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The History of Platte County Nebraska


Alois Anthony Kosch, Granville Township farmer, was born June 13, 1878. His parents were Alois and Johanna Henschel Kosch. The elder Mr. Kosch came to Platte County from Austria in October, 1876; he was born July 25, 1833, and died at Humphrey, Nebraska, February 24, 1899. Johanna Kosch was born October 26, 1844, at Altwasser, Austria, and died April 4, 1923, at Humphrey.

Alois Kosch had one brother and two sisters: Louisa, widow of Joseph Scheuer, married to Nels Peterson; Joseph, married to Anna Elmer, died April 27, 1932; Anna, married to Herman Otterpohi; Mary, Mrs. Willibald Brenneis, died December 2, 1942.

Mr. Kosch attended School District 19 and St. Francis School in Humphrey, Nebraska. He was married to Miss Minnie Kosch, May 16, 1916, at St. Francis Church. Minnie Kosch was the adopted daughter of Alois and Johanna Kosch.

Mr. and Mrs. Kosch had two children. Joseph, born December 1, 1920, married Bernadette Borer, and is a farmer. Phyllis, born April 3, 1925, was a stenographer in Chicago, Illinois, and in Bakersfield, California, before her marriage to Joseph McPhillips. Both attended St. Francis Catholic School.

The Koschs are members of St. Francis Catholic Church at Humphrey.


Carl Kramer, son of Simon Kramer, a teacher, was born in Bavaria, Germany, on February 8, 1845, and died January 10, 1925, in Columbus. In 1857, when he was twelve years old, he immigrated to the United States with his sister, Mrs. Fannie Hutchberger. Their passage was paid by their older brothers who had located in Chicago. Carl was a frail youngster, but four years later, he had not only mastered the English language, but was graduated from the Chicago High School, the only high school then in the now great city, and with first honors among his classmates. Carl had three brothers and two sisters: Max, Gabe, Louis, Mrs. Fannie Hutchberger, and Sidonia, who was Mrs. Steinhard, of Nuremberg, Germany.


Carl Kramer

After graduating from high school, Carl spent several years in the western frontier country, shipping from New York to Panama, crossing the Isthmus, and making his way northward in the Pacific Coast country.

In Portland, he washed dishes for two months in a restaurant. He then worked in Lewiston, Idaho, clerking in a store that traded chiefly with the Nez Percez Indians. After that, he spent a short time clerking in The Dalles, Oregon, and then took a similar job in the new town of Unadilla, Oregon, where they sold supplies to pack trains going into the Idaho gold fields. His employer wanted him to cheat in weights, so he quit his work, bought a team, and went to Bannock City, Idaho, where he traded his horses for a cigar stand in a hotel lobby. There he saw frontier life as most folks think it existed only in story books. The town burned down, and all he saved from his cigar stand was a case of plug tobacco. Finding a brisk demand, he sold out the case at a dollar a plug, which gave him enough capital to buy another horse. He then departed for Boise, Idaho, across the desert to Omaha, reaching there about 1865, and finally returned to Chicago, where his brothers were conducting the "Famous Clothing Store." He clerked for them until the Chicago fire wiped them out in 1871, and then was a salesman for several years, selling dry goods and notions.

In the meantime, his brothers moved farther west and established a string of stores. In the late 1870's, he joined them in Columbus, and in 1879, when he was thirty-three, he formed a partnership with his brother, Louis. They conducted clothing stores here, at Kearney, North Platte, and Schuyler.

On May 26, 1880, Mr. Kramer married Bertha Loeb, in Chicago, and they established their home in Columbus. They had four children: Simon Clifford died December 30, 1886, in Columbus; Vera is Mrs. M. J. Kelly, of Chicago; Florence is Mrs. George Williams, of Albion, Nebraska; and Harold Kramer, of Columbus, died in 1949.

Mr. Kramer was a life-long Republican, a leader in all his party councils in city, county, and state. He served as postmaster of Columbus four terms during the administrations of three Republican presidents, Harrison, McKinley, and Roosevelt. While out of the postmastership, during the Cleveland administration, he conducted a book store, and following his retirement from the post office, at the end of the Theodore Roosevelt administration, he entered the retail coal business, in which he was later associated with his son, Harold, under the firm name of Kramer Koal Kompany.

Carl Kramer served the people of his community in many official capacities. He fulfilled each duty with such honesty and efficiency that the city acknowledged his work and leadership by naming the Kramer High School in his honor. However, he did not live to see the completion of the building.

Probably no other man in the history of Columbus ever held as many different positions of public trust as Carl Kramer. At various times he served as a member of the City Council, and the County Board of Supervisors, and as mayor of the city. For forty years, with the exception of a few terms, he was a member of the Board of Education, of which he was president much of that time. He was postmaster for eighteen


years, chairman of the Republican County Central Committee, and, in 1925, was a member of the Republican State Central Committee and secretary of the Columbus Cemetery Association. He also served as president of the Y.M.C.A. Business Men's Club, president of the Commercial Club, and director of the old Columbus Baseball Association.

He was Grand Chancellor of the Knights of Pythias of Nebraska and a past president of the Nebraska State Association of School Boards. He was a member of the B.P.O.E. Elks, and the Modern Woodmen of America. He was a charter member of the Columbus Rotary Club, a member of the Y.M.C.A. and the Chamber of Commerce, and was an active and influential force in the promotion of almost every general movement along the lines of civic welfare. He had vision and was a progressive in the matter of public improvements. The Loup River bridge was built while he was a County Supervisor; the waterworks system was developed when he was mayor; some of the city's pavements laid when he was a councilman, and all of the school buildings in Columbus, with the single exception of the junior high school, were erected while he was a member of the Board of Education. Because of this latter fact, he was often referred to as "the father of the Columbus schools."

He was of the Jewish faith. Mrs. Kramer died December 30, 1922, and Carl Kramer died January 10, 1925.


Harold Kramer, the son of Carl and Bertha Loeb Kramer, was born November 1, 1892, in Columbus. His father was born in Altenmuhr, Bavaria, Germany, on February 8, 1845. He came to Platte County from Chicago in 1879, and died in Columbus on January 10, 1925. Harold's mother was born in Chicago, June 30, 1857, and died in Columbus on December 30, 1922. He had one brother and two sisters: Simon Clifford, who died December 30, 1886; Vera, Mrs. M. J. Kelly of Chicago, her husband, M. J. Kelly, is deceased; and Florence, the wife of George W. Williams, of Albion, Nebraska.


Harold Kramer

Harold attended the Columbus public schools and the University of Chicago. During World War I, he spent thirteen months in the United States Army Balloon School and in the Infantry, as a first lieutenant.

On June 9, 1923, in Columbus, Harold Kramer was to Irma Gottschalk, the daughter of L. F. and Helena Hoehen Gottschalk. Mr. Gottschalk, a civil engineer, was born in Columbus on April 30, 1864, and died there on September 18, 1941. Mrs. Gottschalk was born in Columbus on April 16, 1873. Mrs. Kramer has four sisters and one brother: Louise, Mrs. Clifford Galley; Margaret, Mrs. Charles Hermann; Fred O., of the United Finance Company, married Flora Albin Gray; Constance, a secretary with the Chicago Title and Trust Company; and Helen Ann, the wife of James Henry.

Harold and Irma Gottschalk Kramer had two children, both born in Columbus: Frederic Carl, born August 22, 1924, and Katharine, born December 10, 1928. Frederic attended the Columbus schools, was graduated from the Kramer High School, the University of Chicago and the School of Business Administration at Harvard University in 1949. During World War II, he was a first lieutenant in the Army Air Corps. He piloted a B-26 and completed twenty-eight missions over Germany.

Katharine Kramer was graduated from Kramer High School in 1947, and attended the Sarah Lawrence College in New York City.

Before entering the Army, Harold Kramer was associated with his father in the coal business. After the war, and following a two-year period of homesteading in Wyoming, he returned to Columbus to take over the coal business. He sold the Kramer Koal Kompany in 1932.

Mr. Kramer played an important part in many of the worthwhile projects undertaken in Columbus during his time. The most important of which was his interest in the cause of public power in the State of Nebraska. He worked unceasingly to promote the building of the Loup River Public Power Project, and was instrumental in bringing about the passage of Senate File 310, the Nebraska law that enabled the setting up of public power districts.

As soon as the Loup River Public Power District was formally established, Harold became its guiding hand, as secretary and manager of the District. To further the goal of public power for Nebraska, he was also instrumental in the organizing of the Consumers Public Power District to retail the electricity that the Loup and other districts were producing.

Harold Kramer was one of the prime workers in combining the Tn-County, Platte Valley and Loup Districts into the Nebraska Public Power System, and was vice-chairman of its Board of Managers from 1940 to 1947. In 1947, he was elected Chairman of the Board; and served in that capacity until April, 1949.

Mr. Kramer was instrumental, with others, in obtaining for Columbus the local Friends of Music Society and the Apollo Club. In the business vein, he was interested in buying and improving business properties in Columbus.

During World War II, he established the American Public Power Association, at Washington, D.C.

Mr. Kramer held memberships in the Lincoln Uni-

The History of Platte County Nebraska

versity Club, the Wayside Country Club, the American Legion, the War Dads, the Izaak Walton League, the B.P.O.E. (Elks), the F.O.E., the Knights of Pythias, the Ak-Sar-Ben, Lebanon Lodge of the A.F.&A.M., and the Scottish Rite. He also belonged to the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, the Transportation Association, the Chemurgic Council, and was one of the founders of the Columbus Cactus Club.

He was of the Jewish faith. Politically, he was affiliated with the Democratic Party. Harold Kramer died in Columbus on April 29, 1949.


John Krzycki was born on January 21, 1847, in the town of Uscie, Posen, Poland. He attended school there, and after finishing his elementary course, he attended a teachers' seminary. At the age of twenty-one, he obtained his teacher's diploma, and then taught three years at the village of Wyszny.

In 1871, he immigrated to the United States. After landing in New York, he went first to see his brother, Felix, in South Bend, Indiana. In July, 1871, their set out for Nebraska, and went to Fremont. After looking around for several days for a suitable location, they moved on to Columbus, where they put up a two-room house near the present Seventh Street and Twenty-sixth Avenue.

While en route to Nebraska, John Krzycki stopped at Morrison, Illinois, where he was married to his childhood sweetheart, Barbara Borowiak, who was born November 27, 1851, at Wyszny, Posen, Poland.

John and Barbara Borowiak Krzycki had thirteen children: Frank married Agnes Sock and lives in Elba, Nebraska; Salome is the widow of John Lassek; Alex, who married Margaret Iwanski, died in June, 1914; John is the Reverend Father Wencel Krzycki, O.F.M., and was the Provincial Superior of the Sacred Heart Province, at St. Louis; Domcella, Sister M. Loretta, O.F.S., Superior at Hammond, Indiana, died October 29, 1933; Barbara, Sister M. Seraphia, O.F.S., was the Superior and organist at St. Anthony's Parochial School, in Columbus; Ladislaus, who was married to Cecilia Zochol, died in 1913; Anton, one-time Platte County Treasurer, married Helen Bratek, and lives in Omaha; Vincia died in infancy; Anna, Mrs. L. M. Jaworski, lives in Omaha; Elizabeth died November 11, 1918; Theodora, married to Theodore Stolinski, owner of the Stolinski Livestock Commission, lives in Omaha; and Phillip, married to Anna Gryva, lives in Columbus.

In Columbus, Mr. and Mrs. John Krzycki were joined by Mrs. Krzycki's father, Martin Borowiak, and Joseph Krzycki, a brother to John and Felix. In the fall of 1872, the John Krzycki family took out homestead papers on the so-called "Island," between the north and south channel of the Platte River, about five miles southwest of Duncan.

In 1885, the Island farm was sold for thirteen dollars an acre, and a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, on the present Lincoln Highway, about three miles southwest of Columbus, where Phillip Krzycki lives, was purchased. The John Krzycki Family lived there until 1918.

In spite of all the hardships endured, the farm finally prospered, as did the family. On August 1, 1921, John and Barbara Krzycki celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary at St. Bonaventure's Church, in Columbus.

Mr. Krzycki died on February 1, 1926, at Columbus, and Mrs. Krzycki died on October 1, 1933, at Omaha.


Phillip Z. Krzycki, son of John and Barbara Borowiak Krzycki, was born in Columbus, Nebraska, May 16, 1893. John Krzycki, a native of Posen, Poland, was born January 20, 1847. After immigrating to the United States, he settled in Polk County, Nebraska. In 1865, he came to Platte County. John farmed in Platte County until a few years prior to his death, February 1, 1926, at Columbus. His wife, Barbara, was born November 27, 1851 at Wyszyn, Posen, Poland, and died October 1, 1933, at Omaha.

Phillip Krzycki was one of a family of thirteen children. Frank, the eldest, married Agnes Sock, and lives in Elba, Nebraska. Salome is the widow of John Lassek. Alex, who married Margaret Iwanski, died in June, 1914. John, Reverend Father Wencel Krzycki, O.F.M., was the Provincial Superior of Sacred Heart Province, St. Louis, Missouri. Dumcella, Sister M. Loretta O.F.S., Superior at Hammond, Indiana, died October 29, 1933. Barbara, Sister M. Seraphia O.S.F., is Superior and organist at St. Anthony's Parochial School, Columbus, Nebraska. Laudislaus, who was married to Cecilia Zochol, died in 1913. Anton, one-time Platte County treasurer, married Helen Bratek and resides in Omaha. Vincia died in infancy. Anna, Mrs. L. M. Jaworski, lives in Omaha. Elizabeth died November II, 1918, during the influenza epidemic. Theodora, married to Theodore Stolinski, owner of the Stolinski Livestock Commission, lives in Omaha. Phillip is the youngest member of the family.

Mr. Krzycki attended the District 5 rural school and St. Francis Academy at Columbus. On September 7, 1920, he was married to Miss Anna Gryva in St. Mary's Catholic Church at Osceola, Nebraska. Mrs. Krzycki is the daughter of Joseph and Victoria Boruch Gryva, natives of Poland.

Mr. and Mrs. Krzycki have one son and one daughter. Virginia, Mrs. Carl Ernst, born March 30, 1923, at Columbus, attended St. Bonaventure's Parochial School and St. Mary's College at Omaha. She was associated with the Consumers Public Power District at Columbus until her marriage. Harold, born August 23, 1927, attended St. Bonaventure's and the Creighton University at Omaha. He entered the United States Army in February, 1946.

Mr. Krzycki is a veteran of World War I, in which he served twenty-two months with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and saw active duty with the A.E.F. in France. One of the leading farmers in Columbus Township, he is a member of the American Legion,



the Izaak Walton League, the F.O.E. and the Farmers' Union. He is a member of St. Bonaventure's Catholic Church and has served on its board of trustees for several years. Politically, he is a Democrat.


Franz S. Kuenzli was born at Aarwangan, Canton Bern, Switzerland, on March 24, 1832. He received his early education in Canton Bern, and later operated a linen factory there with his father.

On November 4, 1864, he was married to Marie Saggetzer. Mr. and Mrs. Kuenzli had two sons and four daughters: Fred; Frank; Mrs. Sophia Schaad, of Winter, Switzerland; Mrs. George Hagel; Emma and Rose Kuenzli of Columbus.

In 1879, the Kuenzli Family immigrated to the United States and first came to Columbus where they stayed until they settled on a homestead twelve miles southwest of Columbus, in Polk County. During their life on the farm, they experienced many hardships incidental to the pioneer days. They remained on this farm until 1900, when they retired from active farm work and moved into Columbus.

The Kuenzli Family resided at 974 Twenty-fifth Avenue, in Columbus. The property at one time was the parsonage of the Reverend James Mary Ryan. Father Ryan gave the house to his sisters with the understanding that when the house was sold, Franz Kuenzli, who had wanted it for years, was to have the first opportunity to buy it.

Gottlieb Kuenzli, a brother to Franz, was the first of the Kuenzli family to come to the United States. He located at Columbus, Ohio, and later returned to Switzerland, where he worked in the Government Bank. Today, Irving Burkhard, Mrs. Schaad's grandson, and the great-grandson of the Franz Kuenzlis, is now the president of that same bank in Switzerland, where Gottlieb Kuenzli served as president for twenty-two years.

Franz Kuenzli's youngest son, Frank, Jr. lives southwest of Columbus, where he owns a museum. He is married and has two daughters and a son.

Mr. and Mrs. Franz Kuenzli celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1914. Mrs. Kuenzli died in Columbus on January 17, 1917, and Mr. Kuenzli died there on February 17, 1927, just eleven days before he would have reached his ninety-fifth birthday.

The Kuenzlis were members of the German Evangelical Reformed Church. Politically, Mr. Kuenzli was a Democrat.


Vincent Kummer was born in Canton Berne, Switzerland, in 1820. He attended the schools in his native village, following which he learned the locksmith trade.

In 1850, Mr. Kummer immigrated to the United States. He was a member of the Columbus Company and one of the original group of thirteen men who founded the city of Columbus in May, 1856.

In Columbus, he was engaged in the business of farming and practiced his trade of locksmith. In 1858 he was elected to the office of Platte County Treasurer. He was the first man to hold that position, and he retained it for twenty successive years, until 1878.

In 1870 Vincent Kummer was married to Rosina Gerber. Mrs. Kummer was born in Switzerland in 1846 and came to Columbus from her native land in 1868. She had one brother, Frederick Gerber, Sr., and one sister, Mrs. E. G. Gassman, in the United States. Her sister died in California in the 1930's.

Vincent Kummer died on March 21, 1880. In 1890, Mrs. Kummer was married to Henry T. Spoerry. Mrs. Spoerry died in Columbus in February, 1912.



Otto Kummer

Otto Kummer, retired farmer and pioneer resident of Platte County, was born in Columbus, September 13, 1863. He is the son of Rudolf and Anna Klenchey Kummer. Rudolf Kummer was born at Canton Bern, Switzerland, July 24, 1826, and in 1859 came to Platte County from Cincinnati, Ohio. Throughout his lifetime, he was engaged in farming. He died in Columbus, September 6, 1906. Anna Klenchey Kummer, also a native of Canton Bern, was born May 29, 1829, and died in Columbus, February 12, 1905.

Otto Kummer had three brothers: Robert, born June 30, 1851; Rudolf, born March 4, 1860; and Albert, born April 24, 1866. All are deceased.

Mr. Kummer was educated at the rural schools in Polk County.

On January 1, 1890, at Osceola, Nebraska, he was married to Miss Lana Marion Olcott, daughter of Carlos and Malvina Kimball Olcott. Mrs. Kummer was born at Marango, Illinois, November 23, 1867. Otto and Lana Marion Olcott Kummer had two daughters. Stella, Mrs. Nels Nelson of Columbus, is a graduate of Columbus High School. Helen E. Kummer graduated from Columbus High and the University of Nebraska. Mrs. Kummer died in Columbus March 19, 1913, and Helen Kummer died there December 2, 1924.

Mr. Kummer has long been active in rural and community affairs for the betterment of the county and community. He served as chairman of the Columbus Cemetery Board, was county supervisor for two years, and for six years was a member of the Columbus Board of Education. He is a member of the Woodmen of the World, and is a Republican.

The History of Platte County Nebraska

Mr. Kummer, a Congregationalist, holds membership in the Federated Church in Columbus.

Among his experiences of early-day life in Nebraska, was one in which he and his brothers had to bring in a herd of one hundred twenty-five cattle during the blizzard of '88. Though the task was seemingly impossible, only seven cattle were lost.


William Kummer, farmer and stockman, was born in Platte County, November 9, 1889. He is the son of John Gottlieb and Marie Egger Kummer, natives of Switzerland, who immigrated to Platte County in 1869 and settled in the Gruetli Community northwest of Duncan.

Mr. Kummer had two brothers and five sisters: John, a farmer of Gruetli, married to Ella Meedel Blaser; Arthur, an attorney of Columbus; Martha, Mrs. Chris Boss, of Silver Creek, Nebraska; and Pauline, of Columbus. His parents and three sisters, Ida, Mathilda and an infant sister, are deceased.

William Kummer attended the District 37 School and worked on his father's farm, where he learned farming and stock raising.

On March 31, 1923, he was married to Miss Ida Louise Eisemann, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Eisemann, at the German Methodist Church in Columbus.

Ida Louise Eisemann Kummer was born in Duncan January 13, 1901, and attended school at five different districts in the county. She had three brothers and five sisters: Harry Eisemann of Creston, Nebraska; Edward Eisemann of Leigh; Albert Eisemann of Madison; Mrs. Freida Wright of Idaville, Indiana; Mrs. Adolph Lueschen of Creston; Mrs. Furd Coley of Rockton, Illinois; and Mrs. Charles Krafta of Omaha, Nebraska. Her father and sister, Mrs. Joe Odermatt, are deceased.

William and Ida Louise Eisemann Kummer have four children: Elmer, Idelle, Lois and Jeanette. Elmer served with the United States Navy in World War II.

The Kummers celebrated their Silver Wedding Anniversary March 21, 1948. They have lived on the same farm in Gruetli for more than a quarter of a century, and are members of the Gruetli Reformed Church. Mrs. Kummer is a member of the Ladies Aid, and the American Legion Auxiliary.

Mr. Kummer is a director of the Bank of Monroe and Treasurer of School District 37. He has served as justice of the Peace for two terms and as Road Overseer.


Arthur Walter Kummer, member of a pioneer Platte County family, was born at Duncan, Nebraska, October 1, 1895. He is the son of John Gottlieb and Marie Egger Kummer, natives of Switzerland, who immigrated to Platte County in 1869. His father died at Columbus October 24, 1931. His mother died at Duncan May 10, 1903.

Arthur Kummer was one of seven children: John, married to Ella Blaser Meedel; Martha, Mrs. Chris G. Boss; William, married to Ida Eisemann; Pauline, a beauty operator in Columbus; and three deceased.

Mr. Kummer attended Rural School District 37, and was graduated from Columbus High School. He received his Bachelor of Commercial Science Degree from the Chicago Central College of Commerce in 1923, and his Bachelor of Laws Degree from the John Marshall Law School at Chicago in 1927. The same year, he was admitted to the bar in Illinois; and in 1929, on his return to Columbus, was admitted to the Nebraska Bar.

From 1913 to 1916, Mr. Kummer was assistant cashier at the Columbus State Bank, and for several months assistant cashier of the First National Bank. On January 2, 1918, Mr. Kummer enlisted in the United States Army. He was sent to Washington, D. C., where he served three months in a Signal Corps office, Aviation Section. He was then transferred to Princeton, New Jersey. On January 29, 1919, he was discharged from Camp Dodge, Iowa, as a member of Headquarters Company, Eighty-seventh Infantry, Nineteenth Division.

From 1920 to 1922, Mr. Kummer was employed in the Union Pacific Post Office Department in Washington, D. C. In 1923, he entered the employ of the Hydrox Ice Cream Company, and in 1924-25 was with the Ford Motor Company in Chicago. In 1926-27, he worked for the American Electric Company, also in Chicago.

Mr. Kummer has practiced law in Columbus since 1929. In 1942, he was elected to the office of County Attorney for Platte County.

On September 4, 1923, he was married to Miss Viola H. Blanke, daughter of Gustav H. and Emma Dassow Blanke, at Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin. They had one son and one daughter: Willard Kummer, born at Sheboygan Falls December 3, 1928, and Joan, born at Columbus October 26, 1932. Both attended the Columbus schools.

Keenly interested in civic and county affairs, Mr. Kummer served as American Red Cross director in 1933, and has been an active worker in the Y.M.C.A., the Boy Scouts, and the P.T.A. He is a member of the American Legion and holds memberships in the Platte County Bar Association, the Nebraska Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the Nebraska County Attorneys' Association. He is a member of the Immanuel Lutheran Church of Columbus, and is a Republican.


Charles G. Kuta was born September 30, 1893, at Platte Center. His father, John M. Kuta, was born April 1, 1864, in Poland; he was a farmer, and came to Platte County April 2, 1880. He died February 26, 1936, at Columbus. Katherine Podraza Kuta was born in Poland and died August 12, 1913, in Columbus.


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