Frank Rademacher, Joseph’s younger brother, was the first to come to America.
He was born in 1845 in Olpe, Germany. He came to America in 1868 at the age of 23. He had been drafted into the German army but like many young German men of that era, he left for America before his service started. According to family legend, he also left his girlfriend Josepha Kipp behind (yes, the Josepha that later married Joseph).
Frank did very well in America. How he ended up in Crete is not known; he was one of the very first German Catholic settlers in the area, so he did not come to join an existing community of his countrymen. He had received training as a draftsman in Germany and decided to try his hand at commerce rather than farming. He started a business as a cabinetmaker and since his skills were so often called upon for the construction of caskets, he expanded his business to include undertaking. Later, he co-founded a successful furniture store in Crete with his friend Theodore Nave.
He married a woman of Czech descent, Mary Pavlik, and they had seven children together. In 1894, the family completed their new home at the top of the highest hill in Crete. Today, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the “Rademacher House“. It has been fully restored and is truly beautiful.
When Frank first arrived in Crete, the nearest Catholic Church was in Lincoln – a distance of about 30 miles. It says in the “Red Book” that Frank would walk to Lincoln to attend Mass.
Frank and his family were notable members of the original St. James Catholic Church (later reorganized as Sacred Heart Catholic Church). Two of his daughters, Agnes (at right) and Gertrude, were especially involved in the music of the church as vocal soloist and organist, respectively. Frank’s son Gerard inherited the furniture store and continued its operation until his retirement.
Neither the furniture store nor the funeral home remain under Rademacher ownership today, nor does the famous Rademacher house. The three of Frank’s children who stayed in Crete never married; what happened to the other children is not known.