F. Henry Mader 1878 – 1954

F. Henry Mader
1878 – 1954

Frank Henry was the oldest living child of Frank and Rosa, born in the State Road Coulee home on May 28, 1878. After high school, he worked at the Hackner Co. making church furniture. He studied for the Priesthood at St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee but a nervous condition forced him to drop out after one year. In La Crosse at the Wisconsin Business University, located on the second floor of a building on Main Street, Henry received a degree in business administration.

With his degree, Henry was a bookkeeper for a laundry where he met Anna Puent who also worked there. They were joined in marriage on May 28, 1900. Anna was born in 1876 near Oldenburg, Indiana to Herman and Susanna Puent. The family later moved to La Crosse.

In the spring of 1900, Henry became bookkeeper for the J.J. Hogan Wholesale Grocery Co.. Henry and Anna first lived on 17th and Badger. Here they became the parents of three children. The first child, Cecilia, died at birth. The second child, Stephen, born December 24, 1903 died of an illness at age 13 on February 1, 1916. He was remembered as being quite a bike rider. The third child was Isabelle born in 1905.

The family moved when Isabelle was four to a house on the SE corner of 13th and Vine St. which was kitty corner from Henry’s uncle Theodore. Isabelle said that her dad rode a bicycle for many years and they didn’t get around very much because he didn’t have a car until 1924.

After the death of his father Frank in 1916, Henry joined his brothers Frank Jr. and Joe in operating The Mader Clothing Store. He had an office upstairs where he was bookkeeper. Because of a hearing problem, he did not wait on customers. “He was so friendly,” his daughter said. “When someone came in that he knew, my dad would go down and put his arm on their shoulder.”

Henry stayed with the firm until it was sold in 1951, retiring at age 73. Henry had kept a diary every day of his adult life. The saddest entry he made was in the morning April 29, 1954 when he wrote that he wasn’t feeling well and would finish it later. Henry never wrote in the diary again, for he died that afternoon. Anna Mary lived to age 91 passing away on Mother’s Day of 1966.