Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. 
 Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa
Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 284-86.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  Henry W. Krause

Henry W. Krause is a leading representative of commercial interests in Storm Lake, being at the head of the extensive furniture, undertaking and music house that is conducted under the corporate name of The H. W. Krause Company.  From a humble beginning he has worked his way steadily upward in the business world, winning the entire respect of his associates and the admiration of contemporaries.  His life record began in Viroqua. Wisconsin, May 13, 1870.


His father, August Krause, was born in Germany, April 18, 1844, and was but fourteen years of age when he came to the United States in the spring of 1852 with his parents, Carl and Katherine  Krause, also natives of Germany, the former born November 4, 1817, and the latter October 5, 1817.  The family located in Wisconsin where the grandfather of our subject followed the shoemaker's trade for some years.  He bought a claim near Rockford in Floyd county, Iowa, and moved to this state, where he and his wife remained residents until called to their final rest.


August Krause grew to manhood in the Badger state and after the outbreak of hostilities between the north and the south he joined the Union Army in 1863, becoming a member of Company H, Thirty-fifth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, with which he served until honorably discharged in 1866.  While crossing the Mississippi he was struck by a floating log and the injury which he has sustained has occasioned him trouble ever since.  Coming to Iowa in 1866, he located upon his father's farm in Floyd county, which he cultivated for two years, and then bought a farm four miles from Rockford, whereon he resided for fifteen years.  He then put aside agricultural pursuits and removed to Charles City, where he made his home for eighteen years, but is now living retired in Appleton, Wisconsin.  He obtained a good common-school education in early life, was industrious and frugal and in the careful management and conduct of his farming interests met with a credible  and gratifying measure of success.  He has never enjoyed robust health since the Civil war.  He maintains pleasant relations with his old army comrades through his membership with the Grand Army of the Republic.  He belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church and is a republican in his political views.


August Krause was married in Plattville, Wisconsin, June 10, 1868, to Miss Elfrida Schlung, who was born in Germany, May 25, 1848, and like her husband is a Methodist in religious faith.  This worthy couple are the parents of five children:  Henry W., of this review; John W., who was born May 26, 1874, and is a carpenter and contractor living in Minneapolis; Benjamin E., who was born December 9, 1878, and is a mechanic residing in Neenah, Wisconsin; Edwin A., who was born December 25, 1882, and is traveling for a Minneapolis drug house; and Mary, who was born June 16, 1884, and is the wife of August Bueholz, a merchant of Appleton, Wisconsin.


Henry W. Krause was reared on his father's farm and lessons of industry and economy were impressed upon his mind and have borne rich fruit in later years.  Having mastered the elementary branches of English learning in the public schools, he later attended Galena (Ill.) College, now located at Charles City, Iowa.  Before entering college he clerked for an uncle in Charles City and later went to Ada, Minnesota, where he secured a position in a store.  After a year spent at that place, he went with his brother to Duluth, Minnesota, where he accepted a position in the department store of I. Freimuth, with whom he remained for eight years, gaining a comprehensive knowledge of business methods and commercial practices.  That he proved capable and reliable is indicated by the fact that after the first year he was given charge of one of the departments and during the last six years of his connection with the house he was buyer for that large store.


In February, 1901, Mr. Krause resigned his position there for he felt that if he could make money for his employers he could also make money for himself.  He then came to Storm Lake at the solicitation of his brother-in-law, A. G. Hoch and entered into the large furniture and undertaking establishment of George Witter, purchasing a half interest in the stock and business, at which time the firm style of Witter & Krause was assumed.  The business was thus conducted until January 1, 1908, when it was incorporated under the name of The H. W. Krause Company.  This is one of the largest concerns of the kind in northwestern Iowa.  The stock comprises furniture, carpets, rugs and pianos, and an undertaking department is also conducted.  Their floor space comprises twenty thousand square feet and the business is capitalized for twenty thousand dollars.


On the 27th of February, 1894, Mr. Krause was married to Miss Julia P. Hoch, who was born in Dubuque county, Iowa, January 16, 1872, and is a daughter of John and Katarina Hock [sic].  Her father was a pioneer shoemaker of that county and is now living retired at Storm Lake, where he took up his abode in 1908.  Mr. and Mrs. Krause have become the parents of two sons and two daughters:  Harold H., born in 1895; Alvin A., in 1897; Katherine P., in 1902; and Leta J., in 1903.


Mr. Krause votes with the republican party but the honors and emoluments of office have no attraction for him.  He is a faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he has held all the offices and takes an active part in its work.  He was one of the organizers of the Storm Lake Chautauqua Association, was its first treasurer and secretary, and has been a director.  Few men are more prominent or more widely known in the enterprising city of Storm Lake than Mr. Krause.  He has been an important factor in business circles and his prosperity is well deserved as in him are embraced the characteristics of an unbending integrity, unabated energy and industry that never flags.  He is public spirited, giving his cooperation to every movement which tends to promote the moral, intellectual and economical welfare of the community, while  his personal worth has gained him the unqualified confidence and respect of his fellowmen.