Gus Kraus was born in Chicago, Illinois, USA on October 28, 1898. In 1916 at the age of 18 he left Chicago and headed north to Alberta with his brother Joe to homestead in the Peace River area. After about ten years Gus travelled further north to the Northwest Territories, where he prospected and trapped in the Nahanni region beginning around 1934.
Mary Kraus (nee Denya) was born in 1912 near Fort Liard. Orphaned at the age of two, she was raised by family for several years until she went to a convent [Fort Simpson or Fort Providence?] for six years. In her earlier years she primarily lived on the land with her family in the Nahanni region. She was fluent in English, French and South Slavey.
Mary and Gus met when a forest fire in the Nahanni region in the summer of 1942 destroyed much of Gus' belongings, while they were able to save Mary's goods on an island on the Liard River. They formed a partnership and were married, eventually adopting a son, Mickey. They resided at Gus' lease at the Liard Hot Springs (now named the Kraus Hot Springs) in winter, where they trapped, and Nahanni Butte where in the summers they cooked for oil exploration crews. Their hospitality was well-known, and they received many visitors, including Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. When the Nahanni National Park was created in 1971, the Krauses resettled at Little Doctor Lake, where they continued to receive many of the tourists and visitors who came to the region until they resettled closer to Nahanni Butte in 1989.
Gus Kraus died at the Fort Simpson hospital on December 1, 1992. Mary Kraus died in Fort Simpson in November 2007.