THE WYANDOTTE WAGON & CARRIAGE WORKS has been run as an incorporated company for many years, but in June, 1911, it was bought by James Gerlecz, so that now his interests and that of the company are identical. The Wyandotte Wagon & Carriage Works is doing a large business, principally in the nature of repairing wagons and carriages. As Mr. Gerlecz has been in Kansas City such a short time, a few words in regard to his past history may be of interest to his patrons and acquaintances.
James Gerlecz is a native of Hungary, where he was born April 6, 1882. He spent his childhood and youth in his home town, where he attended the excellent public schools that have recently been installed for the Magyar race, and he there learned the machinist trade. He was industrious and skilful, but the rate of wages in Hungary is less than one-fifth that which is paid for the same work in America, and be decided to try his fortunes in the United States. In 1902, in the spring of the year, he bade farewell to his beloved Hungary, with its ever blue Danube, and came across the continent of Europe, where he took passage for America. He first located at Newark, Ohio, where he gained employment with a very large concern, but it was not his intention to work for others very long, and as soon as an opportunity arose, he came to Kansas City - in the fall of the year in which he had landed in America, and in Kansas City he secured a position with the Union Pacific Railroad Company. He worked in the shops of this company until the month of June, 1911, at which time he bought the Wyandotte Carriage & Wagon Works, as above indicated. Mr. Gerlecz is a prefect master of his business, and he has so readily entered into the American ways of doing things that his success in the new venture is assured. He not only knows how to turn out good work, but he seems instinctively to understand how to handle customers and keep them in good humor. He, like most of his countrymen, is a born linguist, and has readily gained a command of the American tongue, so that he is not handicapped in that regard.
In 1905 Mr. Gerlecz was united in marriage to Miss Anna Nemeth, the daughter of John Nemeth, a resident of Kansas City, where the wedding occurred. To this union two children have been born, Irene and Goldie, but little Goldie was not destined to battle with the world, as in the month of July, 1909, the little, frail, eight months' old baby, died and was buried in St. John's cemetery, mourned by her parents and the small sister who was too young to realize the extent of her loss.
Mr. Gerlecz's father, Frank Gerlecz, is still living in Hungary, where he buried his wife, Katie (Rengal) Gerlecz, in 1897, at the age of forty-two. Mr. James Gerlecz has that spirit of determination which is bound to have its effect, and although the wagon works has been a prosperous concern, it is evident from the manner in which its present proprietor has commenced his active connection with these works, that they will be the gainers by the changed managers.
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