Franz 'Anton' Trefzger
born 9/13/1828, immigrated 1855, died 3/9/1912

Anton's obit
cemetery location
Elisabeth's inheritance
Elisabeth's obit
parents of Elizabeth
father: Simon Trefzger(Sr)
mother: Julianna Gruny
spouse: Elisabeth C. Detewig
Elizabeth, FrankGustav,
 Sophie, William, Emil,
grand children:
Emil, Gus
Joseph, Theresia, Juliana,
Franciska, Catharina,
Johann, Marianna, Anton,
Simon & Felix
Trefzger Roots Area
St. Martin's Catholic Church
St. Martin's Cemetery
Trefzger History
After their long trip from Wehr, Baden in 1855 Anton left Maria Anna, Simon, and Simon’s family in Cincinnati and went on to St. Louis believing St. Louis offered greater opportunities. Anton found friends in the large German community.

At the time some in the German community were planning a trip by boat up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. Anton accepted an invitation to join them and tickets were purchased with the little town of Spring Bay as their destination. When the boat stopped at Peoria those in the party were so impressed with the hustling little city they went no further. At the time the population of Peoria was about ten thousand, but increasing rapidly.

Anton was almost 28 years of age. He had learned the plastering trade in Baden and experienced no difficulty securing employment. He was soon successfully engaged in contracting for himself.

On August 20, 1858 he married Elisabeth C. Ditewig. Elisabeth was the daughter of John Ditewig, an early boot and shoe manufacturer in Peoria. Elisabeth had a daughter who had been born in New York in 1853. Anton and Elisabeth began to have their own family. Frank was born in 1859, Gustav Robert in 1860, Sophie about 1862, William about 1863, Emil in 1867, Albert in 1868, Robert in 1869, and Emilie in 1874. The early Trefzger residence was a modest home at 220 Brotherson Street. In 1877 Anton built a larger residence at 513 First St.

Anton was a good craftsman. His principle interests were in his home and among his friends. One of his particular pleasures was a good game of ‘pinocle’ or ‘sixty-six’, two games popular among the early German citizens. In his more advanced years he surprised his family by taking up the card game ‘five-hundred’. He also enjoyed sitting on his long side porch smoking and having his two oldest sons sing for him songs of his native land as well as those of his adopted country.

Following the death of his wife in 1894 Anton lived with his daughter Emilie.

Anton was quite interested in and involved in the Peoria Fire Fighters. From pictures of the 50th anniversary (1858-1908) of Fire Company “New Peoria No. 4” dated October 26, 1908 Anton is pictured and listed as Badge # 38 of 174.

He died in 1912 when 83 years and 6 months old.

Census information:
In the 1860 census Anton, Elizabeth (wife), Elizabeth 6, and Frank 1, are listed.
In 1880 Anton 52, Elizabeth 50, Slizabeth 26, Frank 21, Gustav 20, Sophia 18, William 17, Albert 15, Robert 11, and Amelia 7, are listed.
Anton is listed in the 1890, 1891, and 1992 Peoria Directories. His business name is A. Trefzger & Son.
In the 1900 census Anton is 71, and living in Peoria Ward 4, with Louis and Emilia Stilwell (his daughter).
In the 1910 census Anton is 81, and still living in Peoria Ward 4, with Louis and Emilia Stilwell (his daughter).

Anton Sons:

Frank, the oldest son, began his banking career as clerk and then teller for the German National Banking Company. He later became cashier for the Illinois National Bank of Peoria, and in 1908 became it’s President. He served in that capacity for four years before he suffered a severe illness while attending a musical convention in Minneapolis. He died only a week later in Peoria.
Gustav, who was associated with his father in business, later moved to Indianapolis.
William was a foreman for Comstock, Avery and Company, an early furniture house in Peoria. He later moved to Chicago.
Albert, the fourth son, started to work for Charles J. Off and Company, a wholsale grocery, at the age of 16. Later after sales experience on the road, and becoming a department manager, he became president of the company when Mr Ott retired in 1911.
Robert worked for Singer and Wheeler, a wholesale drug company. He later moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Two of Anton's grandsons, Emil and Gus, were champion speed typists and traveled with Underwood'd speed deminstration team. See the the links to 'Emil' and 'Gus'.

Study of Anton’s family:
Our family records of Simon Trefzger and his descendants were very complete but I could find almost no information about Simon’s brother Anton.

Fortunately early in the study I heard from Erick Trefzger in Mesa Arizona. He said that his father Robert E. Trefzger in Auburn, California was interested in family history and could be of help to me. Robert got in touch with me and sent a wealth of information.

Robert had researched Anton and his life in Peoria, IL. and sent: 1) info from a newspaper article about Anton, 2) a picture of his residence built in 1877, 3) a copy of the marriage license for Anton Trefzger & Elizabeth Detewig, 4) a copy of the marriage license of Gustav Trefzger to Bertha Trautvetter, 5) a copy of the birth certificate for Gustav Robert Trefzger their son, 6) data from Nanette Meals from the County Clerk’s office containing info from the 1860, 1888, 1899 City Census, and info from the Springdale Cemetery records, 7) a copy of the 50th anniversary brochure of New Peoria # 4 fire brigade containing a list of the members and Anton Trefzger # 38, a picture of the Fire Station, and a picture of all of the members, 8) a chart of Anton’s descendants, 9) Info about Anton’s wife’s father Christian Trautvetter, 10) a picture of Trautvetter’s National Guard Band and a picture of Christian Trautvetter, 11) a copy of Emil Anton Trefzger’s certificate of birth, 12) a copy of a picture of Emil A. Trefzger winning the championship of the International Typewriting Contest, 12) and a copy of a postcard from Emil after a visit to Wehr, Germany, along with comments about all of the material.

Anton’s grandson Emil A. Trefzger visited Anton’s hometown and wrote “At last I have found a town, village rather, where the ‘Trefs’ are not in the minority. Practically the whole town = not quite that bad = is made up of people by that name = all relatives.”

In a visit with Robert at his son Erich’s house in Chandler, Arizona, Robert told me that his uncle Emil had gone to Business School and become a speed typist. His Dad (who was 3 years younger) went to the Gregg School in Chicago. His Dad was also a speed typist.

In the typing competitions there were Amateurs, Masters, and Professionals. Robert’s Dad Gus won the World Amateur Typing Championship in 1911. Both Gus and Emil were on a team that competed for Underwood. His Dad competed until 1916 winning many medals.

Charles E. Trefzger, Jr. and his father Charles E. Sr. and mother Peggy generously provided info about Anton’s descendants on the East Coast.

Thanks also for contacts and information from Karen Trefzger, Jeanne Trefzger, Claudia Trefzger, Deborah Trefzger, Lola B. Trefzger, Bill Trefzger.

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