Dunn*ck Family Genealogy


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Compiled by Sue N. Haschemeyer 




Son of Hiram W. & Sarah A. SCROGGIN CURTIS

Source: Mount Pulaski 1836-1986 (Illinois) edited by Charles Fricke, page 189. Contributed by Sue N. Haschemeyer


  Grace Catherine (Kautz) Curtis, the oldest of the five children born to Henry John and Clara (Rommel) Kautz, was born in Mt. Pulaski on August 4, 1889. She attended the local schools with the exception of a few years in the elementary grades when the Kautz family farmed near Carleton, Nebraska.

As a young woman, she worked as a milliner in or near Jackson, Mississippi and in Stillwater, Minnesota. In 1915, she opened her first store in Webster City Iowa, where she had moved to be near her uncle, Henry Rommel.

In Chicago, in 1915, she married Wilbur Joseph Barnes of Stillwater, Minnesota. Two daughters were born of this marriage, Barbara Grace (Barnes) VanHook in Webster City, Iowa; and Mary June (Barnes) Way in Mt. Pulaski.(Illinois) Wilbur Barnes served in France with the Army Medical Corps during World War I.

Returning to Mt. Pulaski in 1917, she opened a millinery shop on the south side of the square next to the Sharder Barber Shop. She also built a house on the northwest corner of Garden and Wayne Streets, purchased by Harry Wells.

In the ensuring years, Grace had stores in four other locations in Mt. Pulaski. She moved her millinery shop to the theater building on the north side opposite Mike Schick's Shoe Repair Shop. Adding dry goods and ladies' ready-to-wear merchandise, the next store was located in one of the buildings between the E. O. Mayer Dry Goods & Grocery Store and the Connolley Drug Store.

On January 14, 1925, George William Curtis, a farmer, and Grace Barnes were married in Mt. Pulaski. They purchased the Edward O. Mayer Dry Goods Store in approximately 1925, and operated this store until George's health began to fail in 1834. In 1934 Grace, in partnership with Ethel Vail, established a grocery store on the south side of the square. She subsequently sold her half to Ethel Vail.

George William Curtis died at the age of fifty-six on September 21, 1937, at the family residence located on the northeast corner of Cook and Marion Streets. In the fall of 1937, Grace Curtis opened a dry goods store where Vogelsang store had been for many years. She continued at this location until 1957 when she sold the business to the Hustons. She had been in business in Mt Pulaski almost continuously from 1917 until her retirement, approximately forty years later.

Grace Curtis died at the Vonderlieth Nursing Home on December 14, 1974, at the age of eight-five years. She had been a member of the St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church all her life. She is survived by her two daughters, five grandchildren and six great -grandchildren.

In this same book are histories of the Kautz and Rommel families. Also of Hiram which is located elsewhere at this site.