ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Bernard Herman Maass

1888 - 1921






Found Dead in Bed This Morning


Member of Klinger & Mayer Co.

Secretary of Watertown City Band

Watertown Daily Times, 05 03 1921


"Benny" Maass, secretary of the Watertown City Band, stock manager of the Klinger & Mayer Co., Ford garage, and one of the best known and most popular young men of this city, died very suddenly during the night.  He went to bed apparently feeling in good health and his death was wholly unexpected.  Thus we are reminded of the solemnity of the passage in Scripture: "Verily in the midst of life, we are in death."


Until about 9:30 last evening, Mr. Maass was engaged with Mr. A. F. [Anton] Mayer of the Klinger & Mayer Company in going over some business matters and planning for future activities.  According to his mother, with whom he resided at 208 North Ninth Street, the deceased reached home shortly after 10 o'clock, and after visiting a few moments with her, he bid her an affectionate "Good Night" and retired to his room upstairs.


In the morning his mother called to him, as she had often done before, and when he did not respond, she asked another son, Walter, to go to his room and arouse him.  Walter was unable to wake him, and his first thought was to call a doctor, but the mother told him to wait until she had visited her son in his room.  She understood quickly.  He was cold in death.  One of the daughters who slept in an adjoining room recollected that she had heard her brother moan during the night, but thought nothing of it.  Dr. Habhegger was called and he pronounced the cause of death as heart disease.  The body was cold when found and death may have occurred early in the night.


Bernard Herman Maass was born at Lotts Creek, near the city of Algoma, in the state of Iowa, on January 3, 1888, the son of Rev. C. F. W. and Mrs. Anna (Harte) Maass.  The father was then serving as pastor of the German Lutheran congregation at that point.  Three months later, upon receiving a new assignment, the family moved to Watertown, Minnesota, which was their home for four years.


Rev. Maass was then called to Blue Earth, Minn., where he died February 24, 1900, while serving as pastor of the Lutheran congregation.  He left surviving his widow and ten children, of which "Benny" was the fifth.


The family then came to Watertown, which was the native city of the mother, and where her parents, the late Mr. and Mrs. Fred Harte, were residing.


Deep sorrow pervaded the Klinger & Mayer establishment this forenoon as the sad occurrence was related.  "He was one of the most honest and faithful of men," said Anton F. Mayer of the company, "and he was so kind and agreeable that we all loved and esteemed him very much.  His splendid qualities of mind and heart won for him a large number of friends and we all feel his death as a personal loss.  He was exceptionally well qualified to discharge the duties he had with the company and his place will be hard to fill."


The deceased attended St. John's Lutheran school, with his brothers and sisters, and was confirmed at the age of 14 years.  He then attended the Watertown High School and completed his education by a two years commercial course at the Northwestern College.


His business since leaving school was in connection with motor vehicles and five years ago he associated himself with the Klinger & Mayer Co., being one of the stockholders and in charge of the stock department.  He was a talented musician and belonged to the city band, of which he was secretary, and St. John's Independent Band.  He possessed a good business capacity and by his faithfulness to duty had already entered upon a successful business career.


The immediate surviving relatives are his mother, four sisters: Mrs. Edward Frederick, and the Misses Martha and Anna Maass, Watertown; Mrs. Gust Eckhardt, Blue Earth, Minn; three brothers, Fred and Walter of this city and Otto of Whitewater.


Two sisters preceded him in death, Miss Emma in 1904 at the age of 19 years and Miss Minnie in 1910 at the age of 16 years.


The funeral will be held Friday afternoon, the time of services to be announced later.


The sudden death of this highly esteemed young man was a great shock to his numerous friends and the whole community was saddened by the passing of one whose intercourse with the living world was all that it should be.


Burial was in Oak Hill Cemetery