabel contracted Influenza that was spreading across the country. She was the fist victim in Mendon area to get sick.

She died on Wednesday morning after a very brief illness. Miss Kretzer was born on January 31 1901 and was 17 years of age at the time of her death. She is buried in New Providence Cemetery Ursa, Illinois.




William died February 20, 1922 at his home three and a half miles northwest of Mendon. Cause of death was a leakage of the heart and dropsy that he had suffered for than a year. William Burial took place in the New Providence Cemetery Ursa, Illinois on February 22, 1922

After William died for what ever reason, Anna bought a home in Quincy at 812 Jackson Street. She lived there until her daughter Marguerite got married to Vernon Richard Strong in January 12th 1927, and then she moved back to the farm.

As the 1930 Census of Mendon Township shows the household consisted of August William, Anna , and Catherine Anna and her husband Carl Hartman.

The 1930 Census of Quincy shows the household as Vernon, Marguerite Strong, and their daughter Shirley, Emma Kratzer and her two brothers, Carl and Julius.

Anna Caroline Maria Montag died July 09, 1932 in her home (farm) near Mendon Illinois, Saturday morning at 4 o'clock from a paralysis stroke stricken Friday afternoon.

Burial was in the New Providence Cemetery Ursa, Illinois on July 11th 1932.

William and Anna Children