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Frank Maruska, Jr.


Posted By: Paul Maruska (email)
Date: 1/12/2003 at 19:01:33

Frank J. Maruska, a hardware dealer of the Maruska-Smith Company and a member of the city council of Cresco, is keenly interested in all plans and projects having to do with building up and development of his section of the state. He was born in Fort Atkinson, Iowa, October 20, 1878, a son of Frank and Maggie (Raucsh) Maruska, the former a native of Bohemia, wile the latter was born in Fort Atkinson, Iowa. the father come to the United States about 1870, when a young man of twenty-one or twenty-two years old, and made his way diredtly westward to Iowa, establishing his moe in Wnneshiek County. He was there married and in 1888 removed to Howard County, where he rented the Bullis farm and later invested his savings in eighty acres of farm land north of Lourdes. There he ahs since resided, his time and attention being successfully given to general agricultural pursuits. His first wife died in Winneshiek County, Iowa and he was later married in Howard County to his present wife.

Frank J. Maruska was educated inthe district schools and at the age of nineteen years started out upon an independent business career. He went first to Elma, Iowa and began work in the implement house of Frank Smart, with whom he remained through the summer. He then accepted a clerkship in the general merchandise establishment of William Deikmann, with whom he remained for a year. He afterwards worked a short time for the Gilchrist Elevator Company at Elma, Iowa, and then went ot Alta Vista, whee he entered the employ of Timmerman Brothers, general merchants, with whom he continued for two years. following this he went to work for E. C. Brenner, a general merchant of the sme town, and continued with him for seven years at two different periods. Between these two periods, or in the fall of 1906, he went ot Dickinson, North Dakota, to take charge of the grocery section of a department store but inthe following year went ot the Twin Cities and for four months was employed by the St. Paul Railway Company. he then returned to Alta vista and again became an employee of Mr. Brenner, with whom he remained until 1910, when he came to Cresco. In July of the year he entered the emply of Peterson Brothers, hardware merchants, with whom he continued until November, 1914. In january, 1915, the Maruska-Smith Company was orgainzed and on the 30th of month its doors were thrown open for buisness. Since that time the firm has remianed active in the trade circles of the city and they have built up a very substantial patronage. They carry a large line of shelf and heavy hardware and their reasonable prices, straightforward dealing and earnest efforts to please their customers have been the salient forces in the attainmennt of their succes.

In 1901 Mr. Maruska was unite in marriage to Miss Clara Ruzicka, of Howard County, and to them have be born six childern, as follows: Mildred, Regina, Clarence, Mabel, Agnes, and Roger.

In his political views Mr. Maruska is a democrat and in 1912, through the solicitations of his friends, he allowed his name to be placed on the ticket of County clerk of courts, but he was not serious of the office and made no effort to be elected. However, notwithstanding the big republican majority i n the County, he was defeated by only twenty-one votes, his support indicating his personal popularity and the confidence reposed in him. In the spring election of 1918 he was elected a memberof the city council of Cresco and is now serving in that body, exercising his official prerogatives in support of all interests of the public good. He is member of the Catholic Order of Foresters and also of the Knights of Columbus and both he and his wife hold membership in the Catholic church. He ranks with the representative citizens of Cresco and is highly esteemed as man of genuine worth, thoroughly reliable in matters of business and citizenship.

1. The History of Chickasaw and Howard Counties, Iowa Volume II - Illustrated, Robert Herd Fairbairn, S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, page 256, Howard County Library - Cresco, Iowa.


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