The Franz Family
The story begins in the small village of Rothsaifen, Austria. On October 5, 1882 Engelbert Franz was born. He was the second child in a family which would eventually include five children — Ignatz was the eldest, followed by Engelbert, Marie, Joseph and Theodor.
Since 1921, the Franz family had owned a farm in the community. The land was hilly, the soil was poor, and the winters were brutal. With a family of five children to suport in these conditions, the children's father, Engelbert, Sr., soon found himself deeply in debt and was forced to mortgage the farm. With the encouragement of relatives in America, Engelbert decided to travel overseas to work and raise the money needed to pay off the mortgage.
Engelbert worked at a bakery in Portland, Oregon for two years, then returned to Rothsaifen with his savings and paid off his debt.
Over the next several years, Engelbert, Jr. watched as his father struggled to make a living on the family farm. He dreamed of going to America and getting a good job but didn't have the money for the trip. Writing to an uncle who had a bakery in Portland, he promised that if he was sent the money for the trip, he would work at the bakery and repay the full amount. Needing reliable help, his relative sent the ticket.