John Charles Konzen – One of Chickasaw County’s Bright Boys

My great uncle Karl told me years ago that his father John Charles Konzen (my great grandfather) had gone to business college in Cedar Rapids and that he had taught at the college afterward.  I’ve never been able to find any information about him going there or teaching until Michelle found out that old New Hampton newspapers were going to be online.  For some reason, I thought I had heard that these papers no longer existed (maybe I just told myself that to feel better about never making it to the archives in Iowa to look at the papers on microfilm – who knows).

The newspapers are a treasure trove of John Charles (and his siblings)!  And yes, they talk about him going to college in Cedar Rapids.  According to the 19 Dec 1889 edition of the New Hampton Courier, John Charles was traveling to Cedar Rapids for school.

John Charles Konzen of Jacksonville started Monday for Cedar Rapids to attend school in that goodly city of railroads and business enterprise - 19 Dec 1889 - New Hampton Courier copy

“J. C. Konzen of Jacksonville started Monday for Cedar Rapids to attend school in that goodly city of railroads and business enterprise.  J. C. is a student and thinker, and will make every hour of his stay in Cedar Rapids, sixty minutes of application to study or legitimate rest.”

The 27 Mar 1890 issue of the Courier says “J. C. Konzen is making this vicinity a short visit.  He reports good success at the Cedar Rapids Business College, to which he will return in the near future.”  On 8 Jan 1891 the New Hampton Courier reports that John Charles will be attending school in another town.

John Charles Konzen, who has been attending school at Cedar Rapids now goes to Cedar Falls to school - 01081891 - New Hampton Courier copy

“J. C. Konzen, who has been attending school at Cedar Rapids for the past year, spent the holidays at home with his friends.  He goes now to Cedar Falls to school.  J. C. will reach a first class place in his chosen work, if steady industry will accomplish it.”

I had never heard of John Charles attending school anywhere but Cedar Rapids, so unfortunately I do not know the reasons behind it.  In the 3 Sep 1891 issue of the Courier, John Charles is heading westward to teach in Kansas.

John Charles Konzen was in town last week, he has been attending school in Cedar Rapids and now goes to Emporia Kansas to teach - 09031891 - New Hampton Courier copy

“J. C. Konzen was in town last week, he has been attending school in Cedar Rapids and now goes to Emporia Kansas to teach.  He intends to make his way through college.  J. C. is a worthy young man and we predict will make his mark in the world.”

A week later on 10 Sep 1891 the Courier reports that John Charles is in Emporia and “has taken charge of the penmanship department of Parker’s Business College.”  On 21 Jan 1892, John Charles is quoted in the New Hampton Courier as saying “‘I am getting along nicely with my school and am well pleased with the country.'”

John Charles Konzen one of Chickasaw county's brightest boys who is seeking his fortune in the West writes us from Emporia Kansas - 01211892 - New Hampton Courier

“J. C. Konzen, one of Chickasaw county’s bright boys, who is seeking his fortune in the West, writes us from Emporia, Kansas, where he is now located, and he says, ‘I am getting along nicely with my school and am well pleased with the country.’  We are glad to hear of his success.”

In the 16 Jun 1892 issue the Courier states that John Charles has returned him from Emporia.  The New Hampton Courier doesn’t have much information on John Charles’s whereabouts or activities.  On 7 Nov 1895 the Courier reports that John Charles has been living in Fort Pierre, South Dakota, and he is going to Cedar Rapids for a college course.

John Charles Konzen - JC Konzen, of Ft Pierre, SD, was in town the first of the week shaking hands with friends and relatives here. He goes from here to Cedar Rapids - 11071895 - New Hampton Courier copy

“J. C. Konzen, of Ft. Pierre, S. D., was in town the first of the week shaking hands with friends and relatives here.  He goes from here to Cedar Rapids, where he will take a course in the college of that city.  He is a fine, steady young man and is preparing himself for active business and we wish him success.”

Almost three years later on 23 Jun 1898 the New Hampton Courier says “Mr. Konzen has been in Ft. Pierre for some time and has made a fine reputation as a business man.”

John Charles Konzen - JC Konzen, of Ft Pierre, South Dakota came down to attend the weddign of his sister and will remain for a few weeks - 06231898 - New Hampton Courier copy

“J. C. Konzen, of Ft. Pierre, South Dakota came down to attend the wedding of his sister and will remain for a few weeks.  Mr. Konzen has been in Ft. Pierre for some time and has made a fine reputation as a business man.  He is one of many young men who have gone out from this county and started in business and made a success, but he had a good capital to start with for habits of industry, sobriety and frugality make a splendid capital for a young man and such are sure to succeed.”

So from the New Hampton Courier articles, I now know he did teach at a college, just maybe not at Cedar Rapids Business College.  After 1898, there’s not much more information about John Charles, but in 1903 he is living in Montevideo, Minnesota.  John Charles lived out the rest of his life in Montevideo, where he owned a successful furniture store.  He met my great grandmother Ella Kuske – a teacher – and they married on 20 Jan 1914 in Olivia, Minnesota.  The couple had three children: Kermit, Kathryn, and Karl.

SCAN2623

Ella holding Karl, Kathryn, Kermit, and John Charles.  Circa 1923.

The family survived Ella’s bout of Scarlet Fever and the Great Depression together.  In the 1940 census, John Charles was 70 years old and he had worked 60 hours in the week prior to the census.  He had worked 52 weeks in 1939, but he earned $0 in income during 1939.  The census did note that he’d earned some non-cash income, but it’s hard to imagine that amounting to much.

SCAN1416

John Charles, Kathryn, Ella, and Karl on Karl’s final furlough before he shipped out to Europe.  This is most likely the final photo taken of John Charles because he died soon afterward.

John Charles and Ella lived a very happy life together until he died of a heart attack on 17 Nov 1942 at his home in Montevideo.

Advertisements

Konzen Family Books

Hi everyone!  I’ve been working on some Konzen family books.  One book is on the Angela Susanna Konzen & Peter Hansen family and one book is Peter Konzen & Theresa Wolff’s descendants – Theodore, Mathias, John, and Margaretha.  I am looking for more information, stories, and photographs for the books.  If you have anything you’d like to submit for the books, you can email them to me at konzengenealogy at hotmail.com.

Living people will be included in the books, but their birth dates and places will not be included.  I’ll post more information on the books throughout the process.  If you are interested in one of these books please let me know (and tell me which one) by commenting on this post or emailing me.  This will help give me an idea of how I’ll need to have the books printed and bound.  Please pass the word to relatives about the books and let them know to contact me with family information and any stories or photographs they would like included in the books.

I’m excited about this and I hope everyone else is, too!

Also, please let me know if you see any errors in the family trees on this blog and I will make the changes to them and carry those changes forward to the books.

 

What if Our Name was Schmitz Oberst?

Sometimes you come across something that changes everything in your family tree.

I could’ve been a Schmitz Oberst instead of a Konzen (can you even imagine it?).  But, thanks to Wilhelmus Schmitz Oberst & Elisabetha Konzen, I am a Konzen.  They are the reason why many of you are Konzens, too.  I recently found out about Wilhelmus & Elisabetha from a comment by Chip Kalb and through a book he pointed me toward.

Chip’s latest hint was about my Konzen line in Herborn, Luxembourg.  My cousins and I have tried to trace our Konzens back past Theodore Konzen of Herborn, but we couldn’t find anything to connect him to any Konzens in the Herborn records microfilmed by Family Search.  I was afraid that we were never going to be able to trace our Konzen line further back and I wanted more.

I followed Chip’s information to a new relative, Robert Grosch.  Robert and I are sixth cousins once removed – his sixth great grandfather Nicolaus Konzen is my fifth great grandfather – and he wrote a book with Jean-Claude Muller called “Familienbuch und Häuserchronik der Ortschaften Herborn, Mompach, Givenich und Pfaffenberg” (translation: “Family Book and House Chronicles of towns Herborn, Mompach, Givenich and Pfaffenberg”).  This book is a great resource and it traces the Konzen family tree back three generations further than what I had before.

The furthest generation of Konzens we’d found was Theodore Konzen & Catharina Scholer (the parents of Elizabeth who moved to Trierweiler, Peter who moved to Kruchten, and Wilhelm who moved to Olingen).  According to the Herborn book, Theodore was the youngest of 10 children born to Nicolaus Konzen* and Maria-Catharina Meyers or Storck.

Nicolaus Konzen was the younger of 2 children born to Wilhelmus Schmitz Oberst and Elisabetha Konzen.  Yes, Schmitz Oberst.  And no, Nicolaus was not illegitimate.  As the eldest child, Elisabetha had the right to remain in the Konzen family house after her marriage to Wilhelmus.  According to Robert, the couple remained in the Konzen family house and during this time period the parish priest used house names as surnames.  So that is why Wilhelmus and his children had the Konzen last name in records.  After Elisabetha’s death Wilhelmus still lived in the Konzen house and had the Konzen last name.  He married Maria Lauers and had 7 more children with the last name Konzen.  Just to confuse things, of course!

Elisabetha Konzen was the eldest of Nicolaus Konzen & Susanna’s 13 children.  After Susanna’s death Nicolaus married Anna Lauers and they had 4 children together.

So the family tree looks like:

1st generation:  Nicolaus Konzen & Susanna

2nd generation:  Elisabetha Konzen & Wilhelmus Schmitz Oberst

3rd generation:  Nicolaus Konzen & Maria-Catharina Meyers or Storck

4th generation:  Theodore Konzen & Catharina Scholer

5th generation:  Peter Konzen & Theresa Wolff

The book organizes families by houses and it has a photo of the Kounzen house in Herborn.  It also has a map of Herborn that shows the location of the Kounzen house.

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 11.21.19 PM

The Kounzen house in Herborn (photo from Google Maps)

If you’re interested in purchasing Robert Grosch & Jean-Claude Muller’s book “Familienbuch und Häuserchronik der Ortschaften Herborn, Mompach, Givenich und Pfaffenberg,” I can pass Robert’s contact information on to you.  You can email me at konzengenealogy at hotmail.com or comment on this post with your email address.

*In Herborn, our Konzens used various spellings of Konzen, so I will stick with the current spelling for continuity.  According to the Herborn book, it was Kuntzen in 1680, and Kontzen in 1900.  Other spellings are Conzen, Contzen, and Kounzen.

 

 

Murder in Mission, Texas

Joseph William Konzen was born in Nov 1858 in Lawler, Chickasaw, Iowa, USA, to the son of Johan Mathias Konzen (1818-1900) and Sophia Conrad (1832-1905).  We don’t know very much about Joe – he wasn’t in the paper all the time like Harold or Bad Peter.  It doesn’t seem that Joe ever married, but he lived in Chickasaw County for most of his life.

In the 1880 census, he is 22 years old and living with his parents and siblings.  His occupation is listed as “at home” and since his father was a farmer at the time, Joe probably worked on the farm with his father and younger brother John. Joe is living with his parents, his sister Mary, and his brother-in-law James in the 1900 census.  At that time he was working as a piano dealer.  There are also mentions in the Nashua Reporter of Joe having a store in the early 1900s.

The Nashua Reporter November 19, 1908.

The Nashua Reporter on November 19, 1908.

Joe sold pianos for a while. In the 29 Nov 1908 edition of the Nashua Reporter, “J. W. Konzen put a nice new piano into the Albert Wolff home one day last week.”  In 1910, the census lists Joe as living as a boarder in New Hampton.  He’s in the same profession, listed this time as a traveling piano salesman.  He was self-employed, but he was out of work for 25 weeks in 1909.

The Nashua Reporter on May, 1909

The Nashua Reporter on May 29, 1913.

In the 29 May 1913 issue of the Nashua Reporter it says that J.W. Konzen sold some land to D.A. Weaklin for $1 and “valuable consideration.” Joe lived in New Hampton in the 1915 census, and real estate was listed as his occupation.  Joe earned $1,000 from his real estate work in 1914, which would be about $24,000 today.

For a couple of years, Joe seemed to just disappear off the family tree after the 1915 census. We didn’t really have any idea where to look for him, but then Michelle found some articles on him. And we learned that Joe moved to Mission, Hidalgo, Texas, around 1916. He farmed for at least part of his time there.

On 18 Mar 1920, the Dyersville Commercial published an article entitled “J. W. Konzen Died in Texas.”  The article said “J. W. Konzen, a former New Hampton business man, who was operating a truck farm near Mission, Texas, died at that place last Saturday. He was found dead in bed. He was for several years engaged in the merchandise business and real estate business at New Hampton. P. H. Konzen of Hallock, Minn., a brother has gone to Mission to attend the funeral. It will be held at Mission.”

The Dyersville Commercial on March 18, 1920.

Joe died 12 Mar 1920 in Mission, Hidalgo, Texas.  However, the first Dyersville article didn’t tell the full story.  A second article published in the Dyersville Commercial on 22 Apr 1920 was titled “See Foul Play in Joe Konzen’s Death: Was Shot in Back through Window in Dark of Evening.  Intimated that He Feared His Partner was After Him – Operated a Farm in Texas.”

The Dyersville Commerical edition published on 22 Apr 1920.

The Dyersville Commercial on April 22, 1920.

The article stated, “It now develops [sic] that Joe Konzen, of Chickasaw county, mention of whose mysterious seat at Mission, Texas, was made in the Commercial several weeks ago, met death by foul play.  The Lawler Dispatch in an account of the affair says: ‘Atty. P. H. Konzen of Hallock [sic], Minn., spent several days of last week visiting with his sisters, Mrs. Buchholz and Mrs. Wheeler and old Lawler friends.  He was enroute home from Mission, Texas, where he had been to attend the funeral of his brother, J. W. Konzen.

‘The body had been embalmed and rested at the home of friends, Dr. and Mrs. Stidger.  Funeral services were held at their home and he was buried at Mission.  Mr. Konzen tells us that his brother, Joe as we all know him, is suppose to have been killed by his partner, a Missourian named Hacker, who is now bound over to the Grand Jury for trial in September.  The morning of March 13th, Dr. Stidger saw a light shining from a lamp through the window of the Konzen shack and went to investigate.  Joe had fallen forward, shot in the back of the head by some person outside the window.  There was [sic] no evidence of a struggle, not even the chair being tipped.  Several witnesses were found who had heard a shot at about 8 o’clock of the evening before and apparently Joe had sat down to ear and smoke as his pipe and newspaper indicated.  During the week previous Joe had remarked to two men in different conversations, that he felt that Hacker was after him and he planned to sever the partnership relations as soon as the cabbages were marketed.  Prices were high and Hacker, an extremely ignorant man seemed to think, making a way with Joe would leave him with the proceeds of the whole crop.

‘That the killing was premeditated is recognized now from remarks Hacker made in the presence of others in which he reviled the Mexicans (although his wife is a Mexican) and when Joe would defend them as being peaceful in and around Mission, he would say, “They’ll get you yet.” A few weeks ago five cottages, among them Mr. Konzen’s were burned and suspicion pointed strongly to Hacker.  About two weeks ago, Joe had two horses stolen and previously a set of harness and he had remarked to close friends that he could not help believing Hacker knew of their whereabouts [sic].  So far as known the two men had never quarreled or had disputes over their business affairs and friends her know that Joe had a peaceable, non-quarrelsome [sic] disposition.  His tragic death is much regretted by many friends and it is hoped that the man who so treacherously murdered him may be brought to justice.'”

Joe Konzen's death certificate

Joe Konzen’s death certificate.

According to his death certificate, Joe died “from a shotgun wound in right side of head – (Homicidal).”  I’ve tried to find out what happened to Hacker – from what I’ve been able to find in census records, it seems that his name is William Hacker.  I haven’t found him in the Texas convict ledgers in Ancestry.com so it doesn’t look like he served time for Joe’s murder.  I’ve been unable to find any newspaper articles to confirm if he was indicted or stood trial.  Hacker died on 8 Jan 1925 in Mission.

Kermit Konzen: 100 Years

Kermit at 1 1/2 years old

Kermit at 1 1/2 years old

Today would have been my grandpa Konzen’s 100th birthday.  He’s been dead for 20 years, but today our family is celebrating him.  My grandpa Kermit John Konzen was born on 27 Jun 1915 in Montevideo, Chippewa, Minnesota, to John Charles Konzen and Ella Pauline Kuske.  Kermit was John and Ella’s first child and at the time of his birth John was 45 years old and Ella was 25 years old.

After his birth, Kermit didn’t seem to thrive and he almost died before his first birthday.  A wet nurse was hired for him, but he didn’t get better and instead he turned brown and wrinkly.  They discovered that the wet nurse didn’t have enough milk for him and she was adding water to it before giving it to the family.  They found another wet nurse and my grandpa started to get better.  My great grandma would be push him in the baby buggy and people would look in to see the baby and be startled by how bad he looked. Kermit’s younger sister Kay was born in 1920 and his younger brother Karl was born in 1922.

John owned a furniture store in Montevideo and he was one of the wealthiest men in town until the Depression.  My grandpa was the only one of his siblings old enough to remember how their life was before the Depression.  During his childhood, his mother Ella nearly died from scarlet fever, but she survived and endured a long recovery.

SCAN1194

My grandparents Yvonne Sumner and Kermit Konzen circa 1939.

Kermit went to work for Red Owl grocery store in Montevideo and that’s how he met my grandma Yvonne Marcella Sumner.  She worked at an attorney’s office on the same street as the Red Owl and she would walk by the grocery store to and from work.  My great aunt Kay says Kermit was a little shy, but he always found a reason to wash the windows of the store when Yvonne would be walking down the street.  Yvonne was from the nearby town of Dawson. They fell in love and eloped in the fall of 1939.  For their honeymoon, they drove to Yellowstone National Park together.

Martha Elstad Gustavson, Sheldon Sumner, Olga Elstad Sumner, Virginia Sumner Coats holding Karol Konzen, Karl Konzen, Yvonne Sumner Konzen, Ella Kuske Konzen, John Konzen, and Kermit Konzen  in 1940.

Martha Elstad Gustavson, Sheldon Sumner, Olga Elstad Sumner, Virginia Sumner Coats holding Karol Konzen, Karl Konzen, Yvonne Sumner Konzen, Ella Kuske Konzen, John Konzen, and Kermit Konzen on August 25, 1940 in Minnesota.

My grandparents moved to Wheaton, Minnesota, after their honeymoon and Kermit worked as a manager at a grocery store.  My aunt Karol was born in Big Stone, Minnesota, and my aunt Karen was born in Douglas, Minnesota.  They lived in Alexandria for a little bit and then my grandparents moved to Billings, Montana, and Kermit worked at Sawyer’s grocery store.

Soon afterward, Kermit and Yvonne moved farther west to Bozeman, Montana, where Kermit worked at Sawyer’s.  Their son John (named after his grandfather) was born in Bozeman. The family moved back to Billings and the rest of their nine children – yes, nine – were born there:  David, Janet, Janice, Konstance, Kathy, and Randall.  Kermit started working at the Carter Oil refinery – now the Exxon Oil refinery.  He was an operator and eventually he became the chief operator.

Kermit working at the oil refinery in the 1970s.

Kermit (left) working at the oil refinery in the 1970s.

My grandpa had always been fascinated by the Battle of the Little Bighorn, American Indians, and Montana.  My great aunt Kay says that when he was a kid he’d tell his friends that the portrait of an American Indian chief hanging in their stairway was his father.  When my mom was a child he took his kids to the battlefield and he’d tell the tale of the battle in full detail.  After he retired, my grandpa was able to pursue his passion for history.

Grandpa called himself an “interested student” of General George Armstrong Custer.  He worked on the 1984 and 1985 archaeological digs at the Battle of the Little Bighorn site, he helped create a map of historical interest points for the Billings Gazette, he was interviewed by Time magazine about the battle, and he collected artifacts and memorabilia.  Spending time at his home was like visiting a museum.  I don’t know anybody else whose grandparents had arrowheads, bullets, and a piece of hardtack (the less desirable version of a saltine cracker) on the wall in their stairway.

SCAN0087

Kermit Konzen, on the far left, with some fellow historians.

Grandpa always seemed so full of life so it’s hard for me to remember that he’s been dead for so long.  When I was a baby, he had a stroke while visiting his sister in Minnesota.  Eventually the doctors discovered he had a brain tumor as large as a medium-sized lemon.  They removed the brain tumor, but they couldn’t get every piece of it.  Grandpa had to learn to talk and walk again, but it couldn’t keep him down for long and he always had plenty of time for his grandchildren.

He died about 7 years later on 5 Mar 1995, less than 4 months before his 80th birthday.  I’m thankful every day for having 7 years with him.  We spread his ashes – and later my grandmother’s – in an area he loved near the Rosebud Creek Battlefield where Crook’s Battle was fought days before the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

It’s because of my grandpa that I love genealogy.  He was a great man and a wonderful father and grandfather.  He lives on in all of his family.  It’s fitting that the 139th anniversary reenactment of the Battle of the Little Bighorn is happening on his birthday.  I’ll be there enjoying it.  Happy Birthday, Grandpa.

52 Ancestors: Pinky the Black Sheep

When you think of a Konzen black sheep you probably think of my 2nd great uncle Peter Hubert Konzen – also known as bad Peter.  But there’s more than one black sheep in the Konzen family. Harold Mathias Konzen, also known as Pinky, was born 27 Jun 1900 in Lawler, Chickasaw, Iowa, USA.  Harold’s parents were John G Konzen (1862-1913) and Mary A Connors (1866-1953).  His grandparents were Johan Mathias Konzen (1818-1900) and Sophia Conrad (1832-1905).

At first, Pinky seemed to live a fairly average life.  He lived in Mason City, Iowa, and worked as a clerk in 1918 according to his WWI draft registration card.  In 1919, the Mason City Directory listed Harold as a waiter at Vermilya Cafe.  He was also listed as a waiter in the 1920 census. Harold still lived in Mason City when he married Loduska Marie Hays on 6 Jun 1924 in Eldora, Iowa.  According to the 1925 state census, the couple lived in Hansell, Iowa. Then Pinky started appearing in newspapers.

In the 8 Aug 1929 issue of the Mason City Globe-Gazette, he had been charged with illegal possession and transportation of intoxicating liquor.  The article reads: “Harold Konzen, Hampton, Taken By Federal Man: Jailed Here Pending Posting of $1,000 Bond on Two Charges.  Harold ‘Pinkey’ Konzen, Hampton was arrested there lated Thursday afternoon by John P. Johnson, federal agent, and charged with illegal possession and transportation of intoxicating liquor.  The arrest of Konzen was said to have occurred after the federal agent had made a ‘buy.’  Two gallons of alleged alcohol were found by the officers.  A Hudson coach valued at $1,800 was taken by officers.  Konzen was [brought] to the county jail here Wednesday night where he will remain until the bond set at $1,000 is posted.”

8 Aug 1929 issue of the Mason City Globe-Gazette

8 Aug 1929 issue of the Mason City Globe-Gazette

On 16 Nov 1929, the Mason City Globe-Gazette reported that Harold plead guilty to violating Prohibition.  “Fines totaling $2,600 were assessed against nine Mason City men in United States district court Friday at Fort Dodge on liquor charges.  Harold Konzen, Hampton, was fined $300 on a liquor charge.”

Harold and Loduska were still married and living in Hampton in the 1930 census.  His occupation was a cafe proprietor and he could have been violating Prohibition for his business.  Maybe he needed liquor to make a living because it brought customers into his cafe.  Or maybe he violated Prohibition only for extra money and not because he was worried about his business.  Or he might have just been running liquor because he wanted it for himself.

16 Nov 1929 issue of the Mason City Globe-Gazette

16 Nov 1929 issue of the Mason City Globe-Gazette

Pinky was back in the news in 1930 facing another liquor charge.  The Mason City Globe-Gazette reported on 29 Apr 1930 that “Franklin county district court was reconvened for the April term here today, with Judge H. E. Fry of Boone on the bench.  Two cases are assigned for trial this term: State versus H. M. Konzen on a liquor charge, and that of State versus Dick Blair on a statutory charge.”

It seems that Harold stayed out of the news for a few years – maybe because Prohibition ended in 1933.  Somewhere along the way, he and Loduska divorced and he married a woman named Imogene.  In the 1 Apr 1937 issue of the Mason City Globe-Gazette, Imogene had filed for divorce from Harold.  The divorce must have been completed quickly because in the Mason City Globe-Gazette on 28 Jun 1937, Imogene Konzen, 23 years old, and Lamont J Johnson had been issued a marriage license.

On 13 Aug 1938, Pinky was in the Mason City Globe-Gazette for a charge of disorderly conduct.  The paper said “A hearing on a charge of disorderly conduct filed against H. M. Konzen, Hampton, was continued by Acting Judge Haynes.  Konzen was arrested by police at 5:30 o’clock Saturday morning in front of 13 West State street, where he was alleged to have been sitting in a car drinking.  Officers stated he had a small quantity of whisky and alcohol with him when arrested.”

According to the 1939 Des Moines City Directory, Harold was a manager for Food Shops, Inc.  In the 8 Jul 1939 issue of the Mason City Globe-Gazette, he had been charged with intoxication.  The article reads “Francis E. Turner, Kansas City, Kans.; Harold ‘Pinky’ Konzen, Hampton; Albert Redding, 119 Seventh street southwest, and Delbert ‘Red’ Faust, Prairie du Chien, Wis., were each fined $10 and costs on charges of intoxication.  Arrested by Police: Turner was arrested by police in the 400 block on Fourth street northeast, at 1:10 o’clock Saturday morning.  Konzen was arrested by a deputy sheriff on highway 106 at 2 o’clock Saturday morning.”

8 Jul 1939 issue of the Mason City Globe-Gazette

8 Jul 1939 issue of the Mason City Globe-Gazette

Harold was in the Mason City Globe-Gazette again on 15 Dec 1939.  “Three Forfeit Bonds In Court: Intoxication and Disorderly Conduct Charges Filed Here.  Stella Mandt, Manly and Harold M. Konzen, Hampton, each forfeited $10 bonds before Police Judge Morris Laird Friday on charges of intoxication.  They were arrested at 2:20 o’clock Friday morning in the 300 block on North Federal.”

15 Dec 1939 issue of the Mason City Globe-Gazette

15 Dec 1939 issue of the Mason City Globe-Gazette

In the 1940 census, Pinky was living in Hampton with his sister Ruth Konzen and her husband Mathias Brun.  He worked at Ruth and Marius’s Brun Inn as a waiter. Harold reappeared in the Mason City newspaper on 29 Feb 1940.  “Harold M. Konzen, Hampton, and Alice Milnes, 1431 Jefferson avenue Northwest, each forfeited $10 bonds on charges of disorderly conduct.  They were arrested at Fourth street and Jefferson avenue southwest at 4 o’clock Thursday morning.”

The next time Harold appeared in the Mason City Globe-Gazette it was on 12 Mar 1940 when he and some friends purchased the Hampton Cafe.  He became the active manager of the restaurant.  Then he was in the paper on 12 Oct 1940 for reckless driving.  “Hampton Driver Fined $100 Here: Harold M. Konzen Arrested on Charge of Reckless Driving.  Harold M. Konzen, Hampton, was fined $100 and costs Saturday by Police Judge Morris Laird on a charge of reckless driving.  Police arrested Konzen at 4:45 o’clock Saturday morning in the 100 block on West State street, when he was alleged to have nearly struck a bakery truck with his car.  Police said he had been drinking.”

On 18 Sep 1942, Harold was living in Hampton and he had been selected for physical examination prior to induction.  I couldn’t find any Pinky sightings in Iowa papers between 1942 and 1951.  Harold was living in Des Moines on 12 Jul 1951 according to The Hampton Chronicle.  He died on 25 Nov 1953 in Des Moines.  His obituary reads “Former Resident of Hampton Dies.  Hampton – Funeral services for Harold M. [Konzen], 51, former Hampton resident, were held here Tuesday at the Greenfield Funeral Home.  He died of pneumonia at a hospital in Des Moines Sunday.  He lived in Hampton a number of years until 1941 when he went to Mexico where he remained four years.  For the past six years he operated the Dutch Mill cafe at Des Moines.  His mother, Mrs. John [Konzen], died here last month.  He is survived by a sister, Mrs. Marius Brun, of Hampton.”

Harold's obituary in the Mason City Globe-Gazette on 25 Nov 1953

Harold’s obituary in the Mason City Globe-Gazette on 25 Nov 1953

His obituary says he lived in Des Moines from about 1947 until his death and that he’d left Hampton in 1941.  The 1941 departure must not be accurate since he was in the newspaper living in Hampton in 1942.  So if he left Hampton around 1942 for Mexico then he would have been in Mexico until at least 1946. I think Pinky was more than a little bit of a black sheep.  After all he was charged with violating Prohibition multiple times and with disorderly conduct.  I’ve also heard him described as a womanizer.  However, he might have been worse than all that.

Since he was absent from Iowa and living in Mexico – according to his obituary – probably between 1942 and 1947, it made Michelle, Sandy, and I wonder if our Harold M. Konzen is the same as the Harold M. Konzen in the Arizona Republic? “Grand Jury Presents 11 Indictments Here.  Nine open and two secret indictments were presented for action of the Phoenix branch of the U. S. District Court by the federal grand jury which closed its two-day session here yesterday.  Among the alleged offenses for which men will be held for court action here are two Dyer act cases, a rape charge and a white slave traffic act violation.  Harold M. Konzen and John Turner were indicted for allegedly transporting a woman from El Paso to Jerome in September in violation of the Mann act.”

23 Nov 1946 issue of the Arizona Republic

23 Nov 1946 issue of the Arizona Republic

“Mann Act Trial Opens.  Testimony on behalf of the defense will be resumed in U. S. District Court today when the trial of Harold M. Konzen and John Turner, Albuquerque, N. M., on charges of violating the white slave traffic act, enters its second day before Judge Dave W. Ling.  The government’s evidence, intended to prove that the defendants transported a young Mexican girl from El Paso, Tex., to Jerome for immoral purposes, was presented yesterday by four witnesses.  Maria Garcia Carrillo, native of Juarez, Mex., testified, through an interpreter, that she made the trip with the men.  Others called to the stand by E. R. Thurman, prosecutor, were Jesus Puentes-Nava, Juarez cab driver who allegedly introduced the principals; Fred N. Thomas, border patrolman, and William B. O’Mahoney of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Bertha Cooper, serving a sentence in Arizona State Prison on conviction of operating a house of prostitution, was the first witness called for Turner.”

23 Nov 1946 issue of the Arizona Republic

5 Feb 1947 issue of the Arizona Republic

In my opinion, the Harold M. Konzen in the Arizona Republic articles is more than just a black sheep.  I don’t know if that Harold M. Konzen is the same person as our Harold, but it does seem very possible.  Maybe we’ll eventually find enough information to prove one way or another.  Until then I’ll choose to think of our Pinky as just a black sheep.

Lost and Found in Olingen

As a genealogy lover, I know a lot about brick walls.  I don’t always know how to go around them, over them, or through them; but I have a lot of experience with hitting brick walls.  You’ve probably heard the Albert Einstein quote about how insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and thinking we’ll get different results.  I think a little bit of insanity has to go hand in hand with genealogy. Sometimes the insanity of daring to believe that we’ll find something new or finally find someone pays off.  And that makes it all worth it.

In December, Wilbur Kalb left some comments about Wilhelm Konzen on my post “The Luxembourg Konzens”.  Wilbur wrote about Wilhelm Kontzem, son of Theodore Kontzem and Catharina Scholer, who married Catharina Hoffman in Betzdorf and had a daughter named Katharina Kontzem who married Jacob Gales.  He also said that Mathias Gales, son of Katharina Kontzem and Jacob Gales, immigrated to the USA and settled in Kansas. We hadn’t been able to find Wilhelm Konzen – mostly because we didn’t know which Olingen he was in.

Years ago, we’d noticed a Wilhelm Konzen of Olingen was listed as godfather on the baptism record of one of Theresa Wolff & Peter Konzen’s children.  This was before we’d looked in Lellig for the Konzens so we didn’t even know Wilhelm was Peter’s brother.  I wasn’t even thinking about Luxembourg so I thought Olingen was Ollingen, Germany, or even that it could be Dillingen, Germany.  I looked for Wilhelm Konzen in those towns with no luck and I think I even looked through an Olingen, Luxembourg film, but it wasn’t for any time periods that Wilhelm’s family was in the records.

So I set Wilhelm of Olingen to the side (even after we found out he was probably Peter’s brother) and hoped one day I’d get back to him. After hearing from Wilbur, I went straight to Family Search and looked through Luxembourg Civil Registration marriage records to confirm that Wilhelm of Olingen, Luxembourg, was our Wilhelm.  And he was.  In the process, I’ve found much more about Wilhelm, but there’s much more to find still.

Wilhelm Konzen* (born 23 Apr 1797) married Catharina Hoffman (born about 1793) on 11 Feb 1820 in Betzdorf, Grevenmacher, Luxembourg.  They had three children: Catharina Konzen (born 30 Nov 1820 in Olingen), Anna Catherine Konzen (born 19 Jan 1824 in Olingen), and Margaretha Konzen (born 24 Sep 1827 in Olingen, and died 9 Mar 1828 in Olingen).  Catharina Hoffman Konzen died on 4 Jul 1830 in Olingen, and Wilhelm married Barbara Schumacher on 8 Oct 1830 in Betzdorf.  They had one daughter Catherina Konzen (born 12 Dec 1831 in Olingen, and died 22 Mar 1832 in Olingen).  Barbara Schumacher Konzen died on 26 Apr 1834 in Olingen, and Wilhelm married Maria Margaretha Kieffer (born 6 Jan 1812 in Jeanharishof, Grevenmacher, Luxembourg) on 13 Jun 1836 in Betzdorf.  They had four children: Jean Konzen (born 10 Apr 1837 in Olingen), Elizabetha Konzen (born 6 May 1839 in Olingen), Jakob Konzen (born 29 Oct 1842 in Olingen), and Marie Konzen (born 11 Dec 1846 in Olingen).

According to the 1843 census in Olingen, Wilhelm/Guillaume’s profession is listed as cultivateur or farmer (it’s also listed as the whole family’s profession).  There are two other people living with the family, Jacques Dondlinger (born 1824) and Susanna Hansen (born 1830).  Both Jacques and Susanna are listed as an unmarried domestiques or household servants.  On the census taken on 11 Dec 1846, Wilhelm is listed as a laboureur or laborer.  The 1847 census lists Wilhelm Konzen as a journalier or day laborer and his wife Marie Kieffer is a housewife.  It notes that the family is Catholic and that Wilhelm has lived in Betzdorf Commune for 27 years and Marie Kieffer has lived in the commune for 12 years.  I haven’t been able to find Wilhelm in a census after 1847.

Wilhelm’s daughter Catharina Konzen (born 1820) married Jacob Gales on 27 Feb 1845 in Betzdorf, Luxembourg.  Catharina’s full sister Anna Catherine Konzen (born 1824) married Jacob/Jacques Gales’s brother Joannes/Jean Gales on 9 Feb 1846 in Betzdorf, Luxembourg.  Jacob and Jean Gales were born in Ernzen, Germany, to Mathias Gales and Elisabeth Kayl.  They also had a sister Helena Gales who was baptized in Ernzen in 1822.

So far, I’ve found two children of Catharina Konzen and Jacob Gales.  Mathias Gales was born 16 Feb 1846 in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg, and Catharina Gales was born abt 1859 in Olingen.  In the 1871 census, Catharina & Jacob returned to Betzdorf commune with their children.  Their son Mathias married Elizabeth Apel in Machtum, Luxembourg, on 30 Dec 1868.  Mathias and Elizabeth along with two of their children lived with Catharina and Jacob and their daughter Catharina in 1871.  In the 1875 census, Mathias, Elizabeth, and their children live with Catharina and Jacob, but there is no Catharina Gales (born bat 1859) in the household.  However, there is an unmarried Susanna Konz (born in 1860) living with their household as a maid.  Mathias Gales & Elizabeth Apel and their children immigrated to the USA and settled in Kansas.

Anna Catherine Konzen and Jean Gales had six children: Jacques/Jacob (born 1 Feb 1847), Barbe/Barbara (born 20 Apr 1849), Mathias (born 12 Sep 1851), Maria (born 1 Feb 1854), Catherine (born 7 Dec 1856), and Catherine (born 11 Nov 1858).  On 5 Dec 1846, Anna Catherine and Jean lived in Dudelange, Luxembourg, where the census says they were tailleurs d’habits or tailors of clothes.  They returned to Olingen where they had lived for 4 months before the census was taken on 31 Dec 1847.  In the 1847, 1849, 1851, and 1852 censuses, Jean was still listed as a tailor.

The 1852 census has a 15-year-old Elisabeth Konsen living with Anna Catherine and Jean, she’s listed as a servante/maid.  This could be Anna Catherine’s half sister Elizabetha (born 1839), however she would 13 instead of 15.  According to the 1855 census, Jean is now a cultivateur/farmer and there is a servant living with the family named Anne Schmit aged 16 years.  In 1858, Jean is listed as a laborer and the family lives in an Olingen house named after the Kontzen (Konzen) family.  After 1858, Anna Catherine and Jean disappear from Betzdorf censuses.  Their son Mathias is still listed in Olingen in the 1871 and 1875 censuses.

I’m still looking for more information on what happens to Wilhelm and his children after they disappear off the Olingen census records.  And I’m looking for Anna Catherine and Jean and their children since I can only find their son Mathias (born 1851) after 1858.  It’s amazing how fast you can go from finding tons of information to hitting another wall.

*Note: Peter Konzen had seven siblings: Anna Maria (born 1781), Peter (born 1782), Wilhelm (born 1783), Elizabeth (1787-1878), Joannes (1794-1796), Marie (1795-1795), and Wilhelm (born 1797) of Olingen.