• Pletschette Family Tree - Homepage
                                                  last updated: March 07, 2011
    In Search of Information about Nikolas Kransz
    Dear Internet Surfer,
    I'm Jean Ferber, the mayor of the municipality called Wahl a small 
    town, in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.  I myself leave in Buschrodt
    a small village of the municipality.
    I'm interested in the history of our village, and one member 
    of our village, Nikolas Kransz, went to America in the year 1845. 
    Nicolas Kransz was leaving in a town north of Chicago, called "Lake 
    View".  In the book "Old Chicago Houses (1941)" of John Drury I was 
    reading that the "Senn High School" was built on the ground, where 
    the Kransz Farm used to be.  In this booklet it is stated that details 
    of his house can be found in the archives of Chicago.  
    In 1886 Nicolas Kransz made a gift for the children of our village, 
    Buschrodt and in 1893 he gave a silver gold plated goblet to our church. 
    I would appreciate in case I could get photos and or documents that 
    are in relation with Nikolas Kransz, like photos of the "Seven Mile 
    House", photos of Nikolas Kransz, his family, his gravestone. Copies 
    of other documents such as his marriage certificate, his death 
    certificate would be very much appreciated.
    Peter Kransz, the son of Nikolas Kransz was the Luxemburgish Consul in 
    Chicago. In 1926 he got a distinction by the Grand Duchesse Charlotte. 
    Unfortunately we don't have photos of that ceremony that took place 
    in Luxembourg.  Peter Kransz had 2 children, Aloise and Elise. 
    I would be very much interested to know if there are still descendants 
    of his family, and in case I could get addresses to contact these 
    I hope that I don't create too much trouble with my questions.  
    I would very much appreciate in case you could help me getting some 
    of the information discussed before!  
    We would very much appreciate all information we could get from the 
    Kransz family, and maybe the name of descendants of the family.
    I would appreciate in case you can help me or forward this letter to 
    people that might be in a position to help.  Any costs coming up 
    will be refunded.
    Yours faithfully,     
    Jean Ferber
    23, rue Principale
    L-8610  Buschrodt
            (Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg)
    1. A summary of info we collected on Nicolas Kransz
    2. Abstract of an article out of the book: "Old Chicago Houses"
    3. Photos Collected!
    4. Abstract of an article out of the book: "History of Cook County"
    1. A summary of info we collected on Nicolas Kransz
       Nicolas Kransz
           born: 23-08-1816 in Buschrodt, Luxembourg, Europe Community: 
           Wahl migrated to the USA: 1845 
           His address in 1846 "Lake View" 
                               (Green Bay Road, today Nord Clark Street)
           Name of his Home: "Seven-Miles house"
           married Margaret Faber, of Luxembourg, February 7, 1849
           name of his children: Nikolas H (Nicholas  H) **)
                                 Heinerich P (Henry P)
                                 Peter P
                                 Maria (Mary)
           died: 12-02-1896 in Chicago.
       Peter Kransz
           name of his wife: Katherine
           name of his children: Alois 
           Peter Kransz built 1881 the first brick house in "Edgewater" 
                        north of "Lawerence  Avenue" (5896 Ridge Avenue)
           Peter Kransz was consul of Luxembourg in Chicago 
           1924 he got a distinction from our Grand-Duchesse Charlotte 
           we expect the children Alois and Elsie are still alive  
       We found a gravestone of Nicholas H. Kransz 1851-1909 and
       assume it is the gravestone of his son.
          at St. Henry Catholic Cemetery
    http://www.graveyards.com/sthenry/ St. Henry Catholic Cemetery Office at: St. Boniface Cemetery 4825 N. Clark Street Ridge Ave. at Devon Chicago, Illinois Tel: 561-2760 Tel: (847) 864 3050 Office hours: 9am-4pm Mon thru Fri 9am-1pm Saturday We would be interested in: - a photo from the gravestones of both Nicholas and Peter Kransz, - Copies of Birth or Death certificates would also be appreciated! - E-Mail addresses of members of the Kransz family would be very much appreciated! - In case you know family members or other people knowing the Kransz family we would appreciate in case you could point them to this URL! 2. Abstract of an article out of the book: "Old Chicago Houses" ************************************************************ The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Published in September 1941. Edgewater's First Brick House -- Page 228-232 ============================================================ Although known in the neighborhood as "the first brick house built north of Lawrence Avenue," the two-story residence at 5896 Ridge Avenue is of greater interest to students of the city's past as the abode of a Chicago family that first settled in this region more than one hundred years ago. Four generations of this family have frequently gathered under its roof, and many early settlers have sat in its parlor and recalled pioneer days of the neighborhood. The house, however, does not date from the pioneer days. It was built in 1881 by Peter P. Kransz, son of a successful farmer and tavern-keeper of old Lake View who first settled here in 1846. Peter Kransz, with his family, has occupied the house ever since it was built. He is now eighty-two years old and is still active in an insurance business, with offices in North Clark Street. Just as active is his wife, Katherine, who still presides over the Ridge Avenue landmark and entertains, at intervals, her children, grandchildren, and old time neighbors. When this house was built, the region around it was largely vacant prairie, sand waste, and swampland. In the immediate vicinity, however, lay the Kransz farm, owned by Peter's father, and, at what is now Clark Street and Ridge Avenue, stood the original Kransz home and inn, known in the old days as the Seven-Mile House. Today this region, called Edgewater, is a neighborhood of homes and apartment buildings. Standing on part of the old Kransz farm is Senn High School, one of the largest in the city. Although not a survivor of the very early days, the Kransz home may be considered a landmark of the North Side, for it was erected when that part of the city was outside the municipal boundaries in the township of Lake View. Eight years later, however, Lake View was annexed to Chicago, and soon the city crept up around the brick dwelling on Ridge Avenue. Still standing when this domicile was built was the Seven-Mile House, erected by Nicholas Kransz, Peter's father, in 1848. This edifice, in fact, remained standing until five years ago, when it was razed to make way for an open-air market. Before being torn down, its history was obtained by the Ravenswood-Lake View Historical Society under the direction of Miss Helen Zatterberg, secretary-historian, and considerable material on it is now in the files of the society's rooms on North Lincoln Avenue. From this source we learn that Nicholas Kransz, a native of Buschrodt, Luxembourg, came to America in 1845, worked for a year as a laborer in Chicago, and then bought one hundred and twenty acres of land on the old Green Bay Road (now North Clark Street) north of Chicago in what later became Lake View Township. A few other Luxembourgers were living in the vicinity at that time. Nicholas Kransz cleared his land, cultivated it, and built the frame homestead that was to become the Seven-Mile House. A one-time visitor to the Seven-Mile House, according to Peter Kransz, was Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was brought to my father's place to attend a Republican caucus of the farmers in the vicinity," says the white-haired insurance executive. "That was when Lincoln was a candidate for president. My father was a Republican and an admirer of Lincoln." A volume of biographical sketches published in 1897 says of the eider Kransz: "Mr. Kransz, immediately upon settling in Lake View, took an active part in local public affairs. His townsmen soon recognized his fitness for office, and he was elected to ail the offices of the township excepting that of supervisor. He possessed good executive ability, was usually accurate in his judgment, and candor and absolute fairness characterized every move of his life." The Kransz biographical sketch continues: "Mr. Kransz was generous and charitable. On December 1, 1886, he endowed a school in his native village (in Luxembourg) with $ 1,500 for the education of poor children. This fund was so invested that the income from it supports and pays tuition for one pupil each year." After becoming a successful farmer, Nicholas Kransz entered the insurance business. Following the marriage of his son, Peter, to Katherine Becker, daughter of another early settler, Nicholas urged the newlyweds to build a brick house instead of a frame one. Peter followed his father's suggestion, and in 1881, several months after the marriage, the brick edifice was completed at a cost of seven thousand dollars. It soon became a show place of that section. Installed in his spacious brick house, with its numerous rooms and large porch, Peter Kransz lived as a member of one of the first families of Lake View, often entertained some of the old-time Luxembourgers of the neighborhood, and carved out his career as a successful insurance man. For years he was consul in Chicago for Luxembourg and in 1924 was presented with the decoration of the Order of the Oak Leaves by the Grand Duchess Charlotte. In the years of his retirement and before his death in 1896, Nicholas Kransz was often a visitor in his son's brick home across the street from the old Seven-Mile House. Here he would sit with other early settlers of "The Ridge" and talk about the days when Indians could still be seen on Green Bay Road and Lake View was the celery-growing center of the Middle West. Here he would often meet his other sons, Henry P. and Nicholas H., both successful businessmen, and his daughters, Mary and Anna. Here, too, he played with his grandchildren, Alois and Elsie, son and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Kransz. Alois is now associated with his father in the insurance business. Still shading the ancient brick edifice are some of the hard maples and elms that the eider Kransz helped his son plant. The ten-room house has been little altered since it was built. The rooms are high, large, and decorated with fine woodwork and parquet floors. Seated on the large front porch of a summer evening, Mr. and Mrs. Kransz often recall the years when their neighborhood was farm and prairie land and horse cars went up and down North Clark Street. 3. Photos Collected! *****************
    Photo made at the Senn Park - FP, July 11, 1999 Photo made at the Senn Park - FP, July 11, 1999
    At the Senn Park is a Sign or poster with the following text: History of Senn Park. Here one can read: ==================== Senn Park was created as part of a Chicago Park District Program of expansion and improvements which began in 1945. Entitled the Ten Year Park Development Plan, the objective was to create new parks and provide additional facilities where needs were identified as critical. The 7.84 acre site was acquired in 1947. In 1953 the park was named in honor of Nicholas V. Senn, a prominent northside physician who had conducted important medical research prior to his death in 1908. The adjacent high school is also named for Senn. In 1996 Senn Park's size was increased to a total of 8.13 acres through the acquisition of additional property. ! Historically the site of Senn Park was the ! Nicolas Kransz family homestead and inn. ! Know as the Seven Mile House, the home- ! stead was located on the Old Green Bay Road, ! seven miles from downtown Chicago. Accord- ! ing to Peter Kransz, son of the original owner, ! Abraham Lincoln attended a caucus of local farmers at the Seven Mile House during his 1860 campaign for the presidency. To honor this legacy, the Young Lincoln statue by sculp- tor Charles Kreck has been donated by City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs.
    Cover of the book: "Old Chicago Houses" The first brick house built north of Lawrence Avenue the two-story residence at 5896 Ridge Avenue It was built in 1881 by Peter P. Kransz
    4. Abstract of an article out of the book: "History of Cook County" **************************************************************** This text is out of the book: "History of Cook County, Illinois" from the earliest period to the present time - 1884. by A.T. Andreas. I have a copy of pages 708 This is out of the article: "History of Lake View Township" Nicholas Kransz was born in Luxembourg, Germany, August 16, 1816. He was employed in the manufacture of dry goods in Buschrodt, Germany, and for several years before coming to the United States engaged in the manufacture for himself. July 7, 1845, he came to the United States, direct to Lake View Township, Cook Country, and with his brother bought the farm upon which he resides. Since 1860 he has acted as agent for different fire insurance companies, especially American Fire Insurance Company, of Chicago, in which he owns an interest. He also represents the German Fire Insurance Company of Freeport, Illinois Mr. Kransz for some fifteen years held all the township offices, with the exception of Supervisor. He was married to Miss Margaret Faber, of Luxembourg, Germany, February 7, 1849. They have five children - Nicholas H., Peter P., Mary, Henry P. and Annie. ==================================================================== note added by myself: in the text before, "Luxembourg, Germany" it is to be understood that the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg touches the borders of Germany on one site, and the border of France and Belgium are not shown! - FP ==================================================================== 5. ________________________________________________________________________ All Input we could get would be much appreciated! Fernand Pletschette 15, rue d'Arlon L-9155 GROSBOUS (Gr. D. of Luxembourg) Tel...: +352 888 039 Mobile: +352 621 272 577 e-Mail: fernp@pt.lu
  • Pletschette Family Tree - Home Page Feedback Very Welcome!