Born: Sunday, January 17, 1841, Doerzbach, Germany
Died: Sunday, December 14, 1919, Chicago
John Kranz, who opened Kranz Candies at 126 N. Michigan Avenue in 1871, created a specialty called "mice," little pink, brown and white creatures made from sugar and chocolate, nestled in a beautiful, glossy box.
He decorated his store with bolts of white satin and life-size, moving swans. The place attracted children of all ages. By the time the store closed in 1947, it had a file of more than 2,000 standing orders from people all over the world.
Chicago Tribune, Monday, December 15, 1919, page 17
John M. Kranz, State Street Candyman, Dies
John M. Kranz, who was said to have been the oldest living State Street merchant died yesterday, Sunday, December 14, 1919, at his home, 1547 N. Dearborn Parkway. Mr. Kranz had been engaged in the candy business in Chicago for the last 50 years (1869). He was born in Doerzbach, Germany, Sunday, January 17, 1841. He came to America in 1861 and settled in Philadelphia, moving to Chicago in 1868. A year later (1869) he founded a candy establishment on Blue Island Avenue. In the same year, 1869, he married Florentine Kranz, nee: Florentine Bunte who died in 1915.
In 1871, he moved his establishment to its present (1919) location at 17 W. Randolph Street. He was a great believer in the future of Chicago real estate and acquired large holdings in the Loop. He was a member of the South Shore Country Club. He is survived by five daughters.