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Neighbors Called Him King

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Luetgert, king oí the sausage-making lndustry, has been the object of talk and speculation for the last flve years. His unique personality, his queer hablts, his half wild dogs, his giant, and the millions of pounds of sausage that were carted away from hls great factory at Diversey and Hermitage avenues made the Germans and Polea of his neighborhood cali him a king. During the twenty years since Luetgert and Louise Bickenese.were married in St. John's Lutheran church, La Salie avenue and Ohio street, where her gold wedding ring was fïrst worn, Mrs. Luetgert had toiled with her husband and had planned with him. Luetgert was a prosperous saloon keeper when they were wedded, and Louise Bickenese was a pretty Germán domestic, whoknew scarcely a word of English. At last Luetgert and his wife had saved enough money to buy out a meat route, and Luetgert gave up his saloon. The family went to live over the market, and this prospered better than the saloon had done. Luetgert began by peddling meat at the back doors of his friends' homes. He saw possibilities in sausage-making, and gradually he went into the business of making summer sausages. At first this was carried on in a back i room of the market. After a while it j outstripped the regular meat business, and Luetgert saw business and profits come in almost faster than he could take care of them. The 'factory was located then in Sheffield avenue, near Diversey. Diflf'er on Business Flans. Luetgert and his wife had widely different notions as to how large a sausage plant ought to be built. Luetgert had visions of a six-story building, with railroad tracks running to it and loaded cars at the doors. Mrs. Luetgert wished her husband to invest $40,000 in the new plant and the balance of their savings in some other investment. Luetgert had his own way. During the year of the World's fair Luetgert cleared $75,000 from sausage business. At that time he was reputed to be worth about $300,000. Mrs. Luetgert, It is said, never ceased to chide her husband for putting all his savings in the plant, even when profits piled up with dazzling swiftness. Mrs. Luetgert, with the most comfortable house for a mile around, was not envied, however. When she saw the change in her husband's habits she fretted and chided, till Luetgert flnally went to live among his dogs in the factory. He fitted up a sleeping room in hls office, and his bulky frame never waf: seen in the house except at meal times. Luetgert had invested practically evtiy penny he and his wife saved in his sausage plant. He borrowed almost as much more to complete it, and as mo?t of his business was done on credit, when the hard times carne he had no capital with which to go on. When he -.vas obliged to borrow right and left, Mrs. Luetgert lost no chance to remind him that if he had followed her advice Ue would have been all right. Family Jars Increased. Last February Luetgert's factory closed down. When proflts ceased to pile up Mrs. Luetgert's scoldings and the family Jars increased. Mary Siemering had in the meantime come to iive with the Luetgerts, and Luetgert's fondness for her, it is said, increased the bltterness between him and his wife. Financial ruin stared Luetgert in the face by the middle of April. The sausage-maker and his wife saw that the factory was almost certain to pass into the hands of the sheriff, for notes were falling due, there was no income to jjg.y them from, and butchers and market men who were in Luetgert's debt were unable to help him out of difficulty in the hard times. Mrs. Luetgert, who had seen her advice thrown to the wind s, and her dire predictions all come true, lost no opportunity to scold her busband for his folly. The reports of the Luetgert family disturbances inereased throughout the neighborhood and were the object of many conferences among Mrs. Luetgert's relatives.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News