Frederick Kraus

Men of Progress. Wisconsin. (pages 555-586) A selected list of biographical sketches and portraits of the leaders in business, professional and official life. Together with short notes on the history and character of Wisconsin.

KRAUS, Frederick, who has long been in the grain and commission business in Milwaukee, was born in Newhaus, Germany, December 23rd, 1843. His parents, Charles and Julia Thiele Kraus, came to Wisconsin from Germany in 1849, and settled in Jefferson county, where they remained until 1858, when they removed to Milwaukee, and resided here until their death in 1870. Frederick attended the district school in Jefferson county until the family removed to Milwaukee, when, for a time, he studied in the city high school, of which he speaks in commendatory terms.

After leaving school, young Kraus, in 1860, entered a commission house as clerk, and there remained until 1878, when he became a member of the grain and commission firm of Asmuth & Kraus. Two years after, the firm became F. Kraus & Co., Mr. Asmuth retiring. In 1882 he organized the Kraus-Merkel Malting company, of which he was president until 1894, when he resigned.

In 1885 he went to Europe to look over the different malting processes is use there. The result was that upon his return, he brought over the first malting drums used in this county--the Galland-Henning drums, which have proved an entire success. He organized a company for the manufacture of these machines, and there are now about twenty-five plants here that are using this system of malting, embracing a total of three hundred drums. The capital invested in business by the Kraus- Merkel company is $600,000, and that of the Galland-Henning company, $250,000.

In 1890 the Faist-Kraus Milling company was organized, with a capital of $150,000, and a mill erected with a capacity of 2,000 barrels of flour per day. The firm of F. Kraus & Co. is said to be the largest grain firm now in Milwaukee--operating two of the largest elevators on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railway, besides a large number of smaller ones on the same lines in the interior. The total amount of grain handled by the firm yearly reaches 12,000,000 bushels, of which 4,000,000 bushels is barley--the remainder embraces oats, rye, wheat and corn.

Mr. Kraus is a Democrat, but last year voted for McKinley for president on the currency question, as did many others of his party. He was an alderman from 1872 to 1875, and a school commissioner from 1875 to 1877. He belongs to the Calumet and Deutscher clubs, is an Odd Fellow, a Knight of Pythias, and belongs to the Masonic fraternity, having attained to the thirty-second degree and the Mystic Shrine.

Mr. Kraus was married on the 25th of December, 1865, to Martha Eising, and they have two children.

He is eminently a Milwaukee man, having spent his entire business life in the city, and done much to aid its development as a business center, and to secure its later prominence in the grain trade.


The above transcription has been contributed to this site by Kelly Mullins

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