Category Archives: Dominick and Mary Mader Family

Mary (Mader) Herman 1889 – 1978

Mary (Mader) Herman
1889 – 1978

The last child of Dominick and Mary Mader. Mary (Mamie) was born March 9, 1889.

Mamie was the wife of Adolf Herman. They lived in Arvado, Colorado, and did not have any children. They owned a chicken ranch and later sold the land to the Academy in Colorado Springs.

When she died in May of 1978 at age 89, Mamie left an estate of over $200,000.00 and had money in 17 banks. She left money to both a Lutheran and a Catholic church, to numerous organizations in Colorado and in La Crosse, and also gave her nieces and nephews $10,000.00 each.

Frank Mader recalls seeing his Aunt only twice in his lifetime.

Dominick Mader Jr. 1886 – 1956

Dominick Mader Jr.
1886 – 1956

Dominick Jr. was the son of Dominick and Mary born on November 26, 1886. When he was young he helped his father in the brick yard and later on the farm.

Dominick Jr. was joined in marriage to Edith Moss. They were the parents of three children; Margaret, William, and Frank.

Frank remembers living in La Crosse first, where his father worked at People’s Ice and Fuel Co.. He was about eight years old when the family moved to the farm.

Having taken the farm back from Hyde and Funk, Dominick Jr. and his brother Arthur returned to farm it for their father, later purchasing it. One of the large tobacco sheds built by Hyde and Funk was converted into a barn,. the other was torn down. (Andy North and others on Losey Blvd. built their homes from this wood.) Dominick Jr. dairy farmed and sold dirt in town. The dirt was from the area where the race track used to be.

“Dad wasn’t used to driving a tractor. Once he came to the creek bank and hollered ‘Whoa’ to the tractor and it wouldn’t stop!” recalls Bill. “My dad was so easy going. He always smoked a corn cob pipe.”

To the south, just below the house, the Maders had a picnic area. (Where Hass Park is now.) Further away from the house on Dominick Jr.’s farm there was another small park where the downtown business men came every Thursday night for a party. Erickson Bakery, Bodega, and others belonged to the club and they always catered the food. The businessmen enjoyed it so much, eventually they ran power lines down to it for lights and played horseshoes until midnight.

This one particular night they said, “Come on down, Dom!” They had beer and shots until finally they had to carry Dominick home. His wife was so disgusted she told Bill to stay with his father because he was moaning and groaning so much he was going to die. The next morning he probably wished he had because his wife Edith lit into him! This was the only time Bill could remember his father drinking too much.

In ca. 1936, the family moved to 1406 Johnson St. in La Crosse. Dominick’s brother Arthur still remained on the farm.

Bill told this story:

“My mother went over to visit Angeline on 13th St. On the way back in the middle of the street on 15th and Farnam was a present all wrapped up. Ma picked it up, brought it home and opened it. She was surprised to find that it was chicken guts! The butcher shop had put it in the street as a joke to see who would pick it up. Ma wrapped the chicken guts back up and put the present back in the middle of the street. Then she stood behind a tree to see who would pick it up next!”

Dominick Jr. had a disagreement with Fr. Riesterer at Holy Trinity and the family quit going to church. Later, Fr. Plecity tried to get him to come back to the church.Bill recalled, “Dad would be laying on the porch after work and Mom would say, ‘Here comes that young priest again!’ My dad would duck out the back door and visit friends on the next block.”

They never owned a touring car. Earlier, Dominick Jr. drove the ice truck back and forth to work and in later years drove a pick-up.

At the age of 69, Dominick Jr. passed away in his home at 1923 S. 30th St. on Nov. 5, 1956. His wife Edith survived him.

Edith was a cook at Hillview Co. Hospital for many years. When she became old and needed care, she wanted to go to Hillview so that she could look out the window and see the family farm. She couldn’t go there because she had too much money so she went to Gunn Nursing Home instead. Edith was unhappy there and died three months later.

Henry Mader 1885 – 1954

Henry Mader
1885 – 1954

On February 8, 1885, Henry was born at home to Dominick and Mary Mader. When he was old enough, Henry and his younger brother Dominick, helped on the brick yard by carrying the mold from the molding table to the drying yard.

Henry married a girl whose surname was Grossbach. They had only one daughter, Rose. For some time, they lived at 1406 Johnson St. to care for his widowed mother in her old age.

“I never paid much attention to him. He was the kid of guy you didn’t really notice – like Uncle Arthur.” his nephew Bill Mader said. “He worked at the brewery.”

Henry was living at 1304 Vine St. when after a short illness he passed away April 30, 1954 at age 75.

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.

Arthur Mader 1880 – 1950

Arthur Mader
1880 – 1950

The first son of Dominick and Mary, Arthur was born April 24, 1880 on State Road Coulee. Growing up on the brick yard, his job as a boy was to build the fires in the kilns. When his father sold the brick yard, Arthur was 26 years old.

Arthur never married. The ten years the family lived on the farm he helped his father run it. Later he and his younger brother Dominick became partners and bought the farm.

“Uncle Arthur was a loner. He would work with Dad and not say a word.” Bill Mader said. “He was the kind of guy you didn’t pay much attention to.”

“Art used to come over to visit uninvited. The family dreaded to see him come because he would just sit and not talk but maybe that’s kind of a Mader trait.” reflects Ben Mader.

Bill recalls:

“No matter how much snow or how cold the weather, Uncle Arthur would walk from the farm (Arrow Head Village) to Holy Trinity for Sunday Mass. He always wore his big heavy overcoat and cap with earflaps on his head. After Mass he’d go over to Strasser’s Tavern and have three shots and then walk home.”

In a local hospital on May 31, 1950, Arthur passed away at age 70.