Learning from the past, living in the moment, and leaving footprints for the future. Stories of lov

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Celestin Kaltenbach - Elected Official

Celestine Kaltenbach was born in Baden, Germany in 1813 and then coming to Potosi, Wisconsin.  In 1853 he was made Town Treasurer, the first town office to be held by a German. 

He  became the Dean of Postmasters in the United States holding that office from 1837 to the time of his death, March 18, 1891, at the age of 78. 

Before coming to Potosi he had mined iron for three years about Dubuque.  On coming to the "Hollow" he started a store (in the location then known as Van Buren) which he carried on for more than fifty years.  He held several town offices and was so much esteemed in the community that to hundreds his advice or admonition was law.

His grandson, Celestine David, named for him married into the Roesch family when he wed Gwendolyn September 26, 1934. 

He graduated from Potosi High School in 1918 and went to Duluth, MN to study electricity.  He was a mailclerk at St. Paul in 1919.  He worked for years in Potosi State Bank starting in April 1923, and was postmaster for 34 years prior to his 1968 retirement. On September 26, 1934 he married Gwendolyn A. Roesch.   A member of Grant County and State Historical Societies; National Legion of Postmasters and American Legion WWI veteran.  They lived at Whitewater after 1987. 

Gwen passed away in an assisted  living facility.  Her obituary read as follows:

Gwendolyn Alice (Roesch) Kaltenbach, 86, formerly of Potosi, died Wednesday, Aug. 2, 1995 at the Fairhaven Residential Facility in Whitewater, where she had resided since 1987.

She was born Feb. 26, 1909 in Boise-Lancaster, the daughter of Lake and Edna (Thomas) Roesch.  She married Celestine Kaltenbach on Sept. 26, 1934 in Dubuque, Iowa.

She was a member of St. Thomas Catholic Church and the Altar Society in Potosi.  She was a member of the Grant County Historical Society and the DAR.  She attended Lawrence University, the UW-Madison and was a graduate of the UW-Platteville.  She taught high school at Lancaster and Cornucopia for five years.  She authored a historical booklet entitled “Old Potosi” and other magazine articles.  She was also employed at the post office in Potosi for many years.

Surviving are a son, David (Shirley) Kaltenbach, Seattle; a daughter Diane (Jack) Trojan of Whitewater; two grandchildren, Andrew (Trecia) Kaltenbach and Lisa (Doug) Bush; one great-grandson, Jacob Kaltenbach; a brother, Keith Roesch, Lancaster; a sister Anita Schaefer, Potosi; a sister-in-law, Nellie Schenk, Whittier, Calif.; and other relatives and friends.

Interment services were held on Tuesday at St. Thomas Cemetery in Potosi with a Memorial Mass of Christian Burial at a later date to be announced.  Memorials may be given to the church, the DAR or the Grant County Historical Society.

The Skindingsrude Funeral Home in Whitewater served the family.


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