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Ft. Crockett TX


Dayton FD




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Rev 0908

ANTHONY FRANK "Tony" LORENZ was born at 513 Walnut St. in Cincinnati, Ohio on Nov. 25, 1893. His parents, Franz Josef "Frank" Lorenz and Rosa Elizabeth [Heidler] Lorenz had immigrated to the United States from the Bohemian region of Austria-Hungary in 1891, to join Frankís two older brothers, Wenzel and Anton Lorenz who had come to the U.S. in the 1880s and sponsored Frank's entry. Frank and Rosa settled in the fringe of Cincinnatiís German community, called Over-The-Rhine because it's separation from Cincinnati's downtown area by the Erie and Miami Canal reminded German immigrants of the Rhine River. Frank's brother Wenzel was also a resident of this area, but his brother Anton had made his home in nearby Hamilton in Butler County.

      In 1901 Frank, Rosa and their children, which now included Anthony age 12, Rose age 6, and Joseph age 5, moved north to Dayton. Their daughter Luella was born at their home on Germantown St., located west of the Dayton's downtown area, in September of that year. The family resided at different homes in that area, moving frequently until 1909 when they made their home on Miami Chapel Road located about 15 blocks to the southwest. Frank was employed as an assembler and a machinist during several of these years. Frank and Rosa's daughter Josephine was born in 1912.

      Tony joined the army in 1912, was assigned to Co. B, 28th Infantry at Ft. Snelling, Minnesota. He corresponded with his family often (but, of course, not as often as some liked), and too with his friend William "Bill" Bertsch, also from Dayton, who was at that time in the army assigned to Co. A., 4th Infantry, and stationed at Ft. Logan H. Roots near Little Rock, Arkansas. In February, 1913, Tony's outfit was ordered to Ft. Crockett in Galveston, Texas. 

     The family in Ohio rode out the great Dayton and Miami Valley flood in March, luckier than many families, escaping with only a scare when young Joseph went missing for several days.

     Bill Bertsch's outfit was also ordered to Ft. Crockett in 1913.  In 1914 both Tony's and Bill's infantry units were part of the  American expedition which entered the U.S.-captured Mexican city of Veracruz. and occupied the city until November of that year.

     In 1914 Frank and Rosa bought a farm located about 10 miles northwest of Dayton near the community of Little York. The farmhouse was a mid-1800s log cabin with clapboard siding, which still stands today. Tony was discharged from the Army in 1915 and returned home to help his parents work the farm. His siblings, Rose and Joseph, worked in the city of Dayton.

   Tony's younger brother Joseph joined the Wisconsin National Guard in 1916, and was one of the troops sent south for "Mexican Border Service" following the raid by Poncho Villa. Bill Bertsch was also stationed along the southern Texas border at that time. Bill married Tony's sister Rose in 1916 in Brownsville, Texas. 

     Re-enlisting into the regular army in 1917, Tony served in the Quartermaster Corp in Virginia and South Carolina during WWI. Bill Bertsch had been transferred to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in the summer of 1917, where Bill and Rose's first child was born. Bill later was sent to France and served with the 4th Infantry of the 3rd Division.  Tony's brother Joseph Lorenz served in France in the 150th Machine Gun Battalion, 42nd Division and was wounded in battle near the Ourcq River. Joe died ten days after the armistice was signed in November of 1918. Anton Lorenz's son Julius served in the AEF and was discharged in 1919. Bill Bertsch was wounded in France and received the Purple Heart. He re-enlisted in 1920 to make the Army a 30-year career. Tony was discharged from the army in 1919. 

    Luella Lorenz had briefly quit high school to help support the family, but returned to graduate in 1920.  She then attended Ohio State University for a year. In 1922 she moved to New York City, and began attending the Bellevue School of Nursing in the fall of 1923.

    Around 1920 Frank, now suffering from health problems, moved Rosa and the family into Dayton  when he purchased a home at 121 E. Fairview Avenue. It is a small house sitting in the back of the lot.  Tony's cousin, Anton Lorenz, son of Karl and Emilie Lorenz of Austria, stayed with Frank and Rosa Lorenz in the early 1920s. Frank Lorenz died on January 13, 1923 after a long fight with esophageal cancer. In 1923 nephew Anton joined the U.S. Navy.

     Tony met MARIA EVA HAFNER while they both were employed by the National Cash Register Company in Dayton. Maria was born in Impfingen, Germany, located in the present day state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. Her parents, Simon and Maria Hafner resided in Impfingen, where they ran a store, but had fallen on hard times after WWI. Maria had attended trade school in Germany, training to be a domestic servant. She immigrated from Germany in 1923, sponsored by Richard and Josephine Klopf, and initially worked in their household.

     In 1924 Tony began a 19-year career with the Dayton Fire Department. He was first stationed at Engine House #4 at Main and Monument Streets. Tony and Maria were married September 21, 1926 and they moved into a newly-built house on Ashwood Ave. in Dayton. Tony was transferred to Engine House #14 at Main and Forest Streets in 1928.

    Luella Lorenz graduated from New York's Bellevue School of Nursing in 1926.She later got her BS degree from Fordham University and worked as a psychiatric social worker for the City of New York's Department of Hospitals until WWII. 

   Tony's uncle Anton and wife Anna Lorenz made several trips back to Austria between 1910 and 1925. They are found in Hoboken N.J. in the 1930 census. Tony's uncle Wenzel Lorenz died on May 21, 1927 in Cincinnati.  

   Mariaís siblings, twins Helen and Joe Hafner and youngest brother Al Hafner immigrated from Germany in 1927, 1928 and 1929, respectively, and all lived with the Lorenz family at their home on Ashwood Ave. until their marriages. Helen Hafner ran a tailor shop and Joe Hafner worked at Siebenthaler Nursery. Al Hafner worked at Peter Kuntz Lumber company; while doing so he met his bride-to-be, Ida Stukenborg, who worked for the Kuntz household.

   Tony and Maria's only child, a son, was born July 7, 1929.

    Luella married Alfred Oldridge, a fireman, in New York in November, 1929. They were divorced around 1933.

    In 1930 Tony's mother Rose Lorenz was one of 5,323 widows and Gold Star Mothers who had lost husbands and sons in the war, that made a pilgrimage to France to visit the gravesite of their loved ones. This was an all-expense paid trip sponsored by the government

   Tony was active in the Fire Department band. He took his family camping on his vacations, at times raising a tent at the edge of some farmer's field as was common at that time; the family later traveled with Tony's home-made camping trailer. They ventured north to Michigan on many years, and even visited Florida one summer. Tony and Maria were avid fishermen.  Their son attended Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Elementary school, and Chaminade High School.  He played the cornet in the band.

   Helen Hafner married Joseph Wahlrab August 16, 1934. Al Hafner married Ida Stukenborg June 2, 1938; Al was a carpenter.  Joe Hafner married Elsie Bartolomaeus June 16, 1938. Joe owned Morgenthal Dry Cleaners for over 40 years; his wife Elsie had emigrated from Germany in 1924.

   Josephine Lorenz married Walt Lightner September 20, 1932. Luella Lorenz married Frank Cochran, an editor for the New York Times, on August 6, 1936. Luella graduated from Fordham University in 1940 with a BS degree in Education. 

  In 1942 a lumberyard fire occurred in which Tony was one of eight firemen injured. Two years later, while holding the rank of Fire Inspector, he retired from the fire department.

   Tony followed the news of World War II closely.  This family like many others of immigrant origin were in the position of having members fighting on both the Allied and Axis side.  Maria worked at Inland Manufacturing making rifle parts. Maria's brother Joe Hafner served in the U.S. Medical Corp in Italy. Bill Bertsch was assigned to the Army Air Force and was stationed at Patterson Field in Dayton during the war; Bill's son-in-law spent 3 years in the south Pacific as part of the U.S. Army. Maria Lorenz's youngest sister Martha still resided in Germany and Martha's husband served in the German army

    Luella Lorenz Cochran's husband Al served in the marines, and Luella became a lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps. and served in Europe as a surgical nurse. While there, she was able to check on Maria's parents, Simon and Maria Hafner, in Impfingen, Germany in 1946.

   Tony purchased a 40-acre farm outside of Brookville, Ohio in 1945, and he, Maria and their son began doing contract farm work. 

     Their son graduated from Brookville High School in 1947. He had held various after-school jobs, and after graduation, had several part-time jobs while continuing to help his father on the farm. In the early 1950s both Tony and his son did odd jobs around the Mid Valley Pipeline Company construction site where pipeline was being laid across the road from the farm. Tony's son began working part-time for the pipeline, then went full time for the company in 1953. He met one of the daughters of Charlie and Grace Gilliam on a blind date in October of that year.

   Rose Heidler Lorenz died September 4, 1952 in Lake George, New York while visiting her daughter Luella.  Maria's mother died in 1953 and her father in 1957, both in Impfingen, Germany.

   Tony's son was drafted into military service in the summer of 1954.  He was married at the end of the year and moved with his lovely new bride to Arizona the following January when he was transferred to Ft. Huachuka..

    Luella Lorenz Cochran married Winfield Scott Davis in New York in 1965.  She retired from Kings County Hospital in 1966 after 35 years of service, and she and Win made their home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

    Tony and Maria were founding members of Precious Blood Catholic Church, located on Salem Ave. in Dayton.  Many of their nieces and nephews spent time with them on the farm.

   Upon Tony's retirement in 1962 he and Maria purchased a home on Free Pike in Trotwood, Ohio. They visited their vacation retreat in Port Clinton, Ohio often. Tony died on December 22, 1974 in Dayton. Maria retired to the Maria Joseph Living Center in 1993, and lived there until her death on April 17, 2000.

    Tony and Maria's son currently resides in Texas. He and his lovely bride celebrated their 50th Anniversary in 2004. They have 4 children, 7 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren, currently living in Texas and Virginia.

    Tony and Maria's son is actively involved in the Knights of Columbus, and his lovely wife is an avid gardener and seamstress, who takes great joy in creating quilts for Project Linus, a national volunteer organization that gives blankets to children in distress.

Other items of interest: 

- In the 1920's the city of Cincinnati began deepening the Erie and Miami Canal to construct a subway system, which was never completed. In 1928 Central Parkway was opened on top of the old subway tubes. 

- Impfingen, Germany is located 3 kilometers north of Tauberbischofsheim. It has a population of about 1000, and is located in an area of rich archaeological significance.

- Father Georg Hafner, born Oct 19, 1900, son of simple, deeply devout parents Valentin and Barbara Hafner, began theology studies in 1919. He became a priest in 1924, and in 1934 became pastor of Oberschwarzach, currently located in Bavaria near the community of Gerolzhofen. Under Nazi scrutiny for rejecting the Nazi salute, he became a resistance fighter. In 1941 he was arrested by the Gestapo for inciting the population, and sent to the concentration camp at Dachau. He died August 20, 1942 of ill treatment, overwork and malnutrition. The diocese of Wuerzberg presented him as a candidate for canonization in 1988. He is a cousin of Maria, Helen, Joseph, Al and Martha, and they were interviewed by papal representatives on Georg Hafner's behalf.