HISTORY

August W. Kutzky and his wife, Bertha Stephan Kutzky, were well-known early settlers of Rochester and the original owners of our neighborhood and park land.

August William Kutzky was born on 28 May 1855 in Schloppe, a German settlement in the West Pomeranian Province of Prussia. Later the area became part of the German Empire. Today, this ancient city is the town of Człopa in northwest Poland. August emigrated to the US with his parents, Frederick William and Fredericke (Bast) Kutzky, when he was only 8 weeks old. They reportedly lived first in Geneva, Illinois, but moved to Cascade Township in Olmsted County, MN six months later. August’s parents farmed their claim for 13 years, then sold their land and moved to Greenwood Prairie (now Plainview, MN) in Farmington Township. There they operated a saloon and dance hall for three years. They returned to farming in 1872 in Farmington Township.

Bertha Stephan was born on 13 October 1860 in Princeton, Wisconsin, her parents having emigrated from the village of Netzthal in the Posen Province of Prussia (part of Poland today). Her parents were August and Caroline (Tetzlaff) Stephan. The Stephans were farming near Eyota in 1875, and in Farmington Township of Olmsted County by 1880.

August and Bertha married on 10 June 1880. A heavy rainstorm kept all but their immediate families from attending the wedding. The 1880 census found the newlyweds living with August’s parents (see below). The first of their two sons, Louis William August Emanuel Kutzky, was born in 1881. Their second son, Hugo “Albert” John Theodore Kutzky, was born in June 1887, the year the family moved to 205 N. Broadway in Rochester, MN. Sadly, Albert died at age 13 months of whooping cough.

1880 Farmington Township, Olmsted County, Minnesota Census:

1880 Farmington twp Census

 

In Rochester, Mr. Kutzky was first employed as an agent for the Davis Sewing Machine Company. He then became a salesman and machine expert for D. H. Williams. He and Bertha were members of the German Lutheran Church, built in 1894 at 5th and Prospect. August and Bertha began buying land in and around what is now known as Kutzky Park. They lost their older son at age 14 in 1895. They are pictured with his portrait below:

Mr. & Mrs. Kutzky

Mr. & Mrs. Kutzky

 

The Kutzkys bought lots in what was then known as “McCullough’s Addition” in May 1898. They built a house and barn on the west side of the addition. Their home address was 724 W. Fifth Street (now W. Center Street), as shown in this 1909 city directory:

1909 Rochester city directory

 

In March 1899, they bought 90 acres of land west of 11th Avenue and north of St. Mary’s Hospital. The lots were named “Kutzky’s Addition.” August became a naturalized U.S. citizen between 1896 and 1903. Bertha and August moved to a new house at 718 W. Center Street in 1914. This historic house was relocated in 2014 to the 800 block of 1st Street, SW, having been displaced by a construction project. In 1927 the Kutzky’s donated 51 acres, north of “Kutzky’s Addition” along Cascade Creek, to the city of Rochester for use as a park.

August Kutzky died of bronchopneumonia at age 93 in July 1948. Bertha died in February 1952. They are buried next to their older son in Oakwood Cemetery in Rochester. The infant son they lost is buried in the Pleasant Prairie Cemetery in Cascade Township. See http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gsr&GSln=Kutzky&GSiman=1&GScnty=1364& for details.

Sources:

History of Olmsted County, Minnesota by Joseph A. Leonard. Chicago. Goodspeed Historical Association, 1910

Ancestry.com

Find-A-Grave