I was digging around Google tonight for any info I could find on Warren William’s father, as previously all I was really aware of was that he was born Freeman E. (or W.) Krech in Belleville, IL, 1856 (died 1931), and that he had owned a newspaper in Aitken, MN, where the actor Warren William was born.
I was disappointed to discover that the Krech.org site which I list on the Warren William links page no longer exists. I’m glad I mined it for the few notes I had grabbed at the time (which are on the links page too).
I found this notice in the 1884 Report By Railroad and Warehouse Commission of the State of Minnesota:
RAILROAD COMPANIES ORGANIZED UNDER THE GENERAL LAWS THAT HAVE FILED ARTICLES IN THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE SINCE LAST RAILROAD REPORT
(For older organizations see Railroad Commissioner’s Reports for former years.)
AITKIN MILLE LACS & MINNEAPOLIS RY CO
Articles filed November 25 1884
Object of Corporation: To acquire, control and maintain and operate a line of railroad and telegraph running and extending from the village of Aitkin to some point on the north or east shore of Mille Lacs lake, thence in a southerly direction to the city of Minneapolis.
Capital stock: $1,000,000
Place of business: Aitkin, Minn
Corporators: D.J. Knox, Aitkin, Minn.; V.W. Parker, Spearfish, D. T.; C.W. McDonald, Aitkin, Minn.; Moses McKinney, Minneapolis, Minn.; Geo. W. Knox, Orange City, Fla.; James J. McDonald, Freeman E. Krech and Thos. R. Foley of Aitkin. Minn.
The following item was found in Volume VII, July to January 1894, of Paving and Municipal Engineering: A Monthly Magazine dedicated to the improvement of cities:
A contract has been effected between the county commissioners and Freeman E. Krech, W.B. Marr, Warren Potter, James U. Marr, James McDonald, and F.M. Shook, business men of Aitken, Minn., who pledge themselves to build a wagon bridge across the Mississippi river within one year from date or less, and the commissioners agreeing on behalf of the county to accept it as soon as possible, after completion.
Interesting to note a James (J.) McDonald associated with Krech in both dealings above.
Finally from a History of the Aitken Independent Age itself, published originally August 3, 2005, we have this:
…Barrett was succeeded by Freeman Krech, a young accountant and freelance writer from New York (my italics). The newspaper was published in a small frame building on the west side of Minnesota Avenue. It then moved to the building now occupied by Gramma’s Pantry, where it stayed until the mid 1890s. It moved again to the F. M. Shook building, where Sprint is now located, remaining until 1910. In the meantime, the paper changed hands several times, reverting many times to the proprietorship of Krech.
In 1901, B. L. Hollister started the Aitkin Independent, as editor and pubisher, with Tony Klee as the printer’s devil. Two newspapers were published for several years and then in 1912, the Age, now under the ownership of Hollister and the Independent under Krech, consolidated under the name Aitkin Independent Age…
I guess all I learned here was that Freeman Krech was in Aitken by at least age 26 and that in between his Illinois birthplace and settling in Aitken he had lived and worked in New York. Better than nothing.
Darcy Pinotti says
Great info & blog on Warren William (Krech)! I was an editor of the Krech Gazette and may be able to help with additional information about Warren Williams’ ancestors.
Thank you for the offer, Darcy. I’ve emailed you directly.
Alex Fane says
Hello. I am a Krech descendent, and now living in Bloomington, MN. To the best of my knowledge, the geneology goes like this: Ernst Wilhelm Krech left Germany after the failed 1848 revolution, leaving from Hamburg and landing in New Orleans. He went up the Mississippi, marrying in Hannibal, MO with one child born soon after. Seeing advertising for a teacher (5 yr contract)in New Ulm, MN, he when upriver and settled there, where he was teaching during the 1862 Native American uprising. The historical society there has much info. Another child or two was born there. He then moved with family to St. Paul where he continued to teach. Of sons Alvin and Freeman, Alvin eventually settled in NY, first for railroad then banking. It could be that Freeman was there for a time before he returned to MN to settle in Aitkin. Alvin’s daughter, Angeline Krech married my grandfather Oliver B. James, and later Harrie T. Lindeberg. We are a different batch of Krechs than most in MN, who are descendents of Johannes Krech and his wife, Eva Barbara Messerschmidt who came from Germany to the US in 1852 aboard the ship “Nanny and Emma.” (Via New York.)It could be that they were distant cousins in Germany. If anyone has come upon an Ernst Wilhelm Krech in Germany as a relation to Johannes Krech, please let me know. Thanks.
Thank you for your contribution here, Alex.
I’ve got to check my paperwork (it’s been awhile), but as far as the Krech genealogy goes I’m pretty sure I don’t have anything that John Stangeland didn’t already report in his Warren William biography.
If I spot anything different I’ll post it in the comments here.