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Guide to the Stroeh Family and Unnasch Family Papers, 1877-2006 (bulk 1910s-1960s) MSS 102

Guide to the Stroeh Family and Unnasch Family Papers, 1877-2006 (bulk 1910s-1960s)

MSS 102

Summary Information

Personal papers and photographs of La Crosse, Wis., residents, Fern (Stroeh) Unnasch (1917-1981) and her husband Ernest Unnasch (1918-1996). The bulk of the collection consists of black and white family photographs related to the Stroeh and Unnasch families which connects with the Heberlein, Krause, Ready, Schumacher, Schieche, Secor, and Smolek families. Beside family images, other photographs include pictures of the Shelby Dairy truck, the Stroeh farm in the town of Shelby, a Shelby fire truck, the La Crosse Garment Workers (1938), Hamilton Homemakers, and Shelby Homemakers. Photographs of La Crosse, Wis., residences include 1020 So. 4th St., 1220 So. 4th St., and 223 No. 23rd St. Additional materials include brief family trees; newspaper clippings (1918-2006); a scrapbook (1941-1942); photographs of friends; two milk/cream caps marked “Shelby Dairy” and “Joe Stroeh;” and an 1877 marriage certificate which appears to be written in the German language for Franz Dobbratz and Auguste Behnke.
Collection Title
Stroeh Family and Unnasch Family Papers
Date of Materials [bulk]
Bulk, 1910-1969
Date of Materials [inclusive]
Stroeh family
Unnasch family
Call Number
MSS 102
1.6 cubic feet
Physical Description
4 archives boxes
Language of Materials
La Crosse Public Library Archives

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Stroeh Family and Unnasch Family Papers, MSS 102, La Crosse Public Library Archives, La Crosse, WI

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Biographical Note

Fern (Stroeh) Unnasch, daughter of John “Jack” Stroeh (1894-1944) and Lucy Heberlein Stroeh (1894-1945), was born on Dec. 14, 1917, in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She was the granddaughter of Joseph Stroeh (1868-1929) and Louisa Schieche Stroeh (1871-1963) and August F. Heberlein (1864-1921) and Anna Krause Heberlein (1863-1918).

Fern married Ernest Unnasch on June 25, 1941 at First Lutheran Church in La Crosse. Ernest was born on July 17, 1918, in Winona County, Minnesota, the son of Paul and Anna (Ready) Unnasch.

Fern and Ernest made their home in La Crosse. Ernest worked for the G. Heileman Brewing Company for 35 years before retiring in 1980. Fern died on July 23, 1981. The couple had no children. Ernest married his second wife, Evelyn Koplin Worst, on Nov. 28, 1981. Ernest died on March 5, 1996.

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Scope and Contents

Materials in this collection primarily pertain to families related to Fern (Stroeh) Unnasch and Ernest Unnasch. Other items relate to businesses, residences, and organizations that had a connection to the families. The bulk of the collection is made up of black and white photographs.

History materials include newspaper clippings (1918-2006), several brief hand-written family trees for the Stroeh and Unnasch families, and a scrapbook of newspaper clippings (1941-1942).

Local business materials include a photograph of a Shelby Dairy truck, a photograph of Jack Stroeh delivering milk, and two milk/cream caps marked “Shelby Dairy” and “Joe Stroeh.” Also the Heileman Brewery and F. A. Kraft Brewery are photographed.

Farms and residences items consist of photographs of La Crosse, Wis., homes at 1020 So. 4th St., 1220 So. 4th St., and 233 No. 23rd St. Photographs of the Stroeh Farm in the town of Shelby in La Crosse County are also included and on Highway 33.

Family photographs are separated into family groups. Most are black and white and sizes vary. Some individuals in photographs have been identified on the back by Fern Stroeh Unnasch, and other individuals have been identified by Archives staff based on Unnasch’s information. Family groups include the Heberlein family, Krause family, Ready family, Schumacher family, Schieche family, Secor family, Smolek family, Stroeh family, and Unnasch family. Photograph albums are included for the Heberlein and Unnasch families in addition to the loose photographs. A separate folder is included for the John and Lucy (Heberlein) family; childhood photographs of Fern (Stroeh) Unnasch are found with these materials. Another Stroeh family folder is included for images of a town of Shelby fire truck showing Ed Mundstock, Ray Grisen, Wencel “Pitt” Beranek, and Rudy Smolek. These images are on CD-ROM. A separate folder is also included for photographs of the Ernest and Fern (Stroeh) Unnasch family.

Included with family materials are photographs of Chicago relatives. Many of these photographs are unidentified, but some that are include the surnames Merkel/Merkle, Elke, Klank, Schaefer, and Groebe.

Photographs of friends of the Stroeh/Unnasch family include Gordon and Charlotte (Gilbertson) Becker; Leona Beier; Robert Bosshard; Joe and Marion (Eberle) Briggs; Bert Eberlie; the Ender family; the Roy Franz family; Pastor Julius Gamm of First Evangelical Lutheran Church in La Crosse, Wis.; Teddy Harms; the Carl and Dorothy Helke family; Carl and Bernice Helwig; Lucy Jensen; the Kubiak family; the Gustave Marquart family; Louise Mauer; Ann Meyer; George and Ann Miller; the Samuel Miller family; Marianne Scholz; the Amy Senn family and their farm in Fountain City, Wis.; Donald Shaller; Ida Steppe; and the Bill and Helen Stingl family.

Miscellaneous materials include a 1932 graduation program from an unidentified school and an 1877 marriage certificate which appears to be written in the German language for Franz Dobbratz and Auguste Behnke.

Organization photographs include the La Crosse Garment Workers (1938), the Hamilton Homemakers, and the Shelby Homemakers.

Photographs of unidentified individuals make up the rest of the collection. Some photographs were in the folder of a professional photographer, and therefore the city where the photograph was taken could be determined. Some of these photographs were taken in La Crosse, Wis., while others were taken in Janesville, Wis.; Baraboo, Wis.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Winona, Minn.; Indiana Harbor, Ind.; and Lakeland, Fla.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

La Crosse Public Library Archives 2006 June

800 Main St.
La Crosse, Wisconsin, 54601
(608) 789-7136

Access to Materials

Materials in this collection are available for patron use.

Acquisitions Information

(Accession no. 2005.091) Purchased by William Doering from the Evelyn Unnasch estate and donated to the La Crosse Public Library

(Accession no. 2006.034) Donated by Mary Sween

(Accession no. 2006.035) Donated by Gloria Biesen

Processing Information

Processed by Christine Stolz, 2006 June

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Controlled Access Headings

Family Name(s)

  • Stroeh family
  • Unnasch family

Geographic Name(s)

  • La Crosse (Wis.)--Photographs
  • Shelby (Wis.)--Photographs

Personal Name(s)

  • Unnasch, Ernest, 1918-1996
  • Unnasch, Fern Stroeh, 1917-1981

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Collection Inventory


Box Folder

Family trees 

1 1

Newspaper clippings, 1918-2006 

1 2

Scrapbook, 1941-1942 

1 3


Box Folder

Heileman Brewery 

1 3A

Kraft (F. A.) Brewery 

1 3B

Shelby Dairy 

1 4

Farms and residences 

Box Folder

1020 South 4th Street (La Crosse, Wisconsin) 

1 5

1220 South 4th Street (La Crosse, Wisconsin) 

1 6

223 North 23rd Street (La Crosse, Wisconsin) 

1 7

Highway 33 

1 7A

Stroeh farm 

1 8

Family photographs 

Box Folder

Chicago relatives 

2 1-2

Heberlein family 

1 9-13

Krause family 

1 14

Ready family 

2 3

Schieche family 

2 4

Schumacher family 

2 5

Secor family 

2 6

Smolek family 

2 7

Stroeh family 

Box Folder


2 8

Shelby fire truck 

2 9

Stroeh, John and Lucy (Heberlein) family 

2 10-11
Box Folder Box Folder

Unnasch family 

3 1-2 2 12

Friends' photographs 

Box Folder

Becker, Gordon and Charlotte (Gilbertson) 

3 3

Beier, Leona 

3 4

Bosshard, Robert 

3 5

Briggs, Joe and Marion (Eberle) 

3 6

Eberlie, Bert 

3 7

Ender family 

3 8

Franz, Roy A. family 

3 9

Gamm, Pastor Julius 

3 10

Harms, Teddy 

3 11

Helke, Carl and Dorothy family 

3 12

Helwig, Carl and Bernice 

3 13

Jensen, Lucy 

3 14

Kubiak family 

3 15

Marquart, Gustave family 

3 16

Mauer, Louise 

3 17

Meyer, Ann 

3 18

Miller, George and Ann 

3 19

Miller, Samuel family 

3 20

Scholz, Marianne 

3 21

Senn, Amy family 

3 22

Shaller, Donald 

3 23

Steppe, Ida 

3 24

Stingl, Bill and Helen family 

3 25
Box Folder

Miscellaneous, 1877, 1932 

3 26


Box Folder

Garment Workers, 1938 

3 27

Hamilton Homemakers 

3 28

Shelby Homemakers 

3 29

Unidentified photographs 

Box Folder


3 30

La Crosse, Wisconsin area 

4 1-2

Other towns 

4 3