History of the Cartano Family
Item History
The Italian Heritage The first recorded history of the Cartano family is reported in a letter from Trace Cartano (daughter of Anton Cartano) to Dick Cartano in 1955. According to Trace, the family apparently came from Milan, Italy. Trace's sister Louise used to tell her that the Cartanos had a good background. She thought that there was some nobility in the family.

Trace wrote that her grandfather (Joannes) emigrated from Northern Italy into Germany at the age of seven. He was not very tall, had light hair and blue eyes. He married a German girl. His trade was a silversmith. He lived in Bavaria. They had at least one child, Antonius (Anton) Cartano. Anton inherited his dark hair and eyes from his German mother.

Anton had a wealthy uncle living in Milan, Italy who wanted to give Anton an education and to live with him. Anton was dispatched to Italy. When he arrived in Switzerland, the Swiss would not let him pass into Italy because of a war between the two countries. Anton went back to his parents in Germany. He was apprenticed to a fresco painter, and that was his trade until he came to America. He never liked fresco painting enough to work at it.
Journey to America All of the Cartanos living in America are descendants of one of the 16 children of Anton and Caroline Sophie Klein Cartano. Their remarkable journeys to America, family life in Iowa and Pennsylvania, struggles with the Catholic and Luthern Churches, and later deaths are recorded in several letters and obituaries.

On April 5, 1923, the Springville, Iowa New Era Newspaper, No. 35, wrote the following obituary for Caroline Cartano:

"OLD SETTLER DIES AFTER LONG ILLNESS; CAROLINE CARTANO AGED 93; Suffered A Broken Hip Two Years Ago Which Confined Her to Her Bed Until Death Released Her.

"Caroline Sophie Klein was born February 3, 1830 in Bischmisheim, near Saarbrucken, in Rhein Preuszen, Germany. She was the youngest daughter of Jacob and Caroline Klein.

"From the age of six to fourteen she attended the parochial school, at which time she was confirmed and received as a full member of the Lutheran Church to which she was faithful to the end. In the year 1850 she came to America, and on June 30, 1851, she was joined in marriage with Anton Cartano at Pottsville, Pennsylvania. They lived in Pennsylvania for twenty years and in 1869 came to Iowa.

"Mrs. Cartano was the mother of sixteen children. Eleven of whom grew to maturity. Ten of them survive her: John of Anamosa; Anton, Springville; Jacob, Ireton, Iowa; Elizabeth Buxler, Los Angeles, California; Charles and Louise of Springville; Daniel, Seattle, Washington; Richard, Monticello;Trace Embree, Madrid, Iowa; and Bert of Granger, Washington.

"On February 19, 1921, Mrs. Cartano suffered a fall from the results of which she had been confined to her bed to the time of her death. During all these years she bore her infirmity with the utmost patience. The end came on Tuesday evening, March 27, 1923 at the remarkable age of 93 years.

"Short funeral services were conducted by Rev. L. P. Drome of Lisbon, Ia. Assisted by Rev. W. H. Elges, pastor of the local Presbyterian church. The service was based upon a favorite passage of the deceased; 2nd Timothy 4:7,8: I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."

Trace Cartano provided more details about Caroline Cartano in a letter to Dick Cartano. According to Trace, Caroline Cartano's grandmother was a Wagner. She was a widow and lived with them. The grandmother often spoke of her two sons who were wonderful musicians. Trace never thought at that time that there was any connection with Richard Wagner, the famous musician, but later determined that one of the sons may have been Richard Wagner.

Caroline Cartano was a very good singer. She always sang in church. At one time, she and a boy sang a duet before the Emperor (apparently the father of the Emperor Willhelm).

Caroline Cartano came to America from Germany on a sailboat in 1850. She was on the ocean for six weeks in the boat.
Leaving the Catholic Church Antonio Cartano also had a colorful life in America. As a young man, he decided to abandon his trade as a fresco painter in Bavaria and start a new life in America. He met and married Caroline Klein Cartano shortly after coming to America.

The printed page attached to the historic photograph of the Antonio and Caroline Cartano family states that Antonio Cartano was arrogant and had a hot temper. This got him into trouble with the Catholic Church.

Antonio was raised as a Catholic. Caroline Klein was raised as a Luthern. All of their children were baptized Catholic. He was very strict with the children. They would go to mass in the morning and then go to the Luthern Church in the afternoon. Antonio became increasingly angry at the parish priest. Dick Cartano, his son, said that Antonio was justified in being angry due to the persistent efforts by the priest to get a larger donation to the Church when Antonio did not have the money. The priest came by Antonio's farm one day and told Antonio that he had to sell his cow to pay the tithe. Antonio told the priest that the cow was his source of livelihood, and that he could not sell it. The priest told him he had to sell it anyway. That may have been the final straw. Antonio kept his cow and left the Church. He and Caroline moved with their family from Pennsylvania to Waubec, Iowa where they lived on a small farm. They later moved to Springville, Iowa where they lived the rest of their lives.

One of the notes on a handwritten family tree states that Anton had a small business in Iowa, and that he was a proud, fine looking man with a violent temper. Anton and Caroline Cartano are now buried in Springville, Iowa.

The Church Records from St. John the Bapist Catholic Church between 1845-1860, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania show that one of the children of Antonio and Caroline Klein Cartano, who did not live to be an adult, was Joannes, born on September 18, 1852, and named after his grandfather. The records (http://files.usgwarchives.net/pa/schuylkill/church/stjohns002.txt) state:

Birthdate--September 18, 1852
Baptism--October 10, 1852
Name of infant: Joannes
Name and place of Origin of Parents: Antonius Cartano ex Bavaria et Carolina nata Klein ex Borussia
Village of Parents: Grossader
Name of grandfather: Joannes
Name with place of Origin of Godparents: Joannes Herz ex Bavaria and Josephina Pruh ex Baden
Pastor: Daniel Oberholzer
The Cartano Dynasty The story of Antonio and Caroline Klein Cartano was just the beginning. They brought into the world 16 beautiful children, 11 of whom grew to adults and 10 of whom lived their normal life expectancies. All of the children are now deceased, but they left behind stories and memories and were the foundation of the Cartano dynasty in the United States. The history of the fascinating and turbulent lives of the 11 Cartano children is recorded below.
Child No. 1–Anna Cartano Anna Cartano was the most ill-fated of all of the 11 Cartano children. She never married and died in her early thirties.

Anna is the fourth to the left, second row standing, in the historic photograph of the Anton and Caroline Klein Cartano family.
Child No. 2–Terace (Trace) Cartano Embree Trace Cartano lived in Springville, Iowa where her husband was a depot agent. They later moved to Madrid, Iowa where he was an agent. They had two children, Erma and Bob. Erma died at age 16. Bob became an electrical engineer in St. Louis, Missouri.

Trace Cartano is the sixth to the left, second row standing, in the historic photograph of the Anton and Caroline Klein Cartano family.

When Trace turned 87, the local newspaper gave the following account of her life:

"Trace Embree Observes Growth of Local Library"

"If you are a youngster now or even a not-so lately youngster with perhaps a bit of arthritis and thinning hair, you probably are one of the many who have come to know and love Madrid's librarian Mrs. Trace Embree, through her many years of service here.

"Despite her 87 years she faithfully carries on the duties of checking in and checking out books for those who love to read. When she began her duties about 1935 books were few and her $1.50 wages small but the popularity of the books has grown until during the July just past a total of 1083 books were taken from the library. The largest number in any one day in the history of the library were checked out during July when 100 books were borrowed. The average number for July was approximately 63 daily. Mrs. Embree notes with interest that the greater number of readers are children and younger people. This is an encouraging indication that the children are developing desirable reading habits. This is, in part, perhaps due to the recent addition of more Golden Books and other popular reading matter for children.

"Mrs. Embree was born and grew up at Springville in Linn County. She recalls in her first year at school how the teacher thumped her ears and eventually stood her in the corner when she spelled grass, g-r-a-s and could think of no other way even on another chance. Mrs. Embree like many of us, can remember when spelling was sometimes learned the hard way. When she went home with her ears and face swollen her sister vowed it would never be that way when she went to school.

"While still a very young lady she began teaching in a rural school near Springville. It was often with many misgivings that she faced pupils as old and much larger than she, but she had passed her examinations and also met with the approval of the hiring director who tested the teachers by asking two questions: 1–What is a peninsula?; 2–What latitude do we live in?

"Mrs. Embree who claims she wasn't as quick in arithmetic as in some other subjects says she studied hard to keep ahead. A certain young man, who afterward became her husband, told her if she had difficulty with any problems to call on him. The time did eventually strike when she needed his assistance and he solved the problem and made a copy for her to put on the blackboard. She discovered later that another teacher and even the county superintendent were also unable to solve the problem.

"She married Mr. Embree in 1893. He was a railroad worker. He served as depot agent at Maxwell for three years. In 1909 they came to Madrid. Their baby Robert was two months old at the time. He attended school here and graduated from Iowa State College with a degree in electrical engineering. The greater part of their time since then he has been associated with Christy Laciede Co. at St. Louis, Mo. He married Jessie Uhquardt and they have one daughter who is married to Don Anderson. Their two children Stevie and Kenneth Anderson are Mrs. Embree's great grandchildren. All live in St. Louis, Mo. And Mrs. Embree goes there to be with the family each Christmas having the enviable record of spending every Christmas with her son. He is now past 50 years of age.

"Mrs. Embree was left a widow in 1932 and about three years later began her work as librarian in the library located at the fire station which was located where Dr. Gilman's office is now. At that time books were scarce and hard to obtain. All books were donated by local people to start the library. Some of the original books were among the 500 which were culled out a little over a year ago to make room for newer editions. The discarded books went to Sheldahl to help stock their library.

"Madrid's new library opened in 1952 with Mrs. Embree still giving of her time and valuable experience.

"As of now she says she has no plans for retirement from work."
Child No. 3–Dony Cartano Dony Cartano is the second to the left, second row standing, in the historic photograph of the Anton and Caroline Klein Cartano family. He worked in a billiard parlor and sold soft drinks in Springville, Iowa. He never married.
Child No. 4–Lamburtus (Bert) Cartano Bert Cartano is on the far right, second row standing, in the historic photograph of the Anton and Caroline Klein Cartano family. He lived in Granger, Washington.

The Athena Press
Athena, Umatilla Co., Oregon
Friday, February 17, 1911
"Bert CARTANO has a new awning in front of his place of business on Main street"

An e-mail from Anna Louise (Cartano) Luper in May, 2007 gave the following information regarding Bert Cartano:

My name is Anna Louise (Cartano) Luper. I have just recently found out from Oregon 1880 census records that Anthony and Caroline Cartano were my great-grandparents. Lamburtus (Bert) and Anna Rebecca (Harden) Cartano were my grandparents. Richard and Velma (Basler) Cartano are my parents.

My grandfather, Bert, came to Athena, Oregon as a major league baseball player from Iowa, where he met my grandmother, Anna Harden. He stayed and they got married and had three children. Bert and my father, Richard, came to Granger, Washington in 1928. Where Richard met my mother, married and raised 5 girls. There are now children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Child No. 5–Daniel A. Cartano Dan Cartano is the second to the left, first row sitting, in the historic photograph of the Anton and Caroline Klein Cartano family. He was born on July 2, 1867 in Tremont, Pennsylvania. He was the next to the youngest of the 11 Cartano children. He grew up in Springville, Iowa. He played baseball barehanded and worked some with horses with his brother Dick.

Daniel Cartano had to leave home at the early age of 15. There were just too many mouths to feed in the Antonio Cartano family. He did not like a heavy farm work, and thought that the home conditions were not satisfactory. He hitched rail rides across the United States, and stopped off in Boise, Idaho where he worked for a while in the printing business. He then headed for Spokane, Washington where he became a linotype operator.

He met Margaret Percival in Spokane and wanted to marry her. But her father, the Rev. John Thompson Percival, objected. Rev. Percival was a stern Scottish Presbyterian minister who became a missionary in eastern Washington and a telegrapher. He did not permit his children to go to the movies (referred to as picture shows in those days) or play cards on Sunday. He also restricted playing ball, riding bikes and engaging in idle frivolity. Rev. Percival refused to let his daughter marry Daniel. He asked his daughter, "How do I know he doesn't have a criminal record"? So Margaret Percival left Daniel and went to Garden Springs to break up the relationship. Garden Springs was about 40 miles from Spokane. Her aunt, Annie Schultz, lived there. Margaret let Daniel know where she was going, and he followed her. She later decided she wanted to marry him despite her father's objections. She told her father that she had always obeyed him before, but not this time. He finally softened his attitude and agreed to perform the wedding ceremony in Spokane. After the marriage, Margaret Cartano always use to twit her father by asking, "How do I know he's not a criminal?"

Daniel Cartano later opened a linotype office in Seattle. He went into partnership with three other men. The partnership became the Queen City Typesetting Company located at 213-1/2 Columbia Street, Seattle, Washington. He retired in 1929. He had to go back to work for another three or four years because of the depression. He worked from 3 to 11 p.m. at another company during that period. He died in Seattle, Washington in November 1949.

Daniel and Margaret Cartano had two children, Margaret Cartano and John D. Cartano. John Cartano became one of the most prominent lawyers and civic leaders in Seattle, President of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, campaign advisor to President Eisenhower, Harvard Law School graduate, head of a Seattle law firm, President of the Pacific Northwest Trade Association, Vice President of the World Affairs Council, President of the United Nations Association, Seattle Chapter, and recipient of a Navy and Marine Corps Medal for heroic action during World War II for leading the assault on Guadalcanal. His greatest achievement was as a family man. He and his wife raised seven children who excelled in their personal lives, marriages, academics, professions, sports, religion and community.

The youngest male heir in the Daniel Cartano lineage, Joseph Cartano, is now leading the way for the next generation of the Cartano Family. In 1998, Joe Cartano won best athlete award, Merit Scholarship Award (scholastic achievement award) and Spanish award at his 8th grade graduation ceremonies at St. Joseph's School in Seattle, Washington. He had almost a straight A average. He was awarded a $1,000 scholarship for high school as part of the Merit Scholarship Award. He is attending Blanchet High School, a Catholic high school in Seattle.
Child No. 6–Charles Cartano Charles Cartano is the second to the right, second row standing, in the historic photograph of the Anton and Caroline Klein Cartano family. He grew up and lived most of his life in Springville, Iowa. He had a large family. One of his youngest was Jessie Mae Cartano Waln. She was an excellent teacher and school principal in Iowa.
Child No. 7–Elizabeth (Lizzy) Cartano Buxler Lizzy Cartano Buxler is the third to the left, second row standing, in the historic photograph of the Anton and Caroline Klein Cartano family. She lived in Davenport Iowa. She later moved to Los Angeles, California. She had two daughters, both of whom are deceased.
Child No. 8–Jacob (Jake) Cartano Jake Cartano is on the far right, first row sitting, in the historic photograph of the Anton and Caroline Klein Cartano family. He was a barber in Ireton, Iowa. He had two daughters.
Child No. 9–Richard (Dick) Andrew Cartano Dick Cartano is on the far left, first row sitting, in the historic photograph of the Anton and Caroline Klein Cartano family. He grew up in Springville, Iowa. He played baseball barehanded and worked some with horses with his brother Dan. He later moved to Monticello, Iowa. He had two daughters and one son.

On August 31, 1905, the local newspaper, page 6, reported that Richard Cartano was running a merry go-round at the county fair.

On December 7, 1983, Richard E. Abel wrote a letter to John Cartano stating that Richard was one of the most respected men in Monticello. His wife, Jennie, died when their daughter, Olive Marguerite Cartano Abel, was about 15 years old. Dick Cartano never remarried, but he employed the services of a housekeeper, Florence Goings. She lived in the home with her two daughters, Camille and Juanita. The home was subsequently occupied by Wilbur Cartano after Dick Cartano's death, but ownership of the house had passed outside the family by 1983.

The 75th anniversary notice by Monticello State Bank, Monticello, Iowa in 1950 listed Richard Cartano as the president and a director of Monticello State Bank.

On March 20, 1999, David Garvin Cartano from Florida wrote the following letter to David John Cartano from Los Angeles concerning his grandfather, Dick Cartano, his father, Wilbur, and their early family life:

We all grew up with farming backgrounds. All four of us children went to the same one-room country schoolhouse and had the same teacher for our first eight grades (although, Dick and Carol had a few early years at another site). Our grandfather (Richard Andrew Cartano) was a widely known fellow--a gentle kind man whom I never saw really angry (obviously without the famous cartano temper). Our dad was a cattle feeder--we had several acres of cement feeding lots--and fed many hundreds of cattle each year--we grew up on horses (I rode a horse to the country school (except in the dead of Iowa winter). Our mom was an exceptional woman who was an excellent piano player--she had much energy and we all would work all day, and in the evening I'd lay around on the living room floor and listen to an hour of Chopin, Bach and all the rest of the usual classicals (she played for several state events in Des Moines). We were fortunate to have lived in a kind of classical rural community setting that has largely disappeared today. We were also fortunate to have had a foot in two kinds of American life. I personally was able to observe the change from a horse powered life ( I mean real live horses) to the internal combustion and mechanized farm life of today--two really different life styles.
Child No. 10–John (Honest John) Cartano John Cartano is on the far left, second row standing, in the historic photograph of the Anton and Caroline Klein Cartano family. He worked in a billiard parlor in Anamosa, Iowa. He had one son.
Child No. 11–Louise Cartano Louise Cartano is the fifth to the left, second row standing, in the historic photograph of the Anton and Caroline Klein Cartano family. She was a music teacher and sold victrolas in Springville, Iowa. She never married.
The next generation The 11 Cartano children of Antonio and Caroline Klein Cartano multiplied and spread throughout the United States. Their many offspring left their own footprints on the Cartano dynasty in America. The histories of the offspring who carried the Cartano name are set forth in the Personal Information section of this Web site.