website  watertownhistory.org

    ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin

 

Maerzke Family

and

Oscar Maerzke Home

 

809 N Fourth

 

Frederick Maerzke, wagon-maker, Sixth Ward, Dodge Co.; born in Prussia March 21, 1827; came to America in 1852; lived in Milwaukee one year and a half; came to Watertown in 1854; commenced wagon-maker’s trade when only 14 years of age; he was five terms Alderman of the Sixth Ward; he was a member of the I.O.O.F.  On May 27, 1867, he was married to Mary Ann, daughter of John Habhegger; she was born in Switzerland July 13, 1840, and died in February, 1877; seven children survived her – Philipp, Frederick, Jr., Charles, Oscar, Sophia and Lina; lost one son and a daughter.

 

Buried in Oak Hill cemetery.

 

Derived in part from “The History of Jefferson County, Wisconsin”, published: Chicago:  Western Historical Company, 1879.

 

Oscar Maerzke Home

 

A Brief History of the Oscar Maerzke House

 

 

This Eclectic Craftsman was built for Watertown native Oscar Maerzke in 1912.  A unique example of the Arts & Crafts style, it has many elements that make it a beautiful home. 

 

The open floor-plan on the main level consists of the Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen, Bath, and large foyer.  Original stained oak woodwork and hardwood flooring are in the Living Room and Dining Room.  The east wall of the Dining Room has an original built-in 16ft oak china hutch with mirror and glass doors.  The Living Room, Dining Room, and entry have ornate, custom painted cast-iron radiators.  The Dining Room has leaded glass oriel windows.  The Living Room and foyer have a "tulip" design leaded glass windows.  The foyer features an oak stairway with 3 original stained glass windows at the landing.  There are 9˝ ft ceilings throughout.

 

Upstairs includes a large landing with linen closet, three bedrooms with walk-in closets, and bathroom.  Front bedroom features large bay window with leaded glass transom and 2 double hung units.  Hardwood floors in bedrooms and landing.

 

This home was built in 1912 for Oscar Maerzke, a widely-known Watertown resident.  He at one time operated the Maerzke Pigeon Hatchery and later was partnered in the business with former Watertown mayor Charles Lutovsky.  The business eventually became the Watertown Squab Company [1107 N Fourth].  Oscar was a native of Watertown and was born on September 1, 1874.

 

Oscar lived in this neighborhood at various locations.  City directory entries show him in 1902 at 605 East Division Street, 1907-1912 at 811 North Fourth, and taking occupancy in 1913 at 809 North Fourth.  Oscar had this home built while he lived next door at 811 N. Fourth.  He lived here with his wife and two daughters.  Oscar lived here from 1912 until his death in 1944, at the age of 69.

 

This unique home was from all indications a custom or customized home made for the Maerzke's.  Many of the framing members and trim pieces have the last name written on them, a common practice when a home was built specifically for someone.  From conversations with an architect from the State of Wisconsin, Division of Historical Preservation, we learned that this is the only home of its kind of which they are aware.   The term that was used was "Eclectic Craftsman-style house".

 

The home is in the proposed North Fourth Street Historic District.  When an Intensive Architectural Survey was done by the city of Watertown in 1986, this home was in a state of severe disrepair.  The home was purchased in 1989, and restored back to the original level of craftsmanship.

_________________________________________

 

Fredrick MAERZKE, Born 21 March 1828.  Married Maria Anna HABHEGGER 7 May 1861 and Died 8 May 1901.  He’s buried at Oak Hill cemetery in Watertown.

 

His notice of intention to become a US Citizen dated April 1855 renounces allegiance to Frederic William IV King of Prussia and is signed by the Clerk of the Municipal Court of Watertown.  His 14 March 1877 Citizenship papers state that he entered the Port of New York on or about the month of August 1852.

 

His Registration of Marriage to second wife, Alice HAGEN dated 30 Dec 1879 lists Germany as his birthplace and names Martin MAERTZKE as his father and Wilhelmine MAERTZKE as his mother.

 

Frederick MAERZKE’s Death Certificate (Signed by C. J. HABHEGGGER) says he was white, male, Caucasian, a wagon maker, 74 years, 1 month and 19 days of age and lists Wm MAERZKE as his father, that he was born in Germany on 21 March 1827, died 8 May 1901 of heart failure, that he resided at 1031 N 4th St, Watertown, Wis.

 

Located next to Blumenfeld Home 

 

Fred J. Maerzke

 

1945

Watertown Daily Times, 12 17 1945; article includes pic

 

Fred J. Maerzke Dies Here Sunday

 

Was Outstanding Bowler

 

Fred J. Maerzke, who ranked with the foremost bowlers of his time, died last evening at his home, 125 North Water Street after a heart attack.  His death was sudden and unexpected.

 

Mr. Maerzke was born in Watertown on April 14, 1893, a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Fred C. Maerzke and spent his entire life here.  On April 12, 1915, he married Miss Elsie Schubert of Milwaukee.  She survives.  An only son, Robert Maerzke, died in 1938.

 

There are two sisters who survive, Mrs. M. J. Heinz, Appleton, and Mrs. Hugo Tobian, Milwaukee.

 

Mr. Maerzke was a member of the Immanuel Lutheran church.  He was also a member of Watertown lodge No. 830, Loyal Order of Moose, Lincoln lodge No. 20, Knights of Pythias and the Calanthe club.

 

Mr. Maerzke operated the West Side alleys for many years, a business which his father had also operated in his time.

 

He took to bowling early and developed into one of the best bowlers ever produced in Wisconsin.  Some sports writers ranked him among the best bowlers in the nation in his heyday.  He made many appearances and took part in many tournaments and helped carry the name of Watertown far and wide in bowling circles.

 

Mr. Maerzke was a man who had many friends here and in other cities where he was known and where he had appeared.

 

1955

THE HISTORIC OSCAR MAERZKE HOME

   City assessor image

 

 

 

Table of Contents 

History of Watertown, Wisconsin

Index