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Kreitz Family
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Kreitz Family
Contributed by Adams County ILGenWeb
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The history of the Kreitz family is very interesting. John Sebastian Kreitz, born June 24, 1805, and his brother Winand Kreitz, born May 9, 1807, natives of Zuelpich, Rhenish Prussia, emigrated December 25, 1843, leaving Antwerp, Belgium, for San Tomas, Guatemala, Central America. Winand Kreitz and his wife, Anna Elizabeth, nee Boettgenbach, had three sons, John Matthew, born September 25, 1835; Theodore William, born May 11, 1838; and John Baptist, born August 14, 1841. In 1906 Theodore W. Kreitz related the history of their sojourn in Central America to the writer of this narrative, as follows: "After arriving in Central America, and while on our way to the colony, we for half a day had to wade through water, finally reaching a dense forest. Father, who was a gunsmith, carried a rifle which he had made himself. We were very hungry, and father shot a monkey, which we fried and ate, finding the meat very palatable. The trip to our destination in Guatemala took three months. The natives were friendly to the colonists and aided them. Rafael Carrera, the president, gave orders to father to take the old flintlocks from the rifles and replace them with percussion locks. Thus father had considerable work to do. Among other things he constructed a combination lock for the stockade in which the political prisoners were kept, the government of Guatemala paying him one thousand dollars for the invention. Then father opened a commission business, sending cochineal, sarsaparilla, Panama hats, etc., to Germany and France. In November, 1846, we left Guatemala and returned to our old home in Germany; two years later we again went to Guatemala, and in 1850 finally left for the United States. President Rafael Carrera, who thought a great deal of father, sent a bodyguard of twenty men to escort our family to the cost. April 13, 1850, we left Belize, Honduras, on board the bark Juanita for New Orleans, and from there came up the Mississippi to Quincy, where father died of cholera, July 1, 1850, while mother departed this life July 28, 1879. Father brought the first Panama hats to Quincy in 1850 and sold them to H. F. J. Ricker, who conducted a general store." John Matthew Kreitz after arriving in Quincy worked on a farm, then secured a position as clerk in a grocery and later conducted a business of his own. He was city collector of Quincy for one term, and was sheriff of Adams County in 1871 and 1872. For many years he was in the ice business until he died, September 6, 1888. He married Mary Ohnemus, daughter of the old pioneer, Matthias Ohnemus, she now lived in Los Angeles, California. Theodore W. Kreitz held different offices, being city collector in 1869 and 1870, also deputy sheriff and harbor master. He invented an automatic fire and burglar alarm, and an automatic apparatus for the extinction of fires, but had no success with his inventions, he did seven years ago. John Baptist Kreitz learned the trade of saddler and harness maker in Quincy. In 1861 he went overland to California, returning in 1866. He also was county treasurer for one term. His wife was Rosalie Merssmann, daughter of the old pioneer, John B. Merssmann. John B. Kreitz died August 11, 1890, his wife departed this life November 14, 1906. Mrs. Christine Hutmacher, wife of August C. Hutmacher, proprietor of the Pacific Hotel, is the only member of the original Kreitz family among the living today.

QUINCY AND ADAMS COUNTY HISTORY AND REPRESENTATIVE MEN by David F. Wilcox. Chicago: Lewis Publishing, 1919. p. 397-398.

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Posted 04/03/15 - 13:01:20:
Subject: Ingeborg Vianden
I want to contact Mr.William Henton Kreitz, but his email-number seems to be wrong. Would you please help me?
I am living in the town in Germany, where the Kreitz family comes from. My email is

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Submitted: 05/26/10

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