27 August 2010

George Kratzer, Baker and Confectioner

George Kratzer (1875-1962)
Evergreen Cemetery, Fitzgerald, GA

I have no idea why I snapped a photo of this nondescript granite lawn style marker for Mr. George Kratzer. I'm happy I did, though. It lead me to a neat little article filled with a bit of information that made me instantly like George. He was a baker! (I'm a baker, too.)
Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
11 October 1914

This gentleman is one of the very worthy though modest citizens, and substantial business men of Fitzgerald. He sailed from Germany eleven years ago and was the only one of 1,600 passengers to come south. For four years he was connected with another bakery, but seven years ago embarked in business at his present stand on South Grant street.

Mr. Kratzer indulges justifiable pride in his skill in the culinary art, and conscientiously gives the public the benefit of same, with the result that he has acquired an enviable reputation for the excellence of his products, which embrace practically everything known to a high-class bakery. Delivery of fresh bread and pastry is made daily to every part of the city and constantly increasing sales experienced.

Mr. Kratzer has begun to specialize in the making of a ten-cent package of "Twentieth Century" pound cake, wrapped in sanitary wax paper, virtually moisture proof. It embraces numerous varieties, such as raisin, silver slice, citron, etc. A rapidly growing demand for this product attests its superior excellence and is adding to the reputation and popularity of the establishment.

For years Kratzer's fruit cakes have had a distinctive merit and fame that have associated them with the Christmas holidays and thus early Mr. Kratzer is soliciting and receiving a generous supply of orders for the approaching season of joyous and happy yule-tide.
George Kratzer was born in Germany in 1875 and came to the United States in 1903. He arrived at Baltimore, Maryland on the 27th of March with $40.00, and his final destination was Cordele, Georgia. His future wife Theresa arrived in the U.S. from Germany about 1906. She, too, came through Baltimore with a final destination of Fitzgerald, GA, expressly to visit "uncle Georg Kratzer, baker." They were married 1906-1907 and both became naturalized citizens in 1915. She traveled and was married under the name Theresa Kratzer, so I suggest George and Theresa had a prior relationship in Germany, though I doubt he was her uncle.1,2,3

Theresa (1889-1981) and an infant daughter, Mary Josephene (born and died 1908) are also buried with Mr. George Kratzer in Evergreen Cemetery.

1. Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1820-1948 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.
2. History of Irwin County [database on-line]. Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original Data: Clements, J. B. History of Irwin County. Atlanta: Foote & Davies Co., c1932.
3. Irwin County Marriage Certificates, 1832-1959 [database online at SouthGeorgiaGenealogy.com].


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