My grandfather was Frank Martin Troge, son of August Karl
Troge and Martha Maria Kratzke. ( See a link to their story on the Troge
Frank was born on a
January 12, 1895, in
Germany. We believe his birth was a short distance outside of the towns
of Rederitz or Stabitz.
Three days later he was taken to a church in Freudenfier
to be christened. His godparents were Emil Boch and Mrs. Maria Manz,
believed to be friends of the family.
Frank was the first of 8 children born to August and
As a young boy, he went to school and played with his
friends and siblings in Stabitz. After hearing his parents talk
incessantly about going to
America and finding a
better life, the little family’s dream finally came true. Frank was just
six and a half years old when his family came to the United States. They
arrived in New York at Elllis Island on July 11, 1901.
The Troge family first lived in
Omaha, Nebraska, and
later moved to Saginaw, Michigan. Frank started school in a Catholic
school in Omaha,
and then attended Wadsworth School in Saginaw from about 1903 - 1905.
When the family moved into
Frank went to Mershon School from about 1905 – 1909. His siblings
Anna and Ben also attended school there.
When Frank was about 14 years old, (probably after 8th
grade), he left school. He then went to work at the Mershon Lumber
Company located on
N. Michigan Avenue
When his father, August, bought a farm in
Frank went along and helped run the farm for a while. They soon had a
few clashes about the daily operation, and Frank eventually left. He
and probably went back to work at the Mershon Lumber Company.
Sometime later, it is believed that Frank went out to the
Reese area to work on a farm there. That is where he met my grandmother,
Ruth Emma Seitz.
Ruth Emma was born
November 1, 1899 in
Sebewaing, Michigan. She was the second of five children born to Emich
Seitz and Emma M. Krebs. She was christened on May 20, 1900 in Sebewaing,
Huron County, Michigan.
Sometime between 1900 and 1905, Ruth Emma’s family moved
They lived on a farm at what is now
2670 Harnish Road.
Uncle Fred remembers the farm included the usual farm animals along with
guinea pigs, silver and Chinese ringneck pheasants, Shetland ponies, and
bantam chickens. Emich even experimented with grafting trees to produce
a variety of apples, as well as cherries, peaches, and plums all on the
same tree! What a fantastic place for a young child to grow up.
Ruth Emma’s father enjoyed working the farm, but he also
found it necessary to bring in some extra money by working for Uncle
Henry’s Coal mine, just a short distance away.
One of Gramma Ruth’s favorite memories was going with her
mother to get her father at the coal mine with a horse and buggy at
had to take a mud road with nothing but a lantern to light the way.
It isn’t clear where exactly Frank met Ruth Emma. I’d like
to believe it was at a church picnic, or a farming social event. But
meet they did and soon fell in love. The two were married
November 20, 1918 in
Their wedding photo
About this same time, Frank went to work for the Pere
Marquette Railroad. He became a boilermaker, working on steam
locomotives. In 1946 the Pere Marquette and
and Ohio railroads merged, and then Frank worked for a time rebuilding
and refurbishing passenger cars. Later he took the state exam and
became a licensed steam engineer. He continued working for C & O until
he retired about 1976.