Family owned and operating since 1891, Krzyske Brothers Hardware, Lumber, Propane and Feed serves the community and aims to maintain, improve and build your everyday projects.
In 1891 Ludwig Benjamin August Krzyske, a German immigrant, opened a blacksmith/wagon shop in Waltz, Michigan. In the years to come he added lumber, building materials and farm supplies, and by 1910 he added coal for home heating. After three years he bought a burnt-out general store in the center of town and branched out into groceries and hardware supplies.
Emil A., Carl F. and their brother in law Henry Rademacher, bought the business in 1921. Mr. Rademacher took over management of a creamery behind the store, where farmers from the area took milk to process it, the train would stop and take it to Detroit. The Krzyske brothers eventually bought the creamery from Mr. Rademacher. As trucks became a more common form of transport and trains stopped less frequently in the town, the creamery closed in the early 30s.
In 1936 the company began selling propane, and in 1937 the creamery building was converted to a coal manufacturing plant. Elwood, the first of Emil’s sons became manager of the coal plant, while he was still going to school. That started the third generation, Emil’s children Elwood, Lyle, Noreen, Nelda, Emil J., Donna, Mildred and Elden and Carl F.’s children Carl and Lenore continued and grew the business.
Today Lyle’s sons Wynn and Kent, and Emil J.’s son John are the fourth generation of caretakers. They expanded into Carleton with a hardware store in 2006 and purchased the Waltz Feed store in 2017. The fifth generation includes Wynn’s son Kyle, Kent’s son Kent and John’s daughter Rachel.
A lot has changed in over 100 years, including the spelling of Krzyszke/Krzyske, but a customer’s comment still holds true "We are hard to spell, but easy to get along with".