In 1892, in Obertal, Germany a little girl was born to John and
Kathrin Brown Morlok. They named her Marie and could not have known
that she would grow up to come to America.
Marie Morlok arrived in the United States on September 28, 1909,
aged seventeen or eighteen. She married Emil Litzenberger, also
German born, on October 10, 1912.
Over the next forty years of their marriage they would raise one
daughter and three sons .... and bake a great deal of history in Franklinville.
Twelve years into their marriage, on May 24, 1924, Emil
Litzenberger bought a bakery in Franklinville and moved his family here.
The building which housed the Quality Bakery still stands on the
east side of Park Square, at the entrance to Pine Street. There had
been a bakery at that location for years before Emil came here.
Agnes M. Case had built the building in 1882 and ownership of it had
through several pairs of floured hands before Mr. Litzenberger purchased it.
Naming it The Quality Bakery, Emil and Marie proceeded to prove
that to be unfailingly true. They operated the bakery for the next
twenty six years, through the depression and the second World War.
Until the advent of World War II they also ran a bread and roll
originally with a Model T truck, to surrounding areas. Shortages of
both gasoline and baking supplies forced the discontinuance of the
delivery route after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
It is not known which of the building's owners had the huge brick
oven built into the back of the shop which Litzenbergers used for all
those years. The oven was removed sometime after the building ceased to
be owned by the Litzenbergers.
Supplies came in from many sources ....flour, sugar and shortening
came by rail and later by truck ...... and baked goods went far and wide
as the years went by. Salt rising bread, a specialty of the Quality
Bakery, was mailed by family or friends to people now living far away
who got hungry for the home town bread. Sweet rolls were carried
overseas on airplanes by those who traveled on a wider scale. And here
in Franklinville little people frequently bought one jelly filled donut
to eat on the way to school.
In 1950 Emil and Marie sold to their son Bill and his wife Betty
.... and the wonderful quality of the baked goods and the friendliness
and warmth of the bakery continued. In addition, Bill attended the
Wilton School in Chicago and returned to create beautifully decorated,
wonderfully flavored cakes for any occasion.
The Quality Bakery marked fifty years of continuous family
operation in 1974. Sometime later Bill and Betty Litzenberger retired,
and village residents suffered one of their larger losses.
On June 16, 1992 the completion of a siding project on the building
covered the Quality Bakery sign which, painted on the north side of the
building, had been a part of the village scenery for many, many years.
The last vestige of the Quality Bakery had disappeared.