Pueblo County, Colorado
John A. C. Kretschmer

Contributed by Maggie Stuart Zimmerman.

John A. C. Kretschmer, who is engaged in blacksmithing in Pueblo, was born in the city where he now resides, his birthplace being where the Labor Temple now stands. His natal day was January 11, 1881, and his parents were Charles and Mary A. (McLaughlin) Kretschmer. His father is one of the old pioneer settlers of Pueblo, arriving here about 1870. He has long figured as one of the most representative men of his locality and has contributed much to the pioneer development and later progress of the city. He was married here to Mary A. McLaughlin, whose father was at one time a trader with the Indians in this section of the state. Mr. Kretschmer is still working at his trade in Pueblo and is numbered among its representative pioneers, his memory forming a connecting link between the primitve past and the progressive present. To him and his wife were born five sons and six daughters, of whom one son and four daughters died in infancy.

John A. C. Kretschmer, who was the fourth in order of birth, pursued his early education in a Sisters' school or convent and was also a student in the Centennial school. He afterward spent eighteen months as an employe in the postoffice and later learned the business of wagon making and blacksmithing under the direction of his father, thus acquiring practical knowledge of the trade, in which he has developed a high degree of efficiency. His father had his first blacksmithing shop where the Pueblo Savings & Trust Company now stands at the corner of Third and Main streets. It was one of the pioneer establishments of the town. The father had come from Breslau, Germany, and had traveled westward across the continent with ox teams. He left Germany because that country declared war on Denmark, taking his departure for Quebec while his regiment was on its way to the front. He was opposed to the militarism that dominated the country at that period as at the present, and he sought his home in a land under democratic rule. On reaching the American coast he traveled by rail to Omaha, Nebraska, and thence continued his journey with ox teams to Denver. The caravan with which he traveled carried no weapons. They endured many hardships but ultimately reached their destination in safety. Mr. Kretschmer continued in Denver for about two years and then removed to Pueblo. There are few residents of the city who were here at that time. In fact, he is one of the oldest of the surviving pioneers and he and his family went through all of the hardships and privations of frontier life. At that period coal was hauled from Pennsylvania and sold at seventy-five dollars per ton. Mr. Kretschmer became the shoer of the oxen that were used in work in this section and also shod the stage-coach horses in his smithy. As the years have passed he has continued his efforts along the line of his trade and he and his son, John A. C. Kretschmer, are still connected in business, engaged in wagon making and blacksmithing.

John A. C. Kretschmer has devoted his life to the family. He educated his three brothers and he has always worked with his father in connection with the family interests. In his political views John A. C. Kretschmer is a democrat and was at one time a candidate for the office of city commissioner and also a candidate for the office of county assessor. His religious faith is that of the Catholic church and he has attained the fourth degree in the Knights of Columbus. He turns to golf for recreation and greatly enjoys the sport, holding membership in the Golf Club. The family is well known in Pueblo and they have acquired considerable property as the years have passed on, owing to their unremitting industry and their sound investments. Extracted from History of Colorado Illustrated Volume II 1918

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