The Life of Peter Krause

On Saturday morning, February 6, Peter Krause, one of the oldest landlords in Berks County, if not in the State, died of infirmities of old age. Mr. Krause was the son of J. Adam Krause, a carpenter and farmer and his wife, Maria (nee Buchman).

He was born in Lowhill Township, Lehigh County, on October 27, 1819. At the age of 15, he was apprenticed to Daniel Whitner, a tailor, of Windsor Township, at the Half-Way House, about two miles west of Lenhartsville, where he served for four years, during which period it was customary in those days, he received nothing more than board and clothes, and a free suit of clothes at the expiration of his apprenticeship. Mr. Krause worked as a journeyman for his old boss for six year’s when he returned to Lehigh County where he worked on a farm. Later he opened a shop of his own at Stewartsville, New Jersey where he conducted business for a short time.

On account of sickness he returned to his Lehigh County home. In 1840 he went to Aaburn Schuylkill County, which place at that time consisted of only two houses where he filled a contract for a large lot of clothes for a Mr. Mertzeimoyer which were sold to the men building P & R Line through that part of Schuylkill. Later he worked for his old boss, Mr. Whitner and subsequently opened a shop of his own at Lenhartsville.

While boarding with Renneville Lesher, who kept a hotel at Lenhartsville he learned from his brother in Michigan that tailors were wanted at Kalamazoo, and his brother asked him to come to that place. Accordingly Mr. Krause and Daniel Yaxthemer a carpenter by trade started for Kalamazoo Michigan on the 7th day of April 1945. There being no trolleys in those days, he and his companion walked to Allentown by way of Kutztown. From Allentown they traveled by stage to Somerville, New Jersey and from there to New York by train. A railroad to that point had just been completed.

At New York a packet boat was taken to Albany. The passage from New York to Albany at that time was $10 a piece. From Albany they traveled by a canal boat on the Erie Canal to Buffalo, and from Buffalo to Detroit on the steamer, Washington. At Detroit they took the train to Marshall, which was at that time the terminus of the Michigan Central. The rest of the journey to Kalamazoo was made by stage. Mr. Krause soon had a position with the firm of Underwood & Foster; where he worked at his trade for some time. Mr. Krause frequently related how the first railroad was built in Kalamazoo and how the first train was run into the town. The engines were not of our up-to-date patterns but so constructed with a flywheel that is was possible to use them to furnish motive power for sawing wood along the line. The rails of the track of that road were made of wood with a strip of sheet iron on top. When the line was completed and it was announced that a train was to be run into the town everybody was looking for it. Mr. Krause and a number of his companions went down the track some distance to see the train approach. When it came the whole party cheered and the train was stopped and they were all taken aboard and back to town. When they came to a place where the rails were not covered with iron, the engine was stalled, and they literally pushed it over the hard place.
Peter was the son of Adam, grandson of John Philip, & g-grandson of Johannes immigrant from Germany. The family homestead was located in Heidelberg Twp. Lehigh Co. Peter was born in Weisenberg Twp. Lehigh Co. where his father is buried.

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