John B. Wirtz

As published in
"The City of Kenosha and Kenosha County Wisconsin: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement"
by Frank H. Lyman Vol. 2, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1916.




John B. Wirtz, a well known citizen of Somers, has been a lifelong resident of this county, his birth occurring in Somers township near Kenosha, on the 10th of April, 1870. His parents were John and Mary (Eberhardt) Wirtz, who were born in the Rhine country of Germany, where they were reared and educated. The father was forty-two years of age when he crossed the Atlantic to the United States and made his way to this county, settling just outside the city limits of Kenosha. There he purchased land and engaged in farming for a time, but afterward took up his abode in the city and worked at the blacksmith's trade, continuing his residence there until his life's labors were ended in death. His widow survives and yet makes her home in Kenosha.

John B. Wirtz spent his youthful days in that city, and after the common schools had prepared him for life's practical and responsible duties, he secured employment in the Bain Wagon Works, where he remained for twelve years. He then went to Racine, where he was engaged in the grocery business for a year, but afterward returned to the trade of wagon making, and for eight years occupied the responsible position of foreman in a Kenosha factory. On the expiration of that period he removed to Somers, where he opened an inn, and has now been identified with the hotel interests of the town for twelve years, during which period he has built up a trade of large and gratifying proportions, being now accorded a liberal patronage.

On the 9th of October 1905 Mr. Wirtz was united in marriage to Miss Margaret De Frang, a daughter of John and Margaret (Weiler) De Frang, who were early settlers of Kenosha. Her father was baggageman at the Northwestern depot for several years, and the family is well known. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Wirtz: Marie, Isabel, Adeline, and Elizabeth.

The family are communicants of the Catholic church, and fraternally Mr. Wirtz belongs to the Catholic Knights and the Fraternal Order of Eagles of Kenosha. In politics he maintains an independent course, nor has he ever sought or desired the honors and emoluments of political office. His attention has been fully occupied with his business interests, and his work has been the basis of his growing success, which has now furnished him with a comfortable competence that supplies him with all the necessities and some of the luxuries of life.

Typed by: Michelle Laycock



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