Beginnings: William Charles Kreie
William Charles Kreie, the son of Johann Kreie and Louisa Schmitz, was born on 19 June 1877 in Newton, Manitowoc Co., Wisconsin. (See Appendix 5 for a history of Newton.) He was the third of twelve children and the first of six boys.
William was the second generation of the Kreie family to be born in the United States. Both Johann and Louisa were born in Manitowoc Co., in 1850, 2 years after Wisconsin became the 30th state. Between 1840 and 1850, Wisconsin's non-Indian population had swollen from 31,000 to 305,000. Over a third of residents (110,500) were foreign born, including 38,000 Germans, 28,000 British immigrants from England, Scotland and Wales, and 21,000 Irish. Another third (103,000) were Yankees from New England and western New York State. Only about 63,000 residents in 1850 had been born in Wisconsin. (Reference: Wikipedia)
William's grandfather was also named William, or more correctly Frederich Wilhelm Kreie. It is not known when Grandfather Kreie emigrated from Germany to the United States, but he and his eldest child Johann were farmers near Newton Station, Manitowoc Co., Wisconsin, for many years.
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The federal census for 1890 was largely destroyed by fire years ago, and William Charles Kreie is not found in the 1900 census. It may be that his last name was misspelled or he just was not recorded. I suspect that he was still residing in Wisconsin, likely in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and was either a laborer or farmer and lodging outside of his immediate family.
It is not known whether William attended school or for how long if he did.
There is a reference to a William Kreie in the Manitowoc City Directory for 1899 listing him as a clerk for 'Torrison, residing 2d East N. 9th, no. side Division'. Whether this entry refers to William Charles Kreie is not certain. William began working as a fireman on the railroad about 1901, working for the Chicago & North Western Railroad. (See Appendix 8 for history of Chicago & North Western Railway.)
William's siblings included :
- Ida Matilde Kreie: b. 2 Aug 187 4, d. 9 Jan 1955
- m. William Boeckmann
- Matilde Caroline Kreie: b. 10 Feb 1876, d. 29 Jul 1876
- Bertha Ann Kreie, b. 15 Aug 1879 d. 31May1936
- m. William A. Kluczinski
- Adolph Frederick Kreie, b. 30 Aug 1881, d. 4 Jun 1968
- m. Laura E. Kiel
- Walter Max Kreie, b. 23 May 1884, d. 7 Mar 1969
- m. Emma Bruns
- Oscar Kreie, b. 28 Jan 1885, d. 27 Oct 1918
- Never married
- Emma Louisa Kreie, b. 4 Feb 1888, d. 9 Dec 1980
- m. Adolph Metzger
- Robert John Kreie, b. 26 Aug 1890, d. 21Dec1983
- m. Alma M. E. Otterbach
- Herman Emil Kreie, b. 5 May 1892, d. 16 Jul 1979
- m. Elizabeth W. Mahnke
- Stillborn, 1894
- Magdalena Kreie, b. 11May1896, d. infancy