Charles H. Winterhaler


Born: June 12, 1866 in New Orleans, Louisiana
Died: March 22, 1938 in Lake Charles, Louisiana
Buried: March 23, 1938 in Graceland-Orange Grove Cemetery, Lake Charles, Louisiana
Wife: Caroline Keener
Children: Charles H. Winterhaler
Justine Winterhaler
Jane Winterhaler
Emile Reeves Winterhaler
Margaret Winterhaler

Wittler, Nola Mae Ross, Lake Charles American Press, December 4, 1988, p. 13:

Early L C mayors faced change

        ...In 1903 a "spirited" campaign brought a new face into Lake Charles politics. Charles H. Winterhaler succeeded John H. Poe, and remained in office for the next eight years.
        In his first race for re-election, Winterhaler won by 14 votes over opponent William Patterson.
        Winterhaler was the first mayor to implement major improvements in Lake Charles. Although the worst depression in the history of the city was in full force, Winterhaler managed to get stretches of Ryan, Bilbo, Pujo and Lawrence streets paved with brick.
        An experimental method of paving with bricks, designed by Fred Shutts was used on one section of Bilbo Street. An eight-inch concrete base was put down, then covered with a two-inch cushion of sand that provided a base for the bricks. This section proved more durable and smooth than the portions where bricks were set into a base of cement mortar.
        It was fitting that a later city council named a street after Winterhaler and unfortunate that the council added a "t" to the name when they did so, incorrectly naming it Winterhalter, a name that still remains.
        The depression that nearly wrecked Winterhaler's mayoral term was blamed on the Yellow Fever epidemic which swept across Louisiana, causing extensive quarantines, frightening citizens and causing many businesses and government offices to shut down.
        Despite the problems, Lake Charles forged ahead. A 3-mill tax to support public education was approved by the voters.
        But a decision to split the Board of Education into two separate boards one for city schools and another for parish schools drew fire from both the public and local politicians.
        Winterhaler had to contend with all of these problems, but he came from a strong background, dating back to his grandparents the Von Peetzs who lived with King Christian at Schlesweg-Holstein, Germany.
        When Bismark took over, the king's family and the Von Peetz family emigrated to America, landing in New Orleans. From there, his mother brought Winterhaler to Lake Charles, where he grew up.
        Three of Mayor Charles H. Winterhaler's children live in Lake Charles today. They are Mrs. Lock Paret, Mrs. J. B. Holloman Jr., and E. R. Winterhaler.
In addition to serving as mayor, Winterhaler served as chairman of a committee to fix new boundaries for old Calcasieu Parish.
        Winterhaler retired from politics after eight years as mayor, and was succeeded in 1909 by G. Brent Richard, who defeated opponent Ben M. Foster by 110 votes....


Lake Charles American Press, Wednesday, March 23, 1938, p. 1:

Former Lake Charles Mayor Dies Unexpectedly Late Tuesday.

        LAST RITES for Charles H. Winterhaler, former mayor of Lake Charles, will be held here at 3 o'clock this afternoon.
        Mr. Winterhaler, who was nearly 71 years old, died unexpectedly at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday afternoon in a chair in his room at the Cherokee hotel. He had been uptown a little earlier.
        He was born in New Orleans in 1867, and after coming to Lake Charles he engaged in the lumber business, first with the Locksley-Martin Lumber company, then for several years with the Menefee Lumber company, as manager of its local mill. Later he was connected for a time with the Miller-Vidor Lumber company at Milyid, Texas, and then engaged in the timber and oil business in New Orleans, returning to Lake Charles during the World war. Since then, he remained here as a certified public accountant.

Served Three Terms

        While connected with the lumber industry he served the city as alderman for several years, and about 1903 was elected mayor, in which office he served six years, being twice reelected.