August Mader 1884 – 1963

August Mader
1884 – 1963

August was born on the brick yard January 20, 1884 to Dominick and Mary Mader. As a boy his job in the brick yard was to drive the team on the mud wheel.

August was married to a girl named Mary who was a sister of Florence Riek. August and Mary did not have children.

“Gus must have been a real businessman.” Steve Mader said. (Frank’s son.) Gus owned a half interest in People’s Ice and Fuel Co. Originally the ice came from the river. Later, they opened an artificial plant. (Located on the Holiday Inn site between La Crescent and La Crosse.) When the ice business gave way to electric refrigeration, the company switched to the manufacturing of concrete block building units. They kept the same location.

Frank Mader worker on the river cutting ice for his uncle Gus when he was 17. After the service he worked for Gus again making concrete blocks.

Bill Mader remembers Uncle Gus coming out every Christmas to give them each a $2.00 bill. This stopped when they turned 18.

Gus and Mary belonged to a church that held seances and they were not allowed to eat meat. The church didn’t have many members. Gus bought the organ and put a lot of money into the church to keep it going.

Gus had an antique Studebaker. One night he came over to his nephew Frank and gave him the title in an envelope and said, “Someone stole the hubcaps so you may as well have the car before they steal it all?” It had 5,000 miles on it. He was too old to drive it anymore. (The car is still is possession of Frank Mader.) At the same time Gus sold him his old ice truck with the names “Grosch and Mader” on the side.

They lived on 16th and Jackson where Gus kept horses in a barn in the alley. In later years they moved across the street in the big white house on the NE corner where at age 79 Gus died December 23, 1963. He was survived by his wife Mary.