Telling my family's stories
After Joseph Muehlbauer died, Frances took over the management of the tavern. By 1930, her son Joseph became primarily responsible for the tavern and household, as shown by his status as ‘head of household’ on this snip of the 1930 census.
There are a number of ‘boarders’ living with the family – this was true for all census years. The tavern apparently also functioned as a rooming house, with rooms to rent to single working men. Most of their occupations are ‘laborer’ but there are occupations like ‘shoemaker,’ ‘maltster’ and ‘baker’ in there, too. The majority of them are German and Austrian immigrants, including Otto Ratz, who is listed here right below the Muehlbauer family. He is the same age as Frances, and lived as a ‘boarder’ at the tavern for 1910-1930, at least. Interestingly, he’s buried in the Muehlbauer family cemetery plot in Calvary, over by Miller Park.
I don’t know exactly what his connection is to the family. My father once asked Charlie about an ‘Otto’ (thinking he was asking about an ‘Otto Muehlbauer’), and Charlie’s response was typical Charlie: “Eh. To Hell with Otto!” It’s possible Charlie was thinking of this Otto Ratz, since I can’t find any Otto Muehlbauer in his family tree – on any level anywhere. So whatever was going on, this Otto Ratz is a complicated fellow.