ITS HISTORY AND TRADITION
W. J. KASS
Among those who stand as distinguished types of the world's workers is William J. Kass, an able and honored attorney of Sioux City, where he has long been numbered among the most successful members of the bar. As one of those who have lent dignity and honor to his profession, and who have been eminently public spirited in their efforts to advance the prosperity and welfare of the community, it is most consonant that in this work there be entered a tribute to his worth. Mr. Kass was born in East Dubuque, Illinois, onNovember 2, 1875, and is a son of Nicholas and Elizabeth (Mich)Kass, both of whom were born in the grand duchy of Luxembourg, and came in childhood to this country with their respective families, the Kass family settling in Illinois and the Mich family in Wisconsin. Their marriage occurred in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and subsequently they moved to East Dubuque, Illinois, where the father engaged in
blacksmithing. During this period he made some of the iron work for the noted Cooper wagons. In 1876 he went to Plymouth county, Iowa, where he bought a farm, which contained but few improvements. The following year, 1877, the grasshoppers completely ruined his crops and he againgot out his anvil and bellows and took up blacksmithing as a means of supporting the family. In 1885 he sold his farm to Plymouth county, to be used as the county poor farm, and
he then engaged in the grain business for a short time inLe Mars, buying for the Gehlen Milling Company. Later he turned his attention to the agricultural implement business in partnership with a Mr. Priestly. About this time he also, in company with his eldest son, established the mercantile business of N. Kass & Son, at Remsen, Iowa, andin 1888 moved his family to that place.He also engaged in the grain business there in partnership with a Mr. Brucher, under the firm name of Brucher & Kass, a business with which he was identified until his death. The mercantile firm of N. Kass & Son had undergone several changes in ownership, always remaining in the family. Nicholas Kass
transferred his interest in the business to his two sons, Nicholas and George, who conducted it under the name of Kass Brothers for a number of years. Later George sold hisinterest to Nicholas, under whose name it was continued
for some years. About 1918 the business was incorporated as the Nicholas Kass Company, he having taken his sons into partnership and practically turned the management of the store over to them. He then founded other stores at Marcus
and at Sanborn, Iowa, and holds a controlling interest in the three stores.
To Nicholas and Elizabeth Kass were born eight children, six sons and two daughters, of whom four sons and a daughter survive, namely: Nicholas J., of Remsen, in the organization of which city he was one of the important
factors, and who served many years on the school board of that place; George, a retired merchant of Fort Dodge, Iowa; Lewis J., a merchant at Tyndall, South Dakota; Emma, who lives in Los Angeles, California; and William J.
The last named attended the district schools of Plymouth county, the parochial schools of Le Mars and Remsen and the high school at the latter place. In 1894, at the age of eighteen years, he accepted the position of cashier of the Bank of Remsen, where he remained three years, resigning in the fall of 1898 to enter the law school of the University of Michigan, where he studied law and political science. He was graduated, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws,in 1901, and then returned to Remsen and entered into a lawpartnership with his brother, Jacob F., under the firm name of Kass Brothers. At the same time the firm opened a law office in the Toy building, in Sioux City, Jacob F. Kass looking after the Sioux City office for about thirteenyears, William J. Kass remaining in the Remsen office.In 1914 he removed to Sioux City, the Remsen office being turned over to Frank A. Sievers, who hadbeen admitted to the firm under the name of Kass Brothers & Cievers. In 1919 Albert G. Kass, who was born September 9, 1890, the son ofNicholas, Jr., and Margaret (Hoffman) Kass, entered the firm.Albert G. Kass had just returned from France, where he had served sixteen months as a lieutenant in the Eight Hundred and Ninth Pioneer Infantry. In 1906, William J. and Jacob F. Kass and others organized the First National Bank of Remsen, of which William J. Kass was made president, which position he still fills. Albert G. Kass attended Iowa State University, where he was graduated in 1911, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, was admitted to the bar in 1916 and then completed his course in the law school of the same university in 1917. He was married to Miss Ruth Drews, of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in February, 1920, and they have a son, Robert D., born May 25, 1921. He is a member of Sioux City Lodge, No. 112, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, and of the Knights of Columbus.
Jacob F. Kass was born in East Dubuque, Illinois, January 31, 1873, and secured his education in the public and parochial schools at Le Mars. After clerking in his father's store a year, he studied law in the office of F.M.
Roseberry, at Le Mars, and in the following year entered the law school of the University of Michigan, where he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1895.He then formed a partnership with his former preceptor, becoming a member of the firm of Zink & Roseberry, which in a short time became Zink, Roseberry & Kass.In 1897 he opened an office of his own in Remsen, being alone until his brother, William J., became associated with him in 1901. He then moved to Sioux City, from which time he was actively identified with legal business here until his death, September 7, 1925. He was a democrat in politics and was twice a delegate to national conventions of that party. He was a communicant of the Epiphany Cathedral Roman Catholic parish at Sioux City and was a member of the Knights ofColumbus. He belonged to Sioux City Lodge, No. 112, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Sioux City Country Club, the Germania Club and the University of Michigan Alumni Association. He was a director of the First National Bank of Remsen and of the Le Mars Savings Bank.
William J. Kass was married in 1907 to Miss Catherine Hiegel, of Tipton, Iowa, and to their union were born two children, namely:Florence, who is a student in Sacred Heart College, Lake Forrest, Illinois; and William Jacob, who is in the grade schools.Mr. Kass is a member of Sioux CityLodge, No. 112, B. P. O. E., and the Knights of Columbus, and also belongs to the Sioux City Boat Club, the Sioux City Country Club and the University of Michigan Alumni Association. He is a communicant of the Roman Catholic church. As a lawyer Mr. Kass is the peer of any of his colleagues of the Woodbury county bar and during the years of his identification with the practice of law here he has always enjoyed the fullest measure of confidence and respect.