Person:Karl Kraatz (1)

  1. Carl Kratz1857 - 1933
  2. Augusta Kratz1859 - 1939
  3. Berta De La Ludvika Kraatz1864 - 1934
  4. Edith KratzAbt 1866 - Bef 1900
  5. Clara KratzAbt 1868 - Bef 1900
Facts and Events
Name Karl Kraatz
Alt Name Karl von Kraatz
Immigrant Name Charles Kratz
Baptismal Name[7] Johann Gustav Carl Kraaz
Gender Male
Alt Birth[1][2] 23 Sep 1831 Rügen, Pommern, Preußen, Germany
Birth[7] 30 Sep 1832 Kasnevitz, Rügen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
Christening[7] 21 Oct 1832 Kasnevitz, Rügen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
Military[6] abt 1870 listed as missing in action
Immigration[2][3] 1872
Census[4] 1880 Winnetka, Cook, Illinois, United States
Naturalization[5] 28 Oct 1882 Cook, Illinois, United States
Death[1] 15 Sep 1898 Winnetka, Cook, Illinois, United States
Burial? Skokie, Cook, Illinois, United StatesSt. Peter’s Evangelical and Reformed Church Cemetery

According to family stories, Karl von Kraatz was born on the Isle of Rügen, in the north of Germany to a military family. He was an officer in the Prussian army and when not at war took care of the Kaiser's horses and helped teach the Kaiser's children how to ride. He was wounded in the Franco Prussian War, taken in by a farm family for a year, and emigrated to the United States in 1872. In the United States he lived near Evanston, Illinois.

Memories of a Granddaughter

"In Germany, Grandpa was an officer in the German army, and when he wasn't, there wasn't a war, he had a cottage on the Kaiser's estate where he and his family lived and he took care of the Kaiser's horses and taught the children (the Kaiser's children) horsemanship. He taught Kaiser Wilhelm how to ride horseback. Well, in Germany, when Germany conquered a country, the people of those, that country had a choice: they could either stay in their country and become Germans or they could get out. If they stayed in the country they had to become Germans, so when Father, Grandfather decided to come to America to live, he became an American just as quick as he could. He and his wife took out American citizenship papers and the children were put in American homes to learn the language and learn the American ways. And he changed his name from Karl von Kraatz to Charlie Kratz. In every way that he possibly could, he became an American. . . .

[When I was 21] "Mother had word from her mother saying that she was sick. Now Grandma lived in Chicago, and Mother couldn't go. . . . I knew none of her relatives excepting Grandma, who lived with Mother's sister, and I didn't know this aunt of mine at'all. I didn't know any of them. I knew Uncle Max, but he wasn't...Well, I didn't know Uncle Max, only that I knew him through writing, but I wouldn't know him if I met him on the street. But anyway I went, . . . .

"Uncle Max lived in Winnetka, another suburb of Chicago, and he wanted me to come there, so I went there to visit. . . . and they were very wealthy. . . . He was a banker. He hadda go down to main Chicago with his bank every once in a while, the Bank of Winnetka. . . . while I was there [in 1917 after the United States entered World War I] I decided that being a German wasn't such a good thing. I was in Chicago in a German slum [sic, meaning a neighbourhood of German immigrants]. And my grandmother, my grandfather had known the Kaiser of Germany personally, and he had trained the Kaiser's children. Now Kaiser Wilhelm had grown up, and he was the leader of the country now. My grandmother had a great big enlarged picture of him hanging in her living room. And Uncle Max used to sit on his front porch and play the bass violin, and he played all the old German songs and the patriotic songs of Germany and so on. And they told, my cousin told him, "Uncle Max, you're gonna have to stop that." . . . . But pretty soon the cops came along and he was no longer allowed to play German songs, and Grandma hadda take down the Kaiser's picture. I think that hurt her as much as taking down one of her own son's pictures. She felt terrible that she hadda take down the Kaiser's picture. And about that time when I got ready to go home Grandma told me I could take anything I wanted out of...she had a lot of old __________ of all kinds. She said I could take anything I wanted, and there were some pictures. There was a picture of my grandfather with Bismarck, sitting at a table talking and there was one picture of Grandfather out in the field as a officer in the German army, and she wanted to give me those pictures. I wanted 'em alright, but I couldn't figure myself going home during the war with pictures of German officers in my suitcase, so I turned 'em down, didn't dare take 'em home. I'd give anything to have them now, but I never got a chance to get them again."[2]

  1. 1.0 1.1 “Cook County Tombstones”, by G. W. Lundberg; FHL #6100329, in Lundberg, Gertrude W. Cook County cemeteries. (Homewood), Secondary quality.

    St. Peter’s Evangelical and Reformed Church (formerly part of United Church of Christ but separated) Cemetery, Skokie, Illinois (formerly known as Niles, Illinois)
    p. 7 - Kratz, Carl, 23 Sep 1831-15 Sep 1898

  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Alvina's Oral History Tapes, in Knott Family email, Secondary quality.
  3. Minnesota, Kandiyohi County, Holland Township, in United States. 1900 U.S. Census Population Schedule. (National Archives Microfilm Publication T624), Primary quality.

    Knott, Bertha [dau of Karl], immigrated 1872

  4. IL, Cook, New Trier, ED 228, in United States. 1880 U.S. Census Population Schedule, Primary quality.

    Village of Winnetka, p. 34
    Kretz, Chas., white male, age 48, married, farmer, b. Prussia, both parents b. Prussia
    , Jane, white female, 35, wife married, keeping house, b. Prussia, both parents b. Prussia
    , Clara, white female, age 12, dau, b. Prussia, at school

  5. Illinois Superior Court, Immigration and Naturalization Index, A-L, 1871-1906; FHL #1023967, in Illinois. Superior Court (Cook County). Indexes to naturalization records. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1980), Vol. 08, p. 539, Secondary quality.

    Kratz, Carl, from Germany, 10-28-1882 [October 28, 1882]

  6. Verlustliste Nr. 201 [Los List No. 201], in German Casualties in the Franco-Prussian War, 187-1871.

    Combined Siege Pioneer Bataillon
    Fortress Pioner Compagny 10. Armee Corp
    "Sec. Lieut. Kraatz Verm. Zur Compagnie zürck" [Second Lieutenant Kraatz Lost in Action, to be returned to the Company]

  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Book 1831-1863, in Extract from Birth Register of the Evangelical Parish, Kasnevitz, Rügen, Germany , email Anita Schmidt (Evangelical Pastor's Office of Putbus), 12 July 2016 to Mr. Dr. Rerup, Secondary quality.

    1832, No. 30, page 8
    Father: Christoph Friedrich Theodor Kraaz, Governor of [Güstelitz]
    Mother: Catharine Marie Luise Paepke
    Child: Johann Gustav Carl Kraaz, b. 30 September 1832, 8:30 in the evening, in Casnevitz; baptized 21 Oct 1832
    Godparents: Carl Friedrich Anders, son of the miller in Casnevitz; Johann Christian Vungreen, butcher journeyman in Putbus; Christine Marie Vernon, daughter of Master Tailor in Casnevitz