This blog is dedicated to my parents, brothers, sister, and cousins who are descendants of Johannes (John) Gutke and Johanna Mork Gutke (pictured above). I am in the process of posting everything I have, so that I can back up documents/photos and also access the info from any location. There are likely to be mistakes, so check back often and feel free to comment if you have corrections!


Deniane Gutke Kartchner


Oscar Gutke Gets his Child

Salt Lake Tribune 1896-07-03

Recovered His Child.
Oscar Gutke resorts to strategy.

After a Separation of Two Years He Gets his Child Away from Her Parents [sic]--Now Living in Mexico.

Marie Hazel Gutke, a tiny lass of three summers, with blond, curling locks and charming infantile ways, has found again a father's love and protection. That a parent and child should be re-united after a separation of two years is not remarkable, but it is in the method of little Miss Gutke's reunion with her father that interest mainly centers. Strategy brought about the meeting and as a result the little girl who on Wednesday night slept in Terrace, last night prattled to her father in this city.

Oscar Gutke was in the employ of the Central Pacific at Terrace when the A. R. U. strike was begun two years ago. The strike over, he found his occupation gone. Misfortunes continued to multiply and within a few days his wife took sick and died, leaving to his care one child, a baby girl of a year. Mrs. Gutke was interred in Ogden, where, after the funeral, Gutke says an interesting and impressive incident occurred. He says that his father-in-law, Mr. Player of Terrace, inveigled him into a room, then told him point blank that he must give up his baby girl. Gutke says that Player threatened something serious if he refused to relinquish the child. Gutke was in poor financial circumstances at the time. He was broken in spirit and though he clung to his child with a bereaved father's tenderness, the argument proved too strong and he submitted. Player took his daughter's child to his home in Terrace, while Gutke went to Richmond in Cache county, to the home of his mother. Soon he left there for Mexico and going into the service of the Mexican Central railroad, he was rapidly promoted utnil he was given regular charge of a train as conductor at a good salary. Though he had temporized and apparently acceded to the demand of Mr. Player, he never intended, he says, to allow his child to remain permanently with her grandparents. As he prospered financially, the yearning for his little daughter increased. A few days ago he took a vacation and came direct to Salt Lake, arriving on Monday last. He was confident that the courts would give him possession of his child, but his time was limited and he feared the delay incident to judicial proceedings. In consequence he determined to resort to strategy.

He employed Detective Franks to devise some scheme by which possession could be gained of the child. Franks hied him to Terrace Monday evening. Yesterday Gutke followed him. After consultation, Gutke called upon his mother-in-law, who in the absence of her husband, was in sole charge of the much-desired youngster. What course Franks mapped out for Gutke could not be learned, but what occurred is this: Gutke gave his mother-in-law what a railroad man would call "a dead smooth game of talk" with the result that the child was given in his keeping for a time. At noon the Salt Lake train was lying at the depot and Gutke was wheeling his daughter nonchalently along the platform looking carelessly at the passengers. When he reached the rear Pullman his ease of manner suddenly departed. He lifted the infant from her carriage and boarded the Pullman. Meanwhile Detective Franks had drawn a formidable six-shooter and stood guard at the door of the sleeper. But there was no attempt at rescue, and soon the train pulled out from the station. When the train reached Salt Lake just before midnight, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew C. Brixen, the latter of whom is Mr. Gutke's sister, were in waiting with a carriage and the party drove to Mr. Brixen's home.

Mrs. Wilcox, another sister of Mr. Gutke, who is also a resident of the City of Mexico, accompanied him and his daughter to the Mexican capital.

It is anticipated that legal proceedings may be instituted by the grandparents to regain possession of the little girl, but the father believes that now he holds the winning hand by having the child.


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