Henry B. Lautz

HENRY B. LAUTZ has hardly attained that period in life when he might be described as a middle aged man. Nevertheless he is a veteran in railroad circles, and beginning as a boy of fourteen in the capacity of messenger he has been steadily with the Santa Fe Railway Company, enjoying successive promotions based on merit and efficiency until he is now superintendent of the Middle Division of the Santa Fe lines at Newton.

Mr. Lautz was born in Pekin, Illinois, August 2, 1876. His grandfather, Wendell Lautz, was born in Germany in 1801 and became a German machinist. Coming to America more than half a century ago, he located at Pekin, Illinois, and lived there until his death in 1893. The father of Henry B. Lautz was George Lautz, who was born in Darmstadt, Germany, in 1846 and came to America with his parents when a small boy. He was reared and married at Pekin, Illinois, and became a contractor and builder. For a short time he lived in Kansas, but retired and went to California, where he died in 1912. He was a republican in politics. The maiden name of his wife was Barbara Bitzel. She was born near Heidelberg, Germany in 1846, and is now living with her only son and child at Newton.

Henry B. Lautz was brought to Topeka, Kansas, in 1880 by his mother, and grew up in that city, attending the public schools. At the age of fourteen he left school to become messenger boy in the telegraph department of the Santa Fe Railway at Topeka. Learning rapidly and making the most of his opportunity he was advanced to different responsibilities in the general manager's offices and in 1900 was transferred to Chicago as assistant chief clerk in the president's office. In December, 1901, he returned to Topeka as chief clerk in the general manager's office, and from July, 1905, until December, 1916 was assistant to the general manager at Topeka. At the latter date he was promoted to his present position as superintendent of the Middle Division of the Santa Fe lines at Newton. His offices are in the Dotson Building.

Mr. Lautz is a republican and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He and his family live in a comfortable home at 202 West Eighth Street. November 14, 1906, he married at Topeka Miss Edith Ott, daughter of Simon S. and Julia (Dannenfelser) Ott. Her parents live in Topeka, her father being a well known banker in that city. Mr. and Mrs. Lautz have two children: Philip Ott, born March 5, 1911; and Barbara, born June 21, 1913.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918, transcribed by Tabitha Smith, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, May 2, 2000.

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