Gus was born on March 30,1891 in Peoria, IL. His parents were Gustav Robert Trefzger and Bertha A Trautvetter Trefzger.
Gus' father may have had a drinking problem. He left the family when the boys, Emil and Gus, were very young. The boys were raised by their mother.
Both Emil and Gus had paper routes when they were young. They were poor and had to earn some money.
After grade and high school in Peoria, Illinois Gus went on to the Gregg business school in Chicago.
Both Gus and Emil had an uncanny gift of their fingers being able to respond to their brain automatically.
Gus competed in national and international speed typing competitions as an amateur from 1908 to 1911 and then as a professional til 1916. He won the International Amateur Championship in Madison Square Garden the week of October 23, 1911.
"Mr. Gus R. Trefzger entered the World's Championship Contest for the first time this year. His record of 111 net words a minute for an hour not only won him a cash prise of Two Hundred Dollars, but demonstrated that he possesses the speed and enddurance out of which World's Cghampions are made. Mr Trefzger was the Amateur Champion for 1911, setting the record at 98 net words a minute. In increasing his speed from 98 net words a minute for 30 minutes to 111 net words a minute for one hour he has worthly upheld the expectations of his friends. Mt Trefzger is a tireless, earnest worker who will without a doubt keep all the champions on the move if they wish to retain their laurels."*
Gus worked on the Underwood speed demonstration team and continued to work for Underwood after he stopped competing.
He was working in Akron, OH when he met his wife, Carrie Esther Wilcox. Carrie was from Colorado. She was visiting her older sister who was going to a chiropractic school in Akron.
After working in Rochester, NY where his first son was born, the family moved to Pasadena when 6 months later. They bought a house there.
During the 1929 depression the Pasadena store was closed. Gus moved to the Hollywood store. He commuted to Hollywood. He was doing sales work with demonstrations.
Then Gus and Underwood mechanic started their own business in Pasadena. It was called Crown City Typewriter Co..
Gus' 2nd son went into the business. After Gus and his son died the son's wife Jeanne Trefzger got the ancient competition Underwood typewriter, medals and ribbons.
Gus died on March 20,1966 in Pasadena, CA.
* from a press release by Underwood.
1910 Gus' residence is in Manhattan, NY, with Emil, his Mother and Freeda Trautvetter.
1920 Gus' residence is in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
1930 Gus' residence is in Psadena, Los Angeles, CA, with Esther, 27, his children, 5, and 3 1/2, and his Mother Bertha Trefzger Kohler, 63.
Robert Trefzger told me the following:
"In the typing competitions there were Amateurs, Masters, and Professionals. Emil won the professional International Championship on Oct. 16, 1909. Gus won the World Amateur Typing Championship in 1911. Both Gus and Emil were on a team that competed for Underwood. Gus competed until 1916 winning many medals."
All of the above information has been furnished by Robert Trefzger.