ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Sauerkraut Club





Last Tuesday evening at Foresters' Hall in West Main Street the Watertown Sauerkraut Club was organized by electing the following officers:


President—Reinhold Schott

Vice President—A. J. McDonald

Secretary—Charles Motz

Treasurer—Charles Gruel

Finance Committee—August Schott, William Malwitz, Jessie Wallace


The club is organized for social purposes only.  The next meeting of the club will be held on March 22nd.           Watertown Gazette, 03 11 1910


Sauerkraut Club Grounds (click to enlarge)




The Sauerkraut club enjoyed its first annual outing in Frank Wilkie’s grove on the shores of Rock river yesterday and the outing afforded the members and their friends a day of amusement not soon to be forgotten.


An incident not down on the regular program afforded much amusement.  This was a coon hunt in which most of the crowd took part and the animal was finally caught, but not before he paid his respects to some of his pursuers in the shape of scratches.  He was placed in captivity and later released.


A pigeon shoot was one of the morning pastimes.


A ball game in the afternoon between the fats and the leans was interrupted by a photographer who took several groups.  The fat men claimed the victory while the umpire came in for a share of criticism.


Breakfast, dinner and supper were served under the management of Arthur Goeldner, who was the chef on this occasion.             Watertown Republican, 06 17 1910




At the annual meeting of the Watertown Sauerkraut Club held Tuesday evening the following officers were elected:

President—R. Schott.

Vice President—Justin Wallace.

Secretary—Emil Tanck.

Treasurer—Charles Gruel.

Field Captain—J. P. Holland.

Finance Committee—William Schimmel, M. C. Nowack, A. Schott.

Dance Committee—Justin Wallace, William Schimmel, Emil Tanck, G. M. Gahlman, Wm. Dahms.




The picnic given by St. John’s Independent band at the Sauerkraut club on Sunday was a success and a most enjoyable affair from every stand point.


Early in the morning the live wire delegation was on the spot, and preparations were made for the crowd which soon began to arrive.  Fishing and bathing were in order, and many of the younger ones of the party pitted their strength against the current in the river which is some stream just now at that point.


Early in the afternoon, after a splendid dinner had been served in the club dining hall, the quartette led by Pat Diekoff and assisted by whoever took a notion rendered some choice vocal selections.  Some of the voices were a trifle rusty but the most of them gave great promise if they had the advantage of training by a good teacher.


Some records were made by expert horseshoe pitchers but it was at fishing that Fred Bittner tied them all.  Bittner also led a cross country chase, the hazards including swamp ground, barbed wire fences and ditches.  In this contest Pat Diekoff lost by a length by trying to pick a new route.


In the afternoon, an auto party enroute from Chicago to Madison visited the club. 


The band is composed of the following members: William Bast, Walter Krueger, Ray Brier, R. Grosnick, Otto Nienow, Arthur Block, Ben Maas, Fred Maas, Edward Kohlhoff, Arthur Bast, Arthur Sprenger, Anton Lemke, August Kohlhoff, J. Schiefer, William Thietz, H. Borchordt, F. A. Bittner, Ben Schumacher, Walter Block, Frank Uttech, H. M. Sonnemann, Prof. H. A. Schumacher.      The Watertown news, July 16, 1917



Band Members.  Possibly 1917 on the grounds of the Sauerkraut club.



       Considerable Disorder Several Scuffles


Yesterday, the Bartenders Local No. 694, Watertown, held their annual outing at the Sauerkraut club.


By 5 o’clock in the morning the commissary department was beginning to assemble, and at 6 promptly the flag went up on the pole of the dining hall.  A few minutes later Art Gehrke with his assistants were in sight atop of the refreshment wagon.  Gracefully alighting from the wagon Art Glaser dove onto the wash boiler full of fried chicken and attempted to hide one of the fowls for his own personal use, but was discovered in the attempt by Henry McGowan, who lectured severely on honesty being the best policy, and was later ducked in the river in token of appreciation.


There was considerable disorder on the start, and several scuffles, but the arrival of Jack Evans, special officer of the day, put a stop to all foolishness.  Evans, clad in a uniform made in New York specially to fit his shape, was a terror to evil doers, and if a fierce glance failed to do the business, the officer would pull his six-shooter and club and charge.  This usually fixed em.


The arrival of the orchestra was the signal for music, and Pat Diekoff mounted the roof of the ice house and sang an appropriate song to the fish in the river.  As no one disputed the fact that “many brave hearts were asleep in the deep,” he was allowed to finish.  Henry Lange also warbled a few as he operated on the accordion.  Later on, most of the crowd took a hand at the music, and for a time it was thought that the water of the Rock river might start running the other way.


The noon-time dinner was something to be long remembered, and full justice was done to the fried chicken, mashed potatoes and all the rest of the splendid eats.


About 2 p.m. arrived there on the scene Denninger the photographer, who with marvelous dexterity lined up the bunch and had them look at the little birds while he immortalized them on the film.  As the day wore on, games were in order and some champion horse-shoe pitchers were developed, and some records broken.


A number of prominent citizens dropped in during the day, among them being Mayor Mulherger who had his picture “took” with the rest.




Chapter on Watertown Taverns/Saloons


Memory of, by Clarence Riedl:  We lived about two miles from a woods and in there by the river was a clubhouse and well and was called the Sour Kraut Club.  A lot of picnics in the summer and St. Henry's Church always had their picnic there.  The men always played softball and a lot of people always cheered them on.  Some women had the children play games for prizes and one game they always had was a bag race.  Two kids each put one foot in the gunny sack and go for the finish line.  All brought their own lunch and would spread blankets and sit on them to eat.  When finished they could wash their dishes in the clubhouse or by the well.




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History of Watertown, Wisconsin