Kate Gingold Host / Wednesday, April 15, 2020 / Categories: Brief History Naperville 1920 Flashback: The Kroehler Co. Baseball Team In May of 1920, Kroehler Manufacturing put together a baseball team for the Fox Valley Industrial League. The team reads like a “Who’s Who” of Naperville history including:F.J. Wehrli – lived in the Pre-Emption house and raised 13 children thereRobert Shimp – his family had a local farm and some served in the fire departmentClarence and Albert Stenger – of the brewery familyLouis Germann – his family started with a harness business in the 1890sFred Yanke – Naperville firefighterHenry Stoner – family started blacksmith shop in 1870sJames and Clarence Kroehler – nephews of PeterJoe Haas – his brother Bert became a pro ball playerErnest and William Voss – brother Julian ran for Police MagistrateElmer Otterpohl – the family had a butcher shop and sausage businessLeo Koppa – served in the fire departmentClarence and Frank Barley – Clarence was involved in building the YMCAFred Shupp, Ray Ballman and Jeff Burke are also listed. They were all Kroehler employees, but kept lower profiles, apparently, since there wasn't much to be found about them. Many of these men also served in World War I.Peter Kroehler was wildly successful, but the company also weathered quite a few storms. Some storms were literal – like the 1913 tornado that destroyed the first 5th Avenue factory – and some were more figurative such as the Great Depression. Kroehler himself spent two months in the early 1900s quarantined with smallpox. But he continued developing new ways to run his business and build employee morale which resulted in enviable success and loyalty.100 years later, our own businesses in these opening months of 2020 are facing both figurative storms and quarantine. Now it’s our turn to develop new ways to run our businesses and build employee morale so we can also be wildly successful.By the way, the newly-formed Kroehler team faced the previous year's pennant winners for their very first game. You'll be happy to know that the Kroehler team won! Previous Article Naperville 1920 Flashback: Big Fires Start the Year Next Article Naperville 1920 Flashback: Cornerstone Day Print 246 Rate this article: No rating Please login or register to post comments.