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1943: Welzenbach continues his life story

Bits By Betty
Lead Summary
Betty Mann, president, Rock County Historian

By Betty Mann, Rock County Historian
The following article is part of the Diamond Club Member group that began in the January 7, 1943, issue of the Rock County Star Herald. Members of this group consist of persons of age 75 and older.
The following appeared in The Rock County Herald on October 14, 1943.
John Welzenbach, Luverne…was Early Day Cigar Maker (continued)
He liked Luverne the minute he stepped off the train, he stated. Causing him to have a favorable impression on the community from the start was the fact that there were at that time numerous bird dogs in the city. Being a lover of the out of doors, and enjoying hunting and fishing, he knew that Luverne could not be a backward western town if its residents were lovers of fine dogs.
         Mr. Welzenbach lived on the farm for 29 years before retiring and moving to Luverne. While on the farm, he served as treasurer for school district 50 for 26 years, and as treasurer of Mound township for 24 years. For the past 12 years, he has been treasurer for the Beaver Creek Mutual Fire Insurance company, a position he still holds.
         Since boyhood, Mr. Welzenbach stated, he had two ambitions. One was to see the source of the Mississippi, and the other to see his birthplace in Germany. Both aspirations became reality.
Visits Birthplace
         It was in 1928 that he and his brother made the trip back to Bavaria. Hausen, the village in which he was born, had added but three houses since they had left there 60 years previous. With plenty of time to travel, Mr. Welzenbach and his brother visited all the villages in that area, traveling from one to the other with horse and buggy.
         “Germany was getting along nicely at that time,” Mr. Welzenbach said, “and if the people had just been left alone to work things out for themselves, they’d have been all right today.”
         Mr. Welzenbach’s father had been a miller in Germany, and while visiting there, they saw the mill which their father had operated six decades previous.
         “Because father was a business man, he was lucky enough to obtain a hunting license, a privilege few villagers had,” Mr. Welzenbach explained. “For that reason, people back in father’s time called the mill “’Hunter’s Mill’, and that name was still used when we visited there.”
Visited Main Cities
       During their stay, they visited 12 of Germany’s principal cities, and also went to Paris. They also made a trip on the river Rhine from Mainz to Cologne. River banks were terraced and were planted to grapes and hops. “That was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen,” Mr. Welzenbach said.
         Mr. Welzenbach was married in Davenport, Iowa, to Lizzie Kuehl, on October 29, 1896. They became the parents of six children, five of whom are living. They are William, Wolf Point, Mont.; Arnold, Mound township; Mrs. John (Alice) Steffen, Hardwick; Mrs. Herman (Edna) Thorson, Luverne, and Pvt. Harvey Welzenbach, Camp Crowder, Mo. They also have 13 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
         Mr. Welzenbach has one half-brother and a sister living. They are Joe Welzenbach, Omaha, and Mrs. Mary Miller, Davenport, Iowa.
         Donations to the Rock County Historical Society can be sent to the Rock County Historical Society, 312 E. Main Street, Luverne, MN 56156.
Mann welcomes correspondence sent to

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