My Bologna Has a First Name – It’s O-S-C-A-R

A rather obscure member of the 1838-1839 immigration was a furrier by the name of Johann Traugott Bolz.  On this day, January 17th, in 1841, he married Auguste Wirth.  Their marriage is recorded in the Old Trinity Lutheran Church books in St. Louis, but at that time, that congregation did not have its own church building.  Nine years later, in 1850, Johann Traugott died as a result of cholera.  Before he died, this couple had three children.  One of those was Johann Traugott, Jr.

Johann Traugott, Jr. married Magdalena Tabea Claus in 1873.  This couple had numerous children, the last of which was Adolph Bolz who was born in 1893.  Here is where the story gets really interesting.  Adolph Bolz married Eugenie Mayer in Chicago in 1920.  She was the daughter of Oscar Mayer.  Yes……THAT Oscar Mayer of bologna fame.  We have three different spellings of this name in Perry County, but M-A-Y-E-R is not one of them.

Oscar F. Mayer began his career by operating a butcher shop on the north side of Chicago.  He specialized in producing German sausages.  That business eventually developed into a national multi-million dollar company.  Oscar’s son, Oscar G. Mayer took the business over after he retired, but his son-in-law became a vice president of the company, running the major production plant which was located in Madison, Wisconsin.

This photo shows Oscar F., Oscar G., and Oscar G., Jr.:


Here is a photo of Adolph Bolz and his wife Eugenie:

An interesting story is told about Adolph Bolz.  During the Depression of 1929, it is reported that when he found out some of his employees were struggling financially, he opened his wallet and handed out some of his own money to help them out.  That act would later lead to the formation of a credit union to prevent further problems like this.  Adolph was a well-respected member of the Madison community.

Adolph Bolz died in 1968 of a heart attack.  His wife died in 1996 at the age of 100.

Here is a portion of an article that appeared in a newspaper on the occasion of his death.  It supplies some additional information about his life.


The Oscar Mayer Corporation has also become very well known for their success in promoting their products.  Two of their television advertisements will probably go down in history for their effectiveness and creativity.  They are especially renowned for two jingles that have became part of American culture.  Here is a link to view the original advertisement that was first broadcast in 1965 with the “I Wish I Were an Oscar Mayer Wiener” jingle.


The other famous ad put out by Oscar Mayer was this one produced in 1973 with the “My Bologna Has a First Name….It’s O-S-C-A-R” jingle.

It is this commercial that caused a whole generation of Americans to have absolutely no trouble spelling the word, bologna.

And who could forget this promotion?


Just one more thing.  Both Oscar Mayer and Philip K. Wrigley were both making their fortunes in the North Chicago area at about the same time and were acquaintances.  After Adolph Bolz’s death, could it have been the case that he negotiated a deal with the man upstairs to give a one year reprieve on the Lutheran curse on the Chicago Cubs on behalf of his dad’s old friend, Mr. Wrigley?

3 thoughts on “My Bologna Has a First Name – It’s O-S-C-A-R

  1. Wonderful story and research about my grandfather “Addie” Bolz! Thank you for your work! I remember him as having the greatest sense of humor and being kind and gentle with everyone. He had two sons, Robert and John and a daughter Marjorie Allen. My father, “Jack” is 91 and continues to live in Madison with my mother Marian Richter Bolz, 89 from Chicago, IL – Joan Bolz Cleary, Burlingame, CA


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