Appendix 2: Obituary of William Charles Kreie
William C. Kreie, Retired C&NW R.R. Engineer, Dies
William C. Kreie, 78, retired Chicago & North Western railway engineer, and a resident of Antigo for most of his railroad career, died at 11 p.m. Sunday at his home in Manitowoc. He had been in failing health and bedridden since he broke his hip in December.
Mr. Kreie was born in the town of Newton, Manitowoc county, June 19, 1877. He married Elida Hollander of Manitowoc in 1902. She preceded him in death as did a son, Edward, in 1933, and a daughter, Blanche, in 1913. In 1948 he was married to Margaret Kornrumpf of Manitowoc, who survives.
Also included in the survivors are four children: Clarence, of Indianapolis, Ind.: Mrs. Ruth Fiebke, Albany, New York; Mrs. Marian Garrett, Colfax, Iowa; and Mrs. Mildred Janasak, Antigo. Mr. Kreie also left four brother and a sister: Adolph of Stetsonville, Wis.; Walter and Herman of Manitowoc; Robert of Indianapolis, and Mrs. Emma Metzgar of Manitowoc.
After 42 years of railroad service, Mr. Kreie was pensioned in 1943. He was promoted from fireman to engineer in 1906. He was a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Engineers, Lodge 634, of Antigo, a member of the F. and A. M. Masonic lodge* of Antigo, and a member of the Low Twelve club** of the same lodge. He had been a member of St. Ambrose Episcopal Church, Antigo.
The body is at the Pfeffer funeral home where services will be conducted by the Rev. Franklin C. St. Clair. The time has not yet been set. (It was held at 11 a.m. Wednesday.)
*F. and A. M. refers to Free and Accepted Masons. How did the words "free" and "accepted" originate? The ancient craftsmen were very skilled, and their craft was considered to be indispensible to the welfare of both church and state. For this reason, they were not placed under the same restrictions of other workers – they were "free" to do their work, travel and live their lives in a manner which befitted their importance.
In Medieval England, this freedom of movement was almost unheard. Most workers were under bond to the owners of the land on which they worked. We believe this freedom for the operative mason may date back as far as the year 946 in York.
The word "accepted" also goes back to the time of the operative mason. During the latter years of the Middle Ages, there were few educated men outside the monasteries of the church. Naturally, men wanted to become Freemasons to get the advantages the Craft had to offer. These men did not necessarily want to build buildings, they wanted to belong to the organization.
These were "accepted" Masons rather than operative masons. This practice probably originated when some of the people for whom craftsmen were working asked to be admitted and the practice grew with time. This was a big boost to Masonry, because the secret techniques of building trades were becoming more widely known, the requirements of architecture were changing, and our operative membership was declining. By becoming "speculative," we grew rapidly.
As time went on, there became more and more of the accepted members than there were operative members. Sometime in the late seventeenth century, we believe the accepted masons outnumbered the operative masons, and we became a speculative organization rather than operative one.
** Begun as death benefit clubs the Low Twelve Clubs are in reality an insurance society, and in a majority of States are under the rules and supervision of the State Insurance Commission. Benefits are not guaranteed, the amounts paid depending on the size of the club. A club is usually organized near a Lodge, of which each member is by virtue of the fact eligible for membership in the Club.