Julius Martin Tanz was born on August 27, 1885, making today his 137th birthday. Tanz is the German word for “dance”. Some descendants from the Perry County branch of the Tanz family even changed their surname to Danz which makes it look even more like “dance”. Julius was the 7th child out of 11 listed in our German Family Tree for Herman and Margaretha (Blanken) Tanz. Julius was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. We can view an image of his baptism record from that congregation’s books.
Because we are unable to view the 1890 census, the first census in which we see Julius is the one taken in 1900 when he was already a teenager. This entry says he was 13 years old, but it also gives his year of birth as 1886, which is not correct. Julius’s father was a farmer.
Julius was still single and in his 20’s when the 1910 census was enumerated. Julius, as well as his older brother, Conrad Tanz, were laborers at odd jobs.
Julius would get married in the next decade, so we will now look at the woman who would become his bride. Her name was Josephine Martha Kasten, who was born on October 26, 1891. Josephine was the daughter of Wilhelm and Clara (Bodenschatz) Kasten. Josephine was child #2 of 4 in her family, and she was the only girl. Like her future husband, she was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. We can also take a look at an image of her church baptism record.
Josephine was listed as being 8 years old when the 1900 census was taken. Her father was a farmer in the Union Township.
Next, we find the Kasten family in the 1910 census in which we find Josephine at the age of 18.
Julius Tanz married Josephine Kasten on March 24, 1913. As you would expect, that wedding took place at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. The church record for that occasion is displayed below.
The marriage license for this pair can also be viewed.
Josephine’s Kasten family got together for a photo that has evidence that it was taken at the time of World War I. Josephine is standing in the back on the left, and right next to her, we see her younger brother, William Kasten, wearing a military uniform.
Julius had to complete a World War I draft registration during this time also, but he did not get called into military service.
Julius and Josephine had 4 children. Their family consisted of one boy and 3 girls. When the 1920 census was taken, we find the Tanz’s with 3 of those children. Like his father and his father-in-law, Julius was a farmer in the Union Township.
The 1930 census lists all 4 of the Tanz children.
Just a side note. It was during the 1930’s that the dance known as the jitterbug became popular. I just couldn’t resist using the dance, jitterbug, when discussing a story about a Julius and a Josephine when their name means “dance”.
Next, we find the Tanz household in the 1940 census. At the age of 54, Julius was still a farmer, and his only son, Adolph, was working at a brewery.
The brewery near Uniontown was the one found in Old Appleton. That brewery building is shown here.
Julius had to complete a World War II draft card in 1942 despite being 56 years old. That form indicates that Julius was no longer a farmer, but was also working at the brewery.
His son, Adolph’s, World War II draft card gives evidence that both Julius and his son worked together at the brewery.
There is one more census entry we are able to view that included Julius and Josephine. Their son, Adolph, was still living with them, and he was a truck driver for a rock quarry.
Old Appleton was also the home of the rock quarry. It was located near the intersection of Highway 61 and Highway KK. An aerial view of Old Appleton as it looks today gives evidence of where the quarry was located.
Julius Tanz died in 1973 at the age of 88. Josephine Tanz died a year later in 1974 at the age of 82. These two are buried in the Grace Lutheran Cemetery in Uniontown.
The story of Julius and Josephine is one of those tales that is getting to be very rare in today’s day and age. They both spent their entire lives as members of one congregation. They each were born, baptized, attended school, were confirmed, married, raised a family, died, and were buried at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown.
Our friend, Clayton Erdmann, who has Kasten ancestors in his family tree, after reading this post, placed some photos on our museum’s Facebook page. I am going to add them to this post in a gallery.