Sketchy Granzeau Family History

Sketchy Granzeau Family History

Peter H. Granzeau

Let's start with Johann Jacob Grantzow, who lived in northern Germany in the early part of the 19th century. He was married to Maria Dorotea Benzien, and, on November 18, 1820, she gave birth to Johann Christian Friedrich Granzow, in Triepkendorf, Mecklenburg-Strelitz. She evidently did not live long, as verbal family history is that he was a traveling professor who married several times.

Johann C. F. Granzow is reported to have been an officer in the Prussian army, to have been in the Kaisarin's guard. This is unlikely, as there was no Kaisarin until the establishment of the German Empire in 1871. In any event, he was in the Prussian army during the Schleswig-Holstein war, but evidently left the army not long after (he would have been 40 in 1860). He married Johanna Friedrika Ernestina Wilk on February 27, 1861, in Brunn, Mecklenburg-Strelitz. He was apparently a farmer, but was unable to purchase land to own his own farm.. They immediately began creating a family, By 1865 there were Maria, Carl, and Wilhelm, and, he having heard that in America, there was land to be owned, they left Germany from Bremen aboard the SS Bavaria, and landed in New York.

The immigration record indicates that on November 16, 1865, the family of Johann Granzaw, his wife Johanne, and children Marie, Carl, and Wilhelm arrived in New York. In 1870,the census listed them in Sugar Creek Township, Walworth County, Wisconsin as John Granzo, Hannah, Louisa, August, William (all born in Germany) and Emma and George, born in Wisconsin. In 1880, the family was listed as John Granso, Janie, Louise, William (born in Germany), Emma, George, Frank, and Fred. Johann died in the 1890s, and the family was Frank Granzo, Fred, their widowed mother Johanna, widowed sister Emma Stiles, and niece Lenore. In 1910, the family was Frank Granzo, his wife Laura, and children Helen, Herbert, and John; Johanna Granzo, Emily Srtiles and her daughter Emily L were living in a separate household.

Frank Granzo was born in July 1872, in Wisconsin, and sometime between 1900 and 1903 he married Laura Pauline Bauermann, daughter of Peter Paul Bauerman and Caroline Schmidt. He was a farmer, living in Sugar Creek Township, Walworth County, Wisconsin. The children of his marriage were Helen(1904), Herbert (1905), John (1908), and Carolyn, born much later. When her mother died in 1928, she went to live with her sister, Helen, who was married to Carl Sunby, in Milton, Wisconsin. Frank farmed for much of his life, but finally sold the farm and moved to Elkhorn after the death of Laura in 1927.

His son, Herbert William Granzo, was evidently very smart. He was born on December 27, 1905. The family had moved to Delavan Prairie, in Walworth County, and he was sent to a one room school when he reached age 7. He was the only member of his grade, and sat with a student in the next grade up. He was able to do the work a grade higher, and accordingly was promoted from first grade to third grade, where he repeated the process again. After 4 years in that school, he graduated, and went to Delavan High School. He attended that school for 4 years. He could have graduated in 1920, but his sister Helen demanded that he not graduate in her class, and his parents sent him to high school for one more year. He graduated at 16. and said that he wore his first pair of long pants to his graduation.

He wasn't required for work on the farm, as a bachelor uncle lived with the family, so he went to work in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, for the Frank Holton Company, a maker of musical instruments. He was given a job in the supply room, and quickly discovered that he could do a day's work in half a day, leaving him at leisure, so he began taking correspondence courses from the University of Wisconsin extension division. By 1926, he had enough credits to attend the university in residence, had saved enough money to pay for it, and went off to Madison, Wisconsin, entering the university as a sophomore. In 1928, he was accepted into the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine (medical schools frequently accepted rising seniors at that time), and as medical school at that time was a three year course, he graduated in 1931, having a total of 6 years of college education, as a Doctor of Medicine.

In 1926, he met Dayle Hampel, the daughter of Maybelle Newman and Henry C. Hampel, at the Walworth County Fair. She had lost a year of school due to an extended sickness and recovery, and was about to travel to Brooklyn, New York, to live for a year with her mother's sister, May Wadmond, and to attend high school there. When she arrived in Brooklyn, she found a letter from Herb waiting for her, and they conducted a correspondence for the entire year she was in New York.

Dayle had been born Dorothy Ruth Koller, on March 11, 1908, in Marinette, Wisconsin. Her father's name was John Koller. He was evidently a drinking man, and his wife divorced him quickly, and went to Milwaukee to live with her family. Her mother, Maybelle Claire Newman, had been born in 1888 in Dakota territory, where her parents, Seneca Hale Newman and Pamela Frances Kitchingman had moved, from Wisconsin. Some time later, they moved back to Wisconsin. After the divorce, Maybelle moved from Marinette to Milwaukee, where she met and married Henry C. Hampel, sometime before Dorothy went to school, and as the concept of a child not having the same surname as her parents was not common, Dorothy entered her in school as Dorothy Hampel. She was evidently a real hellion, but during high school, she decided that she was going to be a lady, and as Dorohy had been such a bad girl, changed her name to Dayle by writing her name on a piece of paper, taking it out into the back yard, and burying it. Thereafter, she was Dayle, and she reformed her hellion ways.

The Hampel family had moved from Milwaukee to Davenport, Iowa, while she was in grade school, and then moved to Elkhorn, Wisconsin, where Henry Hampel set up in business as an engraver. The Holton company used him for many years to engrave the company logo on their musical instruments, and he also made rubber stamps to order, engraved trophies, gifts, and silverware, worked in copper, and designed jewelry. During World War II, he was a machinist for Fairbanks Morse in Janesville, Wisconsin. He was a socialist all his life, and believed in an honest day's pay for an honest day's work.

When Dayle returned to Elkhorn from New York in 1927, she and Herb began dating, during the summer, Herb returned to college in September, and they corresponded more.. When he came back home for the Christmas vacation, they decided to marry, and in fact, did that, in Woodstock, Illinois, before a Justice of the Peace. They were going to keep the marriage secret, but her mother insisted that they should not do so, and an announcement was placed in the paper. She remained with her family until Herb finished his year in school, but she joined him in Madison in 1928. Some time before he graduated, he decided to change the family name from Granzo to Granzeau (the pronunciation did not change). probably because he believed Granzo looked Italian and planned to intern in New York where there might be prejudice against Italians.

Herb and Dayle lived in a rented room. Herb supported the family's housing by stoking the boiler in the rooming house, and fed himself by acting as the headwaiter in a sorority. She got a job in a depertment store, and they remained together in Madison until he graduated. He needed an internship, and one was arrenged in Brooklyn by Dayle's uncle, Lou Wadmond, who was relatively well off. He recieved room and board at Cumberland Hospital, but no pay, and Dayle lived once more with her aunt and worked in a department store.

Herb and Dayle had had to borrow money from Lou Wadmond, which wasn't repaid until several years had passed. When he finished his internship in 1932, he got employment as a resident in Sunnydale Sanitarium, Nassau County, New York. Rooms for the couple were supplied, and they ate in the hospital commissary. Dayle no longer worked, and in fact, lived a life of ease, with no housekeeping or cooking to do. In1935, they started their family with the birth of Peter Hale, on May 18. The sanitarium did not permit children in their housing, so he had to rent rooms in Hempstead. He in fact moved from the sanitarium to the apartment while Dayle was in the hospital, and the first time she saw the apartment was when she was released from the hospital with her son. Fir the first time in her life, she had to cook, keep house, and had a newborn baby to contend with, as well. She later described her feelings at the time as the "definitive case of postpartum blues."

They were both from small town rural Wisconsin, and didn't believe that Long Island, New York, was a good place to raise a family, so began looking for a place to settle in Wisconsin. As it turned out, the small city of Burlington, only 15 miles from their families in Elkhorn, had a record of the lowest unemployment in the area, and the practice of a deceased doctor, Dr. Fulton, was for sale. In addition, the practice of the very recently deceased Dr. Prouty was also for sale in the nearby town of East Troy. More money was borrowed from Lou Wadmond, and on April 1, 1936, the Granzeau family moved to Burlington, Wisconsin, renting a 2 bedroom cottage on Henry Street.

Herb was very busy. Initially, he alternated days in Burlington and East Troy, working two and a half days in each town. Gradually, he dropped the office in East Troy, as it was only a 15 mile drive, and used the office in the second floor of the Bank of Burlington building exclusively. The office had only three rooms and a storeroom, and he handled his patients one at a time in his personal office. He later moved his office two blocks down Pine St., and eventually, to an office building about a block from Memorial Hospital.

By 1940, the family was solvent enough to own two cars, both new (an Oldsmobile business coupe and a Ford two door secan), and Dayle was expecting another child. They couldn't remain in the 2 bedroom cottage, and thus bought a house at 485 Kane St. (It's now 149 S. Kane St.) which was badly in need of modernization, having been built in the 1870s and had little done to it since. They essentially had the house gutted, and installed a new kitchen, new bathrooms, completely revised most of the ground floor's arrangement, installed a new stair to the second floor, which had three bedrooms. Closets were all large and walk-in, the largest being in the north bedroom, which I occupied. They used the south bedroom, and the smaller east bedroom was given to their new daughter, Penelope Ann (Penny), who had been born on April 1, 1941, while the family was in a temporarily rented house at 677 James St. They were able to move to Kane St. in the spring of 1942. Shortly after they arrived in their new home, a second son, Timothy Joel, was born. He received his middle name because his older brother Peter demanded a "brother named Joe".

By the time they moved in to Kane St., the family was well off enough to employ a live-in maid, and one was employed thereafter until Dayle died and the home was sold. The first was Virginia Downey, who remained until she married, then there were several until finally Alice Keyser came. She remained with the family until the end, and was still alive in 2009.

The property on which they lived comprised three lots, two facing Kane St., and one across them at the rear. The house was next door to a large mansion, the Meinhardt house, which was on five acres of landscaped land, including lawns, a forest trail, a fountain, a log cabin (which was the first house ever built in Burlington and had been moved from its original site), an apple orchard, and a large barn which lay across property which had originally been platted as a street. When Francis Meinhardt, who owned the home, died shortly after the war, the barn was demolished, the street (Livingston St.) wal laid in, most of the beautiful trees in the forest were cut down, and the lots in the property were sold off (a total of 10 houses were built on the properety). Herb had an agreement to purchase three lots along Livingston Street, but when the property was being sold, he was told that no, the lots were going to the highest bidder. There was a large 2 story barn on Herb's property, next to Livingston St, and Harb got house movers to move the barn to the back of his property, right next to Livington St., which essentially made the property he wanted to purchase unsaleable. He was permitted to buy three lots , and had the barn moved a second time, across his property, as far from Livingston St. as he could get it. Half a lot at the very rear of the property was sold to the Poritz family, who owned the next lot along Livingston St., and wanted more room on which to buld a home.

The Granzeau family lived there for the next 48 years. Over the years, a number of changes were made to the property. The den had two small windows, and they were removed and four large corner windows put in, instead. Then, a concrete patio was laid just outside the den, and one of the corner windows was replaced with a door. Two rooms in the long wing to the rear of the house were merged into one room, storage closets were built, and the laundry was moved from the kitchen to that room. At the same time, the kitchen was renovated, and the laundry area was made into cabinets, and a built-in range top and oven. The rear two rooms of the long wing were converted into a garage, and the driveway was paved. An attached greenhouse was added behind the garage. The house was air conditioned. The basement, was was quite shallow, was dug out so as to afford more headroom.

Herb didn't go to war. He was nearly 36 when the war broke out, and subject to a draft call, but wasn't actually drafted before he turned 38 in December, 1943, the age at which he was no longer subject to the draft. His lack of service made him again subject to the draft in the 1950s, when doctors were considered draftable until they turned 55.

The family had a number of pets, with varying success. The first was a cocker spaniel named Schlurpy, who was with the family on Henry St., but was a rover, and disappeared one day in 1940 and never recovered. For several months in 1941-1942, there was a wire haired terrier who ran off and was hit by a car shortly after the family moved to Kane St. Next was a black Cocker Spaniel named Cindy, who refused to be housebroken, and was given to a farmer. Then came a brown Cocker named Dusty. He was known to follow the mail man, Mr. Carey, on his route up Kane St. and back. He normally was kept on a line, and being teased by children passing up Livingston St., on the way to school at St. Mary's, got to biting them, and was put to sleep after being with the family for 4 years. Next was a large yellow cat named Toby, who was Penny's, followed quickly by a Beagle named Stunner, who was officially Tim's, but in fact, slept in Penny's bedroom, and went mushrooming with Herb. By the time they were gone, so were the kids, and the family had no more pets in Burlington.

Herb was interested in plants, and had a large number of flowers in borders around the lawn immediately to the rear of the house. He also created a garden of natural local flora, with ferns and wild flowers, bordering the area beneath a large Norway spruce tree that was nearly as old as the house. He occasionally would go out in the countryside and on several occasions brought home wild flowers such as the ladyslipper, which he (possibly illegally) transplanted from the countryside to his garden. The flower beds were in turn bordered by spirea bushes, which veiled vegetable gardens from view. There was a small garden with lettuce, beets, carrots and other small plants, and along the side, hidden from view, were grape vines and pole beans. There were also a number of currant bushes, with both white and red currants next to the barn, and on the other side of the barn, there was eventually a bed of asparagus. In front of the barn were several remaining fruit trees from the Mainhardt property, including apples, cherries, plum, and pear trees.

For a while when Tim and Penny were about 6 and Peter was about 13, the family owned two ponies, named Bonny and Beauty. Bonny was larger, and was not gentle enough to be ridden by Penny and Tim, but Beauty was gentler, and both children got to ride their pony frequently. Peter got to muck out the stalls, which had been built into the barn, and dump the manure in a composting pile next to the bard (this is where the asparagus bed was later sited). Peter didn't really know how to treat equines, and probably badly mistreated them. They certainly didn't have the right kind of box stalls. Luckily for them, they were sold about two years after they came.

There was a small pool containing goldfish near the end of the property, which had a water pipe all the way back to it. The pool was used by Cocker Spaniel Dusty for cooling off during the summer. In the fall, it was necessary to net out the goldfish and drain the water pipe, as the pool froze solid in the winter.

One of the things that Dayle wanted was to travel. As soon as travel was permitted following World War II, she began arranging vacations. The first vacation was to Quebec. For several years, the vacation schedule was a long winter vacation in February for Herb and Dayle, first to the Caribbean, and later further afield. They went to the Andes mountains, went a thousand miles up the Amazon River, then to Africa. The longest trip was around the world, seeing Iran, Singapore, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Japan before heading home through Hawaii. They collected a lot of souvenirs, including a shrunken human head (nicknamed "Joe Jivaro"). When the household was sold off, the head was donated to the Milwaukee Museum. Another year they went to Borneo and Australia.

Dayle took all the pictures and movies of these trips, on slide transparencies (using an 828 camera, which took 8 pictures per roll of film) and movies using a 16 mm magazine camera (which took a total of two minutes of movies on each magazine). She took dozens of magazines on each trip, mailing them back for developing as she went, and buying more when she could find them. She wore out both cameras, she took so many photos and movies.

Summer vacations included the kids, of course, and included a trip to Yellowstone National Park by car, and then a trip by railroad to the north rim of the Grand Canyon, a cruise on the SS Empress of Bermuda to (naturally) Bermuda (we left the ship, spent a week in Bermuda, and then flew home), and a dude ranch in Colorado (that trip also went to Mesa Verde to see the cliff houses, Denver to see the Garden of the Gods, and the Grand Canyon of the Gunnison river.)

By that time, Peter was in college, and didn't go along any more (not that he had any social life to justify his staying home). The summer after Peter's freshman year in college, he brought a French exchange student, Jean Leclerc, to live with the family and work until he transferred to a school in Baltimore that fall. The experience was so good that Herb and Dayle volunteered to keep an American Field Service exchange student, Detlef Bartelt, from Kiel, Germany. He lived with the family for a year attending Burlington Hight school as a senior. Penny was a junior that year, and Tim a sophomore. Two years later, Petter Skagen lived with the family after the father in the family with which he had originally been placed, died suddenly.

All three exchange students served as hosts to Herb and Dayle when they took a European vacation not long after. Detlef went to medical school, and came to be a extern in Memorial Hospital for once semester, living again with the Granzeaus. He became a radiologist after a residency in the US, and returned home to practice his specialty in Hamburg.