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Full text of "History of Clayton County, Iowa : from the earliest historical times down to the present : including a genealogical and biographical record of many representative families, prepared from data obtained from original sources of information"

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HISTORY OF 

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Clayton County 



IOWA 



FROM THE EARLIEST HISTORICAL 
TIMES DOWN TO THE PRESENT 



INCLUDING A GENEALOGICAL AND BIO- 
GRAPHICAL RECORD OF MANY REPRE- 
SENTATIVE FAMILIES, PREPARED FROM 
DATA OBTAINED FROM ORIGINAL 
SOURCES OF INFORMATION 



EDITED BY REALTO E. PRICE 



m TWO VOLUMES 

ILLUSTRATED 



CHICAGO 

Robert O. Law Company 

1916 



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THE NEW YORK 

puBi.i;; LiciuiiY 
260956B 

AtrWH, Lh .•..:.; AND 

TILUEN FerND^.TiONS 

B 1843 L 



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VOLUME II. 

The personal sketches in this volume are arranged in alpha- 
betical order, thus rendering an index unnecessary. Following is 
a list of illustrations : 

Facing 

Embert Bergemeyer 43 

Henry H. Clark, M. D 68 

D. J. Grain and Wife 75 

Francis T. Davis and Wife 85 

Martin Dittmer 89 

Ernest Enderes and Wife 109 

E. O. Glesne 145 

Peter B. Green 147 

David G. Griffith 148 

John G. Hempel 175 

John H. Hill 179 

L. L. Hulverson 187 

Otto O. Johnson 199 

Frederick W. Kann and Wife 204 

M. E. Knight and Wife 217 

S. H. Knight Family Group, 1855 219 

George J. Lenth 247 

Henry Luehsen 255 

James McGuire 264 

W. C. Meyer and Wife 276 

John H. Moellering and Wife 282 

Ole Nelson 294 

Col. George H. Otis 312 

Henry Pust and Wife 336 

J. G. Reidel 341 

H. S. Rittenhouse 351 

Xavier Schaefers and Wife 360 

Althea R. Sherman 376 

E. Amelia Sherman, M. D 377 

Mark B. Sherman 379 

S. Melissa Sherman 380 

Sherman Home, Built 1845 381 

> G. R. Turner 416 

<^ J. A. Wilder and Wife 443 

F. X. Wolters and Family 452 

'r 



HISTORY OF 

CLAYTON COUNTY 



BIOGRAPHICAL 



Charles S. Adams has been for nearly thirty years one of the 
representative business men and popular and influential citizens of 
Volga, where he has been engaged in the general merchandise busi- 
ness since 1888, as senior member of the well-known and represen- 
tative firm of Adams & White, in which his coadjutor is Edward 
W. White. He has been a resident of the Hawkeye state since he 
was a lad of six years and is a scion not only of one of the promi- 
nent and influential families of this commonwealth but also one 
that was founded in New England in the early colonial era of our 
national history. Mr. Adams was born in the city of Lowell, 
Massachusetts, on the 7th of May, 1851, and is a son of Captain 
Shubael P. and Lydia E. (Stetson) Adams, both likewise natives of 
the historic old Bay State, where the latter passed her entire life, 
her death having occurred in 1853, and the subject of this review 
being the younger of her two children ; the older child, Mary, is now 
in San Francisco, Cal. Captain Adams was reared and educated in 
Massachusetts, where he became a successful representative of the 
legal profession and where he served as a member of the state legis- 
lature from 1845 to 1857. In the latter year he became one of the 
pioneer representatives of his profession in the city of Dubuque, 
Iowa, where he built up a practice that gave him distinction as 
one of the leading members of the bar of this state. He united 
with the Republican party at the time of its organization and was 
one of the most prominent and influential advocates of its principles 
and policies to be found in Iowa at the time of the climacteric period 
leading up to the Civil War. He was a specially forceful and effec- 
tive stump speaker and did yeoman service in stumping Iowa in 
support of Abraham Lincoln when that great man became the 
Republican candidate for president of the United States. He 
gained his military title as provost marshal, Third Dist. Iowa, in 
the great conflict through which the integrity of the Union was 
perpetuated, and he was one of the venerable and honored pioneer 
members of the Iowa bar at the time of his death, which occurred in 



l8 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

1894. Charles S. Adams continued his studies in the public schools 
until he had completed the curriculum of the high school and sup- 
plemented this discipline by a course of higher study in Bayless 
College, at Dubuque. In 1872, shortly after attaining to his legal 
majority he entered railway service, in the employ of the C. D. & 
M. Railroad Company, now part of the C. M. & St. P. system, and 
for a period of sixteen years he was in active service as a skilled 
locomotive engineer. In 1888 he established his home at Volga, 
Clayton county, where he has been engaged in the general merchan- 
dise business during the long intervening years and where the 
high reputation of the firm of Adams & White has ever constituted 
its best commercial asset. Mr. Adams has been liberal and loyal 
in the supporting- of those enterprises and measures that have con- 
tributed to the civic and material prosperity of the community, is 
a Republican, though never a seeker of political preferment. He 
served as a progressive and valued member of the board of educa- 
tion of Volga for the long period of twenty-six years and has other- 
wise been quietly but effectively influential in local affairs. He is 
affiliated with the Knights of Pythias, Brotherhood of Locomotive 
Engineers, the Brotherhood of American Yeomen and the Modern 
Brotherhood of America. On the 12th of May, 1880, was solemn- 
ized the marriage of Mr. Adams to Miss Emma E. Crain, who was 
born in this county on the 23d of May, 1861, and who is a daughter 
of James and Harriet Crain, who were born and reared in England 
and who became pioneer settlers of Clayton county, Iowa, where 
they established their home on a farm near Volga in the year 1854, 
both passing the remainder of their lives in this county. Mr. and 
Mrs. Adams became the parents of four children, of whom the first 
was Harriet, who was born July 8, 1881, and whose death occurred 
in the following month ; William J., who was born November 2, 
1882, was a student in U. I. University for four years and is now 
one of the principals in the Collier-Adams Manufacturing Company, 
at St. Joseph, Missouri; Shubael P., who was born June 18, 1885, 
was graduated in U. I. U., class '07, also in historic old Yale Uni- 
versity, 1910, and he likewise is with the Collier-Adams Manufac- 
turing Company, of St. Joseph, Mo. ; and Edna, who was born Sep- 
tember 30, 1889, was graduated in the Volga high school, after hav- 
ing made a record of twelve years' attendance in the village schools 
without a single mark of absence or tardiness: she was later in 
the Upper Iowa University and she is now at the parental home, 
a popular figure in the representative social life of the community. 
Albert Allen, an automobile dealer of Elkader, is a native of 
the Hawkeye State, having been born in Clayton county, Iowa, 
September 20, 1872, and is a son of Hans and Annie (Olson) Allen, 
who came from Norway to America, locating in Clayton county, 
Iowa. Mr. Allen passed to the other life in the year 1896. ^ They 
were the parents of twelve children, and eleven of them still sur- 
vive. Albert Allen was reared on a farm, and after reaching young 
manhood, began the occupation of drilling wells with his brother, 
Ole, and then ran threshing machines through the harvesting sea- 
son. In 1902 he went to Elkader, his brother, Ole, joining him a 



BIOGRAPHICAL I9 

year later, where they organized the firm of Allen Bros., which has 
grown to such large proportions that they have erected a building 
sixty by one hundred and twenty feet in size, and two stories in 
height, to house their machines. They deal specially in the Buick; 
machine, but also handle the Oldsmobile and Cadillac automobiles. 
He is united in marriage with Nettie Hirsch, who was born in 
Clayton county, and three children, two sons and a daughter, have 
been born to them, Raymond, Alvin and Maurine. Mr. Allen is a 
Republican, though not particularly active in political work; he is 
affiliated with the Congregational church, and is a member of the 
fraternal order of Masons, and of the Modern Woodmen, 

S. C. Ainsworth, M. D,, has secure vantage-place as one of the 
representative physicians and surgeons of Clayton county, where 
he has been engaged in the practice of his profession since 1901, 
with residence at Volga, from which village he controls a large 
and influential practice that extends throughout the splendid ter- 
ritory normally tributary to the village. The doctor is upholding 
most effectively the high prestige gained by his honored father 
in the medical profession, in which his success has been unequiv- 
ocal and in connection with which he insistently carries forward 
the study and research that keep him in close touch with the ad- 
vances made in medical and surgical science. Dr. Ainsworth was 
born in the city of Syracuse, New York, on the 6th of January, 
1877, and is the elder of the two children of Dr. E. A. and Ellen 
(Stanton) Ainsworth, both of whom were born and reared in the 
state of New York, The younger of the two children is Fannie L., 
who is the wife of Charles W. Dickens, with whom she is success- 
fully associated in the practice of law at West Union, the judicial 
center of Fayette county, Iowa, both having been graduated in 
the law department of the University of Iowa. Dr. Ainsworth of 
this review was about seven years old at the time when his parents 
came to Iowa and established their residence at West Union, 
Fayette county, in 1882. There his father continued in active 
practice as one of the leading physicians and surgeons of that sec- 
tion of the state, until 1914, since which time he has there lived 
virtually retired, though many of the families to which he long 
ministered with all of ability and unselfish devotion still insist upon 
having recourse to his counsel and professional attention. His 
cherished and devoted wife was summoned to eternal rest in 1903, 
secure in the affectionate regard of all who had come within the 
compass of her gentle and gracious influence. At West Union 
Dr. S. C. Ainsworth was reared to adult age and after profiting 
duly by the advantages afforded in the public schools, including 
the high school, he became imbued with the earnest ambition of 
emulating his father in the choice of a career. His preliminary 
study of medicine was carried on under the eflfective preceptorship 
of his father and to fortify himself still further he then entered the 
well-known medical college in the city of St. Louis, Missouri, in 
which institution he was graduated as a member of the class of 
1899, and from which he received his well earned degree of Doctor 
of Medicine. His professional novitiate was served at West Union^ 



20 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

Fayette county, where he continued to be associated in practice 
with his father until 1901, when he came to Clayton county and 
established himself in practice at Volga. Here he now controls a 
large and representative practice, based alike on his recognized 
ability and the unqualified personal popularity which he has gained. 
The doctor is one of the wideawake and loyal citizens of Clayton 
county and is found aligned as a staunch supporter of the cause 
of the Republican party. He is an active member of the Clayton 
County Medical Society and the Iowa State Medical Society, and 
at Elkader is affiliated with Lodge No. 72, Ancient Free & Accepted 
Masons. He and his wife are popular figures in the leading social 
life of their home community and Mrs. Ainsworth is a zealous 
member of the Presbyterian church. In September, 1901, was sol- 
emnized the marriage of Dr. Ainsworth to Miss Katherine Hart- 
man, who was born at Fayette, in the Iowa county of the same 
name, and who is a daughter of M. J. and Emma (Weber) Hart- 
man, whose five children all survive the honored father. Mr. and 
Mrs. Hartman were born and reared in Germany and upon coming 
to the United States they established their home in Chicago, where 
they met their full share of hardships incidental to the great Chi- 
cago fire of 1871, and whence they came a few years later to Iowa 
and established their home at Fayette, where the death of Mr. 
Hartman occurred in 1915, and where his widow still resides. Dr. 
and Mrs. Ainsworth have three children, whose names and re- 
spective dates of birth are here indicated : Dortha E., February 5, 
1903 ; Sidney E., December 3, 1908 ; and Katherine L., December 
17, 1913. 

Oley Allen, who with his brother, Albert, a sketch of whose 
life appears in another portion of this work, was born near 
McGregor, Clayton county, November 28, 1865. He is a son of 
Hans Allen and Anna (Olson) Allen. Hans Allen accompanied 
his parents to America as a boy of sixteen years, the voyage con- 
suming over five months, which, in this day of six-day steamers, 
helps us to realize the difficulties and hardships they endured to 
make living easier for their descendants. They came direct to 
Iowa via rail as far as Galena, Illinois, the end of the railroad in 
the west, thence up the Mississippi to McGregor's landing, where 
his father took up a government claim of 160 acres about six miles 
from what is now the town of McGregor. Hans Allen assisted his 
father in reclaiming the land and later he took up a claim on his 
own account near his father's land and reclaimed it, and having 
improved it, sold it at a considerable profit, afterward returning 
to the home farm, which he continued to work until his father's 
death, at which time he bought the other heirs' interests and con- 
tinued on the domain until his death, in the year 1896. In 1864 
occurred the marriage of Hans Allen and Anna Olson, whose par- 
ents were also pioneers of Clayton county, coming to Iowa in the 
early '60's. There were born to them 12 children, Oley, Carrie, 
Anna, Albert, Mary, Christine, Andrew, Lemuel, Helma, John, 
Esther and Katherine. They are all living with the exception of 
Anna, who passed to the other life in 1904. Oley Allen had his 



BIOGRAPHICAL 21 

early education in the Mendon district school, walking over two 
miles in winter, often when the thermometer was thirty degrees 
below zero. Later a new school was built in Clayton township, 
nearer his home, which he attended until he was nearly twenty 
years of age. It is interesting to note that in the early days of 
Clayton county the boys and girls could only attend the winter 
term of school, being too busy helping their parents during the 
summer season. After leaving school, in conjunction with his 
brother, Albert, they entered business life by operating a drilling 
outfit, and also owned three threshing machines, which they ran 
during the harvest season and they also owned and operated a 
sawmill near McGregor, In 1903, the brothers disposed of their 
interests in these outfits and Oley Allen came to Elkader, Iowa, 
being preceded by his brother Albert, who arrived in Elkader in 
1902. They started a machine repairing shop, making repairs on 
all kinds of machinery and coming into contact with the majority 
of the farmers in Clayton county. They gradually drifted into the 
automobile business, beginning by making repairs on the single 
cylinder machines, which were practically the only ones on the 
market; later they took the agency of the Oldsmobile car, and in 
1907, accepted the agency of the Reo car; also, in the spring of 1910, 
they secured the agency for the Buick automobile. Their business 
grew so rapidly that they were forced to build to meet its require- 
ments and erected a two-story structure with a floor space of about 
18,000 feet and in 1916 put in a sprinkler system which was the first 
one installed in Clayton county. They are the largest automobile 
dealers in Clayton county and, on the Buick machines, do the larg- 
est business of any county agency in the Chicago territory. On 
Dec. 20th, 1895, Oley Allen was united in marriage with Emma 
Hulverson, a daughter of Gustav and Gertrude (Peterson) Hulver- 
son, both of whom were pioneers of Clayton county and to them 
were born two children, William, age 18, and Ruth, 16 years of 
age. Mr. Allen is a member of the Modern Woodmen and of the 
Odd Fellows lodges, and both he and his wife are members of the 
Lutheran church. 

William M. Allyn is a sterling representative of an honored 
pioneer family given to Clayton county by historic old New Eng- 
land, and holds prestige as one of the vigorous and upright citizens 
who aided in laying broad and deep the foundations for the fine 
superstructure of civic and industrial prosperity now in evidence 
in this attractive division of the Hawkeye State. He whose name 
initiates this paragraph has been a resident of Clayton county for 
more than sixty years and is now one of its venerable and highly 
esteemed citizens, the while he has not only been a prominent figure 
in connection with the development of the agricultural resources 
of the county, but his also is the distinction of having been one of 
the gallant patriots who represented Iowa as a soldier of the Union 
in the great civil conflict through which the nation's integrity was 
perpetuated. Though he has relegated to others the more arduous and 
exacting labors and responsibilities that were long his portion as 
one of the world's productive workers, he still resides on his fine 



22 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

homestead farm of 280 acres in section 2, Garnavillo township, and 
his residence is within easy access of the village of St. Olaf, from 
which he receives service on rural mail route No. 2, William M. 
Allyn was born in New London county, Connecticut, on the 28th 
of December, 1828, and in that staunch commonwealth of New 
England his parents, Abel and Polly Allyn, passed their entire 
lives, both having been representatives of fine old colonial stock. 
Of the eight children Mr. Allyn is the younger of the two now living, 
and his sister, Margaret, is the widow of James Billings, and now 
a resident of New London county, Connecticut. Mr. Allyn was 
reared and educated in his native state, where he gained his early 
experience with the work of the home farm and where he continued 
his residence until he had attained more than his legal majority. 
In April, 1859, when Z2 years of age, he came to Clayton county, 
Iowa, where he secured a Mexican soldier's claim in Garnavillo 
township, and on this original place he has continued to live and 
labor during the long intervening years, which have been marked 
by his faithful stewardship and by his successful achievement in 
connection with the basic industries of agriculture and stock- 
growing. His financial resources when he came to Iowa were 
merely nominal, and through his own well ordered endeavors he 
has gained large and worthy success, as indicated by his ownership 
at the present time of a valuable and specially well improved landed 
estate of two hundred and eighty acres. It is a far cry to revert 
to the primitive log cabin which he erected for his original abiding 
place to the fine modern residence which he now occupies, and 
all other permanent improvements which he has made on his farm 
are of the best type. When the dark cloud of civil war cast its pall 
over the national horizon, Mr. Allyn was one of the loyal and patri- 
otic citizens of Clayton county who subordinated all other interests 
to go forth in defense of the Union, and his service during the great 
fratricidal conflict was such as to reflect perpetual honor upon his 
name and memory. In the spring of 1862 he enlisted as a private 
in Company E, Twenty-seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry, with 
which he proceeded to the front and in which he rose to the office of 
sergeant. His regiment was assigned to the army of Tennessee 
and within his service of nearly three years he took part in numer- 
ous engagements, including a number of the sanguinary battles 
marking the progress of the war. In an engagement at Pleasant 
Hill, Louisiana, he received a severe wound in his left foot, and 
after having been confined to a hospital for several weeks he was 
mustered out and received his honorable discharge. He then 
returned to his farm and during the long years that have since 
elapsed he has here continued as one of the staunch and influential 
representatives of the agricultural and live-stock interests of Clay- 
ton county, with inviolable place in popular confidence and good 
will. He is a stalwart in the local camp of the Republican party 
and has shown a loyal interest in all things pertaining to the com- 
munal welfare, but he has had no desire for public office, his only 
service having been that of school director, of which office he was 
the incumbent for several years. Soon after his service as a sol- 



BIOGRAPHICAL 23 

dier in the Civil war had been terminated Mr. Allyn wisely girded 
himself the better for the active duties and responsibilities of life 
by taking unto himself a wife. He wedded Miss Juliette Eddy, 
who was born in the State of Vermont, as were also her parents, 
Joseph and Celeste Eddy, with whom she came to Iowa in the pio- 
neer days, her parents passing the remainder of their lives in this 
state. Mr. and Mrs. Allyn shared with mutual solicitude and loy- 
alty the joys and sorrows of life, and their ideal companionship 
found its greatest glory in the gracious evening of their lives, the 
silver cord of their devotion being severed in 1901, when Mrs. 
Allyn was summoned to eternal rest, her memory being revered by 
all who came within the sphere of her gentle influence and her 
mortal remains resting in the cemetery at Kandallville, Winneshiek 
county, not far distant from her old home. She is survived by two 
children, William, who has practical charge of the old homestead 
farm, and Juliette, who remains with her father and presides over 
the attractive home ; she is popular in the social life of the com- 
munity and was graduated in the high school at McGregor. 

Conrad Andreas has maintained his home in Clayton county 
from his boyhood and has here brought his energies to bear so 
effectively as to win for himself a large measure of material pros- 
perity in connection with the basic industries of agriculture and 
stock-raising, of which he is now one of the prominent and honored 
exponents in Sperry township. His parents were pioneer settlers 
of this county and still reside here, venerable in years and estab- 
lished in a home in which they find peace and comfort in the gra- 
cious evening of their long and useful life. Conrad Andreae was 
born at Dubuque, Iowa, on the 20th of November, 1856, and is a 
son of Albert and Magdalena Prottengeier Andrese, who were born 
and reared in Germany and who immigrated to America in the 
early '50s. They established their home in Dubuque, Iowa, and 
about 1853 they came to Clayton county and settled on a farm in 
Sperry township. Later they removed to Wisconsin, but about 
two years later they returned to Clayton county, where they have 
since maintained their home. Of their nine children seven are 
living. Conrad Andreae remained at the parental home until the 
time of his marriage, and in the meanwhile had made good use of 
the advantages of the common schools. At the age of twenty- 
three years he wedded Miss Anna Weege, who has the distinction 
of having been the first white child born in St. Sebald, Sperry 
township, this county, where her parents established their home in 
the early pioneer days. After his marriage Mr. Andrese farmed 
on rented land for two years and he then purchased a portion of 
his present well improved farm of two hundred acres, in Section 
19, Sperry township, the excellent improvements on the place hav- 
ing been made by him and his well directed efforts having resulted 
in his developing one of the really model farmsteads of this favored 
section of his native state. He is one of the prosperous farmers 
and highly esteemed citizens of Clayton county, is a Democrat in 
politics, takes a lively interest in community affairs, but has never 
sought or held public ofHce. Both he and his wife are communi- 



24 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

cants of the Lutheran church, and of their eight children the last 
two died young; Henry is cashier of the Volga Savings Bank; 
George, Herman, Katherine, Albert and Frederick remain at the 
parental home. 

Henry C. Andreae is the efficient and popular cashier of the 
Volga Savings Bank and is known and valued as one of the repre- 
sentative business men of the younger generation in his native 
county. He was born in Sperry township, this county, on the 7th 
of October, 1883, and is a son of Conrad and Anna (Wege) 
Andreae, the former of whom was born in Dubuque, this state, and 
the latter of whom was born in Clayton county, both families hav- 
ing been founded in Iowa in the pioneer period of its history. The 
parents now reside in their pleasant home near Arlington, Fayette 
county, and the father has been a prominent and influential expo- 
nent of agricultural enterprise in this section of the Hawkeye state^ 
both he and his wife being zealous communicants of the Lutheran 
church and the lineage of both tracing back to staunch German 
origin. Of the eight children the eldest is George, who remains with 
his parents on the home farm ; Henry C, of this review, was the next 
in order of birth ; Katherine is at the parental home, as are also Her- 
man and Albert ; Philippina is deceased ; Frederick is the youngest 
member of the parental home circle ; and William died in early child- 
hood. After havingprofited fully by the advantages afforded in the dis- 
trict schools Henry C. Andreae continued his active association 
with agricultural industry for three years, and he then fortified 
himself more fully for the practical affairs of life by completing a 
two years' course in the Upper Iowa Business University, at Fayette. 
For a short time thereafter he was identified with the general mer- 
chandise business and he then assumed a clerical position in the 
employ of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company, 
his service having been continued in Clayton county for a period 
of four years, after which he held for six months the position of 
money clerk in the office of the Wells-Fargo Express Company in 
the city of Milwaukee. The impaired health of his loved mother 
caused him to resign this position and return to the parental home, 
and in 1910 he accepted his present responsible post, that of cashier 
of the Volga Savings Bank, an incumbency in which he has shown 
marked discrimination and executive ability. His political alle- 
giance is given to the Democratic party and both he and his wife 
are communicants of the Lutheran church in their home village 
of Volga, where also they are popular factors in the leading social 
activities of the community. On the 2d of May, 1913, was solemn- 
ized the marriage of Mr. Andreae to Miss Selma Piehl, who was 
born and reared in Clayton county, and they have a winsome little 
daughter, Mary Elizabeth, who was born May 12, 1915. 

George Aulerich was a youth of nineteen years when he came 
with his widowed mother from his German Fatherland to America 
and established a home in Iowa, where it has been his to gain 
through earnest and honest endeavor a generous measure of suc- 
cess and to become one of the most substantial landholders and 
exponents of agricultural industry in Clayton county. Here he has 



BIOGRAPHICAL 2$ 

maintained his home for half a century and here he resides upon 
his fine homestead farm in Farmersburg township, though the 
autumn of the year 1916 will record his attainment of the psalm- 
ist's span of three score years and ten. The gracious prosperity 
that attends him in his venerable years enables him to put aside 
the heavier burdens and labors that were so long his portion. He 
is one of the substantial and honored citizens of the county, is the 
owner of a large and well improved landed estate of nearly six 
hundred acres in this county, and none is more clearly entitled to 
representation in this history. Mr. Aulerich was born in Germany, 
on the 30th of September, 1846, and is a son of George and Dora 
(Schultz) Aulerich, the former of whom passed his entire life in 
Germany, where his vocation was that of farming. In 1866 the 
widowed mother came with her three children to the United 
States and established a home in Clayton county, Iowa, where she 
passed the remainder of her life and attained to the venerable age 
of 81 or 82. Of the children two are living. He whose name 
introduces this review gained his early education in the excellent 
schools of his native land and was nineteen years of age when he 
accompanied his mother to the United States and to Clayton 
county. Here he found employment as a farm hand for several 
years, and in the meanwhile he carefully saved his earnings and 
bent every energy to the gaining of independence and worthy pros- 
perity. Finally he purchased a farm of seventy acres, in Farmers- 
burg township, and upon the same he continued his residence six- 
teen years, his energy and good management having brought to 
him such measure of success that he was then enabled to sell his 
farm to advantage and purchase a portion of the fine homestead 
on which he now resides. With increasing prosperity he continued 
to add to his landed estate until he became the owner of two hun- 
dred and fifteen acres of fine land in section 6, Farmersburg town- 
ship, upon which splendid domain he still retains his residence and 
to the supervision of which he still gives his vigorous attention, 
as the years rest lightly upon him. At a later period he purchased 
other land to the amount of three hundred and sixty acres, situated 
in Monona township, and this property is given over to the care of 
his oldest son, who is a substantial agriculturist and progressive 
citizen of his native county. Mr. Aulerich has been deeply appre- 
ciative of the opportunities which have been afforded him in the^ 
county and state of his adoption, and has stood exponent of loyal 
and liberal citizenship. He is a staunch Democrat in politics but 
has had no desire for public office, the only position of the sort in 
which he has consented to serve having been that of member of 
the school board of his district. He and his wife are earnest com- 
municants and liberal supporters of the Lutheran church at Farm- 
ersburg. In 1872 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Aulerich to 
Miss Minnie Klinge, who was born in Germany, one of a family of 
six children, all of whom are living and all of whom came with the 
parents, Frederick and Elizabeth (Holtz) Klinge, to the United 
States in the year 1871, the family home being established in Clay- 
ton county, where the father became a substantial farmer and where 



26 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

he passed the rest of his life, the venerable mother being still a 
resident of this county and being nearly ninety years of age at the 
time of this writing, 1916. Of the seven children born to Mr. and 
Mrs. Aulerich the eldest is George, Jr., who is one of the progres- 
sive farmers of this county, as is also Henry, who remains at the 
parental home and is associated with his father in the management 
of the farm ; Bertha is the wife of Charles Engelhardt and they 
reside in the state of South Dakota ; Matilda is a trained nurse by 
profession and resides in the city of Chicago ; Amelia and Emma 
remain at the parental home ; and Emil is another of the aggressive 
young farmers of Clayton county, where he has a farm of one hun- 
dred and fifty acres in Monona township. 

Herman A. Axtell may well consider himself fortunate in being 
the owner of one of the fine farm estates of Clayton county and 
further interest attaches to his prestige as one of the progressive 
and successful agriculturists and stock-growers of the county by 
reason of the fact that he was an infant at the time of the family 
removal to this county and was reared to manhood on the farm 
which he now owns and on which he has an ideal rural home. Mr. 
Axtell was born in Lorain county, Ohio, on the 17th of September, 
1862, and in the following year his parents came to Clayton county 
and settled on the farm now owned by him. He is one of the five 
surviving children of Augustus E. and Martha (Bartlett) Axtell, 
the former a native of Vermont and the latter of the state of New 
York. After having maintained their residence in Ohio for a 
term of years the parents came to Clayton county, Iowa, in 1863, 
as previously noted, and the father proved a resourceful and broad- 
minded member of the pioneer community, in which he developed 
and improved the splendid landed estate now owned and occupied 
by his son Herman A., of this review. Here he died at the age of 
85 years and here his venerable widow still resides, she having 
celebrated her eighty-fourth birthday anniversary in 1916 and being 
one of the revered pioneer women of the county. Reared to the 
sturdy discipline of the farm, Herman A. Axtell was not permitted 
to neglect in the least the advantages aflforded in the public schools 
of the locality and period, and his individual ambition along this 
line was indicated by his later completing an effective course of 
study in a business college at Fayette. He continued to be asso- 
ciated with the work and management of the home farm until he 
was 21 years of age, and thereafter he was employed for a total of 
five years in a creamery at Cresco, Howard county, and Clayton 
county, where he gained expert knowledge of this line of indus- 
trial enterprise. For twenty years thereafter he rented the old 
homestead farm of his parents and proved himself one of the spe- 
cially alert, progressive and successful farmers and stock-growers 
of the county. At the expiration of the period noted he purchased 
the fine property, which comprises two hundred acres of land, in 
sections 24 and 25 Cass township which is improved with the best 
type of farm buildings and supplied with the most approved mod- 
ern facilities. In connection with diversified agriculture Mr. 
Axtell has been specially prominent and successful in the breeding 



BIOGRAPHICAL 2/ 

and raising of fine Shorthorn cattle and Duroc-Jersey swine. He 
has served consecutively since 1910 as township clerk, has been 
secretary of the school board of his district since 1902, and served 
fourteen years as township assessor. These preferments denote 
alike his loyal interest in public affairs of a local order, his ability 
and the high estimate placed upon him in the community that had 
always represented his home. He gives his political allegiance to 
the Democratic party, is affiliated with the jModern Brotherhood of 
America and he and his wife attend and support the Baptist church 
at Strawberry Point, from which village their attractive and hos- 
pitable home has service on rural mail route No. 1. In 1888 was 
solemnized the marriage of Mr. Axtell to Miss Leah Lamphiear, 
who was born and reared in this county and who is a daughter of 
William and Elizabeth (Maxwell) Lamphiear, the former of whom 
is deceased and the latter of whom still maintains her home in this 
county. Of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Axtell the first, Fern C., 
died at the age of 12 years ; Lloyd W. now has the management of 
the fine farm of three hundred and forty-five acres which his father 
owns in Stutsman county. North Dakota; Fannie M. was gradu- 
ated in the Teachers' Institute at Cedar Falls and is now a popular 
teacher in the public schools of Riceville, Iowa ; Meron A. is a 
member of the class of 1918 in the Iowa State Agricultural College, 
at Ames; Howard I. is attending the high school at Strawberry 
Point; and the two younger members of the ideal home circle are 
Herma R. and Martha E. 

Henry C. Baars is associated with his next younger brother, 
Fritz, in the operation of the fine old homestead farm, in Section 
36 Highland township, that figures as the place of their birth, and 
they are known as progressive and energetic young agriculturists 
and stock-growers of their native county, with secure place in pop- 
ular esteem. Henry C. Baars was born on this farm on the 29th 
of August, 1888, and is a son of Henry and Augusta (Adam) Baars, 
the former of whom was born in Mecklenburg, Germany, and the 
latter in West Prussia. Henrys Baars was a young man when he 
came to the United States, and in 1869 he came to Clayton county 
and established his home in Cox Creek township. He later re- 
moved to and improved one of the fine farms of Highland town- 
ship, and he and his wife now reside at Elkader. the county seat, 
where he is living retired, after having won substantial prosperity 
through his long and effective association with farm industry. He 
is a Democrat in politics, and he and his wife are earnest com- 
municants of the Lutheran church. Herman, the eldest of their 
seven children, is a prosperous farmer in Sperry township ; Henry 
C. and Fritz, as already noted, are associated in the operations of 
the old home farm, which comprises two hundred acres, and Fritz 
was here born on the 17th of November, 1800; Albert died in child- 
hood, as did also Hilda; and Alfred and Carrie remain at the pa- 
rental home. Henry C. Baars is indebted to the public schools of 
his native county for his early education, and he continued to 
assist in the operation of the home farm until he was twenty years 
old. He passed the following years in South Dakota, then resumed 



28 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

his association with the work of the home farm and one year later 
he and his brother Fritz assumed the active control and manage- 
ment of the fine old homestead, upon which they have since con- 
tinued their successful operations in diversified agriculture and 
the raising of excellent live stock. The subject of this review is 
serving as school director of his district, is a Democrat in his polit- 
ical adherency and both he and his wife hold membership in the 
Lutheran church, Mr. Baars is married to Miss Katherine Kuehl, 
daughter of Joseph J. Kuehl, of whom individual mention is made 
on other pages of this work. 

John Bahr is actively associated with one of the representative 
business enterprises of the vigorous little city of Elkader, judicial 
center of Clayton county, and has made an excellent record in his 
chosen vocation. He is a skilled artisan, and has entire charge of 
the plumbing and heating departments of the substantial hardware 
establishment in which he owns a half interest, as junior member 
of the firm of Brown & Bahr, in which his coadjutor is H. D. 
Brown. From infancy he has borne the name of his step-father, 
and he is a son of Frank and Sophie (Muller) Schornable, being 
an only child. By his father's previous marriage there was one 
son, Frank, and his mother later became the wife of Peter Bahr. 
Of the children of this last marriage the following brief record is 
consistently given at this point: Mary and Lena reside at Elkport, 
this county; Sophia is the wife of George Smith, and Clara the 
wife of John Wittman, both likewise residents of Elkport; Annie 
resides in the city of Cedar Rapids, this State ; Eliza is the wife of 
Ernest Heuschen, of McGregor, Clayton county; and one daughter 
died in infancy. John Bahr, the immediate subject of this sketch, 
was born in Volga township, this county, on the 14th of December, 
1870, and there he attended in boyhood the district schools, though 
his broader education has been that gained under the direction of 
that wisest of all head-masters, experience. As a lad of fourteen 
years he became virtually dependent upon his own resources, as 
he then left the home rooftree and found employment at farm work. 
One year later he established his residence in Elkader, where he 
entered the employ of his present business associate, Mr. Brown, 
and served a practical apprenticeship to the tinner's trade. Later 
he purchased a half interest in the business, to the expansion and 
definite success of which he has contributed effectively, and it is 
interesting to record that he became a partner in the thriving enter- 
prise before he had attained to his legal majority. Fidelity, con- 
secutive industry and sterling integrity have marked his business 
career, and have given him inviolable place in popular esteem, 
besides which he has won substantial place as one of the vigorous 
and enterprising business men of his native county. He has shown 
deep interest in community affairs and has been a member of the 
board of aldermen of Elkader for thirteen years, his services in this 
office having been marked by the same spirit of progressiveness 
and loyalty that has dominated his course in his private business. 
He is a stalwart in the local camp of the Republican party, is 
affiliated with the Masonic fraternity and the Woodmen of the 



BIOGRAPHICAL 29 

World, and both he and his wife are communicants of the German 
Lutheran church. On the 21st of March, 1893, was solemnized the 
marriage of Mr. Bahr to Miss Kate Wertley, who likewise was 
born and reared in this county, and of their two children the first, 
a daughter, died in infancy, the surviving child, Harry John, having 
been born February 21, 1903, and being at the present time, 1916, 
a duly ambitious student in the public schools of Elkader. 

Edward E. Bauder is one of the representative younger expo- 
nents of agricultural industry in his native county and his progres- 
siveness is shown in his availing himself of the most modern and 
approved facilities and methods in carrying forward the operations 
of the fine old homestead farm, in section 7, Marion township, 
where additional interest attaches to his activities by reason of the 
fact that the farm that thus receives his attention was the place of 
his nativity, his birth having here occurred on the 4th of August, 
1885. He is a son of Samuel and Caroline (Riorke) Bauder, the 
former of whom was born in the fair little republic of Switzerland 
and the latter of whom was born and reared in Iowa, a member of one 
ofthe sterling pioneer families of this commonwealth. Samuel Bauder 
came to America when a youth and he became one of the success- 
ful agriculturists and representative citizens of Marion township, 
Clayton county; his widow maintains her home in Elgin, Fayette 
county. Of the six children the eldest is Alfred, who is now a 
resident of the city of Cedar Rapids, this state ; Mary is the widow 
of Knudt Scarshaug of Elgin ; Emma is the wife of Ole Olson, of 
Clermont, Fayette county ; Anna is the wife of Lewis J. Grouth, of 
Elgin, Fayette county; Edward E. is a successful farmer of Marion 
township and figures as the immediate subject of this sketch ; and 
Ernest is now a resident of the city of Detroit, Michigan. The 
father of these children died when Edward was a boy of nine years. 
Edward E. Bauder was reared to adult age on the home farm of 
which he now has the active management and is indebted to the 
public schools of Clayton county for his early educational disci- 
pline. His career as an independent agriculturist was initiated 
when he was twenty years of age and he has shown remarkable 
circumspection and progressiveness in the directing of the opera- 
tions of the old homestead farm. Under his supervision have been 
installed many improvements of the best modern type, including 
a silo that has a capacity for the storage of one hundred tons, and 
a gas engine for supplying water for both farm and domestic pur- 
poses. Mr. Bauder has made his general farm operations distinc- 
tively successful and in connection with diversified agriculture he 
is giving special attention to the raising of the large type of 
Poland-China swine, the best specimens of this breed being found 
in appreciable numbers on his farm. He has insistently bred to 
the best type, as is shown by his paying one hundred and ten 
dollars for one pure-bred and registered brood sow and eighty dol- 
lars for another, besides which he is the owner of the well-known 
boar, "Big Black Orange," the registered number of which is 
226,579, and thus he has the best breeding stock, with resultant 
prominence as one of the leading breeders of Poland-China swine 



30 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

in this part of Iowa, As a citizen Mr. Bauder is loyal and progres- 
sive, even as he is in connection with the affairs of business, and 
he is aligned as a supporter of the principles and policies of the 
Republican party. His home place receives mail service on a rural 
route from the village of Elgin, which is his postoffice address. On 
the 24th of February, 1910, Mr. Bauder wedded Miss Alma 
Bakeman, who was born and reared in this county and who is a 
daughter of Nicholas and Mary (Underwood) Bakeman. 

Frederick W. Bauer. — The admirable agricultural resources of 
Clayton county have constituted the secure basis of its progress 
and prosperity, and as exponents of the great fundamental industry 
of farming there are found at the present time a goodly number of 
alert and valued representatives of the second generation of fami- 
lies whose names have been prominently and worthily linked with 
the development and advancement of this section of the state. 
Frederick W. Bauer is one of the native sons of Clayton county, 
who holds prestige as one of the substantial agriculturists and rep- 
resentative citizens of Boardman township, where he owns and 
operates a well improved farm of one hundred and eighty acres. 
Mr. Bauer was born in Garnavillo township, this county, on the 
31st of August, 1869, and is a son of William and Emma (Hoch- 
hause) Bauer, both of whom were born in Germany. William 
Bauer was a child when he accompanied his parents on their im- 
migration to America, and the family home was established in the 
State of Ohio, where he was reared to adult age and received a 
good common school education. As a young man he came to Iowa 
and numbered himself among the pioneers of Clayton county. He 
purchased a tract of land in Garnavillo township and reclaimed the 
same into a productive farm. In the late '80s he sold this property 
advantageously and soon afterward purchased the farm now occu- 
pied by his son, Frederick W., the immediate subject of this sketch. 
Here he continued his successful activities as a thrifty and pro- 
gressive agriculturist and stock-grower until about 1906, since which 
time he and his wife have maintained their residence in the city of 
Dubuque, where he is living virtually retired, in the enjoyment of 
the tangible rewards of former years of earnest toil and endeavor. 
He contributed his quota to the development of Clayton county 
along both civic and industrial lines and both he and his wife have 
a wide circle of friends in this county. They are zealous commu- 
nicants of the Catholic church and his political affiliation is with 
the Democratic party. Of the children the eldest is he whose 
name introduces this article ; Elizabeth is the wife of Max Ovitz 
and they maintain their home at Elkader, the judicial center of 
this county ; Otilla is the wife of Joseph Schiltz, of Dubuque ; Agnes 
is the wife of Paul Schammel, of Waterloo, this state ; Charles and 
Irma are with their parents in Dubuque ; and Amelia died in child- 
hood. Frederick W. Bauer reverts to the excellent public schools 
of his native county as the medium through which he acquired his 
early education, and his initial experience in connection with the 
practical affairs of life was that gained in his early association with 
the work of the home farm. This discipline, continued through the 



BIOGRAPHICAL 3 1 

period of his youth, well fitted him for the responsibilities which 
he assumed when he engaged in farming and stock-growing in an 
independent way and has contributed materially to his winning 
of precedence as one of the thorough-going, ambitious and suc- 
cessful farmers of his native county. He continued his association 
with his father in the work and management of the farm until his 
parents left the homestead to enjoy urban life, and thereafter he 
rented the place of his father until 1906, when he purchased the 
property, which now comprises a farm of one hundred and forty 
acres, equipped with a substantial and attractive modern house of 
two stories, and with excellent barns, fences and other accessories 
of a model farmstead. With much of discrimination and enter- 
prise Mr. Bauer carries forward his operations along the line of 
properly diversified agriculture, and he likewise gives attention to 
the breeding and raising of high-grade live stock. As a public- 
spirited citizen of well reinforced political convictions, he is aligned 
as a staunch supporter of the Democratic party, both he and his 
wife being communicants of the Catholic church, in the faith of 
which they were reared. On the 16th of November, 1900, was sol- 
emnized the marriage of Mr. Bauer to Miss Eva Fryetich, who 
likewise was born in Clayton county, where her father has long 
been a prosperous farmer, and the five children of this union are: 
Florence, Evaline, Clarence, Helen and Marian. 

Fred A. Beckett passed virtually his entire life in Clayton 
county, as he was an infant at the time when his parents became 
pioneer settlers of the county, and here it was his to achieve defi- 
nite independence and success through his efifective association 
with the basic industries of agriculture and stock-growing and to 
win and retain the confidence and good will of all with whom he 
came in contact. He was one of the representative farmers of 
Clayton township at the time of his death, which occurred on the 
24th of April, 1908, and his widow still resides upon and has the 
general supervision of the affairs of the fine homestead farm, which 
comprises one hundred and five acres and which is most pleasingly 
situated in section 34, Clayton township. Mr. Beckett was born 
at Belvidere, Illinois, on the 13th of September, 1858, and is the 
only deceased member of a family of four sons born to Peter B. 
and Charlotte A. (Wayman) Beckett. His parents were born and 
reared in England and immigrated to America in 1852. They were 
residents of Ohio about one year and thereafter maintained their 
home at Decatur, Illinois, until 1854, when they removed to Rock 
county, Wisconsin, where the father initiated activities as a 
farmer, of which line of enterprise he became an exponent a few 
years later in Boone county, Illinois, where the birth of the subject 
of this memoir occurred and whence soon afterward the family 
came to Clayton county, Iowa, where Peter B. Beckett eventually 
became one of the substantial and prominent farmers of Clayton 
township and where he continued to reside, a sterling and honored 
citizen, until his death, which occurred in 1901, his devoted wife 
having passed away in 1894. Reared to maturity upon the farm 
of his father, Fred A. Beckett early learned the valuable lessons of 



32 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

practical industry and availed himself simultaneously of the advan- 
tages afforded in the public schools of the locality. He was a 
young man when he initiated his independent career as an agricul- 
turist and stock-grower on the fine farm upon which his widow 
still maintains her home and which he developed into one of the 
model places of Clayton township. Here he continued his well 
ordered activities until he was called from the stage of life's mor- 
tal endeavors, a few months prior to his fiftieth birthday anniver- 
sary, and he left as a gracious heritage the untarnished reputation 
and the record for worthy accomplishment that indicate the finest 
sense of personal stewardship, his mortal remains having been 
laid to rest in the cemetery at Clayton. He was a loyal and public- 
spirited citizen, was a Democrat in his political allegiance and was 
a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, as is also his widow. 
In the year 1881 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Beckett to 
Miss Bessie Robinson, who was born in England and who came 
with her parents to the United States and became a resident of 
Clayton county in the year 1873. She is a daughter of William and 
Elizabeth (Drake) Robinson, both representatives of fine old Eng- 
lish lineage, and her parents continued their residence in Clayton 
county until their death, their five children still surviving them. 
Mr. and Mrs. Beckett became the parents of ten children, concern- 
ing whom brief record is made in conclusion of this memoir: 
Cora E. is the wife of August Saacke and they maintain their 
home at McGregor ; Hettie May is the wife of Percy Anderson, of 
McGregor; Bessie is the wife of James Duval and they reside in 
South Dakota ; Albert drowned at the age of 9 years ; Anna R. is the 
wife of John McWilliams, a representative farmer of Clayton 
county; Beatrice is the wife of Frederick Sibell, of Madison, Wis- 
consin; Peter F. and George remain with their widowed mother 
and are associated in the work of the home farm ; Lucile likewise 
remains a member of the home circle ; and the tenth child died in 
infancy. 

John T. Beckett has been a resident of Clayton county from 
the time of his nativity and owns and resides upon the fine old 
homestead farm, in Clayton township, which figures as the place of 
his birth and which under his energetic and judicious management 
has been made one of the well improved and valuable landed estates 
of the county. Mr. Beckett is a scion of staunch English stock in 
both the paternal and maternal lines and was born in Clayton on 
the 25th of December, 1863, when he became a right welcome 
Christmas arrival in the home of his parents, Peter B. and 
Charlotte A. (Wayman) Beckett, both natives of England. He 
whose name introduces this article was the fourth in order of birth 
in a family of four sons, of whom three are living. Peter B. 
Beckett was born on the 25th of October, 1821, and was reared and 
educated in his native land, where his marriage was solemnized. 
In 1852 he came with his young wife to the United States and they 
passed the first year in the state of Ohio. They then established 
their residence at Decatur, Illinois, where Mr. Beckett entered the 
employ of the Illinois Central Railroad Company, in the service of 



BIOGRAPHICAL 33 

which he continued until 1854, when he removed to Beloit, Wis- 
consin, where for a short interval he was engaged in the manufac- 
turing of brick, after which he was for two years a representative 
of agricultural enterprise in that vicinity. During the ensuing year 
he was engaged in farming in Boone county, Illinois, and he then, 
about the year 1858, came to Clayton county, Iowa, where he 
turned his attention to the butchering business, of which he was a 
pioneer exponent and with which he continued his identification 
for a few years. He then purchased a tract of land in section 34, 
Clayton township, where he reclaimed and developed a productive 
farm and where both he and his wife passed the remainder of their 
long and useful lives — sterling citizens to whom came a merited 
prosperity and the greater reward of the confidence and good will, 
of the community in which they long maintained their home. 
Mrs. Beckett was summoned to eternal rest in 1894 and her vener- 
able husband passed away in 1901, their remains resting side by 
side in the cemetery at Clayton. Both were reared in the faith of 
the Church of England and their lives were guided and governed 
by the Christian principles which they thus professed. John T. 
Beckett was reared to adult age on the farm which he now owns 
and operates, and in the meanwhile he gained due reinforcement 
for the battle of life by attending the common schools of the locality 
in which he gained the education that proved ample foundation for 
the broader and more practical discipline that has come to him 
through association with men and affairs in later years. Shortly 
after attaining to his legal majority he rented the old homestead 
farm, and later he purchased the property, which comprises one 
hundred and fifty-six acres and upon which he has made many 
excellent improvements of permanent order. This is one of the 
good farms of the county and it has been the stage of his well 
ordered activities during his entire adult career, the while he is 
known as a progressive and successful representative of agricul- 
tural and live-stock industry in his native county as well as a loyal 
and steadfast citizen who is well upholding the honors of the name 
which he bears. He is now serving his second term in the office 
of township trustee, was treasurer of his school district for some 
time, and is aligned as a staunch supporter of the cause of the 
Democratic party. He is affiliated with Oakleaf Camp, No. 2875, 
Modern Woodmen of America, at Clayton, in which he has passed 
various official chairs, and both he and his wife hold membership 
in the Christian Science church. In the year 1892 was solemnized 
the marriage of Mr. Beckett to Miss Caroline Allen, who likewise 
was born and reared in this county and who is a daughter of Hans 
and Anna (Olson) Allen, both of whom were born in Norway, 
whence they came with their parents to the United States when 
young. Mr. Allen became one of the substantial farmers and 
highly esteemed citizens of Clayton county and here his death 
occurred in 1896, his wife still surviving him. Mr. and Mrs. 
Beckett have two children, — Leslie, who is now employed at Elka- 
der, the county seat, and Veva A., who is attending the McGregor 
high school. 



34 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

Frederick G. Bell maintains his residence in his native city of 
McGregor, Clayton county, and has gained prominence and influ- 
ence as one of the representative factors in connection with the 
important operations involved in the grain industry in this section 
of the Union, as he is now the incumbent of the responsible posi- 
tion of manager at McGregor of the interests and extensive busi- 
ness of the firm of Gilchrist & Company, which maintains a great 
chain of grain elevators throughout Minnesota and northern Iowa. 
Mr. Bell is one of the alert business men and popular and public- 
spirited citizens of McGregor and is a member of a family whose 
name has been long and worthily identified with the annals of 
Clayton county. He was born at McGregor on the 12th of May, 
1874, and is the second in order of birth of the three children of 
Colin F. and Lacy (Sloan) Bell, the former a native of the State 
of New York and the latter of Illinois. Of the three children the 
first-born was a son who died in infancy, and the youngest of the 
number is Miss Elizabeth Bell, who still maintains her home at 
McGregor. Colin F. Bell came to Clayton county in the pioneer 
days and was for many years engaged actively and successfully in 
the buying and shipping of grain, with residence and business head- 
quarters at McGregor, where he died Feb. 1st, 1905, when about 82 
years of age, and where his wife passed away May 1st, 1906. 
Frederick G. Bell acquired his early education in the public schools 
of McGregor and supplemented this discipline by an effective 
course in the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, at Troy, New York. 
After his return to McGregor he became associated with his father 
in the grain business, with which he has since continued to be 
identified and in connection with which his experience has been 
such as to give him authoritative knowledge of all conditions and 
details. As manager for Gilchrist & Company he has supervision 
of a large and important business in the buying and shipping of 
grain, and his progressiveness and loyalty are further shown in the 
lively interest which he shows in all that touches the welfare of 
his native city and county. His political allegiance is given to the 
Republican party. Mr. Bell holds membership in the Congrega- 
tional church, his wife following the precepts of the Christian 
Science church. August 8, 191 1, was the date that recorded the mar- 
riage of Mr. Bell to Miss Emma Farnum, who was born and reared 
at Mason City, Cerro Gordo county, this State, and they have four 
children — Farnum, Colin, Lyman and Lacy. It should be noted 
that Mr. Bell's interest in and prominent association with the 
grain business is further evidenced by his holding membership in 
the Board of Trade of the City of Chicago. 

Sam Bennington. — Notwithstanding all the advancement that 
has been and yet shall be made in all other domains of human 
enterprise, it is certain that the great industries of agriculture and 
stock-growing, most closely allied with the earth itself, must ever 
figure as the basis of prosperity and progress along both material 
and civic lines. Thus that man may well be considered fortunate 
who stands exemplar of progressive enterprise in connection with 
these all-important phases of industrial activity, and such an alert, 



BIOGRAPHICAL 35 

vigorous and successful man is Sam Bennington, who has won 
precedence as one of the representative agriculturists and stock- 
raisers of his native county, where he is associated with his brother 
William in the ownership and operation of one of the finely- 
improved and extensive landed estates of Clayton county, the same 
being specially well known by reason of its prestige in the pro- 
duction of the best grades of live stock, and the brothers having 
gained high reputation for the energy, discrimination and advanced 
policies which they have effectively brought to bear in connection 
with their operations. Sam Bennington was born on a farm in 
section 36, Sperry township, this county, and the date of his nativ- 
ity was August 29, 1872. He is a son of Samuel and Esther 
(Bidwell) Bennington, both of whom were born in England — 
representatives of sterling old families of the "right little isle." 
Samuel Bennington was reared and educated in his native land 
and his entire active career was one of close and favored associa- 
tion with the great fundamental industry of agriculture. He was 
a young man when he came to the United States and in 1856 he 
numbered himself among the pioneer settlers of Clayton county, 
Iowa, where he obtained land and, with characteristic energy and 
circumspection, instituted the development of a farm, in Sperry 
township. He was a man of strong and upright character, was 
possessed of much business acumen, and through his well ordered 
endeavors he achieved a large and worthy measure of success. 
He gained assured place as one of the influential agriculturists and 
valued citizens of Clayton county at the time of his death, which 
occurred March 3, 1906; he was the owner of a valuable landed 
estate of nine hundred acres. His devoted wife passed to the life 
eternal on the 7th of April, 1880, and concerning their children the 
following brief data are entered : Charles is now a resident of Rago, 
Kingman county, Kansas ; Annie is the wife of Thomas Butcher, of 
Lawrence. Van Buren county, Michigan; Esther is the wife of 
Edward W. Griffith, of Marion, Lynn county, Iowa ; William and 
Sam are, as previously noted, associated in successful operations 
as prominent farmers and stock-growers of Clayton county. He 
whose name initiates this article is indebted to the public schools 
of his native county for his early educational discipline, and he 
became actively associated with the work and management of the 
home farm, in connection with which he gained broad and exact 
knowledge of all details of practical and scientific agriculture and 
stock-raising and proved a valued coadjutor of his honored father 
until the latter's death. He and his older brother. William, now 
own a valuable landed estate of seven hundred and seventy acres, 
in Highland and Sperry townships, and he occupies on the same 
the old homestead residence of his parents. The Bennington Brothers 
give special attention to and have achieved marked success in the 
raising of the best grades of Shorthorn cattle. Shire horses and 
Shropshire sheep. The permanent improvements on the extensive 
farmstead are of the best order, including a large and attractive 
house, excellent barns, and minor buildings, and the equipment 
throughout is of the most advanced type, indicative of the progres- 



36 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

siveness and thrift that make the model farmer. William Benning- 
ton, who is a bachelor, occupies a house of his own, and this building 
likewise adds to the attractions of the fine fraternal domain, which 
is one of the admirable rural estates of this section of Iowa. The 
brothers pay unequivocal allegiance to the cause of the Repub- 
lican party and are loyal and public-spirited citizens who command 
the high regard of the people of their native county. Sam 
Bennington is affiliated with the camp of the Woodmen of the 
World at Volga, which city constitutes his postoffice address and 
from which he receives service on rural mail route No. 2. On the 
22d of December, 1903, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. 
Bennington to Miss Clara Chapman, who likewise was born and 
reared in Clayton county and whose parents, Engel and Mary 
(Jellings) Chapman, both now deceased, were born in England. 
Mr. and Mrs. Bennington have no children. 

August Benson is another of the sterling sons of the fair Norse- 
land who have found in America the advantages and opportunities 
for the achieving of definite independence and prosperity, and he 
has been a resident of Clayton county for over thirty years. Here 
his industry and progressiveness are indicated in his ownership of 
one of the fine farms of Highland township, and he is specially 
worthy of representation in this publication. Mr. Benson was 
born in Goteberg, Sweden, on the 5th of August, 1855, and is a son 
of Bengt Anderson and Bertha (Larson) Anderson, who passed 
their entire lives in their native land, their son August receiving 
the surname of Benson, in accordance with the ancient custom of 
Sweden, that of giving to children for surnames the full or a deriva- 
tive from the personal name of the father. He whose name initi- 
ates this review was reared on his father's farm and gained his 
early education in the schools of his native land. He was the 
eighth in order of birth in a family of twelve children, of whom the 
eldest, Anna Breta, remains in Sweden ; Christina and Andrew 
died in their native land ; Lars and Johannes still reside in Sweden ; 
Carl and August (first of the name) are deceased, the latter having 
died in infancy and the same name having been given to the sub- 
ject of this review, who was the next child; Magnus is deceased; 
Johanna is the wife of Halvor Torkleson, a progressive farmer of 
Clayton county; John resides in the city of Chicago, as does also 
Emma, who is the wife of August Jacobson. August Benson re- 
mained at the parental home until he had attained to the age of 
twenty-one years, when he severed the ties that bound him to his 
native land and came to America, fortified with energy and ambi- 
tion and determined to make advancement through his own efforts. 
He resided for some time in the state of New York, maintaining 
his home first at Brockton and later at Dunkirk, and incidental to 
his work at this period of his career it is interesting to record that 
he had the distinction of driving the first spike in connection with 
the construction of the line of the Nickel Plate Railroad in the 
Empire state. Later he was for five years in the employ of a 
physician, Dr. Williams, at Dunkirk, and he then, in 1885, came to 
Clayton county, where he worked one year on a farm. He had 



BIOGRAPHICAL * 37 

carefully conserved his earnings during the period of his residence 
in the United States, and thus he found himself at the expiration of 
this first year justified in the purchasing of his present farm of 
one hundred and sixty acres, in Section 1, Highland township. He 
has made the best of improvements on the place, has a substantial 
and modern residence of two stories, and in addition to the home- 
stead he now owns a tract of twenty acres of timber land, in High- 
land township. Mr. Benson is a practical, industrious and pro- 
gressive farmer, gives special attention to the raising of clover, and 
propagates also the other crops best suited to the soil and climate 
of this section of Iowa, including alfalfa, which he has grown quite 
successfully in a small way for the last few years, besides raising 
fine grades of live stock. The splendid prosperity that has at- 
tended his indefatigable efforts is further attested by his having in 
recent time purchased in Highland township an additional tract 
of one hundred and ninety-seven acres, in which he has given to 
his sons a partnership interest. He is a staunch Republican, is 
serving as school director of his district and he and his wife are 
earnest communicants of the Lutheran church. In 1884 was sol- 
emnized the marriage of Mr. Benson to Miss Elizabeth Jacoby, 
who likewise was born in Sweden, and she has proved his devoted 
helpmeet during the years of their gracious companionship. Of 
the children born to this happy union, all received the advantages 
of the excellent schools of Clayton county. Hilma, the oldest, is 
married to Mr. Levy M. Erickson of Farmersburg; Charles August 
is a graduate of the Iowa State College of Agriculture at Ames, 
and is the present deputy clerk of the District Court of Clayton 
county. Jerda is a successful and popular teacher in the district 
schools, and Oscar Arthur is preparing himself for a collegiate 
course at Ames College. It is planned soon that Charles shall 
resign his official position and that father and sons shall join in 
the improvement of the old homestead and their newly acquired 
land, which is all in one body, and convert it into a first-class stock 
farm. 

Ben M. Benson holds precedence as one of the representative 
farmers of Highland township, and is well worthy of recognition 
in this history of his native county. He was born in Marion town- 
ship, on the 22d of July, 1862, and is a son of Michael and Bergat 
(Olson) Benson, both of whom were born in Norway. Michael 
Benson was reared to manhood in his native land and in 1859 he 
immigrated to the United States and established his residence in 
Marion township, Clayton county, in 1861. After due experience 
as a pioneer farmer in that township he removed to section 3, 
Highland township, where he developed a fine farm of one hundred 
and twenty acres, this old homestead having continued as his place 
of residence until his death, which occurred January 10, 1891, the 
devoted wife of his young manhood having been summoned to rest 
on the 5th of June, 1875, and both having been earnest members of 
the Norwegian Lutheran church. Of their five children the first, 
Ben, died in infancy, and the second child is Ben M., the immediate 
subject of this review; Ole is a prosperous farmer in Wagner 



38 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

township; Carrie is the wife of Nels E. Nelson, of Lyon county; 
and Isabel is the wife of Henry Embertson, of Wagner township. 
Ben M. Benson has resided on the old homestead farm from the 
time of his birth and now owns a well improved landed estate of 
iwo hundred and sixty acres, devoted to diversified agriculture and 
the raising of approved grades of live stock. He has at all times 
taken a loyal interest in community affairs, is a Republican in his 
political adherency, served two terms as township trustee and is 
now a member of the school board of the home district in which he 
himself acquired his early education. Both he and his wife are 
communicants of the Norwegian Lutheran church in Highland 
township and he is serving as its treasurer His attractive home, 
with modern conveniences and appointments, receives mail service 
on rural route No. 2 from the village of Elgin. On the 8th of 
March, 1889, was recorded the marriage of Mr. Benson to Miss 
Berdelia Lein, who likewise was born and reared in this county, 
where her parents, Lars and Josand (Olson) Lein, established 
their home upon their immigration to America from Norway, in 
1857, her father becoming one of the sturdy and honored pioneer 
farmers of Highland township. He died in 1870 and his widow 
now resides in the state of Minnesota. They became the parents 
of eleven children, of whom the first, Ivan, is deceased ; Ole resides 
at Grand Forks, North Dakota; Emily is the wife of Bertines 
Hulverson, of North Dakota; Isabel is the wife of A. Storeland and 
they reside in Minnesota; Bertha is the wife of Hans Hanson, of 
Sioux Falls, South Dakota ; Lars is deceased ; Mrs. Benson was 
the next in order of birth; Georgina is the wife of Henry Highfield, 
and they reside in the state of Idaho; Julia is the wife of M. T. 
Paulson, of Austin, Minnesota; Caroline is the wife of Rev. N. G. 
Peterson, who is now pastor of a Lutheran church in the city of 
Des Moines ; Laura is the wife of M. O. Swinstad, of Devil's Lake, 
North Dakota. In conclusion is given brief record concerning the 
children of Mr, and Mrs. Benson : Leonard Elmer was born Sep- 
tember 22, 1889, and is associated in the management of the home 
farm ; Betsy Maria, born November 7, 1890, is the wife of Lars 
Larson, of Boardman township ; Adelia Louisa, who remains at 
the parental home, as do also Josephine Ida, Melvin Enoch, 
Cornelia Betina, Belva Belinda and Luella Geneva. 

Frank Bente is a scion of the third generation of the Bente 
family in Clayton county, with whose annals the name has been 
identified since the early pioneer days, and he is now one of the 
extensive and representative agriculturists and stock-growers of 
his native county, where he is the owner of a well improved landed 
estate of three hundred and twenty-seven acres, in sections 11 and 
12, Boardman township and with free mail service on one of the 
rural delivery routes from Elkader, the county seat. Mr. Bente 
was born in Cox Creek township, this county, on the 17th of Feb- 
ruary, 1876, and is a son of William and Margaret (Kress) Bente, 
both of whom were born in Germany but reared and educated in 
the United States. William Bente was a child of three years at 
the time of his parents' immigration to America and he became one 



BIOGRAPHICAL 39 

of the pioneer settlers in what is now Cox Creek township, Clayton 
county, Iowa, where he reclaimed and improved a valuable farm 
and where he continued his residence until his death, which 
occurred in 1910. He was one of the substantial and highly 
esteemed citizens of this county, was a Republican in politics and 
was a communicant of the Lutheran church, as is also his widow, 
who now maintains her home at Elkader, the county seat. Of 
their ten children the eldest is Henry, who is a prosperous farmer 
in Read township; Louis resides at Elkader; George is engaged in 
farming in Boardman township; Mary is the wife of Adolph 
Altschul, of Duluth, Minnesota; Frank, of this review, was the 
fifth child; Annie is the wife of Edward Messe, of Littleport, this 
county; Michael is a farmer in Cox Creek township; Katherine is 
the wife of Robert Englart, and they reside in the city of Chicago; 
Ida is the wife of John Miller of that city; and Elizabeth 
is the wife of Morris Hesner, of Strawberry Point, Clayton 
county. Frank Bente passed the period of his childhood and 
youth on his father's farm and in the meanwhile fortified himself 
in mental discipline by attending the public schools. He con- 
tinued to be associated with the work and management of the home 
farm until he was twenty-three years of age, and in his independent 
career as an agriculturist and stock-grower he has shown himself 
ambitious, resourceful and progressive, with the result that he has 
gained distinctive success and is to be designated as one of the 
representative farmers of his native county. In 1907 he purchased 
his present fine farm of three hundred and twenty-seven acres, and 
he is making the same one of the model places of the county, with 
a consistent application to diversified agriculture and the raising of 
good grades of live stock. He is aligned as a staunch supporter 
of the principles of the Republican party, is affiliated with the 
Brotherhood of American Yeomen, and both he and his wife are 
communicants of the Lutheran church. On the first of August, 
1900, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Bente to Miss Lena A. 
Scheer, who has likewise born and reared in Clayton county and 
who is a daughter of Frederick and Lena Scheer, both natives of 
Germany. ]\Ir. and Mrs. Bente have two children — Florence Mary, 
who was born October 30, 1902 ; and Ralph William Edward, who 
was born December 19, 1903. 

James W. Bentley is a representative of the second genera- 
tion of one of the well-known pioneer families whose name has 
been worthily linked with the social and material development and 
progress of Clayton county, and, loyal to and appreciative of the 
manifold advantages and attractions of his native county, James 
Wilbert Bentley has had no desire to sever his allegiance thereto, 
for he has here continued an exponent of the important and basic 
lines of industry under whose influence he was reared and is one of 
the substantial and enterprising farmers of Highland township. 
He was born in this township on the 26th of December, 1861, and 
is a son of Albert and Sarah Jane Bentley, who became residents 
of the county in the earlier '50s and who here passed the remainder 
of their lives — folk of strong individuality, invincible integrity and 



40 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

that appreciation of the true value of human thought and action 
that made them account well for themselves in all of the relations 
of life. Of their children the first-born, Albert, died in infancy; 
Emma, the widow of George Keeland, resides in the state of North 
Dakota; Charles E. is deceased; Mrs. Mary Bateman resides in 
the city of Minneapolis, where her husband is identified with 
business enterprise ; and James W., of this review, is the youngest 
of the children. After having made good use of the advantages 
afforded in the public schools James W. Bentley continued as an 
active and resourceful assistant in the work of the home farm until 
he had attained to the age of nineteen years, when he went to 
West Union, Fayette county, where he worked about one year. 
He then made his way to the State of Michigan, but in the follow- 
ing spring he returned to his native county, where he worked on 
a farm until the ensuing autumn. He then went to Minnesota, 
where he amplified his experience, but after an absence of a year 
he showed his continued loyalty to his home county by resuming 
his residence within its borders and by renting the old homestead 
farm of his father. He remained with his widowed mother until 
her death, and shortly afterward, in 1883, he purchased his present 
farm, which is eligibly situated in section 23, Highland township, 
and which comprises two hundred and thirty-five acres of the fine 
land for which this section of the Hawkeye state is famed. Since 
assuming possession of this domain Mr. Bentley has made many 
high-grade improvements on the place, including the erection of a 
house and other buildings of the most approved modern type. He 
has had no aspiration for the honors of political office but has 
shown loyal interest in all things touching the well being of the 
community and gives unequivocal support to the principles and 
policies for which the Republican party stands sponsor. In a 
fraternal way he is affiliated with the Modern Brotherhood of 
America. His splendid rural home is about four miles distant 
from the village of Volga, from which place it receives service on 
mail route No. 1. On the 22d of June, 1884, was solemnized the 
marriage of Mr. Bentley to Miss Margaret Waltenbaugh, who was 
born in Clayton county, April 28, 1865, and of the five children of 
this union the eldest is Mabel, who is the widow of Frederick 
Heiden and who now resides at Elkader; Delia is the wife of 
William Davis, of Manchester, Delaware county ; Hattie is the wife 
of James Meyers, of Volga ; and Blanche and Mildred remain at 
the parental home. 

Elmer E. Benton. — No history of Clayton county could be 
written without frequent mention of Elmer E. Benton and of his 
father, Willard A. Benton, both of whom served the county in the 
office of sheriff and both of whom took active part in all the affairs 
of Clayton county's civic life. Willard A. Benton, father of Elmer 
E. Benton, was born in Afton, New York, and was the son of 
Orange Benton, a descendant of one of the oldest families of New 
England. The life of Willard Benton was filled not only with 
good deeds and substantial accomplishments, but with adventure 
and travel such as fall to the lot of but few. He was born on the 



BIOGRAPHICAL 41 

farm which was the ancestral home and received his preliminary 
education in the schools of the county. At an early age he started 
to earn his own livelihood and first worked as an apprentice at the 
tanner's trade. It was while he was working at this trade that the 
discovery of gold in California filled all the east with dreams of a 
golden El Dorado. The bold and adventurous nature of the youth 
was at once fired with these reports of fabulous riches and he joined 
the exodus to California and, with a companion, George Church, 
he made the voyage "around the Horn," landing in San Francisco 
in 1853. Three years were spent by him in the gold fields of Cali- 
fornia, and he suffered all the hardships and partook of all the ex- 
citement and vicissitudes of the early days of placer mining. His 
fortunes were varied and his golden dreams were not fulfilled, but 
his spirit was undaunted and he resolved to push on, across the 
broad Pacific, to the gold fields of Australia. He traveled through 
this new continent for about six months, finally reaching the gold 
fields. He arrived with no resources save strong and willing hands 
and a knowledge of mining gained in California. He immediately 
staked a claim, and fortune smiled on him, for the result of his first 
day's labor was an ounce and a half of virgin gold. While moder- 
ately successful in Australia, Mr. Benton longed for his native land 
and within six months he was again on the Pacific, returning to 
America. The good ship "Yankee Blade," on which he embarked, 
suffered a most tempestuous passage and was finally wrecked off 
the coast of Southern California. The passengers and crew were 
rescued by the ship "Goliath," and Mr. Benton was enabled to 
resume his voyage and to return to his home in the Empire State. 
His next, and most fortunate adventure was on the sea of matri- 
mony, and, in 1856, he was married to Anna Maria Buck, also a 
descendant from an old New England family, who proved a model 
help-mate in every way and who was for many years one of the 
most popular and beloved women of Clayton county. Two chil- 
dren v/ere born to them, Nellie M., who died at the age of three 
years, and Elmer E., whose name heads this brief biography. In 
1857, shortly after their marriage, this brave young couple decided 
to move to the wider opportunities of the middle west and settled 
on Iowa as their future home. Arriving at Prairie du Chien, they 
crossed the Mississippi at McGregor's Landing, and Mr. Benton 
bought a farm in Howard county, which he cultivated for about a 
year. This was in the "Golden Era" of McGregor's history and 
Mr. Benton decided to cast his lot with the promising young me- 
tropolis. He engaged in the commission and real estate business 
and soon established himself as one of the leading spirits of that 
progressive city. He was an ardent union man, and, in 1861, he 
was appointed postmaster of McGregor. As the magnitude of the 
war increased and the call for troops became more pressing, Mc- 
Gregor, like hundreds of other cities, was hard pressed at times to 
fill its quota. It was in such an emergency that Willard A. Benton 
volunteered to raise a company of infantry. The story of his work, 
how he fairly stormed the town with martial music and with stir- 
ring patriotic appeals, has been told in volume one of this history. 



42 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

In a short time a company of more than one hundred men had 
been raised and Willard A. Benton was the unanimous choice for 
captain. He accepted this call to duty and, amid the cheers of the 
people of McGregor, he and his gallant company embarked on the 
"War Eagle," and glided from the peace of Iowa to the grim 
scenes of war. The company proceeded to Camp Franklin, where 
it was mustered into the regular army. Captain Benton took 
part, with his company, in the battles of Hartsville, Mo., Port 
Gibson, the charge of Black River Bridge, near Vicksburg, and 
various other engagements under General Grant. Sickness com- 
pelled him to leave his command, to the great regret of his brav€ 
company, and he returned to McGregor, where, as soon as he had 
regained his health, he was reinstated as postmaster, during his 
absence the position having been efficiently filled by his capable 
wife. He was postmaster at McGregor for eight years and upon 
retiring from that office he undertook a large contract to supply 
wood to the C, M. & St. P. Ry., and also conducted a flourishing 
real estate business. It was at this time also that he introduced 
a unique industry into Clayton county, devoting his spare time to 
the raising of trout in a hatchery which he conducted for several 
years, thus being a pioneer in the great work now undertaken by 
the Government at North McGregor and many other stations. In 
1873, Willard A. Benton was elected sheriff of Clayton county, serv- 
ing with greatest efficiency for three terms in that important office. 
Retiring from this position he returned to McGregor, where he 
spent the remainder of his life. His useful, patriotic and success- 
ful career ended on this earth September 9, 1905, when he died at 
the age of seventy-six years, having been preceded in death by his 
wife, who passed to the other life, March 26, 1894. Elmer E. Benton 
received his preliminary education in the public schools of his native 
city, McGregor, and later was a student of the high schools. Before 
graduation, however, being ambitious to make his own way in the 
world, he obtained a position with his father as deputy sheriff. In 
1880, at the close of his father's term of office, he went to Butte 
City, Montana, taking a position in the mines, and later prospecting 
for about two years. He returned to McGregor in June, 1882, and 
engaged as a traveling salesman for John Elbling, being employed 
in this capacity for about five years. He then accepted the posi- 
tion of deputy sheriff under J. J. Kann, and he later served in the 
same capacity under Sheriff George Cook. In 1895 he was elected 
to the office of sheriff on the democratic ticket. He was thrice re- 
elected, serving a total of eight years. Such was his popularity 
that for his fourth term he had no opposition, the Republicans con- 
ceding his election, and no candidate caring to stand against him. 
Mr. Benton is today serving his country as field deputy revenue 
collector, in which work he has proven an efficient and incorruptible 
public servant. His name, like that of his father before him, is 
synonymous with kindliness, good fellowship, efficiency and ability. 
James Bergan pays no divided loyalty to Clayton county, Iowa, 
though he claims Macoupin county, Illinois, as the place of his 
birth, which there occurred on the 27th of July, 1862. He has been 



THE NEW YORK 

PUBLIC LIBRARY 



iffrOE. LINQX AND 
TILDBN WUNDiTlONB 




EMBERT BERGEMEYER 



BIOGRAPHICAL 



43 



a resident of Clayton county since he was a child of about four 
years and here he is now associated with his brother John in the 
ownership of one of the large and splendidly improved farms of 
Sperry township, where they stand forth as enterprising and influ- 
ential exponents of agricultural and live-stock industry in this 
favored section of the Hawkeye state. The parents, Patrick and 
Elizabeth (Stulley) Bergan were born and reared in Ireland and 
came to the United States in 1848. They continued their resi- 
dence in Illinois until 1866, when they came to Clayton county, 
Iowa, and settled on a farm in Highland township. There they 
passed the remainder of their lives, earnest, kindly and upright 
folk who won independence through their own endeavors and 
who commanded the high regard of the community in which 
they long lived and labored, both having been communicants of 
the Catholic church. Of the eight children six still survive the 
honored parents. James Bergan was reared on the old homestead 
farm and gained his early education in the schools of Highland 
township. He remained at home until the death of his parents and 
he and his brother John then purchased the farm upon which they 
and their families now reside, the same comprising a fine estate of 
two hundred and forty-five acres, in section 16, Sperry township, 
and the brothers having improved the property with substantial 
and essentially modern buildings. They are associated also in 
the ownership of twenty acres of land within the corporate limits 
of the village of Volga. James Bergan has been loyal and liberal 
in the support of measures and enterprises tending to advance the 
communal welfare, is a staunch Democrat in politics but has never 
been imbued with any ambition for public office. He and his wife 
are zealous communicants of the Catholic church, and prior to her 
marriage Mrs. Bergan has been a successful and popular teacher 
in the district schools of Clayton county. They have no children. 
In 1912 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Bergan to Miss 
Katherine Minihan, who was born in Highland township, this 
county, in the year 1870, and whose parents, Patrick and Mary 
(Gaynor) Minihan, were well known and highly esteemed citizens 
of this county at the time of their death, both having been born in 
Ireland and having been children at the time of the immigration of 
the respective families to the United States. Mr. and Mrs. Minihan 
became the parents of seven children, all of whom are living 
except one. 

Embert Bergemeyer, the present efficient and popular sheriff 
of Clayton county is a Norwegian by birth but a thorough Ameri- 
can at heart. He was born in the city of Christiania, Norway, June 
8th, 1877, the son of Elias Bergemeyer. He came to America with 
his parents, landing in New York July 14, 1888, and the family came 
at once to McGregor, where they had relatives among the early 
Norwegian pioneers. As a lad he worked on the farm and attended 
the rural schools of Clayton and Mendon townships. His has 
been a life of hard work and his younger days he spent farming and 
threshing in the northern part of the county. He was married in 
1899 to Miss Anna Allen of McGregor and to them one son, Clinton 



44 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

Bergemeyer was born. The death of his wife ended this happy 
union. On November 24th, 1903, he was married to Miss Sarah 
Margaret Bertsinger of McGregor and they have a charming 
daughter, Marjorie Regina. For a number of years Mr. Bergemeyer 
was in the drayage and ice business at McGregor which business 
he sold in 1908. For five years he was city marshal of McGregor 
and also a constable for Mendon township. It was his efficiency 
as peace officer and his genial good-heartedness which makes him 
highly popular with all the men, that led to his nomination for 
sheriff on the Democratic ticket in 1910. There were three can- 
didates in the primary election, Mr. Bergemeyer winning by a 
plurality of thirty-six votes. At the election, however, in Novem- 
ber, 1910, he defeated his opponent, Doug. Brown, by a majority of 
1,078. In the primary of 1912 he had no opposition and in the 
election of that year he received one of the largest majorities ever 
given a candidate for sheriff, being elected over Frank Wood, 
Republican, by a majority of 1,764. Again, in 1914, he had no 
opposition in his own party at the primary and he was elected by 
a majority almost as large, he receiving 1,689 more votes than his 
opponent, J. P. Hurley, the Republican candidate. In the primary 
of 1916 there was a four-cornered fight in which Mr. Bergemeyer 
was the winner by 125 over his nearest opponent, and he is at 
present the Democratic nominee for sheriff. There is no question 
but that he has been a faithful, efficient and capable officer and a 
worthy successor to such men as James Davis, W. A. Benton, 
E. E. Benton, Martin Dittmer, and others who have made Clayton 
county noted for its excellent sheriffs. During the year of 1915 
from some unknown cause a fire broke out in the roof of the county 
jail which is also the sheriff's residence, and at this time he lost a 
large portion of his household goods. As an officer, Mr. Bergemeyer 
has been eminently successful. There have been no jail deliveries 
during his term and all the work of his office has been attended to 
promptly and with courtesy, but with due firmness and proper 
regard for law. While, fortunately, there have been no serious 
crimes committed in the county during the past few years where 
the criminals were unknown, nevertheless Mr. Bergemeyer is 
entitled to much credit for his clever detective work in a number of 
instances. One clever capture, due largely to his detective ability 
was the breaking up of an arson gang which set fire to a new resi- 
dence in the eastern part of the county in 1913. Mr. Bergemeyer 
followed the clews in the case and succeeded not only in capturing 
those guilty of this crime but in unearthing the burning of the 
Haggen barn in which horses and live stock were ruthlessly burned 
to death. Mr. Bergemeyer is one of the best liked men in Clayton 
county. He is capable, both physically and mentally, for the exact- 
ing office which he holds, and while he is inexorable in the perforni- 
ance of his duty, he has a kindness of heart and a sympathy for his 
fellows which makes him an ideal officer. He has taken an active 
part in all civic movements at McGregor and Elkader and through- 
out the county, and his friends predict that he will be triumphantly 
elected this fall. 



BIOGRAPHICAL 45 

Ernest A. Bergman. — A progressive and popular citizen of 
McGregor, which has represented his home from the time of his 
birth, holds place as one of the sterling business men of his native 
city, with a circle of friends that is limited only by that of his 
acquaintances. With recognized eligibility, Mr. Bergman appeared 
in the spring of 1916 as a candidate for nomination for the office of 
sheriff of Clayton county, on the Democratic ticket, and the result 
of the primary election was that he was defeated by 41 votes. Mr. 
Bergman was born at McGregor on the 12th of November, 1875, 
and is a son of Frederick and Margaret (Daubenberger) Bergman, 
both of whom were born in Germany. Frederick Bergman immi- 
grated to the United States when a young man and for a time 
maintained his residence in the State of Pennsylvania, whence he 
removed in an early day to Wisconsin and established his resi- 
dence at LaCrosse, where he remained about two years. In 1865 
he numbered himself among the pioneer settlers at McGregor, 
Iowa, where for many years he successfully conducted a meat 
market, though he lived virtually retired for a number of years prior 
to his death, which occurred in May, 1910, the wife of his youth 
having passed away in 1874, and their children having been ten in 
number: Frederick, the first-born, is deceased; Frank still main- 
tains his home at McGregor ; Henry is deceased ; Edward resides 
at McGregor; Albert is deceased; Ernest A., of this review, was 
the next in order of birth ; William likewise maintains his home 
at McGregor; Odilda is the wife of John A. Walters, of McGregor; 
and Misses May and Charlotte still reside in their native place. 
Continuing his studies in the public schools until he had duly 
profited by the advantages of the McGregor high school, Ernest A. 
Bergman then became associated with the operation of his father's 
meat market, and later he was engaged in the hotel business at 
McGregor for a period of about five years. He then resumed his 
connection with the meat-market business, of which he has since 
continued a prominent and successful representative in his native 
place. He has been a zealous supporter of the cause of the Demo- 
cratic party and an active worker in its local ranks, though he 
never appeared as a candidate for public office until he announced 
his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for sheriff of his 
native county, in the spring of 1916. He is affiliated with the local 
organizations of the Masonic fraternity, the Woodmen of the 
World, and the Modern Brotherhood of America. On the 22d of 
August, 1913. was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Bergman to 
Mrs. Clara (Nelson) Elder, widow of Howard Elder and daughter 
of Nels Nelson. By her first marriage Mrs. Bergman has one son, 
Howard. 

Theodore Bems became the owner of the fine old homestead on 
which he was born, in Jefferson township, and long held precedence 
as one of the representative agriculturists and stock-growers of 
his native county. He still retains possession of his fine landed 
estate, but since 1910 he has lived virtually retired in the little city 
of Guttenberg, where he erected a fine brick residence which has 
since been his place of abode and which is one of the most modern 



46 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

and attractive homes in this part of the county. Mr. Berns was 
born in Jefferson township on the 6th of November, 1860, and is a 
son of Theodore and Mary Berns, who were born in Prussia and 
who became sterling pioneers of Clayton county, Iowa, where they 
continued to reside on their old homestead farm until their death, 
both having been zealous communicants of the Catholic church and 
the father having been a staunch supporter of the cause of the 
Democratic party. Theodore Berns was reared and educated in 
his native land and came to the United States and to Clayton 
county, Iowa, about the year 1845. He purchased a small tract 
of land in Jefferson township and by his indefatigable energy and 
excellent business ability he achieved substantial success, as indi- 
cated in his accumulation of one of the large and valuable landed 
estates of Jefferson township. Of the children the eldest two, 
Herman and Peter, now reside at Garnavillo, this county ; Mary is 
deceased ; Theodore, Jr., of this review, was the fourth child ; 
Joseph resides at National, this county; Henry is a substantial 
farmer of Jefferson township ; and Yetta is deceased. Theodore 
Berns, Jr., was favored in having the advantages not only of the 
district schools of Jefferson township but also those of the excellent 
Catholic parochial schools at Guttenberg. His entire active career 
was marked by close association with the work and management 
of the old homestead farm upon which he was born and into the 
ownership of which he came when he was about 14 years of age, 
by purchasing the interests of the other heirs. This fine rural 
domain comprises seven hundred and ten acres and is one of the 
more extensive and valuable farm properties of Clayton county, 
with permanent improvements of an order that mark it as a ver- 
itable model. While on the farm Mr. Berns gave special attention 
to the raising of high-grade live stock, including Shorthorn cattle 
and Poland-China swine. He was known for his distinctive energy, 
progressiveness and good judgment and made himself known as 
one of the representative agriculturists and stock-growers of this 
section of the Hawkeye state, the while his well ordered enterprise 
gained to him large and substantial prosperity. He has always 
taken loyal interest in community affairs of a public order, is a 
staunch supporter of the cause of the Democratic party but he has 
never been deflected from his course by aught of ambition for 
political ofifice. Both he and his wife are communicants of the 
Catholic church, as was also his first wife, and he is affiliated with 
the Knights of Columbus, as a member of a splendid lodge in the 
city of Dubuque. April 16, 1887, recorded the marriage of Mr. 
Bern to Miss Mary Lueck, daughter of Henry and Mary Lueck, of 
Guttenberg, and she survived her marriage by only four years, as 
she passed to the life eternal on the 8th of October, 1891. Mary, 
the one child of this marriage, is now the wife of John Hoeger, of 
Jefferson township. On the 16th of February, 1894, was solemn- 
ized the marriage of Mr. Berns to Miss Clara Lueck, daughter of 
Benjamin Lueck, of New Union, Iowa, and of the six children of 
this union all remain at the parental home except the youngest, 
Elizabeth, who died in childhood. The names of the children of 



BIOGRAPHICAL 47 

the attractive home circle are here designated in respective order 
of birth; Edward, Hilda, Raymond, Melania and Eugenia. 

James M. Berry owns and conducts the Berry Hotel at North 
McGregor, and has proved himself one of the efficient and popular 
exponents of this line of enterprise in Clayton county. His hotel 
caters to a large and appreciative patronage and is maintained at 
a high standard of excellence, while he has a wide circle of friends 
among the traveling public as well as in his home county. He is 
one of the substantial and progressive citizens of the county and is 
well entitled to representation in this publication. Mr. Berry is a 
scion of fine old Irish stock in both the paternal and maternal lines 
and claims the Badger State as the place of his nativity. He was 
born in Waukeshaw, Wisconsin, on the 16th of November, 1868, 
and is a son of John and Bridget Berry, both of whom were born 
in Ireland and both of whom were children at the time of the im- 
migration of the respective families from the Emerald Isle to Amer- 
ica. The marriage of the parents was solemnized in Waukeshaw, 
Wisconsin, and they removed to Prairie du Chien when the sub- 
ject of this sketch was but one year of age. Later they moved to 
North McGregor, where the mother passed into the other life De- 
cember 31, 1915, after a residence in North McGregor of twenty- 
two years. The venerable father is still alert and vigorous of mind 
and body, and now has the distinction of being the oldest employee 
of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul R. R. Co., he having given 
a life time of faithful service to this great corporation. He main- 
tains his home at North McGregor, and of his nine children, six 
are living. James M. Berry was a lad of ten years at the time of 
the family removal from Wisconsin to Allamakee county, Iowa, 
and he was there reared at Waukon, the county seat. In 1885, 
while still in his teens, he made his way largely by stage coach, to 
the Black Hills of South Dakota, and for three years followed the 
free and invigorating life of a cowboy. With the advent of the 
railroad, he embarked in the restaurant business at Oelrichs, South 
Dakota, and subsequently at Hot Springs, and he has been engaged 
in the restaurant and hotel business since that time. The winters 
of 1891 and 92 were spent as clerk in the hotel San Marino, "South- 
erland," Florida. He was engaged in hotel business at Chicago 
during the World's Fair and, on August 27, 1894, he purchased 
from the late Charles Huffschmitt the furniture and lease of the 
C, M. & St. P. R. R. hotel and lunchroom at North McGregor, 
which he successfully conducted for fourteen years. Careful and 
effective service brought to him decisive success and he finally 
erected the handsome three-story brick hotel that bears his name 
and that is conducted by him according to the most approved mod- 
ern standards. This hotel has the unique distinction of being the 
most valuable property of the kind in a town of less than six hun- 
dred population in the United States that is conducted on the 
European plan. The hotel is well equipped in all departments and 
has a large and representative patronage, being especially in favor 
with the commercial travelers who have occasion to visit North- 
eastern Iowa. Adjacent to the village Mr. Berry owns a well im- 



48 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

proved farm of fifty-seven acres, besides which he is the owner of 
a good farm in Allamakee county. His political allegiance is given 
to the Democratic party, which he has served as precinct commit- 
teeman for the past fifteen years, and he is now a member of the 
Democratic State Finance Committee. For fifteen years also he 
has been a member of the City Council of North McGregor. 
Broad-gauged and progressive in his civic attitude, Mr. Berry has 
been especially prominent and influential in the promotion of the 
National Park which it is hoped to have established near North 
McGregor, on the shores of the Mississippi River. It is not too 
much to say that he has been foremost in the agitation of this im- 
portant project, and has spent much of his time and means bring- 
ing it before the State and nation. In recognition of his ability and 
enthusiasm in this matter, he has been made chairman of the_ Ex- 
ecutive and Publicity Committee of the Mississippi Valley National 
Park Association. He is also interested in the good roads move- 
ment and is superintendent of the northern division of the Eastern 
Iowa Scenic Highway, and is a committeeman of the Upper Mis- 
sissippi River Improvement Association. In the city of Dubuque 
he holds membership in the lodge of the Benevolent & Protective 
Order of Elks. In his youth he attended St. Johns, now Campion 
College at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, and in later years, in rec- 
ognition of many sterling qualities, he was made an honorary 
alumnus of that famous school. In the city of Chicago, on the 
16th of October, 1902, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Berry 
to Miss Anna D. Brophy, who was born and reared in Clayton 
county, Iowa, and who is a daughter of Thomas and Mary 
(Sweeney) Brophy. She received excellent educational advantages 
in her youth and graduated from St. Mary's Academy at Prairie du 
Chien, Wis. ; both she and her husband being communicants of the 
Catholic Church. Mr. and Mrs. Berry have four children, Donald 
John, James Stanton, Margaret Virginia and Elizabeth Marie. 

Hiram C- Bishop has wielded large influence in the forming 
and directing of popular sentiment and action in Clayton county, 
both through his services in pubHc office and through his editorial 
utterances as in the columns of the Clayton County Democrat, of 
which representative paper of northeastern Iowa he was the 
founder and of which he is still editor and publisher. He served 
with marked efficiency and progressiveness as superintendent of 
schools of Clayton county for six years and later represented his 
district in the Iowa State Senate for two successive sessions. He 
gained definite prestige in the pedagogic profession, of which he 
continued as a representative for a long period and as an exponent 
of which he first came to Clayton county. The former Senator is 
a native of northeastern Iowa and stands definitely exemplar of 
the fine element of citizenship that has made this one of the most 
advanced and opulent portions of the Hawkeye commonwealth. 
He is a scion of an honored pioneer family of Iowa and this fact 
emphasizes the consistency of according to him a special tribute in 
this publication, for it has been his to lend much of distinction to 
a name that has been signally prominent in this part of Iowa since 



BIOGRAPHICAL 49 

the time when this portion of our great national domain was vir- 
tually on the very frontier. Hiram Crusan Bishop was born on a 
farm near West Union, the judicial center of Fayette county, Iowa, 
on the 10th of March, 1852, and is a son of Franklin Park Bishop 
and Cynthia Ann (Commack) Bishop, the former of whom was 
born in Kentucky, on the 31st of March, 1818, and the latter of 
whom was born in Virginia, on the 18th of June, 1819, she having 
been a child at the time of her parents' removal to Kentucky, where 
she was reared and educated and where her marriage to Mr, Bishop 
was solemnized. In the year 1839 Franklin P. Bishop came with 
his family from the old Bluegrass State to Iowa and became one of 
the early pioneers of Fayette county, where he obtained a tract of 
government land, near West Union, and where he eventually 
reclaimed one of the valuable farms of the county. As a man of 
sterling character and strong mentality, he was an influential figure 
in connection with the social and material development and 
upbuilding of Fayette county, and both he and his wife were vener- 
able and revered pioneer citizens of that county at the time of their 
death, he having passed away in 1902 and she in 1909. Both were 
zealous members of the Baptist church and in politics he was first 
a Whig and later a Democrat. Their marriage was solemnized in 
the year 1839 and they became the parents of twelve children, 
whose names are here recorded in the respective order of birth: 
Susan Mary, James Thomas, Sarah Ann, Elizabeth Matilda, 
William Hamilton, Hiram Crusan, Solomon Wayne, Sabitha Jane, 
Martha Catherine, Eliza Adelaide, Harry Wilson, and Franklin. 
Of the children six sons and three daughters are now living. The 
vigilant and resourceful pioneers of Iowa early made the best pos- 
sible provisions for the education of their children, and it is matter 
of record that there have been few states in the Union that have 
continuously maintained so low a percentage of illiteracy. Thus 
it was the privilege of Hon. Hiram C. Bishop, the immediate sub- 
ject of this review, to receive in his youth the best of scholastic 
advantages. He was reared under the invigorating influences of 
the home farm and while contributing his quota to its work he 
applied himself diligently to his studies in the district school near 
his home until he was eligible for the initiating of higher academic 
study. At West Union he attended Ainsworth Academy, and after 
leaving this institution he prosecuted his studies in Upper Iowa 
University, at Fayette. He put his scholastic attainments to ef- 
fective test and utilization by entering the pedagogic profession, 
in which he gained unequivocal success and popularity. He taught 
seven terms in the rural or district schools and thirty-one terms in 
town public schools, in which connection his services finally became 
enlisted in Clayton county. That he made his benignant influence 
felt in connection with educational aflFairs in this county needs no 
further voucher than the statement that he served from January 1, 
1888. to January 1, 1894, as county superintendent of schools, his 
administration having been diligent in advancing the general stand- 
ard of the work of the schools and by progressive policies that did 
much to conserve this end. Mr. Bishop has always been a stalwart 



50 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

advocate of the principles and policies for which the Democratic 
party stand sponsor, and he has given yeoman service in further- 
ance of its cause in northeastern Iowa. He served as a member 
of the State senate from 1900 to 1905, and was recognized as one of 
the dominating figures in the deliberations on the floor of the 
upper house and in the councils of the various committees to which 
he was assigned. On the 4th of July, 1893, he founded the Clayton 
County Democrat, at Elkader, the judicial center of the county, 
and during the intervening period of nearly a quarter of a century 
he has maintained for his representative paper a high standard as 
an exponent of local interests and a director of popular sentiment. 
He and his wife are members of the Universalist church of Elkader, 
and he is affiliated with the local organizations of the Brotherhood 
of American Yeomen, the Knights of Pythias and the Modern 
Woodmen of America. June 14, 1882, recorded the marriage of 
Mr. Bishop to Miss Emma Kern, who was born at Elgin, Fayette 
county, this state, on the 13th of March, 1864, and the four children 
of this union are: Arthur C, Max B., Clint G., and Ruth. All of 
the children were graduated in the Elkader high school, in which 
the only daughter was a member of the class of 1916, besides being 
also a graduate of St. Joseph's Musical School at Elkader. All of 
the sons maintain editorial association with newspaper publishing, 
and Max and Clint are graduates of the law department of Drake 
University, in the city of Des Moines. 

Vemer F. Blake is one of the popular and influential business 
men of the younger generation in his native county, and in the 
thriving village of Volga he has for the past fifteen years had the 
control and management of the well-established furniture and un- 
dertaking business that was founded by his mother, who is now one 
of the honored and venerable pioneer citizens of this county. Ver- 
ner F. Blake was born in Sperry township, Clayton county, Iowa, 
on the 3d of March, 1880, and is a son of Morris L. and Cynthia C. 
(Hawthorne) Blake, the former of whom was born in the state 
of Vermont and the latter of whom was born in Clayton county, 
Iowa, where her parents settled in the very early pioneer days. 
Morris L. Blake came to this county when a young man, has been 
prominent in connection with business and civic afifairs and is now 
living virtually retired in the village of Volga. He and his wife be- 
came the parents of four children, all of whom are living, and both 
Mr. and Mrs. Blake are well known and highly esteemed pioneer 
citizens of Clayton county. In the public school Verner F. Blake 
continued his studies until he had completed the curriculum of the 
high school, and since leaving school he has been actively asso- 
ciated with the properous furniture and undertaking business of 
which he now has the sole management. He is affiliated with the 
Modern Woodmen of America, he and his wife attend and support 
the Presbyterian church in their home village, and for the past 
twelve years he has been giving most loyal and efficient service 
as a member of the village council of Volga, his political allegiance 
being given to the Republican party. On the 11th of January, 
1905, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Blake to Miss Elsa Wal- 



BIOGRAPHICAL 5 1 

tcnbaugh, who was born in Howard county, this state, and who is 
a daughter of James E. and Caroline (Perkins) Waltenbaugh, who 
now maintain their home at Rockford, Minnesota. Mr. and Mrs. 
Blake have two sons, Russell Eugene, who was born October 9, 
1906; and Merton James, who was born September 26, 1915. 

Sven Blockhus. — In a spot far removed from the fair North- 
land in which he was born, a scion of a long line of sturdy and 
upright Norse ancestors, it has been given to Sven Blockhus to 
achieve through his own ability and efforts the well earned rewards 
of independence and definite prosperity. He is one of the enter- 
prising and successful farmers of Marion township, where he ex- 
emplifies excellent judgment and progressiveness in the carrying 
on of his diversified agricultural operations and in the raising of 
good grades of live stock, and he is a sterling citizen who is en- 
titled to definite recognition in this history of the Hawkeye state. 
Mr. Blockhus was born in Norway, on the 30th of November, 
1872, and is a son of Ole and Mary Blockhus, the former of whom 
passed his entire life in Norway, where he followed the mason's 
trade, his widow having continued at the old home since his death. 
Of their eleven children all are living except one and seven of the 
number are residents of America. The subject of this sketch gained 
his early education in the schools of his native land and remained 
at the parental home until he was fifteen years of age, when he 
found employment at farm work. To this vocation he applied him- 
self until he had attained to the age of nineteen years, when he 
came to the United States and made Iowa his destination. In the 
early period of his residence here he found employment on farms 
in Fayette and Clayton counties during the summer months and 
gave evidence of his ambition and good judgment by attending 
school during the winter terms for the purpose of gaining effective 
knowledge of the English language and otherwise extending his 
education. During two winters he was a zealous and appreciative 
student in Breckenridge Institute, at Decorah, Applying himself 
diligently to the work to which he set his hand, Mr. Blockhus care- 
fully saved his earning and finally, in 1900, he was able to institute 
independent operations as a farmer. He purchased in that year 
his present farm, which comprises one hundred and forty-one and 
one-half acres and which is situated in section 7, Marion town- 
ship. Here he has since continued his vigorous and successful 
activities as a general farmer, and he made his place give forth 
patent evidence of thrift and prosperity. He is a man of strong 
mentality and well fortified opinions, is a Republican in politics, 
and has served six years as justice of the peace, besides which he 
has been assessor of Marion township since 1914. Both he and 
his wife are active members of the Norwegian Lutheran church. 
On the 13th of March, 1903, Mr. Blockhus wedded Miss Gina Holt, 
and they have six children, all of whom remain at the parental 
home — Ida, Otto, Severin, Bessie, Fridjof and Herbert. 

Albert Boleyn. — In America the true patent of nobility that is 
viewed with the greatest respect is that held by the man who has 
depended upon his own powers and exertions in making his way to 



52 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

the goal of worthy success, and such achievement has significantly 
characterized the career of Albert Boleyn, who became virtually 
dependent upon his own resources when he was a mere boy and 
who has pressed forward to the mark of large and well ordered 
prosperity. The evidences of his temporal success are shown 
in his ownership of one of the large and well improved 
landed estates of Clayton county, by his prominence as a buyer and 
shipper of live stock on a large scale and by his being a stockholder 
and director of the Volga Savings Bank, with which he has been 
thus identified from the time of its organization. He is one of the 
substantial and honored citizens of Clayton county, a man whose 
life has been guided and governed by integrity and resolute pur- 
pose, and none is more clearly entitled to recognition in this history. 
Mr. Boleyn was born on a farm near Wadena, Fayette county, Iowa, 
on the 17th of December, 1866, and is the eldest of the three children 
born to Joseph and Mary (Poor) Boleyn, both natives of Pennsyl- 
vania. The second child, Amelia, is now the wife of Frank Jones, of 
Oelwein, Fayette county; and the third child, Inez, died in infancy. 
The subject of this review was not yet three years old at the time of 
his mother's death, which occurred in May, 1869, and his father 
continued to reside in Fayette county until his death, at the age of 
about sixty years. Joseph Boleyn was a young man at the time 
when he came from the old Keystone state and numbered himself 
among the pioneer settlers of Fayette county, Iowa, where he was 
long actively identified with agricultural pursuits, as one of the sub- 
stantial farmers of the county, and he passed the closing years of 
his life in the village of Oelwein, where he died on the 8th of April, 
1904. Albert Boleyn may consistently be said to have been gradu- 
ated in the college of his own practical and varied experiences, and 
such were the exigencies of time and place that in his youth he was 
enabled to attend the schools of his native county in only a desul- 
tory way. When but seven years of age he began to provide for 
his own maintenance, and his early compensation for his work on 
a farm was the princely stipend of five dollars a month. During the 
summer seasons he thus worked for wages during his boyhood and 
youth, and in the winters he worked for his board and availed him- 
self of the privilege of attending the district schools. On the 21st 
of September, 1886, about three months prior to his twentieth birth- 
day anniversary, he married Miss Margaret Lowe, the devoted 
young woman who was to be his helpmeet and zealous coadjutor in 
his efforts to achieve independence and enduring prosperity, she 
having been born and reared in Clayton county, where their mar- 
riage was solemnized and where they have maintained their home 
during the long intervening years. During the first year after his 
marriage Mr. Boleyn was employed at farm work by his wife's 
father and he then purchased one hundred and fourteen acres of 
land in Sperry township, where he instituted his independent opera- 
tions as an agriculturist and stock-grower. It will not strain the 
imaginative powers to appreciate that in the years that followed in 
their course Mr. Boleyn was found applying his energies with 
unstinted zeal and circumspection, with the result that increasing 



BIOGRAPHICAL 53 

prosperity attended his efforts and he was able to make appreciable 
advancement. All this is most clearly demonstrated in his owner- 
ship at the present time of a finely improved landed estate of three 
hundred and fifty-six acres, in Sperry and Highland townships, 
where he has long stood well to the front as one of the most pro- 
gressive and energetic agriculturists and stock-growers of this 
county. Though he still gives his general supervision to the opera- 
tions of his farm property he and his devoted wife have maintained 
their home in the village of Volga since October 17, 1906, when 
they took possession of their newly erected and modern residence, 
which is one of the most attractive in the village, with fine grounds 
comprising an entire block, and with a genuine hospitality that 
equals its physical charm. Since his retirement from the farm Mr, 
Boleyn has not permitted his energies and activities to wane, as he 
has developed a large and prosperous business in the buying and 
shipping of live stock. The extent of his operations along this 
important line of industrial and commercial enterprise may be 
appreciated the better when it is stated that during the months of 
August and September, 1915, he bought and shipped stock to the 
value of $127,576, the incidental financial transactions having been 
effected through the medium of the Volga Savings Bank, of which, 
as previously noted, he has been a stockholder and director from the 
time of its incorporation. Mr. Boleyn is a stalwart advocate of the cause 
of the Republican party and while he has not been troubled by 
office-seeking proclivities he has given most effective service in the 
position of justice of the peace. He is affiliated with the Modern 
Brotherhood of America and both he and his wife are zealous mem- 
bers of the Methodist Episcopal church of Volga, of which he is a 
trustee. David and Elizabeth (Dempster) Lowe, the venerable 
parents of Mrs. Boleyn now maintain their home at Volga and are 
honored pioneer citizens of Clayton county. Of their children 
Mrs. Boleyn is the eldest; Daniel likewise resides at Volga; 
Clarence, Harry and Susana are deceased. Of the five children 
born to Mr. and Mrs. Boleyn all remain at the parental home except 
the third, Walter M., who was born August 21, 1896, and whose 
death occurred November 21, 1898. The names and respective 
birth-dates of the surviving children are here noted: Benjamin H., 
Julv 15, 1888; David E., November 4, 1891; Vena, September 21, 
1898; and Neva, September 11, 1903. 

Henry C. Bothmer is able and gratified to pay to the Hawkeye 
state the allegiance and loyalty of a native son and he has been a 
resident of Clayton county since his childhood, being one of the 
six surviving children of a family of seven born to Henry and 
Caroline (Lozier) Bothmer, both of whom were born and reared in 
Germany, whence they immigrated to America in 1852 and were 
married in Pennsylvania. The parents first established their home 
in Pennsylvania, but a few years later they came to Iowa and num- 
bered themselves among the pioneers of Fayette county. At West- 
field, that county, as a practical miller by trade, the father operated 
one of the pioneer flour mills of northeastern Iowa, and a few years 
later he came with his family to Clayton county and assumed charge 



54 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

of the mill in the village of Clayton, where he passed the residue of 
his life, his wife having died here also. He whose name introduces 
this article was reared to manhood in Clayton county, availed him- 
self consistently of the privileges afforded in the public schools of 
the locality and period, and as a youth he initiated his independent 
career by assuming a position as clerk in a general store at Clayton. 
Here he later engaged independently in the farm implement busi- 
ness, and since about 1885 he has given the major part of his time 
and attention to the buying and shipping of live stock, of which 
important line of industrial enterprise he is one of the prominent, 
successful and popular representatives in this section of the state, 
his operations involving the shipping of an average of sixty car- 
loads of live stock each year. In addition to owning a fine modern 
residence at Clayton and a farm of thirty acres in Clayton town- 
ship, this county, Mr. Bothmer has a valuable tract of seven hundred 
and forty acres of land in the State of Michigan and a well improved 
farm of one hundred and sixty acres in South Dakota. He has 
manifested no desire for public office or political activity, but gives 
his support in national and state affairs to the Democratic party. 
At Garnavillo he is affiliated with Garnavillo Lodge, No. 90, Ancient 
Free and Accepted Masons, and his wife is a communicant of the 
Lutheran church, which he attends and supports. In 1888 Mr. 
Bothmer wedded Miss Kate Specht, who was born in Grant county, 
Wisconsin, and who is a daughter of Herman and Sarah (Spiese) 
Specht, both now deceased. Of the three children of Mr. and Mrs. 
Bothmer the second child, a daughter, died in infancy; Benjamin H. 
is now a resident of Montana ; and Clyde H. is employed as a clerk 
in a Clayton mercantile establishment. 

Jackson E. Bowman is one of the alert and popular young busi- 
ness men of his native county and is now the general manager of 
the well ordered department store conducted at Volga by the firm of 
Pohl & Bink. He was born in Mallory township, this county, on 
the 18th of June, 1888, and is a son of Silas and Martha (Walters) 
Bowman, the former of whom was born in Pennsylvania and the 
latter of whom was born in Clayton county, a member of one of 
the sterling pioneer families of this favored section of the Hawkeye 
state. Silas Bowman came to Clayton county when a young man 
and was one of the substantial farmers and honored and influential 
citizens of Mallory township at the time of his death, which 
occurred on the 24th of June, 1912. He was a Democrat in politics 
and his religious faith was that of the Congregational church, of 
which his widow, now a resident of Guttenberg, this county, like- 
wise is a zealous member. Walter, the eldest of the five children, 
is now a resident of Cedar Bluff, Nebraska; Frank died in child- 
hood; the subject of this review was the third in order of birth; 
JLeroy resides at Guttenberg; and Dolly is the wife of August 
Bendschmidt, of Elkport, this county. Jackson E. Bowman fur- 
thered his preparation for the active duties and responsibilities of 
life by making good use of the advantages afforded in the excellent 
public schools at Guttenberg, and as a youth he found employment 
m the grocery store of A. W. Latta, at Osterdock. After being 



BIOGRAPHICAL 55 

thus engaged about one year he there entered the employ of the 
firm of Walters & Company, engaged in the general merchandise 
business, and about a year later he there assumed a clerical posi- 
tion in the general store of John Mosher, with whom he remained 
about three months. With marked circumspection and judgment 
he then decided to advance himself in fitness for business life by 
taking a course in a commercial college in the city of Cedar Rapids, 
and he there continued his studies eight months. He applied him- 
self with characteristic diligence and appreciation and after having 
thus more effectually equipped himself for executive service he 
entered the employ of the representative mercantile firm of Pohl & 
Bink, of whose well equipped general merchandise or department 
store at Volga he has been manager since May 26, 1915, the enter- 
prise having most signally prospered under his careful and pro- 
gressive direction. Mr. Bowman is found aligned with the Demo- 
cratic party and both he and his wife hold membership in the 
Congregational church at Volga, the while they are popular factors 
in the representative social life of their home community. On the 
24th of August, 1914, Mr. Bowman wedded Miss Ida Neihause, 
who was born and reared in this county, and their one child, Ruth, 
was born January 2, 1915. 

Warren A. Boynton is one of the representative farmers of 
the younger generation in Clayton county and is known for his 
civic and industrial progressiveness and for his vigorous mentality 
and well fortified opinions. He shows a high sense of personal 
stewardship in connection with community interests and is one of 
the well known and distinctively popular citizens of Clayton county, 
within whose borders the major part of his life has been passed. 
Warren Adelbert Boynton was born in Grundy county, Iowa, on 
the 1st of December, 1879, and is a son of Charles Henry and Sarah 
Ellen (Cole) Boynton, the former a native of the sta,te of New York 
and the latter of Iowa, where her parents settled in the early pioneer 
days. Charles H. Boynton was the son of Charles Sherman Boyn- 
ton, who was born at Rodman, New York, January 16, 1822, and 
who died at the home of his son at Strawberry Point, May 27, 1916, 
at the age of ninety-four years, five months, eleven days. In 1856, 
he came with his wife Clarissa and his family to Iowa and settled 
five miles east of Strawberry Point on the farm now owned by his 
son Charles H. and operated by his grandson Warren A. Boynton. 
Charles H. Boynton, the father of the subject of this sketch, came 
with his parents to Iowa in 1856, and resided in Qayton county 
until his marriage. He then settled on a farm in Grundy county, 
after having resided for two years in Clay county, and he continued 
his activities as a successful farmer in Grundy county for seventeen 
years. In 1890 he purchased the farm of one hundred and twenty 
acres in Clayton county, this being the old homestead farm situated 
in Section 20, Lodomillo township. Of 'the children of Charles 
H. and Sarah Ellen Boynton, the first born, a daughter, died at 
the time of birth ; Charles D. now resides near the city of Spokane, 
Washington; Alma M. is the wife of George Maresh, M. D., of 
Riverside, Iowa ; Raymond Scepter, a talented artist, maintains his 



56 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

home at San Francisco, Cal. ; and the sixth child, a daughter, died 
in infancy; Warren A., of this review, having been the third in 
order of birth. After having gained due prehminary discipline in 
the rural schools, Warren A. Boynton supplemented this by an 
effective course in the High School at Strawberry Point. That he 
made good use of his educational opportunities is indicated by the 
fact that he became a successful teacher in the district schools of 
Clayton county. He continued as a popular representative of the 
pedagogic profession for one year, and he passed the ensuing two 
years on a farm in Grundy county. Upon his return to Clayton 
county he assumed the management of his father's farm in Lodo- 
millo township, and after two years he married and removed to 
Wisconsin. He remained in that state only nine months, and since 
that time he has had the active management of his father's farm 
in Lodomillo township, where he has successfully given his atten- 
tion to diversified agriculture and the raising of fine live stock. 
Mr. Boynton is not constrained by strict partisan lines in politics 
but gives his support to the men and measures meeting the approval 
of his judgment, his attitude thus being that of an independent 
voter. He is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fel- 
lows and the Modern Woodmen of America ; both he and his wife 
are earnest members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. On the 
5th of April, 1904, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Boynton to 
Miss Agnes Judett, who was born at Central City, Linn county, 
Iowa, and their six children are Charles Floyd, Ellen Margaret, 
Hazel, Adel, Howard Raymond, Edwin Russell, Faith. 

Elmer H. Brandt has given distinctive evidence of his progres- 
siveness and good judgment in connection with the ownership and 
operation of one of the fine farms of his native county, for the 
major part of the splendid improvements on the place has been 
made by him and the pervasive atmosphere of thrift and prosperity 
marks the owner as a man of energy and enterprise. Mr. Brandt 
was born in Garnavillo township, this county, on the 5th of Novem- 
ber, 1890, and is a son of Henry and Mary (Nieman) Brandt, who 
are now living retired in the village of Garnavillo, both being natives 
of Germany. Henry Brandt was a boy at the time of the family 
immigration to America and his parents became early pioneer set- 
tlers of Clayton county, where they passed the remainder of their 
lives and where he himself gave his entire active career to effective 
operations as a farmer and stock-grower, through the medium of 
which industries he gained the success that enables him and his 
wife to pass the gracious twilight of their lives in peace and pros- 
perity. He is a Republican in his political adherence and both he 
and his wife are devoted communicants of the Lutheran church, 
Elmer H. Brandt was reared on the home farm and after complet- 
ing the curriculum of the district schools he continued his studies in 
turn in the Garnavillo high school, took a business course and an 
agricultural course. After reaching his legal majority he became 
associated with his brother Louis H. in the management of the 
home farm, and three years later he removed to his present fine 
farm, of which he is the owner and which comprises two hundred 



BIOGRAPHICAL 57 

and nine acres, in section 7 and 12, Garnavillo township. Though 
he gives his attention to diversified agriculture and utilizes the 
most approved scientific methods in this connection, Mr. Brandt 
has specialized in the raising of high grade cattle of the Shorthorn 
type and has made this department of his farm enterprise notably- 
productive in financial returns. He is a Republican in politics and 
is serving as secretary of the school board of his district. On the 
11th of February, 1914, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Brandt 
to Miss Laura M. Kregel, daughter of Edward W. Kregel, con- 
cerning whom detailed mention is made on other pages of this work. 
Mr. and Mrs. Brandt are the parents of a fine pair of twin sons, 
Gerald and Harold, who were born on the 9th of October, 1915. 
Mrs. Brandt has been a resident of Clayton county from the time 
of her birth, attended the Garnavillo high school and both she and 
her husband have a host of loyal friends in their home county. 

Louis H. Brandt is admirably proving his resourcefulness and 
progressive policies as a representative of agricultural and live- 
stock industry in his native county, and it is gratifying to record 
that he has the direct control and management of the fine old home- 
stead farm on which he was born and reared and which is now 
known as Sunny View Farm. This admirably improved landed 
estate is situated in section 24, Garnavillo township, and comprises 
three hundred and four acres of as fine land as is to be found in this 
favored section of the Hawkeye state. Mr. Brandt's unwavering 
loyalty to and appreciation of his native county are manifested not 
only in his active and successful association with its agricultural 
interests but also by his enterprise and public spirit as a citizen. 
He is aligned firmly and consistently with the Republican party 
and his personal popularity in the community which has ever rep- 
resented his home is definitely signified by the fact that in 1916 he 
is found serving as township clerk and as school director of his 
district. Both he and his wife are earnest communicants of St. 
Paul's Lutheran church at Garnavillo. Louis H. Brandt was born 
June 23, 1886, and is a son of Henry and Mary (Nieman) Brandt, 
both of whom were born in Germany and both of whom are living 
in gracious comfort and retirement in the village of Garnavillo, 
secure in the high esteem of all who know them. Henry Brandt 
was but a boy at the time when he came with his parents from 
Germany to America, and soon afterward the family home was 
established in Clayton county, where he was reared to manhood 
under the conditions and influences of the pioneer days and where 
he eventually gained a place of prominence as one of the repre- 
sentative farmers of the county. Both he and his wife, now vener- 
able in years, are devout communicants of the Lutheran church 
and he has given unwavering allegiance to the Republican party. 
Of the eight children, two sons and six daughters, all are living, save 
one daughter who died in infancy. Louis H. Brandt early began to 
lend his aid in the work of the home farm and in the meanwhile he 
made good use of tlie advantages aflforded in the public schools of 
his native county, his educational discipline thereafter being effec- 
tively supplemented by a two years' course in the college of agri- 



58 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

culture of the great University of Wisconsin, at Madison. He has 
continuously been identified with the operations of the fine farm- 
stead on which he was born, and he assumed charge of the same 
shortly after his marriage, which occurred on November 23, 1910, 
when he was twenty-four years of age. As a farmer and stock- 
grower he has fully upheld and even added to the high reputation 
long sustained by his honored father, and he is essentially one of 
the broad-minded, energetic and progressive exponents of these 
basic lines of industry in his native county. He has been distinc- 
tively successful in the breeding and raising of full-blood Short- 
horn cattle, to which branch of farm enterprise he is giving special 
attention. In the year 1910 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. 
Brandt to Miss Amanda Matt, who was born and reared in Farm- 
ersburg township, this county, where her father, Joseph Matt, is 
still actively identified with agricultural pursuits, the mother having 
passed to eternal rest when about 35 years of age. Mr. and Mrs. 
Brandt have two fine little sons — Valmah H. and Robert J. 

Harrison Douglas Brown, familiarly known to all as "Doug." 
Brown, is a native lowan, born in McGregor, June 24, 1861, and was 
the son of Mathias J. Brown, born in New York State and Bertha 
(Amundsun) Brown, a native of Norway. They came to McGregor 
in Clayton county about 1850, where the father followed the trade of 
plasterer until his death June 3, 1885. The wife survived her hus- 
band ten years, dying September 19, 1895. They were the parents 
of seven children. Clara, the oldest living child, is the wife of John 
R. Rallton of St. Louis; George W. resides in Lakeport, Florida; 
Douglas, the subject of this sketch ; Bertha, deceased ; Alma, who is 
now Mrs. George Heilma of McGregor; and Cyrus, deceased. 
Douglas Brown received his elementary education in the McGregor 
public schools, but at the age of thirteen he was obliged to give up 
his studies and begin the making of his own way in the world. 
In 1877, he, together with his brother, went to Minnesota, where 
for three years he was employed by a railroad company. Abandoning 
railroading as a business, he went to McGregor, Iowa, in 1882, 
where he took up the tinner's trade, engaging in that work until 
1884, spending two years in McGregor and three in Elkader. At 
the end of that time he entered into business for himself, opening a 
hardware store, which is the oldest and most complete of its kind 
in Elkader, dealing in hardware and stoves of all descriptions, and 
which includes thoroughly up-to-date tinning and plumbing 
departments. He was united in marriage to Emma Heilman, May 
11, 1886, a native of Clayton county, and the daughter of Jacob and 
Eliza (Schmidt) Heilman, both natives of Germany, but who immi- 
grated into America in their early youth, joining the sturdy pioneer 
colonies which have done so much to place Iowa in the front rank of 
the states of our Union. Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Brown have but one 
child remaining of the four that were born to them. Their first- 
born were twins, one of which died in infancy, and the other. Hazel, 
reached the age of eight years ; and H. Douglas, the only survivor, 
is affectionately called "Doug., Jr." Mr. Brown takes an active 
interest in the affairs of the Republican party, of whigh he is a 



BIOGRAPHICAL 59 

member, and has served on the city council as alderman, and on the 
school board. He belongs to the Masonic Lodge, is a thirty-second 
degree member of the Ancient and Accepted Order of Scottish Rite, 
and affiliates with the Congregational church, in all of which he 
holds a deservedly high standing. Notwithstanding his varied time 
absorbing occupations, our subject finds opportunity to wield a 
poetic pen, and has given glimpses of the great pleasure afforded 
him in his favorite pursuit of railroading in several poems, entitled, 
"The Old Elkader Line" ; "On the Old L and D." ; and "Beulah 
Land." While he claims no particular literary merit for these 
verses, yet the descriptions given in them are unexcelled and were 
read with great interest and appreciation by his many friends in 
Clayton county. He describes the pioneer experiences of Mr. V, R. 
Miller, an old pioneer, most aptly in a poem, a portion of which is 
quoted below: 



When the deer and bear and wildcat roamed the forests at their will, 
And the voices of the Indians could be heard from hill to hill. 
As they called out to their comrades for to join them in their play 
Of romping, fishing and hunting just to pass the time away. 
When through the stillness of the midnight you heard the coyotes 

howl. 
And it made you kind of shaky to hear the hooting of the owl. 
When around in the darkness stealthy shadows softly crept. 
As the wild beast of the forest prowled around you while you slept. 



When Uncle Sam was fighting and had Mexico on the run. 

And before the California craze for gold had begun. 

Allured by far spread reports that Iowa's soil was best 

A young man left New England, and started for the west. 

* * * He has seen the ox-teams haul the wheat from a hundred 

miles away. 
The old stage coach has come and gone, it too, has had its day. 
And all the big warehouses that once were on the shore, 
As they bulged with wheat and grain, clear to the door ; 
^^'ith dressed pork on the river bank, and every kind of game ; 
That was when the steamboat thrived before the railroad came. 



Herbert C. Brownson is one of a family of three children, who 
own one of the fine landed estates of Clayton county, and the prop- 
erty includes the original old homestead which was obtained by 
their paternal grandfather in the early pioneer days when this now 
opuleni section of the Hawkeye state was little more than an un- 
trammeled wilderness. Herbert C. Brownson and his brother and 
sister own and reside upon the old homestead and as representa- 
tives of the third generation of the family in Clayton county they 
are well upholding the honors of a name that has been one repre- 
sentative of prominence and influence in connection with the civic 



60 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

and industrial development and upbuilding of the county. The 
eldest of the three children is Miss Lois Brownson, who was grad- 
uated in the Fayette Business College and who is now the popular 
chatelaine of the attractive home, the extensive farm being under 
the direct and effective management of her brothers, Herbert C. 
and Lloyd. Herbert C. Brownson was born on the farm which now 
represents his home and which comprises two hundred acres of 
most productive land, in Section 22 Farmersburg township. The 
date of his nativity was February 5, 1884, and he was the second 
in order of birth of the three children who remain on the old home- 
stead. His parents, Freeman and Rachel (Datisman) Brownson, 
were natives respectively of the state of New York and of Ger- 
many, and the latter was a child at the time of her parents' immi- 
gration to the United States. Freeman Brownson was a youth at 
the time when his parents established their home amid the pioneer 
wilds of Clayton county, and here he and his wife continued to 
reside until their death. He inherited the pioneer homestead of 
his father, Daniel Brownson, who came to Clayton county in 1846 
and who acquired in 1849 a homestead of forty acres that is now 
included in the fine landed domain owned by his grandchildren. 
Freeman Brownson was a man of vigor and industry, known for 
his sterling character and his mature judgment, and he added to 
the area of the old homestead until he had accumulated one of the 
valuable farm properties of the county, the same being represented 
in the splendid farm now owned and occupied by his three children. 
The Brownson brothers are known as progressive young agricul- 
turists and stock-growers and are giving special attention to the 
raising of short-horn cattle and Duroc-Jersey swine. Both give 
allegiance to the Democratic party and Herbert C, the immediate 
subject of this review, is now serving as treasurer of the school 
district in which he gained his early education. He and his brother 
and sister are still unwed and in the attractive home they are fully 
upholding its long maintained reputation for generous hospitality. 
All attend and support the Congregational church in the village of 
McGregor, which is their postoffice address. 

Jason D. Brownson. — One of the professional men of Clayton 
county, who has gained for himself not only the esteem and good 
will of the people of his community, but a high place in the ranks 
of his chosen profession, is Dr. Jason D. Brownson of Monona. 
Dr. Brownson is a worthy son of one of the pioneers of the county 
who by his progressive ideas left a deep impress upon the agricul- 
tural developments and especially upon the live stock industry of 
his community. Throughout the history of Clayton county as re- 
corded in the first volume of this work, frequent mention has been 
made of Freeman Brownson, as one who was prominent in county 
affairs, in the promotion of agricultural interests and in the impor- 
tation of thoroughbred stock, thus aiding in the establishment of 
the reputation which Clayton county proudly holds, today, for the 
high standard which it maintains in the production of cattle, horses 
and swine. Freeman Brownson and his wife Lana (Flanagan) 
Brownson were both natives of the state of New York, and together 



BIOGRAPHICAL 6l 

they came to Iowa at an early date and joined the colony of pio- 
neers who were beginning that wonderful process of transforma- 
tion which has made Clayton county the richest in Iowa. To Mr. 
Freeman Brownson must be given the credit of having imported 
the first thoroughbred Percheron horses ever owned in the county, 
and also of being the owner of the first full blood Poland-China 
hogs which the county had ever known. To this pioneer couple 
were born three children, of whom the subject of this sketch was 
the eldest, and two died in infancy. The mother died in 1870, 
when Jason Brownson was but three years of age, and a few years 
later his father was again married to Miss Rachel Datisman, and to 
them seven children were born : Frank, Lucy, Ruben and Una 
(deceased), Lois, Herbert C. and Lloyd, all of whom reside in the 
county in the vicinity of National. Jason D. Brownson lived the 
life of the farm lad of his day, attended the public schools of the 
county and, being ambitious for a higher education and for pro- 
fessional training, after completing the course of study in the 
county schools, he matriculated in Cornell College at Mt. Vernon, 
Iowa, an institution which for many years has maintained the high- 
est standard of excellence. From this institution he graduated in 
1892, and to the excellent education there received Mr. Brownson 
added a course of four years' professional instruction in the famous 
Northwestern University at Evanston, Illinois; here he received 
his professional degree, graduating with honor, in 1896, after which 
he immediately began the practice of his profession at Elkader. 
In 1900 he removed to the beautiful city of Monona and there for 
sixteen years he has continued in practice most successfully and 
has achieved not only a competency, but a high reputation both 
professionally and as a citizen. He was married September 5, 1895, 
to Miss Minnie Penman of Rockton, Illinois, and their delightful 
home is one of the social centers of Monona. Politically, Dr. 
Brownson has affiliated himself with the Democratic party and 
socially he is a member of high standing in the Masonic Order and 
in the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks. 

Parke Buckley has the active supervision and management of 
a landed estate of five hundred acres, in section 19, Lodomillo 
township, and of this fine property — the splendid farm was accu- 
mulated and developed by his honored father; — he owns through 
inheritance the major part, his personal holding comprising three 
hundred and sixty acres. On this model farmstead of the twentieth 
century Parke Buckley has resided from the time of his birth, 
which here occurred on the 10th of July, 1856, and the old home- 
stead at that time was but a pioneer farm that was of far less 
extent than the present estate and that was in process of reclama- 
tion from the frontier wilds. Mr. Buckley is a son of Franklin R. 
and Helen M. ^Turner) Buckley, both of whom were born and 
reared in the State of New York and both of whom became honored 
pioneers of Clayton county, Iowa, the venerable mother being now 
a resident of the village of Strawberry Point, where she has main- 
tained her home the greater part of the time since the death of her 
husband. Franklin R. Buckley established his home in this county in 



62 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

the year 1854, his purchase of the original homestead place in Lodo- 
millo township having been effected in the preceding year. A man 
of high character and virile progressiveness, he achieved large and 
worthy success in his farm operations and at the time of his death, 
May 10, 1901, he was the owner of more than seven hundred acres 
of valuable land in Clayton county. He was influential in com- 
munity affairs, as a leader in popular sentiment and action, and he 
commanded secure place in the esteem of the people with whom he 
came in contact in the varied relations of life. His political sup- 
port was given to the Republican party and he supported the Con- 
gregational church, of which his widow has long been a devoted 
adherent. Of their six children the eldest is Sarah, who is the wife 
of Jesse F. Taintor, of Ripon, Wisconsin ; Parke, of this review, 
was the next in order of birth and is the only son ; Eva is the wife 
of Byron W. Newberry of Strawberry Point ; Jessie is the wife of 
Miles Alderson, of Stanley, Wisconsin ; Mary is the wife of James 
Alderson, M. D., and they reside in the city of Dubuque ; and Helen 
remains with her widowed mother. After having made good use 
of the advantages afforded in the excellent public schools of his 
native county Parke Buckley entered Iowa College, at Grinnell, in 
which institution he was graduated as a member of the class of 
1881. He is a farmer and stock-grower. His political proclivities 
are indicated in his staunch support of the cause of the Republican 
party and he and his wife are members of the Congregational church 
at Strawberry Point, which place is their postoffice address. The 
maiden name of Mr. Buckley's first wife was Nettie Williams, and 
she is survived by one daughter, Harriet, who is now the wife of 
Walter Hall, of Leroy, Minnesota. For his second wife Mr. 
Buckley married Miss Lucina Bixby, and no children have been 
born of this union. 

Alonzo M. Burlingame is the junior member of the ambitious 
and progressive firm of Tayek & Burlingame, which is engaged in 
the general merchandise business in the Aallage of Froelich, with a 
well equipped store that gives effective service to the large patron- 
age drawn from the thriving section of the county normall}' tribu- 
tary to the village mentioned. He is a member of one of the well- 
known and highly esteemed families of Clayton county and is one 
of the loyal young men who has found in his native county ample 
opportunity for successful achievement. Mr. Burlingame was born 
at North McGregor, this county, on the 20th of January, 1892, and 
is a son of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Kostle) Burlingame, the for- 
mer of whom was born in the State of Massachusetts, and the latter 
of whom is a native of Bohemia, she having been a child at the time 
of her parents' immigration to America. Benjamin Burlingame has 
been a resident of Clayton county from boyhood and his parents 
were numbered among the sterling pioneers of this county. He 
was afforded the advantages of the public schools at McGregor and 
has been identified with agricultural pursuits during virtually his 
entire active career. Since 1895 he has owned and resided upon 
his well improved farm, in Giard township, and he is one of the 
popular and substantial citizens of that part of the county. He is 



BIOGRAPHICAL 63 

a Stalwart supporter of the principles and policies for which the 
Democratic party stands sponsor and his wife is an earnest com- 
municant of the Catholic church. Of their three children the eldest 
is Edward, who is now a resident of Helena, the capital city of the 
State of Montana; Marjorie is the wife of Jacob J. Tayek ; and the 
subject of this sketch is the youngest of the number. After duly 
profiting by the advantages afiforded in the district schools of his 
native township Alonzo M. Burlingame completed a course of high 
study in the high school at McGregor, besides which he was grad- 
uated in the celebrated Rasmussen Business College, in the city of 
St. Paul, Minnesota, as a member of the class of 1911. This last 
discipline well equipped him for the handling of the practical details 
pertaining to the business with which he is now identified, as a 
member of the enterprising mercantile firm of Tayek & Burlingame, 
in which his coadjutor is his brother-in-law, Jacob J. Tayek, con- 
cerning whom individual mention is made on other pages of this 
work. Mr. Burlingame was married June 27, 1916, to Miss Mattie 
Fett, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Fett, prominent farming 
people of Watson, Iowa ; he is aligned in the ranks of the Demo- 
cratic party and is a communicant of the Catholic church, in the 
faith of which he was reared. 

William J. Byrnes is a popular bachelor, a progressive farmer 
and a substantial business man of his native county, and he is the 
owner of the fine old homestead farm on which he was born and 
reared ; the gracious home circle includes also his venerable and 
revered mother and his sisters, Mary and Eunice. After the death 
of his honored father Mr. Byrnes assumed the active management 
of the home place, which comprised two hundred and forty acres, 
and by his ability and enterprise he has since added to his landed 
estate until he is now the owner of a finely improved property of 
five hundred acres, in Sperry and Cox Creek townships. The old 
homestead is in Sperry township and here he was born on the 
20th of February, 1860, a date that indicates conclusively that his 
parents were numbered among the pioneer settlers of that part of 
Clayton county. He is a son of James and Margaret (iSIcTaggart) 
Byrnes, both of whom were born in Ireland — members of fine old 
families of the fair Emerald Isle. As a young man James Byrnes 
came to the United States and established his residence in the city 
of Boston, where he found employment in a rolling mill, he having 
learned the trade of iron and steel rolling in his youth. About the 
year 1856 he numbered himself among the pioneers of Clayton 
county, Iowa, and here he achieved large and worthy success in 
connection with the basic industry of agriculture. He continued 
his residence on the old homestead until his death, which occurred 
July 20, 1896, and he was a man whose sterling character and 
worthy achievement gained and retained to him the confidence and 
good will of his fellow men. His political support was given to the 
Democratic party and he was an earnest communicant of the 
Catholic church, as are also his widow and their children. Of the 
children the eldest is Sarah, who is the wife of Daniel Thyne, of 
Doon, Lyon county; Mary remains with the family that now 



64 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

occupies a modern home in Strawberry Point ; John passed to the 
life eternal on the 13th of January, 1895; the subject of this sketch 
was the next in order of birth ; Eunice is a member of the old home 
circle ; Catherine is the wife of Timothy C. Glennon, of Strawberry 
Point; and James died in the year 1880. William J. Byrnes is 
indebted to the schools of his native county for the early educa- 
tional discipline of which he made good use, and he gained in his 
boyhood and youth the fullest meed of experience in connection 
with the work of the farm, of which he assumed the management 
after the death of his father, as previously stated in this context. 
In addition to his successful operations as an extensive agriculturist 
and stock-grower he now conducts a substantial and prosperous 
business as a buyer and shipper of live stock with Strawberry 
Point as his business headquarters. His political allegiance is 
given to the Democratic party and he has served as trustee of his 
native township. He is an active communicant of the Catholic 
church and is affiliated with the Knights of Columbus and the Mod- 
ern Woodman of America. 

Arthur Jones Carpenter, cashier of the First National Bank of 
Elkader, Iowa, is a native of the Hawkeye state, having been born 
in Buchanan county, June 16, 1871, and is the son of L. D. and 
Mary (Andrews) Carpenter, the former a native of Trenton Falls, 
New York, and the latter of Boston, Massachusetts. They moved 
to Iowa where his father was an inventor and builder of tread-power 
mills, in Arlington, Iowa. He died February 19, 1887, but the 
mother still survives, and is a resident of Fayette, Iowa. To their 
marriage four children were born, the first two of whom were twins : 
Charles R., cashier of the Fayette State Bank, and Carrie, who is 
the wife of A. E. Whitney also of Fayette ; Arthur was the third 
child ; and David died in childhood. Arthur Carpenter received his 
higher education in the University of Fayette, where he spent three 
years in pursuit of his studies. On leaving college, he learned the 
moulders' trade, abandoning that work at the end of one year, to 
take up the profession of school teaching. After one winter in the 
school room, he filled positions in the Arlington and Fayette Banks 
for two years, but in 1893 resigned to go to Elkader as bookkeeper 
in the newspaper offices of the Register and Argus. At the close 
of a year's study in stenography, he returned to Elkader, lowaj 
where he entered the law offices of R. E. and V. T. Price and James 
E. Corlett. Having proven abilities of a high order in the various 
vocations, he was elected cashier of the National Bank of Elkader, 
in 1898, the duties of which position of trust he is still discharging 
with such efficiency and integrity that he has been chosen chairman 
of the Northeastern Bankers' Association — Group No. 4. He is an 
earnest and energetic political worker in the Republican party, 
having served as chairman of the Central Republican Committee, 
and now acting as its treasurer. He has also filled minor county 
offices, and in his life of varied and engrossing interests has found 
time to give consideration to the educational affairs of his commun- 
ity, serving as school treasurer for many years. In Masonic circles 
he is a prominent figure, being a member and one time master of 



BIOGRAPHICAL 65 

the Blue Lodge, and a member of the Scottish Rite, and in religion 
he is a member of the Congregational church. April 25, 1901, he 
was married to Alice Paterson, of whom he was bereft by death, 
June 9, 1903, being left with one child, a daughter, Gladys, born 
October 1, 1902. He was married a second time, October 19, 1905, 
to Alice Howard, and three daughters have been born to them: 
Ruth H., who has attained the age of seven years; Gertrude, four 
years of age ; and Loraine, two years old. 

George Cassutt, a well-known citizen and successful business 
man residing in the city of Elkader, became a resident of Clayton 
county when he was a boy of nine years and through his own well 
directed endeavors he has proved himself one of the world's pro- 
ductive workers and has gained worthy independence and prosper- 
ity, together with secure place in the confidence and esteem of the 
people of the county that has represented his home for more than 
half a century. Mr. Cassutt takes justifiable pride in reverting to 
the fine little republic of Switzerland as the place of his nativity, and 
there his birth occurred on the 8th of February, 1851. He is a soa 
of John and Margaret Cassutt, who immigrated to America and 
established their home in Clayton county, Iowa, in 1860, the sub- 
ject of this review having thus gained his rudimentary education in 
his native land and having been a lad of nine years at the time when 
the family home was established in Clayton county, where he con- 
tinued to attend school when opportunity afforded. His father 
engaged in farming in Boardman township and continued as one 
of the substantial and honored citizens of that township until his 
death, which occurred February 27, 1877, his devoted wife having 
passed to the life eternal on the 24th of August, 1874. Of their 
children two died in infancy, prior to the family immigration to the 
United States; George, of this review, was the third child; 
Christina is deceased; Mary Ann is a resident of Elkader, Iowa; 
Joseph is a prosperous farmer in Boardman township ; and Mary 
and her husband maintain their home in the city of San Bernardino, 
California. George Cassutt assisted his father in the work of the 
home farm and in 1870, as a youth of about twenty years, he formed 
a partnership with two other men and engaged in the operation of 
a threshing outfit. He possesses marked natural talent as a 
mechanic and found both satisfaction and profit in his association 
with the operation of the threshing machine, besides which he pur- 
chased a second-hand outfit of blacksmith tools and accessories and 
established on the home farm a blacksmith shop, in which he found 
much requisition for his work after the close of the threshing sea- 
son. Later he became sole proprietor of the threshing outfit and 
business, by buying the interest of his partners. He successfully 
operated the outfit until 1878, when the machine was destroyed by 
fire, but within the same year he put his mechanical skill to good 
use by building a new threshing machine, in which he utilized all 
the available parts saved from the old machine and purchased such 
new parts as were demanded to place the machine in good working 
order. After operating the outfit two seasons he sold the same and 
also severed his association with direct farm enterprise. Remov- 



66 .' MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

ing to Elkader, the county seat, he here rented a vacant blacksmith 
shop and operated the same about eighteen months, giving special 
attention to therepairingof farm machinery and implements. Impaired 
health compelled him to retire from this field of enterprise, and, to 
recuperate his powers, he passed a few months in the state of Cali- 
fornia. Inthespringof 1883Mr.Cassuttpurchasedawell-drillingoutfit, 
besides which he acquired also a good farm of one hundred and 
forty acres, in Boardman township, his brother Joseph being given 
the active supervision and control of the farm, on which they both 
maintained their home. Mr. Cassutt proved very successful in his 
business of constructing drilled wells, and in 1886 he purchased 
a new and improved drilling outfit, to the operation of which he 
still continues to give his attention, his services having been given 
in the construction of wells throughout a wide area of country in 
this part of the state and a prosperous business having been 
developed also by him in the selling and installing of wind mills. 
He still owns the well improved farm and in 1887 he purchased his 
present attractive home at Elkader. He is a Democrat in his 
political allegiance and has served as a member of the city council 
of Elkader. Mr. Cassutt is known as a loyal and public-spirited 
citizen and he still permits his name to be enrolled on the list of 
eligible bachelors in Clayton county. 

Ole Christiansen is a representative of one of the sterling pio- 
neer families of Clayton county, which has been his home since he 
was a child of two years, and he is a scion of that fine Scandinavian 
stock that has proved such a splendid force in connection with the 
civic and material development and progress of the great north- 
western section of our national domain. Mr. Christiansen has been 
one of the successful agriculturists and stock-growers of Clayton 
county, but is now living virtually retired in a pleasant home in 
the village of Gunder, his postoffice address being the neighboring 
village of Postville, Allamakee county. Mr. Christiansen was born 
in Norway, on the 4th of February, 1855, and was but two years 
old at the time when his parents immigrated to America and estab- 
lished their home in Clayton county. He is a son of Christian and 
Betsey (Olson) Christianson, both of whom passed the remainder 
of their lives in this county, where the father developed a good 
farm and became a prosperous and honored citizen, both he and 
his wife having been zealous communicants of the Lutheran church. 
Of their seven children, five survive. To the public schools of 
Clayton county Ole Christianson is indebted for his early educa- 
tional advantages and after leaving the parental home he was em- 
ployed at farm work in this county for several years. He then 
purchased a farm and to the active management of the same he 
continued to give his attention until his retirement from the labors 
that had so long engrossed his time and attention. He still owns 
the property, which he rents to a desirable tenant. Mr. Christian- 
son is a staunch supporter of the cause of the Republican party 
and both he and his wife are communicants of the Lutheran church. 
In November, 1893, Mr. Christianson married Miss Christina Nel- 
son, who was born in Norway and who was a young woman when 



BIOGRAPHICAL . 67 

she came with her parents to the United States. Mr. and Mrs. 
Christianson have no children. 

Julius Christoleit has effectively demonstrated his energy and 
ambitious purpose during the period of his residence in Clayton 
county, for he came here about twenty years ago and set himself 
vigorously to the winning of independence and prosperity through 
his own endeavors. That he is successful needs no further voucher 
than the statement that he is now the owner of one of the well 
improved and valuable farms of this county and that he stands 
exponent of civic and industrial loyalty and progressiveness, with 
deep and abiding appreciation of the opportunities that have been 
afforded to him in the land of his adoption. Mr. Christoleit was 
born in Germany, on the 8th of May, 1866, and is a son of Charles 
and Rosa Christoleit, who passed their entire lives in their Father- 
land, and of whose nine children only three are now living. Julius 
Christoleit was reared and educated in his native land, and there 
was solemnized his marriage to Miss Amelia Suttkous, who, with 
their two children, accompanied him on his immigration to the 
United States, in 1895. Soon after his arrival in America Mr. 
Christoleit came with his family to Clayton county, where he found 
employment by the month as a farm hand until he purchased his 
present well improved farm, which is situated in section 2, Sperry 
township and which comprises three hundred and twelve acres. 
He has erected a modern house and other buildings on the place 
and is known as one of the substantial and enterprising agricul- 
turists and stock-raisers of the county, in which he arrived with a 
cash capital of only twenty dollars and in which he has won 
advancement to his present secure position of independence and 
generous prosperity. He and his wife became the parents of eight 
children, of whom six were born after the removal to America.- 
Charles is deceased; Frederick C. and William H. assist in the work 
and management of the home farm ; Pauline is now in the State 
of Wisconsin; Anna and Gustave remain at the parental home; 
Emma is deceased ; and Julius, Jr., is the youngest member of the 
home circle. 

Ethan S. Clark is the owner of one of the excellent farms of 
Highland township and in his native county has won for himself 
a secure position of success and prosperity through his own well 
ordered efforts and progressive policies. Mr. Clark was born at 
National, this county, on the 9th of September, 1880, and is a son 
of James P. and Mary (Thompson) Clark, both of whom were 
born in the state of New York. James P. Clark came to Clayton 
county when he was a young man and here he was actively identi- 
fied with agricultural industry until the time of his death. His 
marriage was solemnized in this county and his widow now resides 
in the home of their son Ethan S., of this review, who was the 
sixth in order of birth in a family of seven children. Annie, the 
eldest of the children, is the wife of George Swift, of Washington ; 
Myrtle is the wife of William Hawley, of Charles City, Iowa ; Frank 
is now a resident of Santa Ana, California; Gaylord and Victor 
are deceabed ; Ethan S. was the next child ; and the youngest is 



68 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

Earl, who is now a resident of Gillespie, Illinois. Ethan S. Clark 
gained his early education in the schools of his native county and 
of Drake University at Des Moines, of which he is an alumnus of 
the Commercial Department, and also of Fayette University, Illi- 
nois. He began to depend largely upon his own resources when 
he was a lad of twelve years. He found employment at farm work 
for a term of years, and in the meantime he developed exceptional 
ability as a ball-player, with the result that he was drawn into the 
national game in a professional way. In 1901-2 he was a suc- 
cessful player in the Kentucky and Illinois Baseball League, and 
after his retirement from this line of activity he resumed his asso- 
ciation with agricultural pursuits. He continued to work on the 
farms of other agriculturists until 1912, when he purchased his 
present farm of one hundred and twenty acres, in section 35, High- 
land township, where he has since continued with marked vigor 
and progressiveness his operations as an agriculturist and stock- 
grower, his home receiving service on one of the rural mail routes 
from the village of Volga. His political allegiance is given to the 
Republican party, and he is now serving effectively in the office of 
township trustee, his incumbency of which fully attests his popu- 
larity in the community. He is affiliated with the Modern Wood- 
men of America, and his wife holds membership in the Order of 
the Eastern Star and the Royal Neighbors. Mr. and Mrs. Clark are 
both members of the Methodist Episcopal church. On the 7th of 
October, 1903, Mr. Clark wedded Miss Edith Susie, who was born 
and reared in Clayton county and who was a successful and popular 
teacher in the public schools during a period of five years prior to 
her marriage. She is a daughter of William and Margaret (Scra- 
der) Susie, who were born in Germany, and her mother is an hon- 
ored pioneer citizen residing at Volga, this county, her father dying 
April 19, 1916. William J., their eldest son, resides at Volga; Mrs. 
Clark was the next in order of birth ; Jennie is a teacher in the 
village schools at Volga; Frederick is engaged in the poultry and 
grain business at Volga ; and Marian is the wife of Clarence Voshell, 
of that village. Mr. and Mrs. Clark have but one child, Frederick 
Carroll, who was born July 16, 1904, who is now attending the 
public school at Volga. 

Henry H. Clark, M. D.^ — A man of the character and ability of 
Dr. Clark was not made for obscurity and the circumstances of time 
and place have not been the makers but the instruments of his 
stewardship in the profession that he has signally honored and dig- 
nified by his long and effective services. He has the distinction of 
being the veritable dean of his profession in the State of Iowa at 
the time this publication is issued, and has maintained his home 
at McGregor, Clayton county, for nearly half a century — years 
marked by large and worthy achievement as a man of affairs and 
as one of the most able and influential physicians and surgeons of 
this favored section of the Hawkeye state. The doctor is one of 
the favored mortals whom nature launches into the world with the 
heritage of a sturdy ancestry, splendid physical powers, an alert 
and receptive mind, and energy enough for many men. Added to 




HKXRV H. CLARK, M.D. 



BIOGRAPHICAL '■ 69 

these attributes are exceptional intellectual attainments and the 
valued lessons of a wide and varied experience. Planted in a 
metropolis, such a man would have used his talents in competing 
with and uplifting his fellow men. Planted in a pioneer community 
he used them in developing the things the environment needed and 
has marked the course of his life by earnest and self-abnegating 
service in the alleviation of human suffering and distress. In 
his profession, to the exacting demands of which he has subordi- 
nated all else, he has manifested that true human sympathy which 
transcends mere emotion or sentiment to become an actuating 
motive for helpfulness. It is needless to say that he is honored 
and revered in the county in which he has accorded his unselfish 
and efficient professional ministrations for many years, and his 
benignant influence in community affairs in general has given him 
precedence as one of the essentially representative citizens of 
Clayton county, so that there is all of consistency in according to 
him special recognition in this history of the county. Dr. Clark was 
born in Centre county, Pennsylvania, on the 12th of October, 1842, 
and is a scion of sterling families that were early founded in the old 
Keystone state. He is a son of John and Helen (Wolf) Clark, who 
were born and reared in Pennsylvania and whose marriage was 
there solemnized in the year 1839. Both were natives of Union 
county, that state, and representatives of old and influential fami- 
lies of that section of the Keystone commonwealth. John Clark 
owned and operated a farm in his native state until about the year 
1852, when he removed with his family to Illinois and became one 
of the early settlers of Stephenson county, where he purchased a 
tract of three hundred and twenty acres of land and developed one 
of the fine farms of that section of the state. To the management 
of his extensive landed estate he continued to give his active super- 
vision until 1870, after which he lived virtually retired until his 
death, which occurred in 1888, when he was about 75 years of age, 
the old homestead farm being placed in charge of his son James 
after he himself retired from the labors and responsibilities that 
had long engrossed his attention. His devoted and cherished wife 
passed to the life eternal at the age of 75 years, and concerning 
their children brief record may consistently be entered at this junc- 
ture : William went forth as a loyal and valiant soldier of the Union 
and when the Civil War was precipitated on the nation, and he 
sacrificed his life in the cause, as he was killed while participating 
in the historic siege of Vicksburg. He was a member of Battery L, 
Second Illinois Artillery, and his command was commonly known 
as Bolton's Battery. Dr. Henry H., the immediate subject of this 
review, was the next in order of birth. John S. is engaged in the 
real-estate business at Belvidere, Illinois, and is a prominent and 
influential figure in the aflfairs of the Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows in Illinois, in which the year 1916 finds him serving as 
chief examiner for the state organization. James B. is a prosperous 
retired farmer and maintains his home at Hampton, the judicial 
center of Franklin county, Iowa. Mary J., twin sister of James B., 
is the wife of Theron E. Heary, and they reside in the city of 



70 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

Dwight, Illinois. Dr. Henry H. Clark acquired his preliminary 
educational discipline in the common schools of his native state 
and was a youth of 12 years at the time of the family removal from 
Pennsylvania to Illinois, where he continued his studies in the 
schools of Stephenson county and later pursued high academic 
studies in Rock River Seminary, at Mount Morris, that state. With 
high ideals and ambitious purpose, he early formulated plans for 
his future career and determined to prepare himself for the medical 
profession. He finally entered the Chicago Medical College, in 
which he completed, with characteristic zeal and fidelity, the pre- 
scribed curriculum and in which he was graduated in the spring of 
1870, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. It was thus given 
him to have left Chicago in the year prior to that which brought 
devastation to the city through the historic fire that swept the pres- 
ent great metropolis in 1871. After his graduation the doctor 
served the customary period as an interne in Mercy Hospital, still 
one of the leading hospitals of Chicago, and in this connection he 
gained most valuable clinical experience, besides receiving from the 
hospital a diploma which he prizes more than any other honor that 
has been bestowed upon him during the later years of a signally 
active and useful career. On the 10th of October, 1870, two days 
prior to his twenty-eighth birthday anniversary. Dr. Clark, an 
ambitious and well fortified young physician, established his resi- 
dence in the village of McGregor, Clayton county, Iowa, and here 
entered upon a professional novitiate that proved of short duration, 
for his ability and gracious personality soon gave him precedence 
as one of the successful and influential members of his profession 
in the county, where he has controlled during the long intervening 
years a specially extensive practice. In the early days he faithfully 
and unselfishly faced many hardships and arduous labors in pursuing 
his humane mission, for he traversed long distances in winter's cold 
and summer's heat, over roads that were scarcely worthy of the 
name, and with ready response to the call of duty, no matter how 
dark or stormy the night or how slight the probability of his receiv- 
ing due financial compensation for his services. It need scarcely be 
said that in the highest and best sense Dr. Clark has proved himself 
humanity's friend — and greater tribute than this can be given to no 
man. He has wielded large influence in community affairs and has 
been a leader in the furtherance to these things that make for civic 
and material prosperity and progress. Typical of his broad sym- 
pathy and public spirit was his action when, in 1902, he erected and 
equipped his modem hospital at McGregor, the same bearing his 
name and being recognized as having the best appointments and 
facilities of all similar institutions in Clayton county. The hospital 
makes the best of provisions for the treatment of disease and for 
the handling of surgical cases according to the most approved 
methods of the twentieth century. The institution draws an appre- 
ciable support from far outside the limits of Clayton county and is 
a noble monument to the liberality and professional zeal and loyalty 
of the founder and owner. Dr. Clark has served consecutively since 
1903 as a member of the Iowa state board of health, and he became 



BIOGRAPHICAL 7I 

a member of the state board of medical examiners at the time of 
its organization, his service in this connection having continued 
until the expiration of his term and having covered a period of 
about thirteen years. He is actively identified with the American 
Medical Association, the American Association of Railway Sur- 
geons, and the Surgeons' Association of the Chicago, Milwaukee & 
St. Paul Railway. He has long been an honored and influential 
member of the Iowa State Medical Society, and before this repre- 
sentative body he delivered in 1916 a specially interesting and tech- 
nically valuable address upon the subject of surgery. The doctor 
holds membership also in the Cedar Valley Medical Society, and 
has for many years been a leader in the councils and activities of 
the Clayton County Medical Society, of which he was one of the 
organizers and of which he is serving as president in 1916. For a 
period of about thirty years Dr. Clark has had the distinction of 
serving as president of the United States board of pension examin- 
ing surgeons for Clayton county, and he gave fifteen years of effec- 
tive service as a member of the board of education of McGregor, of 
which he was president several terms. His political allegiance, 
fortified by well taken opinions concerning economic and govern- 
mental policies, is given to the Republican party. Until this point 
in the narrative has been left the making of reference to a specially 
notable and distinguished phase in the career of Dr. Clark. He was 
about nineteen years of age at the inception of the Civil War, and 
in 1862, in response to the call for volunteers, he enlisted as a pri- 
vate in Company G, Ninety-second Illinois Mounted Volunteer 
Infantry, which was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland and 
which was a part of Wilder's famous Mounted Brigade with which 
he continued in active service from August, 1862, until final victory 
had crowned the Union arms and the war reached its close. He 
lived up to the full tension of the great conflict between the North 
and the South and with his regiment participated in fifty-two 
engagements, including a number of important battles. He was 
always to be found at the post of duty, a loyal and valiant soldier, 
and though he was often in the thick of the fray and assigned to 
hazardous duty, it was his good fortune to escape wounds and 
capture. In the later years he has vitalized the more gracious 
memories and associations of his military carer by maintaining 
affiliation with the Grand Army of the Republic. In the year 1872 
was solemnized the marriage of Dr. Clark to Miss Judith Baugh, 
daughter of Judge Downing Baugh, who was one of the honored 
and influential pioneers of Clayton county, where he established his 
residence in the earlier '50s, upon coming with his family from 
Mount Vernon, Illinois. Both he and his wife continued their resi- 
dence at McGregor until their death and their names merit high 
place on the roll of the honored pioners of the county. In conclu- 
sion is entered brief record concerning the children of Dr. and Mrs. 
Clark: Alice May, who is her father's efficient and valued coadjutor 
in the work and management of the Clark Hospital at McGregor, 
was graduated in the medical department of the University of Iowa 
as a member of the class of 1902, and she not only has a large and 



'J2 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

representative private practice, but also has the unique distinction 
of being the only woman physician in the United States to hold 
regular appointment as a railway surgeon. Florence L. is a young 
woman of fine intellectual and literary talent and articles from her 
pen have appeared in leading newspapers and magazines of the 
United States. Harry H. is a special agent of the Department of 
Agriculture, with headquarters at the national capital, and to him 
has been assigned the conducting of technical agricultural investi- 
gation in every state of the Union. Maude G. is the wife of Judd J. 
Dunaway and they maintain their home at Miami, Arizona. 
William Clarence passed to eternal rest in 1906, at the age of 21 
years. Ethel B. is the wife of Carl Bickel, of McGregor, and they 
have a winsome little daughter, Barbara. 

R. R. Clark merits recognition in this publication by reason of 
his status as a loyal and progressive citizen of Clayton county and 
as an effective and popular representative of the newspaper fra- 
ternity and business in this section of the state that has been his 
home since the time when he arrived on the stage of life and with 
the imperturbability of infancy blandly faced a frowning world — and 
that with no semblance of appreciation of the fact that destiny was 
eventually to throw him into the weird vortex of practical jour- 
nalism. Mr. Clark is editor and publisher of the well-ordered weekly 
paper entitled the Strawberry Point Press, at Strawberry Point, and 
is making the same an effective vehicle for the exploiting and fur- 
thering of community interests and also for the advancing of the 
cause of the Republican party, of which he is a stalwart supporter. 
Mr. Clark was born at Pomeroy, Calhoun county, Iowa, on the 26th 
of August, 1881, and is a son of George E. and Mary (DeMoss) 
Clark, the former of whom was born at Haverhill, Massachusetts, 
on the 4th of August, 1858, and the latter of whom is a representa- 
tive of one of the pioneer families of Oregon, her birth having 
occurred at The Dalles, that state, on the 1st of January, 1862. The 
parents of the subject of this review now maintain their home at 
Garwin, Iowa, and the father has given the greater part of his active 
career to hardware and harness business. In the public schools 
of his native county R. R. Clark continued his studies until he had 
completed the curriculum of the high school at Jolley, and thereafter 
he was for one and a half years a student in Tobin College, in the 
city of Fort Dodge. As a youth he gained his novitiate in the "art 
preservative of all arts," and he has been an alert, vigorous and 
popular exponent of the newspaper business in Clayton county since 
he assumed his present association at Strawberry Point, where he 
has been editor and publisher of the Strawberry Point Press since 
1911. On the 15th of June, 1907, was solemnized the marriage of 
Mr. Clark to Miss Ruth Glass, daughter of William and Soloam 
(Robb) Glass, of Strawberry Point, and the one child of this union 
is a somewhat autocratic little son, Jack G. 

Seth Clark — That the opulent natural resources of Clayton 
county have not lacked appreciation on the part of the native sons 
of the county is clearly demonstrated by their continued associa- 
tion with the county and its varied interests, and it is specially 



BIOGRAPHICAL 73 

pleasing to find such a large and vigorous percentage of such citi- 
zens who are here effectively aiding in maintaining the county's 
prestige as a center of agricultural industry. Such a substantial 
and honored citizen is Mr. Clark, who owns and operates the fine 
old homestead farm on which he was born and reared and which is 
one of the well improved and valuable landed estates of Wagner 
township. Here he has resided from the time of his birth and in 
progressiveness, civic loyalty and worthy achievement he has sig- 
nally honored the name which he bears and which has been indis- 
solubly linked with the history of Clayton county since the early 
pioneer days, in fact, for more than fifty years. Such are the ster- 
ling citizens who specially merit recognition in this publication. 
On this present farm, in section 31, Wagner township, Seth Clark 
was born on the 17th of August, 1860, and he is a son of Milo P. 
and Mary (Lundbeck) Clark, the former of whom was born in the 
State of New York and the latter in Ohio, their marriage having 
been solemnized in the latter state, on the 20th of May, 1849. Upon 
coming to Clayton county, about the year 1852, Milo P. Clark ob- 
tained one hundred and seventy-six acres of government land, in 
what is now Wagner township, where, with characteristic vigor 
and progressiveness, he set himself to the task of reclaiming a farm 
from the virgin wilds. The measure of his success was large in 
the passing years, and he eventually became the owner of a val- 
uable domain of four hundred acres, all but twenty-five acres of 
which is now owned by his son Seth, of this sketch, who was the 
third in order of birth in the family of five children, of whom the 
first. Amy E., died in childhood ; Jacob is now a substantial citizen 
of Hancock county, this state, his home being in the thriving little 
city of Britt; Mary is the wife of Jacob Gehring, of Marion town- 
ship, Clayton county ; and James E. died in infancy. Alilo P. Clark 
was one of the influential and honored pioneer citizens of Clayton 
county at the time of his death, which occurred March 27, 1901, 
and his devoted wife soon followed him to the life eternal, so that 
in death they were not long divided, Mrs. Clark having passed away 
on the 23d of September of the same year. Seth Clark was reared 
to manhood on the fine old homestead of which he is now the owner 
and is indebted to the public schools of his native county for his 
early educational discipline. He gained an enduring appreciation 
of the value of honest toil and endeavor and his long and intimate 
experience has made him a most practical and scientific agricultural- 
ist and stockgrower, for he has from his youth been closely associ- 
ated with the work and management of the home farm, of all of 
which — three hundred and seventy-five acres — he has been the pro- 
prietor since he was forty-one years of age, the property having 
come into his possession through direct bequest on the part of 
his honored parents, the memories of both of whom are held in 
enduring veneration in the county that represented their home and 
stage of effective activity for many years. Politically, the father 
was a staunch supporter of the cause of the Republican party. He 
whose name initiates this article is likewise unfaltering in allegiance 
to the Republican party, and he has been loyal and progressive in 



74 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

the supporting of measures and enterprises that have contributed 
to the social and material welfare of his home community and na- 
tive county ; the while he has maintained the fullest measure of 
popular confidence and esteem. He has served six years as trustee 
of Wagner township, besides having held minor offices of local 
trust. On the 2d of January, 1887, was solemnized his marriage to 
Miss Annie Embretson, who was born and reared in this county, 
where her parents settled in the pioneer days, both having been 
born in Norway. She is a daughter of Lars and Jane (Nelson) 
Embretson, representative of that fine Scandinavian element of 
citizenship that has contributed much to the development and up- 
building of Clayton county. Her father became one of the pioneer 
farmers of Wagner township, where he continued to reside until 
his death and where his widow still maintains her home. Of their 
children the first-born was Embret, who is deceased ; Mrs. Clark 
was the second in order of birth ; Nels operates the old homestead 
farm in Wagner township ; Lena is the wife of Martin Severson, of 
North Dakota; Knute is associated with his brother in the control 
of the fine farm developed by their father, as is also Ole, and the 
widowed mother likewise remains on this place, which is endeared 
to her by the hallowed memories and associations of the past. Mr. 
and Mrs. Clark have two children — Alvin and Joel. Alvin is asso- 
ciated in the work and management of the home farm, and on the 
18th of April, 1914, he wedded Miss Helen Landsgard, who likewise 
was born and reared in this county. Joel is successfully associated 
with agricultural pursuits in Boardman township. The attractive 
home of Mr. and Mrs. Clark is one of the fine rural residences of 
Clayton county, is known for its generous and unostentatious hos- 
pitality, and receives mail service on rural route No. 3 from Elkader, 
the county seat. 

Mrs. Minnie Clough has been a resident of Clayton county 
since her childhood and here she has shown splendid energy and 
resourcefulness as a business woman, her success having been the 
result of her well-ordered efforts and personal popularity and hav- 
ing given her a place of prominence and influence in business cir- 
cles in this county. She owns and conducts at Strawberry Point 
the well-equipped general merchandise store known as the Bee 
Hive, and the same has the best of facilities for meeting the de- 
mands placed upon it by a large and appreciative patronage. Mrs. 
Clough owns not only the modern brick building in which her store 
is located but also a well-improved farm of one hundred and eighty 
acres in Cass township. She is essentially one of the representative 
business women of Clayton county and her gracious personality 
has gained to her a circle of friends whose number is virtually 
equal to that of her acquaintances. She was born in Dubuque 
county, Iowa, and is a daughter of Gottlieb and Minnie (Heisler) 
Steinhulber. Her parents were born in Germany and were chil- 
dren at the time of the immigration of the respective families to 
America, where they were reared and educated and where their 
marriage was solemnized in Iowa. In the pioneer days Mr. Stein- 
hulber was engaged in the mercantile business in Dubuque for a 



THE NFW YORK 

PUBLIC LIBRARY 



AerroE, lenox and 




D. J. GRAIN AND WIFE 
THE RESIDENCE 



BIOGRAPHICAL 75 

number of years, and in 1860 he came with his family to Clayton 
county and purchased a farm in Sperry township. He became one 
of the prosperous agriculturalists and highly esteemed citizens of 
this county and here continued to maintain his residence on his 
old homestead until his death, though he was visiting his sister 
in the city of New York at the time of his demise, which occurred 
in 1906. His cherished and devoted wife did not long survive him, 
as she was summoned to the life eternal in 1908. They became 
the parents of six children, all of whom are living, and all were 
carefully reared in the faith of the Lutheran church, of which her 
parents were lifelong and devout communicants. Mrs. Clough con- 
tinued her studies in the public schools of Clayton county until 
she had completed an effective course in the high school at Elkader. 
In 1885 she engaged in the mercantile business at Strawberry Point, 
and here her Bee Hive Store is now one of the principal mercantile 
establishments of the progressive village, with a substantial trade 
that has been developed through effective service and fair and hon- 
orable dealings. Mrs. Clough is an earnest communicant of the 
Lutheran church and is liberal in the support of the various de- 
partments of its work. She has a pleasant home in which she finds 
pleasure in extending cordial hospitality to her many friends, and 
in which she is lovingly rearing two little girls whom she has taken 
under her benignant care and one of whom is the daughter of one 
of her kinsfolk. 

Deles J. Grain is one of the most progressive farmers of the 
younger generation in his native township and is a popular factor 
in community affairs, influential in connection with public interests 
and loyal in his support of those things that tend to advance the 
general welfare. He is the owner of one of the fine landed estates 
of Sperry township and it is specially interesting to record that on 
this homestead he has lived from the time of his birth, which here 
occurred on the 31st of July, 1879. He is a son of James and Jane 
(Broker) Crain, both of whom passed the closing years of their 
lives in Volga. James Crain was born in England, where he was 
reared to 15 years of age, and he came to the United States in the 
year 1852. He first located at Lockport, New York, and in 1854 he 
came to Iowa and numbered himself among the pioneers of Claytoij 
county. He settled on a tract of wild land now included in the well 
improved farm of the subject of this sketch, and his ability and well 
ordered enterprise as a farmer enabled him to accumulate a large 
landed property and to gain substantial success as an exponent of 
farm industry. He was thrice married, and the two daughters of 
his first marriage are now married and reside in the village of 
Volga, this county. Of the two children of the second marriage 
the elder was William, who died when seven months of age ; and 
the younger is Delos J., to whom this sketch is dedicated. The 
mother of Delos J. Crain was born February 14, 1853, and reared in 
the State of New York and came to Clayton county in her youth, 
her marriage to James Crain having here been solemnized and she 
having been 52 years old at the time of her death, August 25, 1905. 
Both she and her husband were earnest members of the Methodist 



76 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

Episcopal church and they so lived as to merit and receive the high 
regard of those with whom they came in contact in the various 
relations of life. Delos J. Grain continued his studies in the public 
schools until he had attended the high school at Volga for one year, 
and thereafter he was a student during one term in the business 
college at Fayette, this state. He assisted his father in the affairs 
and work of the home farm until he had attained to his legal major- 
ity, and he then rented the old homestead, on which he continued 
his farming operations under these conditions for a period of five 
years. He then became the owner of the valuable property which 
comprises two hundred and ten acres of as fine land as is to be 
found in Clayton county, the farm being situated in sections 1 and 
11, Sperry township, and which was part of his father's estate. Here 
he carries on general farming, and also gives considerable attention 
to the breeding and raising of Shetland ponies, and the modern 
house that Mr. Grain has erected on the place being looked upon as 
one of the finest rural domiciles in this township, even as its hos- 
pitality has caused it to become a center of much of the represen- 
tative social life of the community. Mr. Grain is aligned as a stal- 
wart supporter of the cause of the Republican party, and the year 
1916 finds him serving with characteristic loyalty and efficiency as 
township trustee and as president of the school board of his dis- 
trict. He is affiliated with lodge No. 72, Ancient Free and Accepted 
Masons, in Elkader, and there he and his wife are zealous and 
valued members of the Methodist Episcopal church, he being a 
member of its board of trustees. On the 25th of September, 1900, 
was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Grain to Miss Ethel Smith, 
who was born in Delaware county, this state, and who is a daugh- 
ter of William B. and Orril (Gowles) Smith, the former a native of 
Ontario, Ganada, and the latter of the State of Massachusetts. Mr. 
and Mrs. Smith were pioneer settlers of Iowa and continued to 
reside in this state until their death, all save one of their seven chil- 
dren still surviving them. Mr. and Mrs. Grain have four children, 
whose names and respective dates of birth are here noted: Gecil 
Orril, July 23, 1902 ; Erma E., April 24, 1904 ; Mildred Ruth, August 
8, 1906; and William B. Smith Grain, May 25, 1908. 

Albert N. Crawford, who owns and conducts a well-equipped 
harness and saddlery establishment in the village of Garnavillo, 
has been a resident of Glayton county from the time of his birth 
and has won for himself distinct success and prestige as one of 
the progressive and representative business men of the county. 
In addition to the modern two-story brick building in which his 
business is conducted, he owns also a frame business building in 
the village and the attractive residence in which he and his wife 
maintain their home and delight to extend hospitable welcome to 
their many friends. Mr. Grawford was born in Glayton township, 
this county, on the 24th of May, 1872, and is a son of James and 
Elizabeth (Gregory) Grawford, the former of whom was bom in 
Ohio and the latter at Racine, Wisconsin. The parents of Mr. 
Grawford settled in Glayton county in the early period of its his- 
tory and here they passed the remainder of their lives, secure in 



BIOGRAPHICAL 'J'J 

the high regard of all who knew them, the father having given the 
greater part of his active life to agricultural pursuits. Of the three 
children the eldest is Edgar, who now resides in the city of Du- 
buque; Albert N., of this review, was the next in order of birth; 
and Agnes is the wife of Melvin Ringle, of Rock Island, Illinois. 
Reared to maturity in Clayton county, Albert N. Crawford did not 
fail to profit duly by the advantages afforded in the public schools, 
and when 18 years of age he entered upon a practical apprentice- 
ship to the trade of harnessmaker. After he had proved himself a 
skilled artisan at his trade he began to consult ways and means 
for establishing himself in independent business, and in 1902 he 
realized his ambition by opening a harness store at Garnavillo, 
where he has built up a substantial and prosperous business and 
has a store that is well equipped with all kinds of harness and 
saddlery goods demanded by the local trade and where is main- 
tained an excellent manufacturing and repair department also. 
Mr. Crawford is one of the enterprising business men and public- 
spirited citizens of his native county and though he has had no 
desire for public office of any kind he is found aligned as a staunch 
supporter of the cause of the Democratic party. Both he and his 
wife are active members of the Lutheran church at Garnavillo and 
both have in their native county a circle of friends that is limited 
only by that of their acquaintances. In the year 1905 was solemn- 
ized the marriage of Mr. Crawford to Miss Lena Ihde, who, as 
already intimated, was born and reared in Clayton county. They 
have no children. Mrs. Crawford is a daughter of Frederick and 
Sophia Ihde, who were born in Germany and who established their 
home in Clayton county about half a century ago, here to remain 
as highly respected citizens until the time of their death. The ca- 
reer of Mr. Crawford has been marked by earnest industry and 
careful and honorable business policies, so that he well merits the 
success he has achieved. 

George H. Cunningham is numbered among the representative 
merchants and honored and influential citizens of the vigorous lit- 
tle village of Monona, where he is engaged in the hardware and 
implement business, with a large and well-equipped establishment 
that is at all times prepared to meet the demands of an extended 
and representative patronage. Mr. Cunningham is one of the well- 
poised and substantial business men of the younger generation in 
his native county and consistently finds individual recognition in 
this publication. He was born in Giard township, this county, 
on the 8th of September, 1888, and is a son of Isaac and Frances 
(Collier) Cunningham, both of whom were born in Holland. Isaac 
Cunningham came to the United States about the year 1866, and 
established his residence in the State of New York. About a decade 
later he came to Iowa and established his home in Clayton county, 
where he purchased a farm, in Giard township. There he con- 
tinued his successful activities as an agriculturist for many years, 
and he and his wife now reside in the village of Monona, where he 
is living virtually retired and in the enjoyment of the goodly re- 
wards of former years of earnest endeavor. He is a Republican 



78 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

in politics and continues to take a lively and discriminating interest 
in the issues and questions of the hour, with well fortified views 
concerning governmental and economic policies. He is a trustee 
of the local lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and 
both he and his wife are zealous members of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church. They are numbered among the honored pioneer 
citizens of Clayton county and in the gracious environment of an 
attractive home and surrounded by a host of loyal friends, they 
may well feel that their lines are cast in pleasant places. Daniel H. 
the eldest of their children, is a prosperous farmer in Monona town- 
ship; Mae F. is the wife of George Hazlett, of Giard township; 
William died at the age of 31 ; Carrie P. is the wife of James Camp- 
bell, of Colton, South Dakota; James is a resident of Monona; 
George H., the immediate subject of this review, was the next in 
order of birth; and Hazel remains at the parental home. After 
completing the curriculum of the public schools of Monona, George 
H. Cunningham further fortified himself by an effective course in 
the Toland Business College, in the city of La Crosse, Wisconsin. 
He passed the ensuing four years as a bookkeeper in the city of St. 
Paul, Minnesota, and then became a traveling commercial sales- 
man for the Huber & Furman Drug mills, of Fond du Lac, Wis- 
consin, with which concern he continued his successful work for 
four years. In July, 1915, Mr. Cunningham returned to his native 
county and established his residence in Monona, where he pur- 
chased the hardware stock and business of the firm of Furguson & 
Licht. With marked circumspection and progressiveness he has 
since carried forward this enterprise, and his establishment is well 
stocked with heavy and shelf hardware, stoves, ranges, etc., with a 
well equipped department devoted to plumbing and heating appli- 
ances, for the installment of which he has the best of facilities, 
bedsides which there is special attention given to the sale of gas 
engines, windmills, and farm implements. Mr. Cunningham is pri- 
marily a business man and though he is emphatically progressive 
and loyal in his civic attitude and a staunch advocate of the poli- 
cies and principles of the Republican party, he has manifested no 
ambition for public office of any kind. Both he and his wife hold 
membership in the Methodist Episcopal church of Monona and 
are popular factors in the representative social activities of the 
community. On the 23d of August, 1910, was solemnized the mar- 
riage of Mr. Cunningham to Miss Jessie E. Foster, daughter of 
Bartley and Eva (Wheat) Foster, of St. Paul, Minnesota, and 
they have two children — Eva Francis, who was born August 10, 
1911, and Daphne Lorayne, who was born April 4, 1915. 

Albert L. Currie, D. D. S,, is an able and representative expo- 
nent of the profession that involves both a science and a mechanic 
art and is known as one of the successful practitioners of dentistry 
in Clayton county, his place of residence being in the attractive 
and thriving village of Monona, where he has well appointed offices 
with the best of modern facilities in both the operative and lab- 
oratory departments. As a skilled workman of punctilious loyalty 
to his profession and the requirements of all patrons, he has built 



BIOGRAPHICAL 79 

up a substantial and representative practice and is one of the pop- 
ular and progressive citizens who consistently find recognition in 
this history of Clayton county. Dr. Currie was born in the city 
of La Salle, Illinois, on the 28th of August, 1869, and is a son of 
James and Louise (Fairbanks) Currie, both natives of the State 
of Ohio. The parents of the doctor removed to Delaware county, 
Iowa, when he was about 3 years of age. His father is now living 
retired from active business with his son, after having been twenty- 
three years in the service of the Illinois Central R. R. as foreman 
carpenter of the Iowa division. He is a stalwart advocate of the 
principles of the Republican party and is a member of the Con- 
gregational church, as was also his wife, whose death occurred 
several years since. Of their children the first two, Addie Louise 
and George, are deceased ; Charles is engaged in the practice of 
medicine in the city of Des Moines ; Frank L. and Acacia are de- 
ceased, and Dr. Albert L., of this review, is the youngest of the 
number. Dr. Currie continued his studies in the public schools 
until he had completed the curriculum of the high school, and in 
consonance with his ambitious plans he entered the department 
of dentistry of the University of Iowa, in which institution he was 
graduated as a member of the class of 1891 and from which he 
received his well-earned degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery. For 
the ensuing four years he was established in practice at Earlville, 
Iowa, Delaware county, and he then, in 1895, came to Clayton 
county and opened an office at Monona, where he has since con- 
tinued in successful practice and where he controls a large and 
important professional business which is based alike on his rec- 
ognized technical ability and his unequivocal personal popularity. 
The doctor pays unswerving allegiance to the Republican party, 
though manifesting no ambition for public office of any kind, and 
he is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, including the adjunct 
organization, the Order of the Eastern Star. On the 26th of Octo- 
ber, 1894, Dr. Currie wedded Miss Martha Thomas, daughter of 
David and Sophia Thomas, of Greeley, this State, and she is the 
popular chatelaine of their present home, which is known for its 
generous hospitality. Dr. and Mrs. Currie have no children. 

Darrow, George H., telegrapher and station agent of Farmers- 
burg, Iowa, was born in Joplin, Missouri, January 29, 1870, and is 
the son of Allison C. and Elvira (Woodin) Darrow, the former a 
native of New York, and the latter of Pennsylvania. Mr. Darrow, 
senior, lives in Kansas, where he is engaged in farming, but his 
wife died November 15, 1896. They had two children: a son 
George, a sketch of whose life will follow ; and a daughter, Lucinda 
v., who is the wife of Clarence L. Adams of Cherrydale, Kansas. 
George Darrow left home at the age of twenty years, going to a 
school of telegraphy in Janesville, Wisconsin, for seven months, 
then to Campbell, Minnesota, for another period of study for about 
the same length of time. After completing his work as a student, 
he took up the profession of telegraphy, filling positions as operator 
in Green Valley and Kerkhoven, Minnesota, for about one year, 
when he was made station agent at Kandiyohi, in the same State. 



80 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

After five years he went to the Pacific Coast, remaining one year, 
then returned east, locating successfully in Chicago, Ruthven, Iowa, 
and various other towns, as telegraph operator. After spending 
about six months each in these places, he went to Whittemore, 
Iowa, for three years, and to Emmettsburg in the same State for 
two years, but on November 15, 1904, he accepted the position of 
station agent and telegraph operator in Farmersburg, Iowa, and 
is still conducting the business of that thriving station, in a highly 
satisfactory manner. Mr. Darrow is a man of varied interests. 
Beside his station work he is also interested in a coal business, and 
is a director of a grain company of Farmersburg. He was united 
in marriage to Mary E. Gappa, April 10, 1907, and they are the 
proud and happy parents of two sons, Clarence A., and Lawrence 
M. Mr. Darrow belongs to the Democratic party, though not par- 
ticularly active in political work, and is a member of the Masonic 
fraternity. 

Wilmer W. Davidson has won secure prestige as one of the 
representative younger members of the bar of Clayton county and 
is associated with his honored father, with residence in the fine 
little city of Elkader, the judicial center of the county. Mr. Dav- 
idson was born in Volga, this county, on the 10th of November, 
1874, and is a son of Thomas Marion Davidson and Margaret E. 
(Wickham) Davidson, both of whom were born and reared in the 
State of Ohio and the marriage of whom was solemnized January 
25, 1864, at which time the young husband was still in service as a 
gallant soldier of the Union in the Civil war. Thomas M. Davidson 
arrived in Clayton county, Iowa, on the 25th of October, 1856, and 
established his residence on a farm near Volga, thus becoming a 
resident of the county in the pioneer epoch of its history and hav- 
ing here maintained his home for half a century. When the Civil 
war was precipitated he subordinated all other interests to tender 
his aid in defense of the Union. He enlisted in Company F, Six- 
teenth United States Infantry, with which he proceeded to the 
front and entered upon his strenuous career as a soldier. While 
with a supply train en route between Bowling Green, Kentucky, 
and Nashville, Tennessee, he was taken prisoner by a party of 
Morgan's historic raiders, but was paroled three hours later. His 
exchange effected, he continued in active service during three years 
of the great internecine conflict, the last year having found him as- 
signed to the position of duty sergeant and his honorable discharge 
having been received on the 12th of November, 1864. He took 
part in numerous engagements, including the memorable battle 
of Shiloh, and proved himself a leal and loyal soldier of the nation, 
his continued interest in his old comrades having in later years 
been signified by his appreciative affiliation with the Grand Army 
of the Republic. After the close of his military career Mr. David- 
son returned to Clayton county and here he applied himself finally 
to the diligent study that prepared him for the legal profession, 
his admission to the bar having occurred in 1878, since which time 
he has continued in the active practice of his profession, with high 
standing as an able trial lawyer and well fortified counselor, and 



BIOGRAPHICAL 8l 

with secure vantage ground as one of the leading members of the 
bar of Clayton county, where he has appeared in connection with 
much important litigation during the long period of nearly forty 
years that have recorded his successful labors in his chosen pro- 
fession. In 1896 he was elected county attorney, and of this office 
he continued the incumbent eight years, his administration having 
been marked by efficiency and having added materially to his pro- 
fessional precedence. His political allegiance is given to the Re- 
publican party and he has been influential in its councils and cam- 
paign activities in Clayton county for many years. He and his 
wife became the parents of four children, the first two being twins, 
one of whom died at birth, the other twin, Elmer E., dying at Polk 
City at the age of 9 years. Margaret A. is the wife of Rev. Robert 
C. Lusk, who is a clergyman of the Methodist Episcopal church 
and who holds, in 1916, a pastoral charge at Marble Rock, Floyd 
county, this state; and Wilmer W., immediate subject of this re- 
view, is the youngest of the children. Wilmer W. Davidson con- 
tinued his studies in the public schools of his native county until 
he had completed the curriculum of the Elkader high school, and 
within a short time after his graduation he entered the law de- 
partment of Drake University, in the city of Des Moines, in which 
institution he was graduated as a member of the class of 1901, 
and from which he received the degree of Bachelor of Laws. He 
was forthwith admitted to the bar of his native state, and has been 
actively associated with his father in general practice since that 
time, with assured and well-proved reputation, both as a resource- 
ful advocate and conservative counselor. His political support is 
given unreservedly to the Republican party, and no better voucher 
for his personal popularity can be found than in his incumbency 
of the office of mayor of Elkader, to which important municipal 
position he was elected for the second term in the spring of 1916 
and in which he is giving, at the time of this writing, a most pro- 
gressive and satisfactory administration. Both he and his father 
hold membership in the Clayton County Bar Association, and in 
Elkader he is affiliated with Elkader Lodge, No. 72, Ancient Free 
& Accepted Masons, as well as with the adjunct chapter of the 
Order of the Eastern Star, and of the De Molay Consistory No. 1, 
also with the local camp of the Modern Woodmen of America and 
the Brotherhood of American Yeomen. In November, 1901, was 
solemnized the marriage of Mr. Davidson to Miss Mollie Beer, 
who likewise was born and reared in this county and who is a 
daughter of Christian and Marie (Schori) Beer, the former of whom 
is deceased and the latter of whom still maintains her home in 
this county. Mr. and Mrs. Davidson have a winsome little daugh- 
ter, Ruth Marie, who was born April 6, 1911. , 

G. Walter Davies is a scion of the third generation of the 
Davies family in Clayton county and the name which he bears was 
not only one of prominence and influence in connection with the 
early stages of development and progress in the county but has 
also continued to exert distinctive force in the furthering of the 
civic and industrial prosperity of this favored section of the State, 



82 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

with long and effective association with the basic enterprise of ag- 
riculture. He whose name initiates this paragraph is one of the 
representative farmers of Mendon township, known for his energy, 
progressiveness and good judgment in connection with business 
affairs and his loyalty to the duties and responsibilities of citizen- 
ship, so that it is but in natural sequence that to him goes forth 
the full tide of popular confidence and good will in the county that 
has ever been his home and in which he has found ample oppor- 
tunity for effective achievement. Mr. Davies was born in Mendon 
township, this county, on the 6th of January, 1873, and is a son of 
Thomas M. and Louisa (West) Davies, the former of whom was 
born in Cumberlandshire, in the extreme northwestern part of Eng- 
land, on the 24th of September, 1842, and the latter of whom was 
born at Waukesha, Wisconsin. Thomas M. Davies was a lad of 
about ten years when he accompanied his parents on their removal 
from England to America, in 1852, and his father, Lewis Davies, 
became one of the pioneer settlers at McGregor, Clayton county, 
Iowa, in the vicinity of which now vigorous little city he obtained 
a tract of land and instituted the reclamation of a farm, both he 
and his wife having passed the residue of their lives on this old 
homestead. Thomas M. Davies gained his elementary education 
In his native land and supplemented this by attending the schools 
of McGregor. He continued to be associated with the operations 
of the home farm until there came to him the opportunity to pay 
the highest possible tribute of loyalty to his adopted country. With 
the outbreak of the Civil war he subordinated all else to go forth 
in defense of the Union. He enlisted in Company B, Fourth Iowa 
Volunteer Infantry, with which he served as a gallant but youthful 
soldier until some time after the expiration of his term of enlist- 
ment. He was at the front with his command for a period of ten 
months and then received his honorable discharge, his continued 
interest in his old comrades in arms being indicated by his active 
affiliation with the post of the Grand Army of the Republic at 
McGregor, where he is now living virtually retired. After his 
return to Clayton county Mr. Davies engaged in farming on his 
own responsibility. In Mendon township he purchased a quarter 
section of fertile land, and there he continued his successful enter- 
prise as an industrious and discriminating agriculturist and stock- 
grower until advancing years and generous prosperity justified his 
retirement from the heavy labors and responsibilities that had so 
long been his portion. He is aligned as a stalwart supporter of 
the cause of the Republican party, to which he has paid allegiance 
from the time of attaining to his legal majority, and both he and 
his wife hold membership in the Congregational church at Mc- 
Gregor. Of their children the subject of this review is the eldest; 
William is deceased ; Birdie is the wife of Melvin Robbins, of this 
county; and Lillian and Harry remain at the parental home. G. 
Walter Davies gained his early education in the excellent schools 
of Mendon township and there continued to assist in the work and 
management of his father's farm until he had reached his legal 
majority. After being employed thereafter as a farm hand for one 



BIOGIL\PHICAL 83 

year he initiated independent activities as a farmer, his operations 
being continued on rented land in his native township until 1901, 
when he purchased his present homestead place, his original pur- 
chase having been of one hundred and fifty-four acres, to which he 
has since added an adjoining tract of forty-six acres. Thrift and 
indomitable energy have been exemplified by Mr. Davies in his 
farming operations and he has achieved independent and substan- 
tial prosperity through his well-ordered endeavors, his excellent 
farm being devoted to diversified agriculture and the raising of ap- 
proved grades of live stock. Mr. Davies was reared in the faith of 
the Republican party and such have been his personal convictions 
that he has never wavered in his allegiance to this staunch organ- 
ization and his confidence in its ultimate return to supremacy in 
national aflfairs has not waned in the least. His progressiveness and 
public spirit have been shown in loyal support of community inter- 
ests and in according co-operation in the furtherance of enterprises 
advanced for the general good of his native county and State. He 
is, in 1916, president of the Mendon Township Farmers' Institute, 
an office of which he has been the incumbent for two years, and 
prior to assuming this position he had served one year as vice- 
president. He has served since 1912 as school director of his dis- 
trict, and both he and his wife are zealous members of the Con- 
gregational church at McGregor. September 14, 1898, recorded the 
marriage of Mr. Davies to Miss Elma Haymond, daughter of George 
and Catherine (Doak) Haymond, of Winterset, Madison county. 
Mr. and Mrs. Davies have no children. 

Thomas M. Davies. — That within the pages of this history 
of Clayton county it has been found possible to accord specific rec- 
ognition to a goodly percentage of the sturdy and enterprising yeo- 
men who are influential and honored exponents of the agricultural 
interests of this section of the State, can not but add greatly to the 
consistency and value of the publication, for Clayton is essentially 
an agricultural county, with resources and advantages not to be 
excelled, with the logical result that the great basic industry con- 
stitutes the nucleus around which has been evolved the general 
prosperity that now marks this favored section of the Hawkeye 
commonwealth. Though Thomas M. Davies is to be considered 
as one of the older but still active and influential representatives 
of agricultural and live-stock industry in Clayton county, it is spe- 
cially interesting to record that he has been a resident of the county 
from early youth and is a scion of one of its honored pioneer fam- 
ilies, besides which is his enduring distinction for having been one 
of the loyal and valiant young men who went forth from Iowa to 
serve as soldiers of the Union in the Civil war. He resides upon 
and gives his personal supervision to his well improved farm of 
one hundred and sixty acres, which is eligibly situated in Mendon 
township, at a point within about four and one-half miles of 
the thriving little city of McGregor, from which place he receives 
service on rural mail route number One. Mr. Davies was born 
in Cumberlandshire, England, on the 25th of September, 1842, 
and thus was a lad of about ten at the time of the family 



84 ' MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

immigration to the United States, in 1853. He is a son of 
Lewis and Mary Anne (Michell) Davies, the former a native of 
Montgomeryshire and the latter of Cumberlandshire, England. In 
his native land the father continued to follow the vocation of miner 
until 1853, when he came with his family to America and numbered 
himself among the pioneers of Iowa. After remaining for a brief 
period in Dubuque he came to the wilds of Clayton county and 
obtained a tract of land in what is now Giard township. Here he 
reclaimed and developed a productive farm, and on this pioneer 
homestead he and his noble wife passed the remainder of their lives 
in peace and prosperity and in the inviolable esteem of all who 
knew them. Both were communicants of the Church of England 
and after coming to the United States they continued in the same 
faith, here defined as that of the Protestant Episcopal Church. 
Lewis Davies contributed his quota to the civic and material de- 
velopment and progress of Clayton county, was a man of strong 
mentality and sterling character and took deep interest in the com- 
munal welfare, his political support having been given to the cause 
of the Republican party. Of the children of this honored pioneer 
John, the first-born, went forth as a soldier of the Union when the 
integrity of the nation was jeopardized by armed rebellion, and 
he sacrificed his life in a righteous cause, as he was killed in the 
battle of Vicksburg; Thomas M., subject of this review, was the 
second child; Daniel maintains his residence at McGregor, this 
county; William is deceased; James is a prosperous farmer in 
Giard township; Lewis resides in the vicinity of the city of Spo- 
kane, Washington; George is a resident of the State of Idaho; 
Sarah is deceased; Mary is the widow of Jacob Heffner and 
maintains her home at Stillwater, Minnesota ; and Richard remains 
in Clayton county, as one of the representative farmers of Mendoii 
township. Thomas M. Davies gained his early education in his 
native land and after the family home had been established in 
Clayton county he continued to attend the pioneer schools when 
opportunity offered, but in the meanwhile found definite requisi- 
tion for his services in connection with the development and gen- 
eral operations of his father's farm. Such was his association when 
the Civil war was precipitated, and in 1864, within a short time 
after attaining to his legal majority, he enlisted as a private in 
Company B, Fourth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, with which he served 
faithfully and gallantly until the close of the war, with a record 
of having been one of the boys in blue who took part in Sherman's 
ever memorable march from Atlanta to the sea. He participated 
in numerous engagements and effectually proved his loyalty to 
the nation to which he has paid appreciative allegiance since his 
boyhood. For two years after the close of the war Mr. Davies 
rented his father's farm, and he then purchased eighty acres of 
his present homestead, to which he later added an adjoining eighty 
acres, so that he is now the owner of a well-improved farm of one 
hundred and sixty acres, the general appearance of which breathes 
of unmistakable thrift and prosperity and indicates the progressive 
policies and methods which the owner has brought to bear. The 



THE NEW YuH/ 

PUM.IC LlBKAliY 



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BIOGRAPHICAL S$ 

excellent buildings on the place have been erected by Mr. Davies, 
and the greater part of other permanent improvements have been 
wrought under his effective supervision. Well-earned prosperity 
and comfort are his, and now, in the gracious twilight of a well- 
spent life, he may feel that his lines have been cast in pleasant 
places. He has never sought public office but has loyally supported 
the measures and enterprises that have tended to foster the general 
welfare of the community and has not faltered in allegiance to the 
Republican party. He was reared in the faith of the Church of 
England, as was also his wife, but both have been for many years 
earnest members of the Congregational Church at McGregor. In 
that attractive little city is maintained also his affiliation with the 
post of the Grand Army of the Republic, through the medium of 
which he vitalizes the more gracious associations and memories of 
his military career. On the 4th of March, 1873, was solemnized the 
marriage of Mr. Davies to Miss Louisa West, who was born near 
Madison, the beautiful capital city of Wisconsin, and the date of 
whose nativity was March 12, 1849, Mrs. Davies was the first- 
born of a family of six children, all of whom are still living except 
the second, Mozella. Jeanette is the wife of Charles Weston and 
they reside in the State of Oklahoma; George was the next in 
order of birth; Albert maintains his home in Oklahoma, and Ed- 
ward resides at Clermont, Fayette county, Iowa. George and 
Louisa (Webb) West, the parents of Mrs. Davies, were natives re- 
spectively of England and Paris, France, and their marriage was 
solemnized in the city of London. They came to the United States 
in 1848 and became pioneers of Wisconsin, where they remained 
until their removal to Clayton county, Iowa. Here Mr. West se- 
cured a tract of land and began the development of a farm, this 
homestead having continued as his place of residence until his 
death, which occurred December 29, 1864. He was a Republican 
in politics, served as township clerk in the earlier period of Clayton 
county history, and both he and his wife were communicants of 
the Church of England. Mrs. West long survived her honored 
husband and passed the closing period of her life in the home of 
her daughter, Mrs. Davies, where she was summoned to eternal 
rest on the 25th of July, 1896, venerable in years and loved by all 
who had come within the compass of her gentle influence. All of 
the children of Mr. and Mrs. Davies are living with the exception 
of the second, William L., who is deceased ; Walter is a successful 
representative of agricultural enterprise in Mendon township; 
Birdie is the wife of M. J. Robbins, of the same township ; Lillie 
G., who was married Sept. 4, 1916, to C. G. Messinger, of Fonda, 
la. ; and Harry T., who remains at the parental home. 

Francis T. Davis has been a resident of Clayton county for 
nearly half a century, has here exerted his energies effectively 
along normal lines of industrial and business enterprise and for 
nearly a quarter of a century he and his wife have maintained 
their home on their splendid farm of four hundred and eighty 
acres, in Section 5, Sperry township. Their first domicile on this 
now finely improved estate was a log house of the true pioneer 
type, and their present commodious and modern residence is an 



86 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

ideal home in which they are enjoying peace and prosperity as the 
shadows of their lives begin to lengthen from the golden west. 
Mr. Davis claims the old Empire state as the place of his nativity, 
was about twenty years of age at the time when he accompanied 
his parents to Minnesota, from which state he soon afterward went 
forth as a Union soldier in the Civil war, after the close of which 
he came to Clayton county, Iowa, where he has maintained his 
home during the long intervening years that have crowned his 
labors with large and well-merited success. Mr. Davis was born 
in the city of Utica, New York, on the 7th of July, 1840, and in 
the schools of his native state he gained his early educational 
training. He is a son of Josiah and Emily (Wadsworth) Davis, 
the former a native of New Jersey and the latter of Connecticut, 
and in 1861 he accompanied his parents on their immigration to 
Minnesota, where they became pioneer settlers on a farm near 
Winona, and where his honored father and mother passed the re- 
mainder of their lives. Of their six children only two are now liv- 
ing. Soon after the family home had been established in Minne- 
sota the Civil war was precipitated, and Francis T. Davis forth- 
with manifested his youthful patriotism by enlisting in Company I, 
Eleventh Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, in which he was made 
corporal of his company. Corporal Davis proved a loyal and val- 
iant soldier and his active service as such covered a period of one 
year, at the expiration of which he was mustered out and accorded 
an honorable discharge. In later years he has vitalized the mem- 
ories and association of his military career by maintaining affilia- 
tion with the Grand Army of the Republic. Mr. Davis was mustered 
out in the city of St. Paul and thereafter he was employed in a 
flour mill in Minnesota until 1868, when he came to Clayton county 
and assumed a position as a skilled miller in the only flour and 
grist mill that was then operated at Elkader, the county seat. There 
he continued his services in this capacity for a period of fourteen 
years, at the expiration of which he and his wife purchased and 
removed to their present farm, which has been their home during 
the years that have since clasped. Mr. Davis has always given 
unqualified allegiance to the Republican party, has been loyal and 
public-spirited as a citizen, but has had no ambition for public 
office, though he served a number of years as a member of the 
school board of his district. His wife holds membership in the 
Baptist church, and prior to her marriage Mrs. Davis had been a 
successful and popular teacher in the schools of Clayton county, 
the fine farm on which she noAv lives having been the old home- 
stead of her parents. On Oct. 23d, 1871, was solemnized the mar- 
riage of Mr. Davis to Miss H. Eliza Cummings, who was born in 
Vermillion county, Illinois, and who is a daughter of Frederick G. 
and Sophia (Douglas) Cummings. both natives of the state of 
Maine and representatives of sterling families that were founded 
in New England in the colonial period of our national history. The 
parents of Mrs. Davis became pioneer settlers in Vermillion county, 
Illinois, where they established their home about the year 1838 
and where they remained four years. For the ensuing four years 



BIOGRAPHICAL 87 

they continued their pioneer experience in the state of Wisconsin, 
and they then came to Clayton county, Iowa, and settled on the 
pioneer farm which has been developed into the splendid modem 
homestead now owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Davis. Here 
the parents passed the residue of their lives, and of their seven 
children four are now living. Mr. and Mrs. Davis became the par- 
ents of three children, of whom the youngest, Edwin W., died at 
the age of six years; Frederick now has the active management 
of the old homestead farm, is married and has two children ; Jen- 
nie is the wife of Thomas A. Kitterman, of this county, and they 
have three children. 

Edmund De Graw, was born in Ontario, Canada, August 16, 
1847, but came to Clayton county, Iowa, at the very early age of 
four years, with his parents, Asa and Mary (Ferguson) De Graw, 
both natives of the Old Dominion. They made the long and toil- 
some journey overland, driving a team of horses from Canada to 
McGregor, Iowa, thence to Monona, Clayton county, arriving here 
in 1851, where they settled upon the farm that was their home 
until the close of their lives. They were the parents of two chil- 
dren, Edmund, the subject of this review, and Alvina, the wife of 
William Smith, residing in Hardin, Iowa. Mr. De Graw dutifully 
cared for his parents during their lives, but after their deaths he 
sold the old homestead and came to Monona, Iowa, where he 
bought the place he now owns, and upon which he is profitably 
engaged in general farming and stock raising. He married Miss 
Ella Butts, a native of Pennsylvania, and the daughter of Andrew 
J. and Eliza (De Force) Butts. Mr. Butts was a native of New 
York state, but his father, Samuel Butts, removed to Iowa, where 
he resided until his death in Fayette county. He responded to the 
call of his country in the Civil War, and served in Company F of 
the Sixth Iowa Cavalry. Mrs. De Graw was the eldest of six chil- 
dren born to her parents, of whom she and her sister Anna, the 
wife of William Skepreth, of Omaha, Nebraska, are the only two 
living. Forand, Carrie, Lola, and Minnie have all been taken by 
death. Mr. and Mrs. De Graw have been blessed with ten chil- 
dren, all of whom are living: Edith, the wife of Mr. Clark Bothel, 
of Malcolm, Iowa; Ernest, of Cedar Falls; Earl, of Waukon ; Ross, 
of Monona ; Grace, now Mrs. Charles Bothel, of Madison, South 
Dakota ; Ethel, the wife of W. N. Carr, of Malcolm, Iowa ; Glenn, 
residing with his parents ; Hazel, the wife of Mathew Wiley, of 
Montezuma, Iowa ; Cleo, wife of Asa Briar, of Waukon ; and Lyal, 
living at home. Mr. De Graw is a Republican in politics, and is a 
member of the Methodist church. 

Joseph Desotel is consistently to be accorded recognition as 
one of the progressive representatives of agricultural and live-stock 
industry in Clayton county, and his operations are carried forward 
on his well-improved farm in his native township of Millville, where 
his father established a home nearly seventy years ago, so that the 
family nam.e has been identified with the civic and industrial his- 
tory of the county since the early pioneer days. Joseph Desotel, 
Jr., the immediate subject of this review, was born in Millville 



88 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

township on the 6th of April, 1874, and is a son of Joseph and 
Mary (DeBruiette) Desotel, both representatives of sterling old 
French families that were founded in the Dominion of Canada gen- 
erations ago. The parents were born and reared in Montreal, 
Canada, and the father came to Clayton county, Iowa, about 1840. 
He purchased land in what is now Millville township, became one 
of the earliest settlers of that part of the county and there reclaimed 
and developed a productive farm. About two years prior to his 
death he removed to the village of Guttenberg, where he passed 
the remainder of his life in well-earned retirement and where he 
died in the year 1906, his wife passing away soon after and both 
having been earnest communicants of the Catholic church. Mr. 
Desotel was a staunch supporter of the cause of the Democratic 
party and served for some time as township trustee. Of the chil- 
dren the eldest is Lena, who is the wife of William Kiefer, their 
home being in the city of Chicago; Lucy is the wife of George 
Blodgett; Amelia is the wife of Jacob Franks, of Colesburg, Iowa; 
Louise is deceased ; Louis is a resident of Guttenberg, this county ; 
Maxim is deceased, the subject of this sketch having been the next 
in order of birth and the eighth child, Josephine, being deceased; 
August resides at Colesburg, William at Turkey River, John at 
Muscatine, George at Guttenberg, and Mary in the city of Du- 
buque ; Elizabeth is the wife of Charles LaPage ; Emma is also 
married ; Nellie is the wife of Daniel McMullen, of Dubuque ; and 
Edward resides at Guttenberg. Joseph Desotel, Jr., gained his 
early education in the schools at Turkey River and continued his 
association with the work of the home farm until he had attained 
to the age of twenty-two years, when he rented a farm and ini- 
tiated his independent career as an agriculturist and stock-grower. 
Finally he purchased his present excellent farm, which comprises 
eighty acres and which is eligibly situated in Millville township, on 
rural mail route No. 2 from the village of Guttenberg. With marked 
energy and progressiveness he is giving special attention to stock- 
farming, and is a successful breeder and grower of Durham and 
Galloway cattle and Poland-China swine. He is a Republican in 
politics and both he and his wife are members of the Lutheran 
church. On the 16th of February, 1897, was solemnized the mar- 
riage of Mr. Desotel to Miss Emma Timm, who was born in Mill- 
ville township, on the 3d of October, 1874, and who is a daughter 
of Christ and Mary (Kieckbush) Timm, who were born in Ger- 
many and who became pioneer settlers in Clayton county. The 
father died on his homestead farm in Millville township and his 
widow now resides at Guttenberg. He was a Republican in his 
political adherency and was a lifelong communicant of the Lutheran 
church, as has been also his venerable widow. Mr. and Mrs. Deso- 
tel have five children: Charles, Emil, Otto, Hilda and Marie. 

Henry H. Diers, owner and progressive manager of the fine 
landed estate known as the Center Valley Stock Farm, in Section 
4, Read Township, specially merits recognition in this history of 
his native county, for he is a member of one of its sterling pioneer 
families, is known as one of the representative agriculturists and 



THE NEW yoak 
PUftLIC LIBKA&Y 



AOTUt, ULN9X AND 

TOjUSm PUUNDATlUNfl 

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MAETIX DITTMEE 



BIOGRAPHICAL 89 

prominent stockgrowers of the county, and has the distinction of 
owning and residing upon the old homestead farm on which his 
birth occurred November 20, 1873. He is a son of Frederick W. 
and Margaret (Schneider) Diers, who were born in Germany but 
who were children at the time of the immigration of the respective 
families to the United States. They are now honored pioneer 
citizens of Clayton county and reside on the old home place, and 
of their children four are living. They are Henry H., Mrs. Dr. 
W. A. Miller, of Elkader; Mrs. Frieda Hagensich, of Reed town- 
ship; Alma, at home. They lost two children, Emma, who died, 
aged 3 years, and one who died in infancy. Henry H. Diers prof- 
ited by the advantages afforded in the public schools of his native 
city, including the high school at Elkader, and his activities of a 
practical order have always been in connection with the operations 
of the well improved homestead which he now owns, the property 
having been rented by him from his father for several years after 
his marriage, which occurred in 1900. Some years after he had 
thus assumed connubial responsibilities he purchased the property, 
which comprises two hundred and eighty acres and which consti- 
tutes one of the model landed estates of Clayton county. Mr. Diers 
is giving special and successful attention to the breeding and rais- 
ing of thoroughbred shorthorn cattle and registered Poland-China 
and Duroc-Jersey swine, fine specimens of each of which he has 
for sale for breeding and general farm purposes at all times. He 
has been for twenty years the efficient and valued secretary of the 
school board of his district, is a member of the directorate of the 
St. Olaf Savings Bank, the Farmersburg & St. Olaf Creamery Com- 
pany, and the Poland-China & Duroc Swine Association, and is 
significantly to be designated as one of the most progressive and 
loyal citizens of Read township. His political allegiance is given 
to the Republican party and both he and his wife are communicants 
of the Lutheran church. In 1900 was solemnized the marriage of 
Mr. Diers to Miss Emelie Best, who was born in Read township 
and who is one of the six children, all living, of William and Minnie 
(Schmidt) Best, who were children when they accompanied their 
parents to America from Germany and who early became residents 
of Clayton county. Mr. Best is still one of the representative farm- 
ers of Read township and his devoted wife passed to the life eternal 
in the year 1913. Mr. and Mrs. Diers have two children, Alice M., 
who was born April 1, 1901, and Willis F., who was born June 2, 
1903. 

Gustav Dittmer, Jr., is a representative of well known pioneer 
families of Clayton county, where he was born, in Jefferson town- 
ship, on the 1st of February, 1879, and he now maintains his home 
in the progressive little city of Guttenberg, where he controls a 
prosperous business as a carpenter and builder. He is a son of 
Martin and Carolina (Aulwes) Dittmer, the former of whom was 
born in Germany and the latter in Clayton county, where her par- 
ents established a home in the pioneer days and soon after their 
emigration from Germany. Martin Dittmer was a young man 
when he came to Clayton county, in 1850, and in Jefferson town- 



90 t MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

ship he obtained a tract of land and developed one of the valu- 
able farms of the county. He was one of the successful farmers 
and honored citizens of Jefferson township at the time of his 
death, on the 12th of May, 1914, and his venerable widow now 
maintains her home at Guttenberg. Martin Dittmar became well 
known for his musical ability, and as a cornet player he was iden- 
tified with one of the excellent bands early organized in Clayton 
county. He gave his political support to the Republican party, 
was influential in community affairs in his township and was an 
earnest communicant of the Lutheran church, as is also his widow. 
Of their children the eldest two, Henry and William, now reside 
at Ireton, Sioux county; the subject of this sketch was the third 
child ; and the youngest, Augusta, is the wife of John Rademacher, 
of Guttenberg. Gustav Dittmer, Jr., was reared to adult age on 
the home farm, made good use of the advantages afforded in the 
public schools and from 1902 until 1912 he had the active manage- 
ment of the home farm. He then removed to Guttenberg, where 
he purchased a good residence property, and where he has since 
given his attention vigorously and successfully to work at the car- 
penter's trade and where he has become one of the representative 
contractors and builders of this part of the county. He is now 
serving as assessor of Guttenberg, la., and is the incumbent also 
of the office of constable. His political allegiance is given unre- 
servedly to the Republican party, and while still on the farm he 
served two terms as trustee of his native township. He is the 
owner of a well improved farm in Sioux county, Iowa. Both he 
and his wife are communicants and liberal supporters of the Lu- 
theran church at Guttenberg. November 12, 1902, recorded the 
marriage of Mr. Dittmer to Miss Clara Fredelake, who was born 
and reared at Guttenberg, and whose parents, Henry and Salina 
(Voss) Fredelake, still maintain their home in this village, the 
father being in the employ of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul 
Railroad. Mr. Fredelake was born in Germany and his wife in 
Clayton county, where her parents settled in the pioneer days. Con- 
cerning the children of Mr. and Mrs. Fredelake, brief record may 
consistently be entered at this juncture: Anna is the wife of Will- 
iam Dittman, of Ireton, Sioux county; Mary is the wife of Benjamin 
Aulwes, of Guttenberg; the wife of the subject of this sketch was 
the next in order of birth ; George resides at Guttenberg and John 
at Madison, Wisconsin ; Augusta is the wife of John Cassatt, of 
Guttenberg, in which village also reside Henry and Otto; Hilda is 
the wife of Albert Reed, of Gregory, Missouri; and Elsie remains 
at the parental home. Mr. and Mrs. Dittmer have two children 
— Leslie John and Dorothy Caroline Marie. 

Herman Dittmer is to be considered specially favored in the 
status that is his as the owner of one of the splendidly improved 
landed estates of his native county and further prestige is his by 
reason of his being the owner of the farm, in Section 30, Cox Creek 
township, where he was born, on the 4th of January, 1865, and 
where he has continued his activities as an agriculturist and stock- 
grower from his youth to the present time. He is one of the lead- 



BIOGRAPHICAL 91 

ing exponents of these basic lines of industrial enterprise in his 
native township and county and is a wide-awake, broad-minded 
and progressive citizen who well merits consideration in this his- 
tory. Mr. Dittmer is a son of Peter and Magdalena (Banke) Ditt- 
mer, who were born in Germany and who became residents of Clay- 
ton county in the early '60s. The father became one of the most 
enterprising and successful farmers of Cox Creek township, con- 
tributed his quota to the civic and material advancement of the 
county and commanded secure place in the confidence and esteem 
of all who knew him. He remained on his old homestead farm 
until his death, at the age of 75 years, and here his venerable widow 
still resides, in the midst of the hallowed memories and associa- 
tions of the past. She is a devout communicant of the German 
Lutheran church, as was also her husband, and the latter was a 
Democrat in his political proclivities. Of their children, the first- 
born was Annie, who died in young womanhood ; Lizzie is the wife 
of Jacob Stemmer, of Elkader; Martin is deceased; Mary is the 
wife of Adolph Elvers, of this county ; and Herman, of this review, 
who is the owner of the old homestead, where his loved mother 
remains with him and is accorded the deepest filial solicitude. The 
district schools afiforded to Herman Dittmer his early educational 
advantages and his long and effective association with the work 
and management of the home farm have made him doubly appre- 
ciative of its value and its manifold attractions. His landed estate 
now comprises four hundred and seventy acres of fertile land, in 
Section 30, Cox Creek township, and the residence, a substantial 
and commodious stone building, is one of the fine rural homes of 
the county. All improvements on the place are of the best order 
and the most approved of modern machinery, implements and other 
accessories are used in carrying forward operations in general agri- 
culture and the raising of the best grades of live stock. Mr. Ditt- 
mer has served as trustee of his native township, is a stalwart 
supporter of the cause of the Democratic party, is affiliated with 
the Modern Woodmen of America and both he and his wife hold 
membership in the German Lutheran church, their attractive home 
receiving service on rural mail route No. 3 from the village of 
Strawberry Point. In 1894 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. 
Dittmar to Miss Clara Meder, who is a representative of one of 
the honored and influential families of Clayton county, adequate 
record of the family history being given on other pages, in the 
sketch of the career of her father, Henry Meder. Mr. and Mrs. 
Dittmer have three children, all of whom remain at the parental 
home — Arthur, Irene and Floyd. 

Walter C. Dittmer, a native lowan, was born in Elkader, Iowa, 
Feb. 14, 1890. His father was a well known citizen and an earnest 
and worthy endeavor to give to the world the best that was in him 
marked the course of his life. He was born on the 19th of Janu- 
ary, 1858, in Hamburg, Germany, the son of Peter and Magdalena 
Dittmer. When a boy of three years he came with his parents to 
America and settled in Clayton county. After the family had lived 
several years near Communia, they purchased a farm in Cox Creek 



92 ' MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

township, which is now owned by Herman Dittmer, with whom 
the aged mother makes her home. When a young man Martin 
Dittmer came to Elkader and engaged in the lumber business with 
his brother-in-law, Jacob Stemmer. About 1896 they disposed of 
this business and started in the implement business under the title 
of Stemmer & Dittmer. Later Mr. Dittmer bought his partner's 
interest and took into partnership Mr. Stallman, under the firm 
name of Dittmer & Stallman. In 1911 Walter Dittmer was taken 
into the firm and an atitomobile agency was added to the business, 
dealing in the Studebaker and Velie machines, and meeting with 
a splendid measure of success. On September 14th, 1881, Martin 
Dittmer was united in matrimony with Katherine Dohrer of Clay- 
ton county, and they were the parents of three children : Walter, 
26 years of age ; Florence, who died when 5 years of age, and Roy, 
16 years. Martin Dittmer took an active interest in the affairs of 
the community, and for seven years, from 1904 to 1911, was sheriff 
of Clayton county, in which capacity he served the people faithfully 
and conscientiously. He was a member of the school board at 
the time of his death, which occurred November 14, 1914. The 
funeral services were conducted by Elkader Lodge, No. 72, A, F. 
and A. M., of which he was an esteemed member. The Register 
& Argus, under date of November 19, 1914, said, "The great man 
of Elkader has fallen ; the good man has been called from out of 
our midst. A shadow of gloom is cast not only on home and fam- 
ily but over our entire community. Not that death is unfamiliar 
to our minds, for every day death is exerting his solemn power 
upon the race of man, but there are instances where it is impressed 
more vividly on our minds and where it calls forth a profounder 
sentiment of sorrow. This is true today when we stand with 
bowed heads and throbbing hearts beside the last earthly remains 
of a beloved husband, father, brother, son, relative, friend and citi- 
zen, Martin Dittmer." Walter Dittmer received his education in 
the grade and high schools of his native town, and in a commer- 
cial college of Decorah, Iowa, completing his course in that insti- 
tution in 1911, when he returned to Elkader to join his father in 
the implement business, as noted above. He is independent in 
politics and a member of the Masonic order. 

Gilbert S. Donaldson stands forth as one of the most pro- 
gressive and influential citizens and business men of the thriving 
village of McGregor, where he is the owner and operator of the 
well-equipped electric light and power plant that gives the best 
of service to the community. He has broad and accurate knowl- 
edge concerning applied electricity and was formerly associated 
with his father in the control of the plant of which he is now the 
sole owner, his residence at McGregor dating from the year 1902. 
Mr. Donaldson was born in New Jersey on the 5th of April, 1878, 
and his parents, Gilbert and Annie (Berryman) Donaldson, were 
born and reared in the State of New York. He whose name ini- 
tiates this article was about 2 years of age at the time of the family 
removal to Minnesota, and there the devoted wife and mother was 
summoned to eternal rest on the 8th of September, 1888, the sub- 



BIOGRAPHICAL 93 

ject of this sketch being the eldest in a family of six children: Will- 
iam, the second son, is a resident of the city of Minneapolis ; Lloyd 
maintains his home at Boise, Idaho; Jean is the wife of Professor 
George L. Martin, who is a member of the faculty of the University 
of Montana, at Bozeman ; Jessie likewise is a resident of Bozeman, 
and Annie died in infancy. Gilbert Donaldson became prominently 
identified with business activities in Minnesota, where he continued 
his residence until 1902, when he came to Clayton county, Iowa, 
and became associated with his son, Gilbert S., in the ownership of 
the electric light and power plant at McGregor. Here he continued 
to maintain his home until 1909, when he sold his interest in the 
plant and business to his son and removed to the city of Boise, 
Idaho, where he now maintains his home. Gilbert S. Donaldson 
profited fully from the advantages afforded in the public schools 
of Minnesota and after his graduation in the Minneapolis high 
school he was for three years a student in the University of Minne- 
sota. He then obtained a position in the employ of an electric 
manufacturing company of Minneapolis, with which he continued 
his association five years. He gained excellent experience in con- 
nection with practical electrical work and service, and after sever- 
ing his association with the company mentioned he went to the 
city of Cincinnati, Ohio, where he remained for one year in the 
employ of the Bullock Electric Manufacturing Company. At the 
expiration of this period he came to McGregor, Iowa, where he 
formed a partnership association with his father in the ownership 
of the local electric light and power plant, of which he has been 
the sole owner since 1909, as previously stated, and the service of 
which he keeps up to the best modern standard. He is a loyal and 
public-spirited citizen, is a Republican in his political allegiance, 
and both he and his wife hold membership in the Congregational 
church. On the 10th of December, 1910, was solemnized the mar- 
riage of Mr. Donaldson to Miss Caroline Peterson, who was born 
and reared at McGregor and who is a daughter of S. J. and Stella 
(Ramage) Peterson. Mr. and Mrs. Donaldson have no children. 
Rev. Thomas Dowling. — The great mother church of Christen- 
dom finds effective representation in Clayton county in St. Mary's 
Church at McGregor, of which Father Dowling was the revered and 
zealous pastor. His consecration has been shown not only in con- 
nection with the spiritual affairs of his parish, but also in his earnest 
labors to advance its temporal welfare, and in addition to this he 
stands forth as a broad-minded and public-spirited citizen who 
commands the high regard of the entire community. A devoted 
worker in the vineyard of the Divine Master, his labors have been 
fruitful in goodly results and his prominence and influence in the 
community life specially entitle him to representation in this his- 
tory of Clayton county. Hard by the beautiful Lake Killarney, in 
Kings county, Ireland, Father Thomas Dowling was born on the 
1st of February, 1878, a son of James and Hannah (Slattery) Dow- 
ling, both of whom were born and reared in that same district of 
the fair Emerald Isle, where the venerable father still maintains 
his home, the devoted wife and mother having passed to the life 



94 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

eternal. Of the four children, Father Dowling of this review is the 
only one in America, and was the second in order of birth. John 
continues his residence in Kings county, Ireland, as do also Mar- 
garet and Diana, the former of whom is the wife of John J. Barry, 
and the latter of whom is the wife of O. Flaherty. In the common 
schools near the old home in Ireland Rev. Thomas Dowling ac- 
quired his rudimentary education, which was supplemented by his 
attending in turn the intermediate and the university schools in 
the seaport city of Tralee, in County Kerry. His higher academic 
studies were prosecuted in a seminary at Killarney, and in prep- 
aration for his high ecclesiastical functions he completed a thorough 
philosophical and theological course in St. Patrick's College, at 
Carlow, in which institution he was graduated as a member of the 
class of 1901. On the 1st of June of that year he was ordained to 
the priesthood, and within a short time thereafter he came to the 
United States. In September, 1901, he became assistant pastor of 
St. Patrick's Church in the city of Dubuque, Iowa, where he re- 
mained until January 1, 1911, when he assumed pastoral charge, as 
priest of St. Mary's parish at McGregor, where in his earnest and 
devoted labors he retained the zealous co-operation of his parish- 
ioners and the confidence and good will of the entire community. 
The parish organization under Rev. Father Dowling was repre- 
sented in about one hundred families, and its property, including 
the church edifice, valued at about fifty thousand dollars. In con- 
nection with the work of the church there were maintained effect- 
ively the men's and the women's courts of the Catholic Order of 
Foresters, the Altar Society, and the League of the Sacred Heart. 
In the chapter in Volume 1 of this history, devoted to the work of 
the Catholic church of Clayton county will be found a complete 
history of this parish. Rev. Father Dowling was given charge at 
McGregor, January 1, 1911, and for more than five years he devoted 
himself with faithful diligence and well directed zeal to the spiritual 
and material welfare of his church and parishioners, earning the 
affection and esteem of all. It was with deep regret that the mem- 
bers of his congregation and the entire citizenship parted with him 
upon his transfer to the church at Eldora, Iowa, in the early months 
of 1916. 

John W. Downie. — In connection with the various personal 
sketches appearing in this history it is most pleasing to note the 
large percentage of native sons of Clayton county who have here 
been born and reared under the sturdy discipline of the farm, who 
have continued to pay loyal allegiance to the fundamental art and 
industry of agriculture, and who stand forth as substantial farmers 
and stockgrowers of this opulent section of the Hawkeye State. 
Such an one is Mr. Downie, who is a representative of a well known 
and highly esteemed family of this county and whose prestige as 
a farmer bases its claims on his ownership and individual manage- 
ment of a fine landed estate of 212 acres in Boardman township, 
the improvements on the place and its general air of thrift making 
it one of the model farms of the county. On the homestead farm 
which is now his place of abode John W. Downie was born on the 



BIOGRAPHICAL 95 

2d of February, 1878, and he is a son of John and Ruth (Williams) 
Downie, the former of whom was born in the Dominion of Canada, 
of staunch Scottish lineage, and the latter of whom was born at 
Lockport, New York. John Downie was a man of strong intel- 
lectual powers and of mature judgment, with energy and resource- 
fulness in connection with business and imbued with those sterling 
attributes of character that ever beget objective confidence and 
good will. In his youth he became skilled as a surveyor and upon 
coming to Clayton county, Iowa, about the year 1841, he not only 
found much demand for his interposition along this important line 
of civil engineering work, but also made judicious investments in 
land, with the result that he eventually accumulated the large and 
valuable estate now represented in the fine farm owned and oper- 
ated by his son John W., of this review. On his farm he lived in 
peace and plenty until the close of his life, his death having occurred 
in 1884. The only child of his first marriage was Henry R., who 
was a resident of Boardman township at the time of his death, 
when about 55 years of age. John Downie exemplified in his 
career the sturdy integrity and the business sagacity so typical 
of those of Scottish ancestry, and no citizen of Clayton county 
had more secure place in popular confidence and esteem. His po- 
litical support was given to the Republican party and as a citizen 
he was well qualified for not a little of leadership in popular senti- 
ment and enterprise. Mrs. Ruth (Williams) Downie long survived 
her honored husband and was 70 years of age at the time of her 
death, which occurred on the 12th of March, 1903, on the old home- 
stead farm which had long been her place of residence, and which 
was endeared to her by many hallowed memories and associations. 
Of the five children the eldest is Lillian, who is the wife of Samuel 
D. Bergerson, of Berien Springs, Michigan ; Rose was 39 years of 
age at the time of her death in 1903 ; Warren W. is now a resident 
of Harrington, Washington ; Ray H. resides at Davenport, that 
state ; and John W., of this review, is the youngest of the children 
as well as the only representative of the immediate family in Clay- 
ton county. To the public schools of this county John W. Downie 
is indebted for his early education, and he remained on the home 
farm until after the death of his mother and his sister Rose, both 
of whom passed away in the year 1903, as noted in the preceding 
paragraph. Thereafter he completed an efifective course in a busi- 
ness college at La Crosse, Wisconsin, in which he was graduated 
as a member of the class of 1906, and soon afterward he assumed 
personal charge of the fine old homestead farm, to the supervision 
of which he has since devoted himself with marked efficiency and 
progressiveness, with the result that he stands forth as one of the 
essentially representative agriculturists and stock raisers of his 
native county, with secure place as a loyal and liberal citizen who 
merits the unqualified esteem in which he is uniformly held. Mr. 
Downie pays unfaltering allegiance to the Republican party and 
is zealous in support of its cause, though he has never manifested 
aught of ambition for public office. Both he and his wife attend 
the Congregational church and are popular factors in the represen- 



96 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

tative social life of the community ; the while their attractive home 
is known for its generous hospitality and good cheer. On the 7th 
of March, 1907, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Downie to 
Miss Leona Hulverson, who likewise was born and reared in this 
county and who is a daughter of Lars L. and Isabel (Thompson) 
Hulverson, honored citizens of Boardman township. Mr. and Mrs. 
Downie have a winsome little daughter, Marjorie Lillian, who was 
born on the 5th of November, 1912. 

Julius Duerst is proprietor and manager of the Franklin Hotel 
at Strawberry Point and is proving himself a most successful and 
popular hotel man in his native village, where he is maintaining his 
hotel at such a standard as to gain the appreciative supporting pat- 
ronage of the traveling public and also of the local trade. He was 
born in the village that is now his home and the date of his nativity 
was August 20, 1869. He is one of the six surviving children of 
George and Mary (Brader) Duerst, who immigrated to America 
from Germany in the early '50s and who established their home 
in the city of Dubuque, Iowa, which then had little of metropolitan 
pretensions. In 1855, they came to Clayton county and established 
their residence at Strawberry Point, and here the father engaged 
in the work of his trade, that of tinner. Later he turned his atten- 
tion to the selling of agricultural implements and machinery, and 
finally he became a traveling salesman for a wholesale shoe house. 
After having made a successful record of several years in this 
vocation he engaged in the general merchandise business at Straw- 
berry Point, where he built up a prosperous enterprise and where 
he continued his active association with the same until 1890, since 
which time he has here lived virtually retired, his devoted wife 
having passed to eternal rest in 1890 and both having become com- 
municants of the Lutheran church before leaving their native land. 
To the public schools of his native village Julius Duerst is indebted 
for his early educational advantages, and here he was employed 
as a salesman in mercantile establishments from his youth until 
April 1, 1916, when he became proprietor of the Franklin Hotel, 
to the management of which he and his wife have since given their 
effective attention, their house being the best hotel in Strawberry 
Point and receiving a substantial and profitable supporting patron- 
age. Mr. Duerst has shown himself loyal and liberal as a citizen, 
is a staunch supporter of the cause of the Republican party but 
has never sought or held public office. He is affiliated with the 
local lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, as well as 
its adjunct organization, the Daughters of Rebekah, and holds 
membership also in the Modern Woodmen of America and the 
Brotherhood of American Yeomen. He and his wife hold mem- 
bership in the Lutheran church. The year 1911 recorded the mar- 
riage of Mr. Duerst to Mrs. Emma (Balufif) Brink, who was born 
and reared in this county and who is a daughter of John and Mary 
Jane (Nace) Baluif, both now deceased, the father having been a 
boy at the time of his parents' immigration from Germany and his 
wife having been born in Virginia. They became the parents of 
four children, of whom three are living. Mr. and Mrs. Duerst have 



BIOGRAPHICAL 97 

no children but Mrs. Duerst has one son by her former marriage, 
Bert Lee Brink, who is married and now resides in the city of 
St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Robert W. Duff, the popular incumbent of the office of post- 
master at Volga, has been prominently concerned with civic, indus- 
trial and general business activities in his native county, is a scion 
of an honored pioneer family of Clayton county and in both the. 
agnatic and distaflf lines traces his ancestry back to the staunchest 
of Scotch origin. As an influential and loyal citizen who commands 
unequivocal confidence and esteem in his native county, Mr. Duff 
is well entitled to recognition in this history. He was born in 
Highland township, this county, on the 3d of December, 1882, and 
is a son of William and Cecelia (Probert) Duff, both natives of 
Scotland. William Duff was a lad of ten years when he accom- 
panied his parents on their immigration to America, and the family 
home was established in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He 
was a young man when he numbered himself among the pioneers 
of Clayton county, where he settled in the early '50s and where he 
became one of the prosperous and representative farmers of High- 
land township. He was a man of superior mental gifts, was a citi- 
zen whose aid and influence were given to those enterprises that 
tended to conserve the social and material advancement of the 
county, his political allegiance was given to the Democratic party 
and he was an earnest member of the Presbyterian church, as is 
also his widow, who now resides at Volga and who is one of the 
loved pioneer women of the county. Mr. Duff met a tragic death, 
being killed by a bull, this deplorable accident having occurred 
January 17, 1899. Of the children the first-born was William, Jr., 
who died at the age of four years ; Nettie, the next born, lives with 
her mother; Mayme is the wife of William Glasgow, of Garden 
City, Kansas ; George is deceased ; John is a resident of Highland 
township; Isabel remains with her widowed mother; Mary is the 
wife of Arthur R. Kunzman, of Volga, and her twin brother, Albert, 
resides at Volga, Iowa. Robert W. Duff was reared under the 
sturdy discipline of the home farm and after profiting by the advan- 
tages afforded in the public schools he continued his studies in a 
college at Fayette and in Lenox College, at Hopkinton, this state, 
in the normal department of which latter institution he was gradu- 
ated as a member of the class of 1904. In the meanwhile he had 
made an excellent record as a teacher in the schools of his home 
county, and after his graduation he continued his services in the 
pedagogic profession for seven terms. He then engaged in the 
general merchandise business at Volga, and in connection therewith 
developed a large and prosperous business in the buying and ship- 
ping of live poultry for C. E. Lovett. He shipped most of the 
poultry to New York City, and in connection with his operations 
had occasion to make twenty-seven trips to the national metropolis. 
In 1911 Mr. Duff was elected secretary and general manager of 
the Farmers' Co-operative Commission & Creamery Company at 
Volga, and to the duties of this dual office he gave his careful and 
effective attention until the 1st of January, 1915, when he assumed 



98 ' MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

his present office, that of postmaster of Volga, his appointment 
having been made on the 17th of the preceding November. This 
preferment in itself indicates that he has been influential as a Clay- 
ton county representative of the Democratic party, and his admin- 
istration in the office of postmaster has been marked by progres- 
siveness and by tl^e bringing of the service up to the highest 
possible standard. Both he and his wife hold membership in the 
Presbyterian church. On the 2d of October, 1908, was solemnized 
the marriage of Mr. Duff to Miss Augusta Brabandt, who likewise 
was born and reared in Clayton county, and the one child of this 
union is a fine son, Cecil W., who was born May 10, 1910. 

William Duwe has been a resident of Clayton county since he 
was a lad of about ten years, and he has maintained his home in 
the county for more than sixty years, within which he has won for 
himself distinctive independence and prosperity, shown himself 
loyal and upright in all things and thus gained inviolable place in 
popular confidence and good will. He is now living virtually re- 
tired in the village of Clayton and is well entitled to representation 
in this history. Mr. Duwe was born in Germany, on the 28th of 
March, 1843, and is a son of George and Fredericka Duwe, who 
immigrated to America in 1853 and established their home in the 
pioneer German colony at Guttenberg, Clayton county. The mother 
lived only three weeks after the arrival of the family in America, 
and of her nine children five are now living. The father eventually 
became one of the representative farmers of Clayton county, and 
here his death occurred about the year 1875. William Duwe gained 
his rudimentary education in his native land and after the coming 
of the family to America he attended the pioneer schools of Clayton 
county for some time. He continued to assist his father in the work 
of the home farm until he had arrived at his legal majority, and he 
then rented a farm for one year. He next purchased a farm, but 
after residing on the same about one year he traded the property 
for a house and lot in the village of Guttenberg, where he estab- 
lished his residence in 1865 and where he continued to remain until 
1873, when he sold his property at Guttenberg and removed to the 
village of Clayton, where he conducted a hotel and retail liquor 
business for many years and with marked success. He retired from 
active business in 1897 and he and his wife have since lived in peace 
and prosperity in their attractive village home at Clayton. Mr. 
Duwe is a staunch advocate of the principles and policies of the 
Democratic party, was for a number of years a member of the 
school board and has served several terms as township trustee of 
Clayton township, a position of which he is the valued incumbent 
at the time of this writing. He gives liberal support to the Cath- 
olic church, of which his wife is a devoted communicant. In the 
year 1863 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Duwe to Miss Mary 
Ann Osterdock, who was born in the state of Indiana and who was 
a child at the time of the family removal to Clayton county, where 
her parents passed the remainder of their lives on a farm, she being 
now the only one living of their three children. Mrs. Duwe is a 
daughter of Dominic and Mary (Cabel) Osterdock, the former a 



BIOGRAPHICAL 99 

native of France and the latter of Germany, Upon coming to Amer- 
ica the parents established their home in Indiana, where they re- 
mained until 1846, when they became pioneers of Clayton county, 
Iowa, where they passed the remainder of their lives, as previously 
stated in this context. In conclusion is entered brief record con- 
cerning the children of Mr. Duwe, and incidentally it may first be 
stated that they have six grandchildren and one great-granddaugh- 
ter. Of their children the firstborn was George L., who died at the 
age of thirty-three years ; Amelia L. is the wife of Christ Beckman, 
who is now manager of a pump factory in the city of Des Moines; 
Anna M. is the wife of Edward J. Crawford, of Dubuque ; William 
H. resides in the city of Spokane, Washington, and is employed as 
an inspector in the service of the Northern Pacific Railroad Com- 
pany; Elizabeth E. is the wife of Floyd Duff and they maintain 
their home in the city of Portland, Oregon, Mr. Duff being in the 
employ of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company. 

Hal M. Eaton, D. D. S., is engaged in the successful practice of 
dentistry in his native town of Strawberry Point, and is known as 
one of the skilled and representative exponents of his profession 
in Clayton county. He maintains an attractively appointed office, 
with the most approved equipment in both operative and laboratory 
departments, and his success has eminently justified his choice of 
vocation. The doctor was born at Strawberry Point on the 8th of 
April, 1873, and is a son of Dr. Adelbert D. and Nellie (Renwick) 
Eaton, the former a native of New York state and the latter of 
Illinois. The father prepared himself thoroughly for the dental 
profession and established his home at Strawberry Point about the 
year 1855. He was one of the pioneer representatives of his pro- 
fession in Clayton county, was a man of sterling character and 
genial personality, and he not only built up a large and lucrative 
professional business but also stood forth as a specially progressive 
and public-spirited citizen. He continued his residence at Straw- 
berry Point until his death, which occurred on the 12th of April, 
1892, his widow still maintaining her home here. Of the children 
the eldest is Claude, who resides at Strawberry Point; Winifred is 
the wife of L. S. Chase, of Oakland, California; the subject of this 
review was the next in order of birth ; Carl is now a resident of 
Adams, Wisconsin ; Blanche resides in the city of Dubuque ; and 
Miss Trixie is with her sister in Oakland, California. Dr. Hal M. 
Eaton gained his early education in the public schools of Strawberry 
Point and in the meanwhile, when fourteen years of age, he here 
found employment in a drug store. He devoted three years to serv- 
ice in this connection and then began the study of dentistry under 
the able preceptorage of his father. To perfect himself in his chosen 
vocation he finally entered the department of dentistry of the Uni- 
versity of Iowa, in which he was graduated as a member of the class 
of 1895 and from which he received his degree of Doctor of Dental 
Surgery. His native town has been the stage of his professional 
activities during virtually the entire period of his practice, and he 
is one of the wideawake, loyal and public spirited citizens of Straw- 
berry Point, where his popularity has been shown by his election 



260n5C>R 



lOO MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

to the office of mayor, in which he gave a progressive and acceptable 
administration. The doctor is not a partisan in politics but gives 
his support to men and measures meeting the approval of his judg- 
ment. He is affiliated with the local organizations of the Knights 
of Pythias and the Masonic fraternity. On the 14th of November, 
1900, was solemnized the marriage of Dr. Eaton to Miss Myrtle 
Gilchrist, who was born and reared in this county, and their only 
child is Myrwyn, who was born July 30, 1902. 

Edward P. Eberhard has gained precedence as one of the vigor- 
ous and representative business men of his native county and vil- 
lage and owns and conducts a large and prosperous lumber manu- 
facturing business at Guttenberg, where he has a well equipped mill, 
the same being devoted to the production of hardwood lumber 
and in connection with the business Mr. Eberhard gives employ- 
ment to an average force of forty men during the entire year. In 
connection with his milling enterprise he has also done an appre- 
ciable amount of important rock contract work for the government. 
He is a progressive man of affairs, a loyal and broad-minded citizen, 
and his character and achievement have given him secure place 
in popular confidence and esteem. He has served as a member of 
the city council of Guttenberg and also as a member of the board 
of education, and his fraternal affiliation being with the local 
camp of the Modern Woodmen of America. Edward P. Eberhard 
was born at Guttenberg, this county, on the 15th of December, 
1871, and is a son of Andrew and Catherine (Blankenheim) Eber- 
hard, both of whom were born in the Kingdom of Bavaria, Germany. 
Upon establishing his residence in Clayton county Andrew Eber- 
hard first located on a farm near Elkport, but he later engaged in 
the farm-implement business at Guttenberg, where he continued 
his association with this line of enterprise until his death. He 
passed to the life eternal in the year 1885, and his venerable widow 
still maintains her home in Guttenberg. He was one of the sub- 
stantial, honored and influential citizens of Clayton county, was a 
Democrat in politics, and served not only as a member of the county 
board of supervisors but also as a member of the school board of 
Guttenberg. Of their children, the eldest is Augusta, who re- 
mains with her widowed mother; Sanzie is the wife of William 
Ball, of Garnavillo, this county; Louis is deceased; Edward P., of 
this review, was the next in order of birth ; and Mary died in child- 
hood. After having duly profited by the advantages of the public 
schools of Guttenberg, Edward P. Eberhard was employed for sev- 
eral years by the local firm of Zimmerman & Ives, engaged in the 
manufacturing of pine lumber. In 1910 he became the owner and 
operator of his present hardwood mill, and he has made of the 
business a splendid success, as he has brought to bear indomitable 
energy, much administrative ability and mature judgment. He 
has associated with him his son Eugene in this business. On the 
5th of April, 1893, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Eberhard 
to Miss Louisa Aulwes, w^ho was born and reared in this county,^ a 
daughter of William and Catherine Aulwes, of Jeflferson township. 
Mr. and Mrs. Eberhard have three children — Elsie, Eugene and Alo. 



BIOGRAPHICAL lOI 

Elsie is now the wife of Irwin Chatsworth, of Guttenberg ; Eugene 
is married to Olga Eckart, daughter of J. P. Eckart, and the other 
two children remain at the parental home. 

John P. Eckart is a man whose initiative ability and progressive 
business policies have made him an influential figure in connection 
with the banking business and other lines of enterprise in his native 
village and county, and he has made a splendid record in connec- 
tion with the development of the substantial business controlled by 
the Guttenberg State Bank, of which he was the virtual founder, as 
he was the promoter of its organization, in the year 1900, and has 
served as its efficient and popular cashier from the time of its incor- 
poration to the present. Its original board of directors included 
also the following named and representative citizens: Henry Eckart, 
Thomas S. Ives, John Wolter, James E. Corlett, and Henry Brandt. 
The bank was incorporated with a capital stock of twenty-five thou- 
sand dollars, and its first executive corps was as here noted: 
President, Thomas S. Ives; vice-president, John Wolter; cashier, 
John P. Eckart. For the accommodation of the new institution a 
substantial and modern building of two stories and basement was 
erected, and the same is owned and utilized by the bank with the 
second floor equipped and rented for office purposes. The person- 
nel of the executive officers in the year 1916 is as here designated: 
President, Henry Eckart; vice-president, Thomas S. Ives; cashier, 
John P. Eckart; assistant cashier, Oscar B. Eckart. In addition 
to the president and vice-president the present directorate includes 
also Henry Brandt, F. X. Wollers and H. J. Overbeck. The admin- 
istration of the affairs of the Guttenberg State Bank has been 
marked by circumspection and progressive policies, though its busi- 
ness has been directed at all times along careful and conservative 
lines. Its total deposits are now nearly $400,000, and its surplus 
fund is twelve thousand five hundred dollars. It is one of the sub- 
stantial and well ordered financial institutions of Clayton county 
and its upbuilding reflects special credit and distinction upon its 
able and popular cashier. John P. Eckart was born at Guttenberg, 
his present place of residence, and the date of his nativity was May 
17, 1864. He is a son of Henry and Dorothea (Benecke) Eckart, 
both natives of Prussia, in which part of the great German Empire 
the father was born in Braunweiler Kunznacht and the mother in 
Seehausen, Kingdom of Saxony. Henry Eckart was reared and 
educated in his native land, where he learned the trade of black- 
smith, and in 1852 he immigrated to America. He remained in the 
State of New York for some time and on the 9th of April, 1856, he 
established his home at Guttenberg, Clayton county, Iowa, where 
he engaged in the work of his trade and established one of the pio- 
neer blacksmith shops of the county. He assisted in the erection 
of the first bridge across the Mississippi river in this locality and he 
continued in the work of his trade for nearly half a century, his 
retirement from the same having occurred in 1892. He has long 
been one of the honored and influential citizens of Guttenberg, his 
integrity being as sturdy as the vocation which he long followed, 
and he has contributed his quota to the civic and material develop- 



I02 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

ment and upbuilding of Clayton county, where his circle of friends 
is limited only by that of his acquaintances. Mr. Eckart is living 
virtually retired, though he is president of the Guttenberg State 
Bank. His political allegiance is given to the Republican party, he 
served as a member of the village council for a long period and was 
the resourceful and loyal mayor of Guttenberg for several terms. 
He is a zealous communicant of the Lutheran church, as was also 
his wife, who was summoned to eternal rest on the 10th of October, 
1894. Of their children the eldest is Henry C., who is a represen- 
tative citizen of Guttenberg; Ida remains with her venerable father 
in the pleasant home at Guttenberg; John P., the immediate subject 
of this review, was the next in order of birth; Augusta is the wife 
of Francis X. Wolter, of Guttenberg; Herman is a resident of Salt 
Lake City, Utah ; Clara is the wife of Frederick J. Brezinsky, of 
Mankato, Minnesota; and Oscar B. is assistant cashier of the 
Guttenberg State Bank. After making effective use of the advan- 
tages afforded in the public schools of his native village John P. 
Eckart completed a business college course. Under the direction 
of his father he gained facility in the work of the blacksmith trade, 
and he worked in his father's shop five years, after which he was 
employed as clerk in a mercantile establishment at Lemars, 
Plymouth county, until 1889. For two years thereafter he was a 
commercial traveling salesman for the house of Hood, Bonbright 
& Company, of Philadelphia, and he next passed about a year as 
salesman in a leading mercantile establishment in the city of St. 
Paul, Minnesota. He then returned to his native village, where he 
erected and placed in operation the Excelsior mill, in 1892. He 
continued in control of this industrial enterprise for the ensuing 
eighteen months and then engaged in the banking business at 
Brush Creek. Fifteen months later he sold his interest in this busi- 
ness and returned to Guttenberg, where he engaged in and 
developed a specially successful clothing business. In 1900 he 
organized the Guttenberg State Bank, to the executive affairs of 
which he has since given the major part of his time and attention, 
though he is serving also as treasurer of the Guttenberg Canning 
Company, in which he is one of the principal stockholders. Mr, 
Eckart is a staunch advocate of the cause of the Republican party 
and while he takes a lively interest in public affairs of a local order 
he has not sought official preferment, though he served several 
terms as township treasurer. As a progressive and public-spirited 
citizen Mr. Eckart assisted in the organization of the Upper Mis- 
sissippi Improvement Society, of which important organization he 
is serving as treasurer. In 1906 he was concerned in the organi- 
zation of the National River & Harbor Congress, in the city of 
Washington, and he has taken lively interest in the work of the 
organization. On the 31st of July, 1894, was solemnized the mar- 
riage of Mr. Eckart to Miss Linnie K, Bormann, daughter of 
August and Mena (Kottman) Bormann, of Elkader, this county. 
The four children of this union are: Olga D., who is the wife of 
Eugene Eberhard, of Guttenberg; and Una M., Agnes G., and 
Ila H., who remain at the parental home. 



BIOGRAPHICAL IO3 

Oscar B. Eckart, the popular incumbent of the position of 
assistant cashier of the Guttenberg State Bank, is proving an effi- 
cient and valued coadjutor of his brother, John P. Eckart, who is 
the cashier of the institution and who is made the subject of indi- 
vidual mention on other pages of this work, in which connection is 
given also brief record concerning his parents, honored pioneer 
citizens of Clayton county, the information thus given rendering it 
unnecessary to repeat the family data in the sketch here presented. 
Oscar B. Eckart was born at Guttenberg, on the 5th of December, 
1884, and after having made good use of the. advantages afforded 
in the excellent public schools of his native city he took a course of 
higher study in the Iowa State Agricultural College, at Ames. 
After leaving college he was for a time employed in the Guttenberg 
State Bank, and in 1904 he went to the city of St. Louis, Missouri, 
but after having there been employed a short interval he made his 
way to Chicago, in which great metropolis he passed nine months 
in the employ of Lyon Brothers, engaged in the wholesale general 
merchandise business. He then returned to Guttenberg, in the fall 
of 1905, where he has since served with marked efficiency as assist- 
ant cashier of the Guttenberg State Bank, one of the substantial 
financial institutions of Clayton county. He is serving also as city 
treasurer, is a Republican in politics, and is affiliated with the 
Fraternal Order of Mystic Workers. On the 21st of November, 
1912, Mr. Eckart wedded Miss Irene Kathryn Bunke, daughter of 
Joseph F. and Helen E. (Kriebs) Bunke. She was born in Omaha, 
Nebr., Sept. 14, 1886, moving with her mother to Clayton county 
when ten years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Eckart have two children — 
Dorothea Helen, who was born June 22, 1913; and Kathryn Ida, 
who was born October 20, 1915. 

John Eglseder owns and effectively operates in his native town- 
ship a well improved farm of one hundred and sixty acres, and he 
is recognized as one of the vigorous and resourceful agriculturists 
and stock-raisers of the younger generation in Clayton county, his 
association with farming having been continuous since the time 
when he began to lend his boyish assistance in the work of his 
father's old homestead. He was born in Jefferson township, this 
county, on the 23rd of October, 1882, and is a son of John and Mary 
(Vonbruel) Eglseder, the former of whom was born in Germany 
and the latter at Guttenberg, Clayton county, her parents having 
been early pioneer settlers of this county. John Eglseder, Sr., came 
with his parents to the United States about the year 1855, and after 
remaining for a short period in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, the 
family came to Clayton county and established residence in the vil- 
lage of Garnavillo. Later John Eglseder purchased and improved 
a farm in Jefferson township, and for many years he continued as 
one of the active and successful exponents of farm enterprise in 
this county. He and his wife now reside in an attractive home near 
Garnavillo, and he is now living virtually retired. He gives his 
support to the cause of the Democratic party and he and his wife 
are communicants of the Catholic church. Of their children the 
eldest is Mary, who is the wife of Henry Mormann, of Jefferson 



I04 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

township; Frank remains at the parental home; Annie is the wife 
of Frank Walz, of Clayton township; the subject of this review 
was the next in order of birth ; William is a farmer of Clayton town- 
ship; Catherine is the wife of Henry Schmelzer, of Garnavillo 
township ; and Henry remains with his parents. John Eglseder, 
Jr., whose name introduces this article, was afforded in his youth 
the advantages of the excellent village schools of Guttenberg, and 
he continued to assist in the activities of his father's farm until he 
had attained to the age of twenty-eight years, when he purchased 
his present attractive and well ordered farmstead, where he has 
since given his close and effective attention to diversified agricul- 
ture and to the raising of good grades of live stock, including the 
Hereford type of cattle. His political allegiance is given to the 
Democratic party and he and his wife are active communicants of 
the Catholic church. On the 22d of February, 1911, Mr. Eglseder 
wedded Miss Elizabeth Buechel, who likewise was born and reared 
in Guttenberg, Iowa, where her parents, Henry and Sophie Buechel, 
still reside. Mr. and Mrs. Eglseder have three children — Cyril, 
Floyd, and Walter. 

E. Charles Ehrhardt. — Nearly sixty years ago the parents of 
this well known and representative citizen of Boardman township 
numbered themselves among the pioneers of Clayton county, and 
the family name has been specially prominent and influential in 
connection with the development and progress of agricultural indus- 
try in the county, the while its representatives have invariably 
stood exponent of loyal and liberal citizenship. He whose name 
initiates this review is the owner of one of the fine landed estates of 
the county in which he has maintained his residence from infancy 
to the present time, and his well improved farm, comprising two 
hundred and seventeen acres, is most eligibly situated about two 
miles west of Elkader, the judicial center of the county, and in 
sections 21 and 22, Boardman township, with service on rural mail 
route No. 2 from the county seat. Mr. Ehrhardt became the owner 
of this valuable farm in 1880 and during the long intervening years 
he has shown great circumspection and enterprise in carrying for- 
ward successful operations as one of the representative agricultur- 
ists and stock-growers of the county and with inviolable place in 
popular confidence and good will. He is serving with character- 
istic efficiency and loyalty in the office of township trustee and as a 
valued member of the executive committee on community insur- 
ance, besides which he has shown equal diligence and public spirit 
as incumbent of minor township offices in past years. He is one of 
the influential men of his township, is a Democrat in his political 
adherency, is affiliated with the Woodmen of the World and the 
Fraternal Union, and both he and his wife are earnest communi- 
cants of the Lutheran church. Mr. Ehrhardt was born at Elmira, 
Chemung county, New York, on the 26th of February, 1857, and is 
a son of John and Henrietta (Kaiser) Ehrhardt, who came to Clay- 
ton county, Iowa, in the year following that of his birth, and who 
here passed the residue of their earnest and useful lives, John 
Ehrhardt was a native of Germany, as was also his wife, and he came 



BIOGRAPHICAL IO5 

to the United States in the early '50s. After his marriage, which 
was solemnized in the State of New York, he there continued his 
residence until 1858, when he came with his family to Clayton 
county, Iowa, and became a pioneer farmer in Boardman township, 
where he reclaimed and improved a good farm and became a sub- 
stantial and honored citizen who was known for sterling integrity 
and for his industry and enterprise as a farmer. He was about 84 
years of age at the time of his death and his wife passed away when 
55 years of age, the names of both meriting enduring place on the 
roll of the worthy pioneers of this county. Both were zealous 
communicants of the Lutheran church, in the faith of which they 
carefully reared their children, of whom the subject of this sketch 
is the eldest; Annie, the second child, died in childhood; Lena is 
the wife of L. Maville, a prosperous farmer of Cox Creek town- 
ship; John is a resident of Elkader; Mary is the wife of J. J. 
Kuehl, of Boardman township, and her twin sister died in infancy; 
and George lives at Elkader. E. Charles Ehrhardt early began to 
assist in the work of his father's farm and his educational advan- 
tages in his youth were those afforded in the pioneer schools of 
Boardman township, where he has continued his active allegiance 
to the great basic industry of agriculture during the long interven- 
ing years and where he has achieved success of unequivocal order* 
a preceding paragraph having indicated the scope and importance 
of his operations as a farmer and stock-raiser. On the 5th of June, 
1884, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Ehrhardt to Miss 
Elizabeth Brockman, who was born and reared in this county and 
who is a daughter of Christ and Maria (Meyer) Brockman, both 
natives of Germany. Her father immigrated to the United States 
in 1852 and became a pioneer settler in Clayton county, his old 
homestead, in Farmersburg township, having continued as his 
place of residence to the present time and his devoted wife having 
passed to the life eternal on the 8th of March, 1908. She lived for 
three years in Ohio before coming to Clayton county. Of their 
children Mrs. Ehrhardt is the eldest; Annie is the wife of Edward 
Reardon, of Elkader ; August, George and Bertha are deceased ; and 
Frederick, Sarah and Christ remain at the paternal home, in Farm- 
ersburg township. Mr. and Mrs. Ehrhardt became the parents of 
six children, concerning whom brief record is given in conclusion 
of this review: George C, a merchant at Communia, Volga town- 
ship ; Carl R. is associated with his father in the work and manage- 
ment of the home farm ; Frederick J. is a successful and popular 
teacher in public schools ; Edward H. remains at the parental home ; 
the fifth child, a daughter, died in infancy; and the youngest mem- 
ber of the home circle is Elmer. 

Walter L. Eichendorf is consistently to be designated as one of 
the representative younger members of the bar of Clayton county, 
and is engaged in the successful practice of his profession at Mc- 
Gregor. His personality and professional ability have given him 
secure place in popular confidence and esteem and his law business 
shows a constantly cumulative tendency, the while it has involved 
his appearance in connection with important litigated causes in 



I06 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

which he has won decisive victories and proved himself a resource- 
ful trial lawyer. He has deep appreciation of the dignity and im- 
portance of his chosen vocation and its unwritten ethical code finds 
in him a close observer. In the city of Clinton, judicial center of 
the Iowa county of the same name, Mr. Eichendorf was born on 
the 26th of July, 1889, and he is a son of John and Amelia A. (Kra- 
nert) Eichendorf, who still maintain their residence at McGregor, 
and of whose three children the subject of this sketch was the second 
in order of birth. Harry G., the elder son, resides at McGregor and 
is a shoe man by vocation; and Lillian is the wife of George F. 
Hamilton, of Hampton, Franklin county, this state. John Eichen- 
dorf was born and reared in Germany, where he learned the trade of 
tailor, and in the early '80s he immigrated to the United States and 
engaged in the work of his trade in the city of Clinton, Iowa. Six 
years later he came with his family to Clayton county and estab- 
lished his home in the thriving village of McGregor, where he has 
since been engaged in successful business as a merchant tailor, his 
political support being given to the Republican party and both h6 
and his wife holding membership in the Christian Science church. 
Walter L. Eichendorf was a child at the time of the family removal 
to Clayton county and at McGregor he was reared to adult age. 
He continued his studies in the public schools until he had com- 
pleted the curriculum of the McGregor high school, and within a 
short time after his graduation he followed the line of his ambitious 
purpose and was matriculated in the law department of the Univer- 
sity of Iowa, in which he was graduated as a member of the class 
of 1912, his admission to the bar of his native state having been 
virtually simultaneous with his reception of the degree of Bachelor 
of Laws. His professional novitiate was served at Lake Mills, Win- 
nebago county, where for eighteen months he was junior member 
of the law firm of Kingland & Eichendorf and where his initial suc- 
cess justified fully his choice of vocation. At the expiration of the 
period noted he returned to McGregor, where he has developed a 
substantial and representative law business that is constantly ex- 
panding in scope and importance and where he stands forth as a 
loyal and public-spirited citizen. He is a well fortified advocate of 
the principles and policies of the Republican party and is affiliated 
with Bezer Lodge, No. 135, Ancient Free & Accepted Masons, of 
which he is serving as secretary in 1916. His name is still enrolled 
on the roster of eligible young bachelors in his native state, and he 
remains at the parental home. He is popular in professional, busi- 
ness and social circles and is an active member of the Clayton 
County Bar Association. 

Henry Eiffert is the owner of a valuable landed estate of two 
hundred acres, eligibly situated in Giard township and near the little 
village of Froelich, and by his energy, stability and good judgment 
he has proved himself one of the essentially representative agricul- 
turists and stock-growers of his native county. As a farmer and 
as a public-spirited citizen he has directed his course with that dis- 
criminating sense of stewardship that betokens sterling character 
and that begets unqualified popular approbation, the while definite 



BIOGRAPHICAL IO7 

success and prosperity have come as a natural sequel. Mr. Eiffert 
is a representative of one of the honored pioneer families of this 
county and here was born in Monona township on the 10th of April, 
1859, a son of Hanscourt and Elizabeth (Hoch) Eiffert, both of 
whom were born in Hessen, Germany. Within a comparatively 
short time after his immigration to the United States Hanscourt 
Eift'ert came to Iowa and established his residence in Clayton 
county. He was a young man at the time and in the initial stage of 
his progress toward the goal of independence he was employed on 
the farm of a Mr. Schneider, in Monona township. Industrious 
and frugral, his ambitious purpose caused him carefully to conserve 
his earnings until he realized the prime object of this ambition and 
was enabled to purchase a farm of his own, in Monona township. 
He developed and improved this land into one of the productive and 
valuable farms of that township and there continued his successful 
activities as an agriculturist until his death, which occurred Febru- 
ary 12, 1887, when he was in the prime of his useful manhood. His 
venerable widow now resides in the village of Monona, both having 
early become members of the religious organization known as the 
Evangelical association, and he, as a loyal citizen of his adopted 
country, having allied himself staunchly with the Republican party. 
Of the two children the subject of this review is the elder, and the 
younger son, Emil, is deceased. Henry Eiffert was reared to man- 
hood on the old homestead farm which was the place of his nativity 
and in the meanwhile he did not neglect to avail himself fully of 
the advantages afforded in the local schools. He was about twenty- 
eight years of age at the time of his father's death and the man- 
agement of the home farm then devolved upon him, though he 
profited much by the wise counsel and earnest co-operation of his 
widowed mother. When thirty-three years of age he purchased 
his mother's interest in the farm, to the operation of which he there- 
after devoted himself for some years, at the expiration of which he 
sold the property and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of 
his present farm, to the area of which he later added by the pur- 
chase of a contiguous tract of forty acres, so that his fine domain 
now has a total of two hundred acres of the fertile and valuable 
land of his native county. He has made many admirable improve- 
ments on his farm, including the erection of good buildings, and 
has made it give forth the unmistakable evidences of thrift and 
prosperity. He is discriminating and progressive as an exponent 
of diversified agriculture, and has proved specially successful also 
in the raising of high-grade live stock, his farm having high repu- 
tation for its full-blooded black Polled Angus cattle. Mr. Eiffert 
has at all times done his part in the furtherance of those things 
which have tended to advance the social and material prosperity of 
the community, is aligned as a loyal supporter of the cause of the 
Republican party and has been signally immune from office-seeking 
proclivities, the only public office which he has consented to assume 
being that of school director, of which he was the incumbent sev- 
eral years. Both he and his wife are earnest members of the Evan- 
gelical church, or Association, at Froelich, and he has sensed as a 



I08 , MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

member of its board of trustees. The marriage of Mr. Eiffert to 
Miss Elizabeth Ulrich was solemnized June 3, 1892, and they have 
three children, whose names and respective dates of birth are here 
given : Blanche, June 7, 1893 ; Esther, March 6, 1895 ; and Roy, 
July 17, 1898. Mrs. Eiffert was born in Giard township, this 
county, on the 11th of February, 1862, and is a daughter of John 
and Catherine (Wagner) Ulrich, the former of whom was born in 
Germany and the latter in the State of Indiana. John Ulrich was 
a boy at the time of accompanying his parents on their immigration 
to America. Upon coming to Clayton county he located in the 
vicinity of the village of Watson, and later he purchased a farm in 
Monona township. After selling this property he bought a farm 
in Giard township, and there he continued his residence, as one of 
the sterling citizens and successful farmers of the county, until his 
death, which occurred May 22, 1905, his widow, who was born 
March 17, 1835, being now one of the venerable and loved pioneer 
women of Clayton county. Of their children the eldest is John, 
who is a resident of Clarion, Wright county ; George maintains his 
home at Garner, Hancock county; James is a resident of Cedar 
Falls, Blackhawk county; Mrs. Eiffert was the fourth child and 
she is now the only representative of the immediate family in 
Clayton county; and Helen died in childhood. 

Ember Embretson is a representative of the fine Scandinavian 
element of citizenship that has contributed effectively to the mate- 
rial and civic development and progress of Clayton county and 
though he is able to claim Norway as the place of his nativity he 
has passed virtually his entire life thus far in Clayton county, 
where he is a scion of an honored pioneer family and where he is a 
prominent exponent of the fundamental industry of agriculture, his 
finely improved homestead being eligibly situated in Wagner town- 
ship, a short distance south of the village of St. Olaf, though his 
greater prestige as an agriculturist lies in his ownership of valuable 
landed estates in both Minnesota and South Dakota. He has been 
for many years one of the well known and influential citizens of 
Clayton county and for a period of twenty years he was successfully 
engaged in the general merchandise business at St. Olaf, where also 
he served as postmaster. As a sterling and honored citizen and 
influential man of affairs he well merits recognition in this publi- 
cation. Mr. Embertson was born in Norway, on the 27th of July, 
1849, and in the following year his parents, Ole and Goso (Larson) 
Embertson came to America. They were numbered among the 
pioneer settlers in Wagner township, Clayton county, Iowa, where 
the father passed the remainder of his life as an energetic and sub- 
stantial farmer, his wife likewise having died on the old homestead 
place, and both having been earnest communicants of the Lutheran 
church. Of their children the subject of this sketch is the eldest; 
Lars is now a resident of the State of Montana; Annie is deceased; 
Johanna is the wife of W. Louis Larson and they reside in Minne- 
sota ; Knute maintains his home at St. Olaf; Gunnell became the 
wife of Jacob Larson and is now deceased; Henry is a prosperous 
farmer in Wagner township; Oscar is a resident of Riceville, 



f 



THE NEW Y(iH,h 

PUWLIC LlBliAiiV 



ISrOt, LS.N9I AND 



I 




ERNEST ENDEEES AND WIFE 



BIOGRAPHICAL IO9 

Mitchell county ; and Ludwich is a representative farmer of Wagner 
township, Clayton county. Reared under the conditions and influ- 
ences which marked the pioneer epoch in the history of Clayton 
county, Ember Embertson attended the local schools when oppor- 
tunity afforded and in the meanwhile he gained invaluable experi- 
ence in connection with the work of the home farm, with the opera- 
tion of which he continued to be associated until he had attained to 
the age of twenty-two years. He then opened a modest general 
store at St. Olaf, and from a small inception he built up a large 
and prosperous business, to which he continued to devote his atten- 
tion for a period of about twenty years, when he retired from this 
line of enterprise, after having served during the greater part of this 
interval as postmaster of the village. While thus engaged in busi- 
ness at St. Olaf Mr. Embretson purchased his present fine little 
farmstead of sixty-six acres, a short distance to the south of the 
village, and here he erected his commodious and attractive mod- 
ern residence, which continues as the family home and which is 
a center of unostentatious hospitality and good cheer. In South 
Dakota Mr. Embretson is the owner of a valuable estate of seven 
hundred acres, and in the State of Minnesota he has four hundred 
and eighty acres, both of these properties receiving on his part a 
general supervision. He is a stalwart in the camp of the Repub- 
lican party and has been influential in its local councils and cam- 
paign activities. He served four terms as trustee of Wagner town- 
ship and has been notably liberal and progressive as a citizen. Mr. 
Embretson is one of the substantial men of Clayton county and is a 
stockholder and director of the St. Olaf Savings Bank. Both he 
and his wife are communicants of the Lutheran church at St. Olaf. 
As a young man Mr. Embretson wedded Miss Betsy Larson, of 
Reid township, and she is survived by four children — Geneva, 
Parina, Adelia, and Ella. For his second wife Mr. Embretson 
wedded Miss Nellie Hulgerson. who was born and reared in this 
county, and they have two children — Phelman and Edwin, who 
remain members of the home circle. 

Ernst Enderes holds a place of prominence as one of the rep- 
resentative business men of his native county, as he is president of 
the Enderes Manufacturing Company, which is engaged in the 
manufacturing of various types of tools at Littleport. The com- 
pany has a well equipped plant and certain of the high-grade tools 
manufactured were invented and patented by the president of the 
corporation, who has long been known as a man of fine mechanical 
ability. Mr. Enderes was born on the old homestead farm of his 
father, near Communia, this county, and the date of his nativity 
was March 9, 1861. He is a son of John and Barbara (Prupst) 
Enderes, both natives of Germany and both honored pioneer citi- 
zens of Clayton county at the time of their death. John Enderes 
was one of the earliest settlers in the community about Communia, 
this county, where he established his home about the year 1849 and 
where he reclaimed and improved a good farm. He was a nail- 
smith by trade and prior to coming to Clayton county he had fol- 
lowed the work of his trade. Of the three children the eldest is 



no MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

William, who is a resident of Littleport ; and Ernst and Emiline 
were twins, the latter being now deceased. Ernst Enderes was 
reared under the invigorating discipline of the farm and made good 
use of the advantages afforded in the public schools of the locality 
and period. In his youth he learned the trade of blacksmith, and 
at the age of twenty years he left the parental home and engaged in 
the work of his trade in Postville, Allamakee county. There he 
remained about four years, and he then, in 1885, established his 
home at Littleport, where for the ensuing twenty-six years he vig- 
orously and successfully applied himself to the work of his trade, 
as the owner of a blacksmith shop. In 1907 he became the founder 
of the prosperous manufacturing enterprise of which he is now the 
executive head, and his associates as stockholders and directors of 
the company are Ernst and John W. Enderes, Christ C. Pust, Elmer 
L. Gifford, and George C. Ruegnitz, Jr. In politics Mr. Enderes 
gives his allegiance to no definite party but supports the men and 
measures meeting the approval of his judgment. He is affiliated 
with the local organizations of the Modern Woodmen of America 
and with the Brotherhood of American Yeomen. On the 18th of 
September, 1883, Mr. Enderes wedded Miss Louisa Hupp, who was 
born in Allamakee county, this state, and they have three children: 
John is associated with the manufacturing company of which his 
father is president ; Rose is the wife of George Ruegnitz, of Volga 
township ; and Elsie is the wife of Seymour Lalleyer, of Littleport. 
John Engelhardt is another of the native sons of Clayton 
county who stands effectively forward as an able and successful rep- 
resentative of agricultural and live-stock industry in this favored 
section of the Hawkeye State, and through his own energy and 
well ordered endeavors he has become the owner of one of the well 
improved and valuable landed estates of his native county, the same 
comprising two hundred and eighty acres and being situated in sec- 
tions 23 and 26, Wagner township, and about three-fourths of a mile 
distant from the village of St. Olaf, which is his postofifice address. 
Mr. Engelhardt was born in Wagner township, this county, on the 
19th of May, 1876, and is a son of Rudolph and Mary (Schmidt) 
Engelhardt, both of whom were born in Germany. Rudolph 
Engelhardt was twenty years of age at the time when he numbered 
himself among the pioneers of Clayton county, and here he devoted 
the remainder of his life to the great basic industry of agriculture, 
in connection with which he gained distinctive independence and 
substantial prosperity. He was one of the well known and highly 
esteemed citizens of this county at the time of his death, which 
occurred on the 9th of August, 1893, and his widow now maintains 
her home at Farmersburg, this county. Of the eleven children 
George and Louis are prosperous farmers of Monona township ; 
John, of this review, was the third in order of birth ; Augusta is the 
wife of William Jones, of Lime Spring, Howard county ; Emma is 
the wife of Jefiferson Jones, of Gunder, Clayton county ; Martha is 
the wife of Henry Boler, of Cresco, Howard county ; Amelia is the 
wife of Frederick G. Wilkie, of Reid township, Clayton county; 
Arthur resides at Bonair, Howard county, and Robert at Farmers- 



BIOGRAPHICAL III 

burg, Clayton county; Alma is the wife of Edward Olke, of Lee, 
South Dakota ; and the eleventh child, a girl, died in infancy. John 
Englehardt is indebted to the public schools of Clayton county for 
his early educational discipline and he was a lad of sixteen years at 
the time of his father's death. He had in the meanwhile gained his 
due quota of experience in connection with the work of the home 
farm and after the death of his father he entered the employ of his 
oldest brother, as an assistant in the work and management of the 
latter's farm. In 1900 he gave patent evidence of his ambition and 
self-reliance by purchasing a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, 
in Wagner township, and with increasing prosperity he has made 
judicious investment in other valuable land in this township until 
he now has a fine domain of two hundred and eighty acres, 
improved with good buildings and devoted to diversified agricul- 
ture and the raising of excellent grades of live stock. Mr. Engel- 
hardt is most loyal to his native county and has here found ample 
opportunity for the achieving of worthy success in connection with 
the great fundamental industry under whose influence he was 
reared. He is liberal and progressive in his civic attitude, is aligned 
as a staunch supporter of the cause of the Republican party and has 
been called upon to serve in minor township offices. He is affiliated 
with the Woodmen of the World and both he and his wife hold 
membership in the Lutheran church. In 1899 was solemnized the 
marriage of Mr. Engelhardt to Miss Keka Draves, who likewise 
was born and reared in Clayton county, and of their five children 
two died in infancy. The surviving children are: Albin, age 9; 
Harvey, age 7 ; Philmon, the baby, one year of age. 

Charles J. Engler. — One of the representative mercantile estab- 
lishments of the thriving village of Garnavillo is that owned and 
conducted by Mr. Engler, who here has a specially substantial and 
well equipped store in which he handles all kinds of heavy and 
shelf hardware, stoves, ranges, and plumbing, lighting and heating 
supplies and plants. He is at all times prepared to furnish esti- 
mates for the installation of plumbing, lighting and heating equip- 
ment, and the high reputation for his establishment constitutes its 
best commercial asset, for its service is of the best type in all 
departments and fair and honorable dealing is the rule from which 
no deviation is permitted. Mr. Engler has gained a secure place as 
one of the progressive business men of his native county and is 
specially worthy of recognition in this publication. Charles J. 
Engler was born at Monona, this county, on the 31st of March, 
1877, and is a son of John and Mary (Light) Engler, the former a 
native of Germany and the latter of the State of Kentucky. John 
Engler established his home in Clayton county, was a harnessmaker 
by trade but after coming to this county he became a successful 
farmer of Clayton township, where his death occurred on the 17th 
of December, 1887, his widow being still a resident of that township 
and being a devout communicant of the Catholic church, as was 
also her husband. Of the children the first-born was Rose, who 
died in young girlhood ; Louis is a prosperous farmer of this county; 
Emma is the wife of Robert Anderson and they maintain their home 



112 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

in the city of Dubuque, Iowa ; Lena is the wife of Bernard Tonner, 
of Clayton township; Catherine and William remain at the old 
homestead with their mother; Charles J., of this review, was the 
next in order of birth; and Albert is still with his mother on the 
home farm. Charles J. Engler gained his early experience of prac- 
tical nature in connection with the work of the home farm and was 
about ten years of age at the time of his father's death. He made 
good use of the advantages afforded in the public schools of the 
locality and at the age of twenty-two years he left the farm to 
enter upon an apprenticeship to the tinner's trade, in a hardware 
establishment at Elkader, the judicial center of his native county. 
Within two years he had so applied himself as to become a skilled 
workman at his trade, and his first work as a journeyman was at 
Neola, Pottawattamie county, where he remained two years. For 
the ensuing three years he was engaged in the work of his trade 
at Stuart, Guthrie county, and he then went to Kalispell, Montana, 
where he remained about one year. Upon his return to Clayton 
county he resumed his association with the work and management 
of the old homestead farm, but after a lapse of eighteen months he 
went to the city of Chicago, where he remained two years and 
broadened his knowledge of the hardware business as well as of 
the work of his trade. He next returned to his native county and 
assumed a clerical position in the general merchandise establish- 
ment of William L. Kords, in the village of Clayton. About a 
year later he removed to Ossian, Winneshiek county, where he 
worked at his trade for a brief interval. In 1909 he established his 
home at Garnavillo, where he has since risen to a prominent place 
in connection with the business and civic activities of the village. 
For three years he was employed in the hardware establishment of 
the firm of Kregel & Luehsen, and he then purchased the interest 
of the senior member of the firm. Thereafter the enterprise was 
continued under the firm name of Luehsen & Engler until the death 
of Mr. Luehsen, since which time Mr. Engler has individually 
owned and conducted the flourishing enterprise, his establishment 
controlling a substantial trade that extends throughout the ample 
territory normally tributary to Garnavillo. Mr. Engler is liberal 
and public-spirited as a citizen and while he has had no ambition 
for political preferment he has been found aligned as a staunch 
supporter of the cause of the Democratic party, his religious faith 
being that of the Catholic church, of which he is a communicant. 
He still permits his name to remain engrossed on the roll of eligible 
bachelors in his native county, and here his circle of friends is vir- 
tually coincident with that of his acquaintances. 

Henry Erickson has been a resident of Iowa from the time of 
his birth and while he is of the valiant type of loyal and progressive 
American citizenship he has not failed to mark his appreciation of 
the traditions and his history of the land of his ancestors and exem- 
plifies in his personality the sterling integrity and the constructive 
energy that have made the Scandinavian element of citizenship so 
influential and valued a factor in connection with the social and 
industrial development of the greater western portion of our 



BIOGRAPHICAL II3 

national domain. He takes just pride in being a scion of one of 
the honored pioneer families of Clayton county and here he is one 
of the successful farmers and substantial and honored citizens of 
Marion township, liberal and loyal as a citizen and influential in 
public affairs of a local order. He was born in Marion township, 
on the 14th of December, 1864, and is a son of Peter and Barbara 
Erickson, both natives of Norway. Peter Erickson was reared and 
educated in his native land and was a young man when, in 1854, he 
immigrated to America and established his residence in the State 
of Wisconsin. There he remained until 1859, when he came with 
his family to Clayton county and established a home on one of the 
pioneer farms of IMarion township. Substantial success attended 
his indefatigable labors as an agriculturist and stock-grower and 
he still continues his association with farm industry, being now 
one of the sterling pioneer citizens of Grand Meadow township. 
He is a Republican in politics and both he and his wife are earnest 
communicants of the Norwegian Lutheran church. Of their seven 
children the first, Erick, died young; Louis is a resident of the State 
of Montana and the subject of this sketch was the third child; 
Samuel and Benjamin are successful farmers in Grand Meadow 
township ; Albert is deceased ; and Emma remains at the parental 
home. Henry Erickson did not fail to profit duly by the advantages 
afforded in the public schools of his native county and he there- 
after continued his association with the work and management of 
his father's farm until he had attained to the age of twenty-four 
years. He then went to Lyon county, this state, where he pur- 
chased a farm of one hundred and sixty acres and where he con- 
tinued his residence for the ensuing four years. He then sold the 
property and returned to Clayton county, where he purchased his 
present excellent farm, on section 12, Marion township, the place 
comprising one hundred and forty-seven acres of most fertile land 
and the improvements on the same being of modern order. In 
connection with diversified agriculture Mr. Erickson gives special 
attention to the raising of Poland-China and Chester White swine, 
and in all of his activities he has shown the spirit of thrift and pro- 
gressiveness. He has given his ready support to measures and enter- 
prises projected for the general good of the community and has been 
called upon to service in local offices of public trust. He held the 
office of township trustee for seven years and that of township 
clerk for eight years, besides which he has served as school director 
of his district. His political allegiance is given to the Republican 
party and he and his family hold membership in the Norwegian 
Lutheran church. His home receives its mail service on rural 
route No. 1 from the village of Postville. On the 18th of Septem- 
ber, 1889, was recorded the marriage of Mr. Erickson to Miss 
Josephine Nelson, who was born April 26, 1870, in Marion town- 
ship, this county, and concerning their children the following brief 
data are given in conclusion of this review: Nora in 1915 was a 
student in one of the leading conservatories of the city of Chicago, 
where she is studying dramatic art and preparing herself for a 
stage career, her talent in this line being pronounced exceptional ; 



114 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

Emily is the wife of Louis Amendson, of Grand Meadow township ; 
Gertrude is the wife of Henry Larson, of that township; and the 
five children who remain members of the home circle are Mabel, 
Agnes, Nettie, Peter and Harriet. 

John Everall. — There is no need for puzzling or indirection in 
determining the sterling value of the life services of this venerable 
and honored pioneer citizen of Clayton county, for he has marked 
the passing years with earnest and effective endeavor, has shown a 
high sense of personal stewardship and has held the unequivocal 
confidence and esteem of those whom his benignant influence has 
touched in the varied relations of his long and useful career. Mr. 
Everall was born in Shropshire, England, on the 20th of April, 1839, 
and in that same section of the "right little isle" were born and 
reared his parents, Richard and Elizabeth (Liversage) Everall, folk 
of superior mentality and fine attributes of character. The paternal 
grandfather of the subject of this review was one of the pioneer 
clergymen of the Congregational church in England, and it is 
worthy of note that all of his children, seven in number, were resi- 
dents of the United States at the time of their death. In 1851 Rich- 
ard Everall came with his family to Clayton county, Iowa, and 
became one of the pioneer farmers in Farmersburg township, where 
his well directed labors brought to him a generous measure of pros- 
perity, as gauged by the standards of the locality and period. Both 
he and his wife passed the closing years of their life in the village 
of Farmersburg and both were venerable in years at the time of 
their death. They were zealous members of the Congregational 
church, instant in human sympathy and kindliness and in good 
deeds. They became the parents of three children, and the only 
survivor is the honored citizen to whom this sketch is dedicated, 
he being the eldest of the number ; Elizabeth was a resident of 
Farmersburg at the time of her death ; and Mrs. Martha Ann 
(Everall) Sutton died at Bloomington, Wisconsin. John Everall 
gained his rudimentary education in his native land and supple- 
mented this by attending the pioneer schools of Clayton county, as 
well as by individual application which, with his naturally studious 
tendencies, effectively broadened his intellectual horizon. In Clay- 
ton county he gained in his youth a close fellowship with the work 
of the pioneer farm of his father, and during many years of his active 
career he continued his close allegiance to the basic industry of 
agriculture, through the medium of which he gained substantial 
success. He has long been one of the prominent and influential 
citizens of Clayton county and special distinction is his for the 
valiant service which he rendered as a soldier of the Union in the 
Civil war. From 1858 to 1862 he was a successful and popular 
teacher in the schools of this county, and he abandoned his peda- 
gogic services only to respond to the call of higher duty, for in 
August, 1862, he enlisted as a private in Company E, Twenty-sev- 
enth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, with which he proceeded to the front 
and took part in the various engagements that marked the record of 
this gallant Iowa regiment. He lived up to the full tension of the 
great conflict between the states of the North and the South, was 



BIOGRAPHICAL II 5 

wounded in action in July, 1864, but was not long incapacitated for 
service, as he continued with his regiment until the close of the war, 
rose from the rank of first sergeant to that of first lieutenant of his 
company, and received his honorable discharge in June, 1865. In 
later years he has vitalized the more gracious memories and asso- 
ciations of his military career by his appreciative affiliation with 
the Grand Army of the Republic. After the war Mr. Everall re- 
sumed his association with farming in Farmersburg township, and 
his ability and unqualified popularity have brought to him many 
official preferments in the public service. He has filled nearly all 
township offices, and for a period of four years he was county super- 
intendent of schools. He was for six years the incumbent of the 
office of county auditor, and for eight years he represented Clayton 
county in the upper house of the Iowa Legislature. In every public 
office to which he has been called he has proved a faithful, loyal 
and efficient incumbent, and he has shown himself well fortified in 
his opinions concerning matters of economic and governmental 
polity. He is now living virtually retired in his attractive home 
at Farmersburg, and finds that his lines are cast in pleasant places, 
for he is surrounded by a host of friends who are tried and true, 
and is revered alike by old and young. In a basic way he has ever 
given stalwart allegiance to the Democratic party, but in local 
affairs he has not been constrained by strict partisan lines, as he 
has given his support to men and measures meeting the approval of 
his judgment. Mr. Everall has been long and appreciatively affili- 
ated with the Masonic fraternity, and for eight or nine years he held 
the office of master of the lodge of Ancient Free & Accepted Masons 
at Farmersburg. In this village, on the 25th of October, 1865, was 
solemnized the marriage of Mr. Everall, then a youthful veteran 
of the Civil war, to Miss Vallonia Renshaw, who was born at 
Brownsville. Pennsylvania, on the 9th of April, 1841. Of the seven 
children of this union, five are living. Richard, the firstborn, died 
in boyhood ; Martha remains with her parents ; John is successfully 
established in the practice of law in the city of St. Paul, Minnesota; 
Dr. George L. became a representative physician and surgeon in 
the city of Clinton, Iowa, but was at the old home in Farmersburg 
at the time of his death; Bruce B., M. D., is engaged in the practice 
of his profession at Monona, Clayton county; Dr. Benjamin C. was 
engaged in the practice of medicine in the city of Waterloo, this 
state, until the border troubles with Mexico, in the summer of 1916, 
led to his going to Texas as captain and surgeon of the hospital 
corps of the First Iowa Volunteer Infantry, in which capacity he 
is serving at the time of this writing; Bessie E., the youngest of 
the children, is now an efficient and popular teacher in the public 
schools of Lake City, Minnesota. Senator Everall was one of the 
leaders of his party while in the Iowa Senate and was known for 
his quiet, but forceful support of wise measures for the benefit of 
the people. He still takes an active interest in the bank at Farmers- 
burg and is known and loved throughout the county. 

Henry Farmer. — Through his vigorous and successful opera- 
tions in connection with agriculture and live stock industry Mr. 



Il6 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

Farmer has given consistent justification to the patronymic which 
he bears, as he is the owner of one of the finely improved farms 
of Lodomillo township, besides which he has secure place in popular 
esteem in the county which became his home when he was an infant. 
Mr. Farmer, who was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, on the 8th 
of June, 1854, is a son of John and Mary Ann (Barr) Farmer, both 
of whom were born and reared in the north of Ireland. The par- 
ents received their education in their native land and about 1845 
came to the United States, where their marriage was solemnized 
and they established their residence at Wheeling, West Virginia. 
In 1856 they came to Clayton county, Iowa, and the father became 
a pioneer farmer in Lodomillo township, where he and his wife 
passed the residue of their lives, he having followed in earlier years 
the trade of a blacksmith. Both were of the Protestant faith in 
religion, and in the same they reared their children. Henry, the 
subject of this review, is the elder and only survivor, his brother, 
John, Jr., having died when forty-three years of age. Henry 
Farmer gained his early education in the pioneer schools of Clayton 
county, and he continued his active association with the work of 
the home farm until his marriage. On the 20th of January, 1876, 
Mr. Henry Farmer wedded Miss Margaret O'Brien, who was born 
in Rochester, New York, and who is a daughter of James and Anna 
(Kalnan) O'Brien, the father being a native of Ireland, while the 
wife Anna was of French origin. James O'Brien was a soldier of 
the Union in the Civil war, serving as a member of the Michigan 
cavalry, their home at that time being at Mackinac Island. He died 
while in active service at Memphis, Tennessee. His widow, who 
survived him by many years, spent the remainder of her life with 
her three children at Mackinac Island and Chicago. The two sur- 
viving of this family being Mrs. Farmer, who is the younger, and 
her sister Rebecca, wife of O. E. Huene of Manchester, Iowa. Mr. 
and Mrs. Farmer became the parents of four children : Nellie Irene, 
the eldest, in 1898 became the wife of C. J. Rulon, who is a mer- 
chant of Wood, Iowa, and a son of K. Rulon of Clayton county. 
To them was born one son, Burdette, in 1904. James Willard, 
who resides upon and manages his father's farm in Delaware county, 
in 1904 married Nettie Hockaday, daughter of William Hockaday 
of Manchester, Iowa. In 1906 and 1913 their two sons were born, 
Wayne James and Henry Bertram respectively. Floy Lucille, who 
in 1906 became the wife of Dr. A. L. Breed of Rock Elm, Wiscon- 
sin, died at her home in Wisconsin at the age of twenty-six years. 
And Zelda Vivian, who has since 1913 been a teacher in the Elkader 
schools. After Mr. Farmer's marriage he lived on a part of his 
father's farm in Clayton county until 1879, when he, with his family, 
moved to Kansas, where he purchased a one hundred and sixty acre 
farm. Becoming tired of the West, they returned in 1882, then 
making their home in Delaware county. About 1890 he purchased 
a^farm of one hundred and fifty acres in Delaware county. On 
this place, which he still owns, he continued his operations as an 
enterprising agriculturist and stock raiser for a period of about 
fifteen years, at the expiration of which time he returned to the old 



BIOGRAPHICAL II 7 

homestead in Clayton county which he had inherited from his par- 
ents and which is situated in Section 28, Lodomillo township. He 
has since continued as one of the representative farmers of this 
part of Clayton county and gives also a general supervision to his 
farm in Delaware county, a property that is now in the active charge 
of his only son. He is a Republican in his political proclivities and 
is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity and the Knights of Pythias. 
Otto Fascher is another of the sterling sons of the German 
Fatherland who has found in our great American republic the op- 
portunities through which he has achieved definite independence 
and prosperity, and Clayton county has been the stage of his activi- 
ties during the entire period of his residence in the United States. 
His industry and self-reliance have been on a parity with his ambi- 
tion and integrity of purpose, and through his own ability and well 
ordered endeavors he has won secure place as one of the substantial 
and popular exponents of agricultural industry in Clayton county. 
He is a loyal and progressive citizen, and that his ability has not 
lacked popular appreciation is evidenced by the fact that he is serv- 
ing as trustee of Read township, of which position he has been the 
efficient incumbent since 1914. Mr. Fascher was born in Klein 
Kiisten, Germany, on the 9th of August, 1872, and is one of the six 
surviving children of Carl and Dorothea (Welle) Fascher, the for- 
mer of whom passed his entire life in that section of the German 
Empire and the latter of whom came to the United States in 1895, 
the remainder of her life having been spent in Clayton county, Iowa, 
where she died in the spring of 1916, a devout communicant of the 
Lutheran church, as was also her husband. Otto Fascher was 
reared and educated in his native land and was twenty-four years 
of age when, in 1896, he came to America and established his home 
in Clayton county. Here he was employed at farm work for a few 
years, and his further progress toward the goal of independence 
was made by his operations on a rented farm, where he continued 
his energetic labors, when he purchased sixty acres of excellent 
land in Section 5, Read township, where he has proved himself a 
resourceful and energetic farmer and stock-grower and gained pres- 
tige as one of the able and valued exponents of these basic lines of 
industry in Clayton county. He has improved his farm with good 
buildings and in its various operations he avails himself of scien- 
tific methods and the most approved modern facilities in the way 
of implements and machinery. From the time of becoming a nat- 
uralized citizen of the land of his adoption he had given his support' 
to the cause of the Democratic party, and in addition to serving as 
township trustee, as previously noted, he is a school director of his 
district. He and his wife are communicants and earnest supporters 
of the Lutheran church at St. Olaf, from which village his farm 
receives service on rural mail route No. 2. On the 21st of Septem- 
ber, 1900, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Fascher to Miss 
Augusta Kuhn, who likewise was born in Germany and who came 
with her parents, William and Fredericka Kuhn, to America in 1894, 
in which year the family home was established in Clayton county. 
Here Mr. Kuhn died in 1910, and here his widow still resides. Of 



Il8 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

the six children of Mr. and Mrs. Fascher the first two died in in- 
fancy; Lucy died at the age of three months and Hilda at the age 
of five months. The two surviving children are Arno, born De- 
cember 25, 1903, and Leona, born August 28, 1905, 

Rudolph W. Fett holds place as one of the enterprising and 
representative merchants in the village of Luana and has been a 
resident of Iowa since his boyhood days, his parents having been 
pioneers of this State. He was born in the Prussian Province of 
Pommern, designated in English as Pomerania, and the date of his 
nativity was April 6, 1866. In the same province were born and 
reared his parents, Frederick and Henriette (Schrader) Fett, and 
there they continued their residence until 1875, when they immi- 
grated to America and soon afterward established the family home 
in Allamakee county, Iowa. There Frederick Fett reclaimed and 
developed a fine farm and he continued to be actively identified with 
agricultural pursuits in that county for many years. He and his 
wife are now venerable and honored pioneer citizens of Allamakee 
county, where he is living retired, in the enjoyment of the gracious 
rewards of former years of earnest and well directed endeavor. 
Their eldest child, Charles, continues to uphold the prestige of the 
family name in connection with agricultural industry in Allamakee 
county ; Augusta is the wife of August Duball, of that county ; Fred 
still remains a representative of agricultural interests in the same 
county ; and the subject of this review is the youngest of the chil- 
dren. Rudolph W. Fett was a lad of about seventeen years at the 
time of the family immigration to the United States, and thus he 
had received in his native land his rudimentary education, which 
was supplemented by the discipline which he gained in the schools 
of Allamakee county, Iowa. He assisted in the work of the home 
farm and later found employment on other farms in Allamakee 
county. In 1894 he came to Clayton county and founded a general 
merchandise business at Watson, in which village he continued his 
operations in this line until the autumn of 1915, when he removed 
to Luana and purchased the general merchandise stock of Eleazer 
Schinholtz. He maintains his store at a high standard in the vari- 
ety and completeness of its stock in all departments, and in the 
effective service given in meeting the demands of a substantial and 
appreciative patronage. He is one of the progressive and valued 
business men of this fine little city and has a wide circle of friends 
in Clayton county. Mr. Fett is a staunch Republican and within 
the period of his residence at Watson he served 15 years as post- 
master of that village. Both he and his wife are earnest members 
of the Methodist Episcopal church at Luana. On the 5th of March, 
1891, Mr. Fett wedded Miss Lena Krueger, who was born and 
reared in Allamakee county, and their five children all remain mem- 
bers of the gracious home circle, namely: Donald, Gladys, Murney, 
Carlisle, and Maicil. 

John Feulner is another of the sterling sons of the great Ger- 
man Empire who came to America in the period of aspiring youth 
and who has found in Clayton county the opportunities through 
which he has worked his way to a position of definite independence 



BIOGRAPHICAL II9 

and prosperity. His finely improved farm of ninety acres lies 
adjacent to the corporate limits of the village of Strawberry Point, 
and is one of the valuable places of Cass township. Here he gives 
special attention to the raising of excellent grades of cattle and 
swine, and he has developed a prosperous dairy business in connec- 
tion with the agricultural department of his farm enterprise. Fur- 
ther evidence of the success which he has won through his own 
ability and application is that given in his ownership of a half inter- 
est in a tract of two hundred and twenty acres of good land in the 
State of Oklahoma. Mr. Feulner was born in Germany, on the 21st 
of December, 1873, a member of a family of nine children, of \vhom 
seven are living — all save one of the number being now residents of 
the United States. He is a son of Wolfgang and Lena Feulner, 
who passed their entire lives in Germany. In the excellent schools 
of his native land Mr. Feulner gained his early education and in 
1891, when a youth of seventeen years, he severed the home ties and 
set forth to seek his fortunes in America. He came with slender 
finacial resources but with a full measure of energy and indomit- 
able ambition, so that he was well fortified for the task which he 
set to himself, that of winning his way to the goal of prosperity. 
Soon after landing in the port of New York city Mr. Feulner came 
to Clayton county and obtained employment on a farm in Cass 
township. Advancement was his resolute purpose and he proved 
judicious in his use of the facilities at hand. Finally he rented a 
farm, and after there continuing his indefatigable activities for a 
period of three years he found himself so placed as to justify his 
purchase of a farm and he has owned various farms in this vicinity, 
always disposing of them, until he secured his present home, upon 
which he has made numerous improvements and in connection with 
which he has proved himself a resourceful and successful agricul- 
turist and stock-grower. It is much to have come as a stranger in 
a strange land and to have won through personal effort such a 
large measure of success as stands to the credit of this popular and 
loyal citizen of Clayton county. His political proclivities are indi- 
cated by his staunch support of the cause of the Republican party 
and both he and his wife are communicants of the Lutheran church. 
On April 22, 1897, Mr. Feulner wedded Miss Frederica Opperman, 
who was born and reared in this county, and they have one daugh- 
ter, Alice Mary, who is, in 1916, a student in the high school at 
Strawberry Point. 

Michael Feulner was born and reared in Germany and soon 
after attaining to his legal majority he came to the United States 
and established his residence in Fayette county. Here he remained 
about five years and then came to Clayton county, where he has 
so directed his powers and energies as to achieve distinctive and 
worthy success as one of the substantial farmers of the county 
and to win for himself secure place in popular confidence and es- 
teem. He arrived in Clayton county with his negative financial re- 
sources represented in an indebtedness of three dollars, and under 
these conditions he found employment as a farm hand at a stipend 
of twelve dollars a month. Much is signified in his advancement 



I20 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

from such status to the ownership of one of the finely improved 
and valuable farms of the county, and it is gratifying to pay in 
this review a tribute to his energy and resourceful ambition. Michael 
Feulner was born in Germany on the 29th of December, 1862, and 
is one of the seven surviving children of Wolfgang and Lena Feul- 
ner, who passed their entire lives in Germany, all but one of their 
children being now residents of the United States. Michael Feul- 
ner duly profited by the advantages afiforded in the excellent schools 
of his native land, but his youthful ambition and self-reliance finally 
prompted him to seek in the United States better opportunities for 
the winning of independence and prosperity through individual 
effort. In 1884, when twenty-two years of age, he came to America 
and established his residence first in Fayette county and later in 
Clayton county, which has been the stage of his earnest endeavors 
during the long intervening years. For the first five years he was 
employed as a farm hand, and for the ensuing nine years he farmed 
on rented land. His energy and good judgment enabled him to 
make substantial advancement toward the goal of financial inde- 
pendence, and finally he effected the purchase of his present fine 
homestead farm, which comprises 140 acres and which is eligibly 
situated in Sections 16 and 21, Cass township. He has made many 
high-grade improvements on the farm, including the erection of 
modern buildings, the planting of a well-selected orchard and an 
attractive grove of shade trees about his pleasant home. Though 
he has proved specially successful in connection with his operations 
in diversified agriculture, Mr. Feulner has made a specialty of rais- 
ing and feeding high-grade cattle and swine and has developed also 
a prosperous dairy business on his farm. He gives his support to 
the Republican party and while he has had no ambition for public 
office he has shown his civic loyalty by effective service in the 
office of township trustee. Both he and his wife are communicants 
of the Lutheran church at Strawberry Point, from which village 
their home receives service on rural mail route No. 3. On Febru- 
ary 21st, 1889, Mr. Feulner wedded Miss Mary Oppermann, who 
was born and reared in this county, where her parents settled in 
the pioneer days, upon their immigration to America from Ger- 
many. She is a daughter of Henry and Mary Oppermann, the for- 
mer of whom is deceased and the latter of whom still resides in 
this country. Mr. and Mrs. Feulner have four children : Otto, 
Lydia, Esther and Alfred. Esther was graduated in the high 
school at Strawberry Point and the year 1916 finds her successfully 
engaged in teaching in the district schools of her native county. 

Joseph Fink. — Fortunate is that man whom destiny leads into 
a sphere of endeavor in which he can effectively exercise his talents 
and energy and through the medium of which he can achieve a suc- 
cess that not only makes for his individual independence but also 
tends to conserve the communal welfare. Joseph Fink is one of 
the sterling German citizens of Clayton county, and in the land of 
his adoption he has found ample opportunity for the gaining of 
the worthy prosperity which was the mark set by his youthful am- 
bition. He is one of the substantial representatives of the sturdy 



BIOGRAPHICAL 121 

yeomanry of this county, and as an agriculturist and stock-grower 
his success is best evidenced by the unmistakable thrift and pros- 
perity that his fine farm betokens. He was born in Germany, on 
the 16th of February, 1858, and is a son of Joseph and Sophia 
(Thilk) Fink, with whom he came to America in 1884, when he 
was twenty-six years of age and after he had availed himself of 
the advantages of the excellent schools of his native land. The 
father passed the closing years of his life in Fayette county and his 
widow now resides in the home of the subject of this review, who 
accords to her in her venerable age the most loyal of filial care and 
solicitude. Prior to coming to America Mr. Fink had gained prac- 
tical experience in the trade of mason, and at this trade he was 
engaged in work in Buchanan county, Iowa, until 1889, when he 
came to Clayton county and purchased the farm upon which he has 
since maintained his home and upon which he has made excellent 
improvements of a permanent order, including the erection of sub- 
stantial farm buildings. His farm comprises one hundred and 
thirty-two acres and is eligibly situated in Section 29, Cass town- 
ship, not far distant from the village of Strawberry Point, which is 
his postoffice address. In connection with his general agricultural 
operations Mr. Fink has developed a prosperous dairy department 
of farm enterprise and gives attention to the raising not only of 
good cattle but also of other farm live stock. Political activity and 
public office have had no lure to this energetic and successful farmer, 
who has won his prosperity entirely by personal ability and eflfort, 
and he shows his civic loyalty by supporting measures advanced 
for the general good of the community and by exercising his fran- 
chise as a representative of the Democratic party. Both he and 
his wife are active communicants of the Lutheran church. In 1888 
was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Fink to Miss Kume Schram, 
who was born in Germany and who was a young woman when she 
came to America, in 1884. Of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Fink, 
Emma and Edwin remain at the parental home; Bertha is the wife 
of Earl Cummings and they are now residents of the state of Min- 
nesota ; Ida is the wife of Alfred Mikota, of Cedar Rapids, this 
state ; and Frederick and Minnie are the younger members of the 
home circle. 

William Finley was a lad of sixteen years when he came from 
the fair old Emerald Isle to America and began to assist his uncle, 
the late John Finley, in the work of one of the productive farms of 
Highland township, Clayton county, and he has not only continued 
his residence in the township during the intervening years but has 
also gained secure status as one of the enterprising and substantial 
farmers and popular citizens of Highland township, where he is the 
owner of a large and well improved landed estate, a portion of 
which was formerly the old home of the uncle with whom he made 
his home during the early period of his residence in America. Mr. 
Finley was born in County Kilkenny, Ireland, on the Uth day of 
July, 1874, and is a son of Michael and Maria (Fions) Finley, both 
of whom passed the closing years of their lives in their native land, 
Ireland, the father having been a farmer by vocation during vir- 



122 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

tually his entire active career and both he and his wife having been 
devout communicants of the Catholic church. Of their children the 
eldest is Thomas, who still resides in Ireland; William, of this 
review, was the next in order of birth ; John resides in the State of 
Montana ; Michael is in South Africa ; and John and James died in 
infaney. To the schools of his native land William Finley is 
indebted for the educational advantages that fell to his portion in 
his boyhood, and, as previously noted, he was sixteen years of age 
when he came to America and became a resident of the county in 
which he has since gained marked success and an established posi- 
tion as one of the progressive exponents of agricultural and live- 
stock industry in this section of the state. During the first five 
years of his residence in this county Mr. Finley worked for his 
uncle on the latter's farm, in section 23, Highland township, and he 
then purchased one hundred and forty acres, to which he has since 
added until he now has a finely improved estate of two hundred and 
sixty acres, nearly all of which land is available for cultivation, the 
place being discriminately given over to diversified agriculture and 
to the breeding and raising of excellent grades of live stock, Mr. 
Finley is a director of the State Bank of Volga, is a Democrat in 
his political adherency, is affiliated with the Catholic Order of For- 
esters, and both he and his wife are communicants of the Catholic 
church. On the 14th of July, 1896, was solemnized the marriage of 
Mr. Finley to Miss Emma Roche, who was born and reared in this 
county and who is a daughter of John and Hannah (Markham) 
Roche, both natives of Ireland. Mr. Roche was a youth when he 
came to America, and he resided first in the state of West Virginia. 
He was eighteen years old when he came to Clayton county, and 
here he has since maintained his home, he and his wife being well 
known and much esteemed citizens of Elkader, the county seat. Of 
their sixteen children nine are deceased, and Mrs. Finley is the 
fourth in order of birth of those surviving. The eldest is Michael, 
who is a farmer in Highland township ; William is identified with 
farm enterprise in Boardman township ; John is a resident of 
Omaha, Nebraska ; Mary is a member of a Catholic sisterhood and 
is in a convent at Danbury ; Kathrine is the widow of Patrick Orr 
and resides at Elkader; and Cecelia is in a convent at Mason City. 
Of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Finley the first two died at birth, 
and all of the others remain at the parental home, namely: Frances 
Dechantal, Mary Cecelia, Matthew, Florence Zita, and Edward 
John. 

Leonard L. Fisher is a popular representative of the third gen- 
eration of a family that was founded in Clayton county more than 
sixty years ago, and due record of the family history is given on 
other pages of this publication, in the sketch of the career of his 
father, Luman S. Fisher, so that further review is not demanded in 
the present connection. He whose name initiates this paragraph is 
making excellent record in connection with the operations of the fine 
old homestead farm on which he was born, in Lodomillo township, 
and he has become the owner of one hundred acres of the specially 
large landed estate accumulated by his father He was born Feb. 2, 



BIOGRAPHICAL 1 23 

1882, and his early education was acquired in the public schools of 
his native county. As a youth he worked at the carpenter's trade 
for a period of about three years, but he has had the good judgment 
to refrain from severing his allegiance to the basic industries of 
agriculture and stock-growing and has continued his active partici- 
pation in the work and management of the large and valuable 
landed estate of his father, the homestead being known as the Good 
Luck Stock Farm and being given over specially to the breeding and 
raising of the best types of Poland-China swine and Holstein cattle. 
Leonard L. has not only been distinctively successful in the raising 
of these types of live stock but is known also as a fancier and suc- 
cessful grower of the barred Plymouth Rock poultry. His political 
allegiance is given to the Republican party, he is affiliated with the 
Modem Woodmen of America, and he is known as one of the 
progressive and public-spirited young men of his native county, 
where his circle of friends is limited only by that of his acquaint- 
ances. October 28, 1903, recorded the marriage of Mr. Fisher to 
Miss Fern Lulu Lathrop, who was born in the State of Wisconsin, 
as were also her parents, Cassius W. and Martha (Graves) Lathrop; 
her father now resides at Van Tassell, Wyoming, where he is 
engaged in ranching; his wife died in 1913. Mr. and Mrs. Fisher 
have four children, and their names and respective dates of birth 
are here designated; Claude Lathrop, March 4, 1904; Norman Fern, 
July 28, 1905; Clyde Harley, June 20, 1912; and Wilma Lou, May 
26, 1914. 

Luman S. Fisher was brought by his parents from the old 
Keystone state to Clayton county, Iowa, when two and one-half 
years of age and the family home was established in North 
McGregor, where they remained three and one-half years, then 
moved to Elkader and at the age of nine years he went to Pennsyl- 
vania with his mother, returning to Clayton county at the age of 
21 years, and his early educational advantages were afforded in 
the schools of Iowa, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kansas. He was 
born in Pennsylvania, on the 8th of April, 1855, a son of Thomas 
and Eliza (Sturtevant) Fisher, who likewise were natives of that 
historic old commonwealth. The parents set forth for Iowa when 
their son, Luman S.. who was the second of their three children, 
was two and one-half years of age, the first-born having been a 
daughter, Hattie, who died when 50 years of age, and the youngest 
child, North, who died at the age of nine years, was the first white 
child born at North McGregor, Clayton county. Thomas Fisher 
turned his energies to the reclaiming of a farm on the frontier, and 
he aided nobly in the social and industrial development and prog- 
ress of Clayton county, where he achieved worthy success and 
popular esteem. He was one of the most venerable pioneer citizens 
of the county at the time of his death, which occurred in May, 1912, 
his devoted wife, who had been a true helpmeet and a mother, hav- 
ing passed to eternal rest in July, 1907. As intimated in previous 
statements, Luman S. is the only one of their children now living, 
and he stands forth as one of the extensive landholders and repre- 
sentative agriculturists and stock-growers of Clayton county. Hq 



124 MEMOIRS OF CLAVTON COUNTY 

remained at the parental home until he had attained to the age of 
seventeen years, when, in the spring of 1872, he went to Kansas, in 
which state he continued his association with agricultural pursuits 
for a period of about four years. Upon returning to Iowa he 
worked for a few months on a farm in Marion county and in the 
autumn of 1876 he returned to Clayton county, where he has since 
maintained his home and where his well ordered and constructive 
activities has brought to him a large measure of success. In 1887 
Mr. Fisher purchased one hundred acres of land in Lodomillo 
township, and within a short time thereafter he added to the same 
an adjoining thirty-five acres. With increasing financial prosperity 
he showed his good judgment by making further judicious invest- 
ments in Clayton county, land, and his finely improved estate now 
includes three hundred and twenty acres in Lodomillo township and 
he sold a tract of 320 acres in Fallon county, Montana, which he 
owned for some time. During the long intervening years that have 
marked his enterprising activities as a farmer Mr. Fisher has not 
only proved a careful and energetic exponent of diversified agricul- 
ture, but has also been notably successful as a grower of high-grade 
live stock. He has long given special attention to the breeding and 
raising of the best type of Poland-China swine, and he still gives 
his personal supervision to this interesting department of his farm 
enterprise, besides having prestige as being now one of the oldest 
active representatives of the Poland-China breeding in the entire 
State of Iowa. Mr. Fisher has at all times been ready to do his 
part in the promotion of enterprises and measures advanced for the 
general good of the community and he served six years as a mem- 
ber of the county board of supervisors, is now assessor of Lodomillo 
township, and has been called upon to serve in various minor offices 
of a local order. His political support is given to the cause of the 
Republican party and he is affiliated with the lodge of Ancient Free 
and Accepted Masons at Edgewood, and also with the Modern 
Woodmen of America, his attractive rural home receiving mail 
service on rural route No. 1 from Edgewood. On December 30, 
1880 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Fisher to Miss Sophia 
Hesner, who was born and reared in Lodomillo township, and in 
conclusion of this sketch is given brief record concerning their 
children: Leonard L. has the active management of the old home- 
stead and concerning him individual mention is made on other 
pages of this work ; Lyle likewise is a successful representative of 
agricultural industry in his home township ; Frank is now a resi- 
dent of Meridian, California, and is giving special attention to the 
raising of rice ; Nellie is the wife of Nicholas Lang, of Mederville, 
this county; Mabel is the wife of Irving Hindal, of Lavina, Fergus 
county, Montana ; Grace is the wife of Louis Tieden, of Cox Creek 
township, Clayton county; and Ruth and Frederick remain at the 
parental home. 

E. C. Fitzpatrick, an enterprising business man of Elkader, 
Iowa, was born in that city. May 10, 1888, and is the son of Matthew 
and Elizabeth (Connell) Fitzpatrick, the former a native of Ohio, 
and the latter born in Clayton county, Iowa. Matthew Fitzpatrick 



BIOGRAPHICAL I25 

was brought by his parents to Clayton county when he was five 
years old, where he received his education, and upon reaching man- 
hood took up his business interest in the same county, following the 
profession of law, and conducting an abstract business. He was 
very active in political circles, holding the offices of deputy treas- 
urer and recorder for a term of six years. His wife died May 28, 
1913. To their union were born eight children: Mary, the wife of 
T. J. Foley, of Salt Lake, City, Utah ; Mathew J., who is a physi- 
cian of Mason City, Iowa ; Ella, living at home ; Edward C, the 
subject of this sketch; Caroline, deceased; James F. and Katherine, 
also at home. E. C. Fitzpatrick received his education in the grade 
and high school of Elkader, and upon finishing his work in the class 
room entered business as a clerk with a mercantile firm, but on Oct. 
25, 1912, bought for himself a clothing and gents' furnishing house, 
which business, by his energy and upright methods, he is fast de- 
veloping into one of the best of its kind in his community. He led 
to the altar Olga S. Hasek, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and they have 
one son, Edward C, Jr., born November 3, 1914. Mr. Fitzpatrichk 
is keenly interested in the welfare of the community and is now 
serving the public as a member of the city council of Elkader. 

Matthew Fitzpatrick was an infant at the time when his par- 
ents came to Clayton county and settled on a pioneer farm in Cox 
Creek township. Here he passed the residue of his life and here 
it was given him to so assert his vital, loyal and noble personality 
as to achieve prominence and influence, a large place in community 
afifairs and the inviolable confidence and esteem of his fellow men. 
Mr. Fitzpatrick was a representative member of the Clayton county 
bar, and in addition to gaining prestige and success in the legal 
profession he served with marked ability and credit in various pub- 
lic offices of local trust. He was one of the prominent and honored 
citizens of Elkader, the county seat, at the time of his death, which 
occurred on the 8th of March, 1916. This publication exercised a 
consistent function when it entered a tribute to the memory of 
this valued citizen. Matthew Fitzpatrick was born in the city of 
Cincinnati, Ohio, on the 11th of May, 1853, and thus he was barely 
63 years of age at the time when he was summoned to the life 
eternal. He was a son of Patrick and Catherine Fitzpatrick, and 
was about two years old at the time when his parents came to 
Clayton county, in 1855, his father obtaining a tract of wild land 
in Cox Creek township and there reclaiming a farm. On this home- 
stead the parents passed the remainder of their lives and both were 
earnest communicants of the Catholic church. Matthew Fitzpatrick 
early began to assist in the work of the home farm and after profit- 
ing by the advantages aflforded in the rural schools of that pioneer 
period in the history of the county, he later made good use of the 
advantages afforded in the high school at Elkader. He became a 
successful and popular teacher in the schools of this county but 
his ambition led him into another field of professional endeavor. 
He studied law under the effective preceptorship of William A. 
Preston, at Elkader, and in 1883 he was admitted to practice. Mr. 
Fitzpatrick proved a resourceful trial lawyer and well fortified 



126 ' MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

counselor, and he developed a substantial and representative laW 
practice, to which he gave his attention with characteristic zeal 
and earnestness. For a time he served as deputy county treasurer, 
under the administration of Charles E. Flowete, and in the autumn 
of 1884 he was elected to the office of county recorder, of which 
he continued the incumbent six years and in which he made a 
splendid record as an executive of the county government. Mr. 
Fitzpatrick was a man of strong convictions and broad intellectual 
ken. His political allegiance was given to the Democratic party 
and he was an effective advocate of its principles and policies. He 
was a zealous and devout communicant of the Catholic church, 
and he and his family held membership in the parish of St. Joseph's 
church at Elkader, in which his funeral services were held. He 
was actively affiliated with the Knights of Columbus and the Cath- 
olic Order of Foresters. At the time of his death an Elkader paper, 
in an appreciative tribute, spoke as follows: "He will be missed 
and mourned not only by his kindred but also by neighbors and 
many friends who have known him intimately and admired him 
for his upright, clean, Christian life, and for the interest he mani- 
fested in public affairs, especially political and educational mat- 
ters." On the 11th of April, 1882, was solemnized the marriage 
of Mr Fitzpatrick to Miss Elizabeth Council, and of their seven 
children all survive them except one daughter, Caroline D., who 
died in 1898. The devoted wife and mother was summoned to 
eternal rest on the 28th of May, 1913, and the surviving children 
are as noted : Mary E. is the wife of John T. Foley, of Salt Lake 
City, Utah ; Michael J., M. D., is engaged in the practice of his 
profession at Mason City, this state ; and Edward C, Ellen C, 
James F., and Catherine R. still maintain their home at Elkader. 
John L. Flanagan, owner of the Majestic theater of Elkader, 
was born in Chicago, Illinois, January 25, 1868, and was the son 
of Michael and Catherine (Quinn) Flanagan, both of whom were 
natives of Ireland, now deceased. Emigrating to America, they 
went to Clayton county, Iowa, in 1859, where the father engaged 
in farming. He took an active part in the political affairs of his 
county, and held several minor township offices. Three children 
were born to them : Catherine, living in Chicago ; John L., the sub- 
ject of this sketch; and Martin J., of Selby, South Dakota. John 
Flanagan was reared on his father's farm, remaining there until 
he was twenty-one years of age. He then went into businss for 
himself, engaging in the buying and selling of grain in South Da- 
kota for five years. Returning to Elkader, he met with an accident 
to his leg, caused by a fall of a horse, which incapacitated him 
for further active physical work, and in 1910 he entered into the 
moving picture business, a successful undertaking, called the Ma- 
jestic Moving Picture Theater. He shares in the public activities 
of his city as justice of the peace, and in religious matters is a 
member of the Catholic church. 

Joseph W. Forward is giving a most able administration as 
cashier of the State Bank of Edgewood and is known not only as 
a careful and efficient executive and representative business man 



BIOGRAPHICAL I27 

but also as a citizen whose place in popular confidence and esteem 
is one of inviolable order. He was born at Waterville, Oneida 
county, New York, on the 26th of October, 1856, and is a son oi 
Jonah and Jane (Stantial) Forward, both of whom were born in 
England. The father immigrated to America in 1840 and estab- 
lished his residence in Oneida county. New York, where he engaged 
in farming. Later he removed with his family to Illinois, where 
he long continued his identification with the same basic line of 
industrial enterprise, and both he and his wife passed the closing 
years of their lives at Rockton, Winnebago county, that state, 
where his death occurred August 24, 1903, and hers on the 25th 
of October, 1913. They became the parents of eight children, con- 
cerning whom the following brief data may consistently be re- 
corded : William resides at Rockton, Illinois ; James resides at 
Berlin, Wisconsin, George at Union Grove, and Charles at Osh- 
kosh, that state. The subject of this sketch was the next in order 
of birth and is the only representative of the immediate family in 
Iowa, with the exception of his next younger brother, Edwin, who 
resides at Sheldon, O'Brien county, and Mary and Robert main- 
tain their home at Rockton, Illinois. Joseph W. Forward received 
his early education in the public schools and remained at the par- 
ental home until he had attained to his legal majority. In the 
meanwhile he learned the art and trade of telegraphy, and as a 
youth he served eight years as a telegraph operator in the employ 
of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. He then engaged 
in the mercantile business at Edgewood, Clayton county, where 
he has since maintained his home. After having continued his 
association with mercantile enterprise for a period of seven years 
he was chosen cashier of the State Bank of Edgewood, of which 
office he has since continued the efficient and valued incumbent, 
his service in this capacity having been initiated in the year 1898. 
His political proclivities are shown in his alignment as a loyal ad- 
vocate and supporter of the cause of the Democratic party, he is 
affiliated with the Masonic fraternity and the Modern Woodmen 
of America, and both he and his wife are earnest members of the 
Methodist Episcopal church. On the 5th of March, 1881, was 
solemnized the marriage of Mr. Forward to Miss Anna L. Royden, 
who was born and reared at Rockton, Illinois, and they have two 
children, Jennie L. and Ruth, both of whom are able and popular 
teachers in the public schools. 

John Foster, manager of the Floete Lumber Company of El- 
kader, Iowa, was born in that state in Fayette County, August 18, 
1868, and is the son of John Allen and Jessie (McNaught) Foster, 
both natives of Scotland. The father came to America at the youth- 
ful age of 13 years, locating in Pennsylvania. At the outbreak of 
the Civil war in 1861 he enlisted for the service of his country in 
the Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry, in which he served faithfully 
four years. He fought and was wounded in the battle of Bunker 
Hill, was captured by the Confederates and held a prisoner in 
Andersonville for three weeks. After the close of the war he went 
to Fayette county, where he engaged in the peaceful pursuit of 



128 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

farming, and went to a well-earned repose in death February 10, 
1914, leaving his wife still living at Arlington, Fayette county, 
Iowa. They were the parents of ten children who, in the order 
of their birth, are Allen, of Arlington, Iowa; John, the sketch of 
whose life will follow; Betsy, deceased; Thomas, of Strawberry 
Point; Isabel, the wife of Oscar Finuf, of Independence, Iowa; 
Eliza, who died in infancy ; Rob, dead at the age of thirteen years ; 
Archibald and William, who are engaged in business together in 
Webster City, Iowa; and Jesse, who is a physician of Aurora, 
South Dakota. John Foster married when he was twenty-one, 
and came to Elkader as a helper in the lumber yard of the Floete 
Lumber Company, and devoted himself so sedulously to his work 
for seven years that his untiring energy and devotion to the inter- 
ests of his employers was rewarded by them in making him man- 
ager of their company, and that trust he still faithfully and effi- 
ciently discharges. He is united in marriage to Clara Dell Ogle, 
a native of Fayette county, and to them have been born one son 
and three daughters : Freemont J., Clara Belle, Jessie, and Rebecca. 
Mr. Foster is a consistent and intelligent member of the Repub- 
lican party, and belongs to the fraternal organizations of the M. 
B. A., and Yeomen, and is affiliated with the Congregational church. 
George F. Freeman was a boy at the time of his parents' re- 
moval from the old Empire State to Iowa, and during the long 
intervening years he has looked upon the Hawkeye commonwealth 
as his home, though his career has been one marked by varied and 
interesting experiences, in which the domination of the wanderlust 
was not absent in the period of his young manhood. He is now 
numbered among the substantial citizens and business men of 
McGregor, and is one of the well known and distinctly popular 
citizens of Clayton county, with a circle of friends that is limited 
only by that of his acquaintances. Through his own efforts Mr. 
Freeman has won independence and prosperity, and in addition to 
having operated for nearly fifteen years a ferry line between Mc- 
Gregor and Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, on opposite sides of the 
Mississippi, he has been engaged also in the piano business at 
McGregor since 1913. Mr. Freeman was born in Madison county, 
New York, on the 5th of June, 1856, and is a son of George B. and 
Adelia (Coon) Freeman, both likewise natives of that State, where 
the respective families were founded in an early day. In 1865, 
when the subject of this review was a lad of nine years, the family 
came to Iowa and established residence at Ossian, Winneshiek 
county, where the father engaged in the work of his trade, that 
of blacksmith. In 1872 George B. Freeman removed with his 
family to Decorah, the judicial center of that county, where he 
continued his activities until 1882. He passed the ensuing two 
years in the State of Minnesota, then returned to Decorah, but 
two years later removed to Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, where he 
continued his residence until 1896, when he returned with his wife 
to Clayton county and established his home at McGregor. He 
was, like Tubal Cain of old, a veritable "man of might," and was 
known as a skilled artisan at his trade, to which he devoted the 



BIOGRAPHICAL I29 

greater part of his active career — a sturdy, upright citizen who 
commanded the high regard of his fellow men. His devoted wife 
passed to the life eternal in 1909, and in the following year he too 
passed away, so that in death they were not long divided. 0£ 
their children the first-born was Eva, who was about 35 years of 
age at the time of her death ; the second child was a daughter who 
died in infancy ; George F., of this review, was the next in order of 
birth ; Mary is the wife of Henry Chase, of Deer River, Minnesota ; 
Edith died when about 30 years of age; Nellie is the wife of Samuel 
A. Edgar and they reside in the State of Kansas ; Charles is a resi- 
dent of the city of Chicago and Henry of Minnesota; and Jennie 
is the wife of Henry Smith, their home being in the State of Mich- 
igan. George F. Freeman gained his early education in the public 
schools of New York and Iowa, and when eighteen years of age 
he left the parental home, at Decorah, and set forth with a circus 
or show troupe for Minnesota. Proceeding by boat up the Miss- 
issippi river to Winona, that State, the party thence made the 
overland trip to Wabasha, Minnesota, where the manager of the 
show rented a hotel and in the same began manufacturing a quan- 
tity of canvas into a tent for his show. Prospects by this time did 
not seem so promising or alluring to the young man from Iowa, 
and thus Mr. Freeman severed his association with the prospective 
amusement enterprise and found employment on the ferry line 
across the Mississippi river at Reed's Landing. Longing for home 
had soon animated him to such an extent that he made the best 
possible provision for returning to the parental roof by purchasing 
a skiff in which to make his somewhat venturesome and hazardous 
way down the river. The first night out he disembarked at La 
Crosse, Wisconsin, and thence he continued his voyage down to 
McGregor, his present place of residence, and by working at such 
employment as he could obtain he maintained himself until he 
again arrived at the parental home. This youthful adventure oc- 
curred in the year 1874, and in the following year, at Decorah, 
he took unto himself a young wife, in the person of Miss Kate 
Allan, who knew his financial resources were at the lowest ebb 
but who had faith in his ability to provide for them. The mar- 
riage ceremony was performed on Monday and the following 
Wednesday the young groom walked a distance of fifteen miles 
into the country and obtained work in the harvest field. Each 
Saturday night during the harvest season he walked back to De- 
corah to remain with his wife over Sunday, and the early matutinal 
hours of Monday found him again plodding his way to the farm 
on which he was employed) — fifteen miles distant, as previously 
noted. Through his arduous labors in the harvest he earned 
ninety-five dollars, and with this financial reinforcement he and 
his wife engaged in housekeeping at Decorah. In 1877 they re- 
moved to North McGregor, Clayton county, and after there estab- 
lishing a home Mr. Freeman entered the employ of the Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad Company, the first year having 
been given to service of cleaning coaches and the two ensuing 
years to work as a brakeman on the main line of the road. He 



130 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

was then advanced to the position of locomotive fireman, of which 
he continued the incumbent for five years, and after learning the 
art of telegraphy he held the post of operator for the same rail- 
road as a dispatcher, his entire association with the road covering 
a period of eighteen years. Thereafter he was for a time engaged 
in mercantile business for some time, and in 1902 he built a ferry 
boat which he placed in operation between McGregor and Prairie 
du Chien and which provides for the transportation of both passen- 
gers and freight. He has successfully operated this ferry line dur- 
ing the intervening years and, as previously noted, he has also 
developed a prosperous business in the sale of pianos, being agent 
for the F. Radle Piano Co., New York City, Lyon & Healy, Chi- 
cago, Schuman Piano Co., Chicago, and Morenus Piano Co., Chi- 
cago, with which line of enterprise he has been identified since 
1913. Loyal and public-spirited as a citizen and a staunch sup- 
porter of the cause of the Democratic party, Mr. Freeman has been 
called upon to serve as a member of the board of aldermen of the 
city of McGregor, in which position he was the zealous advocate 
and supporter of progressive policies and yet duly conservative in 
the management of municipal afifairs in general. He is affiliated 
with the Masonic fraternity, and both he and his wife hold mem- 
bership in the adjunct organization, the Order of the Eastern Star. 
Mr. and Mrs. Freeman became the parents of two sons, of whom 
the younger died in infancy ; Robert R. followed in the footsteps 
of his father and identified himself with railway operations, in con- 
nection with which he has won advancement to the position of 
conductor on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. 

Benjamin Frieden has been a resident of Clayton county from 
the time of his nativity and is the owner of one of the large and 
splendidly improved landed estates of the county, the same being 
situated in Marion and Highland township and including the old 
homestead farm on which he was born, the date of his nativity 
having been January 14, 1836. He is a son of Benedict and Anna 
(Baumgartner) Frieden, both of whom were born in the fine little 
republic of Switzerland, whose "mountains still are free and keep 
the boon of liberty." Benedict Frieden was a young man at the 
time of his immigration to America, and after residing for a time 
in Ohio he came to Iowa and numbered himself among the enter- 
prising farmers of Marion township, where he eventually accumu- 
lated and brought under successful cultivation a large landed prop- 
erty. Here he continued his residence, as one of the sterling and 
honored citizens of the county, until his death, which occurred when 
he was sixty-six years of age. The wife of his youth passed to 
eternal rest when their son Benjamin, of this review, was a child 
of three years. They became the parents of nine children : Fred- 
erick is now engaged in farming in the state of Missouri ; John is a 
resident of Oklahoma ; Samuel is deceased ; Frank resides in Okla- 
homa ; Eliza is deceased, as are also Mary Ann and Joseph ; the 
subject of this sketch was the eighth child ; and the youngest, Annie, 
is the wife of Joseph Sneider, of West Bend, Palo Alto county, this 
state. For his second wife the father wedded Mechlin Garber, who 



BIOGRAPHICAL I3I 

survives him, and they became the parents of two children — Rose, 
who died in childhood, and Selma, who is the wife of Tim Thomann, 
of Elgin, this county. Benjamin Frieden was reared to the sturdy 
discipline of the home farm and in the meanwhile he made good 
use of the advantages afforded in the public schools of his native 
township. He continued his active association with the work of 
the home farm until the death of his honored father, shortly after 
which he purchased the interests of the other heirs and became the 
owner of the well improved property, which comprised three hun- 
dred acres, in Marion township. Material evidence of his success 
and progressiveness is given in his ownership at the present time 
of a fine estate of nearly seven hundred acres, and he is known as 
one of the enterprising and representative agriculturists and stock- 
growers of his native county. The attractive family home, in 
Marion township, is on the homestead which was Mr. Frieden's 
birthplace, and it is modern in its facilities and appointments, as 
are also the other excellent and substantial buildings on the large 
domain owned by Mr. Frieden. He is aligned as a staunch sup- 
porter of the cause of the Democratic party, and he has served as 
township trustee and as president of the school board of his district. 
Both he and his wife are communicants of the Apostolic Lutheran 
church. April 9, 1887, recorded the marriage of Mr. Frieden to 
Miss Leah Sneider, and she passed to the life eternal on the 29th of 
January, 1905. Of this union were born eight children : Celia is 
the wife of Daniel Butikofer, of Marion township ; William is en- 
gaged in farming in Highland township; Ida is the wife of Samuel 
Butikofer, of Fayette county; Esther is the wife of Emil Moor 
and they reside in Iowa ; Levi and Bertha remain at the paternal 
home; Emil is identified with agricultural pursuits in Highland 
township ; and Louisa died in early childhood. For his second wife 
Mr. Frieden chose Mrs. Rachel (Sneider) Sutler, a sister of his first 
wife. The parents, Joseph and Mary Pfarrer Sneider, were born 
and reared in Switzerland and became early settlers of Clayton 
county, where the father became a prosperous farmer and where 
his death occurred on the 7th of May, 1914. Mrs. Sneider survives 
her husband and still maintains her home in this county. At the 
time of her marriage to the subject of this review, Mrs. Frieden 
was the widow of Frederick Sutler, of Marion township, and of the 
children of her first marriage Joseph and Frederick are deceased; 
Lucy is the wife of John Butikofer, of Marion township ; Daniel is 
a substantial farmer in that township; Marie is the wife of Elmer 
Bluiner and they are now residing in the state of Illinois; and Will- 
iam and Eli remain in Marion township. Of the second marriage 
no children have been born. 

Fred J. Friedlein is one of the progressive and influential busi- 
ness men of the younger generation in his native county and is 
manifesting much initiative and administrative ability as manager 
of the Guttenberg yards and business of the Meuser Lumber Com- 
pany, of which important corporation he is vice-president, the com- 
pany having control of a chain of lumber yards in the county and 
the extensive headquarters at Guttenberg being the distributing 



132 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

yards from which the other branches of the important business are 
supplied. The Guttenberg branch was established many years ago 
and came under the control of the present owners in 1908, with 
Fred J. Friedlein as manager. The flourishing enterprise includes 
the wholesale and retail dealing in lumber, coal, cement, plaster, 
brick, general lines of building material, silos, etc., and the extent 
of the business is indicated by the fact that in connection there- 
with employment is given to a force of from eight to ten persons. 
Fred J. Friedlein was born in Jefferson township, this county, on 
the 9th of September, 1879, and is a son of Frederick and Harriet 
(Schrunk) Friedlein, both representatives of sterling pioneer fami- 
lies of Clayton county. Frederick Friedlein was born in Schmalz, 
Germany, on the 7th of August, 1850, and in his native land he 
was baptized in the German Lutheran church. He was but two 
years of age at the time of the family immigration to America, and 
the home was established in Clayton county. Here he was reared 
to manhood and here he gained his early education in the village 
schools of Guttenberg. His parents were honored pioneers of the 
county and here passed the residue of their lives. He himself be- 
came a prominent and successful exponent of agricultural industry 
and was the owner of one of the fine farms of the county at the 
time of his death, which occurred on the 3d of June, 1886. He 
was a Republican in politics, was affiliated with the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, and both he and his wife were earnest mem- 
bers of the Lutheran church. Mrs. Friedlein survived her hus- 
band by more than a quarter of a century and was summoned to 
eternal rest on the 26th of June, 1913, her entire life having been 
passed in Clayton county, where her parents settled in the pioneer 
days soon after their immigration from Germany. Of the children 
of Frederick and Harriet Friedlein the eldest is Ella, who is the 
wife of Lewis D. Moser; Wiley is a resident of Guttenberg; Fred 
J., of this sketch, was the next in order of birth ; Ina is the wife 
of George Erhart, their home being in the state of Idaho; and 
Lourelle is a resident of Lewistown, Montana. Fred J. Friedlein 
made good use of the advantages afforded in the schools of Gut- 
tenberg and after completing the curriculum thereof he took an 
effective course in the Dubuque Business College, in which he 
was graduated as a member of the class of 1900. For ten months 
thereafter he was employed in a lumber yard at Guttenberg, and 
for the ensuing ten months he was a clerk in a local shoe store. 
He then assumed a place in a local lumber office and he has since 
been continuously identified with the lumber business, in which 
his advancement has been won by his own ability and well directed 
activities, his close application and excellent judgment having 
given him a thorough knowledge of all details of the business of 
which he is now a prominent exponent in his native county. He 
is loyal and public-spirited in his civic attitude, but has manifested 
no ambition for public office. He is affiliated with the Masonic 
fraternity and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and has a 
wide circle of friends in both business and social circles in his na- 
tive county. On the 9th of September, 1903, was solemnized the 



BIOGRAPHICAL I33 

marriage of Mr. Friedlein to Miss Clara Scholz, who was born and 
reared in this county and who is a daughter of W. Herman Scholz, 
of Guttenberg. Mr. and Mrs. Friedlein have a winsome little 
daughter, Julia Harriet, who was born August 2, 1909. 

William Fuelling, president of the Farmersburg Grain Com- 
pany, and democratic mayor of that city, was born in Germany, 
July 19, 1866, the son of Henry and Mary (Meeger) Fuelling. The 
father having died in Germany, the mother, with rare courage, 
emigrated to America with her seven children, going to Iowa, and 
locating in Clayton county, Garnavillo township. She suffered the 
loss of her two eldest children, Laura and Yetta, but five still sur- 
vive : Louisa, the wife of Louis Gelherman, of Healdsburg, Cal. ; 
Louis, of Farmersburg, Iowa ; Julia, married and living in Lamars, 
Iowa; Ernest, a farmer of Wagner township; and William, our 
subject, who is the youngest of the family. He worked on the 
farm until he was seventeen years of age, but at that time learned 
the carpenter's trade, at which he worked for three years, then en- 
gaged in contracting and building, afterwards going into the lum- 
ber business, in which he still continues. He was married January 
19, 1888, to Louisa Seifert, a native of Clayton county, and they 
had three children. Otto, the eldest, and Leroy and Alma, deceased. 
Mr. Fuelling is a member of the Masonic lodge and of the Wood- 
men of the World. In his religious belief he is a Lutheran and 
is a member of that church. His son Otto, who is associated with 
him in his lumber buisness, was born in Clayton county, March 20, 
1889, and was married May 13, 1910, to Miss Genevieve Brown, of 
Cresco, Iowa. Two children are the result of this union, Kenneth 
Williams, and Winifred Emma Louise. Otto Fuelling, like his 
father, is a member of the Democratic party and has served on the 
town council. He is a Mason and a member of the Lutheran church. 

John C. Garms is another representative of a pioneer family 
of Clayton county and has secure status as one of the substantial 
farmers and influential citizens of Giard township, where he owns 
and operates a fine landed estate of three hundred and forty-one 
acres and where his hold upon popular confidence and esteem is 
indicated by his incumbency, in 1916, of the office of township 
trustee. Mr. Garms was born in Farmersburg township, this 
county, on the 23d of February, 1863, and is a scion of the fine 
German stock that has played most benignant and effective part 
in the development of the resources of Clayton county and in the 
maintaining of a high civic standard in this favored section of the 
Hawkeye State. Mr. Garms is a son of Joachim and Katherine 
(Schultz) Garms, both of whom were born in Mecklenburg, Ger- 
many. The father was reared and educated in his native land and 
came to the United States about the year 1853. Soon after his 
arrival in America he made his way to Iowa and established his 
residence near Garnavillo, Clayton county. After being employed 
by others for a short interval he rented a farm in Farmersburg 
township and his industry and frugality soon fortified him suffi- 
ciently to enable him to purchase a farm of his own, in Monona 
township. There he continued his successful activities as an agri- 



134 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

culturist and stock grower until he had attained to advanced age, 
and he passed the remainder of his life in the well-earned retire- 
ment that constitutes a fitting sequel to years of earnest and honest 
industry. He was a Democrat in politics and both he and his wife 
were zealous communicants of the German Lutheran church, Mrs. 
Garms having survived her husband by a period of several years. 
Of their children the eldest is Henry, who is now a resident of 
Charles City, Floyd county; Annie and Elizabeth died young; Min- 
nie is the widow of Henry Berg and resides in the village of Clay- 
ton, this county ; John C, of this review ; Mary is the wife of Her- 
man Knut, of Monona township ; Reika is the wife of William Bur- 
ring, of Luana, this county ; and William is deceased. The early 
educational advantages of John C. Garms were those afforded in 
the schools of Pleasant Grove township. He became his father's 
effective assistant in the work and management of the old home- 
stead farm and thus continued his activities until he purchased the 
property. He sold this homestead place and purchased a farm of 
one hundred and eighty-eight acres in Section 5, Monona town- 
ship. Later he added one hundred and fifty-three acres to his es- 
tate, and thus he now has a valuable farmstead of more than three 
hundred acres ; the while he is an effective exponent of progressive 
agriculture and stock growing in his native county. Mr. Garms is 
a stalwart in the local camp of the Democratic party, has shown 
a vital interest in all things pertaining to the communal welfare 
and is giving most effective service in the offfce of township trus- 
tee, beside which he is a member of the board of trustees of the 
German Lutheran church at Monona, of which both he and his 
wife are earnest communicants and loyal supporters. November 
29, 1889, recorded the marriage of Mr. Garms to Miss Annie Schroe- 
der, who was born in Garnavillo township, this county, on the 18th 
of May, 1863, and who is a daughter of August Schroeder, who 
was born in Hanover, Germany, and who became one of the pio- 
neer settlers of Clayton county, where he was for many years a 
prosperous farmer and where he and his wife, who likewise was a 
native of the kingdom of Hanover, passed the remainder of their 
lives, honored by all who knew them and secure in the faith of the 
German Lutheran church. Mr. and Mrs. Garms have five children: 
Catherine is the wife of Robert Woskoe, of Monona township; 
Rudolph is an energetic representative of agricultural industry in 
that township ; and Walter, Robert and Selma complete the family 
circle at the parental home, which is pervaded by the atmosphere 
of good cheer and prosperity and which is known for its generous 
but unassuming hospitality. 

Benjamin F. Gaylord came with his parents to Clayton county 
when he was a lad of eleven years and he is now one of the ven- 
erable and honored citizens of the village of Strawberry Point, 
which has represented his home from the time when he returned 
to Clayton county as a gallant young veteran who had given most 
loyal and efificient service as a soldier of the Union in the Civil war. 
He is the only surviving member of a family of nine children, and 
three of his brothers sacrificed their lives on the field of battle in 



BIOGRAPHICAL 135 

the Civil war, their remains being laid to rest in soldiers' graves 
in the south, Mr. Gaylord was born in Illinois on the 30th of April, 
1838, and is a son of Stephen and Rachel A. (Robinson) Gaylord, 
the former a native of Tennessee and the latter of North Carolina. 
The father became a pioneer of the state of Illinois, where he es- 
tablished his home in 1827, and in 1832 he represented that state 
as a gallant soldier in the historic Black Hawk Indian war. In 
1849 he came with his family to Iowa and became one of the early 
pioneer settlers of Clayton county, where he obtained a tract of 
wild land, in Cass township, and where he instituted the reclama- 
tion of a farm. He secured the land from the government and his 
first domicile was a rude log house of the true pioneer type, the 
same having a roof of rough boards, a puncheon floor, a chimney of 
mud and sticks, and a primitive door with the old-time latch-string. 
This sturdy pioneer did not live to enjoy the fruition of his earnest 
labors as a farmer in Clayton county, for he passed to the life eter- 
nal on the 14th of January, 1854. His widow survived him by more 
than thirty years and was one of the revered pioneer women of 
the county at the time of her death, in 1886. As previously stated, 
Benjamin F, Gaylord was a lad of eleven years at the time the 
family home was established on the frontier farm in Clayton 
county, and here he was reared under the conditions and influences 
of the pioneer days, his educational advantages having been those 
afforded in the somewhat meager schools of the day. He was a 
sturdy and industrious youth of twenty-three years at the time 
of the inception of the Civil war, and his loyalty and patriotism 
prompted him at once to abate his labors on the farm and go forth 
in defense of the Union. He responded to President Lincoln's first 
call and, in September, 1861, enlisted as a private in Company G, 
Third Missouri Volunteer Cavalry. With this gallant command 
he served three years, within which he took part in many engage- 
ments, including a number of the important battles of the war, and 
it was his misfortune to have been wounded on five different occa- 
sions, on one of which he was left supposedly dead on the battle- 
field. He continued with his command until November, 1864, when 
he was mustered out, in the city of St. Louis — a loyal soldier who 
well merited the honorable discharge that was accorded to him. 
In later years he has vitalized his memories of the great conflict 
in which he thus took part by means of his appreciative affiliation 
with the Grand Army of the Republic. After the close of his mili- 
tary career Mr. Gaylord returned to Clayton county and became 
a clerk in a mercantile establishment at Strawberry Point, and with 
this line of enterprise he continued his active association for thirty 
years, since which time he has lived virtually retired in the village 
that has long represented his home. In Clayton county this ven- 
erable citizen has a host of staunch friends and finds that his "lines 
are cast in pleasant places." His allegiance to the Republican party 
has been unfaltering, but the only office in which he has served 
was that of tax collector, of which he was the incumbent for one 
term. He is affiliated with Lodge No. 130, Ancient Free & Ac- 
cepted Masons, and has passed various official chairs in the same. 



136 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

In 1865 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Gaylord to Mrs. Clara 
M. (Eaton) Gaylord, the widow of his brother, who met his death 
while serving as a soldier of the Civil war. Mrs. Gaylord was 
born in the state of Vermont and was a daughter of Amos and 
Maria Eaton, sterling pioneer settlers of Clayton county. The 
supreme loss and bereavement in the life of Mr. Gaylord came 
when his devoted wife was summoned to eternal rest, her death 
having occurred in May, 1891. Of their four children the last died 
in infancy and the other three survived the loved mother, although 
Burton M. and Minnie A. have since passed away; Alice E. is the 
wife of Robert C. Barnes, assistant cashier of the Strawberry 
Point State Bank, and with them her venerable father now makes 
his home. 

John Geraghty has long been numbered among the substantial 
agriculturists of Clayton county, is a representative of a sterling 
pioneer family of this section of the state and has here maintained 
his home since he was a lad of seven years. He has shown the 
sturdy purpose, industry and progressiveness that are the distinct 
urge to worthy success and is to be considered one of the really 
representative citizens of Giard township, where he is the owner 
of a well improved farm, his home receiving mail service on Rural 
Route No. 1 from the village of McGregor. Mr. Geraghty was 
born in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, on the 8th of June, 
1847, and is a son of Patrick and Anna (Kelly) Geraghty, both 
native of County Mayo, Ireland, where the former was born March 
17, 1816, and the latter in the year 1814, their marriage having been 
solemnized in their native land. In 1846 this aspiring young couple 
emigrated to America, confident of their ability to gain in this 
country the goal of definite prosperity. They remained about one 
year in the city of New Orleans and thence went to Loveland, 
Ohio, in which State Patrick Geraghty found employment at rail- 
road work until 1855, when he came with his family to Clayton 
county, Iowa, and became one of the pioneer settlers of Giard 
township, where he obtained a tract of eighty acres of wild land 
and began the reclamation of a farm. Prosperity attended his earn- 
est and indefatigable efforts and he was eventually enabled to add 
to the area of his farm until he had a valuable landed estate of two 
hundred and forty acres. He erected good buildings on the home- 
stead and there continued to reside, as one of the prosperous and 
popular citizens of the county, until the time of his death, which 
occurred December 8, 1892. He was undeviating in his allegiance 
to the Democratic party and took a lively interest in community 
affairs, as was shown by his being called upon to serve as road 
supervisor and also as a director of his school district. Both he 
and his wife were earnest communicants of the Catholic church, 
in the faith of which they carefully reared their children, and Mrs. 
Geraghty survived her honored husband by less than five years, 
as she was summoned to the life eternal on the 19th of March, 
1897. Of the children the subject of this sketch is the eldest and 
the only one of the number born in Louisiana ; Patrick is a resident 
of Monona, this county; Mary is the widow of Thomas McGovern 



BIOGRAPHICAL lyj 

and resides in the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Michael and 
Catherine are deceased ; James is a substantial farmer of Giard 
township, and Anna is deceased. John Geraghty was an infant 
at the time of his parents' removal to Ohio and was a lad of seven 
years when removal was made to Clayton county, where he has 
marked the passing years with worthy achievement and where he 
has inviolable place in popular confidence and esteem. His early 
education was acquired in the pioneer schools of Giard township 
and he continued to be a valued assistant in the work of his father's 
farm until 1875, when, at the age of twenty-eight years, he pur- 
chased eighty acres of land in Giard township, this being part 
of the old homestead of his father. Later he added eighty acres 
to the area of his farm, which, under this industrious and well- 
ordered management, has been developed into one of the finely 
improved and most productive places in Giard township, the same 
being devoted to diversified agriculture and to the raising of ex- 
cellent grades of live stock. Mr. Geraghty is found aligned as a 
supporter of the cause of the Republican party, is a loyal and pub- 
lic-spirited citizen and served for the long period of twenty-three 
years in the office of township assessor, his careful and effective 
administration having created none of the enmities that often at- 
tend such official prerogatives and having been most satisfactory 
in a popular sense. He and his wife are zealous communicants ot 
the Catholic church and he is affiliated with the Knights of Colum- 
bus. On the 18th of April, 1876, was solemnized the marriage of 
Mr. Geraghty to Miss Anna English, who was born in County 
Mayo, Ireland, on the 16th of April, 1855, and who gained her early 
education in the parochial schools of her native land. In 1869, 
when she was a girl of fourteen years, she accompanied her parents 
on their emigration to the United States, and the family home 
was soon afterward established in Mendon township, Clayton 
county, where her parents, Anthony annd Honora (Solon) English, 
passed the residue of their lives, honored by all who knew them 
and both earnest communicants of the Catholic church. Mr. Eng- 
lish became one of the prosperous farmers of Mendon township 
and was influential in local affairs, his political support having 
been given to the Democratic party. Mr. and Mrs. Geraghty be- 
came the parents of ten children, concerning whom brief mention 
is made in conclusion of this review; Patrick is now residing in the 
city of St. Paul, Minnesota ; John, Jr., is associated with agricul- 
tural industry in Mendon township ; Michael is a resident of Sioux 
City, this State ; James and Francis are deceased ; Thomas main- 
tains his home in the city of Great Falls, Montana ; Joseph is as- 
sociated in the work and management of the home farm ; James 
is deceased, and Catherine and Edward are the younger members 
of the family circle of the parental home, which is known for its 
hospitality and good cheer. 

Michael Geraghty passed virtually his entire life in Clayton 
county though it was his to claim the old Buckeye State as the 
place of his nativity. His parents came to Clayton county when 
he was an infant and became pioneer settlers in Giard township, 



138 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

where, earnest and upright, they passed the residue of their lives, 
secure in the high regard of the community in which they lived 
and labored to goodly ends. Michael Geraghty long held secure 
vantage place as one of the representative farmers and honored 
and influential citizens of Giard township, and on his fine home- 
stead farm he continued to reside until his death, which occurred 
on the 14th of October, 1906. He was born at Loveland, Clermont 
county, Ohio, on the 14th of March, 1855, and is a son of Patrick 
and Anna (Kelly) Geraghty, both natives of County Mayo, Ireland, 
where they were reared to maturity and where their marriage was 
solemnized. Soon after this important event in their lives the young 
couple severed the ties that bound them to the fair Emerald Isle 
and came to the United States. After passing about one year in 
the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, they removed to Clermont 
county, Ohio, where Patrick Geraghty was employed at railroad 
work until 1855, when, shortly after the birth of the subject of 
this memoir, he came with his family to Iowa and became a pioneer 
settler of Giard township, Clayton county. He obtained a tract of 
eighty acres of land and was indefatigable in his well-ordered in- 
dustry, which eventually resulted in his becoming the owner of a 
weH-improved landed estate of more than two hundred acres. He 
was one of the substantial and highly esteemed pioneer citizens of 
the county at the time of his death, which occurred December 8, 
1892, and his devoted wife passed away on the 19th of March, 1897, 
both having been earnest communicants of the Catholic church. 
Of their children three sons and two daughters are still living, 
and of the family further mention is made on other pages of this 
work, in the sketch dedicated to the eldest son, John, who is one 
of the well known citizens of Clayton county. Michael Geraghty 
was reared under the benignant influence of the home farm and 
was indebted to the pioneer schools of Giard township for his 
early educational training. He continued to assist his father in 
the activities of the old homestead farm until he had attained to 
his legal majority, when he began a virtual apprenticeship to the 
carpenter's trade as a skilled workman at which he thereafter ap- 
plied himself until 1887, when he purchased a farm of sixty acres 
in Giard township, later adding to its area by the purchase of a 
contiguous tract of eighty acres. He made excellent improvements 
on the place, including the erection of substantial and modern 
buildings, and here he continued his activities as a thrifty and 
progressive agriculturist and stock-grower until the time of his 
death, his widow still maintaining her home on the fine farm that 
is endeared to her by many gracious memories and associations. 
Mr. Geraghty commanded the unequivocal confidence and good will 
of all who knew him, was a man of alert mentality and of im- 
pregnable integrity in all of the relations of life, and he was influ- 
ential in community affairs. His political allegiance was given to 
the Democratic party but the only public office in which he ever 
consented to serve was that of school director. He was a zealous 
communicant of the Catholic church at Monona, as is also his 
widow. On the 3rd of May, 1886, was solemnized the marriage of 



BIOGRAPHICAL 139 

Mr. Geraghty to Miss Catherine O'Malley, who was born in Alla- 
makee county, this State, on the 4th of May, 1863, a daughter of 
Charles and Anna (Burns) O'Malley, both natives of County Mayo, 
Ireland, where the former was born August 8, 1817, and the latter 
on the 7th of June, 1829, their marriage having been there solemn- 
ized on the 3d of May, 1849. In 1852 Mr. O'Malley immigrated 
with his family to the United States and established his home in 
Allamakee county, Iowa, where he became a substantial pioneer 
farmer and contributed his quota to the civic and industrial de- 
velopment of the county. A man of sterling character, he com- 
manded unqualified popular respect and when venerable in years 
he and his wife came to the home of their daughter Catherine, wife 
of the subject of this memoir, where he received the utmost filial 
care and devotion until he was summoned to the life eternal, on 
the 23d of May, 1911, about three months prior to the eighty-second 
anniversary of his birth. His venerable widow remains a loved 
and revered member of the family circle at the home of Mrs. 
Geraghty, and, like him, she is a devoted communicant of the 
Catholic church. Of the children of Mr. and Mrs. O'Malley, Mary 
and James are deceased ; Bridget is the wife of Lewis Larson, of 
Lawler, Chickasaw county, this state ; Edward, Sabina, Patrick and 
John are deceased ; Mrs. Geraghty was the next in order of birth ; 
and Hannah is deceased. The three children of Mr. and Mrs. 
Geraghty remain with their widowed mother and their names and 
respective dates of birth are here noted: John, March 8, 1887; 
Mayme, May 23, 1889; and Michael, May 8, 1892. 

Otto Germar is another of the native sons of Clayton county 
who has here found an excellent field for the achieving of definite 
success through normal and legitimate mediums of productive en- 
terprise, and he is associated with his brother Albert in the carry- 
ing on of a substantial and representative business in contracting 
and building, with residence and business headquarters in the thriv- 
ing village of Volga. His progressiveness is on a plane with his 
technical ability as a carpenter and builder, and his advancement 
has been gained through his own well directed efforts and steadfast 
integrity of purpose. Mr. Germar was born in the city of Gutten- 
berg, this county, on the 28th of January, 1870, and is a representa- 
tive of a family whose name has been worthily linked with the his- 
tory of the county for virtually a period of seventy years, the record 
thus running back to the very early pioneer epoch. He is a son of 
Henry and Theresa (Brumell) Germar, who were born and reared 
in Germany and who immigrated to the United States in 1846. 
These sterling pioneers disembarked in the city of New Orleans, and 
in the following year made their way up the Mississippi river to 
become pioneer colonists in Clayton county, Iowa. They estab- 
lished their home in the frontier village of Guttenberg and there 
Henry Germar engaged in the work of his trade, that of carpenter. 
In the autumn of 1877 he removed with his family to Volga and 
opened a lumber yard. Here he continued to conduct a prosperous 
lumber business for nearly thirty years, his retirement from the 
same having occurred in 1905, shortly after the death of his wife, 



140 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

who had been his devoted companion and helpmeet. After having 
profited fully by the advantages afforded in the public schools of 
his native county, Otto Germar further fortified himself by taking 
a course in the Bayless Business College at Dubuque. He remained 
at the parental home until he had attained to his legal majority and 
in the meanwhile he had served a practical and effective appren- 
ticeship to the carpenter's trade, under the punctilious direction of 
his father. His independent business career was initiated when he 
formed a partnership with his brother Albert and they began the 
development of their now large and prosperous business in con- 
tracting and building. They have erected many buildings of the 
best modern type and have thus contributed much to the material 
advancement of their native county, the while they have stood ex- 
ponent also of loyal and liberal citizenship. Otto Germar is the 
owner of several pieces of real estate in Volga, including his at- 
tractive residence property. He is affiliated with the local lodge 
No. 72, of Ancient Free & Accepted Masons, and he and his wife 
attend and support the Methodist Episcopal church in their home 
city. In 1902 Mr. Germar wedded Miss Valeria Green, who was 
born at Volga, in the year 1876, and who is a daughter of Peter 
and Lydia (Sherman) Green, the former of whom was born and 
reared in Clayton county, a member of a very early pioneer family, 
and the latter of whom was born in the state of Illinois. Mr. 
Green died in 1900 and his widow still resides at Volga. Of the 
five children born to Mr. and Mrs. Germar the second and fourth, 
Gilbert and Russell, died in early childhood. The surviving chil- 
dren all remain at the parental home — Gretchen, Norbet G., and 
Leota. 

Martin X. Geske now holds secure place as one of the repre- 
sentative members of the bar of his native county and is engaged in 
the practice of his profession in the fine little city of McGregor, 
where he was born on the 1st of November, 1870, a scion of a 
family whose name has been worthily identified with the history 
of this county for more than half a century. Mr. Geske is known 
as a man of high academic and professional attainments and prior 
to his initiating the practice of law he had made an admirable repu- 
tation as a successful and popular representative of the pedagogic 
profession. He is a son of Frederick F. and Mary S. (Wilkin) 
Geske, both of whom were born in Prussia. Frederick F. Geske 
was reared and educated in his native land, where also he served 
an apprenticeship to the carpenter's trade. In 1856 he came to 
the United States, assured that in the great American republic 
would be offered better opportunities for the achieving of independ- 
ence and prosperity through individual effort. Soon after his arrival 
he made his way to Minnesota and established his residence at 
Taylor's Falls, where he engaged in the work of his trade and 
became bridge-foreman for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul 
Railroad. In 1859 he became one of the pioneer settlers at Mc- 
Gregor, Iowa, and here he was for a number of years associated 
with Robert Schultz in the manufacture and sale of carbonated 
beverages, including soda and pop. The two partners made the 



BIOGRAPHICAL I4I 

enterprise a success and built up a substantial trade throughout 
this section. In 1867 Mr. Geske purchased a farm of seventy-eight 
acres, lying contiguous to McGregor, and here he found diversion 
from his regular business activities by giving his supervision to 
the cultivation and improvement of the farm, to which he added six 
acres. This fine little homestead of eighty-five acres is still in the 
possession of the family. Frederick F. Geske was an upright, sub- 
stantial citizen who commanded unqualified popular esteem, and he 
contributed his quota to the development and progress of the county 
and the thriving little city of McGregor, wherein his death occurred 
on the 17th of March, 1897, and where his widow still maintains 
her home. He was a staunch adherent of the Democratic party and 
his religious faith was that of the Lutheran church, of which his 
wife likewise became a member in her youth. Of the children of 
this sterling pioneer couple the subject of this review is the first- 
born ; Henry resides at McGregor and is carrying forward the 
prosperous business here established by his father many years 
ago; Albert is now a resident of Sioux City; Kate is the wife of 
Anton Huebsch, who is postmaster of McGregor and who is indi- 
vidually mentioned on other pages of this work; Edith is the wif6 
of Fred Ertz and they reside in the city of St. Paul, Minnesota; 
Amy is the wife of George Heffren, of St. Paul; and Sadie is the 
wife of Carl F. Mehlhop, of Dubuque. In the public schools of 
McGregor Martin X. Geske continued his studies until he had 
completed the curriculum of the high school, and after his gradua- 
tion he held for ten months a position as clerk in a general mer- 
chandise establishment at Monona, this county. He then passed 
successfully an examination that entitled him to a teacher's cer- 
tificate, and after receiving this evidence of eligibility he obtained 
the position of teacher in the public schools at Hardin, Allamakee 
county, where he remained thus engaged for seven months. For 
the ensuing two months he taught an unexpired term in a district 
school west of Guttenberg, Clayton county, and in the autumn of 
1891 he entered the normal department of what is now Valparaiso 
University, in the city of Valparaiso, Indiana. In this great insti- 
tution he completed a scientific course and was there a student 
until 1893, in the autumn of which year he went to Windom, Minne- 
sota, where he remained one year as teacher in the public schools. 
He was then elected principal of the public schools at Lake Crystal, 
that State, and after a year of successful work in this position he 
entered the University of Minnesota, where he vigorously pursued 
a course of study, until the death of his father in the spring of 
1897, made it virtually necessary for him to leave the institution. 
In consonance with a well formulated ambition, Mr. Geske soon 
afterward began reading law, under the preceptorship of D. D. 
Murphy, a leading member of the bar of Elkader, judicial center 
of Clayton county. After one year of such preliminary discipline 
he entered the law department of Drake University, at Des Moines, 
where he continued his technical studies one year and admirably 
fortified himself for the work of his chosen profession. He was 
graduated in this institution as a member of the class of 1900, with 



142 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

the degree of Bachelor of Laws and with virtually concomitant 
admission to the bar of his native State. Thereafter he was for one 
year associated in practice with his former preceptor, Mr. Murphy, 
and in 1902 he removed from the county seat to his native city of 
McGregor, where he has built up a substantial and representative 
general practice and gained definite precedence as a resourceful 
trial lawyer and well fortified counselor. He served from 1904 to 
1908 as county attorney, and his unqualified popularity in the city 
that represents his "native heath," has been shown in his being 
called upon to serve as a member of its municipal council, of which 
office he is the incumbent in 1916, besides which he had the dis- 
tinction of being elected mayor of the city, in which office he gave 
a most progressive and effective administration, from 1911 to 1913. 
His public spirit has been shown also by his earnest and effective 
service as a member of and president of the board of education of 
McGregor, through the medium of which he has manifested his 
deep and abiding interest in educational affairs. Mr. Geske is found 
aligned as a staunch and effective advocate of the principles of the 
Democratic party, is a member of the Clayton County Bar Associa- 
tion and the Iowa State Bar Association, and is affiliated with the 
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Woodmen of the 
World and the Masonic fraternity, in which last mentioned he has 
served several terms as master of Bezer Lodge, No. 135, Ancient 
Free & Accepted Masons, at McGregor. He attends and gives 
liberal support to the local Congregational church, and is always 
ready to give his support to measures tending to enhance the gen- 
eral welfare of his native city and county, where he still permits his 
name to be enrolled on the roster of eligible bachelors. 

E. L. Gifford is one of the representative young business men 
of his native county and is a son of Horatio L. Gifford, a sterling 
and influential citizen of whom specific mention is made on other 
pages of this volume, so that further review of the family history 
is not demanded at this juncture. He whose name introduces this 
article is the efficient and popular cashier of the Littleport Savings 
Bank, and his progressiveness and popularity having been indicated 
by his service of four years as mayor of Littleport, a position in 
which he gave a most effective and satisfactory administration of 
municipal affairs. He has served also as township clerk, and he is 
now treasurer of the Littleport board of education and treasurer of 
the Littleport Farmers' Co-operative Company. In politics he is 
aligned as a staunch supporter of the cause of the Republican party 
and he is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity. Mr. Gifford was 
born at Mederville, this county, on the 19th of June, 1883, and 
after having fully availed himself of the advantages of the public 
schools he initiated his active business career. For five and one- 
half years he conducted a prosperous general merchandise business 
at Littleport, and of this business he disposed in 1910, in which 
year he was elected to his present position, that of cashier of the 
Littleport Savings Bank. On the 24th of December, 1903, was 
solemnized the marriage of Mr. Gifford to Miss Ilda Ortmann, 
who likewise was born and reared in this county, and the one child 



BIOGRAPHICAL I43 

of this union is a winsome little daughter, Ilo May, who was born 
January 11, 1904. 

George L. Gifford holds precedence as one of the alert and 
progressive young business men of Clayton county and maintains 
his residence in the thriving village of Elkport, where he conducts 
a substantial enterprise in the handling of furniture, lumber and 
builders' hardware. He was born at Ord, Valley county, Nebraska, 
on the 1st of April, 1883, and is a son of Prentice P. and Minnie 
(Voss) Gifford, the former of whom is deceased, having passed to 
the life eternal on the 31st of December, 1912, and the major part 
of his active career having been devoted to traveling and hotel 
business. His widow resides at Elkport. Of the three children the 
eldest is May B., who is the wife of Asa Kriebs, of Elkport; George 
L., of this review, was the next in order of birth ; and Harry W. is 
likewise a resident of Elkport. He whose name initiates this article 
gained his early education in the public schools, in which he con- 
tinued his studies until he had completed the curriculum of the 
high school at Elkport. He then, at the age of eighteen years, 
began work as a carpenter's helper, and he received $1.50 a day in 
compensation for his services. He became a skilled workman at 
the trade of carpenter and after being employed as a journeyman 
for a period of five years he engaged in business as a contractor 
and builder. He developed a large and prosperous enterprise, in 
connection with which he gave employment to a force varying from 
five to eight men, and in the meanwhile he maintained his residence 
and business headquarters at Elkport. Here he has, since his re- 
tirement from the contracting business, built up a most substantial 
enterprise in the handling of furniture, builders' hardware and, 
lumber, and he is essentially one of the wide-awake business men 
and loyal and progressive citizens of Elkport. He has had no de- 
sire to enter the arena of practical politics or to seek public office, 
but he is giving most effective service as treasurer of the independ- 
ent school district that has its interests centered at Elkport. On 
the 1st of March, 1905, Mr. Gifford married Miss Lizzie Ortmann, 
daughter of John and M[ary Ortmann, well known citizens of Clay- 
ton county and both natives of Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Gifford 
have one son, Glenn, who was born March 25, 1913. At Colesburg, 
Iowa, Mr. Gifford is affiliated with Lodge No. 67, Ancient Free and 
Accepted Masons. 

Horatio L. Gifford is a native son of Iowa and a representative 
of one of the early pioneer families of this state, within whose 
borders he has maintained his home continuously save for a period 
of about seven years, during which he was a resident of the state 
of New York. He is now conducting a well equipped meat market 
in the village of Volga and is one of the substantial business men 
and popular and influential citizens of this place. Mr. Gifford was 
born in Buchanan county, Iowa, on the 19th of August, 1855, and 
is a son of George L. and Clarinda (Quigley) Gifford, the former a 
native of the state of New York and the latter of Indiana. George 
L. Gifford came to Iowa in the year 1839 and entered claim to a 
tract of government land in Boardman township, Clayton county. 



144 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

On this homestead he established his residence, as one of the very- 
early pioneers of that county, and his first domicile was a log house 
of primitive order, with clapboard roof and with an old-time stone 
fireplace. In this little dwelling was maintained the family home 
for many years, after which a more pretentious residence was pro- 
vided, and on this old homestead farm George L. GifTord and his 
wife passed the remainder of their earnest and industrious lives. 
Of their seven children only three are now living. Horatio L. 
Gifford was reared to the sturdy discipline of the pioneer farm and 
gained such educational advantages as were afforded in the common 
schools of the locality and period. He assisted in the work of his 
father's farm until he had attained to his legal majority, and for 
several years thereafter he conducted independent operations on a 
rented farm in his native county. After leaving the farm he was for 
five years engaged in the mercantile business at Mederville, Clay- 
ton county, and he then sold his stock and business and removed to 
Littleport, this county, where he conducted a hotel and incidentally 
continued also his operations as a farmer, for a period of twenty 
years. He then engaged in the general merchandise business at 
that place, but seven years later he sold out and removed with his 
family to Brooklyn, New York, where he continued his residence 
until 1913, when he returned to Clayton county, and established his 
present thriving business enterprise at Volga. Mr. Gififord is a 
Republican in politics ; he and his wife hold membership in the 
Methodist Episcopal church ; at Elkader he is affiliated with Elka- 
der Lodge, No. 72, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons ; and at 
Littleport he is an active member of Camp No. 1723, of the Modern 
Woodmen of America, in which he has passed all of the official 
chairs. While a resident of Littleport he served three years in the 
office of justice of the peace. In 1878 Mr. Gififord wedded Miss 
May Voss, who was born and reared in Clayton county, and who 
passed to eternal rest in the year 1906. Of the four children of this 
union three died in infancy, and the one survivor, Elmer, is now 
cashier of the Littleport Savings Bank. In 1907 was solemnized 
the marriage of Mr. Gifford to Miss Emily Van Wynam, who was 
born in the state of New York, and they have three children, George 
L., Horace P., and Mildred L, 

Edward H. Gleason, former member of the enterprising hard- 
ware firm of Gleason & Linder, of Volga, and concerning Laurence 
L. Linder, individual mention is made on other pages of this work. 
They in 1915, purchased the hardware stock and business of John 
Shields, and by their progressive policies, fair dealings and effective 
service to patrons materially expanded the scope of their business, 
the status of which gave them secure place as business men of the 
thriving little city of Volga. Mr. Gleason was born in the city of 
Omaha, Nebraska, on the 24th of August, 1890, and is a son of 
William and Barbara (Haering) Gleason. His father was born in 
the city of Boston, Massachusetts, of staunch New England stock, 
and the mother was born in Clayton county, Iowa, a member of a 
well known pioneer family. William Gleason was a skilled car- 
penter and builder and developed a substantial business as a con- 



THE NEW vuilk 

PUftLIC LIBRAKY 



AOTOt, LINOI AND 



J 




E. O. GLESNE 



BIOGRAPHICAL 1 45 

tractor at his trade, both he and his wife having been residents of 
Strawberry Point at the time of their death. Of their three children 
the subject of this review is the eldest; and Lottie and Lulu, twins, 
reside at Strawberry Point, this county. He whose name initiates 
this article was a boy when he first came to Clayton county, and 
as a lad of thirteen years he here found employment on the farm of 
his maternal uncle, with whom he remained six years, the while he 
continued to avail himself of the advantages of the public schools. 
After leaving the farm he worked one year at the carpenter's trade, 
and he then engaged in the garage and automobile business in the 
city of Omaha for one year. Thereafter he maintained his residence 
at Waterloo, this state, until 1915, when he became associated with 
Laurence L. Linder in the business of handling standard lines of 
heavy and shelf hardware, stoves, ranges, etc., the firm made a 
specialty of the installing of furnaces and other types of heating 
plants. On April 26th, 1916, Mr. Gleason withdrew from the busi- 
ness. Mr. Gleason is found aligned as a loyal supporter of the 
cause of the Democratic party and both he and his wife hold mem^ 
bership in the Lutheran church. On the 9th of September, 1915, 
Mr. Gleason wedded Miss Clara Graesch, who was born, reared and 
educated in Clayton county, and they are popular young folk in the 
social activities of their home community. 

Even O. Glesne is a scion of one of the sterling Scandinavian 
families that was founded in Clayton county in the early pioneer 
days, and the name which he bears has been honorably linked with 
the history of this county for more than sixty years, the while it 
has stood exponent of distinctive influence in connection with the 
development of the agricultural resources, and the furtherance of 
the civic prosperity of the county. He whose name introduces this 
article owns the old homestead farm on which he was born and 
also an adjoining tract of one hundred and sixty acres, his fine 
landed estate thus comprising three hundred and twenty acres and 
constituting one of the model farms of the county. In Wagner 
township, this county, Even O. Glesne was born on the 30th of 
September, 1857, and he is a son of Ole E. and Helgar (Sonsteby) 
Glesne, both of whom were born in Norway. Ole E. Glesne was 
reared and educated in his native land and came to America about 
the year 1853. He passed about one year at Rock Prairie, Wiscon- 
sin, and then came to Clayton county, and entered claim to a tract 
of government land in Wagner township. He lived up to the full 
tension of the pioneer activities in this section of the Hawkeye 
State and by his indefatigable industry and good management not 
only reclaimed his land to cultivation but also attained to substan- 
tial prosperity and to the ownership of a valuable landed domain 
of two hundred and eighty acres, in possession of much of which 
he continued until his death, which occurred May 20, 1914. He was 
one of the influential citizens and honored pioneers of the county 
and his name merits enduring place on the pages of its history. 
His widow still remains on the old homestead and is a devoted 
communicant of the Lutheran church, as was he likewise. Of the 
seven children Even O., of this review, is the eldest ; John resides 



146 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

at Elkader, the county seat ; Riley and Jane are deceased ; Tillie 
is the wife of John Johnson, of Wagner township ; Christina is de- 
ceased ; Ole is a clergyman of the Lutheran church and had pastoral 
charge at Aberdeen, South Dakota, but was called to the pastorate 
of the Lutheran church at Decorah, la., in 1916. Even O. Glesne 
early began to contribute his quota to the work of the home farm 
and in the meanwhile he availed himself fully of the advantages 
afforded in the pioneer schools, so that his environment was such 
as to cause him to wax strong in both mind and physique and to 
equip him effectively for the active duties and responsibilities of 
life. He continued to be associated with his father in the work 
and management of the home farm until he had attained to the age 
of twenty-two years, when he went to Pembina county, North 
Dakota, where he took up a pre-emption claim and began the 
reclamation of the same. In due time he perfected his title to the 
land and developed a productive farm. There he continued his 
residence seven years, at the expiration of which he sold his farm 
and returned to his native county. Here he bought a farm, but he 
later disposed of the same, and in 1890 he purchased one hundred 
and sixty acres in Section 21, Wagner township, where he has 
since continued to give his attention to progressive and effective 
activities as a farmer and stock-grower, besides which he has added 
to his possessions by the purchase of one hundred and sixty acres 
of his father's old homestead estate. Mr. Glesne is known as one 
of the vigorous and steadfast exponents of these basic lines of in- 
dustry in his native county ; he is one of the loyal and public-spirited 
citizens of Wagner township. He has been called upon to serve 
as township trustee and also as treasurer of the school board of 
his district, and his political allegiance is given to the Republican 
party, both he and his wife being communicants of the Lutheran 
church. The family home is known for its generous hospitality and 
is eligibly situated about 6 miles distant from Elkader, the county 
seat, with mail service on Rural Route No. 3 from that city. The 
17th of March, 1886, recorded the marriage of Mr, Glesne to Miss 
Bergit Peterson, her personal name being the Norwegian equivalent 
of the English Betsey. She was born and reared in Clayton county 
and is a daughter of Torkel and Gunnell (Knudson) Peterson, both 
natives of Norway, whence they immigrated to the United States 
in 1849, settlement being first made in Wisconsin, from which 
State they came to Iowa and numbered themselves among the 
pioneers of Clayton county, where Mrs. Peterson died half a century 
ago and where her husband continued to reside until his death, 
which occurred September 3, 1899. Of their children the eldest is 
Annie, who is the widow of Ole Severson and who maintains her 
home in Kansas; Ingeborg died on the 23d of March, 1916; Gunnell 
is the wife of Anulf Steenson and they reside in North Dakota; 
Peter is deceased ; Carrie is the widow of Chris Everson and main- 
tains her home in Wisconsin; Bergit is the wife of the subject of 
this sketch ; Knute resides in North Dakota and his twin brother 
died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Glesne became the parents of five 
children, Gustava Henrietta, Edwin Benoni, Oscar Theodore, and 



THE NEW YORK 

PUBLIC LIBRARY 



ASrUM, LINtfX AND 

TDLDBN rOUNDiTlUNB 

I L 




PETEE B. GREEN 



BIOGRAPHICAL 147 

Elvira and Elvina, twins. All of the children are living except 
Elvina, who died in infancy. 

Peter B. Green was born on the 5th of June, 1853, and passed 
his entire life in the State of Iowa, where he rose to prominence and 
large prosperity as one of the representative agriculturists and 
stock-growers of Clayton county and where he was the owner of 
a valuable landed estate, which his widow still retains in her pos- 
session and to the management of which she gives careful and 
judicious supervision. Mrs. Green resides on the finely improved 
homestead farm, eligibly situated in Sperry township, about one 
mile distant from the village of Volga, and she is the owner of a 
valuable estate of two hundred and sixty-seven acres, the home- 
stead place being endeared to her by the gracious memories and 
associations of the past and being valued the more by her because it 
figured as the stage of the earnest and successful labors of her 
honored husband. Peter B. Green was a resident of Clayton county 
from his infancy until the time of his death, which occurred on the 
27th of March, 1900, and his character and achievement were such 
as to cause his memory to be honored by all who knew him, his 
remains being laid to rest in the cemetery at Volga. He was a loyal 
citizen, a progressive and reliable business man, a staunch advocate 
of the cause of the Republican party and an earnest and consistent 
member of the Methodist Episcopal church, in the work of which 
his widow still continues to be actively concerned and of which she 
is a devoted adherent. Mr. Green was adopted in infancy by Daniel 
and Hartley (Brown) Green, wdiose marriage was solemnized in 
Cambridgeshire, England, on the 21st of June, 1840, both having 
been born and reared in that fair county of merrie old England. 
Daniel Green was born at Wittlesea, Cambridgeshire, on the 22d of 
December, 1818, and was there reared and educated. After their 
marriage he and his wife continued their residence in their native 
land for somewhat more than a decade, and on the 4th of April, 
1852, they severed the cherished ties and set sail for America. In 
1854 they became pioneer settlers in Clayton county, Iowa, where 
Mr. Green secured a tract of wild land and developed a productive 
farm, both he and his wife having passed the remainder of their 
lives as well known and highly honored citizens of this county. 
They had no children of their own but gave to their adopted son, 
the subject of this memoir, the true love and solicitude of actual 
parentage. Peter B. Green was afforded the advantages of the 
public schools and virtually his entire active career was marked by 
close and successful association with the basic industries of agri- 
culture and stock-growing, through the medium of which he gained 
substantial and enduring independence and prosperity, the concrete 
evidence thereof being given in the finely improved landed estate 
still owned by his widow. He purchased the homestead now occu- 
pied by Mrs. Green shortly after their marriage, and here he con- 
tinued his well ordered activities until death set its seal upon him. 
On the 12th of October, 1872, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. 
Green to Miss Lydia E. Sherman, who was born and reared in this 
county, and who is a daughter of Joseph and Jane (Moon) Sherman, 



148 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

of whose ten children six are now living. The parents were born 
and reared in the state of New York and were numbered among 
the pioneers of Clayton county, Iowa, where they established their 
home on a farm and where they passed the residue of their long 
and useful lives, their names meriting enduring place on the roll of 
the honored pioneers of Clayton county. Mr. and Mrs. Green be- 
came the parents of three children, all of whom survive the honored 
father : William is now a resident of the state of Wisconsin ; Walter 
has a farm in Sperry township near the city Volga, and Valeria 
is the wife of Otto Germar, of whom individual mention is made 
elsewhere in this publication. 

David G. Griffith was a resident of Clayton county for about 
thirty years and gained prestige as one of the able and successful 
representatives of the newspaper business in the Hawkeye state. 
At the time of his death he was associated with his only son in the 
editing and publishing of the Elkader Register and Argus, which 
represents a consolidation, in September, 1907, of the Elkader Reg- 
ister and the Elkader Argus. Of the former paper he had long 
been editor and publisher, and he had made it an effective exponent 
of local interests as well as a safe and able leader of popular senti- 
ment. He was a man of strong intellectual powers and sterling 
character, one of the leading citizens of Elkader, commanding an 
impregnable place in popular confidence and esteem, and his high 
standing in this county makes it imperative, as a matter of historical 
consistency and just deserts, that in this publication be entered a 
tribute to his memory and a brief record of his career. David 
Golden Griffith was born at Mohawk, Herkimer county, New York, 
on the 17th of October, 1845, and was a son of Ira and Nancy 
(Golden) Griffith. Ira Griffith, who was engaged in the hotel busi- 
ness during much of his active career, was a son of Jesse Griffitb, 
and the latter was a son of William Griffith, Jr., who was a member 
of the New York Rangers during the war of the Revolution, his 
birth having occurred in 1762, and he having been a resident of 
Worcester, New York, at the time of his death, on the 9th of Octo- 
ber, 1838 ; his father. Captain William Griffith, was an officer of the 
Continental army in the war of the Revolution. Mrs. Nancy 
(Golden) Griffith was a daughter of John Golden, and her maternal 
grandfather, James Eaton, was, with his family, among the few 
survivors of the historic Indian massacre at Wyoming, Pennsylva- 
nia. David G. Griffith was the only child of his parents, and after 
the death of his mother his father contracted a second marriage, 
the one child of this union being a daughter Frances, who became 
the wife of Rensaeller D. Hubbard, of Mankato, Minnesota. David 
Golden Griffith was not yet nine years old at the time of his mother's 
death and thereafter he lived mainly with her kinsfolk, at Utica, 
New York, until the autumn of 1861. In the meanwhile he profited 
fully by the advantages afforded in the Utica schools and there had 
finally entered upon a practical apprenticeship to the printer's trade. 
On the 25th of October, 1861, about two weeks after he had cele- 
brated his sixteenth birthday anniversary, he enlisted for service 
as a soldier of the Union in the Civil war. He became a private 




DAVID G. GRIFFITH 



^HIBIP I l||rii« 



I'HL "N 




IffTO*. UIINWI AND 
TILDIfiN raUNOATlWNt 

B 1< 



BIOGRAPHICAL I49 

in Company M, Second New York Artillery, his enlistment having 
been for "three years or during the war," and in November, 1863, 
he re-enlisted as a veteran volunteer, his service continuing until 
he received his honorable discharge on the 15th of October, 1865. 
His regiment was a part of the Army of the Potomac and saw much 
severe service. It was attached to the First Brigade of the First 
Division of the Second Army Corps, under command of General 
Hancock, and the famous Irish Brigade likewise formed a part of 
this gallant corps, while the division was in command of General 
Nelson A. Miles. The Second New York Artillery ranked eighth 
in the number of its losses in the war. Of the original Company M 
with which Mr. Griffith went to the front, he was one of only five 
that returned at the close of the long conflict, and he held commis- 
sion as second lieutenant of his company at the time when he was 
mustered out. At the time when Manassas Junction was captured 
by General Stonewall Jackson's corps, Mr. Griffith was captured, 
but, with other enlisted men, he was paroled on the field of the 
second battle of Bull Run. After passing three months in the parole 
camp at Annapolis, Maryland, he was exchanged, whereupon he 
promptly rejoined his regiment. He served in the battles and 
minor engagements from Spottsylvania to Petersburg, and at the 
latter place, on the night of June 16, 1864, he was so severely 
wounded that he was sent to the north for proper treatment and 
care. In the following November he rejoined his regiment, with 
which he served during the final campaigns against the forces of 
General Lee. At Burksville Station, after Lee's surrender, he com- 
manded the guard having in charge the artillery surrendered by the 
great Confederate leader. He was mustered out October 15, 1865, 
two days prior to his twentieth birthday anniversary. Soon after 
the close of his gallant career as a youthful soldier of the Union 
Mr. Griffith entered the office of the Utica Morning Herald for the 
purpose of completing his apprenticeship as a printer. He con- 
tinued his services in newspaper offices at Utica, New York, until 
April, 1870, when he came to Iowa and established his residence 
in the village then known as Buffalo Grove, near the present town 
of Aurora, Buchanan county. There, on the 14th of December, 
1870, was solemnized his marriage to Miss Mary A. Carpenter, who 
was born at Trenton Falls, New York, on the 6th of February, 
1845. One of her brothers had been a former comrade and tent- 
mate of Mr. Griffith in the army and had sacrificed his life to his 
county. After his marriage Mr. Griffith worked at his trade in 
Dubuque and Chicago, and from the latter city he returned, in 
1872, to Dubuque, where he retained a position on the Daily Herald 
until August 1, 1880, when he came to Clayton county and estab- 
lished his permanent home at Elkader, where he had shortly be- 
fore purchased an interest in the Elkader Register. In the control 
of this paper he was associated with George A. Fairfield until Jan- 
uary 1, 1893, when Mr. Fairfield retired from the partnership and 
was succeeded by Harry L. Griffith, the only child of the subject 
of this memoir, who has continued the business since the death of 
his father and concerning whom individual mention is made on 



150 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

Other pages of this publication. David G. Griffith filled a large 
place in the community life of Elkader and Clayton county and 
was splendidly influential not only through the medium of his ex- 
cellent paper but also in a direct personal way. For many years 
he gave his allegiance to the Democratic party, but in the later 
period of his life he was aligned with the Republican party. He 
served three terms as mayor of Elkader and was postmaster of 
this place during the first administration of President Cleveland. 
He was always active and influential in public affairs in Elkader 
and the county. He held membership in the Baptist church, and 
in the time-honored Masonic fraternity his affiliations were with 
Elkader Lodge No. 72, Ancient Free & Accepted Masons; Har- 
mony Chapter No. 41, Royal Arch Masons; and DeMolay Con- 
sistory, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, at Clinton, this state, in 
which last he received the thirty-second degree. He was identified 
also with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Modern 
Woodmen of America and other fraternal organizations, the while 
he was a specially appreciative and honored member of E. Boardman 
Post, No. 187, Grand Army of the Republic, through the medium 
of which he manifested his abiding interest in his old comrades in 
arms. It has already been stated that Mrs. Griffith was born at 
Trenton Falls, New York, and it may further be noted that she 
is a daughter of Bradford James Carpenter and Jane Laura (Jones) 
Carpenter, the former of whom was born at Richford, Vermont, 
September 25, 1807, and the latter of whom was born at Troy, 
New York, on the 4th of January, 1807, their marriage having been 
solemnized at Berkshire, Vermont, on the 2d of April, 1833. Mr. 
and Mrs. Carpenter passed the closing years of their lives at Ar- 
lington, Fayette county, Iowa, where his death occurred July 23, 
1881. Of their four children who attained to maturity Lorin D. 
and Charles W., both of whom were soldiers in the Civil war, are 
now deceased, as is also Sarah B., the one surviving child, besides 
Mrs. Griffith, being Homer R., a resident of Atlantic, Iowa. Since 
the death of her husband, Mrs. Griffith has continued to reside at 
Elkader, a place that is endeared to her by the hallowed memories 
and association of the past and in which community she is held 
in affectionate regard by all who know her. 

Harry L. Griffith. — As editor and publisher of the Elkader 
Register and Argus, Mr. Griffith is well upholding the journalistic 
prestige here maintained for many years by his honored father, 
the late David B. Griffith, to whom a memoir is dedicated on other 
pages of this work, so that further review of his career and the 
family history is not demanded in the present connection. Harry 
Llewellyn Griffith was born at Buffalo Grove, near Aurora, Buch- 
anan county, Iowa, on the 22d of October, 1872, and is the only 
child of David G. and Mary Anne (Carpenter) Griffith. He was 
a lad of eight years at the time when the family home was estab- 
lished at Elkader, and after his graduation in the Elkader high 
school, as a member of the class of 1889, he was a student in the 
University of Wisconsin about two years. Thereafter he worked 
at electrical engineering until 1895, and during a portion of this 



BIOGRAPHICAL I5I 

time he prosecuted advanced technical study in the Drexel Insti- 
tute, in the city of Philadelphia. On the 1st of January, 1893, he 
purchased an interest in his father's paper, the Elkader Register, 
and became a member of the firm of D. G. Griffith & Son, though 
he did not assume an active connection with the business until 
1895, when, on account of impaired health, he returned to the par- 
ental home and incidentally assumed the business management of 
the paper of which he has maintained the ownership and control 
since the death of his father, on the 27th of August, 1910. In Sep- 
tember, 1907, was effected a consolidation of the Elkader Register 
and the Elkader Argus, and both names are retained in the present 
publication, which is the leading paper of Clayton county, both 
the newspaper and job departments of the office being of excellent 
modern equipment and facilities. Though he is registered as a 
Republican, Mr. Griffith is in a political way independent in his 
attitude and makes his paper stand representative of the same pol- 
icy. He is affiliated with Elkader Lodge No. 72, Ancient Free & 
Accepted Masons; Harmony Chapter No. 41, Royal Arch Masons, 
and has received the thirty-second degree of the Ancient Accepted 
Scottish Rite of Masonry, in De Molay Consistory, at Clinton, this 
state, besides which he holds membership in the Elkader camp of 
the Modern Woodmen of America. June 16, 1896, recorded the 
marriage of Mr. Griffith to Miss Flora May Lothrop, of Dubuque, 
and she passed to the life eternal on the 18th of March of the fol- 
lowing year. At Fayette, Iowa, on the 1st of January, 1907, was 
solemnized the marriage of Mr. Griffith to Miss Abbie Helen Gran- 
nis, and they have four children, whose names and respective dates 
of birth are here entered: Helen Katherine, August 16, 1908; Mary 
Golden, October 20, 1910; and David Grannis and Harold Sherman, 
twins, June 15, 1912. Mrs. Griffith was born at Grannis Mills, Fay- 
ette county, Iowa, on the 28th of December, 1883, and she received 
excellent educational advantages, including a course in the music 
and art department of Upper Iowa University, at Fayette, in which 
she was graduated. She is the youngest daughter of Henry J. 
and Abigail Caroline (Hubbell) Grannis, and her mother was a 
lineal descendant of Roger Sherman, one of the signers of the Dec- 
laration of Independence. Henry James Grannis was born near 
North Liberty, St. Joseph county, Indiana, July 18, 1841, and he 
died at Fayette, Iowa, October 13, 1907. His parents, John and 
Rhoda (Bennett) Grannis, removed from the state of New York 
and became pioneer settlers in Indiana, he having been the next 
to the youngest of seven children, of whom five attained to years 
of maturity. In 1860 Henry J. Grannis accompanied his parents on 
their removal to Iowa and the family settled at Fayette, where he 
attended Upper Iowa University until September 15, 1861, when 
he enlisted in Company C, Twelfth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, known 
as the "University Recruits." By the young ladies of the univer- 
sity Mr. Grannis was selected as color bearer of his company, to 
which they had presented a flag, and later the company became the 
color company of the regiment, Mr. Grannis having had the dis- 
tinction of bearing the colors for his regiment until he received 



152 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

his honorable discharge, on the 20th of January, 1866. He took 
part in the capture of Fort Henry, and his flag was the first on 
the ramparts of Fort Donnelson, February 15, 1862. At Shiloh, 
after being under fire from 9 a. m. to 5 :45 p. m., he was captured 
in that famous "Hornets' Nest" that did so much to save the day 
from absolute disaster. Taken as a prisoner of war to Montgomery, 
Alabama, he was there held five weeks, being then transferred to 
Macon, Georgia, where he remained until October 11, 1862, when 
he was paroled, his exchange having been effected on the 10th of 
the following month. In December he rejoined his regiment and 
resumed his post as color bearer. He participated in the battle of 
Jackson, Mississippi, May 14, 1863, and in the siege of Vicksburg, 
where he took part in all important engagements until June 22d, 
when his regiment was sent to Black River to guard the rear from 
attack by the forces under General Johnston. After the expiration 
of his original term of enlistment Mr. Grannis, on the 25th of Dec- 
ember, 1863, re-enlisted as a veteran volunteer, continuing as color 
sergeant and taking part in the battles of Tupelo, Mississippi, and 
Nashville, Tennessee, the expedition against Mobile and the siege 
of Spanish Fort. In his service he carried the colors in every im- 
portant battle in which his regiment was engaged — twenty-three 
in all — and was under Confederate fire one hundred and twelve 
days. He carried the colors also on the march for a distance of 
2,670 miles, and by water and land transportation traveled 13,809 
miles. Consistently may be ventured the statement that this record 
was equaled by that of no other color bearer in the Union service. 
In several engagements the colors were riddled in Mr. Grannis' 
hands. On one occasion every guard was killed or wounded, yet, 
strange to say, he never received a scratch or suffered the flag to 
go from his hands except at the time when he was captured. That 
the flag was always to the front and carried with greatest gallantry 
every official report from the regiment testified, for every one of 
the reports makes special mention of "our gallant color bearer." 
On the 22d of November, 1865, Mr. Grannis was commissioned 
first lieutenant, but he never mustered as such, as he chose the colors 
rather than promotion. 

Halsten S. Groth is the fortunate owner of one of the finely im- 
proved farm properties of his native county, the same comprising 
two hundred acres of fertile land in Section 7, Marion township, and 
including the old homestead place on which he was born, the date 
of his nativity having been May 19, 1861. Mr. Groth has here been 
actively concerned with progressive operations as an agriculturist 
and stock-grower during the entire course of his adult career, and 
he is distinctively to be designated one of the enterprising, success- 
ful and representative farmers of the county, with secure place in 
popular confidence and good will, thus nullifying any application 
of the scriptural aphorism that "a prophet is not without honor 
save in his own country." Mr. Groth is a son of Sven and Birget 
(Oin) Groth, both natives of Norway. The father was a young 
man at the time of his emigration to America and after remaining 
two years in Wisconsin he came to Clayton county and became one 



BIOGRAPHICAL 1 53 

of the pioneer settlers of Marion township. Here, by energy and 
good business policies, he achieved large and worthy success as a 
farmer, and at the time of his death he was the owner of the sub- 
stantial estate of two hundred acres that is now in the possession 
of his son Halsten S., of this review. Sven Groth, a man of un- 
qualified integrity and honor, passed to eternal rest on the 3d of 
September, 1881, a zealous communicant of the Norwegian Luth- 
eran church, as is also his venerable widow, who remains on the 
old homestead with their eldest child, subject of this sketch, and 
who celebrated in 1916 her eighty-fifth birthday anniversary. The 
second child, Helgrim, is a resident of Hebron, North Dakota ; 
Rachel resides at Broadview, Montana; Barbo is deceased; Kittil 
and Bertin maintain their home at Maple, Cass county, North Da- 
kota ; Olena is the wife of Kittel Esk, of Finley, Steele county, that 
state; and the other five children died young. In the public schools 
of Clayton county Halsten S. Groth continued his studies until he 
had availed himself of the advantages of the high school at Elgin, 
and upon attaining to his legal majority he assumed, in the interest 
of his widowed mother, the active supervision of the home farm. 
About two years later he rented the place, and after the lapse of 
another year he purchased the interests of the other heirs and came 
into sole possession of the valuable property, upon which he has 
since made the best of modern improvements, including the erection 
of an attractive and commodious frame house of two stories and 
substantial and well equipped barns. He has also installed on the 
farm a silo that has a capacity of one hundred tons, and he brings 
to bear in his operations as an agriculturist and stock-grower the 
most approved of modern policies and facilities, with the result that 
his success has been of substantial and unequivocal order. He is a 
director of the Farmers' Dairy Company at Elgin, this county; is 
president of the Gunder & Clermont Telephone Company, is serv- 
ing with marked loyalty and efficiency as township trustee, and is 
essentially one of the popular and influential citizens of his native 
county. His political allegiance is given to the Republican party 
and he and his wife are earnest communicants and liberal support- 
ers of the Norwegian Lutheran church. Their attractive home 
receives mail service on rural route No, 4 from the village of Elgin. 
On the 24th of May, 1888, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. 
Groth to Miss Helen Skarshang, who was born and reared in this 
county, and of the five children of this union the eldest is Jessie 
Benora, who is the wife of Jens Halverson, their residence being 
in the state of Minnesota; Selmer likewise resides in that state ; and 
Harry, Alma Sophia, and Arthur remain at the parental home. 

John Groth is one of the venerable and honored pioneer citizens 
of Clayton county, where he has maintained his home for more 
than sixty years and where he has contributed his full quota to 
civic and industrial development and progress. He and his wife 
still reside on their fine old homestead farm, in Section 8, Marion 
township, and they have the high regard of all who know them, 
both having long been zealous and influential communicants of the 
Norwegian Lutheran church. Their attractive home now has mani- 



154 • MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

fold advantages that were notable for their absence in the pioneer 
days, and not the least is the free mail service afforded by rural 
route No. 4 from the village of Elgin. Mr. Groth was born in 
Norway, on the 19th of December, 1833, and is now the only sur- 
vivor of the nine children of Halsten and Ragnild (Kittleson) Groth, 
who passed their entire lives in their native land, the subject of this 
review having been the youngest of their children. Mr. Groth 
gained his early education in the schools of his native land and was 
a youth of eighteen years when, in April, 1852, he embarked on the 
sailing vessel that gave him transportation to America. He landed 
in the port of New York City and thence came directly to Iowa, 
where he numbered himself among the pioneer settlers of Marion 
township. He purchased one hundred and ninety acres of land, in 
Section 8, and from the same he developed the well improved 
farm that now constitutes his home. He has won independence 
and definite prosperity through his own well ordered labors and 
enterprise and has long been numbered among the substantial ex- 
ponents of agricultural and livestock industry in Clayton county, 
the while he has at no time failed to live up to the varied duties and 
responsibilities of loyal citizenship. He has had no ambition for 
public office, but is a stalwart supporter of the principles of the Re- 
publican party. On the 16th of January, 1862, was solemnized the 
marriage of Mr. Groth to Miss Guri Tollefson, likewise a native of 
Norway, and eleven children were born of this union. Halsten, the 
firstborn, died in childhood; Sarah remains at the parental home; 
Rachel is deceased ; Halsten (second of the name) is associated in 
the work and management of the old homestead farm; Tollef re- 
sides in the village of Elgin ; Sophia and Kittle are deceased ; Louis 
is a resident of Elgin, Fayette county; Sophia and Martin are still 
members of the parental home circle ; and the youngest child, a son, 
died at birth. 

Wilford E. Gruver, the efficient and popular cashier of the 
Clayton Savings Bank and the valued incumbent of the offices of 
treasurer of Clayton corporation and of the school district in which 
the village of Clayton is situated, is a native son of the Hawkeye 
state and is a scion of the third generation of both the paternal 
and maternal families in Iowa, with the civic and material history of 
which commonwealth the names of the respective families have 
been long and worthily identified. Mr. Gruver holds precedence 
as one of the representative young business men and loyal and 
public-spirited citizens of Clayton county, has a secure place in 
popular esteem and is well entitled to recognition in this publica- 
tion. He was born at West Union, Fayette county, Iowa, on the 
5th of November, 1890, and is a son of Benton C. and Amazet 
(Burke) Gruver, both of whom were likewise born in this state, 
where their parents settled in the early pioneer days. The father 
of the subject of this review has given the major part of his active 
career to agricultural pursuits and still maintains his residence in 
Fayette county, his devoted wife having been summoned to eternal 
rest in 1913 and being survived by all of their eight children. Wil- 
ford E. Gruver supplemented the advantages which he received 



BIOGRAPHICAL 155 

in the public schools of his native county by taking an effective 
course in a business college in the city of Cedar Rapids. Soon 
after having thus fortified himself he assumed a clerical position in 
a bank at West Branch, Cedar county, and two years later he was 
promoted to the position of assistant cashier of the institution. 
About two and a half years later he resigned this office and became 
cashier of a bank at Beaver Creek, Minnesota, where he remained 
one year. He then resigned his position and came to Clayton 
county, where he has served as cashier of the Clayton Savings 
Bank since 1915, and where he has made an admirable record in the 
executive management of this substantial and popular financial 
institution of the county. He is treasurer of his school district. 
His political allegiance is given to the Republican party, and at 
West Branch, Cedar county, he still retains affiliation with 
Wapsinonock Lodge, No. 381, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. 
He is popular in the representative social life of the community. 
On June 8th, 1916, he married Katharine Richards, of McGregor, 
whose father, F. S. Richards, is cashier of the First National Bank, 
of McGregor. 

John P. Habermann has shown the progressiveness, industry 
and mature judgment that significantly mark the sterling race from 
which he is sprung and which has contributed a most valuable 
element to the complex social fabric of our great American republic. 
Mr. Habermann is now one of the representative business men and 
honored and influential citizens of the village of Osterdock, Clay- 
ton county, and is well entitled to recognition in this history of his 
home county. He was born in the beautiful Rhine Province of 
Germany, on the 16th of November, 1875, and was a lad of eight 
years when he accompanied his parents, John P. and Catherine 
(Lortcher) Habermann, upon their immigration from their native 
province to the United States, in 1884. The family home was first 
established at Tama, the judicial center of the Iowa county of the 
same name, but one year later removal was made to Sioux City, 
this state. In 1893 the parents removed from that city to Cassville, 
Wisconsin, where the father now lives retired and where the de- 
voted wife and mother passed to eternal rest in the year 1912, both 
having become zealous communicants of the Catholic church when 
they were young. John P. Habermann, Sr., entered fully into the 
spirit of American institutions and as soon as possible became a 
naturalized citizen, whereupon he espoused the cause of the Demo- 
cratic party, in the ranks of which he has since been staunchly 
aligned. The eldest of the children is Mary, who is the wife of 
Anthony Dressen, of Harrison, Idaho; the subject of this sketch was 
the next in order of birth; Margaret resides in the city of Minne- 
apolis, Minnesota; Frances is the wife of John Moore, of Turkey 
River, Clayton county; Elizabeth is the widow of Edward Carter 
and maintains her home at Mandan, North Dakota ; Frank is a 
resident of Dubuque, Iowa; and Matthew and Josephine remain 
with their father at Cassville, Wisconsin. John P. Habermann, Jr., 
the immediate subject of this review, gained his early education 
principally in the public schools of Sioux City, and as a youth he 



156 ' MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

was there employed for a time in a bottling establishment. He 
was about eighteen years old when he accompanied his parents on 
their removal to Cassville, Grant county, Wisconsin, and there he 
served a thorough apprenticeship to the blacksmith's trade, to which 
sturdy vocation he gave his energies for the long period of twenty- 
two years, during the last seven of which he conducted a blacksmith 
shop at Osterdock, Iowa, his present place of residence. Mr. Haber- 
mann gave significant evidence of his loyalty when the Spanish- 
American war had its inception. He was at the time a resident of 
Cassville, Wisconsin, and in June, 1898, he enlisted as a member of 
Company M, Third Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. He was with 
his regiment in active service in both Cuba and Porto Rico, and with 
the command received his honorable discharge in the month of 
January, 1899. Mr. Habermann has maintained his home at Oster- 
dock since 1905 and here he now owns and conducts a well ap- 
pointed and popular restaurant and confectionery store. He has 
served as mayor of the village, is at the present time a valued and 
progressive members of the village council, his political allegiance 
is given to the Democratic party, he is affiliated with the Catholic 
Knights of Wisconsin and the Spanish-American War Veterans, 
and both he and his wife are communicants of the Catholic church. 
On the 12th of November, 1901, was solemnized the marriage of 
Mr. Habermann to Miss Christine Eckstein, daughter of Mr. and 
Mrs. Frank Eckstein, of Cassville, Wisconsin, and the five children 
of this union all remain at the parental home, namely : Adele, Mar- 
garet, Hans, Rose and Ethel. 

John Louis Hagensick has been a resident of the Hawkeye 
state from the time of his birth, is a representative of one of the 
honored pioneer families of Iowa and is now one of the substantial 
farmers and influential citizens of Read township, with secure place 
in the confidence and good will of the community. He was born in 
Ceres, this state, on the 30th of December, 1874, and is a member of 
a family of twelve children, all of whom are living. His parents, 
John M. and Margaret (Winch) Hagensick, were born and reared 
in Germany and soon after coming to America they became pioneer 
settlers in Iowa, in 1854. The father was a blacksmith by trade and 
he continued his active association with the work of his trade until 
1860, when he engaged in the general merchandise business in the 
little village of Ceres, Clayton county, where also he was appointed 
postmaster under the administration of President Lincoln. He was 
one of the most honored and influential citizens of his community 
and it is specially interesting to record that he continued the in- 
cumbent of the office of postmaster for the long period of thirty- 
four years, his retirement having taken place in 1894 and his death 
having occurred in September, 1897, his devoted wife having pre- 
ceded him to eternal rest and both having been zealous members 
of the Evangelical Lutheran church. He was affiliated with the 
Masonic fraternity and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and 
took deep interest in the aflfairs of these organizations. John Louis 
Hagensick acquired his early education in the public schools of 
Clayton county and as a lad of eleven years he became a member 



BIOGRAPHICAL \ I57 

of the home circle of one of his uncles who was a farmer in thi^ 
county. He assisted his uncle in the work and management of the 
farm for a period of thirteen years and he then married and estab- 
lished his residence on a farm which he rented for the ensuing five 
years. At the expiration of this period he purchased his present 
well improved farm of one hundred and sixty acres, in Section 33, 
Read township, where also he owns an additional tract of ten acres 
of timber land. He is one of the progressive and energetic farmers 
and stock-growers of Clayton county and substantial success is at- 
tending his well ordered endeavors, the while he may well take 
pride in the excellent improvements and general air of thrift which 
mark his farm as one of the model places of Read township. He is 
a Republican in politics, is serving at the time of this writing, in 
1916, as treasurer of the school board of his district, and both he 
and his wife are members of the Evangelical Lutheran church. In 
the year 1901, March 27, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. 
Hagensick to Miss Freda Diers, who was born and reared in Read 
township, and who is one of the four surviving children of Freder- 
ick W. and Margaret (Schneider) Diers, who were children at the 
time of the immigration of their parents to America and who now 
reside upon their fine homestead farm in Read township. Mr. and 
Mrs. Hagensick have four children, whose names and birth dates 
are here noted: Ada M., February 8, 1903; Amos F., July 11, 1905 j 
Milton H., July 27, 1908, and Lloyd A., October 23, 1913. 

Philip B. Haid has been a resident of Clayton county since 1903 
and is one of the prominent and influential citizens of North Buena 
Vista, where he has served with characteristic efficiency as mayor 
and as justice of the peace and where he held for two terms the 
office of village assessor. He is a stalwart in the ranks of the Re- 
publican party and has been an effective advocate of its principles 
and policies, the while his loyalty to the party is intensified by the 
cause which it virtually represented during the climacteric period 
of the Civil War, in which he served as a valiant soldier of the 
Union. Many years later his undiminished loyalty and patriotism 
were shown by his eflfective service as a soldier in the Spanish- 
American war. Mr. Haid was born in New York, on the 3d of 
August, 1845, and his education included a course in the great 
University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor. After the close of the war 
he maintained his residence in the city of Nashville, Tennessee, for 
a term of years, and he has been a resident of Clayton county since 
June 3, 1903. He is a communicant of the Catholic church and 
one of the most popular men of the southeast part of Clayton 
county. 

Ernest Haltmeyer is of the younger generation of a family 
whose name first became identified with Clayton county in the 
early pioneer days, and in his native county he has achieved indi- 
vidual success and prestige as an argiculturist and progressive citi- 
zen, with character and accomplishments that have given him im- 
pregnable vantage-ground in popular confidence and esteem. He 
and his family reside in the village of Farmersburg, and their 
attractive home is known for its generous hospitality. Mr. Halt- 



158 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

meyer was born on a farm near the city of McGregor, this county, 
and the date of his nativity was June 27, 1880. He is the second 
in order of birth of the three children of John and Barbara (Eide- 
miller) Haltmeyer, the former of whom was born in Austria and 
the latter in the state of Pennsylvania. Of the three children the 
eldest is Lydia, who is the wife of William F. Linderman, of this 
county, and the youngest is Emma, who is the wife of Henry Brall- 
meier, of McGregor. John Haltmeyer first made his appearance 
in Clayton county, Iowa, in 1855, when this section was little 
more than an untrammeled wilderness, and later he went to Minne- 
sota, where he maintained his residence for a term of years. In 
1874 he became the owner of a farm near McGregor, this county, 
and here he continued to reside until his death, which occurred 
in 1897. He was a substantial and influential citizen of his commu- 
nity and served for some time in the office of road supervisor. 
His first wife, whose maiden name was Susana Volgenant, was 
comparatively a young woman at the time of her death, and is 
survived by four children — Emily, who resides at McGregor and 
who is the widow of George Leibrand; Herman, who maintains 
his home at South McGregor ; John, who is a resident of Man- 
chester, Delaware county, this State ; and Flora, who is the wife 
of John Dehn, of Clayton. The second wife of John Haltmeyer 
survives him and now maintains her home at McGregor. Ernest 
Haltmeyer, the immediate subject of this review, acquired his early 
education in the public schools of Clayton county, and his inde- 
pendent career as a youth was marked not only by his work as a 
farm employe but also by effective activity as a stone mason and 
plasterer, to which lines of enterprise he still gives his attention 
in a successful way. He is a well-fortified supporter of the prin- 
ciples of the Democratic party and is now serving as a member 
of the Farmersburg board of education. He is affiliated with the 
Masonic fraternity, and in 1916 is serving as venerable council in 
his camp of the Woodmen of the World. On the 27th of Feb- 
ruary, 1902, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Haltmeyer ta 
Miss Christina Drallmeier, who likewise was born and reared in 
Clayton county and who is a daughter of William and Mary (Man- 
delkow) Drallmeier, who were born in Germany and who became 
residents of Clayton county in the pioneer days. Mr. and Mrs. 
Haltmeyer became the parents of four children, of whom the third, 
Mabel, died in childhood. Edna, Irving and Irene are at the 
parental home. 

Arthur Hamann. — One of the modern and thoroughly equipped 
business establishments of the thriving little city of Guttenberg 
is that of the firm of Hamann & Staack, dealers in automobiles 
and owners of a substantial garage and automobile accessories busi- 
ness. The firm has the local agency for the standard Buick, Olds- 
mobile and Cadillac automobiles, and in the large garage and 
repair shop, a building fifty by one hundred feet in dimensions, 
the best of accommodations and facilities are provided for the carry- 
ing on of the prosperous business which had its inception in the 
autumn of 1912. He whose name initiates this paragraph is the 



BIOGRAPHICAL 1 59 

senior member of this popular firm of progressive young business 
men, and for this reason, as well as on account of his being a native 
son of Clayton county and a representative of a sterling pioneer 
family, he is specially eligible for recognition in this publication. 
Mr. Hamann was born on the old homestead farm of his parents, 
in Farmersburg township, four and one-half miles north of Garno- 
villo, and the date of his nativity was September 27, 1888. He is 
a son of Herman and Elizabeth (Koss) Hamann, the former of 
whom was born near Clayton Center, this county, and the latter 
in Garnavillo township, the respective families, of staunch Ger- 
man lineage, having been founded in this county in the early 
pioneer days. Herman Hamann was reared and educated in Clay- 
ton county and has long been a successful and influential exponent 
of agricultural and live-stock industry, both he and his wife still 
maintaining their residence on their fine old homestead farm in 
Farmersburg township, and both being active communicants of 
the German Lutheran church, the political allegiance of Mr. Ha- 
mann being given to the Democratic party. Of the children, the 
subject of this sketch was the second in order of birth, and the 
eldest is Glendor, who is a progressive farmer of Farmersburg 
township ; Laura is the wife of Albert Schlake, of Garnavillo town- 
ship ; and Herman, Jr., remains at the parental home and is asso- 
ciated with his father in the management of the farm. Arthur 
Hamann continued his studies in the public schools until he had 
availed himself of the advantages of the high school at Garnavillo, 
and thereafter he took a course in mechanical engineering as a 
student in the great University of Wisconsin, at Madison. The 
technical knowledge thus gained has splendidly equipped him for 
the business of which he is now a successful representative, and 
after leaving the university he was for some time employed in an 
automobile garage in the city of Omaha, Nebraska, where he also 
fortified himself still further by attending an automobile school. 
After his return to Clayton county he assisted in the work of his 
father's farm for a year, and then, in 1912, became associated 
with Arthur H. Staack in founding their present repre- 
sentative business enterprise, the original establishment of the 
firm of Hamann & Staack having been a building twenty-five by 
fifty feet in dimensions, and the two principals having personally 
handled all the repair work until the business so increased in scope 
and importance as to justify the employment of skilled assistants, 
the establishment of the firm now giving employment to six com- 
petent assistants. Mr. Hamann is a Democrat in politics, is affil- 
iated with the Brotherhood of American Yeomen, and he and 
his wife are communicants of the Lutheran church. Of his business 
associate, Mr. Staack, individual mention is made on other pages 
of this work. On the 15th of May, 1912, Mr. Hamann wedded 
Miss Alma Schlake, who was born and reared in this county and 
who is a daughter of Henry and Elizabeth (Wilker) Schlake, of 
Garnavillo township. Mr. and Mrs. Hamann have two children — 
Dolores, who was born January 31, 1913, and Alo, who was born 
December 10, 1915. 



l60 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

Herman C. A. Hamann is a well-known and highly esteemed 
member of a family that has given its due quota of able and hon- 
ored representatives to the furtherance of the development of agri- 
cultural resources in Clayton county and to maintaining in the pres- 
ent generation the high standard of this great and basic industry 
in the county. His father became a resident of Clayton county 
sixty years ago and during the long intervening period the family 
name has been closely and worthily linked with the social, indus- 
trial and civic activities of this favored section of the Hawkeye 
state. Herman C. A. Hamann, one of the vigorous and represent- 
ative farmers of Farmersburg township, was born on the old home 
farm of his parents, in Read township, this county, and the date 
of his nativity was March 10, 1862. He is a son of August and 
Minnie (Rumpf) Hamann, both of whom were born and reared in 
Germany, though their marriage was solemnized in America. 
August Hamann immigrated to the United States in 1857, in which 
year he became a resident of Clayton county, where he found em- 
ployment as a farm hand, as his financial resources were very lim- 
ited and he was dependent upon his own exertions in making his 
way to the goal of independence and prosperity. Here he finally 
rented a farm, but after operating the same three years he removed 
to Minnesota, where he purchased a farm. Three years later, how- 
ever, he sold this property and returned to Clayton county, where, 
in the year 1869, he purchased the fine farm of three hundred and 
ten acres that is now owned and operated by his son Herman, the 
subject of this sketch. He still lives in Farmersburg township, as 
one of its most venerable and honored pioneer citizens, and the 
wife of his youth passed to eternal rest in 1870, Herman C. A. 
being one of three children, and another of the number being Otto 
F. W., of whom individual mention is made on other pages. After 
duly profiting by the advantages afforded in the schools of his 
native county Herman C. A. Hamann continued to remain at the 
parental home and to lend his aid in the work of the farm until he 
attained to his legal majority, when he purchased a farm in Farm- 
ersburg township and gave his attention to its cultivation and im- 
provement during the ensuing four years. He then sold the prop- 
erty to advantage and purchased his present farm, situated in Sec- 
tions 35 and 36 Farmersburg township. In connection with well 
directed operations as an agriculturist Mr. Hamann has specialized 
and made a distinctive success in the breeding and raising of fine 
livestock, including horses, cattle, sheep and swine, and every detail 
of his farm enterprise receives his effective and punctilious super- 
vision, so that his farm gives unmistakable assurances of general 
thrift and prosperity. Mr. Hamann is aligned as a loyal supporter 
of the cause of the Democratic party and while he has shown a 
loyal interest in community affairs, he has had no ambition for 
public office. He proved, however, a most zealous and efficient 
member of the school board of his district during a service of fifteen 
years in the office of school director. Both he and his wife are 
earnest and valued members of the Lutheran church at St. Olaf, 
and he is a member of its board of trustees. In April, 1886, was 



BIOGRAPHICAL l6l 

solemnized the marriage of Mr. Hamann to Miss Elizabeth Koss, 
daughter of John and Elizabeth (Wilke) Koss, who was born in 
Gamavillo township, this county, where her parents established their 
home soon after their emigration from Germany to the United 
States, in the '50s, and where they passed the remainder of their 
lives, their five children still surviving them. Mr. and Mrs. Hamann 
have four children, who in their generation are well upholding the 
honors of the family name : Glender F. is a prosperous farmer of 
Farmersburg township; Arthur O. is engaged in the garage and 
automobile business at Guttenberg, this county; Laura M. is the 
wife of Albert Schalke of this county; and Herman A., who re- 
mains at the parental home, is a graduate of the high school at 
Garnavillo. 

Otto F. W. Hamann was born in Farmersburg township, this 
county, on the 4th of June, 1867, and is a son of August and Minnie 
(Rumpf) Hamann, honored pioneers of whom adequate mention 
is made in the sketch of their older son, Herman C. A. Hamann, 
on other pages of this work, so that a repetition of the data is not 
demanded in the present article. He whose name introduces this 
paragraph was reared to the invigorating and benignant discipline 
of the home farm, profited fully by the advantages afforded in the 
public schools of the locality and period. Soon after attaining to 
his legal majority he married and initiated his independent career 
as a farmer. He showed his ambition and self-confidence by pur- 
chasing the fine homestead place of two hundred and seventy acres, 
upon which he now resides and upon which he has made the best 
of modern improvements. The farm, given over to well-ordered 
operations in diversified agriculture and the raising of good grades 
of livestock, is situated in Section 25, Farmersburg township, and 
in addition to this property Mr. Hamann also owns another tract 
of eighty acres in Clayton township. He is a director of the Gar- 
navillo Livestock Commission Co., is a Democrat in his political pro- 
clivities and has served continuously since 1904 as secretary of the 
school board of his district. Both he and his wife are members 
and liberal supporters of the Lutheran church. In the year 1890 
was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Hamann to Miss Anna Neu- 
bauer, who was born and reared in Germany and who was seven- 
teen years of age at the time of the family immigration to America, 
in 1883, when her parents, William and Anna (Ortman) Neubauer, 
established their home on a farm in Clayton county, where they 
passed the remainder of their lives, their two children surviving 
them. Mr. and Mrs. Hamann have six children : Amelia is now 
the wife of William Kugel ; Harvey, who took a course in the Wis- 
consin State Agricultural College, is associated with his father in the 
management of the home farm ; Lucy, who remains at the parental 
home, was graduated in the college at Waverly, this state; Adele 
was graduated in the high school at Garnavillo and is now a popular 
and successful teacher in the schools of her native county; and 
Anna and Irwin are the younger members of the happy home circle. 

Edward B. Hanson, M. D., is a popular and progressive young 
man who has by his ability and service gained secure prestige as 



1 62 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

one of the presentative physicians and surgeons of his native county, 
and he is engaged in successful general practice, with residence 
and professional headquarters in the village of Edgewood. The 
Doctor was born at Strawberry Point, this county, on the 9th of 
April, 1880, and is a son of Bernard and Julia (Scully) Hanson, 
the former a native of Germany and the latter of Ireland. Ber- 
nard Hanson became a resident of Clayton county in the early 
pioneer period of its history, as he here established his home about 
1841. He became one of the pioneer farmers of Cox Creek town- 
ship and later engaged in the general merchandise business at 
Strawberry Point, where he continued in this line of enterprise 
for many years, and where he continued his residence, as a repre- 
sentative citizen, until the time of his death, which occurred Feb- 
ruary 19, 1910, his devoted wife having passed to the life eternal 
in February, 1899, and both having been zealous communicants of 
the Catholic church. They became the parents of seven children, 
of whom the first two, James and Frederick, are deceased ; Mar- 
garet now resides in the city of Dubuque, as does also Thomas; 
Dr. Edward B., of this review, was the next in order of birth ; May 
resides in the city of Portland, Oregon ; and Lulu is deceased. 
In the public schools of Strawberry Point Dr. Hanson continued 
his studies until he had completed a course in the high school, and 
his higher academic education was obtained in the University of 
Iowa. In preparation for his chosen profession he entered the 
celebrated Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital in the city 
of Chicago, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 
1903, and from which he received his degree of Doctor of Medicine. 
He served as interne and house physician of the hospital of the in- 
stitution, and in the latter position he continued until May, 1904, 
the experience having added materially to his fortification for the 
exacting and responsible duties of private practice, as the clinical 
cases in the hospital were such as to give him broad and varied 
knowledge of a practical order. Upon leaving Chicago the Doctor 
returned to his native county and established his residence at Edge- 
wood, where he has since been engaged in successful general prac- 
tice and where he has proved an able and loyal exponent of the 
benignant homoeopathic school of practice. He is an ambitious 
student of his profession and keeps in close touch with the ad- 
vances made in medical and surgical science, the while he is ac- 
tively affiliated with the American Institute of Homoeopathy. His 
political allegiance is given to the Democratic party and he and 
his wife are communicants of the Catholic church. On the 25th 
of November, 1908, was solemnized the marriage of Dr. Hanson 
to Miss Lottie Smith, of Strawberry Point, and they have a win- 
some little daughter, Helen Maurine, who was born June 29, 1912. 
Joseph Harbaugh is a sterling citizen who is living in gracious 
retirement in the village of Garber and whose present status of 
peace and prosperity stands in evidence of the material success 
that is to be gained in connection with the great industry of agri- 
culture, of which he was long and active and representative expo- 
nent in Clayton county. He came to this county with his parents in 



BIOGRAPHICAL 163 

the year that marked his attaining to his legal majority, and as 
his honored father died a few months later he assumed heavy 
responsibilities, as he was the eldest of the children and became 
the virtual head of the family. He has now attained to the vener- 
able age of eighty-two years (1916), and in his well preserved 
mental and physical powers he exemplifies the admirable results of 
right thinking and right living. He is one of the honored pioneer 
citizens of Clayton county, a man of steadfast rectitude and one 
who has played well his part in connection with the duties and 
responsibilities of life, and none is more worthy of recognition 
in this history. Mr. Harbaugh was born in Bradford county, 
Pennsylvania, on the 11th of July, 1834, and is a son of Thomas 
and Mary (Blackburn) Harbaugh, both likewise natives of the 
old Keystone State, where the father was born in the year 1812 
and the mother in 1810, she having been a daughter of Joseph 
Blackburn, who passed his entire life in Pennsylvania, and who 
was of English descent, the family name of his wife having been 
Weingarner. John Harbaugh, paternal grandfather of the subject 
of this review, likewise passed his entire life in Pennsylvania, a 
representative of an English family that was founded in America 
in the colonial days, the family name of his wife having been 
Hammond. Thomas Harbaugh, a carpenter by trade, came with 
his family to Iowa in 1855 and became a pioneer settler of Clay- 
ton county, where he established his home in Pine Hollow, Volga 
township. There he died in the autumn of the same year, leaving 
a widow and seven children. Of the children the subject of this 
sketch was the eldest, as previously noted ; Elizabeth died in child- 
hood; Josiah is living retired in Volga township; Mary, who be- 
came the wife of John Grace, is now deceased ; Margaret is the 
widow of John Jones; Sarah is the widow of William Tompkins; 
John is a substantial farmer of this county ; and Rachel is the 
widow of Quint Hart. Joseph Harbaugh was twenty-one years 
old at the time of the family removal from the old Keystone State 
to Clayton county, Iowa, and with the death of his father he 
assumed the responsibilities of making provision for his widowed 
mother and the younger children, besides having also to look 
earnestly to the interests of the young wife whom he had brought 
with him from Pennsylvania. He purchased forty acres of wild 
land, in Section 8, Volga township, and on the same he erected 
an unpretentious house as a domicile for the family. In 1857 he 
returned to Pennsylvania, and from that state he went to Mans- 
field, Ohio, where he remained three and one-half years. The 
following year he passed at St. Johns, the judicial center of Clin- 
ton county, Michigan, and he then returned to Clayton county, 
where he continued his successful activities as a farmer during 
the ensuing half century, his homestead farm, of one hundred and 
twenty acres, having been well improved, and forty acres of the 
same being still in his possession, the other eighty acres having 
been sold by him several years ago. He retired from the farm 
in 1914 and has since resided in his pleasant and comfortable 
home in the village of Garber. His loved mother attained to ven- 



l64 ' MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

erable age and passed to the life eternal in June, 1891. Mr. Har- 
baugh has always been a supporter of the principles for which 
the Democratic party has stood sponsor in a basic way, and he 
is a member of the Dunkard church, as was also his wife. In Bed- 
ford county, Pennsylvania, in 1833, was solemnized the marriage; 
of Mr. Harbaugh to Miss Mahala Heck, daughter of Daniel Heck, 
and she passed to the life eternal more than thirty years ago. They 
became the parents of five sons and five daughters: Ellen is the 
wife of Dill MacDole; Daniel is a farmer in Volga township; 
Adeline is the wife of Frank Stone; William Sanford is a farmer 
in South Dakota; Mary Catherine is the wife of Henry Hansel; 
Jefferson is a prosperous farmer of Volga township; Charles is a 
land agent in the state of Washington; Joseph J. is a substantial 
farmer near Colesburg, Delaware county, Iowa; Miss Nettie lives 
with her sister, Mrs. Hansel; and Malinda is the wife of Edward 
Jennings. On the 12th of December, 1891, at Osterdock, this 
county, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Harbaugh to Mrs. 
Lizzie (Wingard) Shea, a daughter of the late Jacob Wingard, of 
Scranton, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Harbaugh presides with gracious- 
ness over the pleasant and hospitable home at Garber and she and 
her husband have an adopted daughter, whose maiden name was 
Lena Weaver and who is now the wife of Villard Harbaugh, their 
home being in South Dakota. 

John Hartwick has been a resident of Clayton county since 
he was a lad of six years, and within the intervening period of 
nearly sixty years he has proved himself a resourceful exponent 
of agricultural and live-stock industry in this favored section of 
the Hawkeye State, where he has precedence as the owner of one 
of the most extensive and valuable landed estates in Clayton 
county, the same comprising nearly one thousand acres, and his 
splendidly improved homestead being eligibly situated in Giard 
township, with rural mail service on Route No. 1 from the village 
of McGregor. Mr. Hartwick is a representative of one of the 
honored and influential pioneer families of this county, and of that 
staunch German element of citizenship that has played so large 
and benignant a part in connection with the social and material 
development and upbuilding of the county. He was born in the 
Grand Duchy of Hessen, Germany, on the 29th of September, 1840, 
and is a son of Conrad and Elizabeth (Schneider) Hartwick, who 
left the Fatherland in 1847 and immigrated to America. Soon 
after their arrival in the land of their adoption they came to Iowa 
and numbered themselves among the early settlers of Clayton 
county. After a comparatively brief period of residence in the 
little village of McGregor, Conrad Hartwick purchased a tract of 
wild land in Giard township and instituted the reclamation of the 
same. Industry and good management were not denied a gener- 
ous measure of prosperity, and he became one of the extensive 
landholders and substantial farmers, as well as an honored and 
influential citizen, of the county, where he continued his residence 
until the time of his death, which occurred May 25, 1890, the 
lovpd wife of his youth having been summoned to eternal rest on 



BIOGRAPHICAt 165 

the 25th of May, 1873, and the subject of this review having been 
their only child. Conrad Hartwick entered most fully into the 
spirit of American institutions and became a staunch advocate of 
the principles and policies of the Republican party. He was a man 
whose course was guided and governed by invincible integrity, 
and both he and his wife were zealous and consistent members 
of the German Methodist Episcopal church. John Hartwick was 
reared under the invigorating influences of the home farm, and 
his memory links the pioneer epoch in the history of Clayton 
county with the twentieth century of opulent prosperity. He gained 
his early education in the pioneer schools of Giard township, and, 
as the only child, he naturally remained at the parental home, and 
with the passing years began to relieve his father more and more 
of the exacting duties and responsibilities attending the various 
operations of the large farm, into full possession of which he came 
in 1890, upon the death of his honored father. The homestead 
comprised seven hundred acres and he has since added to his 
landed estate until he now has a fine domain of nearly one thou- 
sand acres, all in Giard township. He is one of the extensive and 
influential representatives of agricultural and live-stock industry in 
Clayton county and through his well ordered enterprise has become 
known as one of the substantial capitalists of the county. He is 
one of the leading stockholders in the State Bank of McGregor and 
is serving as a member of its directorate. Now venerable in years, 
he has given over the active management of his farm estate to 
his only surviving son and is living virtually retired, strong of 
mind and physical powers and secure in the confidence and good 
will of the community in which he has lived since his boyhood. 
Mr. Hartwick has never been perturbed by ambition for public 
office, though he has been loyal and liberal as a citizen and given 
his co-operation in the furtherance of those movements that have 
tended to conserve the general welfare of the community, the 
while he has been found aligned as a staunch supporter of the 
cause of the Republican party, both he and his wife being zealous 
members of the German Methodist Episcopal church at Giard, 
in which he formerly served as a steward. On the 2d of March, 
1865, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Hartwick to Miss 
Christina Arnold, of Farmersburg township, this county, and she 
has proved a devoted companion and helpmeet during the long 
intervening years, while her gracious personality has gained and 
retained to her the high regard of all who have come within the 
compass of her influence. She is the second in order of birth in a 
family of three children, of whom the first was Frederick, whose 
death occurred when he was about sixty-two years old ; Mary, the 
youngest of the number, is the wife of Edward Grifiin, and they 
maintain their home in Hancock county, this state. Mrs. Hart- 
wick was born in Baden, Germany, on the 20th of October, 1847, 
and was about four years of age when, in 1851, her parents, Fred- 
rick and Christinia (Sexaur) Arnold, immigrated to America and 
settled in Farmersburg township, Clayton county, where she was 
reared and educated, her father having been one of the substantial 



l66 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

farmers of that township at the time of his death, which occurred 
January 4, 1874, and his wife having long survived him, she having 
been called to the "land of the leal" on the i6th of November, 1904, 
at a venerable age, and both having been earnest members of the 
German Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. and Mrs. Hartwick 
became the parents of four children, all of whom are living except 
the third, Alfred, who was born September 16, 1873, ^"^ who died 
on the 9th of the following February. Matilda is the wife of 
William A. Meyer, a prosperous farmer of Giard township, and 
she was born May 16, 1867. Mr. and Mrs. Meyer have four chil- 
dren — Gilbert N., Clinton John, Ewald A., and Irwin W. Clara, 
the second child, was born September 27, 1869, and is now the wife 
of Rev. George Wessel, who is a clergyman of the Methodist 
Episcopal church and who now holds the superintendency of the 
church in South Dakota, their only child being a daughter, Irene. 
Theodore Hartwick, who has the active supervision of the home 
farm, was born September 30, 1875, and is well upholding the 
prestige of the family name, both as a progressive citizen and as 
a successful agriculturist and stock-raiser of his native county. 
He married Miss Matilda E. Datisman, of Dubuque, Iowa, and 
they became the parents of two children, John and Helen, the latter 
of whom died at the age of seven years. 

Miner F. Harwood is one of the most popular, progressive and 
influential business men in his native town of Strawberry Point, 
where he is cashier of the First National Bank and otherwise 
prominent in business and civic affairs. Here his birth occurred 
on the 3d of March, 1878, and he is a son of Newton and Helen 
(Tuller) Harwood, both of whom were born and reared in the 
state of New York and both of whom passed the closing years of 
their lives in Clayton county. The father came to this county in 
1870 and for a long period he was actively engaged in farming 
enterprise, besides which he gained prominence as a citizen of 
Strawberry Point, where he served for several terms in the office 
of city marshal. The subject of this sketch is the younger of the 
two children, and the firstborn, Julia, died in infancy. Miner F. 
Harwood received excellent educational advantages in his youth, 
his earlier discipline having been that of the public schools of his 
native county. He was thereafter a student for about two years 
in Upper Iowa University, in which institution he took a com- 
mercial course, and later he went to the city of Chicago, where 
he completed a course in the School of Pharmacy of Northwestern 
University. He was graduated in June, 1899, and also took a 
course of higher academic study in the school of instruction main- 
tained under the auspices of the Central Young Men's Christian 
Association of Chicago. Upon his return to Strawberry Point 
he here became actively identified with the drug business and at 
the same time he assumed the general supervision of the old home 
farm of 170 acres, a property of which he disposed in 1910. In 
February of the following year he was chosen assistant cashier of 
the First National Bank, and his executive ability and marked fidel- 
ity lead to his being advanced to the office of cashier of this repre- 



BIOGRAPHICAL 167 

sentative financial institution, the latter office having been held by 
him since July i, 1913. He has been a member of the directorate of 
the bank since 191 1, is serving as township treasurer at the time of 
this writing, in 1916, besides which he is treasurer also of the 
Strawberry Point District Fair Association and of the local Farm- 
ers' Co-operative Association, which operates the creamery at 
Strawberry Point. He is a leader in progressive movements in 
his native place, which has done much to further the civic and 
material advancement of Strawberry Point. Mr. Harwood gives 
his political allegiance to the Democratic party and is prominently 
identified with the Knights of Pythias, in which he is chancellor 
commander of Acme Lodge, No. 130, and he is treasurer of Straw- 
berry Point Encampment of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, 
in which fraternity his basic affiliation is with York Lodge, No. 175. 
On the 28th of November, 1900, was solemnized the marriage of 
Mr. Norwood to Miss Harriet Flower, who was born in Fayette 
county, this state, and they have one daughter, Helene, who was 
born March 2, 1908. 

William Haufle has passed the greater part of his life thus far 
in Clayton county, where he was born December 4, 1874, and he 
became dependent upon his own resources when a mere boy. His 
courage, ambition and energy proved equal to the responsibilities 
that devolved upon him and resulted in his winning, by personal 
effort, a substantial measure of success and prosperity. He became 
one of the progressive and successful exponents of agricultural 
and live-stock industry in this section of his native state, and 
after selling his well improved farm of one hundred and twenty 
acres, in Fayette county, he returned, in 1913, to Clayton county 
and purchased twenty-six and one-half acres of valuable land in 
Cass township, this entire tract being within the corporate limits 
of the village of Strawberry Point and having been by him im- 
proved with a fine and thoroughly modern residence, erected in 
the summer of 1916 and constituting the pleasant home of the 
family. Mr. Haufle is now the efficient and popular secretary and 
manager of the Strawberry Point Co-operative Commission Com- 
pany, which is proving a most important medium for the market- 
ing of farm products in this section of the county. He is a staunch 
Republican in politics, has served as a member of the school board, 
and both he and his wife are communicants of the German Luth- 
eran church. Mr. Haufle is a son of Florian and Louisa Haufle, 
both of whom were born in Germany. The father came to America 
when a young man and he became one of the substantial farmers 
of Clayton county, his farm having been near Strawberry Point. 
He died August 4, 1902, his devoted wife having passed away in 
1883. Of the six children four are deceased, and of the two sur- 
viving, William, of this sketch, is the elder, his brother Frederick 
being now a resident of Snohomish, Washington. The early edu- 
cational advantages of William Haufle were those of the district 
schools, and as a lad of fourteen years he began working as a farm 
hand, his wages having been given to his parents in large part 
until he had attained to his legal majority. Thereafter he con- 



l68 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

tinued his sendees as a farm hand for four years, and the ensuing 
four years found him engaged in farming on land which he rented. 
He then purchased eighty acres of land in Fayette county, and 
with increasing prosperity he added to this a tract of forty acres. 
He continued as one of the vigorous and successful representatives 
of farm enterprise in Fayette county until 1913, when, as pre- 
viously stated, he sold his farm and established his home at Straw- 
berry Point. On December 16, 1897, Mr. Haufle wedded Miss 
Elizabeth Allenstein, who was born and reared in this county, and 
who is a daughter of Christof and Caroline (Griesinger) Allenstein, 
both natives of Germany. The father was comparatively a young 
man at the time of his death, which occurred about the year 1880, 
and of his four children, Mrs. Haufle is the youngest ; Mary is the 
wife of Frederick Griesse, of Rock Rapids, Lyon county; Minnie 
is the wife of John Lindtner, of Steen, Rock county, Minnesota; 
Augusta is the wife of Henry Griesse, of Rock Rapids. After 
the death of her first husband, Mrs. Allenstein^ became the wife 
of Michael Weger, and he is survived by their two children — 
Emma, wife of Theodore Falck, of Fayette county, and Lena, wife 
of Martin Baumgardner, of Clayton county. For her third hus- 
band, Mrs. Weger married George Weger, and they own and 
reside upon a fine farm near Strawberry Point, their two children 
being William and Sophia. Mr. and Mrs. Haufle have three chil- 
dren — Clara Caroline Minnie, who was born November 29, 1898; 
Emma Barbara, who was born August 12, 1902, and an unnamed 
baby. 

John Hauschen was not yet one year old at the time when his 
parents, in 1857, became pioneer settlers of Clayton county, and 
here he has maintained his home during the long intervening years, 
within which he has accounted well for himself as one of the 
earnest and productive workers. He has been an effective ex- 
ponent of the agricultural interests of the county, has conducted 
a prosperous business as a wagonmaker, and is now established 
in the control of a substantial and prosperous hardware and gro- 
cery business in the village of Clayton, with a record that redounds 
to his honor and that has given him inviolable place in the con- 
fidence and good will of the people of Clayton county. Mr. 
Hauschen was born in the city of Galena, Illinois, on the 12th of 
August, 1856, at which time his native place was a mere village, 
and in the following year his parents removed to Clayton county, 
Iowa, as previously noted. He is one of the three surviving 
members of a family of eight children and is a son of John and 
Mary Hauschen, the former of whom was born in Germany and 
the latter in Scotland. In 1854, within a short time after their 
marriage, the parents immigrated to the United States and estab- 
lished their residence in Illinois, where they remained until their 
removal to Clayton county. In his native land John Hauschen, 
Sr., had learned the trade of blacksmith, and he became one of 
the pioneer exponents of the same in Clayton county, where both 
he and his wife passed the remainder of their lives, secure in the 
high esteem of all who knew them, and where each was of ad- 



BIOGRAPHICAL 169 

vanced age at the time of death. He to whom this sketch is 
dedicated was reared under the conditions and influences that 
obtained in the pioneer epoch of the history of Clayton county, 
and here he acquired his early education in the common schools 
of the period. Under effective direction he learned in his youth 
the trade of wagonmaker, at which he became a skilled workman, 
and in 1881 he established a wagon shop in the village of Clayton, 
where he continued to conduct a successful business until, in 1888, 
he turned his attention to the basic industry of agriculture. He 
rented a farm of 120 acres in Clayton township, and there he con- 
tinued his operations in diversified agriculture and stock-growing 
for a period of seven years. He then again opened a wagon shop 
at Clayton and continued his activities in the work of his trade 
until 1901, when he established himself in the hardware business, 
to which he later added a grocery department. This dual enter- 
prise he has since successfully conducted and he is known as one 
of the representative business men of the county that has been 
his home during virtually his entire life thus far. In politics Mr. 
Hauschen is not constrained by strict partisan lines but maintains 
an independent attitude and gives his support to the men and 
measures meeting the approval of his judgment. His secure place 
in popular confidence and esteem has been indicated in his service 
as treasurer of Clayton corporation for a period of fifteen years 
and by his giving an equal period of service in the office of trea- 
surer of his school district. In a fraternal way he is affiliated with 
the Modern Woodmen of America and both he and his wife are 
earnest communicants of the Lutheran church. In addition to 
his individual business Mr. Hauschen has the management of the 
Clayton office of the Standard, the Bell and the Garnarvillo Tele- 
phone Companies. In the year 1881 was solemnized his marriage 
to Miss Mary L. Kuenzel, who was bom and reared in Clayton 
county, as a representative of an honored pioneer family, and the 
four children of this union are Victor, Ernest G., William E. and 
Christopher. 

J. W. D. Havens became a resident of Clayton county in the 
pioneer days and when he was a lad of about seven years. His 
career has been varied and interesting and included gallant service 
as a soldier of the Union in the Civil war, after the close of which 
he traveled extensively as a member of a band that gained high 
reputation for the high-grade musical standard which it represented. 
Since 1908 he has been associated with his only son in the livery 
and automobile business at McGregor, and he is one of the well 
known, genial and popular citizens of Clayton county — a sterling 
citizen who well merits consideration in this history. Mr. Havens 
was born in Essex county, New York, on the 6th of December, 
1844, and is a son of John and Jane (Stevenson) Havens, the for- 
mer of whom was born in the State of New York, where the family 
was founded in an early day, and the latter of whom was born in 
the Province of Ontario, Canada. John Havens was one of the 
adventurous argonauts who made their way to California after the 
discovery of gold in that state, and he gained distinction as one of 



170 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

the memorable "Forty-niners," though he did not live long to enjoy 
this distinction, as he was accidentally shot and killed soon after 
his return to New York, where he left his young widow with one 
child, he to whom this sketch is dedicated. In 1851 J. W. D. Ha- 
vens accompanied his mother on her removal to Clayton county, 
Iowa, and after maintaining her home here for a number of years 
his mother removed to Richland county, Nebraska, where she 
passed the remainder of her life. Mr. Havens was reared to ma- 
turity in Clayton county, where he availed himself of the advan- 
tages of the pioneer schools and where in his youth he imbibed 
deeply of the vigorous spirit of the progressive west. When the 
Civil war was precipitated on the nation he was not yet seventeen 
years of age, but his youthful patriotism was not long to be held 
in bounds, and in 1862 he enlisted as bugler in the Sixth Iowa 
Cavalry. He saw long and strenuous service, was detailed to scout 
duty for a considerable period and had many hazardous experiences, 
his service in the volunteer branch of the United States army hav- 
ing covered a period of three years, besides which he gave two 
years of effective service as an Indian scout in the great west. In 
this latter service he several times received arrow wounds, and on 
one occasion was wounded by a gun shot in his right leg. After 
the close of his career as an intrepid and hardy soldier, Mr. Havens 
returned to Clayton county, but soon afterward he became a mem- 
ber of an excellent band that traveled throughout the various states 
of the Union and made an admirable record for effective musical 
renditions, his service in this connection being that of leader of 
the orchestra. During all these long years Mr. Havens has con- 
tinued to look upon Clayton county as his home and here his circle 
of friends is limited only by that of his acquaintances. As previ- 
ously stated, he has been since 1908 engaged in the livery and au- 
tomobile business at McGregor, with a well equipped establishment 
and with his only son as his effective coadjutor in the thriving en- 
terprise. Mr. Havens had previously served eleven years as city 
policeman of McGregor, and for eighteen years he held the office 
of constable. He is unswerving in his loyalty to the cause of the 
Republican party, is an appreciative and valued member of Harvey 
Dix Post, Grand Army of the Republic, and is identified also with 
the local organization of the Brotherhood of American Yeomen, 
On the 4th of July, 1888, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Ha- 
vens to Miss Eolah M. Hill, who was born in the state of New 
York, and their only son. Earl M., still remains at the parental 
home, besides being associated with his father in business, as al- 
ready noted, and being one of the popular and enterprising young 
men of his native county. 

George W. Hazlett, as one of the representative agriculturists 
and stock grower of Clayton county, may well take pride in and 
mark his appreciation of his fine homestead farm, in Giard town- 
ship, for not only is it one of the model places of the county, but 
it is also that upon which he was born and reared, his birth having 
here occurred on the 3d of August, 1875. He is a son of George 
and Jane (Whitaker) Hazlett, both natives of Ireland, where the 



BIOGRAPHICAL I7I 

former was born in County Monaghan and the latter in County 
Sligo. George Hazlett was reared and educated in his native land 
and in 1849, as a young man, he immigrated to America, where he 
felt assurred of broader opportunities for the winning of stable 
prosperity. Soon after his arrival in the United States he came to 
Iowa and took up a tract of government land in what is now Giard 
township, Clayton county, but in the following year he yielded to 
the lure incidental to the recent discovery of gold in California, to 
which State he made his way over the plains to the New Eldorado, 
where he met with measurable success in his quest for the precious 
metal and where he gained the distinction of being one of the pio- 
neers in the gold fields. Upon his return to Clayton county he 
directed himself vigorously and effectively to the reclaiming and 
improving of his farm, which he brought under a high state of cul- 
tivation. With increasing prosperity he continued to make judi- 
cious investment in land, and at the time of his death he was the 
owner of a valuable estate of two hundred acres of specially well 
improved land. He was one of the honored pioneers of the county, 
contributed much to its civic and industrial development and prog- 
ress and was influential in community affairs. His political alle- 
giance was given unreservedly to the Republican party and his 
alert mind caused him to become well fortified in his convictions 
concerning public affairs. He served efficiently as township trustee 
and was otherwise prominent in local affairs. This sterling citizen 
passed to the life eternal in January, 1891, secure in the high regard 
of all who knew him. and his venerable widow, who with him held 
membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, still remains on 
the old homestead with her son George W., the immediate subject 
of this review. Of the children the first-born, Marjorie, the wife of 
J. W. Radskinner, is deceased ; Rachel is the wife of Samuel Barnes, 
a prosperous farmer in Linton township, Allamakee county ; Susan 
is the widow of John Feay and maintains her home at Henry, South 
Dakota ; Mary Jane is deceased ; William remains on the old home- 
stead ; Albert is deceased ; Jennie is the wife of John Belk, of Henry, 
South Dakota; and Cora resides at Monona, one of the most at- 
tractive villages of her native county. George W. Hazlett, the 
youngest of the eight children, was reared to manhood on the farm 
which is still his place of abode and after profiting by the advan- 
tages of the district schools he completed an effective course in 
the high school at Monona. He then put his scholastic attainments 
to practical test by teaching one term in the district school of his 
home county, and thereafter he pursued for a time higher academic 
studies in a seminary at Wood Springs. His appreciation of and 
close allegiance to the basic industry of agriculture have contin- 
ued during the years that have since intervened and he is known 
and honored as one of the representative citizens and progressive 
farmers of this favored section of the Hawkeye State. As a youth he 
began his independent career as an agriculturist on his father's farm, 
and in 1898, after the death of his father, he and his brother, Wm. J., 
purchased the landed estate of two hundred acres, to which they 
have since added a tract of eighty acres, so that they are the owners 



172 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

of one of the large landed domains of his native county, even as it 
is also one that most fully shows for thrift and prosperity. The farm 
is devoted to diversified agriculture and the raising of good breeds 
of live stock, including short-horn cattle and Poland-China swine, 
and in both departments of the farm enterprise Mr. Hazlett has 
as his partner and valued coadjutor his brother William. He is 
broadminded and liberal as a citizen, gives a staunch support to 
the cause of the Republican party in a generic way but is some- 
what independent of strict partisanship in local aflfairs. At Monona 
he is affiliated with the camp of the Modern Woodmen of America, 
and there also he and his wife, as well as his mother, hold mem- 
bership in the Methodist Episcopal Church. On the 19th of Sep- 
tember, 1898, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Hazlett to Miss 
Mae Cunningham, who was born and reared in Giard township, 
and who is a daughter of Isaac and Frances R. (Collier) Cunning- 
ham, still residents of this township. Mr. and Mrs. Hazlett have 
five children, namely: George Irwin, Wilma, Merlie Mae, Frances 
Marjorie, and Mary Jane. The family home is one of the attractive 
and hospitable habitations of Giard township and is a popular cen- 
ter of much of the representative social life of the immediate com- 
munity. 

William James Hazlett, who is actively associated with his 
brother George in the operations of the fine old farmstead de- 
scribed in the preceding paragraph, was here born on the 8th of 
January, 1865, and the two brothers are partners in the ownership 
of the valuable estate. William J. Hazlett is indebted to the public 
schools of his native township for his early educational advantages, 
and he has been continuously identified with the work and man- 
agement of the old homestead farm from his early youth to the pres- 
ent time. He has remained a bachelor and resides with the family 
of his brother, the home circle being the more complete and gracious 
by reason of the presence of the venerable mother, who is held in 
affectionate regard by all who have come within the sphere of her 
gentle influence. Mr. Hazlett is aligned as a staunch advocate of 
the cause of the Republican party, is affiliated with the Woodmen 
of the World and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Northern 
Light Lodge No. 156, at Monona, and is a zealous member of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he is serving as a trustee. 

Albert L. Heddleson, one of the vigorous and progressive ex- 
ponents of agricultural and live-stock industry in Clayton county, 
was born on the fine homestead farm which he now owns and occu- 
pies, in Cass township, and the date of his nativity was May 3, 
1876. He is a son of Jacob and Laura (Ferguson) Heddleson, of 
whose seven children he was the fifth in order of birth, and the other 
surviving children are 2 sons and 3 daughters. The father was 
born in the state of Ohio and the mother in that of Illinois, where 
their marriage was solemnized, and whence they came to Clayton 
county, Iowa, in the early '70s, their home being established on 
the farm now owned and managed by the subject of this review. 
The father became one of the prosperous farmers and honored and 
influential citizens of Cass township and both he and his wife con- 



BIOGRAPHICAL 1 73 

tinued to reside on their home farm until the close of their lives. 
In the public schools of Clayton county Albert L. Heddleson con- 
tinued his studies until he had profited duly by the advantages of 
the high school, and thereafter he continued to lend his co-operation 
in the work of the home farm until he had attained to his legal 
majority, and thereafter he continued virtually independent opera- 
tions on the same fine farm until he assumed entire control of the 
property. This splendidly improved homestead comprises one hun- 
dred and sixty acres, in Sections 27 and 34, Cass township, and in 
addition thereto Mr. Heddleson owns also forty acres in Delaware 
county. He is not only an enterprising agriculturist who brings 
to bear in his operations the most approved methods and appli- 
ances but he is making a specialty and definite success also in the 
raising and feeding of the fine Black Angus type of cattle and the 
Hampshire swine. He is a popular and appreciative member of 
the lodge of Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Strawberry 
Point, and has filled the various official chairs in the same. He 
has served as a member of the school board of the district in which 
he himself gained his early education, and his political allegiance 
is given to the Democratic party. He is a stockholder in the 
creamery at Strawberry Point and he and his sisters attend and 
support the Methodist Episcopal church in that village, from 
which their home receives service on rural mail route No. 2. 
Mr. Heddleson has permitted his name to remain on the roll of 
eligible bachelors in his native county, but has been signally fav- 
ored in having three sisters associated with him in maintaining 
the generous hospitality of the home, over the domestic economies 
of which the sisters preside most graciously, even as do they also 
over its social activities. Katherine E., Jessie B. and Pearl M. are 
all high school graduates, and the two younger sisters also com- 
pleted collegiate courses. Pearl M. having been for some time a 
representative of the pedagogic profession, as a successful and pop- 
ular teacher in her home county. 

Hans Helgesen. — One of the most gratifying elements of our 
national life is the part played by men of foreign birth who have 
chosen America for their permanent home and who have caught 
the real spirit of our institutions. They have lent themselves with 
all of the fine force that is in them to patriotic service and to 
furthering the social and material welfare of the land of their 
adoption, besides which they have reared their sons to deep appre- 
ciation of the privileges and opportunities afforded in the great 
republic of America, thus reinforcing stable and worthy social and 
industrial conditions. This is especially true of those of Scandi- 
navian birth or lineage, and from this source the United States 
has had much to gain and nothing to lose. Clayton county, 
Iowa, has been fortunate in gaining an appreciable element of 
such valued Scandinavian citizenship and it is most pleasing to be 
able to render in this history a due tribute to those of this class 
who stand representative in loyal citizenship and resourceful ac- 
tivity in connection with the communal life. He whose name 
initiates this article is a native son of Clayton county and may well 



174 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

take pride in his lineage, which traces back to the staunchest of 
origin in the fair Norseland. He was born on the old homestead 
farm of his father, in Section 27, Wagner township, this county, 
and the date of his nativity was August 25, 1876, and it is gratifying 
to note that he is now the owner of the fine farm which was the 
place of his birth and in the operations of which he is well up- 
holding the prestige of a family name that has been prominently 
identified with the civic and industrial development and progress 
of this favored section of the Hawkeye State. Mr. Helgesen is a 
son of Peter and Jane (Glesne) Helgesen, both of whom were born 
in Norway. Peter Helgesen was a lad of thirteen years at the 
time when he came to the United States, and he became a youthful 
pioneer of Clayton county, where he found employment at farm 
work until he had attained to the age of sixteen years, when he 
entered claim to the homestead of one hundred and sixty acres now 
owned and occupied by his son Hans, of this review. He reclaimed 
the land to cultivation, labored early and late with undaunted 
purpose and finally won for himself substantial independence and 
prosperity. He made the best of permanent improvements on his 
farms, including the erection of the present commodious and at- 
tractive house and large and well equipped barns and other farm 
buildings, and here he held sway as one of the substantial farmers 
and honored citizens of Clayton county until his death, which 
occurred on the 9th of May, 1906, his widow still remaining with 
their son Hans on the old homestead that is endeared to her by 
the hallowed memories and associations of the past. She is a 
devoted communicant of the Lutheran church, as was also her 
husband, and the latter was a staunch Republican in his political 
proclivities. Of the eight children the eldest is Helen, who is the 
wife of Ole M. Benson, of Wagner township; Nellie is the wife 
of Embert Embretson, of St. Olaf, this county; Caroline is the 
wife of Otto Johnson, of St. Olaf; Hans (ist) died in infancy and 
Hans (2nd) is the immediate subject of this sketch; Mary remains 
with her brother and widowed mother on the old homestead ; Oscar 
is now a resident of Dickinson, North Dakota; and Gerhard died 
in childhood. He whose name initiates this article was reared to 
the sturdy discipline of the home farm and in the meanwhile 
profited duly by the advantages afforded in the local schools. He 
remained with his parents until 1902, when he became identified 
with the general merchandise business, at St. Olaf. In 1905, about 
a year prior to the death of his father, he purchased the old home- 
stead farm, and here he has since continued his progressive and 
successful activities as an agriculturist and stock-grower, every- 
thing about his well improved domain bearing evidence of thrift 
and prosperity. He is loyal in supporting measures and enter- 
prises tending to advance the general well-being of the community 
and is unswerving in his allegiance to the Republican party, both 
he and his wife clinging to the religious faith in which they were 
reared and being zealous communicants of the Lutheran church. 
On the 14th of October, 1900, Mr. Helgesen wedded Miss Alice 
Larson, who has been a resident of this county from the time of 




JOHN G. HEMPEL 



BIOGRAPHICAL 175 

her birth, and the one child of this union was Orvill Hurburt, who 
was born September 4, 1915, and who died September 10, 1916. 
1916. 

Hempel, John G. — One of the men whose career reflects credit 
upon Clayton county and who by his earnestness and ability has 
gained a state-wide reputation, is Mr. John G. Hempel of Elkader. 
He has not only filled positions of trust and confidence in the 
county, but he has been recognized as one of the leaders of his 
political faith in Iowa, and his counsel and experience have been 
called for on many occasions. Mr. Hempel is a native of Clayton 
county and practically all of his life has been spent within its bor- 
ders. He is the son of Charles F. and Dorothy (Newman) Hem- 
pel. His parents were born in Friedland, Germany, coming to 
America in 1851, and settling in Erie county, Pa., where his father 
was employed in various capacities for a period of two years. Con- 
sumed with the spirit of the pioneer, the family determined to go 
to the new west, and accordingly, in 1853, they came to Clayton 
county. They journeyed by rail as far as Galena, 111., which was 
then the terminus of the road, and they then came by boat, up the 
Mississippi to McGregor's landing. They settled in Giard town- 
ship, where John G., the subject of this sketch, was born, Decem- 
ber 9th, 1860. During the years 1859 and 1864 Mr. Hempel, senior, 
made several trips across the prairie to Nebraska, taking up claims 
as a matter of speculation. The journey was made by ox team 
and Mr, Hempel took his little family with him so that Mr. John 
Hempel is one of the few in this county who have any remembrance 
of the hardships of the pioneer prairie trail. Charles F. Hempel had 
seven children, Charles M., who resides at Hillsboro, N. D. ; Edwin 
A., of Minneapolis, Minn.; John G., of Elkader; Katharine and 
Caroline, of Charles City, Iowa ; Mary, of Nashua, Iowa ; and Ade- 
line, deceased. In 1911, at the age of eighty-one, the respected 
father of the worthy family passed to the other life at his home at 
Charles City, Iowa, having been preceded by his wife, who died 
in 1896, at the age of fifty-six. As a boy and youth John G. worked 
on his father's farm, and attended the schools of Giard township, 
laying the foundation not only of a thorough and practical educa- 
tion but of good health and of habits of industry, thrift and thor- 
oughness. At the age of twenty he left the old homestead and went 
to the little village of Giard, where he obtained a position as clerk 
in the general store conducted by J. D. Bickel. Some six months 
later the firm of Neill and Bickel was formed, and for one year 
Mr. Hempel was buyer for this firm, his work being so satisfactory 
that he was later made manager of the company's store. This 
position he held for three years. Desiring to learn the clothing 
business, Mr. Hempel resigned his place in Giard and went to 
McGregor, where, with the thoroughness for which he is noted, 
he spent seven years with various firms of that city, learning every 
detail of the clothing business. At this time, having saved suffi- 
ciently from his salary, he returned to Giard, buying the store in 
which he had formerly been an employee. He conducted this store 
for three years and during this time came to be recognized as one 



176 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

of the solid and trustworthy men of the county. His friends and 
neighbors showed their appreciation of his ability and he was made 
secretary and treasurer of the Farmer's Creamery Association, sec- 
retary of the township school board, and secretary of the Clayton 
County Fair Association, April 1st, 1895, Mr. Hempel disposed 
of his business at Giard, moved to Elkader and started the cloth- 
ing and furnishing store with which he has been connected con- 
tinuously for the past twenty-one years. During these years hte 
has built up the largest clothing business in Clayton county, carry- 
ing the largest exclusive clothing stock in the county. In 1894, 
while Mr. Hempel was still at Giard, the republicans, looking for 
a strong and popular man for their ticket, as the county had been 
democratic for a number of years, placed Mr. Hempel in nomination 
for recorder. It was not expected that he would be elected and it 
was a surprise when he came out of the race with a scant 97 ma- 
jority against him when the other democratic majorities ranged 
from 250 to 450. This excellent showing induced his friends to 
place him in nomination, in 1896, for the office of county auditor 
and he was elected by a majority of 33. He was re-elected in 1898, 
1900 and 1902, serving eight years in this important capacity. His 
record as an official was without a flaw and he was noted for his 
efficiency, courtesy and faithfulness. While holding office as audi- 
tor the county treasurer, Charles Ruegnitz, died, Mr. Hempel, under 
the law, taking charge of his office, and shortly before the semi- 
annual settlement of the board of supervisors, in conjunction with 
John H. Hill, he was appointed to balance the books of this office. 
During these years and subsequently, Mr. Hempel took an active 
part in the politics of the Republican party in the state and in the 
congressional district, and his ability as a party organizer was rec- 
ognized by his election for two terms as a member of the Repub- 
lican State Central Committee for the Fourth Congressional district. 
He was also appointed by Gov. A. B. Cummins as a member of the 
state voting machine commission, in which capacity he served sev- 
eral terms, and contributed valuable effort to the state. He was 
also appointed to audit the books of the state fair association, and 
for a number of years he was a member of the city council of Elka- 
der. Upon leaving the auditor's office Mr. Hempel resumed active 
charge of his clothing store, and to this business he has devoted all 
his energies since that time, with most gratifying results. It may 
be remarked that at present Mr. Hempel is conducting the business 
without assistance of any kind, and that no stock could be neater 
and more methodically arranged, and no business in better condi- 
tion than this concern which he operates single-handed. Mr. Hem- 
pel presents a splendid example of German efficiency, thoroughly 
and stalwartly Americanized. While engrossed in his business, he 
finds time for other things and he is recognized as one of the strong 
and progressive republicans of the state, and he is ready at all times 
to give his best efforts for the benefit of his party and of Clayton 
county. On February 1st, 1887, Mr. Hempel was united in mar- 
riage with Miss Emma J. Beckel of Giard, and to them were born 
three children, Iowa H., now Mrs. G. J. Graf, who is acting as 



BIOGRAPHICAL 177 

deputy county treasurer, Kathleen, at home, and Johneyette G., 
who died September 13, 1906, at the age of five years. Mr. Hempel 
holds membership in the Masonic and Odd Fellows orders and is 
one of the most valued citizens of the community and of the county, 
and he is, perhaps, as widely known as any man living in the county 
today. 

Charles F. Hemiing is signally fortunate in being the owner of 
the fine old homestead farm upon which he was born and reared 
and upon which he has been specially progressive and successful 
in his independent operations as an agriculturist and stock grower. 
He has improved the place with excellent buildings since the same 
came into his possession and the farm is one of the model home- 
steads of Garnavillo township, where it is eligibly situated in Sec- 
tion 6, the area of the farm being one hundred and sixty acres. On 
this homestead Mr. Henning was born on the 3d of February, 1873, 
and he is a son of John and Katherine (Schultz) Henning, of whose 
large family, comprising twelve children, only four are now living. 
The parents were born and reared in Germany and upon coming 
to the United States they became pioneers of Clayton county, Iowa. 
Here they established their residence on the farm now owned by 
the subject of this review, here the father reclaimed and improved 
a productive farm and here he and his devoted wife passed the re- 
mainder of their lives, successful in their earnest endeavors and 
respected by all who knew them. Charles F. Henning early ini- 
tiated his services in connection with the work of the farm of 
which he is now the owner and in his boyhood and youth he did 
not neglect to profit by the advantages afforded in the public 
schools of his native county. His marriage occurred in the year 
1898 and within a short time thereafter he purchased the old home 
farm, to the operations of which he has since given his attention 
with marked energy and discrimination. He is a stalwart in the 
local camp of the Democratic party, served two years as trustee of 
his native township, and for nine years he was a member of the 
school board of his district. He is liberal in the support of those 
things that tend to advance the communal welfare, has secure 
place in popular esteem and both he and his wife are communicants 
of the Lutheran church, in the faith of which they were reared. 
In 1898 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Henning to Miss Ame- 
lia L. Kahle, who was born and reared in this county and who is a 
daughter of August and Mary (Balke) Kahle, both of whom are 
now deceased. Mr. Kahle and his wife were born and reared in 
Germany and he became one of the pioneer farmers of Clayton 
county, where he continued to reside on his homestead farm until 
his death, as did also his wife. Mr. and Mrs. Henning have two 
children, Elmer John F. and Amelia Katherine M. 

Charles F. Hesner has been a resident of Clayton county from 
the time of his birth and has here found ample opportunity for 
productive enterprise, not only in connection with the funda- 
mental industries of agriculture and stock-growing, but also in the 
furtherance of business and capitalistic enterprises. He is now 
living virtually retired in the attractive residence which he erected 



178 ' MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

in the village of Edgewood, in 1895, and he is also the owner of 
the modern theater or opera-house building which provides a 
medium for high-class entertainment for the people of his com- 
munity. He is associated with his brother in the ownership of a 
valuable landed estate of three hundred and seventy acres, in 
Lodomillo township, and this includes the old homestead farm on 
which he was born, the date of his nativity having been October 
8, 1861. Mr. Hesner is a son of John and Barbara (Goodyear) 
Hesner, who were born and reared in Germany, and who estab- 
lished their home in Clayton county in the early '50s, soon after 
their immigration to America. The father was a man of splendid 
energy and judgment and he accumulated and improved a large 
landed property, in the operations of which he held precedence 
as one of the substantial and progressive farmers of the county. 
He was one of the venerable pioneer citizens of Clayton county at 
the time of his death, which occurred April 9, 1901, the wife of 
his youth having passed away in 1867, and their children having 
been seven in number : Andrew is now a resident of Manchester, 
Delaware county ; Margaret and Barbara are deceased ; John re- 
sides at Strawberry Point, this county; Sophia is the wife of 
Luman S. Fisher, concerning whom individual mention is made 
on other pages ; Charles F., of this review, was the next in order 
of birth ; and Maria is the wife of L. D. Zahrndt, of Edgewood. 
After having- duly profited by the advantages afforded in the 
schools of his native county, Charles F. Hesner continued his 
active association with the work and management of the old home 
farm and eventually he became associated with his brother John 
in the ownership of the valuable landed estate of three hundred 
and seventy acres. He continued his activities as one of the repre- 
sentative farmers in Lodomillo township until 1895, when he re- 
moved with his family to Edgewood, where he erected his present 
fine residence, one of the most modern and attractive in the village, 
and he has since continued to give his supervision to his various 
property interests, which are of substantial and important order. 
He is a Democrat in politics and is affiliated with the Modern 
Woodmen of America. As a young man Mr. Hesner wedded Miss 
Clara Blanchard, and she is survived by two children, Herbert 
and Helen, who remain at the paternal home. On the 25th of 
December, 1906, Mr. Hesner married Mrs. Lillie (Smith) Cooper, 
her first husband having been Clarence R. Cooper, a native of 
Ohio, and the only child of that union being Martha Theresa, who 
remains with her mother. Mrs. Hesner was born and reared in 
Clayton county and is a daughter of Andrew and Martha Ann 
(Sergent) Smith, who came from Canada and established their 
home in Cass township, this county, in 1857, Mr. Smith having 
here passed to eternal rest in September, 1876, and his wife having 
survived him by nearly thirty years, her death taking place Decem- 
ber 8, 1905. Of the four children, Mrs. Hesner is the youngest; 
Albert resides at Strawberry Point, this county; Wilbur is now a 
resident of Marion, North Dakota; and Louis died in childhood. 



I'HB SEW YORK 



^WOt, LINM AMD 







%^ 




JOHN H. HILL 



BIOGRAPHICAL I79 

John Henry Hill. — Fortunate is the county which has in its 
midst some man whose knowledge of county affairs and of property 
interests is so complete and intimate that he is recognized and 
accepted as authority by all. Clayton county has such a man in 
John Henry Hill. For many years he has been delving into the 
records of the county, and no history would be complete without 
reference to him and to his work. His record as a citizen and 
official and as a soldier is without a flaw, and his friends are num- 
bered by his acquaintances. Mr. Hill was born in Waddingham, 
England, June 27, 1845. He was the son of John and Mary (Hird) 
Hill, and came, with his parents, to Bytown, now Ottawa, Ontario, 
at an early date, where his father took up a claim of one hundred 
acres in Carleton county. Mr. Hill was one of a family of five 
children, Thomas, who died in 1913; John Henry, the subject of 
this sketch ; William H. ; Benjamin, who is a farmer in Carleton 
county, Ontario, and EHza J., who resides in Ottawa. Mr. Hill 
was educated in the country schools near Ottawa and, on gradu- 
ating, taught in the common schools for one year. In 1863, he 
came to the United States, worked for a farmer near Skowhegan, 
Maine. Although having lived in this country but three months, 
he was fired with patriotic zeal for the Union, and responded to 
Abraham Lincoln's call to arms by enlisting in the fifteenth regi- 
ment, Maine infantry. He served faithfully and bravely until the 
close of the war, and was honorably discharged from the service 
of the United States May 31, 1865. After the war the great excite- 
ment attendant upon the discovery of oil attracted him to Western 
Pennsylvania, where he remained for two years. In 1867 he came 
to Iowa, first settling in Bremer county, where he lived until the 
spring of 1872. Coming to Clayton county, he resided in Mallory 
township until January i, 1886. At this time he removed to Elka- 
der, having been appointed deputy county treasurer. This position 
he held for eleven years, performing his duties so faithfully and 
giving such satisfaction to the people that he was honored with 
the nomination for county recorder, on the Democratic ticket, and 
was elected by a comfortable majority. He was twice re-elected 
for this office, retiring from the public service January i, 1903. It 
is a remarkable evidence of the popularity of Mr. Hill, and the high 
esteem in which he was held, that, at the three elections when he 
was a candidate, he was the only Democratic candidate elected. 
In 1875, Mr. Hill was married to Miss Mary Hansel, a daughter 
of Jacob Hansel, of Mallory township. They are the parents of 
eight children: Eliza, J. Wilbur, Martha J., John J., Mary C, 
Ethel, Franklin and Florence. Mr. Hill is a member of Elkader 
lodge. No. 72, A. F. and A. M., Mystic Camp M. W. A., and of the 
Brotherhood of American Yeomen. Last, but not least, he is proud 
to be a member of Boardman Post No. 184, G. A. R. Mr. Hill has 
for many years followed the abstracting business and his work is 
so careful and conscientious, and his knowledge of property trans- 
fers so complete, that he is looked upon as an authority, and his 
word as to a title is as good as a guarantee deed. Mr. Hill is a 
kindly, genial gentleman ; he has an inexhaustible fund of facts 



l8o MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

and anecdotes concerning Clayton county and its people. His life 
has been one of honor and integrity and he has served his adopted 
country well, both as a citizen and as a soldier. Few men in Clay- 
ton county have more real friends. 

Charles Hinsch, a successful hardware merchant of Farmers- 
burg, Iowa, was born in Germany, January 30, 1850, and is the 
son of Henry and Claudina (Schoelerman) Hinsch, the former of 
whom died in Germany. Charles was the second of three children 
born to his parents; Henry, the eldest, dying in childhood, and 
Claudina married to Detrich Ben Jegerdes, of Worth county, Iowa. 
Mr. Hinsch learned and followed the cabinet trade in Germany 
for fourteen years, then traveled as journeyman for one year, 
before coming to America in 1869. He arrived in Clayton county 
in the fall of that year, where he took up carpentering, keeping 
at that trade for several years, when he went into wagon making, 
continuing in the business for fifteen years. At the expiration of 
that time he opened a hardware store, building up the thriving 
business he still conducts in partnership with his son Arthur. He 
married Amelia Bothner, and they have become the parents of 
several children : Henry, who is a contractor and builder of 
Farmersburg; Claudina, the wife of Christ Meyer, of Montana; 
Charles, of Minnesota; Arthur, associated with his father in busi- 
ness ; Adele, who is married to C. J. Coon, of Van Horn, Iowa ; 
Alma, the wife of P. J. Hemerick, of Billings, Montana; and Eva, 
who is a teacher. Mr. Hinsch is a Democrat in politics, and has 
served as Justice of the Peace four years. He belongs to the fra- 
ternal orders of Masons and the M. B. A., and is a member of the 
Lutheran church. 

Assor S. Houg has been a resident of Marion township from 
the time of his birth to the present and during his entire adult life 
he has here been actively associated with the fundamental and all- 
important industries of agriculture and stock-raising, of which he 
is now a prominent and influential exponent. He is a man of strong 
mentality and in his honorable and useful career he has contributed 
to the civic and industrial advancement and prosperity of his na- 
tive county; the while he has been the recipient of unqualified 
popular esteem and has been influential in community affairs in 
his home township. He represented Marion township on the county 
board of supervisors for two terms and his total period of service 
as township clerk has covered more than twenty years, he being 
the incumbent of this position at the present time and having served 
continuously as secretary of the school board of his district since 
1882. He is director and vice president of the Elgin Savings Bank 
and the vice president of the Elgin Farmers' Dairy Co. His polit- 
ical allegiance is given to the Republican party and both he and his 
wife are zealous communicants of the Norwegian Lutheran church 
at Clermont. Mr. Houg was born in Marion township, of this 
county, on the 4th of September, 1857, and is a son of Svend and 
Margaret (Groth) Houg, both natives of Norway, where they were 
reared and educated and where their marriage was solemnized. 
They came to the United States in the year 1852 and established 



BIOGRAPHICAL l8l 

a home in Clayton county, where the death of the devoted wife and 
mother occurred in March, 1878. Svend Houg was born December 
4, 1814, and upon numbering himself among the pioneers of Clay- 
ton county he purchased of his brother-in-law, Ole Groth, a tract 
of one hundred and ninety-five acres of land, in Marion township. 
With the passing years large and well merited prosperity attended 
his efforts and he became one of the substantial farmers and in- 
fluential citizens of Marion township, a devout and zealous worker 
in and communicant of the Norwegian Lutheran church, as was 
also his wife, and for many years he served as a member of the 
church board of trustees. This honored pioneer, now one of the 
most patriarchal citizens of Iowa, retains remarkable mental and 
physical vigor, though he is one hundred and one years of age 
at the time of this writing, in the summer of 1916. Revered in 
the county that has long been his place of residence, he is cared 
for with deep filial solicitude in the home of his son Assor S., 
the immediate subject of this sketch. The first three children, 
Lars, Ragnild and Halsten, are deceased ; Ole is a resident of 
Emmett county, this state ; Kittle and Knudt are residents of 
Elgin, Iowa; Ingeri is a resident of Climax, Minnesota; the sub- 
ject of this sketch was the sixth child ; Olaf is a prosperous 
farmer of Fayette county; Ragnild (second of the name) is the 
wife of F. E. Gladen, of St. Paul, Minnesota ; Elling is another 
of the representative farmers of Marion township ; and Guri resides 
at Reynolds, Grand Forks county, North Dakota. Assor S. Houg 
was reared to manhood on the old homestead farm of his father. 
He made good use of the advantages afforded in the public schools 
of the locality and period and since 1882 he has had the active su- 
pervision of the splendid estate, as the present owner of three hun- 
dred and fifteen acres of most fertile and productive land, in Sections 
17 and 20, Marion township, the property being improved with sub- 
stantial and modern buildings and being maintained at the best 
modern standard in both the agricultural and stock-raising depart- 
ments. Mr. Houg has kept himself in close touch with the thought 
and action of the day, is well fortified in his convictions concerning 
governmental and economic aflfairs, and has been an appreciative 
student and reader, his early education having included a course of 
one year in college. At the age of 33 years he wedded Miss Bertina 
Rear, and her death occurred on July 28, 1901. Of the three chil- 
dren of this union the eldest, Elmer Martin, is now a resident of 
Clermont, Fayette county ; and Sylvan Arthur and Elizabeth Ruth 
remain at the paternal home. On the 15th of November, 1905, was 
solemnized the marriage of Mr. Houg to Miss Emma Rear, who 
likewise was born and reared in this county, and the three children 
of this marriage are Signy Margrethe, Gerhard Myron and Anna 
Esther. 

Elling S. Houg has in his independent career as a farmer mani- 
fested the energy, progressiveness and excellent judgment that in- 
variably conserve success that is stable and worthy, and he is con- 
sistently to be designated as one of the representative agriculturists 
and stock-growers of his native township and county. He is a son 



l82 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

of Svend Houg, who was one of the sterling pioneers of Qayton 
county, and concerning the family history it is not necessary to 
enter into details in the present connection, for on other pages the 
record is adequately given in the sketch of A. S. Houg. He whose 
name introduces this article was born in Marion township, this 
county, on the 1st of March, 1865, his early educational advantages 
having been those afforded in the common schools of the locality 
and period and his entire career having been marked by close and 
effective association with farm industry, of which he has become a 
prominent and susbstantial representative in his native township. 
In 1903 he purchased his present well-improved farm of two hun- 
dred and seven acres, the same being eligibly situated in Sections 
15 and 22, Marion township, and in the proximity of the village of 
Elgin, from which the pleasant home receives service on rural mail 
route No. 5. Mr. Houg carries forward his agricultural and live- 
stock operations with energy and circumspection, is an able and 
popular representative of these all-important lines of industry in 
Clayton county, is a Republican in politics and takes loyal interest 
in community affairs of a public order. He has given effective 
service as an official of his school district and is now serving as 
school director. Both he and his wife are active members of the 
Norwegian Lutheran church. On the 13th of December, 1897, was 
solemnized the marriage of Mr. Houg to Miss Maria Olson, who has 
been a resident of this county from the time of her birth and who 
is a daughter of John Olson, further mention of the family being 
made on other pages, in the sketch of the career of T. J. Olson. Mr. 
and Mrs. Houg have seven children, all of whom remain at the 
parental home, namely: Joseph Millard, Ruth Sylvia, Emily 
Myrtle, Agnes Sophia, Hilda Geneva, Alice Loretta, and Myron 
Ansel. 

Frederick H. Howard, M. D., has been established in the 
practice of his profession at Strawberry Point for more than thirty 
years, is dean of his profession in this thriving village and is next 
to the oldest physician and surgeon of Clayton county in point of 
years of consecutive practice within its borders. His success in 
his exacting and humane vocation has been on a parity with his 
recognized ability and zeal and he is to be consistently designated 
as one of the representative physicians of this section of his native 
state — one who has kept in close touch with the advances made 
in both departments of professional work and who has in the mean- 
while stood exponent of the staunchest and most loyal citizenship. 
Dr. Howard was born in Delaware county, this state, on the 6th of 
February, i860, and is a son of John B. and Sarah (Proctor) 
Howard, the former of whom was born in the state of New York 
and the latter in Ohio. The father of the Doctor is now one of the 
patriarchal pioneer citizens of Iowa, to which state he came in 
1840, after having been the overseer of the first railway grading 
that was done in the state of Illinois. He celebrated in 1916 the 
one hundredth anniversary of his birth, retains remarkable mental 
and physical vigor and is one of the most venerable men in the 
s'^'^^e which he has seen developed from the wilderness of the 



BIOGRAPHICAL 183 

frontier to its present proud position as one of the great and 
opulent commonwealths of the Union. Upon coming to Iowa this 
aged and honored citizen established his residence upon a pioneer 
farm in Delaware county, and there the family home was main- 
tained until i860, when, shortly after the birth of the subject of 
this review, removal was made to Fayette county, where John B. 
Howard has resided during the long intervening years, a strong 
and worthy citizen who has contributed his quota to the civic and 
material development and upbuilding of the Hawkeye state. His 
cherished and devoted wife passed to eternal rest in 1913, at the 
venerable age of 76 years, and of their nine children, seven are 
still living. Dr. Howard was an infant at the time of the family 
removal to Fayette county, where he was reared to adult age on 
a pioneer farm and where he profited fully by the advantages 
afforded in the public schools of the period. Thereafter he pur- 
sued a higher academic course in Fayette College, and in con- 
sonance with his earnest ambition he finally entered upon the study 
of medicine in the Hahnemann Medical College in the city of 
Chicago. In this institution he was graduated as a member of the 
class of 1885, and after thus receiving his degree of Doctor of 
Medicine he engaged in the practice of his profession at Volga, 
Clayton county, on the 14th of March, 1885. In the following 
October he removed to Strawberry Point, which village has since 
continued as the center of his professional activities, which have 
been attended with unequivocal success and resulted also in his 
gaining marked prestige, with inviolable place in popular confi- 
dence and esteem. The Doctor is an influential and honored mem- 
ber of the Clayton County Medical Society, and is identified also 
with the Iowa State Medical Society and the American Medical 
Association. He served several years as health officer at Straw- 
berry Point and also held the office of school director for a number 
of years. He is affiliated with the local lodge of the Ancient Free 
and Accepted Masons and also that of the Knights of 
Pythias. His political allegiance is given to the Democratic party 
but he has never sought the honors of political office, as he has 
considered his profession worthy of his undivided fealty. He is 
the owner of a well improved farm of one hundred and twenty 
acres in Cass township. He attends and supports the Congrega- 
tional church, of which his wife is a zealous member. On the 3d 
of June, 1885, Dr. Howard wedded Miss Alice Clark, of Dewitt, 
this state, and she was summoned to the life eternal in 1899. Of 
the four children of this union, Frank C. died at the age of eight 
years; William H., M. D., is a graduate of the Hahnemann Medical 
College, and is now associated with his father in practice, a young 
man who is well upholding the professional prestige of the name 
which he bears; Bessie May was graduated in the high school at 
Strawberry Point and still remains at the paternal home ; and 
Irwin P. is still attending school. In 1901 was solemnized the 
marriage of Dr. Howard to Miss Aloda Wood, who was born and 
reared in this county and who is a daughter of H. M. and Mary 



184 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

(Hanks) Wood, both now deceased. Of this second marriage of 
the Doctor no children have been born. 

Anton Huebsch has in his career effectually set at naught any 
application of the scriptural aphorism that "a prophet is not with- 
out honor save in his own country," for in his native city of Mc- 
Gregor his secure place in popular confidence and esteem is indi- 
cated by his incumbency of the office of postmaster, in which 
position he has served consecutively since 1913, and in which his 
administration has been most effective and satisfactory. In the 
thriving little city that now represents his home Mr. Huebsch was 
born on the 5th of April, 1871, a son of George and Sarah (Snyder) 
Huebsch, both of whom were born in the Kingdom of Bavaria, 
Germany, and both of whom were numbered among the sterling 
German contingent of pioneer settlers in Clayton county, Iowa, 
where they continued to reside until their death, with secure place 
in the esteem of all who knew them. George Huebsch was reared 
and educated in his Fatherland and was a youth at the time of his 
immigration to America. He remained for a time at Galena, Illi- 
nois, and from that place came to Iowa and established his home 
at McGregor about the year 1858. He was one of the pioneer 
merchants of this place, where he conducted a grocery store for 
a number of years, but later he resumed the work of his trade, 
that of stone mason. He was called from the stage of life's mortal 
endeavors on the 25th of December, 1897, his devoted wife, who 
had been a true helpmeet, having passed to eternal rest in Sep- 
tember, 1895. Of their children, the eldest is Lena, who is the 
wife of William T. Minney, of McGregor ; George died in child- 
hood ; Frances is the wife of Frederick Wehler, of Algona, Kos- 
suth county; John, who is a painter by trade and vocation, resides 
at McGregor; Anton, of this review, was the next in order of 
birth ; William maintains his residence at Mobridge, South Da- 
kota ; Margaret died in infancy ; and Frank is employed as a book- 
keeper at McGregor. Owing to the exigencies of time and place, 
the early educational discipline of the present postmaster of Mc- 
Gregor was of limited order, but his alert mentality has enabled 
him in later years to profit most fully from the valuable lessons 
ever to be gained in the school of practical experience, so that he 
has nullified the seeming handicap of his youth. He attended 
school in his native town until he had attained to the age of twelve 
years, when he initiated his career as one of the world's produc- 
tive workers and began to provide for his own livelihood. He 
worked in a local brickyard for two seasons, and at the age of 
fifteen years he entered upon a practical apprenticeship in the 
printing establishment of A. F. Hofer & Sons, publishers of a 
newspaper at McGregor. With this firm he remained three and 
one-half years, and the incidental discipline, as has consistently 
been maintained in such connection, proved virtually the equivalent 
of a liberal education. At the age of nineteen years Mr. Huebsch 
initiated his career as a full-fledged journeyman printer. He went 
to the city of Denver, Colorado, where he found employment at 
his trade and where he remained two years. He then returned to 



BIOGRAPHICAL 185 

McGregor, where for the ensuing six years he held the position of 
foreman in the printing and newspaper office of J. F. Widman. 
^n June, 1896, Mr. Huebsch purchased the plant and business of 
the North Iowa Times from O. G. Wall, and of this paper he con- 
tinued editor and publisher until 1906, when he sold the plant and 
business at McGregor and went to North Dakota, where he en- 
tered claim to a tract of land and instituted the development of 
the same. Two years later, in 1908, he resumed his residence in 
his native town, where he effected the repurchase of the North 
Iowa Times, of which he has since continued editor and publisher 
and which he has made a most effective exponent of local interests 
and a potent director of popular sentiment. He has served as 
postmaster of McGregor since 1913 and both through personal 
activity and through the medium of his newspaper he has given 
yeoman service in the furtherance of the cause of the Democratic 
party. On the 27th of June, 1900, was solemnized the marriage 
of Mr, Huebsch to Miss Katherine Geske, who likewise was born 
and reared at McGregor, and they have three children — Dorothy, 
Frederick, and Mary Ann. Mr. Huebsch is a progressive and 
public-spirited citizen who has had much influence in public affairs 
in his native county. 

John A. Huebsch is another of the native sons of Clayton 
county who are effectively maintaining its high standing in con- 
nection with agricultural and livestock industry, and in Section 
34, Sperry township, he is the owner of a finely improved landed 
estate of two hundred and eighty acres, which may consistently be 
designated as one of the model farms of Clayton county, the place 
being devoted to well ordered agriculture of diversified order and 
to the breeding and raising of high-grade live stock. In the town- 
ship that is now his home, Mr. Huebsch was born on the 20th of 
May, 1866, a member of a family of 8 children, of whom 5 are 
now living. He is a son of John A. and Mary (Burkhard) Huebsch, 
who were born and reared in Germany and who came to Clayton 
county and became pioneer settlers soon after their arrival in 
America, in the middle '40s. The father obtained a tract of wild 
land in what is now Sperry township, and the first home provided 
was a log cabin of the true pioneer type, as was also the primitive 
barn which he erected on the place. He reclaimed one of the finely 
productive farms of the county and here continued his residence, 
a substantial and honored pioneer citizen, until his death, which 
occurred in the year 1911. His venerable widow still resides in 
the county and township that are endeared to her by the gracious 
memories and associations of the past. John A. Huebsch, Jr., the 
Immediate subject of this review, was reared to manhood on the 
home farm and has had cause to place in later years high valuation 
on the incidental discipline which he then received, for the same 
has contributed definitely to his success as an independent farmer. 
He made good use also of the advantages afforded in the public 
schools of the locality and period, and in all the years that have 
since passed it is pleasing to record that he has not wavered in 
his loyalty to his native county nor lacked in appreciation of its 



l86 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

admirable resources. He takes deep interest in all things pertain- 
ing to the communal welfare, served six years as township assessor 
and several years as a member of the school board, and in politics 
he has always been arrayed in the ranks of the Democratic party. 
Both he and his wife hold membership in the Lutheran church. 
Their attractive home is known for its generous hospitality and 
their postofifice address is St. Sebald. In 1891 Mr. Huebsch wedded 
Miss Elizabeth Fliehler, who likewise claims Clayton county as 
the place of her nativity and of their ten children all are living 
except Irwin, who was the seventh in order of birth and who died 
at the age of 8 years. The names of the surviving children are 
here indicated in respective order of birth : Ida, Arthur C, John 
F., Oscar M., Lottie, Walter W., Annie, Harold and Maxine. All 
remain at the parental home except Ida, who is now residing in 
the city of Dubuque. 

Amos W. Hughes is a sterling pioneer citizen who finds that 
his name, Amos Wilson Hughes, singularly enough, combines the 
surnames of both the Democratic and Republican candidates for 
the presidency of the United States in the campaign of 1916, and 
incidentally it may be noted that this fact does not imply any vacil- 
lating policy of political allegiance on his part, for he is found a 
staunch and well fortified advocate of the principles of the Dem- 
ocratic party. Mr. Hughes has been a resident of Clayton county 
since his boyhood, his parents having here established their home 
more than sixty years ago. He was born in Lycoming county, 
Pennsylvania, on the 4th of April, 1849, and is a son of James and 
Margaret (Stevins) Hughes, both likewise natives of the old Key- 
stone state, where they were reared and educated and where their 
marriage was solemnized. The lineage of the Hughes family is 
traced back to staunch Welsh origin and that of the Stevins family 
to sturdy German stock. In the year 1855 James Hughes came 
with his family to Iowa and became one of the pioneer settlers in 
Lomodillo township, Clayton county, where he engaged in the 
work of his trade, that of carpenter, and where also he became the 
owner of wild land which he developed into a productive farm, 
both he and his wife having passed the remainder of their lives 
in this county and both having been well advanced in years at the 
time of death. Andrew, the eldest of their children, enlisted as a 
soldier of the Union in the Civil war and he died while in the gal- 
lant ranks of the "boys in blue"; Catherine Jane is the widow of 
Charles McKinness and resides in the state of Missouri; Amos W., 
of this review, was the next in order of birth ; Ambrose resides at 
Strawberry Point, this county ; Sarah Elizabeth is deceased ; Bur- 
ros resides at Littleport, this county; Hannah Maria and Esther 
Emma are deceased, as is also Minnie, the youngest of the children. 
Amos W. Hughes was a lad of about six years at the time of the 
family removal to Clayton county, where he was reared to manhood 
and where his educational advantages were those afforded in the 
pioneer schools. At the age of sixteen years, while serving as 
engineer in a saw mill, his left arm was caught in a center shaft 
and the injury was such as to necessitate the amputation of the 



^ fifiJ NKW Uih 



4---.Z 




L. L. HULYERSON 



BIOGRAPHICAL 187 

arm. For many years thereafter he was engaged in the buying and 
shipping of live stock, and since 1914 he has been engaged in the 
grain, feed and coal business at Littleport, a loyal and upright 
citizen who has secure place in popular esteem. The maiden name 
of his wife was Isabel Marshall, and she has been a resident of 
Clayton county from the time of her birth. They have two sons, 
Warren J. and Raymond. 

Hulverson, Lars L., was born in Read township, Clayton 
county, Iowa, September 22, 1860. He was the son of Lars C. and 
Mary Hulverson, both natives of Norway, who came to Iowa, set- 
tling in Clayton county on a farm, and both of whom are now 
deceased. The father took an active interest in the affairs of his 
township, holding several minor offices, and he and his wife were 
the parents of nine children: John, of Miller, Iowa; Nettie, who is 
the wife of Andrew Larson of the same place ; Christina, married 
and living in Miller, Iowa ; Isabel, the wife of John Faber, of Read 
township ; Gilbert, of Wagner township ; Mattie, who is married 
to H. Nelson, of St. Olaf; and Lars L., who is the youngest of 
the living children, the two, Nettie and Ole, who were born, later, 
having died. He received his education in the public schools of his 
county, remaining on the home farm until he was twenty-one years 
of age, at which time he was married, and began farming for him- 
self on rented land. Such marked success attended his efforts that 
he was soon enabled to buy a farm of ninety acres of his own, which 
he cultivated with equally good results. In 1803 he received the 
appointment of Superintendent of the county asylum, and con- 
ducted the affairs of that institution with such competent ability 
and fidelity to trust that he was reappointed four different times, 
holding the position for twenty-four years altogether. He was 
united in marriage to Isabel Thompson, who died, leaving him with 
four children : Leona, the wife of John Downy, of Boardman town- 
ship ; George, who is a farmer ; Bertha, married to John Stoops, 
of Read township ; and Lawrence, who is still with his father. Mr. 
Hulverson took for his second wife Mary Lembke, who was born 
in Clayton county. Mrs. Hulverson is the daughter of Franz 
Lembke, who was born in Viershof Lauenberg, Germany, and 
Mrs. Louisa Lembke, nee Louisa Krueger, also of Lauenberg, Ger- 
many, being the seventh child in order of birth. May, 1871, they 
emigrated to America, coming direct to Clayton Center, Iowa, 
where, on June 17th, 1871, they were united in marriage. Mr. 
Lembke passed to the other world December 2d, 1913, his wife 
surviving him nearly two years, passing away May 26th, 1915. 
They were very prominent and highly thought of in the commu- 
nity and were mourned by a large circle of friends. Mr. Hulverson 
is a member of the Democratic party, always ready to work to 
advance its political interests, has served on the town council and 
is a member of the fraternal order of Modern Woodmen. 

Andrew Hultgren is one of the sturdy, vigorous and determined 
men who has not missed the true purposes of life nor waited for 
circumstance to mould or change his fate. His stewardship has 
been shown in steadfast integrity, invincible determination and in- 



l88 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

defatigable industry, the result being that in the land of his adop- 
tion he has won worthy success and an independent position as one 
of the essentially representative agriculturists and stock-growers 
of Clayton county. He is a scion of the fine Scandinavian element 
that has contributed greatly to the social and material development 
and progress of the great northwestern portion of our national do- 
main, and is thoroughly in harmony with American sentiment and 
institutions ; the while he consistently treasures the traditions and 
honors the history of his native land. He was born at Philipstad, 
Wermland, Sweden, on the 28th of July, 1861, and is a son of An- 
drew Hendricksen and Annie (Walberg) Hultgren, both of whom 
passed their entire lives in that district of Sweden, where the father 
was a substantial farmer, and both of whom were earnest commu- 
nicants of the Lutheran church. Of the children the subject of 
this sketch is the eldest, and the younger is Annie Sophia, who is 
the wife of Carl Granberg, their home being still in Sweden. He 
whose name introduces this article gained his early education in the 
schools of his native land and as a youth he there found employment 
m iron mines. In 1881, with the determined courage born of worthy 
ambition, he set forth to seek his fortunes in the United States, 
where he felt assured of better opportunities for the winning of 
success through individual effort. Soon after his arrival in Amer- 
ica he made his way to Clayton county, Iowa, and established his 
residence in Mendon township, where for three years he found 
employment in a saw mill. In the meantime he further showed his 
spirit and good judgment by attending school when opportunity 
afforded in order that he might acquire a better knowledge of the 
English language. After remaining in the county somewhat more 
than three years Mr. Hultgren went to the city of Chicago, where 
he found profitable employment and where he remained until 1893, 
in which year he returned to Clayton county and purchased a farm 
of forty acres, in Mendon township. Pressing forward to the high 
mark of his ambitious purpose, he finally sold this property and 
purchased his present fine landed estate of three hundred and 
twenty acres, upon which he has made numerous improvements 
and which he has developed into one of the model farms of Mendon 
township, his attention being energetically given to diversified agri- 
culture and to the raising of good grades of live stock. Mr. Hult- 
gren has entered fully and loyally into community affairs, is a Re- 
publican in his political proclivities and has served effectively as a 
member of the school board of his district. Both he and his wife 
are zealous members of the Swedish Lutheran church, in which 
he is serving as a deacon, and he is affiliated with the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, the Brotherhood of American Yeomen and 
the Woodmen of the World. November 24, 1887, recorded the mar- 
riage of Mr. Hultgren to Miss Caroline Olson, daughter of Ole and 
Christine (Beckman) Olson, of Mendon township, this county. Mr. 
and Mrs. Hultgren became the parents of seven children, all of 
whom are living and still residents of Mendon township except the 
youngest, Walter, who died in early childhood. The names of 
the surviving children are here entered in the respective order of 



BIOGRAPHICAL 189 

birth: Arthur Otto, Edwin B., Carl W., Elmer G., August C. and 
John A. The sons are identified with agricultural pursuits in Men- 
don township, and the eldest son, Arthur O., and his wife are the 
parents of two children, Alice and Richard. Ole and Christine 
(Beckman) Olson, parents of Mrs. Hultgren, were born in Jutland, 
Sweden, where their marriage was solemnized and whence they 
immigrated to America in 1870. They established their home in 
Clayton county and still reside on their old homestead farm, in 
Mendon township, venerable in years and honored by all who know 
them. Mr. Olson was born July 29, 1835, and his wife on the 22d 
of June 1842. Both are devoted communicants of the Swedish 
Lutheran church and he is a stalwart Republican in his political 
adherency. Of the children, Mrs. Hultgren is the first-born ; August 
has charge of the old homestead farm of his parents ; and Hannah 
died in childhood. 

Humphrey, James T., was born in Clayton county on August 
23, 1876. He is the son of Lawrence and Mary (Fleming) Humph- 
rey, both natives of Ireland, who came to America in 1862, and 
settled on a farm in Clayton county. To this union were born ten 
children: Richard, of Mims, Minnesota; Michael A., of Logan, 
Iowa ; Ella, now the wife of James Ryan of Flemmington, South 
Dakota; Mathew, and Lawrence B., of Monona; Anna, residing 
with her mother; Alice, deceased; James T., the subject of this 
sketch ; William F., of Monona, and Emily. The worthy father of 
this fine family died July 15, 1900, but the mother still lives and 
resides in Monona. Mr. Humphreys received his education in the 
public schools of Decorah and Breckenridge Institute at Decorah, 
la. After the completion of his schooling he engaged in farming 
until he was twenty-eight years of age, taking an active interest 
in dairy matters, and was made secretary of the Farmers' Creamery 
of Lowena, Iowa. In 1904 he decided to take up a mercantile busi- 
ness, and accordingly with his brother, Lawrence B., bought out 
the Walsh and Garrity Implement House at Monona and, under 
the firm name of Humphrey Brothers, they are conducting a thriv- 
ing business in all sorts of farming implements. Mr. Humphrey 
was united in marriaige to Miss Grace Cool, September 24, 1913. 
No children have been born to them. He is affiliated with the 
Democratic party in politics and has ever taken a keen interest in 
civic affairs, serving on the city council for four years. He is a 
member of the fraternal orders of Yeomen, Woodmen and Knights 
of Columbus. 

Jeremiah P. Hurley has been a resident of Clayton county 
from the time of his birth, was here reared to the invigorating and 
benignant discipline of the farm and has here become one of the 
prominent and influential exponents of agricultural and live-stock 
industry. Largely through his own energy and well directed 
enterprise he has become one of the prominent landholders of this 
section of the state, where he is the owner of a well improved and 
valuable estate comprising a total of six hundred and eighteen 
acres, all of which splendid domain receives his careful and effec- 
tive supervision, the while he maintains his home on a model farm- 



190 , MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

stead that is situated in Highland township, near the attractive 
village of Volga. Mr. Hurley was born in Highland township, 
this county, on the 1st of September, 1878, and is a son of Barney 
and Catherine (Neimens) Hurley, the former of whom was born in 
Ireland and the latter in the state of New York. Barney Hurley 
was young at the time when he came from the fair old Emerald 
Isle to America, in the year 1854, and his marriage to Miss Cathe- 
rine Neimens was solemnized in the year 1873. They became the 
parents of eleven children, all of whom are living except one. The 
devoted wife and mother passed to the life eternal on the 226. of 
March, 1910, and the father passed away on the 8th of February, 
1912, the remains of both being laid to rest in the cemetery at 
Elkader. They were sterling pioneers of Clayton county, where 
the father became a prosperous farmer, and the memories of both 
are cherished by all who came within the sphere of their kindly 
influence, both having been devout communicants of the Catholic 
church. Jerremiah P. Hurley gained his early education in the 
public and parochial schools of Clayton county and remained at 
the parental home until he was nineteen years of age, after which 
he was employed three years as a farm workman in his native 
county. He then assumed connubial responsibilities and with his 
bride, who has proved his devoted companion and helpmeet, he 
established his residence on a farm which he rented and upon 
which he continued operations for the ensuing eight years. He 
then purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Highland 
township, and with characteristic vigor turned his attention to the 
operations and improvement of the property, which he still owns 
and which he has developed into one of the model farms of the 
county. With increasing financial resources he continued to make 
judicious investment in the fine land of this favored section of the 
Hawkeye state, and, as previously stated, he is now the owner of a 
valuable landed property of six hundred and eighteen acres, the 
while he has incidental precedence as one of the most progressive 
and influential exponents of agricultural and live stock industry in 
this section. Mr. Hurley gives special attention to the breeding 
and raising of the full blood and registered Percheron horses and 
also raises other lines of live stock of the best grade. His worthily 
achieved success offers both lesson and incentive, and he has so 
ordered his course in all the relations of life as to merit and re- 
ceive the unqualified respect and good will of his fellow men. His 
political allegiance is given to the Republican party, but he has 
held no public office save that of member of the school board, as 
such preferments have no appeal to his ambition. He and his 
family are communicants of the Catholic church. In the year 
1901 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Hurley to Miss Anna 
Meyer, who likewise was born and reared in Clayton county and 
who is one of the four surviving children of Joseph and Elizabeth 
(Whittle) Meyer, the former a native of Germany and the latter 
of Iowa, where her parents settled in the early pioneer days. Mr. 
Meyer is now deceased and his widow still maintains her home in 
Clayton county. Mr. and Mrs. Hurley have four children — Mary, 



BIOGRAPHICAL I9I 

Helen, Reta, and Dorothy. The two elder daughters are, in 1916, 
students in the parochial schools at Elkader. 

James T. Hyde, blacksmith and implement dealer of Elkader, 
was born September 20, 1862. His parents were Patrick and Cathe- 
rine (Kelliber) Hyde, both natives of Ireland, who came to Amer- 
ica about 1847, locating first in New York, going thence to Chi- 
cago, and later settling in Clayton county on a farm in 1858. The 
father passed from this life February 7th, 1901, but the mother is 
still living and resides in Elkader. To their union nine children 
were born, of whom James was the eldest, followed by Mary Ellen, 
wife of Thomas Gill, of Oelwein, Iowa ; John, Thomas, and Patrick 
Joseph, all of Elkader; Katie and William, deceased; Anna, who is 
the wife of E. W. Charleton, of Windsor, Ontario; Leo, residing 
on a farm near Elkader. James T. learned blacksmithing in his 
youth, and worked at the trade in various places throughout the 
state for a number of years, but finally located in Elkader, Iowa, 
where he and his brother Thomas set up in business for them- 
selves in the same line of work, and have served their patrons with 
dexterity and despatch for twenty-one years. They have taken 
their brother Patrick Joseph into partnership with them, and have 
enlarged the business by becoming dealers in farming implements 
four years ago under the firm name of Hyde Brothers. They 
erected a cement block building thirty by sixty-five feet, and three 
stories high, and to accommodate the rapidly growing needs of 
their prosperous business, contemplate the erection of another 
building of the same size this year. James Hyde was married 
October 19, 1892, to Bessie Johnson, who died July 7, 1905, leaving 
him with two children, Joseph and Leroy J. He was wedded July 
28, 1913, to Louise Royston, widow of M. J. Kelliber. She is a 
native of Illinois. Mr. Hyde is keenly interested in the welfare 
of his community and is an active worker in the Corn School of 
the county. He is equally alert in the service of the Republican 
party, having served on the City Council, and is a member of the 
Modern Woodmen of America. Mr. Hyde is affiliated with the 
Republican party in politics, and is a consistent member of the 
Catholic church. Patrick Joseph Hyde, the executive head of the 
firm, obtained his early education in the public schools of Elkader 
and of Graham county, Kansas, and on the family's removal to 
Elkader, in 1897, he entered into the steam laundry business with 
D, C. Foley. In 1900, severing his connection with Mr. Foley, he 
entered the wholesale liquor business and, in 1907, together with 
John Gemmel, bought the Hotel Bayless. In 1909, he bought Mr. 
Gemmel's interest and continued in the hotel business until 1913, 
at which time he sold it to Mr. Asay, the present owner. He then 
entered into partnership with his brothers, and it is largely due to 
his efforts that the business has grown to be the largest of its kind 
in Clayton county. In 1903, Mr. Hyde was joined in the bonds of 
matrimony with Margaret Maley, the daughter of Michael and 
Katherine (Leonard) Maley, of Elkader, and formerly of Louis- 
ville, Kentucky. Mr. Maley died in Louisville in 1898 and Mrs. 
Maley now makes her home with her daughter. Mr. and Mrs. 



192 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

Hyde are the proud parents of four children: Joseph, 12 years; 
Margaret, 10; Edwin, 3, and the baby, little Hugh, aged 3 months. 
Mr. Hyde does not affiliate with any orders, his spare time being 
devoted to his home. Both Mr. and Mrs. Hyde are communicants 
of the Catholic church. 

John F. Ihde is an honored representative of one of the ster- 
ling pioneer families of Clayton county and here he has maintained 
his home from the time of his nativity, the while his entire active 
career has been one of close and successful identification with the 
fundamental industries of agriculture and stock growing. He is 
the owner of one of the finely improved farms of Garnavillo town- 
ship and his secure vantage place in popular esteem is augured by 
the fact that he is serving in the of^ce of justice of the peace with 
characteristic discrimination and loyalty. Mr. Ihde was born in 
Garnavillo township on the 18th of September, 1858, and thus his 
memory forms an indissoluble link between the pioneer epoch and 
the latter day opulent period of prosperity in this county. He is a 
son of Frederick and Sophia (Klurr) Ihde, who were born and 
reared in Germany, where their marriage was solemnized and 
whence they came to America in 1856. In the year that thus marked 
their arrival in the land of their adoption they became pioneer 
settlers in Clayton county, where they established their home on 
the farm now owned by the subject of this sketch. Here the father 
provided a log cabin as a home for the family, and then energet- 
ically set himself to the reclaiming of a farm from the veritable 
wilderness. Success attended his indefatigable labors and he be- 
came with the passing years one of the substantial farmers and 
influential citizens of his township, the while his progressiveness 
was shown in the excellent improvements which he made upon 
his farm as increasing financial resources made this possible and 
consistent. He finally retired from active labors and he and his 
wife passed the closing years of their long and useful lives in the 
village of Garnavillo, both having been devout adherents of the 
Lutheran church. Of their nine children only three are now living, 
Frederick, who is a resident of Nebraska; John F., who is the 
immediate subject of this reviev/ ; and Lena, who is the wife of A. 
N. Crawford of Clayton county. John F. Ihde gained his early 
education in the pioneer schools and continued to assist his father 
in the work and management of the old homestead farm until he 
reached his legal majority. He then purchased a farm of one hun- 
dred acres in Read township, where he continued his independent 
activities as a farmer for the ensuing ten years. He then sold the 
property and purchased his father's old homestead, which comprises 
one hundred and sixty acres and which is situated in Section 2, 
Garnavillo township, one of the well improved and fertile farms of 
the county and one that is given to diversified agriculture and the 
raising and feeding of good grades of livestock. Mr. Ihde is a 
stockholder in the Farmers' State Bank of Garnavillo. is a stalwart 
advocate of the principles of the Republican party and is now serv- 
ing as justice of the peace. Both he and his wife are earnest com- 
municants of the Lutheran church at St. Olaf, from which village 



BIOGRAPHICAL I93 

their pleasant home receives service on rural mail route No. 2. In 
the year 1879 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Ihde to Miss 
Anna Thoma, who was born in this county and who is a daughter 
of William and Margaret Thoma, pioneers to whom individual 
reference is made on other pages of this work. Mr. and Mrs. Ihde 
became the parents of nine children, concerning whom the follow- 
ing brief records is entered : Caroline is the wife of George Kurdel- 
meier ; Luella is deceased ; Elizabeth is the wife of Frederick Kurdel- 
meier; Anna is the wife of Richard Hinzma ; Lottie is the wife of 
Herman Wies ; Benjamin is a prosperous farmer of this county; 
and Reuben, John and Amanda remain at the parental home. 

George M. Jacobs has achieved special success and priority as 
a raiser of high-grade poultry, and his finely equipped little poultry 
farm is eligibly situated in immediate proximity to the village of 
Guttenberg. He was born in this village on the 20th of March, 
1873, and is a son of G. Henry Jacobs and Elizabeth (Nolte) Jacobs, 
the former of whom was born in Mecklenburg-Schweren, Germany, 
on the 29th of November, 1838, and the latter of whom was born at 
Bisslagen, Germany, on the 19th of September, 1842. G. Henry 
Jacobs acquired his early education in the schools of his native land 
and was a lad of sixteen years when he accompanied his parents 
on their immigration to America, his father, John Jacobs, becom- 
ing a pioneer settler on Cedar creek, Clayton county. G. Henry 
Jacobs became a man of broad intellectual ken and mature judg- 
ment, and he long held a position of prominence and influence in 
the county that continued to be his home until his death. In the 
earlier part of his independent career he followed farming for a 
time, and he then became associated with Clement Schwaller in 
the general merchandise business at Guttenberg. With this line 
of enterprise he continued his identification several years, and in 
the meanwhile he served as postmaster of the village. For about 
six years thereafter he conducted the Washington Hotel at Gutten- 
berg, and he then engaged in the practice of law, having given care- 
ful study to the science of jurisprudence and thus having gained 
admission to the bar. He continued in the practice of his profession 
at Guttenberg about twenty-one years, and during much of the time 
he held the office of notary public. He held inviolable place in pop- 
ular confidence and esteem, served several years as mayor of Gut- 
tenberg, and was an efifective advocate of the principles and policies 
of the Democratic party. His death occurred September 17, 1888, 
and his widow survived him by nearly a quarter of a century, she 
having been called to eternal rest on the 21st of May, 1911. Of their 
children the eldest is Walter G., who resides at Aberdeen, South 
Dakota; Hugo C. is a resident of Luxemburg, Iowa; the subject of 
this review was the next in order of birth ; Clementine is the wife 
of Warner Eggerth. of Spokane, Washington, in which city also 
resides William H., the next in order of birth ; Matilda is the wife 
of William Stretch and they reside in the city of Chicago; and 
Addie remains at the old home in Guttenberg. George M. Jacobs 
is indebted to the public schools of Guttenberg for his early edu- 
cational discipline, and as a youth he found employment in a cigar 



194 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

factory in his native village. He became an expert cigarmaker and 
after being employed at his trade in Guttenberg for ten years he 
was similarly engaged at Charter Oak, this state, for one year. He 
then returned to Guttenberg, where for the ensuing sixteen years 
he was engaged in the retail liquor trade, and upon his retirement 
from this business he established his present prosperous enter- 
prise, in the raising of and dealing in fine poultry. He has served 
as a member of the city council of Guttenberg and is known as a 
stalwart in the local camp of the Democratic party. On the 19th 
of February, 1901, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Jacobs to 
Miss Elizabeth Kickbusch, daughter of Charles and Frederica Kick- 
busch, of Millville township. Of the children born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Jacobs, Freda and Vivian, the third and sixth in respective order of 
birth, are deceased, and all of the others remain at the parental 
home, namely: Walter W., Emma, Irene, Hilda, Helen and George. 

John E. Jacobson, dealer in general merchandise at St. Olaf, 
Iowa, was born in Claremont, of that state, June 24, 1873, and is the 
son of Erick and Belle (Olson) Jacobson, both natives of Norway. 
The father came to Clayton county, Iowa, in i860, and took up 
the vocation of farming, which he followed until his death. To 
him and his wife, who is also deceased, were born ten children, 
eight of whom are living : Ole, of Nora Springs, Iowa ; Caroline, 
who is the wife of Ole Koppang, of Claremont, Iowa ; Gustave and 
Jacob, who are twins, the former living at Nora Springs, Iowa, and 
the latter at Watertown, Wisconsin ; Anna, married to Gilbert 
Ostlie, and living at Claremont, Iowa ; Edward, deceased ; Emma, 
wife of John Peterson, of Claremont; John, the subject of this 
sketch ; Mary, who is now Mrs. Nels Larson, of Postville, Iowa ; 
and Eliza, deceased. John E. Jacobson remained on his father's 
farm until a year after his marriage, when he moved to Claremont, 
and was employed in a general merchandise business for five years, 
when he went to Gunder, going into the same line of business for 
himself. After remaining in that place for another five years, he 
went to St. Olaf, Iowa, where he started a general merchandise 
store, the first and only one of its kind in the town. He took H. E. 
Landsgard into partnership with him in the business, which is 
being conducted under the firm name of Jacobson and Landsgard, 
and in its success is a credit to the intelligent effort and efficiency 
which the partners devote to its upbuilding. Mr. Jacobson married 
Julia Skarshoug, of Clayton county, and they have reared a family 
of four children : Hiram E., age 15 ; Grace B., age 13 ; Clarence R., 
age 10; and Louis V., age 6 years. He is a staunch Republican, 
and in reward for his unswerving and honorable adherence to the 
principles of his party, was awarded the postmastership of his 
town, which position he held for five years. He was a school 
director, and is serving on the City Council at the present time. 
Both he and his wife are members of the Norwegian Lutheran 
church. 

Benjamin W. James is successfully established as a manufac- 
turer and dealer in the best grade of cemetery monuments of granite 
and marble and in this line of enterprise is the worthy successor 



BIOGRAPHICAL I95 

of his honored father, who was one of its pioneer exponents in 
Clayton county. Mr. James has well equipped business quarters 
in the thriving city of Guttenberg, and is one of the representative 
business men and popular and influential citizens of his county. 
Mr. James was born in Millville township, this county, on the 20th 
of June, 1863, and is a son of Charles and Amelia (Greybill) James, 
the former of whom was born in Dillon, Staffordshire, England, 
August 17, 1826, and the latter of whom was born at Richfield, 
Pennsylvania, October 4, 1834, coming with her parents, Thomas 
and Amelia (Womer) Greybill to Guttenberg on May 2, 1842. 
Charles James, the father of the subject of this sketch, was but 
four years of age at the time of the family immigration to Amer- 
ica in 1830, and his father, Thomas James, first established the 
family home in the state of New York. Later he resided at Mas- 
sillon, Ohio, and at Janesville, Wisconsin. He met his death as 
the result of a ship wreck in Thunder Bay on Lake Huron, dying 
as the result of the exposure. For many years prior to leaving 
England he was employed as a mechanic in work on Windsor 
Castle. Charles James acquired his early education in the schools 
of New York and Ohio, and at Cleveland he served a thorough 
apprenticeship to the trade of marble and granite cutting, in which 
he became a skilled artisan. After leaving the Buckeye state he 
resided for some time at Galena, Illinois, and was engaged as 
traveling representative of the R. L. Rosevro Monument Company, 
now of St. Louis, Missouri. In 1862 he came with his family to 
Clayton county, Iowa, and established his residence in Millville 
township, where he became the owner of a small farm and where 
also he continued actively engaged in the granite business for many 
years, many fine specimens of his handiwork being fourd in the 
various cemeteries of Clayton county at the present day. He died 
at his old home in Millville township on the 17th of August, 1896, 
a sterling and honored citizen of the county that had represented 
his home for more than thirty years. He was a stalwart advocate 
of the principles of the Republican party, and was a zealous mem- 
ber of the United Brethren church, as is also his venerable widow, 
who now maintains her home in the city of Waterloo, this state. 
Of the children, the subject of this review is the eldest; Ada is 
the wife of Louis Wentworth, a wholesale lumber dealer and con- 
tractor, of Omaha, Nebraska ; Hannah is the widow of Caleb Ken- 
yon, and in her home at Waterloo she has the companionship of 
her loved mother; William is a substantial farmer of Millville 
township; and Dwight and Esther are deceased. After having 
duly profited by the advantages of the public schools of his native 
county, Benjamin W. James gained a higher course of academic 
discipline by attending Leander Clark College, at Toledo, Iowa. 
Under the effective direction of his father he gained thorough 
knowledge of the trade of granite and marble cutting, and he has 
been successfully established in the monument business and north- 
west land investment at Guttenberg since 1895, the high grade of 
his work and the effective service given, having combined to make 
him one of the leading exponents of this line of business in Clayton 



196 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

county, where he has ever held impregnable vantage place in popu- 
lar confidence and esteem. The Republican party has the un- 
swerving allegiance of Mr. James, and though he is loyal and 
public-spirited as a citizen he has never been troubled by aught 
of ambition for political office. He is the owner of an attractive 
home property at Guttenberg, besides his place of business and a 
tract of valuable land in La Moure and Stutsman counties. North 
Dakota. He is affiliated with the local lodge of the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows and he and his wife are zealous and official 
members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Guttenberg. On 
the 8th of October, 1894, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. 
James to Miss Minnie B. McCrum, daughter of Thomas and Martha 
McCrum, of Earlville, this state, and they have two sons — Paul G., 
who was born March 20, 1897, is at present superintendent of the 
Consolidated Schools at Fertile, Iowa, and Dwight, who was born 
February 21, 1904. 

Lawrence Jennings has been a resident of Iowa since he was a 
lad of about ten years and the fact that he has now passed the 
psalmist's span of three score years and ten offers conclusive evi- 
dence that he is a representative of one of the pioneer families of 
the Hawkeye State. He has maintained his home in Clayton 
county since 1855, has been a resourceful exponent of agricultural 
industry and other lines of enterprise, has achieved definite inde- 
pendence and material prosperity and thus is justified in the en- 
joyment of the peace and comfort that attend him after his retire- 
ment from active labors and when his life begins to see its golden 
shadows lengthening from the crimson west. He has accounted 
well for himself and to the world, and is now living virtually re- 
tired in the attractive little village of McGregor, where he has 
association with a host of friends who are tried and true and whose 
fealty has borne the test of many years. Mr. Jennings was born at 
Welland, Province of Ontario, Canada, on the 14th of February, 
1843, and his parents, Matthias and Mary (Dill) Jennings, were 
born and reared in Ontario, where the father learned in his youth 
the trade of cooper, which he there followed in connection with 
agricultural pursuits until 1853, when he came to Iowa and num- 
bered himself among the early settlers of Jackson county. There 
he remained until the spring of 1855, when he came with his fam- 
ily to Clayton county and purchased a tract of wild land in Mendon 
township. There he reclaimed and developed a productive farm, 
and he also continued in the work of his trade, having established 
a cooperage on his farm and having found much demand for his 
productions as a skilled workman at his trade. Eventually he 
turned his attention to the study of medicine and became a suc- 
cessful representative of the profession in Clayton county, where 
he continued in active and successful practice, as one of the pioneer 
physicians of this section of the State until his death, which oc- 
curred in 1864, his wife surviving him by several years. Of the 
children the subject of this review is the eldest; Nancy and Euphe- 
mia are widows and both are residents of this State ; Sarah, wife 
of John Kane ; Anna, wife of George Kildare, of Seattle, Wash. ; 



BIOGRAPHICAL I97 

Mrs. Alice Fuller, a widow, resides in the city of Seattle and Har- 
riet and Jasper are deceased. Lawrence Jennings gained his ru- 
dimentary education in the schools of his native province, con- 
tinued his studies during the period of his parents' residence in 
Jackson county, Iowa, and was a lad of twelve years at the time 
of the family removal to Clayton county, where he was reared to 
manhood and where he has continued his residence during the long 
intervening years, though as a youth he was absent from the county 
for a time, while in the service of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
Railroad Company. He availed himself of the further educational 
advantages afforded in the pioneer schools of Mendon township, 
assisted in the work of the home farm and also learned the cooper's 
trade under the effective supervision of his honored father. Upon 
attaining to his legal majority he purchased his father's farm and 
cooperage, and to the management of both enterprises he there- 
after giving his attention for a period of ten years, besides which 
he became a successful contractor in grading work on the line of 
the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. After the completion 
of this contract work he resumed his operations as a farmer in 
Mendon township, besides which he further showed his initiative 
ability and progressiveness by engaging in the manufacturing of 
lumber. He became the owner of an extensive tract of timber land 
and operated a well-equipped saw mill, in the meanwhile contin- 
uing his successful association with the basic industry of agricul- 
ture. He became the owner of a fine landed estate of six hundred 
and forty acres, and this valuable property he later sold. In 1911 
he purchased a nice residence property in the village of McGregor, 
where he and his devoted wife have since maintained their home 
and where he finds himself, in his days of retirement, compassed 
by most grateful influences and associations. Mr. Jennings has 
always given his allegiance to the Democratic party and shown a 
loyal interest in all things touching the general welfare of the 
community. Though he has had no ambition for public office he 
served several years as road supervisor in Mendon township. He 
is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and 
both he and his wife are attendants of the Methodist Episcopal 
church. On the 12th of October, 1867, was solemnized the mar- 
riage of Mr. Jennings to Miss Sophrona Caroline Dickens, who was 
born in Mendon township, this county, on the 28th of August, 
1847, the seventh in order of birth of the eleven children of Edward 
and Anne (Van Sickle) Dickens, honored pioneers of Clayton 
county, where their old homestead farm is one of the fine places 
in the Pleasant Ridge district of Mendon township. Mr. Dickens 
was born in Tennessee and his wife in Ohio. He was one of the 
very early settlers of Clayton county, where he obtained a tract 
of government land, in Mendon township, about the year 1835, 
both he and his wife having passed the remainder of their lives as 
honored and representative citizens of this county, where he be- 
came a prosperous farmer and was influential in community affairs. 
Of the Dickens children the first two, William and Lucius, are 
deceased; John W. is a resident of Boise, Idaho; Edward is de- 



198 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

ceased ; Clayton likewise resides in the capital city of Idaho ; Rob- 
ert maintains his home at Red Lake, Minnesota; Mrs. Jennings 
was the next in order of birth ; Harriet is the wife of Clarence 
Luce, of Republican City, Nebraska ; Josephine is the widow of 
Herbert Cornell and resides at McGregor, Clayton county; Mary 
Jane is in Yankton, South Dakota, and Lillian is the wife of Joseph 
Gill, of Sibley, Osceola county, Iowa. 

Henry O. Johnson, a successful farmer and highly esteemed 
citizen of Wagner township, is a sterling representative of that fine 
Scandinavian element of citizenship that has played so large and 
important a part in the social and industrial development of this 
county as to make the definite recognition of the scions of the sec- 
ond generation of such families specially consistent in connection 
with the compilation of this history. Henry O. Johnson was born 
in Wagner township, this county, on the 9th of July, 1877, and is a 
son of Ole and Annie Johnson, honored pioneers, concerning whom 
adequate mention is made on other pages, in the sketch dedicated 
to their son Otto, so that a repetition of the data is not demanded in 
the article here presented. Henry O. Johnson is indebted to the 
public schools of his native county for his early educational training, 
and, with characteristic ambition and determination, he profited 
fully by the advantages thus afforded him. He continued to be 
associated in the work and management of his father's farm until 
1907, when he purchased his present fine farm, which comprises 
two hundred and twenty-three acres and which is eligibly situated 
in Section 28, Wagner township. This model rural domain is im- 
proved with substantial and modern buildings and is maintained 
under a high state of cultivation, with due attention given also to 
the raising of excellent grades of livestock. Though Mr. Johnson 
gives general and effective supervision to the various operations of 
his splendid farm, his health has been much impaired since 1912 and 
he is unable to do much active work. His political allegiance is given 
to the Republican party and he has reason for the faith that is his 
in politics, for he has studied the questions and issues of the hour 
and is well fortified in his convictions as to matters of public policy. 
He is a communicant of the Lutheran church and his name yet 
remains on the list of eligible bachelors in his native county. His 
home is but a few miles distant from Elkader, and from the county 
seat he receives service on rural mail route No. 3. 

John F. Johnson, president of the St. Olaf's Savings Bank, 
and farmer and stock raiser of large interests, was born in Wagner 
township, Clayton county, December 4, 1855. His parents were 
Fingar and Ingred (Olson) Johnson, both natives of Norway, who 
came to America, settling in Clayton county, Iowa, in 1852, where 
they settled on a farm. His mother died in 1915, but his father 
is still living on the farm at the advanced age of eighty-eight years. 
To their union were born seven children : Eliza, wife of Thomas 
Wold, who is a farmer of Clayton county, in Wagner township; 
John F., with whom this sketch deals particularly ; Clara, deceased ; 
Emma, who is now Mrs. Rugland of Wagner township ; Gumrid, 
living at home ; Maria and Henry, deceased. Mr. Johnson is what 




OTTO 0. JOHNSON 



BIOGRAPHICAL / I99 

may well be termed a man of affairs, and has been successful in 
all his undertakings because of the intelligent insight and untiring 
industry he has brought to bear upon them. He remained on his 
father's farm until he was twenty-five years of age, when he began 
his own work in life by buying one hundred and sixty acres of 
land to which he soon added another one hundred and sixty. He 
acquired large land holdings in South Dakota and is extensively 
and profitably engaged in farming and stock raising. His integrity 
and keen business insight have made him president of the St. 
Olaf's Savings Bank, and the Republican party to which he be- 
longs has availed itself of his clear judgment in the administration 
of various township offices. He has been secretary of the school 
board and is a member of the Norwegian Lutheran church. Mr. 
Johnson was united in marriage to Tillie Glesne, who was born 
in Clayton county, and to them have been born seven children, all 
of whom are still at home : Irene, Helen, Johanna, Frances, Arthur, 
Oliver and Ruth. 

Johnson, Otto O., prominent citizen and cashier of the St. Olaf's 
Saving Bank, was born October 2, 1871, in Clayton county, Iowa, 
the son of Ole and Anna (Wold) Johnson. His father was born 
in Norway, but came to America locating in Clayton county, Iowa, 
where he owned and conducted a large farm with the greatest suc- 
cess, until his death. His mother was born in Wisconsin and is 
still living on the home farm. They had an unusual family of thir- 
teen children, all of whom except two are living. Otto, the subject 
of this sketch, is the eldest; the second child, Olavus, died during 
the year 1908 ; Helen is the wife of Louis Larson of Lilly, South Da- 
kota; Johanna, wife of Elmer Ronquist of Clayton county; Bertha, 
the wife of Herbert Olson of St. Olaf ; Rudolph, Benjamin, Elaine, 
Olvin and Nettie living at home with their mother ; and Ruth, de- 
ceased. Otto Johnson received his education in the common 
schools, remaining on the farm until he was 26 years of age. Three 
years later, in August, 1900, he married Caroline Helgeson, a native 
of Clayton county, and to them have been born two children — 
Alenta Josephine and Leroy. In 1900 he was appointed census 
enumerator for Wagner township and he then spent some time 
in the hardware business. On September 1, 1903, he was appointed 
postmaster of St. Olaf, which position he held for twelve years. In 
1908 he entered the banking business and in 1915 he resigned his 
position as postmaster to devote his entire time to the affairs of 
the bank. In 1904 he was elected township clerk, being re-elected 
in 1906 and 1908, thus serving the public for three terms. Mr. 
Johnson has served as town clerk of town of St. Olaf and member 
of town Council for several terms and at present serving as mayor 
of said town ; also serving as member of school board of the 
Independent school district of St. Olaf, Iowa. Mr. Johnson 
has been an ardent Republican at all times, serving several 
terms as county committeeman and having been honored by 
his party by the appointment as assistant doorkeeper at the Na- 
tional Republican convention held at Chicago in 1916, at which 
Hon. Charles E. Hughes was nominated for president. Both Mr. 



200 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

and Mrs. Johnson are staunch members of the Norwegian Lutheran 
church, Mr. Johnson serving as trustee. No one man has done 
more for the enterprising village of St. Olaf than has this capable, 
alert and affable young business man. 

George S. Jones is another of the well-known and popular 
native sons of Clayton county who is well entitled to recognition 
in this history. He maintains his residence in the attractive vil- 
lage of Edgewood, where he is engaged in business as a contractor 
in cement construction work and where he is serving with charac- 
teristic loyalty and efificiency not only as a member of the village 
council, but also as trustee of Lodomillo township. Mr. Jones was 
born in Cox Creek township, this county, on the 18th of February, 
1860, and is a son of Albert and Annie (Thomas) Jones, the former 
a native of the State of New York, and the latter of Wisconsin. 
Albert Jones established his residence in Clayton county in the year 
1859, and when the Civil War was precipitated on the nation he 
served about one year as a soldier in Company B, Twenty-first Iowa 
Volunteer Infantry, his honorable discharge having then been 
granted to him on account of the impaired condition of his eyes. 
Both he and his wife passed the closing years of their lives in Dixon 
county, Nebraska. They became the parents of twelve children, 
concerning whom brief record is here given: John is deceased; 
William is a resident of Waterloo, this state ; Emma is the wife of 
Riley Armstrong, of Morningside, Woodbury county, Iowa ; James 
resides at Albany, Illinois ; and Frank in the state of South Dakota ; 
Frances died in infancy ; George S., of this sketch, was the next 
in order of birth ; Florence is the wife of James Bigley and they 
reside in the state of Nebraska ; Seth lives in Kansas ; Charles in 
Wisconsin ; and Adelbert at Auburn, Nebraska ; and Clinton is de- 
ceased. George S. Jones continued to be associated with his fath- 
er's farming operations until he had attained the age of twenty- 
four years, and in the meanwhile his educational advantages had 
been those afforded in the public schools. At the age noted he 
took unto himself a wife, and soon afterward he and his bride 
established their home at Edgewood, where they have since resided 
and where both are held in high popular estimation. Mr. Jones is 
the owner of about one and one-fourth acres of land in the village, 
and on the same he has a pleasant home, such success as has been 
his having been the result of his own energy and well directed 
efforts. Mr. Jones is a staunch supporter of the cause of the Demo- 
cratic party and he has been called upon to serve in various local 
ofifices of public trust. He was for three terms the incumbent of the 
position of road supervisor, served six terms as street commissioner 
of Edgewood, gave effective service in the ofifices of constable and 
village marshal, served two terms as game warden, three terms as 
superintendent of township roads and three terms as superinten- 
dent of county roads. In 1916 he is serving his third term as a 
trustee of the village council of Edgewood and is also trustee of 
Lodomillo township. He is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen 
of America and the Royal Neighbors, and both he and his wife hold 
membership in the Methodist Episcopal church. March 25, 1885, 



BIOGRAPHICAL 20I 

recorded the marriage of Mr. Jones to Miss Emma Holmes, and 
their only child is Leon A., who was born February 28, 1894, and 
who remains at the parental home ; he received a high school edu- 
cation and his childish precocity was shown by his learning the 
multiplication table when he was but four years old. 

Ernest G. Kaiser is enlisted as one of the vigorous and re- 
sourceful young representatives of mercantile' enterprise in his 
native county and is senior member of the progressive firm of 
Kaiser & Wiethorn, which bases operations on the ample capital 
of fifteen thousand dollars and which conducts one of the most 
attractive and prosperous general merchandise establishments in 
the village of Monona. Of the junior member of the firm, Wil- 
liam B. Wiethorn, individual mention is made elsewhere in this 
publication. Mr. Kaiser was born in Farmersburg township, Clay- 
ton county, on the 4th of December, 1889, and is a son of William 
and Augusta (Groth) Kaiser, the former of whom was likewise 
born and reared in this county, a scion of one of its sterling Ger- 
man pioneer families, and the latter of whom was born in Germany, 
whence her parents came to America when she was a child, they 
likewise being early settlers of Clayton county. William Kaiser 
was reared and educated in this county and during his entire active 
career never severed his allegiance to the basic industry of agricul- 
ture, of which he was for many years a prominent and successful 
exponent in Farmersburg township. A well known and sterling 
citizen, he is now living retired in the village of Monona. He has 
been influential in community affairs and is a stalwart in the local 
camp of the Democratic party, though he has never been troubled 
by aspiration for political ofifice. Both he and his wife are earnest 
communicants of the German Lutheran church. Of their children 
the first-born was William, who died in childhood; Amelia is the 
wife of Frederick Drahn, a farmer in Giard township ; Julius is 
now a resident of Topeka, Kansas ; Arthur is a progressive farmer 
in Monona township; Elizabeth died young; Emil is a resident of 
Earned, Kansas ; Arno maintains his home at Monona, as does also 
Freda, who is the wife of Charles G. Schultz ; Ernest G., of this 
review, was the next in order of birth ; Hildegarde and Elsie re- 
main at the parental home ; Helmuth is deceased ; and Edmund, 
Irene and Raymond are the younger members of the family circle 
at the parental home. Ernest G. Kaiser continued his studies in 
the public schools of Clayton county until he had completed a 
course in the high school at McGregor, and he further fortified 
himself for the active duties and responsibilities of life by availing 
himself of the advantages of a business college in the city of Cedar 
Rapids. He continued to be associated with his father in the work 
and management of the home farm until he had attained to his 
legal majority and thereafter devoted two years to work at the 
carpenter's trade. His initial mercantile experience was gained 
by a service of one year as clerk in the store of the firm of English 
& Kaiser, at Monona, and for three months thereafter he was sim- 
ilarly retained in the mercantile establishment of C. J. Orr, of this 
village. On the 1st of April, 1913, he formed the present partner- 



202 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

ship alliance with William B. Wiethorn, and under the firm name 
of Kaiser & Wiethorn they have built up a most substantial and 
prosperous business at Monona, with a store that is distinctly mod- 
ern in all appointments and facilities, with departments devoted to 
dry goods, groceries, men's furnishings, and boots and shoes. Mr. 
Kaiser is loyal and progressive in his civic attitude as he is as a 
sterling business man, and he is found aligned as a staunch sup- 
porter of the cause of the Democratic party. His circle of friends 
is limited only by that of his acquaintances. On the 17th of Janu- 
ary, 1912, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Kaiser to Miss Sid- 
nie Hupfer, daughter of Charles and Elizabeth (Earnhardt) Hup- 
fer, of Giard township, and the two children of this union are : Vir- 
gil, who was born April 19, 1913, and Delpha, who was born July 
4, 1915. 

John H. Kaiser has impregnable vantage-place as one of the 
prosperous and representative farmers and loyal and valued citi- 
zens of his native county, where his finely improved homestead 
farm is eligibly situated in Section 36, Farmersburg township, the 
splendid property being consistently and picturesquely named 
Meadow Lark Farm. He is a scion of one of the sterling pioneer 
families of Clayton county and as adequate data concerning his 
parents appear in the sketch of the career of his brother, William 
E. Kaiser, on other pages of this work, it is unnecessary to repro- 
duce the same in the present connection. John Henry Kaiser was 
born in Farmersburg township, this county, on the 27th of August, 
1876, and is a son of John G. and Mary (Wiegmann) Kaiser. In 
addition to receiving in his youth the advantages of the public 
schools he prosecuted a course of higher study in the Decorah 
Institute and in the Minnesota Agricultural College. After attain- 
ing to his legal majority Mr. Kaiser left the parental roof and 
instituted his independent career as a farmer. For nine years he 
continued his operations on rented land and he then removed to 
the fine farm which he now owns and which comprises one hundred 
and sixty acres of most fertile and productive land, in Section 36, 
Farmersburg township. The substantial and thoroughly modern 
buildings on the place have been erected by Mr. Kaiser and in 
addition to this property, considered one of the best improved 
farms in the county, he is the owner also of one hundred and eighty 
acres of valuable timber land, lying partly in his home township 
and partly in Clayton township. He is a stockholder in the Garna- 
villo Savings Bank and the St. Olaf State Bank and the St. Olaf 
Grain Co., and he is also a land owner in both Minnesota and Okla- 
homa. He is a stalwart and well fortified supporter of the cause 
of the Republican party, served several years as president of the 
school board and takes lively interest in all things pertaining to 
the community welfare. Both he and his wife attend and support 
the Lutheran church. In November, 1902, was solemnized the 
marriage of Mr. Kaiser to Miss Seuera Wirkler, who was born and 
reared in this county and who is a daughter of Joseph and Emma 
(Meyer) Wirkler, well-known residents of this county and both 
natives of Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Kaiser have two children — 



BIOGRAPHICAL 203 

Herbert J,, who was born August lo. 1907 ; and Gertrude E., who 
was born August 20, 1910. 

William E. Kaiser is one of the extensive agriculturists and 
stock-growers of his native county and is the owner of a fine 
landed estate of four hundred and forty-four acres, situated in Sec- 
tion 14, Farmersburg township, about 10 miles distant from the 
village of McGregor, which is his postoffice address. Mr. Kaiser 
was born on the old homestead of his father, in Garnavillo town- 
ship, this county, on the loth of December, 1880, and was one in 
a family of seven children, all of whom are living except one. The 
parents, John G. and Mary (Wiegmann) Kaiser, were both born in 
Germany and were children at the time of the immigration of the 
respective families to America. John G. Kaiser became one of the 
extensive landowners and representative farmers of Clayton county, 
where he was an honored and influential citizen and where both 
he and his wife continued to reside until their death. He whose 
name initiates this review is indebted to the public schools of 
Clayton county for his early educational discipline, which was 
effectively supplemented by a course in Dixon College, in the city 
of Dixon, Illinois, an institution which he attended during two 
successive winters. He thereafter continued to be associated with 
his father in the latter's extensive farming operations until he had 
attained to his legal majority, when he rented of his father the 
farm which he now occupies and which he later purchased, the 
same comprising four hundred and forty-four acres and being one 
of the splendid landed domains of Farmersburg township. With 
the most progressive methods and policies, Mr. Kaiser has taken 
an advanced stand in connection with agricultural and live-stock 
industry in his native county and his enterprising spirit has been 
shown in the excellent improvements that he has made upon his 
rural estate, including the erection of a commodious and attractive 
modern house, which was completed in 1916, and which is one of 
the ideal country homes of this favored section of the state. In 
connection with wisely diversified agriculture Mr. Kaiser gives 
special attention to the breeding and raising of the best types of 
Jersey and Hereford cattle, and his herds attract much attention 
by reason of their extent and their manifest superiority. Liberal 
and public-spirited in his civic attitude, Mr. Kaiser is always ready 
to lend his influence and practical co-operation in the furtherance 
of measures projected for the general good of the community, and 
the year 1916 finds him serving loyally and efficiently not only as 
township trustee but also as secretary of the school board of his 
district. He is alert in his association with the varied afTairs of 
general importance in the community and is vice-president of the 
Clayton County Fair Association, his political allegiance being 
given to the Democratic party and both he and his wife hold mem- 
bership in the Lutheran church, the while their unqualified popu- 
larity indicates the high estimate placed upon them in their native 
county, their attractive home being a center of refined and gracious 
hospitality. Mr. Kaiser has achieved unqualified success in his 
independent career as a representative of the great basic industries 



204 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

of agriculture and stock-raising and is consistently to be designated 
as one of the leading farmers of Farmersburg township. On De- 
cember 17, 1906, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Kaiser to 
Miss Verone Mohrman, who was born and reared in Clayton county 
and who is a daughter of William and Amelia (Schumacher) 
Mohrman, the former a native of Wisconsin and the latter of Iowa, 
and both still residents of Garnavillo township, the father being a 
carpenter. Mr. and Mrs. Kaiser are the parents of three children, 
whose names and respective dates of birth are here entered : Lois 
K., September 17, 1907; Lloyd W., July 2, 1909; and Bernice L., 
December 29, 1915. 

Henry Kamm has resided upon his present fine farm, in Buena 
Vista township, since he was a young man of twenty-one years, and 
during this long period of more than half a century he has stood 
exponent of energy and progressiveness in connection with his 
farming operations and of the best type of loyalty and public spirit 
as a citizen. He is one of the sterling men who have aided in the 
industrial and social development and advancement of Clayton 
county and is eminently entitled to recognition in this history. 
Mr. Kamm was born in Wurttemberg, Germany, in the year 1842, 
and is one of the three surviving children of David and Agnes 
Kamm, who passed their entire lives in Germany. In the excellent 
schools of his native land Henry Kamm received his early educa- 
tional discipline and about the time of attaining to his legal ma- 
jority he severed the ties that bound him to home and Fatherland 
and set forth to win for himself independence and prosperity in 
the United States. Soon after his arrival in this country he came 
to Clayton county and purchased his present farm, which comprises 
one hundred and sixty acres and which has been developed and 
improved under his zealous and effective direction. He is unwaver- 
ing in his support of the principles of the Republican party and his 
loyal interest in local affairs was signified by the specially effective 
service which he accorded during his three years' incumbency of the 
office of township trustee. He and his family hold membership in 
the Lutheran church. On the 23d of March, 1871, was solemnized 
the marriage of Mr. Hy. Kamm to Miss Mary Bockel, who is a 
daughter of Henry and Maggie Bockel, natives of Germany. 

Mr. and Mrs. Kamm became the parents of six children, of 
whom the eldest, Robert, is now a resident of the city of Dubuque ; 
Emma is the wife of W. H. Magee of Manchester, Iowa; Henry is 
deceased ; Marie is the wife of A. C. Noggle of North Buena Vista, 
Iowa ; Joseph is employed in the village of North Buena Vista, and 
George is at the parental home. 

Frederick W. Kann is a scion of the third generation of the 
Kann family in Clayton county, where his paternal grandfather 
established his home about three-fourths of a century ago, and the 
family name has been most effectively concerned with the record 
of civic and industrial development and progress in this section of 
the Hawkeye state, with Frederick William Kann holding such 
status as a loyal and honored citizen and representative farmer as 
to well uphold the prestige of the name which he bears. He was 




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BIOGRAPHICAL 20$ 

born in Jeflferson township, this county, on the 12th of September, 
1849, and is a son of William and Mary Kann, both natives of 
Germany — the father having been born in Prussia and the mother 
in the Kingdom of Hanover, and their marriage having been 
solemnized in Clayton county. William Kann came with his 
parents to America in the early '40s, and his father, Gottfried Kann, 
became one of the very early settlers in Jeflferson township, Clay- 
ton county, where he reclaimed a farm and where he and his 
wife passed the remainder of their lives. William was reared and 
educated in his native land and was a young man at the time of 
the immigration to America. After coming to Clayton county he 
entered claim to one hundred and sixty acres of government land, 
in what is now Jefferson township, and he rose to prominence and 
influence as one of the substantial farmers and sterling citizens of 
this county, where he died about 1908 at a venerable age, his 
devoted wife having been summoned to eternal rest on the i6th of 
May, 1898, and both having been life-long communicants of the 
Catholic church. Of their children, the subject of this review is 
the eldest; Henry, Catherine, Mary and Mary (second of the 
name) are deceased; Joseph is a resident of Minot, North Dakota; 
Annie is the wife of William Uriell, of Read township, Clayton 
county ; and Huburt maintains his home in the state of Oklahoma. 
Frederick W. Kann gained his early education in the pioneer school 
of district No. 6, Jefferson township, and continued to assist in the 
work of his father's farm until he had attained to the age of twenty- 
eight years. For two years thereafter he farmed on rented land, 
and he then purchased a farm of his own, but he later sold this 
property. From that time forward he continued operations on a 
rented farm until he purchased his present fine landed estate, which 
comprises three hundred and thirty acres, and which constitutes 
one of the model farms of Jeflferson township. The place is 
equipped with permanent improvements of the best order, and a 
number of the buildings have been erected by the present energetic 
and progressive owner, the farm being given over to wisely ordered 
operations in the line of diversified agriculture and the raising of 
excellent grades of horses, cattle and swine. Like his honored 
father, Mr. Kann is found aligned as a loyal supporter of the cause 
of the Democratic party, and both he and his wife are earnest com- 
municants of the Catholic church. May 16, 1878, recorded the 
marriage of Mr. Kann to Miss Dina Berns, who was born in Jeffer- 
son township, this county, on the i6th of December, 1853, and 
whose early education was acquired in the Catholic parochial 
schools at Guttenberg. She is a daughter of Henry and Annie 
(Knueber) Berns, who were sterling pioneers of Jefferson town- 
ship. The father was born at Hoghlar, Bezirf, Miinster, Germany, 
on the 20th of September. 1817, and the mother at Hillen Regier- 
ungsbezirk, Miinster, in Westphalen, on the 17th of January, 1819. 
The parents of Mrs. Kann were married in their native land and 
immigrated to the United States in 1847. Shortly after their ar- 
rival in America they came to Iowa and became pioneer settlers of 
Jefferson township, Clayton county, where they passed the residue 



206 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

of their long and worthy lives, the father having passed to eternal 
rest on the 29th of May, 1889, and the mother having been vener- 
able in years at the time of her death, which occurred June 26, 
1900. Both were devout communicants of the Catholic church and 
in politics Mr. Berns was a Democrat. Of their children, the eldest 
is Mary, who resides in Garnavillo township and who is the widow 
of Xavier Schaefers ; Henrietta, Theodore and Herman are de- 
ceased ; Mathilda has consecrated her life to service as a member 
of one of the gracious sisterhoods of the Catholic church and is 
known as Sister Constantine, her place of residence being the city 
of Chicago ; Henry is deceased ; and Elizabeth, the widow of John 
Wolter, resides in the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota. In con- 
clusion is entered brief record concerning the children of Mr. and 
Mrs. Kann: Edward died in childhood; Arthur H. remains at the 
parental home and is associated in the work of the farm ; Richard 
J. is a representative of agricultural industry in Jefferson township ; 
Amanda is the wife of Edward Griffin, of Freeport, Illinois, and 
they have two children, Bernice and Stanley ; Rose is the wife of 
Edward C. Meier, of Osterdock, Clayton county, and they have two 
children, Jerome and Dolores; Hubert H. and Gregory X. are 
associated in the work of their father's farm ; and Stella is the wife 
of Andrew Matt, of Vermillion, S. D., their one child being a son, 
Wayland Paul. 

Vina Katschkowsky. — While Clayton county, at the primary 
election in 1916, gave more than one thousand majority against the 
extension of suffrage to women, the men of the county had already 
shown their faith in womanhood and their willingness to recognize 
good and efficient service, by either man or woman, by the election 
of Miss Vina Katschkowsky as recorder for Clayton county. This 
was done at the election in 1914, when Miss Katschkowsky was 
elected by a handsome majority. In doing this, the voters did not 
find their confidence misplaced, for Miss Katschkowsky has shown 
herself to be industrious, capable, accommodating and highly ef- 
ficient. As a result of this good work there was no opposition to 
her re-election in 1916. Miss Katschkowsky is a Clayton county 
product, having been born in Elkader, in 1891. She is the daughter 
of Adolf K. and Elizabeth (Musfeldt) Katschkowsky. Her father 
was born in Germany and came to America in 1871, going first to 
Cleveland, Ohio, where he was employed in various capacities. He 
was the first of his family to come to the "land of the free," his 
parents arriving in America a year later. In 1875 ^^ came to Iowa, 
settling at Elkport, where his parents made their home. Shortly 
afterward he moved to Elkader, where he now resides. In 1879 
he was married to Miss Elizabeth Musfeldt and to them five chil- 
dren were born : Minnie, Adolf, Jr., Louis, Vina, the subject of this 
sketch, and Freda. Miss Vina had her preliminary education in 
the public school, later attending the Elkader High School, and 
then entering business life as a clerk in Poull & Bink's general 
store. About a year later she was appointed to the position of 
assistant to County Recorder J. W. McLaughlin, filling the position 
most acceptably for four years, and obtaining a thorough and com- 



BIOGRAPHICAL 207 

prehensive knowledge of the duties and responsibilities of the 
recorder's office. At the insistent request of her friends in the 
court house as well as of influential friends throughout the county, 
she was induced to allow her name to be placed on the Democratic 
ticket as a candidate for county recorder in the election of Novem- 
ber, 1914, being elected by a large majority. That she has given 
entire satisfaction to the public is evidenced by the unanimous 
desire for her re-election. Miss Katschkowsky is a young lady of 
charming personality. She is deservedly popular on account of 
her bright vivacity and her cheerful and friendly disposition, and 
she has a very wide acquaintance throughout the county. While 
giving full time to the work of her office, Miss Katschkowsky's 
interests are not all confined to her official duties and she takes an 
active part in all the social events which transpire among the 
young people of Elkader. Her life record certainly shows what 
can be accomplished by a young woman of intellect and integrity 
and proves that a woman can be safely entrusted in the most 
responsible positions. 

Frederick Keeling is another of the native sons of Clayton 
county who has won definite success and precedence in connection 
with agricultural and live-stock enterprise, and though he still owns 
his splendidly improved farm he now rents the property and is 
living practically retired in the attractive home which he has pro- 
vided in the village of Volga. He is a stockholder in the creamery 
company at Volga, a stockholder in the Volga Savings Bank, and 
is a member also of the Farmers' Live Stock Commission Company 
at this place. Mr. Keeling was born in Highland township, this 
county, on the 30th of August, 1863, and is a son of John and Mary 
(Fletcher) Keeling, who were born and reared in England, where 
their marriage was solemnized. About 1850 the parents came to 
the United States and after having resided for the first decade in 
the state of New York they came to Clayton county, Iowa, and 
established their home on a pioneer farm. John Keeling developed 
one of the splendidly productive farms and continued to reside on 
his old homestead, situated in Highland and Sperry townships, 
until his death, his wife also having died on the old home place. 
Of their five children two are now living. Frederick Keeling made 
good use of the advantages afforded in the public schools of his 
native county, and after initiating his independent career he con- 
ducted operations on a rented farm for several years. He then pur- 
chased the property, in Section 5, Sperry township, and on this 
splendidly improved farm of two hundred and forty acres he con- 
tinued to reside until 1914, when he retired from the active labors 
that had long engrossed his attention and given him substantial 
prosperity, and he has since maintained his home in the pleasant 
village of Volga. He is now serving as township trustee, is a stal- 
wart advocate of the principles of the Republican party, and he and 
his wife became zealous members of the Volga Presbyterian church, 
of which he is an elder. In 1884 Mr. Keeling wedded Miss Mar- 
garet Robinson, who was born in the Province of Ontario, Canada, 
whence her parents, William and Margaret (Galier) Robinson came 



2o8 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

over into the United States in 1865 ; they finally established their 
home in Clayton county, and here they passed the residue of their 
lives. No children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Keeling, and the 
supreme loss and bereavement of his life came when his devoted 
wife was summoned to eternal rest, her death having occurred on 
the 1st of December, 1914, and her remains being laid to rest in 
the cemetery at Volga. She was a woman of most gentle and 
gracious personality and held the high regard of all who came 
within the compass of her influence. 

William Keleher is another of the native sons of Clayton town- 
ship who can legitimately claim to be a representative of a pioneer 
family of this section of the Hawkeye State and who has proved 
himself possessed of those elements of character that conserve in- 
dividual success as well as prompt objective confidence and good 
will. In his native county he has found scope and opportunity for 
the achieving of a secure vantage-ground as an exponent of the 
all-important industries of agriculture and stock-raising, his present 
attractive homestead comprising one hundred and sixty acres in 
Section 28, Boardman township, and the same giving patent 
evidence of the owner's policies of thrift and progressiveness. On 
the old pioneer homestead farm of his father, in Section 34, Board- 
man township, Mr. Keleher was born on the 5th of March, 1861, 
and the high estimation in which he is held in the community sets 
at naught in his case any application of the scriptural aphorism 
that "a prophet is not without honor save in his own country." 
He is a son of Thomas and Mary (Dureen) Keleher, both natives 
of the fair Emerald Isle and representatives of staunch old families 
of Erin. Thomas Keleher was a lad of nine years at the time when 
he accompanied his parents on their immigration from Ireland to 
the United States, and he was reared to maturity in the State of 
New York. About the time of attaining to his legal majority he 
came to Iowa and constituted himself one of the pioneers of Clayton 
county. Here he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land 
in the present township of Boardman, and not only did he reclaim 
this tract to effective cultivation but he also evinced his cumulative 
prosperity by adding to his original purchase until he became the 
owner of a valuable landed estate of three hundred and twenty 
acres. He continued to hold this property until his death, which 
occurred in June, 1906, and his name shall be long honored as that 
of a sterling pioneer who did well his part in furthering the social 
and industrial development and upbuilding of Clayton county. He 
was influential in public affairs of a local nature and was called 
upon to serve in various township offices. His first wife, mother of 
the subject of this review, was summoned to eternal rest in 1878, 
and of their seven children William, to whom this article is dedi- 
cated, was the first born ; Jerry owns and resides upon the old 
homestead farm of the father ; James is a resident of Clermont, 
Fayette county; Catherine died when young; Anna remains with 
her brother Jerry on the old homestead ; Frank is another of the 
prosperous farmers of Boardman township ; and Edward is a resi- 
dent of Marcus, Cherokee county. For his second wife the father 



BIOGRAPHICAL 209 

wedded Miss Hannah Roach, and she too is now deceased, as is 
also John, the eldest of their children ; May and Stell maintain their 
home in the city of Chicago; and Chloe remains at the old home- 
stead farm. Availing himself duly of the advantages afforded in 
the common schools of the locality and period, William Keleher was 
reared to manhood under the conditions and influences of the pio- 
neer farm, in the work and management of which he continued to 
be associated with his father until he had attained to the age of 
twenty-five years. For three years thereafter he was engaged in 
farming on a tract of two hundred and twenty acres which he 
rented, on Turkey river, and he then removed to the Hyde farm, 
in Boardman township, which he later purchased. To this place 
of fifty acres he subsequently added by the purchase of an adjoining 
tract of one hundred and ten acres. He brought his farm up to a 
high state of productiveness, made excellent improvements of a 
permanent order, and there continued to reside for the long period 
of twenty-two years, at the expiration of which he sold the property 
to his brother Frank and purchased his present fine homestead, in 
Section 28 of his native township, upon which he established himself 
in the spring of 1913 and upon which he has since continued his 
successful enterprise as a general farmer and stock-grower. Mr. 
Keleher has taken a lively interest in community affairs and has 
never wavered in his loyalty to and appreciation of his native 
county. He has served as township trustee and road supervisor, 
as well as a director of the school board of his district, and he 
accords a stalwart allegience to the cause of the Democratic party. 
His home is known for its generous hospitality and good cheer, is 
modern in its equipment and appointments, and receives mail 
service on rural route No. 2 from Elkader. Both he and his wife 
are communicants of the Catholic church. On the 24th of Novem- 
ber, 1891, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Keleher to Miss 
Mary Hoover, who was born and reared in Clayton county and who 
is a daughter of Julius and Margaret (Stence) Hoover, now resi- 
dents of San Angelo, Texas. Her father was born in Pennsylvania 
and her mother is a native of Ireland. Mr. and Mrs. Keleher have 
three children — Florence M., who is a successful and popular 
teacher in the public schools of her native county; and Grace M. 
and Thomas Leo, who remain at the parental home. 

John R. King, who conducts a prosperous business as a dealer 
in coal, feed and implements at Strawberry Point, was born in 
Fayette county, this state, on the 28th of June, 1876, but was a 
boy of 13 years at the time of his parents' removal to Clayton 
county, where he was reared and educated and where his energy 
and enterprise have gained to him substantial success as one of the 
sterling and popular business men of Strawberry Point. He is a 
son of James and Phoebe (Wright) King, both of whom were born 
in the Province of Ontario, Canada. The father was a carpenter 
by trade but during the last thirty years of his life he was engaged 
in the lumber business at Strawberry Point, where his death oc- 
curred on the 5th of October, 1910. and where his widow still main- 
tains her home. Thomas, the first-born of their children, is de- 



210 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

ceased ; Mary is the wife of H. H. Oppermann, of Strawberry Point; 
Albert W. is engaged in the lumber business at Minneapolis, Minne- 
sota, and the subject of this review is the youngest of the number. 
John R. King gained his early education in the public schools and 
at the age of fifteen years he began his apprenticeship at the car- 
penter's trade. Later he learned the trade of telegraphist, and for 
two years he was employed as an operator in the service of the 
Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad Company. At the age of 
twenty-five years he took unto himself a wife, and for two years 
thereafter he and his wife conducted a hotel at Strawberry Point. 
He then removed to a farm owned by his father in Cass township, 
and there he continued his successful activities as an agriculturist 
and stock grower for ten years, at the expiration of which he re- 
turned to Strawberry Point and established his present thriving 
business enterprise, the same being based upon effective service, 
fair and honorable dealings and the personal popularity of the pro- 
prietor. Mr. King gives his support to the cause of the Democratic 
party, has received the three degrees of the ancient craft Masonry, 
being affiliated with the lodge of Ancient Free & Accepted Masons 
in Strawberry Point, where he also holds membership in the Mod- 
ern Brotherhood of America. On the 4th of April, 1900, was sol- 
emnized the marriage of Mr. King to Miss Mary E. Moine, who 
was born and reared in this county, and they have three children, 
Myrtle, Harold M. and Don L. 

Rufus G. Kinsley is a native son of Clayton county, a member 
of one of the honored pioneer families of this favored section of the 
Hawkeye state, and has achieved prominence and influence as one 
of the progressive farmers and business men of the county to which 
he pays unfaltering allegiance and of whose splendid resources and 
attractions he is deeply appreciative. Mr. Kinsley is a scion of a 
staunch old family that was founded in New England in the colonial 
days and that in later generations sent forth its sturdy sons to 
follow the star of empire in its western course. He was born in 
Giard township, Clayton county, on the 15th of September, 1871, 
and is a son of Guy and Lucinda (Ellsworth) Kinsley, both natives 
of the state of Vermont, where they were reared and educated and 
where their marriage was solemnized on the 15th of March, 1853. 
Guy Kinsley was born at Fletcher, Franklin county, Vermont, on 
the 12th of February, 1825, a son of Benjamin A. and Katherine 
(Montague) Kinsley. He was reared to the sturdy discipline of a 
New England farm, received a good common school education in 
the old Green Mountain state and as a young man of twenty-five 
years, in 1850, he came to the west and numbered himself among 
the pioneers of Clayton county, Iowa. Here he bent his energies 
to the reclaiming and development of a farm and he eventually 
became one of the prosperous and influential agriculturists and 
representative citizens of Giard township. He celebrated in the 
spring of 1916 his ninety-first birthday anniversary, and since his 
retirement from the active labors and responsibilities that long 
marked his energetic and useful career he has lived retired in the 
city of McGregor, where he and his wife, are enjoying the comfort 



BIOGRAPHICAL 211 

and gracious prosperity that is justly their due. Both are earnest 
members of the Baptist church and they have the respect and 
veneration of the people of the county in which they have main- 
tained their home for more than sixty years. Mrs. Kinsley is a 
daughter of Aaron Ellsworth, who was a substantial farmer of 
Vermont. On coming to Clayton county Guy Kinsley obtained a 
tract of government land, and this he developed into one of the 
fine farms of this section of the state, the while he contributed also 
to the social, educational and religious upbuilding of the com- 
munity. Of the eleven children the subject of this sketch was the 
ninth in order of birth; Lucy, the firstborn, is now a resident of 
Wheaton, Minnesota; Frank maintains his home at McGregor; 
Amanda is wife of Dr. Renshaw, of Monona, this county; Fannie 
is the wife of George Hill, of Springfield, Missouri ; Cora is the wife 
of Eustace Renshaw, of Estherville, Emmett county, Iowa ; Ben- 
jamin resides at McGregor; Alice maintains her home at Marshall- 
town, this state; Margaret is the wife of Louis Kramer, of 
McGregor; J. D. resides at Lisbon, Linn county; and Prudence 
is deceased. Rufus G. Kinsley is indebted to the public schools of 
Clayton county for his early educational discipline, which was sup- 
plemented by higher courses in the Breckenridge school, and the 
Valparaiso University, at Valparaiso, Indiana. As a youth he 
taught two terms in the district schools of Clayton county, and 
thereafter he was for a time engaged in the buying of grain for the 
firm of Gilchrist & Moore. He then engaged in the farm-implement 
business at Monona, where he continued his association with this 
line of enterprise for a period of eight years. For the ensuing eight 
years he was there engaged in the hardware business, and he then 
retired from mercantile life and removed to his present fine home- 
stead farm, which he had purchased some time prior to retiring 
from the mercantile business at Monona. His farm comprises 
three hundred and sixty acres, is equipped with the best of perma- 
nent improvements and is one of the model places of the county. 
In connection with well ordered agricultural enterprise of a diver- 
sified order, Mr. Kinsley has developed a specially prosperous dairy 
business on his farm, where he maintains a fine herd of eighty head 
of thoroughbred Jersey cattle. He is a director of the Citizens' 
State Bank of Monona, and in that village he is associated with his 
brother Benjamin in the ownership and operation of a successful 
handle factory, he having been one of the founders of this important 
industrial enterprise of Clayton county. In politics Mr. Kinsley 
designates himself a Progressive Republican, and he has been called 
upon to serve in various township offices. While a resident of 
Monona he served as a member of the board of education and also 
as township clerk. His postoffice address is McGregor, and from 
that village he receives service on one of the rural mail routes. He 
is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America and is one of 
the progressive, wideawake and popular citizens of the county that 
has ever represented his home and in which he has achieved dis- 
tinctive success through his well ordered activities. On the 4th of 
April, 1906, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Kinsley to Miss 



212 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

Jessie L. Killen, daughter of John Killen, of Monona, and they have 
two sons — John, who was born January 9, 1907, and Robert, who 
was born September 30, 1908. 

Kleinpell, W. F., hardware merchant of Elkader, Iowa, was 
born in Cassville, Wisconsin, December 10, 1864, and was the son 
of Carl and Louisa (Wagner) Kleinpell, both natives of Germany, 
who came to America in 1850, locating at Freeport, Illinois, where 
they lived about eight years before finally locating in Cassville, 
Wisconsin. The father was a harnessmaker by trade, which occu- 
pation he followed for some years, but later went into general mer- 
chandizing. He died in Cassville, but his wife is still living in that 
town, a well known and competent woman, and where, during the 
administrations of Grant and Hayes, she held the position of post- 
mistress. To their union was born a large family of children, th^ 
first three of whom are dead. The oldest living child is Julius, 
who is a dealer in lumber in Cassville, Wisconsin; our subject 
comes next in the point of age and is followed by Amelia, who 
died at the age of fifteen; Henry, a physician of Chicago; Walter, 
deceased; Freda, living at home with her mother, and Reinhardt, 
of Flint, Michigan. At the age of fourteen years, W. F. Kleinpell 
left home and began to make his own way in the world, going first 
to Freeport, Illinois, where he served an apprenticeship of two and 
a half years to a machinist, after which he went to Elkport, Iowa, 
for two years, and to Cassville, Wisconsin, for three years, in both 
of which places he engaged in a general merchandise business. In 
1887 he moved to Elkader, Iowa, where he conducted a hardware 
store for a firm that he afterwards bought out and has continued 
in the business with such great success that he has enlarged it by 
adding heating and plumbing departments. He was married 
January 18, 1888, to Minnie Schmidt, who was born in Clayton 
county, and is a daughter of J. B. and Carrie (Hartman) Schmidt. 
Two children have been born to them: Louise Caroline, born in 
1890, now the wife of C. F. Murphy, of Elkader; and Dorothy Ella. 
Mr. Kleinpell is a democrat, has served on the city council and on 
the school board, and is a member of the Woodmen of the World. 

Henry Klinkenberg is a scion of a pioneer family that has 
played a large and benignant part in the industrial and civic de- 
velopment and upbuilding of Clayton county and the place of his 
nativity was the finely improved farm of two hundred and forty 
acres which he now owns and makes his place of residence, the 
same being eligibly situated in Section 29, Farmersburg township, 
about 2^ miles distant from the village of St. Olaf, which is the 
postoffice address of the family. Mr. Klinkenberg was born March 
28, 1874, and is a son of Carl and Dorothy (Mandelkow) Klinken- 
berg, both of whom came from their native land, Germany, to 
America in the year 1857. That year marked their arrival in 
Clayton county, Iowa, and they became pioneer settlers on an 
embryonic farm in Farmersburg township. In 1863, Carl Klinken- 
berg purchased a tract of forty acres of wild land in Reed township, 
and through his industry and good management he was so sig- 
nificantly prospered that he was eventually able to claim as his 



BIOGRAPHICAL 213 

own a valuable landed estate of thirteen hundred acres, of a con- 
siderable portion of which he has now disposed, though he continues 
to maintain his residence on his original homestead place and 
continues a prominent and honored exponent of agricultural in- 
dustry in the county that has been the stage of his worthy and 
successful endeavors as one of the world's productive workers. 
His devoted wife, who proved a faithful helpmeet, is now deceased, 
she having been a devout communicant of the Lutheran church, 
as is also Mr. Klinkenberg, and of their nine children, six are living. 
Henry Klinkenberg is indebted to the public schools of his native 
county for his early educational discipline and he continued to be 
associated with his father in the work and management of the 
latter's large landed estate until his marriage, after which he rented 
one of his father's farms. This property he later purchased and it 
constitutes his present fine homestead of two hundred and forty 
acres, maintained under effective cultivation and given over to 
diversified agriculture and the raising of excellent grades of live 
stock. The permanent improvements on the place are of sub- 
stantial and modern order and Mr. Klinkenberg is the owner also 
of twenty-three acres of timber land in Reed township. His polit- 
ical support is given to the Democratic party and both he and his 
wife are communicants of the Lutheran church at Farmersburg. 
In June, 1901, was recorded the marriage of Mr. Klinkenberg to 
Miss Bertha Kurth, who was born in the state of South Dakota, 
and who is a daughter of William and Lena (Schroder) Kurth. 
The parents were born in Germany and came to the United States 
in 1882, in which year they established their home in South Dakota. 
They later came to Clayton county, Iowa, where they still reside. 
Of their seven children all are living except one. Mr. and Mrs. 
Klinkenberg have two children — Fritz William, who was born 
February 26, 1902, and Alvin G., who was born June 15, 1911. 

Herman Klinkenberg is essentially one of the representative 
factors in connection with the promotion of the agricultural and 
live-stock interests of his native county and in addition to his own- 
ership of a most fertile and productive landed estate of four hun- 
dred acres in Wagner township he owns also a well improved 
tract of two hundred and seventy-five acres near New Hampton, 
Chickasaw county. He is a scion of one of the well known and 
influential pioneer families of Clayton county, and concerning his 
father more specific mention will be found on other pages of this 
work. Mr. Klinkenberg was born at Farmersburg, this county, on 
the 25th of December, 1864, and is a son of Charles and Dora 
(Maulks) Klinkenberg, both of whom were born in Germany. 
Charles Klinkenberg was reared to manhood in his fatherland, where 
he received good educational advantages in his youth, and as a 
young man of twenty-five years he manifested the courage of his 
conviction by immigrating to America, with assurance that in the 
United States he would find better opportunities for the achieving 
of independence and advancement through individual effort. He 
became one of the early settlers of Clayton county, where he labored 
with characteristic energy and zeal in the reclaiming of a farm from 



214 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

the untrammeled prairie and where he became one of the substan- 
tial agriculturists and influential and honored citizens of Farmers- 
burg township, where he still resides, his wife having been sum- 
moned to the life eternal in June, 1915. Of their nine children, the 
eldest is August, who resides at Elkader, this county; Minnie is 
the wife of Charles Radlif, of Farmersburg; Herman, of this review, 
was the third child ; William is a prosperous farmer in Farmers- 
burg township ; Lena is deceased ; Mary is the wife of John Mad- 
dens, of Grand Meadow township ; Henry B. is a substantial ex- 
ponent of agricultural industry in Farmersburg township ; and tw_o 
sons died in infancy. To the public schools of his native county 
Herman Klinkenberg is indebted for his early educational discipline, 
and he continued his active association with the operations of the 
home farm until he had attained to the age of twenty-five years, 
when he instituted his independent career as a farmer and stock- 
grower on his present home place. Energy, circumspection, thrift 
and wise policies have characterized his activities in this important 
domain of industrial enterprise, of which he has become one of the 
prominent and influential representatives in this part of the State, 
his homestead place, of four hundred acres, being eligibly situated 
in Section 36, Wagner township, and the supplemental area of two 
hundred and seventy-five acres being represented in his farm near 
New Hampton, Chickasaw county, as previously noted in this con- 
text. He has proved himself an ambitious, progressive and far- 
sighted agriculturist, always ready to avail himself of improved 
machinery, scientific methods and approved modern facilities of 
every sort, the while he has regarded his chosen vocation as well 
worthy of his undivided time and attention, his progressiveness has 
extended also into his relations to community aflfairs, and he has 
given his influence and co-operation in the furtherance of measure^ 
projected for the general good, along both civic and material lines. 
His political convictions are indicated by the unwavering allegiance 
which he accords to the Democratic party, and while he has had no 
ambition for public office his civic loyalty has caused him to give 
most effective service in the position of school director, of which 
office he is still the valued incumbent, in 1916. Both he and his 
wife are communicants of the Lutheran church at St. Olaf, which 
village is their postoffice address. On the 19th of June, 1890, was 
solemnized the marriage of Mr. Klinkenberg to Miss Minnie Muel- 
ler, who was born and reared in this county and who is a daughter 
of John and Minna (Meyer) Mueller, both natives of Germany. 
Mr. Mueller established his residence in Clayton county in the 
pioneer days, became a successful farmer and honored citizen and 
there continued to reside until his death, which occurred April 27, 
1906, his widow now maintaining her home at Farmersburg. They 
became the parents of twelve children, of whom the eldest is Henry, 
of Farmersburg township ; Lena is the widow of Henry Harnish ; 
Mrs. Dora Frederick and her husband reside at Emmettsburg, Palo 
Alto county, this State, as does also John ; Mrs. Klinkenberg was 
the next in order of birth ; Frederick is a resident of Farmersburg 
township ; Mary is the wife of William Klinkenberg, of that town- 



BIOGRAPHICAL 2IS 

ship, where also resides Louisa, the wife of Charles Schmidt; Will- 
iam lives in the village of Farmersburg; Annie is the wife of August 
Kahle, and they maintain their home in Minnesota; Bertha is the 
wife of Mine Dickinson, of Emmettsburg, Iowa; and Martha is the 
wife of Charles Faber, of Ionia, Chickasaw county. Mr. and Mrs. 
Klinkenberg became the parents of four children : Lucy is the wife 
of Arthur Schmidt, of Wagner township; Bertha and Frederick 
died in childhood ; and Mathilda Marguerite remains at the parental 
home. 

Henry J. Klotzbach takes justifiable satisfaction in claiming 
Clayton county as the place of his nativity and in being a represen- 
tative of one of the sterling pioneer families of the county, the name 
of which he bears, having been identified with the history of this 
favored section of the State for more than sixty years and having 
been worthily connected with the record of both civic and industrial 
development and progress. He resides upon the well improved old 
homestead farm, in Giard township, and is the owner of this farm of 
forty acres. He was born October 16, 1865. As a progressive and 
wideawake farmer he gives his attention to diversified agriculture 
and stock-growing, and he is one of the substantial and valued ex- 
ponents of these important lines of industrial enterprise in his native 
county. Mr. Klotzbach is a son of Nicholas and Elizabeth (Heis- 
ner) Klotzbach, both of whom were born in Germany and both of 
whom were representatives of that admirable German element of 
citizenship that has played so important a part in the development 
of the resources of Clayton county. Nicholas Klotzbach immi- 
grated from his Fatherland to the United States in 1844, and he 
became a farmer in Lorain county, Ohio, where he continued his 
activities until 1855, when he came to Iowa and numbered himself 
among the pioneer settlers of Clayton county. On the farm now 
owned and occupied by his son Henry J., of this review, he indus-^ 
triously applied his energies, and he reclaimed his land from the 
virgin wilds, made substantial improvements of a permanent order 
and eventually accumulated an estate of about eighty acres. He 
continued his identification with farm industry in Giard township 
until the close of his long, worthy and useful life, and passed to 
eternal rest on the 23rd of October, 1905, his devoted wife soon 
following him, as her death occurred December 28, 1907. Both 
were devoted members of the Reformed Church and he was a 
staunch Democrat in his political proclivities, with a deep appreci- 
ation of the institutions and advantages of the land of his adoption. 
He was influential in community aflfairs and served for a number of 
years in the ofhce of township trustee. At the old homestead 
remain the two eldest children. Misses Martha and Elizabeth, who 
are held in affectionate esteem by all who know them ; Louisa is 
the wife of Charles L. Luckerman, of McGregor, this county; Lena 
is the wife of Frank C. Butts, of Farmersburg township ; Edward 
remains with his sisters on a portion of the old homestead farm ; 
Henry J., immediate subject of this sketch, was the next in order of 
birth ; William is a prosperous farmer in Mendon township ; George 
died in the year 1909; and Julia is the wife of Louis H. Haefner, 



2l6 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

their home being in the State of Montana. Henry J. Klotzbach 
was reared to the sturdy discipline of the farm and in addition to 
receiving the advantages of the local schools he attended for a time 
the public schools in the city of Galena, Illinois. As a youth he 
clerked for a time in a general store at Giard, at which place he 
later became an expert workman in a creamery, this same vocation 
having later found him a representative at Farmersburg. In 1896 
he purchased his present farm of forty acres, which is a part of 
the old homestead of his honored father, and here he has found 
ample scope for efifective enterprise as an agriculturist and stock- 
grower, in connection with which he has achieved substantial suc- 
cess and prosperity, with the result that he may consistently be des- 
ignated one of the representative farmers of his native county. His 
political allegiance is given to the Democratic party, and he has 
been called upon to serve in various local offices of public trust — 
preferments that fully attest the high estimate placed upon him by 
the people of his home community. He held for eight years the 
position of township assessor, was secretary of the school board of 
his district for nine years, was township clerk for eight years, and 
with marked efficiency, the judicial office of justice of the peace, 
and he has served consecutively since 1904 as road superintendent 
of his township. He is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, and 
his religious views are in harmony with the tenets of the Reformed 
Church, in the faith of which he was reared. Mr. Klotzbach is a 
bachelor and his two maiden sisters preside over the home. 

John Klotzbach marked the course of his life with earnest and 
worthy endeavor and gave to the world assurance of integrity and 
uprightness in all things. He was one of the honored German 
pioneer citizens of Clayton county and here achieved independence 
and substantial prosperity through his well ordered association with 
agricultural industry. He was a resident of the county for more 
than half a century, and on his fine homestead farm, in Giard town- 
ship, his death occurred on the 27th of January, 1907. His place 
in the community life was not one of ostentation, but he lived 
and labored to goodly ends and was faithful and true in all of the 
relations of life, so that he commanded to the fullest degree the 
confidence and good will of his fellow men, the while he contrib- 
uted his part to the social and material development and upbuilding 
of the county that was long his home and in the history of which 
his name and works merit recognition. Mr. Klotzbach was born in 
Germany on the 18th of September, 1834, and thus was in his sev- 
enty-Jhird year at the time of his death. In his Fatherland he 
gained his early education and he was a lad of about fourteen years 
when he came with his parents to America. He resided in the state 
of Ohio until 1852 and there worked at the cobbler's trade, as did 
he also for a time after coming to Clayton county, Iowa, in the year 
last mentioned. Finally he purchased a tract of one hundred and 
twenty acres of land in Giard township, where he developed a pro- 
ductive farm, later adding eighty acres to its area. Through energy 
and well directed industry he developed one of the fine farms of 
the county, and to its active management he continued to give his 



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BIOGRAPHICAL 217 

attention for many years, though he retired from active labors sev- 
eral years prior to his demise. Mr. Klotzbach coveted success, but 
scorned to attain it save by worthy means, so that the prosperity 
that crowned his efforts was a merited and consistent result. He 
was always ready to do his part in the furtherance of measures and 
enterprises tending to conserve the civic and material welfare of 
the community, was a staunch Republican in politics and was a zeal- 
ous member of the German Methodist Episcopal church, as is also 
his venerable widow, who still remains on the old homestead farm, 
the same being endeared to her by the hallowed memories and asso- 
ciation of many years. Mr. Klotzbach manifested his abiding 
Christian faith in good works and kindly deeds, and he served for 
a number of years as a trustee of the church with which he and his 
wife were actively affiliated. On the 18th of July, 1871, was solem- 
nized the marriage of Mr. Klotzbach to Miss Catherine Hahn, who 
was born in Lorain county, Ohio, on the 19th of February, 1853, 
and whose parents came to Iowa in the following year, to become 
sterling pioneer settlers in Giard township, Clayton county, where 
her father purchased land and reclaimed a good farm. Mrs. Klotz- 
bach is a daughter of John Peter Hahn and Elizabeth (Lattaman) 
Hahn, both of whom continued their residence in Clayton county 
until the close of their long and useful lives, and both of whom 
were devoted members of the German Methodist church. Mr. and 
Mrs. Klotzbach became the parents of eleven children, concerning 
whom brief record is given in conclusion of this memoir : Theodore 
is a prosperous farmer in Monona township ; Levi is a resident of 
Klemma, Iowa ; Frederick and Catherine died in childhood ; Rose 
remains with her widowed mother on the old homestead ; Clara is 
the wife of Elmer Weithorn, of Watson, this state ; Huldah is 
the wife of Otto Erbe, and they reside in the city of Cedar Rapids. 
Iowa ; Frank is identified with business interests in the village of 
Monona ; and Roy. Willard and Harry remain on the old homestead, 
in the work and management of which they are associated, as rep- 
resentative young farmers of their native county, where they are 
effectively upholding the honors of the name which they bear. It 
is interesting to record that Mrs. Klotzbach has seven grandchil- 
dren, as representatives of the third generation of the family in 
Iowa. Theodore Klotzbach has three children — Gerald, Angeline 
and Irene ; Levi Klotzbach has three children — Ila, Allen and Lloyd ; 
and Clara, wife of Elmer Weithorn, has one son — Raymond. 

Myron E, Knight is one of the venerable but still vigorous and 
active pioneer citizens of Clayton county, which has represented his 
home from boyhood, and he resides on his finely improved home- 
stead farm, with the distinction of having maintained longer con- 
tinuous residence on a single farm than any other man in Lodo- 
millo township. Mr. Knight is, in both the paternal and maternal 
lines, a scion of fine old colonial stock in New England, and he takes 
a due measure of pride in reverting to the historic old Bay state as 
the place of his nativity. He was thirteen years of age at the time 
of the family immigration to Iowa and has continuously maintained 
his home in Clayton county during the long intervening years. 



2l8 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

though it was his to go forth and render most gallant service as a 
valiant soldier of the Union in the Civil war. Mr. Knight was borrj, 
at Norwich, Hampshire county, Massachusetts, on the 19th of Feb- 
ruary, 1842, and is a son of Samuel H. and Betsey (Stevens) Knight, 
both likewise natives of Massachusetts, where the former was born 
November 28, 1803, and the latter on the 22d of January, 1812. 
Samuel H. Knight came with his family to Clayton county in the 
year 1855 and became one of the pioneer farmers and influential arid 
honored citizens of Lodomillo township as now constituted. Here 
he reclaimed his farm to cultivation and here he and his devoted 
wife continued their ideal companionship until the close of their 
lives, Mrs. Knight having been summoned to eternal rest on the 
5th of December, 1873, and her bereaved husband having passed 
away on the 31st of the same month. They became the parents of 
ten children, one of whom died in infancy, and of the others four 
sons and two daughters are now living. Mary Alice, who was 
born July 25, 1852, passed away in the home of her brother, Myron 
E., of this sketch, on the 3d of June, 1863, and in the same home, 
on the 23d of September next occurred the death of an older brother, 
Samuel Judson, who was born June 22, 1838. Three of the sons 
were soldiers in the Civil war, and John S. was but seventeen years 
old when he took part in the battle of Pea Ridge and was severely 
wounded. As previously stated, Myron E. Knight was a lad of 
thirteen years at the time of the family immigration to Clayton 
county, and the home was established on an unimproved tract of 
land in Section 30, Lodomillo township, where he has resided during 
all the long intervening years. His early education was gained in 
his native state and the pioneer schools of Clayton county, and he 
contributed his full quota to the reclamation and development of 
the home farm. He is now the owner of a specially well improved 
and valuable landed estate of 215 acres, all being situated in Lodo- 
millo township except fifteen acres, which are in Cass township. 
Mr. Knight now gives special attention to the dairy department of 
his farm enterprise, and finds distinctive satisfaction in giving his 
personal supervision in a general way to the splendid farm property 
that has been accumulated and largely reclaimed and improved by 
him, the family home being a commodious and attractive brick 
residence that has long been known as a center of cordial hospi- 
tality. On the 11th of August, 1862, at the age of twenty years, 
Mr. Knight tendered his service in defense of the cause of the 
Union and it was given him to live up to the full tension of the 
Civil war and to prove a loyal and gallant soldier of the Union. On 
the date noted above he enlisted as a private in Company B, Twenty- 
first Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and with this gallant command he 
continued in active service until the close of the war. He was 
mustered out with his regiment on the 15th of July, 1865, at Baton 
Rouge, Louisiana, and he received his honorable discharge at Clin- 
ton, Iowa, on the 24th of the same month. On the 11th of January, 
1863, Mr. Knight participated in the battle at Hartsville, Missouri, 
and in May of the same year he took part in the engagements at 
Port Gibson and Campion's Hill, Mississippi, as well as the charge 



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BIOGRAPHICAL 219 

at Black River Bridge, that state, on the 17th of that month. In 
this charge. Colonel Samuel Merrill, commander of the regiment, 
was wounded, and it will be recalled that this honored commander 
later served two terms as governor of the state of Iowa. Mr. 
Knight took part also in the siege of Vicksburg and his regiment 
was specially prominent in the charge on the fortifications of that 
<;ity on May 22, 1863. In the spring of 1865 he participated in the 
subjugation of Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely. He still retains in 
his possession, as an interesting souvenir, a small memorandum 
book which he carried in his pocket during his entire period of 
service in the war between the north and the south. He vitalizes 
the more grateful memories and associations of his military career 
by maintaining affiliation with the Grand Army of the Republic. 
Mr. Knight has been a leader in popular sentiment and action in 
his home community, and he served for a full quarter of a century 
as township treasurer. For twelve consecutive years he was trustee 
of Lodomillo township, and he has also served with equal and char- 
acteristic efficiency as a member of the school board of his district. 
His political allegiance has always been given to the Republican 
party and he has for many years been an active member of the 
Baptist church, of which his wife likewise was a devout adherent, 
their gracious companionship having been severed by her death, 
which occurred October 23, 1908. On the 1st of January, 1871, 
was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Knight to Miss Bessie J. Gil- 
l)ert, who was born in Chenango county. New York, on the 22d of 
March, 1842, a daughter of Lyman and Sallie (Holcomb) Gilbert, 
She was a woman of gentle personality and her death was deeply 
mourned by those who had come within the compass of her kindly 
influence. Of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Knight the eldest is 
Alice M., who is the wife of Charles H. Smith, of Lodomillo town- 
ship ; John S. is a prosperous exponent of agricultural industry in 
the same township ; William M. remains at the old home and proves 
his father's valued aid in the management of the farm; Kate M. is 
the wife of Ernest Schroeder, of Dundee. Delaware county ; Charles 
W. died on the 26th of June, 1882 ; and Earl M.. still remains on the 
home farm, the fine rural place receiving its mail service on route 
No. 1 from Strawberry Point. 

Herman L. Knuth. — About two miles distant from the village 
of Luana, in Monona township, is located the well improved farm 
of Mr. Knuth, and the thrift and prosperity there in evidence fully 
indicate his energy and progressiveness as one of the substantial 
representatives of agricultural and live-stock industry in the county 
that has been his place of residence since he was a lad of fourteen 
years and in which his independence and prosperity have been 
gained through his own well ordered eflforts. Herman L. Knuth 
was born in Prussia, on the 22d of April, 1863, and is a son of 
Charles and Augusta (Hayden) Knuth, who immigrated to Amer- 
ica in 1872, when the subject of this sketch was nine years old. The 
family home was established in the city of Chicago, and as this was 
in the year immediately following that of the great Chicago fire, 
Charles Knuth found ready demand for his eflfective services as a 



220 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

skilled carpenter and builder. He remained in the western me- 
tropolis five years and then, in 1877, came to Clayton county, Iowa, 
and established the family home in Read township. He continued 
to follow the work of his trade for several years and then pur- 
chased a farm in Wagner township. He became one of the pros- 
perous farmers of the county and continued to reside on his old 
homestead until his death, which occurred in 1901. He was a Demo- 
crat in politics and was a loyal and honorable citizen who com- 
manded unqualified popular esteem. He was a zealous communi- 
cant of the Lutheran church, as is also his venerable widow, who 
now maintains her home in the village of St. Olaf, this county. Of 
their children, Herman L., of this review, is the eldest; William 
resides at St. Olaf; Emil is now a resident of Austin, Minnesota; 
and Ida is the wife of John Gottschalk, of Littleport, this county. 
Herman L. Knuth gained his rudimentary education in his native 
land and after the immigration of the family to America he con- 
tinued his studies in the schools of Chicago, as did he later in those 
of Read township, Clayton county. As a youth he was here 
employed at farm work for several years, later he rented a farm in 
Monona township, and in 1892 he purchased one hundred and sixty 
acres of his present fine farm, which now comprises four hundred 
and forty acres and which is one of the model farms of Monona 
township, with the substantial improvements and general thrift 
that indicate the progressiveness and good management of the 
fortunate owner. Mr. Knuth is a stockholder in the Luana 
Savings Bank, of which he formerly served as a director ; he is 
aligned as a loyal supporter of the principles of the Democratic 
party, and has served as a member of the school board of his dis- 
trict; he also owns twelve acres of valuable timber land in Franklin 
township, Allamakee county. Both he and his wife are communi- 
cants of the Lutheran church at Luana, from which village they 
received service on rural mail route No. 1. On December 3rd, 
1885, Mr. Knuth wedded Miss Mary Garms, daughter of Joachim 
and Katherine (Schultz) Garms, sterling pioneers of Monona town- 
ship, and of this union were born six children, namely: Alvin, 
Walter, Louis, Werner, Milda, and Edward. All of the children 
are living except Edward. Alvin and Walter are progressive young 
farmers of Monona township and the other three children remain 
at the parental home. Mr. and Mrs. Knuth have one grandchild, 
Lorene, the little daughter of their son Walter. 

Karl J. Konzen has become a wideawake and progressive ex- 
ponent of the journalistic profession in his native state, and as 
editor and publisher of the Volga City News he is making his paper 
an effective exponent of local interests and of the principles and 
policies for which the Democratic party stands sponsor. He founded 
this newspaper in the year 1915, and has a well equipped plant, 
with modern facilities not only for the issuing of his attractive 
weekly paper but also for the executing of job printing of all kinds 
demanded in a community of this order. He has gained for his 
newspaper a representative support and is making it a vehicle for 
the promotion of the best civic and material interests of the section 



BIOGRAPHICAf aSI 

in which it is published, his work being based on alert and vigorous 
mentality that makes him an effective editor and on a technical 
knowledge of the printing business in its various departments. His 
field of enterprise is extended by his publishing also of a weekly 
paper at Rudd, Floyd county, where he maintained his residence 
prior to coming to Clayton county, and where he served as secre- 
tary of the Commercial Club. Mr. Konzen was born in Lawler, 
Chickasaw county, this state, on the 21st of October, 1895, and is a 
son of John G. and May (Connors) Konzen, both of whom were 
likewise born in Iowa, where the respective families settled in the 
pioneer days. The father gave the major part of his active life to 
mercantile business, and was one of the highly esteemed citizens 
of Lawler county at the time of his death, which occurred May 3, 
1914. He is survived by his wife and three children. Karl J. 
Konzen is indebted to the public schools for his early educational 
discipline and has had the liberal supplemental training ever in- 
volved in association with the "art preservative of all arts." His 
alliance with the printing and newspaper business had its inception 
when he was a lad of sixteen years, and from that time to the pres- 
ent he has not wavered in his allegiance thereto, the while he has 
delved deeply into the mysteries of the art and business and has 
proved himself not lacking in self-reliance and resourcefulness as a 
representative of journalism. As previously intimated, he estab- 
lished his residence at Volga in the year 1915, and here he has, 
through his personality and progressiveness, gained leadership in 
community sentiment and action and also a secure place in popular 
confidence and good will. He is a vigorous and effective advocate 
of the principles of the Democratic party and as there is no measure 
of inconsistency in a young bachelor proving an able newspaper 
man Mr. Konzen can legitimately claim both of these distinctions. 
John Krambier, St., is one of those sterling citizens who, after 
years of close and effective association with the great basic industry 
of agriculture, find that there has come the well earned prosperity 
which permits them to lay aside the arduous labors and responsi- 
bilities that long fell to their lot and to pass the gracious twilight 
of their worthy lives in retirement, with the repose, peace and pros- 
perity that properly crown such careers of useful endeavor. Mr. 
Krambier was born in Mecklenburg, Germany, on the 8th of De- 
cember, 1844, and has been a resident of Clayton county since he 
was a lad of fourteen years. He is a son of John and Elizabeth 
(Schultz) Krambier, who were born and reared in Mecklenburg, 
where the former learned in his youth the sturdy trade of black- 
smith. In 1859 the family immigrated to the United States and 
became members of the very appreciable German pioneer colony 
that was established in and about Guttenberg, Clayton county, in 
which village John Krambier (I) engaged in the work of his trade. 
Later he removed to St. Olaf, this county, where he established a 
shop and built up a substantial and prosperous business as a black- 
smith, besides which he made judicious investment in land and 
developed a productive farm, both he and his wife having been 
honored pioneer citizens of the county at the time of their death 



222 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

and both having held reverently to the faith of the German Lutheran 
Church. Of their children, the subject of this review is the eldest; 
Elizabeth died when young; Louise is the wife of Henry Gilster, 
of Farmersburg, this county; August and Lena are deceaseds- 
Charles is now a resident of Austin, Minnesota; Fred and Annie 
are deceased; Frederica is the wife of William Jacobi and they 
reside in the State of California; and Mary is the widow of John 
Tiedeman, her home being in the city of Seattle, Washington, where 
her husband's death occurred. John Krambier, immediate subject 
of this sketch, acquired his early education in the excellent schools 
of his fatherland and was, as before stated, about fourteen years 
old at the time of the family immigration to America. He was 
reared to manhood on the pioneer farm in Clayton county and con- 
tinued to be associated with his father in the work of the home farm 
until he had attained to the age of twenty-two years. He then 
bought a farm of eighty acres, in Wagner township, where he con- 
tinued his activities as an agriculturist for a period of about ten 
years. He then sold the property and went to Minnesota, from 
which State he later went to South Dakota, but after an absence of 
about twelve years he returned to Clayton county and purchased a 
farm of one hundred and eighty-three acres in Wagner township. 
After operating this place successfully for a period of ten years he 
sold the property and purchased a farm of one hundred and ten 
acres in Monona township, near the village of the same name. 
There he upheld his reputation as a progressive and successful agri- 
culturist and stock grower until 1911, when he felt justified in 
retiring from active labor, with the result that he sold the farm 
and established his residence in the village of Luana, where he has 
an attractive home and is enjoying generous peace and prosperity, 
the while he is surrounded by a host of friends who are tried and 
true. Mr. Krambier is found arrayed in the ranks of the Democratic 
party and both he and his wife are communicants of the German 
Lutheran Church, in the faith of which they were reared. Novem- 
ber 14, 1868, recorded the marriage of Mr. Krambier to Miss Au- 
gusta Englehardt, who was born in Pomerania, Germany, on the 
14th of September, 1848, and who there received her early educa- 
tional training. She is a daughter of John and Mary (Schmidt) 
Englehardt, who immigrated from Prussia to America about the 
year 1862 and who became early settlers in Clayton county, where 
Mr. Englehardt became a prosperous farmer near Garnavillo, both 
he and his wife having passed the closing period of their lives in 
the village of Farmersburg. Their eldest child, Rudolph, is de- 
ceased ; Bertha resides at Farmersburg and is the widow of Ferdi- 
nand Ranke ; William is deceased ; Mrs. Krambier was the next in 
order of birth; Carl is deceased; Henry resides in Farmersburg; 
and Minnie is the wife of Louis Hockendorf, their home being now 
in California. Mr. and Mrs. Krambier became the parents of four- 
teen children, and it is most gratifying to note that death has never 
invaded this admirable family circle : Henry resides at Luana, and 
William at Rudd, Iowa ; Hattie is the wife of Charles Baumgart 
and their home is in Minnesota; Charles is a resident of South 



BIOGRAPHICAL 223 

Dakota; Augusta is the wife of August Duering, of Luana; John, 
Jr., is a prosperous farmer in Monona township, Robert in South 
Dakota and Louis in Monona township ; Emma is the wife of Will- 
iam Rasmussen, of Britt, Hancock county; Minnie remains at the 
parental home ; Ida is the wife of William Landt, of Luana ; Ben- 
jamin resides at Luana, George at Britt, Hancock county, and 
Bertha remains with her parents. 

John Kramer has precedence as one of the enterprising and 
representative merchants and prominent and influential citizens of 
his native place, the thriving and attractive little city of McGregor, 
where he is engaged in the clothing and men's furnishing business, 
with a well stocked and handsomely appointed store in which 
centers a substantial and appreciative supporting patronage. The 
major part of his life has been passed in Clayton county, but for 
four years he maintained his residence in McKenzie county, North 
Dakota, where he still owns the well improved farm which he re- 
claimed from the virgin prairie. Mr. Kramer was born at McGregor 
on the 26th of August, 1873, and is a son of Jacob and Katherine 
(Kahl) Kramer, both natives of Germany and both honored pio- 
neers of Clayton county. Jacob Kramer was reared and educated 
in his native land and as a young man, in 1853, he immigrated to 
the United States, confident of his ability here to find better oppor- 
tunities for the gaining of success and definite prosperity through 
personal effort. He remained for a time in Albany in the State of 
New York. In 1856 he came to Iowa and established his residence 
at McGregor, where he engaged in the work of his trade, that of 
carpenter, and where he became a successful contractor and builder 
in the pioneer days. He was influential in public affairs in the com- 
munity, served for a time as village marshal, besides which his 
strong hold upon popular confidence and esteem was shown in his 
being called upon to serve as a member of the municipal council 
and also as a member of the board of education of McGregor. He 
became a naturalized citizen after establishing his home in this 
county, and it is worthy of note that in obtaining his naturalization 
papers he walked from McGregor to Garnavillo to apply for and 
perfect the same. In 1856 was solemnized the marriage of Jacob 
and Katherine (Kahl) Kramer. Both he and his wife were promi- 
nently concerned in the founding of the German Presbyterian 
Church of McGregor, and the first meeting of its incipient congre- 
gation was held in their home. Honored for his sterling character 
and worthy achievement, this sturdy pioneer citizen was summoned 
to eternal rest on the 30th of January, 1912, and his venerable 
widow still remains at the old home in McGregor, secure in the 
affectionate regard of all who know her. Of the children the eldest 
is Jacob, who still resides at McGregor ; Minnie is the wife of 
William O. Warley, and they maintain their home in the State of 
North Dakota; William F. resides at McGregor; Charles F., Louis 
M. and Frederick likewise reside in this city; Kate died in 1914; and 
John, of this review, is the youngest of the number. John Kramer 
is indebted to the public schools of McGregor for his early educa- 
tional discipline, and at the age of fifteen years he assumed a posi- 



224 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

tion in the freight office of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Rail- 
road at McGregor. In compensation for his services he received 
thirty-five dollars a month, and for some time he continued to give 
to his mother each month all but five dollars of his earnings. He 
finally won advancement to the position of ticket agent at this sta- 
tion, and he retained this incumbency until he had attained to the 
age of twenty-six years. Thereafter he was associated with his 
sister Minnie in the dry-goods business at McGregor until 1906, 
when their establishment was virtually destroyed by fire. He then 
went to McKenzie county, North Dakota, where he entered claim 
to a tract of government land, and instituted the reclamation and 
improvement of the same. In due time he perfected his title to the 
property, which he still owns and which comprises one hundred and 
sixty acres of fertile and productive land. On this farm Mr. Kramer 
continued to reside until 1910, since which year he has been con- 
ducting his present prosperous enterprises at McGregor, his attract- 
ive store showing at all times a select and comprehensive stock of 
men's clothing and furnishing goods. He is aligned as a loyal sup- 
porter of the cause of the Republican party and is affiliated with the 
local organizations of the Woodmen of the World and the M. B. 
A.'s. Mr. Kramer is alderman at large of the city of McGregor 
and secretary of the McGregor Building & Loan Association, while 
both he and his wife hold membership in the Presbyterian Church. 
On the 17th of October, 1900, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. 
Kramer to Miss Stella Church, daughter of Lafayette F. and Cor- 
rinda (Wynne) Church, her father having for many years conducted 
a prosperous livery business at McGregor. Mr. and Mrs. Kramer 
are popular factors in the social life of their native community, 
where their circle of friends is limited only by that of their acquaint- 
ances and where their attractive home is a center of generous hos- 
pitality and good cheer. Their only child, Louis L., was born at 
McGregor, on the 5th of January, 1902, and is an ambitious young 
student in the public schools of his native place at the time of this 
writing, in 1916. He is a vigorous, generous and popular lad and 
a worthy scion of the third generation of the Kramer family in 
Clayton county. 

Theodore J. Krasinsky came from Germany to America when 
a youth of eighteen years and established his residence in Iowa, 
where it has been his to achieve distinctive success and prosperity 
through his own energy and well directed efforts and where he 
may consistently be termed one of the pioneer citizens of Clayton 
county, for here he has maintained his home during the greater 
part of the period since he came from his native land, nearly half 
a century ago. He owns and conducts a well stocked and modern 
general merchandise establishment in the village of Garnavillo, 
and in connection therewith he has a specially well appointed 
jewelry department, with excellent facilities for the repairing of 
watches, clocks and general lines of jewelry. Mr. Krasinsky is 
essentially one of the influential business men and representative 
citizens of Garnavillo, where he has served in various public offices, 
including that of postmaster of the village. He has impressed 



BIOGRAPHICAL 22$ 

upon the community that has long been his home the strength 
and steadfastness of his sterhng character and he commands in- 
violable place in popular confidence and esteem, so that in all 
respects he is specially worthy of recognition in this history of 
Clayton county and its people. Mr. Krasinsky was born in Ger- 
many, on the 24th of July, 1850, and is a son of John and Dorothy 
(Brunern) Krasinsky, both of whom there passed their entire lives; 
they became the parents of three children, of whom two are living. 
He whose name introduces this article was reared and educated 
in his Fatherland, and in 1868 he followed the course of his youthful 
ambition by severing the home ties and setting forth to seek his 
fortunes in the United States. Soon after his arrival in America 
he came to Iowa and found employment at farm work in Clayton 
county, this occupation having been followed by him for the first 
three years, at the expiration of which he assumed a position as 
clerk in a mercantile establishment at Garnavillo. Several years 
later he engaged independently in the general merchandise busi- 
ness at McGregor, but after conducting the enterprise about 
two years he disposed of his stock of goods and removed to the 
city of Dubuque, where he was employed as clerk in a mercantile 
establishment for a period of six years, this being the only interval 
of his not maintaining his home in Clayton county during the entire 
time that he has been in America. Upon returning to this county 
from Dubuque he again established his residence at Garnavillo, 
and soon afterward, in 1884, he was appointed postmaster, under 
the Cleveland administration. He continued the efficient incum- 
bent of this office for a period of one term, and in the meanwhile he 
again engaged in the general merchandise business, with which he 
has continued to be successfully identified during the long inter- 
vening years. He has built up a large and substantial business 
and the high reputation he has won for himself and his establish- 
ment constitutes a most valuable business asset, besides being a 
matter of just pride and satisfaction to him. Mr. Krasinsky has 
been prominent and influential in the Clayton county councils of 
the Democratic party and in addition to his service as postmaster 
he held for thirteen years the office of township clerk and was for 
several years a member of the board of education of Garnavillo. 
In addition to his substantial and modern store building and an 
attractive residence property Mr. Krasinsky is the owner of two 
village lots that have not been improved with buildings. He is 
affiliated with the blue-lodge, chapter and council bodies of the 
York Rite of the Masonic fraternity and both he and his wife are 
communicants and liberal supporters of the Lutheran church in 
their home village. In the year 1872 Mr. Krasinsky wedded Miss 
Elizabeth Walleser, who was born in Pennsylvania but who has 
passed the greater part of her life in Clayton county, where her 
parents established their home when she was a child. Mrs. Kras- 
insky is a daughter of Matthew and Rosina (Ruester) Walleser, 
both natives of the Kingdom of Baden, Germany, whence they 
came to America when young folks, their first place of residence 
having been in Pennsylvania, whence they came to Clayton county, 



226 ' MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

Iowa, in the early pioneer era of its history, their home having 
been established on an embryonic farm, which they developed into 
one of the valuable landed estates of the county and upon which 
they passed the remainder of their lives. Mr. and Mrs. Krasinsky 
have four children : Amelia is the wife of Frank Barnhouse and 
they reside in the city of Chicago; Hugo is now in the city of St. 
Paul, Minnesota, in which state also reside the two younger sons, 
Waldemar and Baldwin, the latter maintaining his home at St. 
Paul. 

Edward W. Kregel is a scion of the third generation of one of 
the well known and highly honored pioneer families of Clayton 
county and through his character and achievement has marked as 
his own a place of distinctive prominence and influence in connec- 
tion with civic, industrial and social activities in his native county, 
where he has substantial and important interests by way of joint 
ownership with his brother Herman D., in the fine landed estates 
of Garnavillo township — the Black Diamond Stock Farm, whicff 
comprises one hundred and ninety-seven and one-half acres and 
which is eligibly situated in Sections 13 and 14. On this splendid 
homestead he maintains his residence and there he is giving special 
attention to the breeding and raising of pure-blood Aberdeen Angus 
cattle, in connection with which department of his farm enterprise 
he has gained a reputation that far transcends local limitations. 
Mr. Kregel was born in Garnavillo township, this county, on the 
1st of May, 1863, and is one of the five surviving children of John 
D. and Helena A. (Kaiser) Kregel. The parents were born in the 
Kingdom of Hanover, Germany, and both were children at the time 
of the immigration of the respective families to America, Mr. Kregel 
having been a lad of six years and his wife having come with her 
parents in the year 1845. Both families settled in Ohio, whence 
they later came to Iowa, in the early pioneer days, and John D. 
Kregel became one of the early settlers in Garnavillo township, 
Clayton county, where he attained to secure status and high honor 
as a prosperous farmer and influential citizen and where he and his 
wife passed the remainder of their lives. The boyhood and youth 
of Edward W. Kregel were marked by his assisting in the work of 
the home farm and making good use of the advantages ofifered by 
the public schools of the locality, his studies having eventually in- 
cluded the curriculum of the Garnavillo high school. After his mar- 
riage, which occurred in the year 1887, he purchased the fine farm 
which he now owns and which has been brought up to its present 
model status through his individual efforts and progressive policies. 
He has been a leader in advancing the agricultural and live-stock 
industries in this section of the state and his influence in these direc- 
tions has added materially to his unqualified personal popularity. 
He was secretary of the Clayton County Agricultural Society in 
1892, and in the following year he became secretary of the Farmers' 
Creamery Company of Garnavillo, at the time of its organization, 
this office having been held by him for a period of nine years, at the 
expiration of which he declined further retention of the position, 
though he has continued to serve as a member of the board of di- 



BIOGRAPHICAL 227 

rectors of the company. He was likewise one of the organizers of 
the Farmers' Mutual Insurance Company at Garnavillo, and has 
been continuously an officer of the same save for an interim of three 
years. For many years he has been a director of the West Side 
School of Garnavillo ; during his three years of service as township 
trustee he was the staunch advocate of liberal and progressive poli- 
cies and instrumental in the effecting of the building of several fine 
bridges in the township ; and the year 1916 finds him serving his 
first term, with characteristic loyalty and efficiency, in the impor- 
tant office of county commissioner. His political allegiance is given 
to the Republican party and he and his family are communicants 
of the Lutheran church. In the year 1887 was solemnized the mar- 
riage of Mr. Kregel to Miss Sophia M. Bruns, who was born and 
reared in Garnavillo township, and whose parents, Frederick H., 
deceased, and Anna M. (Moellering) Bruns, resided in Monona ; 
the father was a representative farmer of Garnavillo township, he 
having been six years of age at the time of his parents' immigration 
from Germany to America, and his wife having been born in Clay- 
ton county, a member of a well known pioneer family. Of the 
children of Mr. and Mrs. Kregel the eldest is Arthur J., who is 
married and who has the active charge of the old homestead farm of 
his father ; Laura M. is the wife of Elmer H. Brandt, who is indi- 
vidually mentioned on other pages of this work ; Irene E. and Edna 
P. M. remain at the parental home, the former being a graduate of 
the Garnavillo high school, where Edna is attending, being now 
(1916) in the tenth grade. 

Herman D. Kregel is one of the five surviving children of 
John D. and Helena A. (Kaiser) Kregel and is a popular repre- 
sentative of one of the well known and honored pioneer families of 
Clayton county, which has been his home from the time of his 
birth and in which he has won secure status as one of the prominent 
and successful exponents of agricultural and live-stock industry in 
his native township. He was born in Garnavillo township on the 
15th of August, 1865, and he may well take pride in being a repre- 
sentative of that fine German element of citizenship that has played 
a splendid part in connection with the civic and industrial develop- 
ment and progress of Clayton county. His parents were born in 
the Kingdom of Hanover, Germany, and were children at the time 
of the immigration of the respective families to the United States, 
the home of each family having first been established in the state 
of Ohio. John D. Kregel became one of the early settlers of Garna- 
villo township, where he won distinct prosperity and prestige 
through his association with agricultural industry and where he 
became a substantial farmer and honored and influential citizen. 
Both he and his wife remained on their old homestead farm until 
their death, and both were earnest and lifelong members of the 
Lutheran church. Herman D. Kregel was reared to the sturdy 
discipline of the old homestead farm, gained his early education in 
the public schools of the county and continued to assist his father 
in the work of the farm until he had attained to his legal majority. 
He then became interested in the Black Diamond Stock Farm, which 



228 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

consists of one hundred and ninety-seven and one-half acres of the 
old homestead, which is situated in Sections 13 and 14, Garnavillo 
township. This place is owned jointly by himself and his brother 
Edward W. and is notable for the fine improvements, including good 
buildings, and in connection with his operations in the domain of 
diversified agriculture Mr. Kregel gives special and successful at- 
tention to the breeding and raising of the Black Polled Angus cattle. 
He is a member of the directorate of the Garnavillo Savings Bank, 
of which he was one of the organizers, and is known as one of the 
substantial and upright citizens of his native county. He has fur- 
ther shown his progressiveness by identifying himself with the 
Garnavillo Commission Company and the Garnavillo Creamery 
Company, in each of which important corporations he is a director. 
He has served with characteristic loyalty and efficiency in the office 
of township trustee, is a Republican in politics and he and his wife 
are zealous communicants of the German Lutheran church at Gar- 
navillo. April 24, 1890, recorded the marriage of Mr. Kregel to 
Miss Minnie Meyer, who likewise was born and reared in this 
county, and whose parents, Louis and Eliza (Moellering) Meyer, 
natives of Germany, are now venerable and honored pioneer citi- 
zens of Farmersburg township. Mr. and Mrs. Kregel have four 
children — Adelia, Arnold W., Elmer J. and Ivanelle. The three 
elder children have been given the advantages of the public schools, 
including the high school at Garnavillo, in which Adelia and Elmer 
J. were graduated. 

Frank J. Kriebs, M. D. — The thorough preparation, the dis- 
tinctive technical ability, the sterling character and the fine sense 
of stewardship that have marked the professional career of Dr, 
Kriebs have given him place of prominence as one of the able and 
representative physicians and surgeons of his native county and 
state, and he has been engaged in the successful general practice 
of his profession at Elkport for the long period of thirty years. As 
a physician of high ideals he has been guide, counselor and friend 
to many of the families of this part of Clayton county, and as a 
citizen of broad and liberal views he has been an honored and in- 
fluential figure in the community life. Dr. Kriebs was born at 
Guttenberg, this county, on the 27th of May, 1859, a date that 
indicates conclusively that he is a scion of one of the pioneer fami- 
lies of the county. Here he gained his youthful education in the 
public schools, and after making a substantial advancement along 
academic lines of study he followed the course of his worthy and 
resolute ambition by initiating his preparation for the exacting 
profession in which it has been given him to achieve unequivocal 
success and high honors. In 1881 he was graduated in the cele- 
brated Rush Medical College, in the city of Chicago, and after thus 
receiving his well earned degree of Doctor of Medicine, he engaged 
in the practice of his profession in Carroll county, Iowa, where he 
remained until 1886, when he returned to his native county andi 
established his residence and professional headquarters at Elkport. 
Earnest and efifective service in his humane vocation has enabled 
him to build up a specially large and important general practice and 



BIOGRAPHICAL 229 

he has long- held prestige as one of the leading physicians and sur- 
geons of Clayton county, with a due regard ni temporal prosperity 
and with the greater recompense involved in the confidence and 
high regard of the community in which he has lived and labored to 
goodly ends. He is an influential and valued member of the Clay- 
ton County Medical Society, and has long held membership also 
in the Iowa State Medical Society and the American Medical Asso- 
ciation. He served six years as county coroner, is now the zealous 
incumbent of the office of health officer of the county, and he is 
local surgeon for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. The 
doctor has found time and opportunity to lend his effective co-oper- 
ation in the promotion of civic and business enterprises that have 
advanced the best interests of the community, and it may be spe- 
cially noted that he was one of the organizers of the Elkport Sav- 
ings Bank, of which he has been vice-president from the time of its 
incorporation, and that he is a stockholder in two other banking 
institutions in the county. His residence property at Elkport is 
one of the most modern and attractive homes of the village and in 
Volga township he is the owner of a well improved farm of one 
hundred and eighty acres. He is well fortified in his opinions con- 
cerning economic and governmental policies and gives his allegiance 
to the Democratic party. Both he and his wife are earnest com- 
municants of the Catholic church and in a fraternal way he is affili- 
ated with the Modern Woodmen of America. On the 12th of Sep- 
tember, 1894, was solemnized the marriage of Dr. Kriebs to Miss 
Nettie E. Goodsell, who was born in the state of Massachusetts and 
who is a daughter of Jerome and Margaret (Dorgan) Goodsell, 
the former of whom was born in Connecticut and the latter of 
whom was born in Ireland. Mrs. Kriebs was a child at the time 
of her parents' removal to Clayton county, and here her father 
died when 72 years of age, her mother, now venerable in years, 
being still a resident of this county. Dr. and Mrs. Kriebs have 
one daughter, Helen May, who was born February 2, 1898, and 
who is now a member of the class of 1916 in Mount St. Joseph's 
College, in the city of Dubuque. 

George Kriebs. — It is one of the most consistent and gratifying 
functions of this publication to accord specific recognition to those 
honored and influential citizens who are today prominent in the 
civic and business activities of Clayton county, who claim the 
county as the place of their nativity and who are representatives of 
sterling pioneer families of this favored section of the great state 
of Iowa. Such an one is Mr. Kriebs, who has long been one of the 
leading business men of Elkport, where he owns and conducts one 
of the finest retail drug stores in the county and where he has served 
as a director and as cashier of the Elkport Savings Bank from the 
time of its organization to the present. He is one of the substan- 
tial capitalists of his native county, is a liberal and loyal citizen 
who commands unequivocal popular esteem, and he is definitely 
entitled to consideration in this history. George Kriebs was born 
at Guttenberg, this county, on the 25th of October, 1857, one of a 
family of nine children, of whom seven are now living. He is a 



230 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

son of John P. and Lena (Sisemann) Kriebs, who were born and 
reared in Germany and who immigrated to America in the '40s. 
The parents became pioneer settlers in the fine- German colony of 
Guttenberg, Clayton county, Iowa, and there the father long held 
secure status as one of the most honored and influential citizens 
of the thriving community. He was a leading merchant of that 
village, held the office of postmaster for a long period and gave 
several years to characteristically efficient administration in the 
office of mayor of the village. He was a stalwart in the local camp 
of the Democratic party and both he and his wife were communi- 
cants of the Catholic church. They were venerable and revered 
pioneer citizens of Clayton county at the time of their death. 
George Kriebs attended the public schools of his native village until 
he had attained to the age of fifteen years, when he became a clerk 
in a drug store at Elkader, where he remained thus engaged for 
the ensuing six years, and where he gained a thorough and prac- 
tical knowledge of all details of the business that is of semi-pro- 
fessional order. Upon leaving the county seat Mr. Kriebs engaged 
in the drug business at Elkport, where he has continued his active 
association with this line of enterprise during the long intervening 
years and where he now has one of the largest and best equipped 
drug stores in the county. In 1906 he became one of the organizers 
and incorporators of the Elkport Savings Bank, of which he has 
since served as cashier and in the upbuilding of the substantial 
business of which he has been the dominating executive. This is 
one of the representative financial institutions of Clayton county, 
bases its operations upon a capital stock of ten thousand dollars 
and now has a surplus fund of five thousand dollars. The vice- 
president of the bank is Dr. Frank J. Kriebs, a younger brother of 
the cashier, and of the doctor individual mention is made on other 
pages of this publication, in the general historical department of 
which is given also due consideration to the banking and other 
financial institutions of the county. Mr. Kriebs is not only one of 
the principal stockholders of the bank of which he is cashier but 
also has stock in several other banks in his native county. His 
material prosperity is further indicated by his ownership of a fine 
landed estate of three hundred and thirty acres, in Volga township, 
and in civic afifairs he is definitely prominent and influential, with 
splendid equipment for leadership in popular sentiment and action. 
He is one of the most prominent men in the local councils of the 
Democratic party, as indicated by the fact that he is serving as 
chairman of the Democratic central committee of Clayton county. 
He served four years as postmaster of Elkport, under the adminis- 
tration of President Cleveland, and he has been called upon to serve 
also in virtually every village and township office in his home com- 
munity. He has passed all of the official chairs in the Elkport 
Lodge. No. 345, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and is affiliated 
also with the local camp of the Modern Woodmen of America. He 
is secretary of the company which owns and controls the Elkport 
opera house, of which popular amusement resort he is manager. 
In November, 1877, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Kriebs to 



BIOGRAPHICAL r 23 1 

Miss Louise E. Cook, who was born at Elkader, this county, and 
who is a daughter of the late Asahel D, Cook, who was one of the 
honored and influential citizens of the county, where he and his 
wife continued to reside until their death. Of the children of Mr. 
and Mrs. Kriebs, the eldest is Frank D., who is now engaged in 
the drug business at Beresford, South Dakota ; Vera L,, a popular 
young business woman, is serving as assistant cashier of the Elk- 
port Savings Bank ; Gertrude H. is the wife of William J. McTag- 
gart, of Rochester, Minnesota ; Asa G. is a representative merchant 
of Elkport, where he is serving as postmaster; and Harold J. C. 
remains at the parental home. 

William C. Kruse. — As one of the representative business men 
of the younger generation in his native county, Mr. Kruse owns 
and conducts a well equipped and essentially modern furniture and 
undertaking establishment in the village of Monona, and his promi- 
nence in community affairs as well as his unqualified personal pop- 
ularity is indicated by the fact that he is now serving as municipal 
treasurer of the village. Mr. Kruse was born on a farm in Giard 
township, this county, and the date of his nativity was March 5, 
1880. He is a son of Henry and Amelia (Busch) Kruse, both of 
whom are now deceased, and both of whom were honored pioneer 
citizens of Clayton county at the time of their death, both having 
been born in Germany. Henry Kruse was a lad of thirteen years 
when he came to America and within a short time after his arrival 
in the land of his adoption he established his residence in Clayton 
county, where he grew to manhood under the conditions and influ- 
ences of the farm and where he eventually purchased a farm of his 
own, in Giard township. He later sold this property and bought 
another farm, in Monona township, and he long held distinct prece- 
dence as one of the progressive and successful agriculturists and 
stock-growers of this county. After his retirement from active 
labors he established his home in the village of Monona, where his 
death occurred about two years later, his devoted wife surviving 
him by a number of years. Both were earnest communicants of 
the Lutheran Church and in politics he gave a staunch support to 
the cause of the Democratic party. Of the children the firstborn, 
Mary, is deceased ; August and Henry W. both reside in Monona ; 
William C, of this review, was the next in order of birth ; Adelia is 
the wife of Roy Koth, of Monona, and Amanda is the wife of Arnold 
Kaiser, of the same place. William C. Kruse found his childhood 
and youth compassed by the invigorating discipline of the home 
farm, and in the meanwhile he made good use of the advantages 
afforded in the public schools of his native county. He continued 
his active association with agricultural pursuits until he had at- 
tained to the age of twenty-five years and then went to Monona, 
where for one year he was employed in the furniture and under- 
taking establishment of George Kaiser. In 1906 he engaged in the 
same line of enterprise at Sumner, where he continued in business 
until 1911, when he transferred his residence to Monona, where he 
has since controlled a substantial and representative business, with 
a store in which he displays at all times a large and varied assort- 



232 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

ment of furniture, besides having a thoroughly well appointed de- 
partment devoted to undertaking. He is not only v^^ell known as a 
representative funeral director of his native county but is also a 
licensed embalmer. Mr. Kruse is essentially liberal and public- 
spirited as a citizen and takes loyal interest in all things touching 
the welfare of his home village and native county, where his circle 
of friends is limited only by that of his acquaintances. He is un- 
wavering in his allegiance to the Democratic party and, though he 
is m no sense a seeker of public office, his civic loyalty is shown by 
the careful and effective service which he is rendering in the office 
of village treasurer. Both he and his wife hold membership in the 
Lutheran Church and give earnest support to its various depart- 
ments of work. On the 24th of April, 1906, was solemnized the 
marriage of Mr. Kruse to Miss Amanda Kregel, daughter of Will- 
iam and Paulina (Dickman) Kregel, of Monona, where Mrs. Kruse 
was born on the 8th of December, 1881, her education having been 
acquired in the public schools of this village and in an institution 
of higher education at Decorah. Mr. and Mrs. Kruse have two 
children — Gerald, who was born September 26, 1909, and Pauline, 
who was born December 5, 1915. 

Joseph J. Kuehl is another sterling representative of the fine 
element of German citizenship that has contributed in large and 
altogether commendable measure to the civic and industrial devel- 
opment and progress of Clayton county, within whose borders he 
has resided since he was a child of two years. Though he is a 
native of Germany and pays due deference to its noble traditions 
and customs, as a matter of birthright, he is a true American in 
thought, action and appreciation, with his only knowledge of 
German institutions and customs that received from his parents 
and from later reading of admirable literature pertaining to the 
Fatherland which he left in the days of his infancy. He is now 
known as one of the energetic, progressive and substantial farmers 
and stock-growers of Clayton county, is the owner of a well im- 
proved landed estate, and is one of the influential citizens of Board- 
man township, his homestead being situated four miles west of 
Elkader, the county seat, from which place he receives service on 
rural mail route No. 2. Joseph J. Kuehl was born in Germany on, 
the 24th of January, 1864, and thus was about two years of age 
when, in 1866, he accompanied his parents, Joseph and Dorothy 
(Pick) Kuehl, on their immigration to the United States, the family 
home having been established in Clayton county, Iowa, in the same 
year, and the death of the devoted wife and mother having occurred 
in March, 1871. Joseph Kuehl obtained a tract of land and became 
one of the pioneer farmers of this county, where he achieved inde- 
pendence and prosperity through industry and earnest effort and 
where he developed one of the excellent farms of Boardman town- 
ship. He is still a substantial landholder of the county, but is now 
living virtually retired at Elkader, in the serene enjoyment of the 
rewards of former years of toil and endeavor, and secure in the 
high regard of all who know him. Of the four children the subject 
of this review is the firstborn ; Mary died in childhood ; Sophia is. 



BIOGRAPHICAL 233 

th€ wife of Henry Schrader, of Elkport, this county; Henry died 
when young. Mrs. Dorothy (Fick) Kuehl was the second wife of 
Joseph Kuehl, and after her death he contracted a third marriage. 
His third wife is now deceased, and of their twelve children seven 
are deceased : Herman resides at Elkport, this county ; Charles at 
Littleport, John at Elkport, and Henry at Elkport. All of the 
other children died young except Lena, who was a young woman 
at the time of her demise. Joseph J. Kuehl was reared under the 
invigorating influence of the home farm, early began to contribute 
his quota to its work, and in the meanwhile profited duly by the 
advantages afforded in the public schools of the locality. He con- 
tinued to be associated with his father in the work and management 
of the old homestead farm until he had attained to the age of 
twenty-three years, when he purchased one hundred and twenty 
acres of land, near Communia, this county, and initiated his inde- 
pendent career as a farmer. Four years later, however, he sold 
this property, and he then purchased a farm of one hundred and 
sixty acres in Section 29, Boardman township, where he has since 
maintained his home and successfully carried forward his progress- 
ive operations as an agriculturist and stock-grower. To his original 
purchase he later added a tract of eighty acres in Section 19 and 
still later he purchased eighty-six acres in Section 3, so that his 
landed estate in Boardman township now comprises three hundred 
and twenty acres. He has made many fine improvements on this 
valuable property and has won precedence as one of the essentially 
representative farmers and stock-raisers of this favored section of 
the Hawkeye State, with the status of a broad-gauged and public- 
spirited citizen who is always ready to do his part in the further- 
ance of measures and enterprises that tend to advance the general 
welfare of the community. In politics he is found aligned as a 
staunch supporter of the now dominant Democratic party, and he 
has served as township trustee, as well as in minor township offices 
and as a member of the school board of his district, an office of 
which he is the incumbent at the time of this writing, in 1916. He 
is affiliated with the Woodmen of the World and the Brotherhood 
of American Yeomen, and both he and his wife are earnest com- 
municants of the Lutheran Church, in the faith of which they were 
reared. February 2, 1887, recorded the marriage of Mr. Kuehl to 
Miss Mary Ehrhardt, who likewise was born and reared in Clayton 
county, and who is a representative of the sterling pioneer family 
concerning which adequate mention is made on other pages of this 
work. Mr. and Mrs. Kuehl became the parents of ten children : 
George W. is a progressive farmer of the younger generation in 
Boardman township ; Carrie is the wife of Charles Raemer, of Volga 
township ; Mary is the wife of Herman Raemer, of the same town- 
ship ; Frederick is a substantial agriculturist in Read township ; 
Arthur is associated in the work and management of his father's 
farm ; Catherine is the wife of Henry Baars, of Boardman township; 
and Hilda, Louisa, Frances and Mildred remain at the parental 
home. 



234 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

Herman C. Kuenzel has the distinction of being one of the rep- 
resentative business men of his native village of Garnavillo, where 
for more than thirty years he has been successfully established in 
the drug trade and where he has a well appointed drug store that 
commands a substantial and appreciative patronage. He is a scion 
of one of the sterling pioneer families of Clayton county, with whose 
history the name which he bears has been closely and worthily 
identified for nearly three score years and ten, and in this connection 
it is most gratifying to render incidental tribute to his honored 
parents, who here lived and labored to goodly ends and whose 
memory is here held in enduring esteem. Mr. Kuenzel was born at 
Garnavillo on the 14th of October, 1855, and is a son of John Henry 
and Anna (Mohrman) Kuenzel, the former of whom was born in 
the Kingdom of Bavaria, Germany, and the latter in the Province 
of Hanover. John Henry Kuenzel was but seven years of age when 
he accompanied his parents on their immigration to America, and 
the family home was established at New Bremen, Auglaiz county, 
Ohio, where he was reared to adult age and where he learned the 
trade of harnessmaker. In 1850 he came to Clayton county, Iowa, 
and numbered himself among the pioneer settlers of Garnavillo, 
which was then a mere frontier hamlet. About one year later he 
became associated with his brother-in-law, the late Benjamin F. 
Schroeder, in the erection of a flouring mill at this point, and in the 
early days they were compelled to haul their flour product by team 
and wagon to Clayton, from which point it was shipped down the 
Mississippi river to St. Louis, Missouri. Mr. Kuenzel was one of 
the pioneers of this important field of enterprise in Clayton county, 
and through the same he aided greatly in the industrial and civic 
development of the county, his identification with the milling 
business having continued up to the time of his decease. John 
Henry Kuenzel was known and honored as one of the vigorous, 
upright and enterprising men of the county, was influential in 
public affairs of a local order and commanded the high regard of 
all who knew him. He served in minor township offices and also 
as school director, and he played well his part in connection with 
the development and upbuilding of the community in which he 
long maintained his home. Of the family of ten children the eldest 
is Margaret, who is the wife of Frederick Harberg, of Garna- 
villo; Julia is the wife of Frederick Schoelerman, of Lake Park, 
Minnesota ; Herman C, of this review, was the next in order of 
birth ; Anna is the wife of Joseph Walleser, of Garnavillo ; Marie 
is a resident of Cleveland, Ohio ; Henry maintains his home in the 
city of Dubuque, Iowa ; Edward C. and Frederick B. reside in 
Cleveland, Ohio ; and Fredonia and Laura are deceased. Herman 
C. Kuenzel is indebted to the public schools of Garnavillo for his 
early educational discipline, and at the age of sixteen years he here 
entered upon an apprenticeship to the cabinetmaker's trade, in 
which he became a skilled workman and to which he devoted his 
attention for a period of eight years. He then, in 1880, established 
himself in the drug business in his native village, where he has since 
continued successfully in this line of enterprise, with present status 



BIOGRAPHICAL 235 

as one of the oldest merchants of the place in point of consecutive 
operations. Mr. Kuenzel has shown the deepest loyalty to his home 
village and county and has been an influential figure in community 
affairs, with impregnable vantage-ground in popular confidence and 
good will. He was for six years a member of the village council, 
and the high estimate placed upon him in this connection was shown 
when he was elected to the office of mayor, of which he continued 
the incumbent two years and in which he gave a most progressive 
and satisfactory administration. He was for a long period given 
preferment as a member of the board of education, of which he 
served twelve years as president, and for nine years he held the 
office of postmaster of Garnavillo. His political allegiance is given 
to the Republican party, he is affiliated with the local Turnverein, 
and both he and his wife are communicants of the Lutheran church* 
On the 9th of July, 1884, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. 
Kuenzel to Miss Nellie Walleser, who likewise was born and reared 
at Garnavillo, a representative of another of the honored pioneer 
families of the county. She is a daughter of Matthew and Rosina 
(Riester) Walleser, both natives of Germany and both now de- 
ceased. Of their children she was the seventh in order of birth, 
and concerning the others the following brief record is consistently 
entered: Henry is deceased; Frances (Francis?) is a resident of 
Nashua, Chickasaw county; Emil maintains his home at Garna- 
villo; Elizabeth is the wife of Theodore J. Krasinsky, of this place; 
Rosina is the wife of William Schumacher, of Garnavillo, where also 
resides Joseph, the next in order of birth ; and Anna is the wife of 
Henry Kuenzel, their home being in the city of Dubuque. Mr. and 
Mrs. Keunzel of this review have one son, Webber B., who is now 
serving as postmaster of Garnavillo and who is one of the repre- 
sentative young men of Clayton county. 

George Kuhlman. — One of the most gratifying conditions that 
have been noted in connection with the preparation of this history 
is that there are to be found in Clayton county very many native 
sons of the county who have had the good judgment here to con- 
tinue their close allegiance to the basic industries of agriculture and 
stock-growing and to prove definitely alert, vigorous and success- 
ful exponents of these important lines of enterprise. Such an one 
is Mr. Kuhlman, who owns, resides upon and effectively directs 
the operations of the fine homestead farm which has been his place 
of residence from the time of his birth. He was born August 31, 
1875, in Garnavillo township, and a portion of his homestead farm 
lies within the corporate boundaries of the thriving village of Garna- 
villo. He is a son of Frederick W. and Mary (Dahl) Kuhlman, 
both of whom were born and reared in Germany, whence they im- 
migrated to America in 1848. They located in the state of Ohio, 
where they remained until 1852, when they came to Iowa and estab- 
lished themselves as pioneer settlers in Garnavillo township, Clay- 
ton county. The journey from Ohio to their destination was made 
with an ox team and a covered wagon, and the original home of 
the family was a log cabin of the true pioneer type. Frederick W. 
Kuhlman gained substantial success through his farm operations 



236 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

and both he and his wife were honored pioneer citizens of this 
county at the time of their death, when well advanced in years. 
Both were earnest communicants of the Lutheran church, in the 
faith of which they reared their five children, all of whom are living. 
George Kuhlman continued his studies in the public schools of his 
native county until he had made good use of the advantages afforded 
in the high school at Garnavillo, and he remained with his parents 
until their death, proving his father's valued coadjutor in the work 
and management of the old homestead farm, which he eventually 
inherited and which is one of the valuable landed estates of the 
county, with the best of improvements of a permanent order and 
with an area of two hundred and seventy acres, in Sections 8 and 
17, Garnavillo township. The farm is given over to diversified 
agriculture and the raising of approved grades of live stock, ancl 
in connection with these lines of industry the subject of this sketch 
had well upheld the high prestige of the family name. He is a 
stalwart in the local ranks of the Republican party and has served 
as township trustee and as a member of the school board. He is 
one of the stockholders of the Farmers' Co-operative Creamery 
Company of Garnavillo, and was its president for a period of five 
years, besides which he is a director of the Farmers' State Bank of 
Garnavillo, of which he was one of the organizers. Mr. Kuhlman 
is stifl to be acclaimed as one of the eligible bachelors of his native 
county, even as he here has a circle of friends that is limited only 
by that of his acquaintances. 

Henry H, Kuhlman is a native son of Clayton county and a 
scion of an honored pioneer family that was here founded more 
than sixty years ago. Here he has found ample scope and oppor- 
tunity for large and worthy achievement along normal lines of in- 
dustrial and business enterprise, and he is now serving as the effi- 
cient and popular cashier of the Farmers' State Bank of Garnavillo, 
of which he was one of the organizers and in which he is a substan- 
tial stockholder. Further evidence of the confidence and esteem 
reposed in him in the community is that afforded by his being called 
upon to serve as mayor of the thriving village of Garnavillo, in 
which important municipal office the year 1916 finds him giving 
a most progressive and effective administration. Mr. Kuhlman 
was born in Garnavillo township, this county, on the 25th of May, 
1865, and is one of a family of five children, all of whom are living. 
He is a son of Frederick W. and Mary (Dahl) Kuhlman, both of 
whom were born in Germany, where they were reared and edu- 
cated and whence they came to the United States in 1848. They 
maintained their residence in the state of Ohio until 1852, when 
they came to Iowa in 1852 and became pioneer settlers in Garna- 
villo township, Clayton county. The entire journey from Ohio to 
Clayton county was made in a covered wagon drawn by oxen, and 
the original home was a primitive log cabin, which the family occu- 
pied several years. The father gained substantial success through 
his operations as a farmer and both he and his wife continued to 
reside on their old homestead until their death, when well advanced 
in years. Henry H. Kuhlman was reared under the conditions and 



BIOGRAPHICAL 237 

influences of the pioneer farm and continued his studies in the 
public schools until he had completed the curriculum of the high 
school. He remained at the parental home until he had attained 
to the age of thirty-one years, when he married Miss Hannah Aul- 
wes, who was born and reared in this county and who is a daugh- 
ter of John and Minnie (Straus) Aulwes, still venerable and hon-" 
ored pioneer citizens of the county, their home being now in the 
village of Guttenberg. The father was born in Germany and the 
mother in Clayton county, where her parents were very early set- 
tlers. After his marriage Mr. Kuhlman lived on a rented farm 
until he purchased a place of thirty acres adjacent to the village of 
Garnavillo, where he continued his successful activities as an agri- 
culturist for a period of ten years. He served as secretary of the 
Farmers' Creamery Company for six years, and for three years was 
secretary of the Farmers' Mutual Insurance Company. He then 
sold his farm and assumed the position of assistant cashier of the 
Garnavillo Savings Bank, which he served in this capacity for a 
period of seven years. He then became one of the organizers and 
incorporators of the Farmers' State Bank of Garnavillo, and he has 
been its able and valued cashier from the inception of its business 
to the present time. Mr. Kuhlman is distinctly one of the vigorous 
and progressive citizens and representative business men of his 
native county, is a Republican in politics and is serving in 1916 as 
mayor of Garnavillo, as previously stated, he having been incum- 
bent of this office for several consecutive years. He has served also 
as township trustee, as justice of the peace and as secretary of the 
board of education, of which last mentioned post he was the incum- 
bent for several years. He is affiliated with Garnavillo Lodge, No. 
90, Ancient Free & Accepted Masons, in which he has passed vari- 
ous official chairs, and both he and his wife are zealous communi- 
cants and supporters of St. Paul's Lutheran church in their home 
village, their circle of friends being coincident with that of their 
acquaintances. They have no children. 

Arthur R. Kunzmann conducts a prosperous enterprise as the 
owner of a well equipped automobile garage in the village of Volga, 
where he makes a specialty of handling the Buick, Oakland and 
Ford automobiles, for which he is local representative, and in addi- 
tion to controlling this prosperous business he is the owner of a 
well improved and valuable farm, in Sperry township. He is an 
alert and popular young business man and is well entitled to con- 
sideration in this history. Mr. Kunzmann was born in Fayette 
county, this state, on the 29th of April, 1881, and is a son of George 
and Louise (Frey) Kunzmann, both of whom were born in Baden, 
Germany. The father came to America about the year 1851 ; after 
residing for a brief period in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 
he made his way to Wisconsin, where he purchased a tract of land 
and became a pioneer farmer. On the land which he thus owned is 
situated at the present time one of the prosperous villages of the 
Badger state. After remaining in Wisconsin for a number of 
years George Kunzmann came to Iowa and purchased a farm in 
Fayette county, where he won large and worthy success through 



238 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

his own ability and well ordered enterprise and where he continued 
to reside until his death, which occurred on the 10th of February, 
1903, his widow being still a resident of that county and both having 
become earnest communicants of the German Lutheran church 
when they were young folks. The eldest of their children is Louise, 
who is the widow of Elmer Chandler and who maintains her home 
at Leeland, Saginaw county, Michigan ; George resides in the city 
of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as does also Robert ; Otto remains on the 
old homestead farm in Fayette county; Amos is a resident of Cedar 
Rapids ; and Arthur R., of this review, is the youngest child. Pass- 
ing the years of his childhood and early youth on the home farm, 
Arthur R. Kunzmann made good use of the advantages afforded 
in the public schools of his native county, and he finally indulged 
in distinctive talent and predilection for mechanical pursuits by 
establishing and conducting a blacksmith shop on the farm. To 
perfect himself at his trade he finally went to the village of Wadena, 
Fayette county, where he gained the experience that made him a 
skilled artisan. In 1904 he came to Volga, Clayton county, and 
established a blacksmith shop. For the ensuing nine years he here 
conducted a prosperous general blacksmith business, and he then 
traded his shop and business for a farm of one hundred and fifty 
acres, in Sperry township. However, he continued to work in his 
old shop for eighteen months, in the employ of the new owner, and 
in 1915 he erected his present substantial garage building, which 
is fifty by one hundred and twenty feet in dimensions and which 
affords the best of accommodations and facilities for the substantial 
automobile and repair business which he has developed. He also 
gives a general supervision to his farm, which he rents. Mr. Kunz- 
mann is found aligned as a staunch supporter of the cause of the 
Republican party, he and his wife are communicants of the German 
Lutheran church, and he is affiliated with the local organizations 
of the Modern Woodmen of America and the Brotherhood of Amer- 
ican Yeomen. On the 10th of May, 1903, was solemnized the mar- 
riage of Mr. Kunzmann to Miss Mary Duff, and they have two 
fine little sons, William and Albert. 

George F. Kurdelmeier was born on the fine farmstead which 
he now owns and operates, in Section 4, Read township, and the 
date of his nativity was February 2, 1868. His honored father wa^ 
one of the sterling pioneers who contributed a generous quota to 
the civic and industrial development and upbuilding of Clayton 
county, and the precedence which he eventually gained as one of 
the extensive and representative farmers of the county has been 
fully upheld and also advanced by his son George F., of this review, 
who is showing marked circumspection and progressiveness in the 
management of his large and valuable landed estate. He whose 
name initiates this article is one of the six surviving children of 
William and Maria (Pieper) Kurdelmeier, both of whom were 
children at the time of the immigration of the respective families 
from Germany to the United States. William Kurdelmeier and his 
wife were reared and educated in the state of Ohio, where their 
marriage was solemnized, and upon coming to Clayton county. 



BIOGRAPHICAL 239 

Iowa, they established their home on the farm now owned by their 
son George F. Here the father continued his productive activities 
as one of the honored and successful farmers of the county until 
his death, which occurred in 1898. His widow, now venerable in 
years, still resides in the county that has long been her home and 
in which she has the high regard of all who know her; she is a 
devoted communicant of the Lutheran church, as was also her hus- 
band. George F. Kurdelmeier has always maintained his home on 
the fine farm which he now owns and has had the good judgment 
never to sever his allegiance to the basic industries of agriculture 
and stock-growing, through the medium of which he is proving him- 
self one of the substantial citizens of his native county. His mar- 
riage was solemnized in the year 1900, and shortly afterward he 
purchased the old homestead farm of two hundred acres, to which 
he later added by the purchase of an adjoining tract of forty acres, 
in the same township, so that his landed estate now comprises two 
hundred and forty acres of as fine land as is to be found in this 
section of the state. For his independent career he was fortified 
not only by long and practical experience but also by the discipline 
which he received in his boyhood and youth while attending the 
public schools of his home township. His political support is given 
to the Republican party ; he is always ready to give co-operation in 
the furtherance of those objects that tend to advance the general 
welfare of the community and he has served as school director of 
his district for the past twenty years. Both he and his wife are 
communicants of the Lutheran church. The attractive home is 
known for its cordial hospitality and receives mail service on rural 
route No. 1 from the village of St. Olaf. In 1900 Mr. Kurdelmeier 
wedded Miss Caroline Ihde, who likewise was born and reared in 
Read township and who is a daughter of John and Anna (Thoma) 
Ihde, both natives of Iowa and now honored residents of Garna- 
villo township, this county, only one of their nine children being 
deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Kurdelmeier have five children, whose 
names and respective dates of birth are here noted : Charlotte, 
April 4, 1901 ; William J., June 21, 1902; Arno G., October 13, 1903; 
Cora M. S., June 16, 1905 ; and Roslyn A. M., November 2, 1912. 

Charles H. Lange is one of the prominent and successful ex- 
ponents of agricultural and live-stock industry in his native town- 
ship and county, and his finely improved landed estate of two hun- 
dred acres includes the old homestead place on which he was born, 
in Section 15, Cox Creek township. Charles Henry Lange was 
here born on the 16th of April, 1872, and he is a son of Henry and 
Louisa (Zahrndt) Lange, both natives of Germany. Henry Lange 
was a child of three years at the time of his parents' immigration 
to America and the family home was first established in Indiana, 
whence removal was later made to Ohio, where he was reared to 
manhood and gained a good common-school education. At the age 
of twenty years Henry Lange became a pioneer settler in Clayton 
county, Iowa, and through his energy and well ordered endeavors 
he reclaimed and improved one of the valuable farm properties of 
Cox Creek township. He was one of the well known and highly 



240 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

honored pioneer citizens of the county at the time of his death, 
which occurred on the 7th of May, 1903, and his venerable widow 
still resides in this county, where she is held in affectionate regard 
by all who know her. Emma, the eldest of the children, is the wife 
of John Marshall and they reside at Gold Bar, Washington ; Will- 
iam now resides in the city of Dubuque ; Otto and Ida are deceased ; 
Laura is the wife of William Reichart, of Littleport ; Charles H., of 
this review, was the next in order of birth ; Hugo resides at DeKalb, 
Illinois, and Raymond at Elkader, the judicial center of Clayton 
county; Mamie is the wife of Gustav Mentzel, of Cox Creek town- 
ship. Charles H. Lange has been from his early youth closely 
associated with the work and management of the fine old homestead 
farm which he now owns and occupies and which, with its modern 
improvements and general air of thrift and prosperity, is consis- 
tently to be termed one of the model farms of Clayton county, the 
place being devoted to diversified agriculture and to the raising of 
good grades of live stock. He profited fully by the advantage af- 
forded in the local schools and it is interesting to note that at the 
present time he is serving as secretary of the school board of the 
district in which he himself acquired his early education, this office 
having been held by him since 1912. His political allegiance is 
given to the Republican party, and he is affiliated with the Masons, 
the Royal Neighbors and the Modern Woodmen of America. His 
wife holds membership in the Royal Neighbors and also the Order 
of the Eastern Star. They are active communicants of the Lu- 
theran church and have a wide circle of friends in their native 
county. On the 16th of January, 1901, was solemnized the mar- 
riage of Mr. Lange to Miss Minnie Ortman, who was born in Volga 
township, this county, and who is a daughter of Henry and Sophia 
(Musfeldt) Ortman, the former a native of Germany and the latter 
of the state of New York. Mr. Ortman was thirteen years of age 
when he came with his parents to Clayton county and he was num- 
bered among the representative farmers of Volga township for 
many years prior to his retirement and removal to the village of 
Littleport, where he and his wife now reside, as does also William, 
the eldest of their children ; Martha, the second child, is the wife 
of John Bock, of Elkader; Mrs. Lange was the next in order of 
birth and her twin brother, Louis, is now living on the old home 
place ; Ilda is the wife of Elmer Gifford, of Littleport, and at the 
parental home in that village remain the three younger children, 
George, Karl, and Edna. Mr. and Mrs. Lange have five children, 
whose names and respective dates of birth are here indicated: 
Luella, January 1, 1902; Ruby and Ruey, twins, May 22, 1905; 
Milton, January 26. 1908; and Leland, April 9, 1911. 

Fred W. Lange is one of the native sons of Clayton county 
who continue to pay loyal allegiance to the county and to mark 
their appreciation of its splendid resources and manifold attrac- 
tions. Of broad-minded progressiveness, Mr. Lange has demon- 
strated his vigorous and resourceful spirit through his active asso- 
ciation with agricultural and live-stock industry in his native 
county and he holds definite precedence as a grower of fine Jersey 



BIOGRAPHICAL 24I 

and Guernsey cattle. He takes much satisfaction in being the 
owner of the fine old homestead farm of his parents, both of whom 
are now deceased and the memories of both of whom are held in 
high honor in the county that long represented their home and was 
the stage of their earnest and fruitful endeavors. Fred W. Lange 
was born in Giard township, this county, on the 21st of September, 
1868, and is a son of Adam and Anne (Froelich) Lange, both of 
whom were born in Hessen, Germany, and the latter of whom was 
a child at the time of her parents' immigration to America, the 
family having settled in Clayton county, Iowa, in the early pioneer 
days and its name being perpetuated in that of the village of Froe- 
lich. Adam Lange was reared and educated in his native land 
and as a young man he came to the United States and established 
his home in Giard township, Clayton county, Iowa. Here he was 
employed at farm work for several years, his services in this 
capacity having been given on the farm of Mr. Schneider and 
Henry Froelich, both influential pioneer farmers of the county. 
He finally purchased the farm of one hundred acres on which his 
son Fred W., of this review, now lives, and with augmented pros- 
perity he added fifty acres to his landed estate, which he developed 
into one of the fine farms of the county. Here he passed the 
residue of his life, secure in the high regard of all who knew him 
and attended by the gracious prosperity that resulted from his own 
honest and effective efforts. His death occurred about the year 
1911 and his wife preceded him to eternal rest, both having been 
devoted members of the Evangelical Church, in which he served 
most effectively as Sunday-school superintendent. He did well 
his part in connection with civic and industrial activities in Clayton 
county and while he had no ambition for political preferment he 
gave staunch support to the cause of the Republican party. Of 
the children the firstborn was John, who is deceased; August is a 
resident of Portland, Oregon ; Henry maintains his residence at 
Rockford, Illinois; Carl is deceased; Fred W., of this sketch, was 
the fifth child; Julius resides at Rolfe, Pocahontas county, Iowa; 
Elizabeth is deceased; and Amelia is the wife of Harry B. North- 
cut, of Sterling, Colorado. Fred W. Lange received not only the 
advantages of the public schools of Giard township but also those 
of the Palmer Business College, in the city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 
Thereafter he was employed for some time as a clerk in the mer- 
cantile establishment of Adam Schneider, at Monona, and finally 
he engaged in the general merchandise business in the village of 
Froelich, where he continued his operations until 1900, when he 
sold his stock and business and purchased the old home farm of 
his father. He has made various improvements on this fine domain 
of one hundred and fifty acres and thrift and prosperity are shown 
forth in such a way as to ofifer palpable evidence of his progressive- 
ness and good management. Though he gives due attention to 
diversified agriculture, he is making a specialty of the raising of 
the best type of Jersey and Guernsey cattle and has recognized 
precedence in this line of enterprise in his native county. Mr. 
Lange is vitally interested in all things tending to advance the 



242 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

civic and material welfare of the community, is a Republican in his 
political allegiance, and both he and his wife hold membership in 
the German Methodist Episcopal church, their attractive home 
being a center of generous hospitality. In the year 1900 was sol- 
emnized the marriage of Mr. Lange to Miss Lena Albert, who was 
born and reared in Giard township, and who is a daughter of 
William Albert, a representative farmer of that part of the county. 
Mr. and Mrs. Lange have three children — Carl L., Kenneth, and 
Wesley. 

Albert R. Larson is another of the vigorous and progressive 
citizens who are upholding the high prestige of Clayton county as 
a center of prosperous enterprise along the lines of agricultural and 
live-stock industry, and his well improved farm, comprising one 
hundred and forty acres, is eligibly situated in Section 10, Highland 
township, in which township he has maintained his home from 
the time of his birth, the date of his nativity having been March 3, 
1870. He is a son of R. C, and Rachel Larson, both natives of 
Norway and both young at the time when their parents came to 
America and established their residence in Clayton county, in the 
pioneer period of the history of this section of the Hawkeye state. 
R. C. Larson was a lad of nine years at the time of the family 
immigration to America and during the long intervening years he 
has been a resident of Clayton county, where he has achieved 
success through his connection with agricultural industry and 
where he and his wife still reside on their old homestead farm, in 
Highland township, his political support being given to the Repub- 
lican party and the abiding religious faith of the family being that 
of the Norwegian Lutheran church. The eldest of the children 
of this honored pioneer couple is Mary, who is the wife of E. E. 
Gunderson, of Highland township ; Christ is now a resident of 
North Dakota ; the subject of this sketch is the third child ; Julia 
remains at the parental home ; Sophia is the wife of B. O. Paulson, 
of Blooming Prairie, Minnesota ; and Henry is a resident of Edger- 
ton, Wisconsin. Albert R. Larson continued his effective asso- 
ciation with the activities of the home farm until he had gained 
the dignity of his legal majority, and in the meanwhile he had 
profited fully by the advantages afforded in the public schools. 
At the age of twenty-one years he rented the home farm, and after 
having there continued his successful operations in an independent 
way for a period of five years he purchased his present farm, which 
he has made one of the really model places of his native township 
and which is the stage of his energetic and successful activities 
as an agriculturist and stock-grower. He is a Republican in poli- 
tics and both he and his wife hold membership in the Norwegian 
Lutheran church. Their pleasant home is a few miles distant from 
Elkader, the county seat, and from that place it receives service on 
rural mail route No. 3. On the 18th of June, 1896, was solemnized 
the marriage of Mr. Larson to Miss Mary Larson, who was born 
and reared in this county, and who is a daughter of Peter and 
Carrie (Benson) Larson. Mr. and Mrs. Larson became the 
parents of eight children, of whom the last two, died in fancy. The 



BIOGRAPHICAL 243 

surviving children, all of whom still remain at the parental home 
are: Isabel, Philemon, Nella, Glenn, Paul and Laurence. 

Chris P. Larson has found in his native township ample op- 
portunity for carrying forward of successful activities as an up-to- 
date agriculturist and stock-grower, and it is specially pleasing to 
record that his well improved farm of one hundred and twenty 
acres, in Section 2, Highland township, is the place of his nativity, 
his birth having here occurred on the 25th of September, 1876. He 
is a son of Peter and Carrie (Benson) Larson, sterling citizens of 
whom adequate mention is made pn other pages, in the sketch 
dedicated to Edward P. Larson, an elder brother of him whose 
name initiates this article. Chris P. Larson felt the urge of intel- 
lectual ambition to such a degree as to cause him in his 3'outh to 
profit duly by the advantages afforded in the public schools of his 
native county, and he has from his boyhood been closely associated 
with the work and management of the fine old homestead farm 
which he now owns, this property, comprising one hundred and 
twenty acres, having been purchased by him in 1911, and his mail 
service being received through the medium of rural route No. 3 
from Elkader, the county seat. His political support is given to the 
cause of the Republican party, his religious faith is that of the 
Norwegian Lutheran church, and he is to be designated as one of 
the popular bachelors and public-spirited citizens of his native 
county, where his circle of friends is limited only by that of his 
acquaintances. 

Edward P. Larson is a representative of one of the honored 
and influential pioneer families of Clayton county and his parents 
were numbered among the sterling Scandinavian citizens who set- 
tled in this section of the state in the early days and gave splendid 
impetus to civic and industrial development and progress, besides 
which his father manifested high loyalty to the land of his adoption 
by serving as a Union soldier in the Civil war. He whose name 
introduces this review is one of the specially progressive and popu- 
lar exponents of agricultural and live-stock industry in his native 
county and is the owner of a fine landed estate in Highland town- 
ship, the village of Elgin being his postoflice address. He was 
born in the township that is now his home, and the date of his 
nativity was October 27, 1871. He is a son of Peter and Carrie 
(Benson) Larson, both of whom were born in Norway. Peter 
Larson was reared and educated in his native land and was a young 
man when he immigrated to the United States. He was but seven- 
teen years of age when, on the 3rd of December, 1863, he enlisted 
as a private in Company H, Seventy-fourth Illinois Volunteer In- 
fantry, and went forth to aid in the defense of the nation's integ- 
rity, his company having been commanded by Captain T. Hulburt. 
He served during the remainder of the war and received his honor- 
able discharge on the 29th of May, 1865, at Springfield, Illinois. 
Within a short time after the close of his service as a valiant 
soldier of the Union he returned to Clayton county, Iowa, where 
he had lived for a time prior to entering the ranks of the Union 
army, and from the modest little farm of eighty acres which he here 



244 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

purchased as a youthful veteran he eventually developed a valuable 
and well improved landed estate of two hundred and eleven acres, 
in Section 3, Highland township. Here he continued his activities 
as a successful farmer and loyal and honored citizen until ten 
months prior to his death, when he removed to the village of 
Gunder, where he passed to the life eternal on the 1st of August, 
1910, his cherished and devoted wife having died in November, 
1894, and both having been earnest communicants of the Nor- 
wegian Lutheran church. They became the parents of six chil- 
dren, of whom the eldest is Lars, another of the representative 
farmers of Highland township; the subject of this review was the 
second child ; Henry is a prosperous agriculturist in Wagner town- 
ship; Maggie is the wife of Albert R. Larson of Highland town- 
ship ; Christ is one of the substantial farmers of Highland town- 
ship; and Belle is deceased. Edward P. Larson in his boyhood and 
youth broadened his mental ken by availing himself consistently of 
the advantages of the public schools of his native county and simul- 
taneously he fortified himself in practical knowledge by lending 
his quota of assistance in the work of his father's farm. He re- 
mained at the parental home until he had attained to his legal ma- 
jority, and he then began an apprenticeship to the blacksmith's 
trade, in which he became a competent artisan. For some time he 
was engaged in the operation of a drilling machine and a threshing 
outfit, and in 1900 he resumed his active and independent associa- 
tion with agricultural pursuits. It was at this time that he pur- 
chased in his native township a farm of one hundred and forty- 
seven acres, and to this excellent property he has since added until 
he now has a fine farm of two hundred and thirty-nine and one-half 
acres, in Section 3, Highland township. The permanent improve- 
ments are of the most approved modern type and include an 
attractive brick house of two stories and the best of barns and 
other farm buildings. Mr. Larson is not only one of the energetic, 
sagacious and progressive representatives of agricultural and live- 
stock industry in his native county but is also liberal and public- 
spirited as a citizen. He is serving in 1916 as township trustee, a 
preferment that indicates the high estimate placed upon him in his 
native community, and his political allegiance is given to the Re- 
publican party. Both he and his wife are zealous communicants 
of the Norwegian Lutheran church at Highland. In May, 1899, 
Mr. Larson wedded Mrs. Julia (Thompson) Knutson, widow of 
Thomas Knutson, the one child of her first marriage being Lena 
B. Knutson. Mr. and Mrs. Larson have five children, and their 
names and respective dates of birth are here indicated : Peter, 
July 15, 1900; Cora, August 10, 1902; Orvald, September 15, 1905; 
Mabel, October 15, 1908; and Elmer G., April 30, 1912. 

Charles J. Lembke has special reason to take satisfaction in the. 
precedence that is his as one of the representative agriculturists and 
stock-raisers of his native county, for he is the owner of the well 
improved farm, in Monona township, which figures as the old home- 
stead of his parents and as the place of his nativity. He was here 
ushered into the world on the 18th of October. 1874, and is the 



BIOGRAPHICAL 245 

second in order of birth of the three children of Henry and Minnie 
(Rice) Lembke, both natives of Germany and both well known 
and honored citizens of Clayton county, their home being now in 
the village of Monona, where, after having won independence and 
prosperity through well ordered endeavor, the father is now living 
virtually retired. At the parental home remains Henry, Jr., the 
eldest of the three children, and the youngest is Emma, who is the 
wife of Charles Klingermann, of Monona. Henry Lembke, Sr., 
was born in Mecklenburg, Germany, on the 3rd of February, 1840, 
and was reared and educated in that section of the Fatherland, 
where he remained until about the year 1868, when, as an ambitious 
young man dependent upon his own resources, he came to the 
United States and established his home in Clayton county, Iowa. 
After devoting about two years to service for others, as a farm 
workman in Farmersburg township, he purchased land in Monona 
township and initiated what proved a specially successful career 
as an independent agriculturist. He continued his active associa- 
tion with the management of his farm until he was nearly seventy 
years of age, and since 1907 he has lived in well earned retirement 
in the village of Monona, where he owns an attractive residence 
property and where he and his wife are surrounded by friends who 
are tried and true. Mr. Lembke has given his support to the Demo- 
cratic party from the time he became a naturalized citizen of his 
adopted land and both he and his wife are zealous communicants 
of the German Lutheran church at Monona. Charles J. Lembke is 
indebted to the public schools of Monona township for his early 
educational discipline and he continued to be associated with his 
father in the work of the home farm until he finally rented the 
same and assumed entire supervision of its operations. Tn 1907 
he purchased this fine old homestead, which comprises one hundred 
and twenty acres, and here he stands forth as an exemplar of sci- 
entific and progressive enterprise in connection with the fundamen- 
tal industries of agriculture and stock-raising. He gives special 
attention to the raising of high-grade cattle and the Chester White 
type of swine. Though loyal to all civic duties and responsibil- 
ities, Mr. Lembke has manifested no ambition for public office 
and his political activities have been represented in his loyal sup- 
port of the cause of the Democratic party. He is affiliated with 
political activities have been represented in his loyal support with 
the Brotherhood of American Yeomen and both he and his wife 
are communicants of the Lutheran church at Monona. On the 
1st of June, 1903, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Lembke to 
Miss Minnie Schroeder, who was born at Guttenberg, this county, 
on the 11th of June, 1874, and who is a daughter of John and Mary 
(Tuecke) Schroeder, who now reside in the village of Monona. 
Mr. Schroeder, who is now retired from active life, was born in the 
city of Cincinnati, Ohio, and he came with his parents from the 
old Buckeye state to gain incidental prestige as a pioneer of Clay- 
ton county, Iowa, the family home having been established in the 
Guttenberg community. He became one of the prosperous farmers 
of Monona township and since his retirement he has maintained his 



246 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

home at Monona, as previously noted. He is a Republican in poli- 
tics and both he and his wife hold membership in the Lutheran 
church. Mrs. Schroeder was born at Guttenberg, this county, and 
is a representative of one of the sterling pioneer families of this 
section of the State. Mr. and Mrs. Lembke have three children, 
and their names and respective dates of birth are here given : Erwin, 
April 20, 1904 ; Lorena, November 28, 1906 ; and Verni, August 10, 
1909. 

Harry W. Lemka, of Cox Creek township, Clayton county, is 
the son of Carl and Lena (Dohrer) Lemka. Carl Lemka was born 
in Read township, this county, August 20, 1857, and his parents 
were Henry and Anna (Penno) Lemka, natives of Clayton county 
and of Germany, respectively. Carl was reared in Cox Creek town- 
ship and acquired his education in the public schools. Three years 
after his marriage he purchased a farm of one hundred acres in 
Boardman township, which he has increased to one hundred and 
eighty acres. In 1915 he bought a farm of forty-one acres in Cox 
Creek township on which he is now living. He is a Democrat in 
politics, is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America and, 
with his wife, is a communicant of the German Lutheran church. 
Of their three children, Harry W., whose name heads this sketch, 
is the eldest, and lives at home with the parents ; Hilda is the wife 
of George Hubbard, who lives on the homestead in Boardman town- 
ship, and Raymond remains at the parental home. Harry W. 
Lemka is one of the successful young farmers of the county who 
takes an interest in all the modern methods of scientific farming 
and stock raising. His training has qualified him for the success- 
ful pursuit of agriculture and his outlook on life hopeful and highly 
encouraging to him and to his friends. He is a Democrat and a 
member of the German Lutheran church. His name is still on the 
roll of eligible young bachelors of Clayton county. 

Albert Lenth is another well known and popular representa- 
tive of that sterling German contingent of citizenship which has 
wielded potent influence in the social and material development 
and upbuilding of Clayton county, and he is one of the substan- 
tial farmers of Farmersburg township, where he is the owner of 
a well-improved homestead place of one hundred and thirty-one 
acres and where, in connection with general agricultural enterprise, 
he has given special attention to and been successful in the raising 
of the fine Red Polled cattle. Mr. Lenth was born on the farm 
of his father in Farmersburg township, this county, and the date 
of his nativity was August 22, 1870. He is a son of Carl and Doro- 
thea (Schmalfeld) Lenth, both of whom were born and reared in 
Germany, whence they came to America and established their 
home in Clayton county in the early pioneer days. Here the father 
long held precedence as an energetic, enterprising and successful 
farmer, with impregnable standing as a loyal and honored citizen, 
and he continued to reside on his old homestead farm until his 
death, which occurred in December, 1915. He was a zealous com- 
municant of the Lutheran church, as is also his widow, who still 
remains on the old home place, and of their twelve children seven 



THE NKW vi>K,K 

PUBLIC LIBRARY 



ASrrOB, L£N9X AND 

TILUBN rUUNDATlWNS 

I L 




GEOEGE J. LENTH 



BIOGRAPHICAL 247 

survive the honored father. Albert Lenth found the period of his 
childhood and youth compassed by the conditions and influence 
of the home farm and early began to contribute his quota to its 
work, the while he made good use of the advantages afforded in 
the public schools. He continued to be associated in the manage- 
ment of his father's farm until he had attained to the age of twenty 
years, when he purchased his present farm, in Section 19, Farmers- 
burg township, where he has since continued his well-ordered oper- 
ations as an agriculturist and stock-grower, of which important 
lines of industrial enterprise he is one of the representative expo- 
nents in his native county. He is a stockholder of the Farmers' 
Bank at St. Olaf, is a Democrat in his political allegiance and served 
four years as school director of his district, this being the only 
public office for which he has consented to become a candidate. 
With the effective co-operation of his wife, who has proved a true 
helpmeet, he has achieved success and independence, and to the 
gaining of this end they have put forth their best efforts with 
thorough harmony of motive and action. Both are communicants 
of the Lutheran church at Farmersburg and in their native county 
their circle of friends is limited only by that of their acquaintances. 
In the year 1896 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Lenth to 
Miss Louise Gottschalk, who was born and reared in Reed town- 
ship, this county, her parents being sterling pioneer citizens of that 
township, where they still reside on their old homestead farm. 
Mrs. Lenth is a daughter of William and Wilhelmina (Crepeline) 
Gottschalk, both of whom were born and reared in Germany, their 
home having been established in Clayton county within a short 
time after their immigration to the United States. Mr. and Mrs. 
Lenth have ten children, namely: Wesley, Harold, Mabel, Milton, 
Leona, Roy, Lucy, Aaron, Alva, and Rosina. 

George Lenth, a successful and prominent business man of El- 
kader, Iowa, was born March 17, 1875. He is of German parentage, 
his father, Joachim, having been born in Mecklenburg, Germany, 
and the mother was a native of the historic Rhine region. Joachim 
Lenth was a prosperous farmer of Clayton county, who died July 
3, 1913, but his wife still lives and conducts the home farm. To 
their union were born eight children : Bertha, who is the wife of 
W. M. Grube, of South Dakota ; Emma, married to J. K. Rupp, 
and living in Monona, Iowa; William C., of Evanston, Illinois; 
Charles, died in India as missionary; Henry F., who is a farmer at 
Riceville, Iowa ; George, with whom this sketch is concerned ; Louis 
C, who is a feed merchant in Elkader; and Ella, who is the wife 
of Charles Harbrichter, of Monona, Iowa. George Lenth remained 
on the home farm until he was twenty-one years of age, then 
started out to make his own way in the world by first working 
on neighboring farms for a period of three years, after which he 
gave up agricultural pursuits and started upon his busy and varied 
career as a business man by entering the employ of a livery firm 
for one year, then buying a half interest in the firm. Continuing 
in this occupation a term of three years, having enlarged it by the 
purchase of a dray and bus line and by the addition of a coal and 



248 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

fuel business, he finally disposed of his interests in everything ex- 
cept the coal and ice business. In 1913 he widened his field of 
activities by opening a music store, the only one of its kind ii^ 
Elkader. This business has grown so rapidly and to such large 
proportions that in 1915 he disposed of his ice, feed and coal interests 
in order to devote his time entirely to his music business. To the 
latter he added the sale of Edison Diamond Disc phonographs, 
of which in less than two years he sold a car load. On November 
15, 1897, he married Ella Schock, a native of Elkader, and they 
have one child, Lawrence, born in July 1904. Mr. Lenth's great 
and absorbing business affairs have precluded any active partic- 
ipation in political work, but he is a loyal member of the Republican 
party. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity and to the Order 
of Eastern Star, and is affiliated with the Congregational church. 

John Lenth has maintained his residence in Clayton county 
for nearly half a century, has been an energetic, discriminating 
and successful exponent of agricultural industry and still gives his 
personal supervision to the operations of his fine homestead farm 
in Farmersburg township, where his sterling integrity and his 
worthy achievement have marked him as fully entitled to the es- 
teem in which he is uniformly held. Mr. Lenth was born in Meck- 
lenberg, Germany, on the 27th of May, 1851, and is a son of Chris- 
tian and Mary Lenth, who there passed their entire lives and of 
whose twelve children eight are still living. He whose name in- 
troduces this review was reared in his native land, where his early 
educational advantages were those offered in the excellent national 
schools, and in November, 1869, when eighteen years of age, he 
severed the ties that bound him to home and fatherland and set 
forth to seek his fortunes in the United States. Within a short 
time after his arrival in the land of his adoption he came to Clay- 
ton county and obtained work on a farm in Farmersburg township. 
Industrial and frugal, he carefully saved his earnings and pressed 
forward to the goal of independence and successful individual ac- 
complishment. The years have brought to him gracious rewards, 
and he has long been known as one of the substantial farmers of 
Farmersburg township. He made improvements on the farm which 
he purchased in his youth and there continued operations until 
1903, when he sold the old homestead to his son, Alfred F., and 
purchased his present fine landed estate, which comprises two hun- 
dred and forty-two and one-half acres, of which forty acres are 
timbered land, his place being under a high state of cultivation, 
being eligibly situated in Section 3, Farmersburg township, and 
being one of the model farms of the county, with thrift and pros- 
perity in evidence on every hand. Mr. Lenth has shown his sense 
of stewardship by the hearty interest he has taken in all things 
pertaining to the communal welfare and while never a seeker of 
official preferment, he is now giving most efficient and loyal serv- 
ice as treasurer of his school district. Both he and his wife are 
earnest communicants of the Lutheran church, in the faith of which 
they were reared. On October 6th in the year 1882 Mr. Lenth mar- 
ried Miss Lena Rohde, who likewise was born in Germany, one 



BIOGRAPHICAL 249 

of the seven children of Christian and Minnie (Lehmenn) Rohde, 
who came to the United States in 1874 and established their home 
in Clayton county, where they passed the remainder of their lives. 
Mr. and Mrs. Lenth became the parents of seven children, all of 
whom are living except one : Alfred F. and Arnold are successful 
farmers of the younger generation in their native county ; Elmer 
J. is associated with his father in the operations of the home farm ; 
Hilma and Olga E. likewise remain at the parental home ; Leona 
E. died at the age of about seventeen years ; and Clara M. is a 
student in the college of Waverly, Bremer county, at the time of 
this writing, in 1916. 

John P. Lenth is another popular representative of that fine 
German element of citizenship that has been prominently and 
worthily concerned with the civic and industrial development and 
upbuilding of Clayton county, where he is a scion of the second 
generation of an honored pioneer family that was here founded 
fully seventy years ago. He is now one of the representative 
farmers of Farmersburg township and is a native son of Clayton 
county who is specially entitled to recognition in this history. Mr. 
Lenth was born in Garnavillo township, this county, on the 11th of 
November, 1860, and his parents, John and Annie Lenth, were 
both born and reared in Germany, though their marriage was 
solemnized after they had become residents of the United States. 
John Lenth was born and reared in Mechlenburg, Germany, 
whence he immigated to America about the year 1845. Soon 
after his arrival in the land of his adoption he came to Clayton 
county and established his residence in Garnavillo township. For 
several years he was employed as a farm hand and finally he 
purchased a farm near St. Olaf, in Farmersburg township, where 
he achieved substantial success through his earnest and energetic 
operations as an agriculturist and where both he and his wife 
passed the remainder of their lives, secure in the esteem of all who 
knew them and both were devout communicants of the Lutheran 
church. Of the five surviving children the subject of this review 
is the eldest ; Joseph W., Frank and August are prosperous farmers 
of Monona township, and Herman has similar precedence in 
Farmersburg township. John P. Lenth was reared on his father's 
farm and gained his early education in the schools of Farmersburg 
township. His independent career was initiated by his onding 
employment at farm work, and his ambition led him to make good 
use of his opportunities and the rewards of his labors. In 1886, 
as a young man of twenty-five years, he purchased one hundred 
and seventy-one acres of land in Farmersburg township, and to 
the same he later added an adjoining tract of eighty acres, so that 
he now has a valuable landed domain of two hundred and fifty-one 
acres. Within the thirty years of his independent operations as an 
agriculturist and stock-grower Mr. Lenth has been indefatigable in 
his industry, circumspect and progressive in his policies, and has 
gained prestige as one of the prosperous and enterprising farmers 
and public-spirited citizens of his native county. He is a stock- 
holder and director of the Luana Savings Bank, is a staunch sup- 



250 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

porter of the cause of the Democratic party, has served effectively 
in the ofifice of township trustee and as a member of the school 
board, and both he and his wife are zealous communicants of 
the Lutheran church at Luana, which is their postofifice address. 
On the 14th of December, 1887, was solemnized the marriage of 
Mr, Lenth to Miss Dora Harnack, who was born in Garnavillo 
township, this county, on the 31st of October, 1862, a daughter of 
Joseph and Dora (Hahn) Harnack, who were born and reared in 
Mecklenburg, Germany, and who became residents of Clayton 
county, Iowa, about the year 1855. The father became one of the 
substantial pioneer farmers of the county and was a resident on 
his farm in Garnavillo township until the time of his death, his 
widow being now a resident of the village of Monona. Mr. and 
Mrs. Lenth have a fine family of eleven children : Ella is the wife 
of Benjamin Jarms, of Monona township, and they have two chil- 
dren, Edna and Myron ; Hilda is the wife of Hubert Miller, of 
Monona township, and they have one child, Helen ; Gustav is a 
successful farmer in Wagner township, is married and has one 
son, Harvey ; John A. is identified with agricultural pursuits in 
Wagner township, and the other children remain at the parental 
home, namely, Wilber, Elmer, Ernest, Hubert, Louis, Esther and 
Nora. 

Joseph T. Leonard, a successful business man of Elkader, 
Iowa, was born in New York City May 17, 1870. He is the son 
of John and Sarah (Holan) Leonard, both natives of the Emerald 
Isle, the former of County Dublin, born in 1831, and the latter of 
County Meath, born in 1836. John Leonard came to America with 
his parents Richard and Julia (Dunn) Leonard in 1842, where they 
located in Fall River, Massachusetts, remaining until 1855 ; they 
then went to Clayton county, Iowa, where the father engaged in 
farming until his death in 1858, his wife dying two years later. 
When John Leonard, the father of our subject, was seventeen years 
of age, he started out to make his own place in the world by learn- 
ing the machinists' trade, after which he went to New York City 
and was in the employ of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, 
working in the shops of that concern for twenty-five years. In 
1875 he turned his back on city life, and came west to a farm in 
Clayton county, Iowa, engaging in agriculture until his death. He 
and his wife were the parents of ten children : William H., who 
died December, 1915 ; Richard, who resides on a farm near Elkader; 
Alice, married to A. Ballbright ; Sarah, the wife of Louis Meder, 
of Oklahoma ; Charles, of Fargo, North Dakota ; Joseph, with whom 
this sketch deals particularly ; and Fred, a farmer of Clayton 
county. Joseph assisted in the management of his father's farm 
of five hundred acres until he was thirty-one years old, but after 
his marriage, at this time, he bought a farm of one hundred acres 
for himself, conducting a creamery business in connection with it. 
This grew so rapidly and to such large proportions that he was 
obliged to go to Elkader, where he could obtain better facilities 
for the handling of his cream. His business now amounts to the 
gratifying sum of three thousand two hundred dollars a year, and 



BIOGRAPHICAL 25 1 

is conducted under the name of Crown Brand Creamery. During 
the course of a year they handle two hundred and thirty-seven 
thousand six hundred and fifty-eight pounds of cream, hfty-five 
thousand nine hundred and sixty pounds of poultry, and forty-three 
thousand seven hundred and forty-seven dozen eggs. He also 
conducts a large ice cream business, shipping over five thousand 
gallons a year, and his reputation as an ice cream manufacturer is 
such that he has received a splendid oflfer from one of Iowa's col- 
leges as instructor, which offer, on account of his large business 
affairs, he was forced to decline. Mr. Leonard is an open-minded 
man in his political convictions and therefore belongs to the Inde- 
pendent party. He was married February 6, 1901, to Anna Walker, 
a daughter of Henry Walker and Mary Ellen (Kiefer) Walker, 
both of whom are old and highly respected residents of Mederville 
and who have both been connected with the early history of Clay- 
ton county. Mr. and Mrs. Leonard are the proud parents of two 
children, Florence, 13 years, and Clarence, 7 years of age. 

Laurence L. Linder is effectively proving his progressiveness 
and facility as one of the representative business men of the younger 
generation in the vital little city of Volga, where he was for a 
time associated with Edward Gleason in the ownership and conduct 
of a well-equipped hardware store. He was born in Volga town- 
ship, this county, on the 26th of August, 1891, and is a son of 
George Theodore and Amelia Matilda (Younkman) Linder, the 
former of whom was born and reared in this county, a representa- 
tive of a sterling pioneer family, and the latter of whom was born 
in the state of Pennsylvania. Of their three children the first, Ada, 
died in infancy ; Lawrence L., of this review, was the second ; and 
the youngest is Dola, who remains with his parents on the home- 
stead farm. Laurence L. Linder continued his studies in the pub- 
lic schools until he had completed the curriculum of the Volga 
high school, in which he was graduated as a member of the class 
of 1908. Thereafter he continued his association with the work 
and management of his father's farm until 1913, when he purchased 
an interest in the Shales hardware establishment at Volga. Subse- 
quently Shales sold to Gleason and on April 26. 1916, the latter 
sold out his interest to Mr. Linder and he has since continued a 
vigorous and popular factor in the direction of the substantial and 
prosperous enterprise. His political proclivities are indicated by 
his alignment with the Democratic party. His wife is a member 
of the Catholic church at Volga. On the 20th of September, 1914, 
was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Linder to Miss May Cecelia 
Quinn, and they have a fine little son, Laurence Leroy, who was 
born May 4, 1915. 

George F. Lindroth. — That community, no matter how incon- 
spicuous, that can not claim provisions in the line of garage and 
general automobile facilities may consistently be said to fall below 
the standard set for the present day, and it is thus pleasing to note 
that in the village of Luana, Clayton county, the best of service 
is given in the well equipped garage conducted by Mr. Lindroth, 
who is one of the popular and energetic business men of the 



252 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

younger generation in his native county. He was born in Reed 
township, this county, on the 7th of April, 1877, and is a son of 
Fred and Mary (Bueder) Lindroth, both of whom were born and 
reared in Germany, where their marriage was solemnized and 
where the father served a thorough apprenticeship to the trade 
of stone-cutter, in which he became a skilled artisan. About the 
year 1868 Fred Lindroth and his wife immigrated to America and 
established their home in the city of Buffalo, New York, where he 
engaged in the work of his trade. In 1872 this sterling citizen 
established his residence in Read township, Clayton county, where 
he was engaged in the work of his trade for a time. He finally 
purchased a farm near Elkader, the county seat, and there he con- 
tinued his successful activities as an agriculturist and stock-grower 
until his death, his wife also having remained on the old homestead 
until her death and both having been devout communicants of the 
German Lutheran Church, while the political allegiance of Mr. 
Lindroth was given to the Democratic party. He and his wife 
were earnest, industrious and worthy citizens who made their lives 
count for good in every relation and who held the unqualified 
esteem of all who knew them. Their eldest child, Charles, is now 
a resident of Hartford, South Dakota; Elizabeth is deceased; Fred 
likewise is a resident of Hartford, South Dakota; William main- 
tains his home at Guttenberg, Clayton county ; Frank is a resident 
of Luana, this county; George F., of this review, was the sixth 
child; and Lena is the wife of Henry Holtz, of Guttenberg, this 
county. To the public schools of his native county George F. 
Lindroth is indebted for his early educational training, and after 
leaving the home farm he was employed at farm work for others 
until, at the age of twenty-one years, he purchased a farm of his 
own, in Monona township. He proved an ambitious and enterpris- 
ing agriculturist and stock-grower and was not denied a due meas- 
ure of success in connection with his energetic and well ordered 
operations as a farmer. He remained on his farm until 1913, when 
he established his home in the village of Luana, where he has 
since been successfully engaged in the conducting of a garage and 
general automobile business, in which his valued coadjutor and 
partner is Fred C. Schultz, of whom individual mention is made 
on other pages of this work. The firm have the local agency for 
the well known Studebaker and Chevrolet automobiles, have a well 
equipped repair shop, and own the substantial garage buildmg 
Avhich they erected for the purpose and which is thirty by sixty feet 
in dimensions, the establishment giving employment to three 
assistants. Mr. Lindroth is president of the Luana Town Hall 
Company, served one term as president and general manager of 
the Farmers Telephone Company, and during an incumbency of 
four years he was a loyal and progressive member of the village 
council of Luana, besides which he held for two terms the position 
of constable. His political convictions are indicated by the stal- 
wart support which he gives to the Democratic party, and both he 
and his wife hold to the religious faith in which they were reared — 
that of the German Lutheran Church. On the 20th of September, 



BIOGRAPHICAL 253 

1898, was recorded the marriage of Mr. Lindroth to Miss Louisa 
Heins, who was born in Read township, this county, on the 28th 
of December, 1874, and whose educational advantages were those 
afforded in the public schools of Luana. She is a daughter of 
Henry and Fredericka (Kuss) Heins, who were born in Germany. 
Mr. Heins came to Clayton county in 1861 and found employment 
in and about Garnavillo. In 1867 he went to California, but five 
years later he returned to Clayton county, where for many years he 
was one of the active and successful exponents of agricultural in- 
dustry in Read township. Since leaving his farm he has lived 
retired in the village of Luana, his devoted wife having passed 
away on the 18th of March, 1916. Mr. and Mrs. Lindroth became 
the parents of three children, of whom the first two, Rosina and 
Rodena, are deceased. The only son, Arnold, is still attending 
school. 

David P. Lowe.^ — Though he claims the Badger state as the 
place of his nativity, David P. Lowe has been a resident of Clayton 
county since he was a child of three years and during the long 
intervening period of nearly three score years and ten he has re- 
sided continuously on the old homestead farm, in Section 4, Sperry 
township, where his honored parents established themselves upon 
coming from Wisconsin to this county in the year 1847. The father 
was numbered among the very early settlers of Sperry township, 
where he reclaimed a farm from what was virtually a wilderness 
and where it was within his privilege and ambition to contribute 
generously and effectively to the social and material development 
and upbuilding of the county. He whose name initiates this re- 
view has long been one of the representative agriculturists of the 
township in which he was reared from childhood and in which 
he has been active and influential in community affairs continuously 
save for the period of his absence from home when serving as a 
soldier of the Union in the Civil war. Righteousness and resolute 
purpose have characterized his entire career, and now that the 
shadows of his earnest life begin to lengthen from the golden west 
he rests secure in the high regard of all who know him and com- 
passed by the conditions that make for peace, prosperity and gra- 
cious contentment. Mr. Lowe was born in Rock county, Wiscon- 
sin, on the 10th of March, 1844, and is now the only living member 
of a family of nine children born to James M. and Betsy Elizabeth 
(Bates) Lowe, both of whom were born and reared in Pennsylvania, 
where they maintained their home until their removal to Rock 
county, Wisconsin. In the latter state they remained until 1847, 
when they came to Clayton county and established their home on a 
pioneer farm of one hundred and sixty acres of government land, 
the same being an integral part of the finely improved landed es- 
tate now owned by their only surviving child, the subject of this 
review. The father remained on this home place until his death, 
which was one of tragic order, as he was killed by injuries received 
when the team which he was driving ran away. He was about 
75 years of age at the time of his death, which occurred December 
3, 1878, his loved and devoted wife having been summoned to eter- 



254 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

nal rest on the 14th of August of the preceding year. They were 
kindly, earnest and sincere folk who placed true valuations on men 
and conditions and whose lives were replete in good works and 
gracious deeds. They were devout members of the Methodist 
Episcopal church and assisted in the organization of the first church 
in Sperry township, the father having likewise been the earnest 
founder of the first Sunday school in that township. Both he and 
his wife did all in their power to foster the causes of religion and 
education and to further high civic ideals in general. Mary, the 
eldest of their children, was born in 1830 and died young. All of 
the other children are now deceased with the exception of the 
subject of this review, who was the next to the youngest, and the 
names and respective dates of birth of the others are here consist- 
ently recorded: Sarah, July 24, 1832; John W., April 30, 1834; 
Emily, June 24, 1836; Elizabeth, January 30, 1838; James, Sep- 
tember 16, 1841 ; Eliza Ann, January 16, 1843 ; Marilla, September 
18, 1846. David P. Lowe was reared to manhood under the sturdy 
and benignant influences of the pioneer farm, to the work of which 
he early began to contribute his effective aid. He thus followed 
the even tenor of his way until his patriotism prompted him to 
tender his services in defense of the Union when the nation was 
plunged in the vortex of civil war. On the 11th of May, 1864, 
when twenty years of age, he enlisted as a private in Company A, 
Forty-seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry, J. L. McCormick having 
been captain of the company. The regiment saw service princi- 
pally in the states of Arkansas and Tennessee and Mr. Lowe was 
not called upon to participate in any of the greater battles marking 
the closing period of the great fratracidal conflict. He received his 
honorable discharge at Davenport, this state, on the 28th of Septem- 
ber, 1864, and then resumed his association with the work and man- 
agement of his father's farm. He has never abated his interest in his 
old comrades and indicates this by his active affiliation with the 
Grand Army of the Republic. His landed estate now comprises 
two hundred acres and constitutes one of the splendidly improved 
and valuable farms of Sperry township, one hundred and sixty acres 
of the tract being the old home place of Mr. Lowe's parents. Ap- 
preciative of the policies and cause for which the Republican party 
virtually stood sponsor during the climacteric period of the Civil 
war, Mr. Lowe became affiliated therewith in his young manhood 
and has never since wavered in his allegiance. He has not sought 
public office of any kind but has serv^ed most effectively as town- 
ship trustee, a position to which he was called by the importunities 
and votes of his fellow citizens. He holds membership in the 
Brotherhood of American Yeomen and he and his wife are zealous 
members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Volga, which vil- 
lage represents their postoffice address. On the 12th of December, 
1866, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Lowe to Miss Elizabeth 
Ann Dempster, who was born in Wayne county, Michigan, and 
who is a daughter of John and Margaret (Templeton) Dempster 
and who came to Iowa about 1852, establishing their home on a 
pioneer farm in Fayette county, where they passed the remainder 



i'U^lC LiiiKAKY 



^»ro«, LtNM AND 
TILDm TOUNDAT1UN8 




HENRY LUEHSEX 



BIOGRAPHICAL 255 

of their lives and where their daughter, Elizabeth Ann, wife of 
the subject of this review, was reared and educated. The parents 
were natives of Scotland, the father having been eighty-six years 
of age at the time of his death, and the mother having passed away 
December 31, 1907, at the age of 97 years. They became the par- 
ents of thirteen children, of whom the eldest is Margaret, who is 
the widow of Oscar Finch and who resides at Augusta, Wisconsin; 
William and Thomas are deceased, as are also the next two chil- 
dren, James and Anable ; John is a resident of South Dakota ; 
Mary is the widow of George A. Smith and resides in Missouri; 
Mrs. Lowe, wife of the subject of this sketch, was the next in order 
of birth ; Jane resides at Volga, this county, and is the wife of 
James Bissell ; Lavinia, David, Susanna and Luana are deceased, 
the last two mentioned having been twins. To Mr. and Mrs. Lowe 
have been born five children, concerning whom brief record is 
here given : Margaret, who was born July 24, 1867, is the wife of 
Albert Boleyn, of whom individual mention is made on other pages 
of this volume ; Susanna, who was born December 7, 1869, died on 
the 17th of the following February; Daniel E., who was born Sep- 
tember 24, 1871, remains at the parental home; Harry S. was born 
January 18, 1877, and died on the 4th of January of the following 
year, and Clarence E., who was born February 22, 1884, passed 
away on the 24th of July, 1886. 

Henry Luehsen has been a resident of Clayton county since 
his early childhood, is a representative of one of the honored pio- 
neer families of the county and has achieved definite prominence 
and influence as one of the leading business men and progressive 
citizens of the thriving village of Garnavillo, where he has been 
established in the furniture and undertaking business for more 
than thirty years and where he has served seventeen years as post- 
master, an office of which he is the present efficient and valued 
incumbent. Mr, Luehsen was born in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, 
on the 14th of June, 1861, and is a son of Henry and Margareta 
(Luers) Luehsen, both natives of Germany, where the former was 
born on the 11th of December, 1823, and the latter on the 5th of 
October, 1818. In his native land Henry Luehsen, Sr., learned the 
tailor's trade, to which he there devoted his attention until 1850, 
when he immigrated with his wife to the United States and estab- 
lished his residence in the city of Cincinnati. He continued his 
residence in Ohio until 1864, when removal was made to Clayton 
county, Iowa, where he became one of the early settlers in the vil- 
lage of Garnavillo and where he successfully continued in the mer- 
chant tailoring business for many years, his death having here 
occurred in 1903, shortly prior to his eightieth birthday anniver- 
sary, and the wife of his young manhood having here been sum- 
moned to eternal rest on the 8th of April. 1876. both having: been 
devout communicants of the Lutheran church and his political alle- 
giance having been given to the Republican party. Of the three 
children the first-born was Herman, who died in childhood, 
prior to the family immigration to America ; Dora was born in 
Cincinnati, Ohio, and she was a resident of National, Clayton 



256 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

county, Iowa, at the time of her death. She married John Schier- 
holtz. He whose name initiates this review was about three years 
of age at the time of the family removal to Iowa, and he was reared 
to manhood in Clayton county, where he duly availed himself of 
the advantages of the public schools and where he has won marked 
prestige and prosperity as a man of energy, mature judgment and 
much progressiveness. He has been for thirty-two years (1916) 
engaged in the furniture and undertaking business at Garnavillo 
and is essentially one of the honored and representative citizens 
of this place. Mr. Luehsen has been influential in public affairs of 
a local order and has shown a lively interest in all things pertaining 
to the civic and material welfare of his home county, besides which 
he has been an active and influential factor in the Clayton county 
councils of the Republican party. As previously noted, he has 
given seventeen years of efficient service in the office of postmaster 
of the village, and for twelve years he was secretary of the Clay- 
ton County Fair Association. Both he and his wife are earnest 
communicants of the Lutheran Church, and he is affiliated with 
the local lodge of the Woodmen. On the 14th of February, 1885, 
was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Luehsen to Miss Mary Ihde, 
who was born in this nounty on the 6th of September, 1863, her 
parents having been sterling pioneers of the county, where they 
continued to maintain their home until their death. Marvin H., 
the only child of Mr. and Mrs. Luehsen, was born on the 25th of 
May, 1886, and the supreme loss and bereavement in their married 
life came when this devoted son was called to eternal rest, he having 
been a resident of Garnavillo at the time of his death, which oc- 
curred on the 27th of January, 1915. 

Calvin P. Luther has the distinction of being postmaster of 
his native village of Guttenberg, a position to which he was ap- 
pointed in February, 1916, and prior to assuming this incumbency 
he had made an excellent record of service in other public positions 
of responsibility. He was born at Guttenberg, Clayton county, on 
the 11th of April, 1865, and is a son of John and Julia (Goodrich) 
Luther, the former of whom was born and reared in Switzerland 
and the latter of whom was born in the state of New York. John 
Luther immigrated to the United States in 1848 and soon after- 
ward came to Iowa and established his residence at Dubuque. 
Within a short time thereafter he came to Clayton county and be- 
came one of the pioneer settlers of the fine German colony formed 
at Guttenberg. Here he established a blacksmith shop, and as a 
skilled artisan he continued in the work of his trade for many years, 
a sturdy, upright and sagacious citizen v.^ho made for himself a 
place of prominence and influence in community afifairs. He is now 
venerable in years and is living retired in the village that has long 
been his home and in the development and upbuilding of which he 
has aided in generous measure. He is a Democrat in his political 
faith and adherency, has served as a member of the board of super- 
visors, as a member of the village council and as mayor of Gutten- 
berg. He is affiliated with the local lodge of the Ancient Free & 
Accepted Masons and he is still a vital and influential figure in 



BIOGRAPHICAL 257 

the community life, with secure place in the confidence and good 
will of his fellow men. His cherished and devoted wife passed 
to the life eternal a number of years ago, and of their children 
the subject of this sketch, Calvin P., is the eldest; Mary is the 
wife of George Kreglow, of Foley, Minnesota ; Ella is the wife of 
John Stoeffler, of Seattle, Washington ; John E. is a resident of the 
city of Spokane, Washington; Bertha E. is the wife of William 
Wilson, of St. Louis, Missouri ; William, the youngest of the chil- 
dren, likewise resides in St. Louis. After profiting fully by the 
advantages aflforded in the public schools of Guttenberg, Calvin P. 
Luther entered upon a practical apprenticeship to the blacksmith 
trade, under the able and punctilious direction of his father, and 
he continued his active association with the operations of his father's 
shop for a period of about fifteen years. In the meanwhile he had 
so ordered his course as to retain the unequivocal confidence and 
good will of the people of his native place, and thus he was dis- 
tinctly eligible when he was chosen the incumbent of the office of 
city marshal, in which position he continued his effective adminis- 
tration during the protracted period of ten years. Thereafter he 
served three years as deputy state game warden, and in February, 
1916, there came to him still higher official preferment, in his ap- 
pointment to the position of postmaster, in which he is giving a 
most efficient and satisfactory administration. Mr. Luther has 
further honored his native city by former service as a member of 
its municipal council and by equally effective work during his in- 
cumbency of the office of justice of the peace and county constable. 
He has been vigorous and influential in the local councils of the 
Democratic party, in behalf of whose cause he has given yeoman 
service. He is affiliated with the time-honored Masonic fraternity 
and also with the local organization of the Independent Order of 
Odd Fellows. When a young man of twenty-one years Mr. Luther 
wedded Miss Ruth Morlend. daughter of the late Jacob Morlend, 
of Colesburg, Delaware county, and she passed to the life eternal 
after but three years of wedded life, her only child, Getsie, having 
been accidentally burned to death at the age of eighteen years. In 
1886 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Luther to Miss Annie 
Stoefifler, who was born and reared at Guttenberg, where she was 
aflforded the excellent advantages of the Catholic parochial schools! 
She is a daughter of Frank and Annie Marie (Gerner) Stoeffler, 
who still reside at Guttenberg and both of whom are earnest com- 
municants of the Catholic church. Mr. Stoeffler was born in Ger- 
many and was a youth when he came with his parents to America 
and settled at Guttenberg, where he became associated with his 
father in the operation of a lime kiln. Several years later he en- 
gaged in farming, to which line of enterprise he gave his active 
attention for many years. He is now living practically retired and 
is one of the highly esteemed citizens of the county, his political 
support being given to the Democratic party. Mr. and Mrs. Luther 
have a fine family of twelve children, whose names are here entered 
in the respective order of birth : Frank, Bertha, Harold, Jodina, 
Leroy, Lillian. Reuben, Evelyn, Raymond, Margaret, Bernice, and 



258 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

Anthony. Frank is engaged as a barber at Guttenberg; Bertha is 
the wife of Veral Smith, of Cook, Minnesota; and all of the other 
children remain at the parental home. 

Emil C. Maier owns and resides upon the fine old homestead 
farm which figures as the place of his nativity and which is eligibly 
situated in section 19, Volga township. He has proved specially 
progressive and resourceful in his independent operations as an 
agriculturist and practical dairy farmer and he is one of the popu- 
lar and influential citizens of his native township, with an abiding 
loyalty to the county that has represented his home from the time 
of his birth. Emil Charles Maier was born on his present home- 
stead farm, on the 21st of November, 1870, and is a son of Jacob 
and Mary (Lundt) Maier, both of whom were born in Germany 
and both of whom are honored pioneer citizens of this county, the 
father having celebrated in 1916 his eighty-third birthday anniver- 
sary. Of the children the eldest is Frederick, who is now a resident 
of Wadena, Fayette county ; Anna is the wife of John Stoecker, of 
Charles City, Floyd county; Emil C, of this review, was the next 
in order of birth ; Mary is deceased, and Alvina and Lucy reside 
at Rockford, Floyd county. Emil C. Maier was reared to the 
sturdy discipline of the home farm and in the meanwhile made 
good use of the advantages afforded in the excellent public schools 
of his native county. At the age of thirty-two years he rented the 
home farm from his father, and eleven years later he purchased the 
property, which comprises one hundred and forty-eight acres of 
fertile land, equipped with good improvements of a permanent 
order and maintained as one of the really model farms of this sec- 
tion of the state. Mr. Maier carries forward with energy and dis- 
crimination his operations along the line of diversified agriculture 
and is making the dairy department of his farm enterprise one of 
important and profitable order. His political allegiance is given to 
the Democratic party, and he served six years as a member of the 
school board of his district. He is secretary and treasurer of the 
Volga Valley Telephone Company, which gives to its numerous 
subscribers the best of service, and both he and his wife are earnest 
communicants of the German Lutheran church at Littleport, in 
which he serves as usher. In the year 1902 was solemnized the 
marriage of Mr. Maier to Miss Anna Schaub, who likewise was 
born and reared in this county and who is a daughter of Traugott 
and Mannie (Nielbecker) Schaub. Mr. and Mrs. Maier have eight 
children, namely: Alma, Viola, Pearl, lona, Florence, Marvin, 
Verda and Grace. All of the children remain members of the 
parental home circle, and this attractive family home is known for 
its gracious and unostentatious hospitality. 

John A. Maiers is a representative in Clayton county of a line 
of enterprise that has most important bearing upon the material 
and civic welfare of the community, as he is successfully estab- 
lished in the real estate business in the village of Monona, in which 
his operations have grown to wide scope, involving dealing not 
only in village and farm realty in this part of Iowa, but also in 
farm lands in both Minnesota and North and South Dakota. He 



BIOGRAPHICAL > 259 

is a man of circumspection and progressiveness, and his reputation 
for fair and straightforward dealing in all transactions constitutes 
a business asset of indubitable value. Mr. Maiers was born in 
Dubuque county, Iowa, on the 4th of October, 1876, and is a son of 
John N. and Mary (Ries) Maiers, both natives of Germany and 
both young at the time of the immigration of the respective fami- 
lies to America. John N. Maiers was a boy when he came with his 
parents from the Fatherland to the United States, and his father 
became a pioneer settler in Dubuque county, Iowa, his parents 
there passing the remainder of their lives in close association with 
the basic industry of agriculture. John N. was reared to manhood 
on the pioneer farm, received the advantages of the common schools 
of the locality and period, and he has continued to the present time 
his residence in Dubuque county, where he is a substantial farmer 
and a representative citizen of his home community. His political 
allegiance is given to the Democratic party and he served for years 
as township trustee, besides being otherwise influential in public 
affairs of a local order. Both he and his wife are earnest commu- 
nicants of the Catholic Church. Of the children, John A., of this 
review, is the eldest ; Nicholas V. is a successful representative of 
agricultural enterprise in Dubuque county ; Anna is the wife of 
John V. Kluesner, of that county; Frank D. likewise remains in 
his native county; Michael M. is a resident of Tracy, Minnesota; 
Emil maintains his home at Luxemburg, Dubuque county, Iowa ; 
Mathew remains at the parental home; and Benjamin died in child- 
hood. John A. Maiers gained his preliminary education in the 
public schools of his native county, and thereafter he pursued a 
higher academic course in St. Joseph's College, in the city of Du- 
buque, where also he attended Bayless Business College, in which 
he was graduated in 1898. He was graduated in pharmacy in the 
college at Highland Park, a suburb of the city of Des Moines, as a 
member of the class of 1901, and for ten years thereafter he was 
successfully engaged in the drug business at Monona, Clayton 
county. He then turned his attention to the real estate business, 
in which his success has been of unequivocal order and in which 
he now holds prestige as one of the leading exponents of this im- 
portant line of enterprise in Clayton county. He has a large busi- 
ness of most substantial order, and his real estate operations touch 
Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. 
Mr. Maiers is progressive and loyal in his civic attitude as well as 
in his business affairs, and takes a lively interest in all things per- 
taining to the welfare of his home community and native State. 
He has served as treasurer and also village clerk of Monona, and 
is aligned as an unwavering supporter of the cause of the Demo- 
cratic party. He and his wife are zealous communicants of the 
Catholic Church and he is affiliated with the local organizations of 
the Knights of Columbus, the Modern Woodmen of America, and 
the Brotherhood of American Yeomen. On the 21st of January, 
1902, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Maiers to Miss Ida 
Walsh, who was born and reared in Clayton county and who is a 
daughter of Andrew and Frances Walsh, well known citizens of 



26o MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

Monona township. Mr. and Mrs. Maiers have three children — 
Alberta, Marcella, and Mary Frances. 

Horace A. Mallory. — It has been within the powers and ambi- 
tion of Horace Allen Mallory to gain and maintain secure place 
as one of the representative agriculturists and stock-growers of 
Clayton county, and special interest attaches to his career by 
reason of his being a scion of one of the early pioneer families of 
this section of the Hawkeye state. Though the most of his life 
thus far has been passed in Clayton county, he was born at Coles- 
burg, Delaware county, this state, and the date of his nativity was 
February 13, 1865. He is a son of Augustus H. and Rose (Knee) 
Mallory, the former of whom was born in Genesee county. New 
York, and the latter in Blair county, Pennsylvania. Augustus H. 
Mallory was a lad of thirteen years when he came with his parents 
to Iowa, in 1839, and the family home was established in what is 
now Section 33 of Mallory township, Clayton county, a township 
that was named in honor of this well known pioneer family. 
Augustus H. Mallory gained ample experience in connection with 
the arduous labors incidental to reclaiming a frontier farm, and 
later he learned the blacksmith's trade, as an expert workman at 
which he conducted a successful business at Colesburg, Delaware 
county, for several years. After his retirement from this business 
he became the owner of one of the extensive farms of Clayton 
county, and he continued his residence on this old homestead until 
his death, which occurred at an advanced age. His widow long 
survived him and was summoned to eternal rest on the 18th of 
February, 1916, venerable in years and held in high regard by all 
who had come within the compass of her gracious influence. 
Augustus H. Mallory was a man of sturdy independence, was well 
fortified in his convictions and was a staunch supporter of the 
cause of the Republican party. In a fraternal way he was for many 
years in active affiliation with the Independent Order of Odd Fel- 
lows. Of the children the first born was William, deceased; 
Samuel G. remains on the old homestead farm he and his only surviv- 
ing brother, Horace A., of this review, having purchased the entire 
landed property that had been accumulated by their father; Cath- 
erine is the wife of John Palmer, of Mallory township ; Horace A. 
was the fourth child; Alta Mae is the wife of Reuben Smith, of 
Elk township ; Lettie is the wife of Harry Brown, of Elk township ; 
and Bess is the wife of Walter A. Lee, of Britt, this state. Horace 
Allen Mallory acquired his youthful education in the district 
schools of Mallory township and remained at the parental home as 
an active associate in the work of the farm until his father retired, 
when he and his brother Samuel G. rented the homestead, into the 
ownership of which they came by the purchase of the interests of 
the other heirs. Horace A. individually owns three hundred and 
twenty acres, constituting one of the fine farms of Clayton county, 
and the substantial and modern buildings that in themselves give 
evidence of thrift and prosperity have been erected by the present 
owner. Mr. Mallory has not only carried forward his agricultural 
operations with the progressiveness that implies the utilization of 



BIOGRAPHICAL 26 1 

the most modern appliances and the approved scientific methods, 
but he has also been specially successful in the raising of high-grade 
live-stock, including Durham cattle and Jersey Red swine. He 
has not hedged himself in with the interests of mere personal 
advancement but has shown a loyal and public spirited concern in 
all things pertinent to the communal welfare, the while he has been 
distinctively influential in public affairs in his township and county. 
His political allegiance is given to the Republican party, and he was 
for two years a member of the board of county supervisors, on 
which he served with characteristic discrimination and loyalty, as 
did he also in the ofifices of township clerk and assessor and in that 
of secretary of the school board of his district. At Colesburg he 
is aflfiliated with the lodges of the Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows and the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and in the 
time-honored Masonic fraternity he is afifiliated also with the 
chapter of Royal Arch Masons at Greeley and with the consistory 
of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in the city of Clinton. The 
name of Mr. Mallory is still enrolled on the list of eligible bachelors 
in Clayton county. 

James L. Mathews, Jr., is one of the progressive and repre- 
sentative business men of the younger generation in his native 
county, where he is associated with his father and brother Leigh 
in the conducting of a flourishing garage and general automobile 
business at Farmersburg. He was born on a farm in Wagner 
township, Clayton county, on the 24th of November, 1877, and is 
a son of James L. and lona (Layton) Mathews, the former a native 
of Ohio and the latter of Indiana, the parents being now numbered 
among the sterling pioneer citizens of the county, where their circle 
of friends is limited only by that of their acquaintances. James L. 
Mathews, Sr., was reared and educated in the Buckeye State and 
came to Iowa about the year 1856, when he was a youth. In Wag- 
ner township, Clayton county, he acquired a tract of wild land, 
which he developed into one of the excellent farms of this section 
of the state, and in connection with which he gained substantial 
success. He became the owner of a large landed estate and con- 
tinued to give his attention to agricultural industry until 1890, 
when he removed from his farm to the village of Farmersburg, 
where he engaged in the pump business. From this line of enter- 
prise he was gradually drawn into the automobile trade, in which 
he is associated at the present time with his sons, under the firm 
name of James L. Mathews & Sons. In 1916 this progressive firm 
completed the erection of a substantial and attractive building for 
the accommodation of its large and constantly expanding business, 
and this building is of hollow brick and steel construction. It is 
fireproof and is fifty by one hundred feet in dimensions, the large 
floor space being well arranged for general garage purposes and 
for the display of automobiles. The firm handles the celebrated 
Overland, Hudson and Hupmobile motor cars and keeps a full com- 
plement of repairs and accessories, with the best of garage facili- 
ties. He whose name initiates this article is the eldest in a family 
of five children ; Ruth is the wife of Louis RaalofT, a prosperous 



262 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

agriculturist of Farmersburg township; and Leigh, Glenn and 
Gladys remain at the parental home. James L. Mathews, Jr., found 
the period of his childhood and early youth compassed by the be- 
nignant and invigorating influences of the home farm, and after 
having profited by the advantages of the local schools he further 
fortified himself by a thorough course in the Cedar Rapids Business 
College, in which institution he continued his studies eighteen 
months. Thereafter he held for one year a clerical position in the 
offices of the Cedar Rapids Transfer Company, after which he was 
similarly engaged in the Cedar Rapids freight office of the Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad until 1910, when he became asso- 
ciated with his father's business activities at Farmersburg, as one 
of the interested principals in the firm of James L. Mathews & Sons. 
Like his father, he is aligned as a staunch supporter of the cause 
of the Democratic party, and both as a citizen and as a business 
man he is known for his loyalty and public spirit, as well as for his 
steadfast integrity of purpose. In 1914 was solemnized the mar- 
riage of Mr. Mathews to Miss Ella Schrader, who was born in 
Wayne township, this county, and they have a fine little son, James 
John. 

Theodore Matt is another of the native sons of Clayton county 
who has had the good judgment here to continue his allegiance to 
the great fundamental industry under whose benign influences he 
was reared, and he now has well fortified vantage-place as one of 
the progressive and substantial farmers of Farmersburg township, 
his well improved homestead being situated in Section 10 and com- 
prising one hundred and four and one-half acres of most fertile 
land, in addition to which he owns also ten acres of valuable timber 
land, in Section 12 of the same township. His success represents 
the direct result of the application of his own ability and efforts 
and he has reason to take pride in being one of the sturdy and 
valued yeomen of Clayton county. He was the second in order of 
birth in a family of eight children, all of whom are living, and is a 
son of Joseph and Anna M. (Beins) Matt, both likewise natives of 
Clayton county and representatives of sterling pioneer families. 
Joseph Matt has long been one of the prosperous farmers of this 
county and commands the high regard of the community in which 
virtually his entire life thus far has been passed, his devoted wife 
having been summoned to eternal rest. Theodore Matt passed 
the period of his childhood and early youth on the home farm and 
is indebted to the public schools of his native county for his edu- 
cational discipline. He remained at the parental home until the 
time of his marriage, in 1903, when he purchased his present farm, 
which is one of the finely improved places of Farmersburg town- 
ship and the operations of which he is carrying forward with con- 
summate discrimination and well directed energy, his wife proving 
his devoted coadjutor in his progressive activities as one of the 
substantial agriculturists of this section of the Hawkeye state. He 
is a zealous supporter of the cause of the Democratic party, but has 
not sought public office, though he is serving most effectively as a 
director of the school district in which he lives. Both he and his 



BIOGRAPHICAL 263 

SI 

wife are communicants of the Lutheran church at McGregor, which 
village is their postoffice address. The year 1903 recorded th« 
marriage of Mr. Matt to Miss Etta Gossman, who likewise was 
born and reared in Clayton county, as were also her parents, who 
are well known citizens of Clayton township, and of whose six 
children five are living. Mr. and Mrs. Matt are the parents of 
three children, whose names and respective dates of birth are here 
noted : Florence Mary A., February 7, 1905 ; Jackson M., October 
27, 1910; and Lillian Caesara, April 12, 1915. 

William J. McGrath, M. D., has been engaged in the successful 
practice of his profession at Elkader, the judicial center of Clayton 
county, for slightly more than twenty years, and through his able 
and effective ministrations as well as his personal popularity he 
has gained definite prestige as one of the representative physicians 
and surgeons of this part of the state. The doctor was born in 
Lafayette county, Wisconsin, on the 17th of October, 1871, and 
is a son of James and Mary (Ryan) McGrath, both natives of the 
Emerald Isle and representatives of fine old families of Ireland. 
James McGrath was a lad of ten years when he accompanied his 
parents on their immigration to America, and he was reared to 
manhood in the city of St. Louis, Missouri. As a young man he 
went to the state of Wisconsin, where he eventually became one 
of the substantial agriculturists of Lafayette county. There he 
passed the remainder of his life, and he was about fifty years of 
age at the time of his death, his widow being now a resident of 
Darlington, that county. Of the eight children the eldest is Kate, 
who is the wife of John Egan, their home being in the state of 
Montana; Margaret is the wife of Albert H. Doyle, of Berkeley, 
California; James is a resident of the state of Oklahoma; Dr. Mc- 
Grath, of this review, was the next in order of birth ; John is a suc- 
cessful buyer and shipper of live stock at Darlington, Wisconsin ; 
Mary is the wife of Patrick J. Daley, of Warren, Illinois; Jessie is 
the wife of Joseph Kelly, of Richland Center, Wisconsin ; and Ella 
is the wife of William J. Riley, of Darlington, that state. Dr. 
William J. McGrath is indebted to the excellent public schools of 
his native state for his early educational discipline, which was sup- 
plemented by a course in a normal school in the state of Indiana. 
In consonance with his ambitious purpose he was finally matricu- 
lated in the celebrated Rush Medical College, in the city of Chicago, 
and in this institution he was graduated as a member of the class 
of 1895 and with the well earned degree of Doctor of Medicine. 
Through close and appreciative study and effective post-graduate 
work within the intervening years he has kept in touch with the ad- 
vances made in medical and surgical science, and he has recourse 
to the best standard and periodical literature of his profession, be- 
sides which he vitalizes his interest in his work and that of his 
confreres by means of active affiliation with the Clayton County 
Medical Society, the Iowa State Medical Society and the American 
Medical Association. Within a few months after his graduation 
in Rush Medical College Dr. McGrath established his residence at 
Elkader, where he has since continued his earnest work as a phy- 



264 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

sician and surgeon and where his success has been on parity with 
his recognized ability and his unequivocal devotion to his acting 
vocation. He lends his influence in support of those things which 
tend to advance the civic and material welfare of the community, 
but he has had neither time nor inclination for political activity or 
officeholding. On the 12th of January, 1898, was solemnized the 
marriage of Dr. McGrath to Miss Adelia Partridge, of Argyle, 
Wisconsin, and their only child is a son, Malcolm. 

James McGuire is a well known and popular representative of 
one of the sterling pioneer families of Clayton county, where his 
parents established their home more than sixty years ago, and 
while he has wandered far afield from his native county in gaining 
certain of his experiences as one of the world's workers, he has 
always looked upon Clayton county as his home and paid to it 
loyal allegiance. He is one of the substantial and influential citi- 
zens of the county, is now living retired in the village of Clayton, 
and that he has never assumed connubial responsibilities has in no 
degree militated against his personal popularity in the home county, 
where his circle of friends is coincident with that of his acquaint- 
ances. James McGuire was born in the village of Clayton on the 
22d of June, 1857, the third in order of birth in a family of thirteen 
children, all of whom are living except three. He is a son of James 
and Margaret (Depew) McGuire, the former of whom was born 
in Ireland and the latter in the state of Pennsylvania, where their 
marriage was solemnized. In 1855, with youthful ambition and 
steadfast purpose, this sterling couple became pioneer settlers of 
Clayton county, Iowa, and after residing for an interval in the little 
village of Clayton they removed to the embryonic farm which 
James McGuire, Sr., purchased in Clayton township. He improved 
one of the productive farms of the county and on his old homestead 
he continued to reside until his death, in 1883, his widow being 
still a resident of the county and being one of its venerable and 
revered pioneer women, her eighty-second birthday anniversary 
having been celebrated in 1916. Reared under the invigorating 
discipline of the pioneer farm, James McGuire, Jr., the immediate 
subject of this review, early learned the lessons and dignity of 
honest toil, and in the meanwhile he profited duly by the advan- 
tages afforded in the schools of the locality. In his youth he also 
served a virtual apprenticeship to the carpenter's trade, and as a 
competent workman he followed the same at intervals for a number 
of years. In 1878 Mr. McGuire went to Kansas and entered claim 
to a homestead of government land in Ness county. He remained 
on the property until he had perfected his title and later passed 
three years in Texas, where he was actively identified with the 
herding of cattle on the great open ranges that then characterized 
the Lone Star state. In 1884 he returned to his native county and 
assumed the active control and management of the old homestead 
farm. There he continued his operations until 1910, when, with his 
venerable mother, he removed to the village of Clayton, where he 
has since lived virtually retired. Though he sold the old home 
farm Mr. McGuire is still to be consistently designated as a landed 




JAMES McGUlRE 



THE NEW T""* 
PUftllC IIBHAHY 






ABTTOt, LttNW 4ND 



BIOGRAPHICAL 265 

proprietor, for he is the owner of a well improved farm of one 
hundred and sixty acres in South Dakota, and a valuable tract of 
two hundred and forty acres in the Province of Alberta, Canada. 
He has ever given his allegiance to the Democratic party and is 
well fortified in his convictions concerning matters of public import. 
He served for a full quarter of a century as clerk of Clayton town- 
ship, six years as clerk of the village of Clayton and five years as 
secretary of the school board — preferments that indicate alike his 
ability and the popular estimate placed upon him. Mr. McGuire 
was one of the organizers of the Clayton Savings Bank and is still 
a member of the directorate of this well ordered institution. At 
Garnavillo he is affiliated with Garnavillo Lodge, No. 90, Ancient 
Free & Accepted Masons, in which he has passed various official 
chairs, and he is affiliated also with the Brotherhood of American 
Yeomen and with Oakleaf Camp, No. 2875, Modern Woodmen of 
America, in which latter he has served in each of the official chairs. 
His devoted and venerable mother, to whom he accords the deepest 
filial solicitude, still presides over their pleasant home in Clayton. 

Hugh McKellar, late the owner of the fine old homestead farm 
upon which his father established the family home more than sixty 
years ago, maintained his residence there from the time he was a 
lad of five years. Mr. McKellar was born in Tioga county, New 
York, on the 8th of October, 1848, and was a son of Hugh and Mary 
(McKuenan) McKellar, both natives of Scotland and representa- 
tives of sterling old families of the land of hills and heather. Upon 
coming to America, about the year 1842, Hugh McKellar, Sr., first 
located near the city of Albany, New York, and later established 
his residence in Tioga county, that state, where he remained until 
1853, when he came with his family to Iowa and became a pioneer 
settler of Clayton county. He obtained a tract of land in Section 
16, Highland township, where he reclaimed and developed a fine 
landed estate of two hundred and forty acres. He was a black- 
smith by trade, and on his farm he maintained a well equipped 
blacksmith shop, in which he found ample demand for his services. 
He was one of the sturdy and upright men who contributed mate- 
rially to the civic and industrial development and progress of the 
county, and he remained on his old homestead until his death, which 
occurred July 4, 1877, his widow having passed to eternal rest on 
the 22d of May, 1879. They became the parents of six children, 
concerning whom the following brief data are given: Archibald 
died in childhood; Peter resides at Elgin, Fayette county; Sarah is 
deceased ; the subject of this sketch was the fourth in order of 
birth; Maria is the wife of Jerome N. Robbins, of Highland town- 
ship; Roxie is the widow of John Service and resides at Elgin, 
Fayette county. He to whom this brief review is dedicated gained 
his youthful education in the district schools of Highland township, 
and the stage of his activities during the long intervening years 
was the old homestead farm on which he was reared from childhood 
and which now comprises three hundred and thirty acres. Mr. 
McKellar never wavered in his allegiance to the Republican party 
and, though he was loyal and liberal in his civic attitude, he was 



266 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

not imbued with any ambition for the honors or emoluments of 
public office. He affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, and at the 
time of his death, June 7, 1916, he was one of the highly esteemed 
citizens of the county. 

James H. McLaughlin. — Within the pages of this publication 
will be found individual mention of a goodly contingent of the 
native sons of Clayton county who have here found ample field for 
productive achievement and the winning of success and prestige of 
unequivocal order. Such an one is the well known citizen of Mc- 
Gregor whose name initiates this paragraph, who has given his 
earnest co-operation in the furtherance of civic and material enter- 
prises that have worked greatly to the advancement of this pictur- 
esque little city, who has been prominent in business life and in the 
public affairs of the community and whose course has been so 
ordered as to retain to him the fullest measure of popular confi- 
dence and good will. Mr. McLaughlin is a scion of staunch Scotch- 
Irish stock and is a representative of one of the sterling pioneer 
families of Clayton county. He was born in Highland township, 
this county, on the 22d of July, 1857, and is a son of John and Wini- 
fred (Hanaghan) McLaughlin, who here established their home 
more than sixty years ago and who continued as honored citizens 
of the county until the close of their long and useful lives. John 
McLaughlin was born in the town of Castlebar, County Mayo, Ire- 
land, where he was reared to adult age and where his early educa- 
tional advantages were those afforded in the parish school. In his 
native county he continued his association with agricultural pur- 
suits until he had attained to the age of thirty years, when he mani- 
fested his ambition and self-reliance by severing the many gracious 
ties that bound him to the fair old Emerald Isle and by coming to 
America, where he felt assured of better opportunities of winning 
independence and prosperity through his own efforts, as he was 
entirely relying upon his own resources in making his way to this 
worthy goal. After passing a few weeks in New York city he 
determined to cast in his lot with the progressive west, which 
offered superior attractions to the man of vigor and earnest purpose. 
He made his way to De Kalb, Illinois, and soon afterward found 
employment on a railroad that was being pushed forward in con- 
struction westward. He was signally fortunate also in having thus 
made DeKalb his headquarters, for there it was that he met and 
won as a wife the gracious young woman who was his devoted 
companion and helpmeet during the remainder of his life. For a 
period of twelve years Mr. McLaughlin found employment as a 
teamster, principally in connection with railroad construction, and 
by his frugality and well ordered saving of his earnings he provided 
the means by which he made secure advancement toward the mark 
of substantial independence. He finally purchased a team of horses 
and with his wife set forth for Clayton county, Iowa. They crossed 
the Mississippi river at Dubuque and then made their way by easy 
stages to Elkader. They arrived at the site of the present thriving 
county seat of Clayton county at a time when virtually the only 
building in the place was the old-time Davis mill — an historic and 



BIOGRAPHICAL 267 

substantial old structure that is still in an excellent state of preser- 
vation and that is still operated as a flour mill, the property being 
owned by Schmidt Brothers, who are representative business men 
of Elkader. Soon after his arrival in Clayton county, which was 
then virtually on the frontier, Mr. McLaughlin purchased eighty 
acres of government land, in what was then known as the Scotch 
settlement of Highland township. He reclaimed this farm to effect- 
ive cultivation and there was maintained the family home until 
1869, when this industrious and sterling pioneer sold the property 
to advantage and purchased another farm, of one hundred and 
twenty acres, in the same township. On this latter homestead, 
which he made one of the valuable farms of the county, he passed 
the remainder of his life, his death having occurred March 15, 1887. 
His cherished and devoted wife passed to the life eternal nine days 
previously, both having been earnest communicants of the Catholic 
church. Their marriage was solemnized in 1853, at DeKalb, Illi- 
nois, where Mrs. McLaughlin had established her residence upon 
coming to America, in the early '40s, in company with her uncle 
and his family, she having been born at Ballinrobe, County Mayo, 
Ireland, where she was reared and educated. Mr. and Mrs. Mc- 
Laughlin became the parents of five children : John, who was born 
in 1854, is now residing at Elkader, the judicial center of Clayton 
county; Mary A., who was born in 1856, is the wife of Thomas 
Mulligan, of Aberdeen, South Dakota ; James H., of this review, 
was the next in order of birth ; and Margaret, who was born in 
1859, and who passed to eternal rest in 1895, was the wife of Will- 
iam Kelleher ; she became the mother of four children, two of whom 
were reared in the home of her brother James, of this sketch. Of 
the two children thus reared and educated by Mr. and Mrs. Mc- 
Laughlin, the elder is Stella, who is now the wife of Thomas Grady, 
of Monona, this county, and the younger, Katherine, is the wife of 
Joseph Roerig, who is, in 1916, serving as postmaster at Adrian, 
Minnesota. James H. McLaughlin was reared under the influence 
of the pioneer farm and early began to aid his father in the work of 
the same, the vv'hile he profited duly by the advantages afforded in 
the district schools of his native township. At the age of twenty 
years he left the parental home and initiated his independent career 
by turning his attention to railroad construction work, in the employ 
of Flynn & Williams, contractors in connection with the extending 
of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. He remained with 
this firm four years, and his sturdiness and competency then gained 
to him the position of foreman with James Brooks, a contractor in 
railroad grading. Two years later Mr. McLaughlin resigned this 
position to accept a similar and more remunerative post with the 
firm of Foreman & Prockelton, with whom he remained one year. 
He severed this alliance to avail himself again of a better opportu- 
nity, as at that time he entered the employ of the Michel Brewing 
Company, of La Crosse, Wis., in the responsible and confidential 
position of auditor. That his efficient services and broad executive 
ability have not lacked appreciation is vouchsafed by the fact that 
he has continued his active association with this company during 



268 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

the long intervening period of twenty-eight years, and his fidelity 
and close application are significantly shown in the fact that during 
this entire period he has never missed earning his diurnal salary. 
In all that makes for loyal and liberal citizenship Mr. McLaughlin 
has always accounted splendidly for himself, and his earnest co- 
operation has been given in the furtherance of movements and 
enterprises projected for the general good of the community, and 
while he is well fortified in his political convictions and has been 
an influential figure in the local councils and activities of the Demo- 
cratic party. He is serving in 1916 as a member of the municipal 
council of McGregor. He was the leading promoter of the move- 
ment that resulted in giving to McGregor, in 1899, the modern and 
well conducted Zimmerman Hotel, which was erected at a cost of 
about twenty-five thousand dollars and which is recognized as one 
of the best hotels in Clayton county. He is affiliated with the 
Catholic Order of Foresters and the Benevolent & Protective Order 
of Elks, and both he and his wife are zealous communicants of the 
Catholic church, prominent in the work and support of the parish 
in their home city, where their circle of friends is limited only by 
that of their acquaintances. On the 25th of October, 1881, was 
solemnized the marriage of Mr. McLaughlin to Miss Sarah Gil- 
martin, daughter of John and Mary Gilmartin, of Toledo, Tama 
county. Mr. and Mrs. McLaughlin have had no children, but in 
their home have been reared two daughters of his sister, as has 
already been noted in this review. 

George E. Medberry. — In Section 6, Highland township, is sit- 
uated the well improved farm of the sterling citizen to whom this 
review is dedicated, and he is known and honored as one of the 
substantial and influential citizens of the township in which he has 
maintained his home for the past twenty years and in which he has 
held the office of township clerk continuously since 1903. He served 
six years as constable and has been a valued member of the school 
board of his district, of which he served as president. All of these 
preferments indicate alike his ability and the high estimate placed 
upon him in his home community. Mr. Medberry was born in 
Mercer county, Pennsylvania, on the 30th of October, 1862, and is 
a son of Marion and Sarah (Kilgore) Medberry, the former a native 
of the state of New York and the latter of Pennsylvania, both 
having been of staunch Scottish ancestry and both having been 
residents of Fayette county, Iowa, at the time of their death. The 
father was a carpenter by trade and vocation and was for many 
years a successful contractor and builder. Of the four children, 
the eldest is John K., who resides at Rock Rapids, Iowa ; Frank L. 
is a resident of Fayette, this state ; the subject of this sketch was the 
next in order of birth ; and Charles H. resides in Fayette county. 
George E. Medberry acquired his youthful education in the public 
schools of Fayette county, and as a lad of fourteen years he found 
employment at farm work, his compensation being ten dollars a 
month. As a youth he passed two years in the state of California, 
and thereafter he was a resident of Fayette county and engaged 
principally in farming until 1896, when he came to Clayton county 



BIOGRAPHICAL 269 

and rented the old Quigley farm, which comprised one hundred and 
fifty-six acres and which is an integral part of his present fine farm 
property of two hundred and sixty acres. His success is indicated 
in the excellent returns which he has received from his well ordered 
operations as an agriculturist and stock-grower and by his having 
accumulated one of the valuable farm properties of Clayton county. 
His political allegiance is given to the Republican party and men- 
tion has already been made of the various public offices in which 
he has been called upon to serve in Highland township. His at- 
tractive home receives service on rural mail route No. 2 from the 
village of Elgin. On the 27th of December, 1895, was solemnized 
the marriage of Mr. Medberry to Miss Rosetta Rothlisberger, who 
was born in Switzerland, and who was summoned to the life eternal 
on the 16th of April, 1914. She is survived by four children, all 
of whom remain with their father on the old home farm, namely: 
Aden J., Rex R., Lena E. and Walter K. 

Edwin Meder was born at Communia, Clayton county, Iowa, 
on a farm consisting of eighty acres. When he was ten years old 
he and his parents moved to Clayton township on a farm which he 
now owns and successfully operates, and the same comprises two 
hundred and ten acres of most fertile land of that enduring integ- 
rity that is so pronounced a constituent of the soil of this favored 
section of the Hawkeye state. This farm, or the most of it, has 
been in the possession of the Meder family since the early pioneer 
era in the history of Clayton county. Edwin Meder was born on 
the 9th of March, 1856. He is the only child of Frederick and Al- 
bertina (Gade) Meder, who were born and reared in Germany. In 
1853, they immigrated to the United States, and became pioneer 
settlers of Clayton county, Iowa. They were married in Garnavillo, 
Iowa. Here the father gave his attention zealously to the achieving 
of worthy independence and prosperity through association with 
the basic industry of agriculture, and in 1866 he purchased the farm 
now owned by his only son, the immediate subject of this review, 
this having continued as the abiding place of both him and his wife 
until the close of their long and upright lives, and the names of 
both meriting high place on the enduring roll of the sterling pio- 
neers of Clayton county. Experience in connection with the work 
of the home farm was gained by Edwin Meder in his boyhood and 
youth, and he acquired his early education in the pioneer schools of 
a county and state that have always maintained a high standard of 
literacy. Upon attaining to adult age he began to relieve his father 
more and more of the work and responsibilities involved in the op- 
erations of the farm, of which he eventually assumed the active 
management and of which he became the owner after the death of 
his parents. He has kept the old homestead up to the highest stand- 
ard of productiveness, employs scientific methods in all depart- 
ments of his farm enterprise and gives special attention to the 
breeding and feeding of live stock of the best grades. He is known 
and honored as one of the loyal citizens and progressive farmers 
and men of aflfairs of his native county, is a Democrat in his polit- 
ical proclivities, and has served continuously since 1900 in the office 



270 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

of township assessor, his fine landed estate being situated in Sec- 
tion 11, Clayton township. He has served fourteen years as school 
director and eighteen years as school secretary, and is now treas- 
urer of his school district, the while he manifests a lively interest 
in all things pertaining to the civic and material welfare of his home 
township and county. At Clayton he is affiliated with Oakleaf 
Camp, No. 2875, Modern Woodmen of America, and both he and 
his wife are earnest communicants of the Catholic church in the 
same village. In 1882 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Meder 
to Miss Mary Grouney, who was born in Northampton county, 
Pennsylvania, one of the five survivors of the nine children born to 
James and Ellen (Gilson) Grouney. Her parents were born and 
reared in Ireland and upon coming to the United States they estab- 
lished their residence in Pennsylvania, where they remained until 
they came to Clayton county, Iowa, and became pioneer settlers 
on a farm, both having continued their residence in this county 
until their death, and Mrs. Meder having been a child at the time 
of the family removal from the old Keystone state to Iowa. In 
conclusion is given brief record concerning the children of Mr. and 
Mrs. Meder: Estella A. is the wife of Richard F. Meehan, a farmer 
of this county, and prior to her marriage was a successful teacher; 
Fannie E. is the wife of Jas. J. Meehan, likewise of this county, and 
prior to her marriage she also had been a popular and successful 
teacher in the public schools ; May M. is now numbered among the 
efficient and popular representatives of the pedagogic profession and 
is a teacher in the schools of her native county ; Anna L. is the wife 
of Elmer Mueller, a farmer of Clayton county, and she likewise 
made before her marriage a record as a successful teacher; Clement 
J. is associated in the work of the home farm ; Fredr. J., who like- 
wise remains at the parental home, was graduated in the high school 
at Garnavillo; and Walter J. is, in 1916, a student in the high school 
at Guttenberg, this county. 

Henry Meder. — No history of Clayton county can be really 
consistent with itself if it fails to pay high tribute of honor to the 
sterling and venerable citizen whose name initiates this paragraph 
and who was the virtual founder of the now thriving village of 
Mederville, which was named in his honor. In the pioneer period 
of Clayton county history Mr. Meder cajjie to the county as a young 
man who had but recently emigrated from his German fatherland 
and whose fortification for the success-battle of life was represented 
in his own integrity of purpose, his energy and his ambition. Such 
was his ability that he became a leader in industrial and civic aflFairs 
in the county and within more than sixty years of residence in the 
county he has marked the passing days with large and worthy 
achievement and has contributed much to the civic and material 
development and progress of the county whose manifold advantages 
and attractions he is now able to enjoy in the gracious evening of 
a well spent life. Mr. Meder was born in Mecklenburg, Germany, 
the ancient home of both his paternal and maternal ancestors, and 
the date of his nativity was January 20, 1834, so that he has now 
passed the age of four score years. He is a son of Louis and 



BIOGKAPHICAL 2/1 

Frederica (Sauerbray) Meder, the former of whom passed his entire 
life in Germany and the latter of whom, after the death of her hon- 
ored husband, came with her children to America and established 
her home at Guttenberg, Clayton county, Iowa ; she passed the re- 
mainder of her life in Valya township. Both she and her husband 
were earnest members of the German Lutheran church. Of their 
ten children the first five, Sophia, Frederick, Mary, Hannah and 
Augusta, are deceased ; Caroline is the widow of Ferdinand Albrecht 
and resides in Cox Creek township, this county; the subject of this 
review was the next in order of birth ; Frederica maintains her home 
at La Crosse, Wisconsin ; Louisa is deceased ; and Charles was in 
Capetown, Africa, at the time of his death. In the schools of his 
native province Henry Meder acquired his early education, and he 
was a youth of nineteen years when he came to the United States 
with his mother and three other of the children. They arrived in 
the city of Chicago on the 4th of July, 1853, his mother providing 
the money to defray the cost of his transportation to the new home 
at Guttenberg, Clayton county. Upon arriving at his destination 
he forthwith turned his attention to whatever honest work he could 
obtain, and the harvesting of grain with an old-time cradle repre- 
sented one of his early experiences in the pioneer community. He 
finally purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land in Cox 
Creek township, and later he gave eighty acres of this property to 
one of his brothers-in-law. He proved successful as a farmer and 
finally became associated with two other enterprising citizens in 
the purchasing of two hundred acres of land in Cox Creek township, 
this tract including the site of the present village of Mederville. 
The three far-sighted men erected at Mederville a grist mill, and 
later Mr. Meder purchased the interests of the other two and asso- 
ciated his sons with him in the operation of the mill. The plant 
was finally destroyed by fire, but he promptly rebuilt the mill and 
resumed operations. His courage and self-reliance were shown 
forth in bold relief at this time, for the loss of his mill had crippled 
him financially and he was paying also ten per cent interest on an 
indebtedness of $13,585. His energy and good management proved 
equal to the heavy responsibilities thus placed upon him and he in 
due time paid every dollar of his obligations and was once more 
on a firm financial footing. A second disaster came to his mill, a 
Cottonwood tree being carried through the mill flume and greatly 
damaging the machinery, as well as the building itself. This dam- 
age likewise failed to check his ambitious purpose, and he has not 
only been a leader in the material upbuilding and business activities 
of his home village and county, but has also been influential in the 
advancing of those things that contribute to the social welfare of 
the community. To him more than all others is due the develop- 
ment and upbuilding of the village that bears his name, and the 
history of the county s)iould record that he donated to Mederville 
four acres of ground for its present cemetery, a half acre of land 
as a site for the public school building, and about four acres to the 
railroad company for the freight and passenger station. He still 
owns a valuable tract of one hundred and sixty acres and he still 



272 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

takes a lively interest in community affairs. He has served as 
township trustee and was a member of the board of county super- 
visors for a period of six years. He has given loyal support to the 
Republican party and he and his family hold zealously to the faith 
of the Lutheran church. As a young man Mr. Meder wedded Miss 
Dorothy Brookman, and the supreme loss and bereavement of his 
life came when his devoted wife and helpmeet was summoned to 
eternal rest, her death having occurred June 10, 1904. In conclu- 
sion is given brief record concerning their children : Barney was 
born July 30, 1857, and is now a resident of the state of Oklahoma; 
Louis was born September 21, 1858, and he is now deceased ; Emma, 
who was born April 2, 1860, is the wife of John Nugent, and they 
reside in the state of Wisconsin; Henry was born July 30, 1861, 
and died August 12, 1874; Lena was born February 12, 1863, and 
resides with her venerable father in the pleasant home at Meder- 
ville ; Albert, who was born July 13, 1865, is a representative farmer 
near Mederville ; August was born on the 22d of March, 1867, and 
died on the 22d of the following month ; Clara was born March 9, 
1869, and is the wife of Herman Dittmer, a prosperous farmer of 
Cox Creek township; Rosa, who was born July 14, 1871, is the wife 
of M. M. Marshall, of Elkader ; the next child, a daughter, was born 
in December, 1873, and died the same day; Ida is the widow of 
John Dinan and maintains her home at Elkader, the county seat; 
and Charles B., who was born February 13, 1879, resides at home. 
Richard Mentzel is the owner of one of the well improved farm 
properties of his native township and is known as one of the pro- 
gressive agriculturists and stock-growers of Clayton county. His 
estate comprises one hundred and forty-six acres and is eligibly 
situated in Section 7, Cox Creek township, with service on one of 
the rural mail routes from Elkader, the county seat. Mr. Mentzel 
was born on the old homestead of his father in Cox Creek town- 
ship, and the date of his nativity was November 22, 1861. He is a 
son of Gustav Edward and Elizabeth (Dohrer) Mentzel, both na- 
tives of Germany. The father was a young man at the time when 
he established his home in Clayton county, and he became one of 
the pioneer farmers of Cox Creek township, where prosperity at- 
tended his earnest endeavors during the passing years. He is now 
living virtually retired in a pleasant home near Osborne, this county, 
and is jone of the venerable and honored pioneer citizens of this 
section of the Hawkeye state. His cherished and devoted wife 
passed to the life eternal on the 30th of May. 1915. Of their chil- 
dren the subject of this review is the eldest; Annie is the wife of 
Christ Schramper, of Osborne; Julius is deceased; Mollie is the 
wife of Ferdinand Schrader, of Wadena, Fayette county ; and 
Gustav is a prosperous farmer of Cox Creek township. Richard 
Mentzel received his early education in the pioneer schools of his 
native township, and from his youth to the present time he has 
been closely identified with the all-important industries of agricul- 
ture and stock-growing. Of this line of enterprise he has continu- 
ously been an exponent in his native county, save for a period of 
two and one-half years devoted to farming in the state of Nebraska. 



BIOGRAPHICAL 273 

He has made his present farm a model of thrift and good manage- 
ment, and is a citizen who takes loyal and helpful interest in com- 
munity affairs, his political affiliation being with the Democratic 
party. His wife, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Broel, like- 
ivise was born and reared in Clayton county, and of their five chil- 
dren the eldest two, Carrie and Clarence, remain at the parental 
home ; Florence is the wife of John Schrampfer, of Volga, this 
county ; Richard is deceased ; and Max, the youngest of the number, 
born December 16, 1907, is a vigorous lad who is attending the 
district school near his home. 

John H. Meyer. — In Section 35, Farmersburg township, is situ- 
ated the fine rural estate of John H. Meyer, who is one of the 
prominent representatives of agricultural and live-stock industry in 
Clayton county, and whose prestige along the^e lines is the more 
pleasing to note by reason of the fact that the farm which he owns 
and operates includes the old homestead of his parents and is the 
place of his birth, which here occurred on the 19th of January, 1879. 
He is a son of Louis and Elizabeth (Moellering) Meyer, both of 
whom were born and reared in Germany. Louis Meyer was a 
young man at the time of his immigration to America, in 1854, in 
which year he established his residence in Clayton county and be- 
came one of the pioneers of Farmersburg township. In 1862 he 
purchased a tract of eighty acres of land in this township, and this 
proved the nucleus around which he developed a fine landed estate 
of two hundred and eighty acres, with incidental advancement to a 
place as one of the most enterprising and successful farmers of the 
township. His marriage was solemnized July 5, 1861, and he and 
his wife are now living retired with their son John H., both having 
become communicants of the Lutheran church while they were 
young folk. Of their children, the eldest is Louis W., who is a 
prosperous farmer in Clayton township ; Margaret is deceased ; 
Wilhelmina is the wife of Herman D. Kregel, of Garnavillo town- 
ship ; Mary is deceased ; Henry L. is now a resident of Plymouth 
county, this state ; John H., of this review, was the next in order of 
birth ; and Elizabeth is the wife of Theodore Meyer, of Garnavillo. 
The father has been an influential figure in community affairs, has 
been a loyal supporter of the cause of the Democratic party and 
has served as road superintendent, as well as a director and also as 
treasurer of the school board of his district. John H. Meyer ac- 
quired his early education in the public schools of his native town- 
ship and from his youth to the present time the old homestead farm 
has been the stage of his productive activities. He purchased the 
farm from his father in December, 1911, and is thus the owner of 
an estate of two hundred and eighty acres, virtually all being avail- 
able for cultivation and with improvements of exceptionally superior 
order, including the best type of farm buildings. The attractive 
home is a substantial and commodious brick house of ten rooms 
and the farm is recognized as one of the model places of Clayton 
county, with the best of provisions and facilities for the carrying 
on of diversified agriculture and the raising of approved grades of 
live stock. Mr. Meyer has never deviated from the line of close 



274 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

allegiance to the Democratic party and though he has had no desire 
for public office he has given his influence and co-operation in the 
furtherance of those things that conserve the communal well being 
and he is now serving as treasurer of the school board of the dis- 
trict in which he himself pursued his studies as a .boy and youth. 
He and his wife hold membership in the German Lutheran church 
and their home receives service on rural mail route No. 2 from the 
village of St. Olaf. On the 8th of June, 1904, was solemnized the 
marriage of Mr. Meyer to Miss Caroline Meyer, who likewise was 
born and reared in this county and is a representative of a pioneer 
family concerning which adequate mention is made on other pages» 
in the sketch dedicated to her brother, Theodore Meyer. Mr. and 
Mrs. Meyer have two children — Laverne Elizabeth, who was born 
May 20, 1905, and Louis C, who was born February 26, 1910. 

Theodore L. Meyer was born November 20, 1875, and the place 
of his nativity was the finely improved farm which he now owns 
and operates, in Garnavillo township. He is a son of Carl and 
Eliza (Peterson) Meyer, who were pioneer settlers in this town- 
ship, and both of whom were born in Germany, though their mar- 
riage was solemnized in America. Carl Meyer came to this country 
as a young man and soon numbered himself among the pioneers of 
Qayton county, where he married Miss Eliza Peterson and where 
both passed the remainder of their lives, industrious, upright and 
earnest folk who achieved substantial success through the medium 
of agricultural enterprise and who commanded the high regard of 
all who knew them. The devoted wife and mother was summoned 
to eternal rest on the 10th of July, 1910, and the father passed away 
March 25, 1913, both having lived consistently with the religious 
faith which they zealously professed, as communicants of the 
German Lutheran church. Of their thirteen children all are living 
except one, and of the family further mention is made in other 
articles appearing in this publication. Theodore L: Meyer was 
reared and educated in Garnavillo township, and there he continued 
to assist his father in the work and general management of the old 
homestead farm until he had arrived at his legal majority, when 
he initiated his independent career as a farmer by renting the 
old homestead, upon which he continued operations under these 
conditions for several years. In 1911 he purchased the property, 
comprising two hundred and two and one-half acres, in Section 12, 
Garnavillo township, and in Section 17 of the same township he is 
the owner of sixty acres of valuable timber land. He is one of the 
broad-gauged, vigorous and successful agriculturists and stock- 
growers of the county, is a Democrat in his political allegiance, is 
serving as school director, and he and his wife hold membership 
in the Lutheran church. On the 5th of May, 1909, was solemnized 
the marriage of Mr. Meyer to Miss Eliza M. Meyer, who was born 
and reared in this county and who is a daughter of Louis and Eliza- 
beth (Moellering) Meyer, who are sterling pioneer citizens of this 
county and both of whom were born in Germany. Louis Meyer 
came to America in 1854 and became one of the pioneer farmers 
of Farmersburg township, where he accumulated eventually a large 



BIOGRAPHICAL 275 

and valuable landed estate. He was long numbered among the 
aggressive and representative exponents of farm industry in this 
section of Iowa and is now living retired on the old home place, 
both he and his wife being devout communicants of the German 
Lutheran church. Of their children, Louis E. is a prosperous farmer 
in Clayton township ; Margaret is deceased ; Wilhelmina is the wife 
of Herman D. Kruegel, of Garnavillo township; Mary is deceased; 
Henry L. is now a resident of Plymouth county, this state ; John H. 
is individually mentioned elsewhere in this volume; and Eliza M,, 
wife of the subject of this sketch, is the youngest of the number. 
Mr. and Mrs. Theodore L. Meyer are the parents of two children 
— Myrene E. M., who was born April 22, 1911; and Gerald L. P., 
who was born June 30, 1913. 

William A. Meyer. — Northeastern Iowa has had much to gain 
and nothing to lose through the interposition of the very appreci- 
able German element of citizenship, and the German contingent has 
been one of marked prominence and influence in this favored sec- 
tion of the Hawkeye State since the early pioneer days. He whose 
name initiates this paragraph was born in the kingdom of Hanover, 
Germany, and was about fourteen years of age at the time of the 
family immigration to America. The date of his nativity was Octo- 
ber 20, 1857, and he is a son of Conrad and Hannah (Schroeder) 
Meyer, who were born and reared in Hanover and who there con- 
tinued their residence until 1871, when they came to the United 
States and established their home in Clayton county, Iowa, and 
later moved to Fayette county, which was the residence of him and 
his devoted wife until they were summoned from the stage of life's 
mortal endeavors, sterling folk who had full appreciation of the 
relative values in the scheme of human life and who marked the 
passing years with earnest and productive effort, the while they 
justly commanded the unqualified esteem of those with whom they 
came in contact. Of their children, the eldest is Louisa, who is the 
wife of William Meyer, of Postville ; Minnie is the wife of Henry 
Klamp, of Algona, Kossuth county; William A., of this review, 
was the next in order of birth ; and Carl is a prosperous farmer 
near Postville. He to whom this sketch is dedicated gained his 
early education in his native land and, as before noted, was 
about fourteen years old at the time of accompanying his parents 
to America. He came to Clayton county and obtained employment 
on a farm near Garnavillo. Thereafter he passed twelve years as 
an efficient and valued employe on the farm of John Hartwick, of 
Giard township, and in the meanwhile he practiced the economy 
born of ambitious purpose and good judgment, with the result that 
he was fortified in a financial way when he finally purchased a farm 
of one hundred and twenty acres in Giard township. His energy 
and progressive policies brought to him cumulative success and he 
has added to his landed estate until he now has three hundred and 
eighty acres, the same constituting one of the well improved and 
essentially model farms of Clayton county. He has made excellent 
improvements on the place, including the erection of a commodious 
and attractive house and other good buildings of modern type and 



276 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

facilities, and he is known as one of the wide-awake, energetic and 
enterprising farmers and stock-growers of this section of the Hawk- 
eye State, besides which he enjoys the popularity that ever comes 
to the loyal and upright citizen whose achievement has been large 
and altogether worthy. Though never agitated by ofitice-seeking 
ambition, Mr. Meyer is a staunch supporter of the cause of the 
Republican party and always ready to give his co-operation in the 
furtherance of measures advanced for the general good of the com- 
munity. Both he and his wife are zealous members of the German 
Methodist Episcopal church in their home community, and he has 
given to the same efficient service in the offices of trustee, class- 
leader and superintendent of the Sunday school. March 24, 1887, 
stands as the date on which was solemnized the marriage of Mr. 
Meyer to Miss Matilda Hartwick, daughter of John Hartwick, an 
honored pioneer of whom specific mention is made on other pages 
of this work. Mr. and Mrs. Meyer became the parents of five chil- 
dren, of whom the eldest, Otto, died at the age of eleven years. 
All of the other children remain at the parental home and their 
names are here entered in the respective order of birth : Gilbert, 
Clifton, Ewald, and Irvin. 

William C. Meyer. — It is specially gratifying to note that in 
Clayton county are to be found many representative citizens who 
claim the county as the place of their nativity, who are scions of 
sterling pioneer families and who have here found the best of op- 
portunities for personal achievement and the winning of worthy 
success in connection with industrial, business and professional 
activities. Such a citizen is William C. Meyer, who now conducts 
a substantial and prosperous business in the handling .of agricul- 
tural implements and machinery in the thriving little city of Garna- 
villo and who is one of the loyal and public-spirited men of his 
native county, with such secure hold upon popular confidence and 
esteem that he has been called upon to serve as a member of the 
village council and also of the local board of education. Mr. Meyer 
was born on a farm in Farmersburg township, this county, on the 
8th of April, 1860, and is a son of Louis H. and Annie (Werges) 
Meyer, both natives of Germany. Louis H. Meyer was born and 
reared in Germany and as a young man, in 1847, he immigrated to 
the United States and numbered himself among the pioneer settlers 
of Clayton county, Iowa. In Farmersburg township, as now con- 
stituted, he obtained a homestead claim of one hundred and sixty 
acres, and this he reclaimed and developed into one of the fine 
farms of the county, the same being eligibly situated in Section 17, 
and the homestead having continued to be his place of residence 
for sixty-five years. There he died on his eighty-fifth birthday 
anniversary, one of the well known and highly honored pioneer 
citizens of the county, and there his venerable widow still maintains 
her home, both having become in their youth devout communicants 
of the Lutheran church, in harmony with whose faith they ordered 
their lives as the years dropped into the abyss of time. Of their 
eleven children the first-born was Charlotte, who is deceased, her 
death having occurred when an infant ; Annie is the wife of Henry 








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BIOGRAPHICAL 277 

Benjegerdes, of Plymouth, Cerro Gordo county, this State; Min- 
nie is the wife of John Splies, of Monona, Clayton county; William 
C, of this review, was the next in order of birth ; Henry died when 
about 21 years of age; Mary is the wife of Frederick Zarbrok, of 
Manly, Worth county, Iowa; Frederick is a resident of Postville, 
Allamakee county; Louis resides at Manly; Maggie died in child- 
hood; Charley resides on the old homestead; the tenth child, a 
daughter, died at birth ; and Elizabeth is the wife of Frederick 
Lucke, of Manly, Worth county. William C. Meyer continued to 
be associated with the work and management of the old home- 
stead farm until he had attained to the age of thirty-seven years, 
and his early education was gained in the excellent public schools 
of his native county. At the age noted he took unto himself a wife 
and initiated his specially successful career as a dealer in agricul- 
tural implements and machinery, in which line of enterprise he has 
been established at Garnavillo since 1897, with a substantial trade 
that extends throughout the wide area of fine farming country nor- 
mally tributary to this village. He keeps his stock up to the best 
standard in all departments and has shown himshelf a reliable, con- 
scientious and progressive business man, with the result that he 
has gained a high reputation and a secure place in the confidence 
and esteem of all who know him. Mr. Meyer gives unequivocal 
allegiance to the Republican party and has been zealous in the ac- 
tivities of the same in his native county. He is now a valued mem- 
ber of the village council of Garnavillo, besides which he is serving 
efficiently as a member of the board of education and as president 
of the board of trustees of the local Lutheran church, of which 
both he and his wife are zealous communicants. On the 27th of 
December, 1897, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Meyer to Miss 
Emma Meyer, who likewise was born and reared in Clayton county 
and who is a daughter of the late D. H. Meyer, further mention 
of the family being made on other pages of this publication in the 
sketch dedicated to her brother, William F. Meyer. Mr. and Mrs. 
Meyer have two children, Bessie Annie and Maude Elizabeth, both 
of whom remain at the parental home. 

William F. Meyer claims the old Buckeye state as the place 
of his nativity but was still an infant at the time of the family 
removal to Iowa, where his parents became pioneer settlers in 
Clayton county, so that he was here reared to manhood under the 
conditions and influences of the early period of the county's history, 
his educational advantages having not only included the facilities 
of the public schools of the period, but also of Briggs' Academy. 
He may now be said to be conducting one of the pioneer mercan- 
tile establishments of the county, as he is direct successor to the 
general merchandise business that long received the direct co-oper- 
ation of his mother and that is one of the leading enterprises in 
the thriving little city of Garnavillo. Mr. Meyer was born in the 
city of Cincinnati, Ohio, on the 31st of October, 1853, and is a son 
of Dietrich H. and Margaret (Kregel) Meyer, who immigrated 
from their old home in Germany when young folk and who first 
established their home in Ohio, from which state they came to 



2/8 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

Clayton county, Iowa, in the earlier '50s and became pioneer set- 
tlers at Garnavillo, which was then a mere frontier hamlet. Here 
they became associated in the conducting of a general store of 
modest order, and after the death of the husband and father, in 
1871, the widowed mother continued the business — that from which 
has been evolved the substantial and prosperous general merchan- 
dise establishment now owned and successfully conducted by the 
subject of this sketch, who is one of four survivors of a family of 
twelve children. The devoted mother continued her association 
with the business until her death, which occurred in 1893, and thus 
she survived her husband by more than a score of years, both hav- 
ing been zealous communicants of the Lutheran church and hav- 
ing been numbered among the founders of the church of this de- 
nomination at Garnavillo. William F. Meyer initiated his inde- 
pendent career by engaging in the hardware business at Garnavillo, 
in 1873, and with this enterprise he continued his identification until 
1881, when he sold the stock and business and purchased one-half 
interest with his mother in the well-established general merchandise 
business which he has individually continued since her death. He 
has maintained for his store a high reputation for effective service 
and for fair and honorable dealings, so that its trade is drawn from 
all parts of the prosperous territory normally tributary to Garna- 
villo. Mr. Meyer was one of the principal organizers of the Garna- 
villo Savings Bank, of which substantial and popular institution 
he has been the president from the time of its incorporation. His 
political allegiance is given to the Republican party and as a citi- 
zen he has proved himself loyal and public-spirited. He has had 
little time to give to official service, but was specially alert and 
efficient during his incumbency of the township offices of clerk and 
trustee, besides which he served for several years as a member of 
the board of education. He and his wife are zealous communicants 
and influential members of St. Paul's Lutheran church at Garnavillo 
and for several years he served on its board of trustees in the capac- 
ity of president. He owns besides his substantial store building one 
of the attractive residence properties of Garnavillo, and this pleas- 
ant home is known for its generous hospitality. In the year 1881 
was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Meyer to Miss Elizabeth Dut- 
tle, who was born in the city of Dubuque, this state, where her par- 
ents, the late Jacob and Christina Duttle, were early settlers. Mr. 
and Mrs. Meyer have one son, Arthur L., who completed the cur- 
riculum of the public schools of Garnavillo and then entered Beloit 
College, where he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of 
Arts. In preparation for his chosen profession he entered the Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania, in the city of Philadelphia, where he con- 
tinued his technical studies during four years, at the expiration of 
which he received his degree of Doctor of Medicine. Thereafter 
he devoted two years to effective and original investigation in part 
at Harv^ard university and in part at Oxford university, England. 
He is now engaged in research at the Rockefeller Institute for 
Medical Research, having been appointed to the staff of that in- 
stitution in the year 1915. 



BIOGRAPHICAL 2/9 

Isaac H. Miles, M. D., has gained secure vantage ground as 
one of the able and representative physicians and surgeons of 
Clayton county, within whose borders his parents established their 
home in 1869, and his advancement to his present influential status 
in his profession and as a broad-minded and progressive citizen 
stands as the direct result of his own ability and well-ordered en- 
deavors. He is engaged in active general practice at McGregor, 
and his large and worthy success in his exacting vocation affords 
the most effective voucher for his ability as well as his inviolable 
place in popular confidence and esteem. Dr. Miles claims the old 
Empire state of the Union as the place of his nativity and is a scion 
of a family whose name was long identified with the history of 
that commonwealth. He was born at Castile, Wyoming county, 
New York, on the 26th of July, 1855, and thus was a lad of fourteen 
years at the time of the family removal to Clayton county, Iowa, 
in 1869, his rudimentary education having been acquired in his 
native state and having been effectively supplemented by his taking 
advantage of the privileges afforded in the public school of Clayton 
county. The doctor is a son of Daniel D. and Harriet C. (Hoyt) 
Miles, both of whom were born and reared in the state of New 
York, They were numbered among the sterling pioneer citizens 
of Clayton county, Iowa, where the father became one of the sub- 
stantial farmers and influential citizens of Boardman township, 
and where both he and his wife continued to maintain their home 
until their death. They are survived by three sons and one daugh- 
ter. In the public schools of Clayton county Dr. Miles continued 
his studies until he had been graduated in the high school at Elka- 
der, and in the meantime he had given effective assistance in the 
work of the home farm. Dominated by ambitious purpose, he 
consulted ways and means and finally found it possible to enter 
upon the work of preparing himself for the profession in which 
he has since gained marked success and prestige. He went to the 
city of Chicago and entered the Hahnemann Medical College, in 
which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1888 and from 
which he received his coveted degree of Doctor of Medicine, and 
later he attended the Chicago Homeopath Medical College, also 
taking his degree at that institution. For one year thereafter he 
was engaged in practice at Clarinda, Page county, Iowa, and he 
then returned to Clayton county and established himself in prac- 
tice at McGregor, which place has since represented his home and 
the center of his broadly extended professional activities. He has 
kept in close touch with the advances made in medical and surgical 
science and for more than a quarter of a century has controlled a 
practice that has given him precedence as one of the leading physi- 
cians of Clayton county. He holds membership in the Iowa State 
Medical Society, and at McGregor he is affiliated with the Knights 
of Pythias and with Bezer Lodge, No. 135, Ancient Free & Ac- 
cepted Masons, in which latter he has passed the various official 
chairs. Liberal and public-spirited in his civic attitude. Dr. Miles 
takes a loyal and helpful interest in community affairs, and he 
served several years as a member of the village council of Mc- 



28o MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

Gregor, his political allegiance being given to the Republican party. 
Well merited temporal prosperity has attended the earnest endeav- 
ors of Dr. Miles, and he is the owner of a valuable landed estate 
of three hundred and twenty acres in Minnesota besides owning 
his fine residence property and other realty in his home village of 
McGregor. In the year 1892 was solemnized the marriage of Dr. 
Miles to Miss Helen E. Williamson, who was born at Elkader, this 
county, and who is the only deceased member of a family of five 
children, her father, Henry H. Williamson, having been one of the 
early settlers of Clayton county. Mrs. Miles was summoned to the 
life eternal on the 11th of April, 1915, beloved by all who had come 
within the sphere of her gracious influence. She devoted her life 
to charitable actions, in an unostentatious way, and her loss was 
particularly felt by the many recipients of her benevolence. Her 
mortal remains were laid to rest in the beautiful cemetery at Elka- 
der. Dr. and Mrs. Miles had no children. 

William J. Mitchell figures as one of the representative figures 
in capitalistic and financial enterprise in Clayton county, where he 
is president of the Luana Savings Bank, one of the substantial and 
well-ordered institutions of the county, and one whose development 
and upbuilding have been signally furthered by his wise admin- 
istrative policies. This bank was incorporated under the laws of 
the State on the 12th of October, 1908, with a capital stock of ten 
thousand dollars. The personnel of the original executive corps 
was as here noted : R. J. Stoehr, president ; J. F. Miller, vice-pres- 
ident; W. J. Mitchell, cashier. In addition to the president and 
vice-president the original directorate included also W. J. Splies, 
H. L. Knuth, G. F. Lindroth, James Humphrey and Fred Palas. 
The bank began operations in a room on the first floor of a build- 
ing twenty-three by thirty-six feet in dimensions, and later the pres- 
ent substantial brick building was erected, the property being owned 
by the bank. The institution has paid regular eight per cent, divi- 
dends to its stockholders, and on the 15th of April, 1916, it rendered 
the noteworthy dividend of forty-nine per cent. The capital of the 
institution has been increased to twenty thousand dollars, and the 
present executive officers are as follows: W. J. Mitchell, president; 
J. F. Miller, vice-president, and W. J. Splies, cashier. The board of 
directors includes, in addition to the president and vice-president, 
the following named representative citizens : James Humphrey, 
J. P. Lenth, Gustave Pufahl, Fred Palas, and C. H. Burnham. Will- 
iam James Mitchell, known for his loyalty and progressiveness both 
as a business man and as a citizen, was born in Somerset county, 
Pennsylvania, on the 15th of May, 1847, and is a scion of old and ' 
honored families of that section of the Keystone State, his parents, 
Jackson and Catherine (Rush) Mitchell, having likewise been born 
in Somerset county, where they were reared and educated. In his 
native county Jackson Mitchell continued his activities as a carpen- 
ter and contractor until April, 1853, when he came with his family 
to Iowa and numbered himself among the early settlers of Alla- 
makee county, where he and his wife passed the residue of their 
lives and where they were honored pioneer citizens at the time of 



BIOGRAPHICAL . 281 

their death. Of their children the firstborn was Silas, who is de- 
ceased, and William J., of this sketch, was the second in order of 
birth ; Ethan Allen is a resident of Rossville, Allamakee county, as 
is also Mary, who is the wife of James McClintock ; Sarah, deceased ; 
Lucinia, deceased; John H. resides at Waterloo, Blackhawk county; 
and Charles is a resident of Monona, Clayton county. William 
J. Mitchell acquired his early education in the pioneer schools 
of Rossville, Allamakee county, and he was a lad of about six years 
at the time of the family immigration from Pennsylvania to Iowa. 
That he made good use of the opportunities thus afforded him is 
shown by the fact that he became a successful and popular teacher 
in the village schools of Rossville, where he continued as a repre- 
sentative of the pedagogic profession during three winter terms, the 
intervening periods having been devoted to work at the carpenter's 
trade, in which he had acquired proficiency under the able direction 
of his father and uncle. Thereafter he was for five years associated 
with his brother-in-law, William Henderson, in the general mer- 
chandise business at Rossville, and he then resumed his effective 
service as a teacher in the public schools of his home county. His 
success as well as his unequivocal personal popularity was shown 
when he was elected county superintendent of schools for Allama- 
kee county, an office of which he continued the incumbent six years 
and in which he gave a most able and satisfactory administration. 
For three years thereafter he was employed in a banking institution 
at Waukon, the judicial center of that county, and he then became 
associated with Benjamin F. Boomer in the organization of the 
First National Bank of Waukon. He was president of this bank 
from its inception until the lapse of a period of about six years, 
when he retired to devote his undivided time and attention to the 
buying and shipping of live stock, with Waukon as his business 
headquarters. After having continued successful operations along 
this line about three years Mr. Mitchell came to Farmersburg, 
Clayton county, where he organized the Farmersburg Savings Bank. 
After serving as executive head of this institution for five years he 
disposed of his interest in the same and removed to Luana, where 
he eflFected the organization of the Luana Savings Bank, of which 
he became cashier, an office which he held until his election to the 
presidency, in 1916. Mr. Mitchell has not hedged himself in with 
mere business, but has shown himself distinctively a loyal, pro- 
gressive and public-spirited citizen. He is well fortified in his 
opinions concerning economic and governmental affairs and has 
given staunch allegiance to the cause of the Democratic party. He 
is now serving as treasurer of the village of Luana, and he is affili- 
ated with the local organization of the Knights of Pythias. On the 
26th of November, 1871, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. 
Mitchell to Miss Elizabeth Henderson, who was born in Harrison 
county, Ohio, on the 24th of March, 1851. and who is a daughter of 
Andrew and Jane (McDowell) Henderson, both of whom were born 
in Pennsylvania, and both of whom died on their old homestead 
farm near Rossville, Allamakee county, Towa, where they estab- 
lished their residence in 1865. Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell have three 



282 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

children : Catherine Jane is the wife of John C. Everall, of St. Paul, 
Minnesota, and they have one child, Marjorie Jane. Rollo H. is 
now a resident of Seattle, Washington, and is the father of two 
children — William Hampton and Helen Elizabeth. Cecelia Maude 
is the wife of Walter Bulman and they maintain their home at 
Chariton, Lucas county, Iowa. 

Frederick W. Moellering not only owns and occupies the fine 
old homestead farm on which he was born, in Section 1, Garnavillo 
township, but through his own energy and ability he has so fur- 
thered his success along financial lines as to have enabled him to 
accumulate one of the splendid landed estates of his native county, 
where he now owns somewhat more than five hundred acres and 
where he is known and honored as a wide-awake, enterprising and 
specially successful exponent of agricultural and live-stock industry 
and as a liberal and public-spirited citizen. On the farm on which 
he now resides, Mr. Moellering was born June 27, 1852, and he is 
a scion of a sterling pioneer family whose name became identified 
with the civic and industrial life of Clayton county fully seventy 
years ago. He is a son of John H. and Margaret (Petering) Moel- 
lering, both of whom were born in Prussia, whence they came to 
America in the late '40s and became pioneer settlers of Clayton 
county, Iowa. Here the father eventually purchased the homestead 
now owned by the subject of this review, and upon this pioneer farm 
he provided as the family domicile the primitive log house in which 
Frederick W., of this sketch, was born. Later he provided modern 
buildings of the most approved type, and he became one of the 
substantial farmers and honored and influential citizens of Garna- 
villo township, where he accumulated a fine estate of about two 
hundred acres and where both he and his wife died when v.^ell 
advanced in years, both having been zealous communicants of the 
Lutheran church. Of their six children all are living except one. 
After having profited by the advantages gained in the common 
schools of the locality and period Frederick W. Moellering con- 
tinued to assist his father in the work and management of the home 
farm until he had attained to his legal majority, when he assumed 
the supervision of its operations. Later he purchased the property, 
comprising two hundred acres of fine land, and to the same he has 
since added until he now has a valuable and splendidly improved 
estate of five hundred acres, all available for cultivation, and also a 
tract of eighty acres of timber land. He gives special and eflFective 
attention to the breeding and raising of shorthorn cattle of the best 
type and is known as one of the most progressive agriculturists 
and stock-growers of his native county. He is a Republican in his 
political allegiance, has served as road supervisor and for several 
years was a member of the school board of his district. He and his 
wife are communicants of the Lutheran church and their attractive 
home, a center of generous hospitality, receives service on rural 
mail route No. 1 from the village of Garnavillo. On the 30th of 
December, 1886, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Moellering to 
Miss Eliza Meyer, who was born and reared in this county and 
whose parents. Henry W. and Minnie Meyer, became pioneer set- 




.lOHN H. ^[()KLLKHI^■(i AND WIFE 



THE NEW YORK 

PU&LJC LIBRARY 



kSrtOt. LKNtfX AND 

riLUBN rttUNUATIONa 

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BIOGRAPHICAL 283 

tiers of Clayton county within a short time after their immigration 
from Germany, the father being now one of the venerable pioneer 
citizens of the county, where he has been a successful farmer, and 
the devoted mother having passed to the life eternal. Mr. and 
Mrs. Moellering became the parents of six children, of whom four 
are living: Sophia M. is the wife of Helmuth Wirkler; Nora M. is 
deceased ; Roland H. remains at the parental home and is associated 
in the activities of the farm ; Urben is deceased ; and Lucile and 
Arthur are the younger members of the home circle. 

J. Fred Mohning, whose well improved farm is situated in 
Section 28 and 33, Clayton township, is a scion of one of the well 
known pioneer families of Clayton county and has here proved his 
resourcefulness and enterprise as one of the representative agricul- 
turists and stock-raisers of his native county, the while he is fully 
upholding the prestige of a family name that has been prominently 
and worthily linked with the annals of civic and industrial develop- 
ment and advancement in this favored section of the Hawkeye 
State. On the old homestead farm of his parents, in Clayton town- 
ship, this county, Mr. Mohning was born on the 7th of April, 1868, 
and he is a son of H. H. and Maria (Pefmeyer) Mohning, who were 
born and reared in Germany, whence they came to the United States 
in the '50s. Soon after their arrival in America they established 
their home on a pioneer farm in Clayton county, Iowa, where their 
first place of abode was a primitive log house, with clapboard roof 
and with no chimney save a stovepipe protruding from the roof. 
The father gave himself energetically to the reclamation of his 
farm, was successful in his operations as an agriculturist and con- 
tributed his quota to the development of the resources of the county. 
In later years he removed to Remsen, Plymouth county, where 
both he and his wife passed the remainder of their lives. Of their 
nine children, seven are now living. He whose name initiates this 
article passed his boyhood days under the conditions and influences 
of the pioneer period of Clayton county's history, early began to 
aid in the work of the home farm and in the meanwhile profited by 
the advantages afforded in the local schools. Upon attaining to 
his legal majority he rented the old homestead farm, with the affairs 
of which he had been associated up to that time, and one year later 
he purchased a tract of eighty acres adjoining the home place. He 
is now the owner of the entire landed estate, which comprises one 
hundred and seventy acres of fertile land, and which constitutes 
one of the well improved and specially productive farms of the 
county, the same being most eligibly situated in Sections 28 and 33, 
Clayton township and on rural mail route No. 3 from the city of 
McGregor. As a loyal and progressive citizen, Mr. Mohning has 
shown a lively interest in community affairs, and in 1916 he is 
serving his third consecutive term in the office of township trustee, 
a preferment that indicates the high estimation in which he is held 
m the community that has always represented his home. He is also 
secretary of the school board of his district, a position of which he 
has been the efficient incumbent since 1897. He is essentially one 
of the representative citizens of Clayton township, was one of the 



284 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

organizers of the Clayton Savings Bank, of which he is a director, 
and both he and his wife are zealous and valued communicants of 
St. Paul's Lutheran church at Garnavillo, of which he is a trustee. 
In the year 1893 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Mohning to 
Miss Amelia Otting, who likewise was born and reared in this 
county and who is a daughter of J. F. and Fredericka Otting, both 
now deceased, her father having been born in Hanover, Germany, 
and having been one of the sterling pioneers of Clayton county, 
where he became a substantial agriculturist. Mr. and Mrs. Mohning 
have four children — Evangeline F. M:, Lester F. H., Georgena M., 
and Foster H. A., and the family is one of prominence and popu- 
larity in the social activities of the community. 

Knudt E. Mork needs no further proof of his distinctive thrift 
and prosperity than that afiforded in the general appearance of his 
fine farm of two hundred and twenty-five acres, the major part of 
which is situated in Section 21, Marion township. The spirit of 
determined enterprise and progressiveness has characterized his 
entire career and through his well directed endeavors he has be- 
come one of the substantial farmers of his native township, the 
while his course has been such as to retain to him the unqualified 
confidence and good will of his fellow men. Mr. Mork was born in 
Marion township on the 1st of January, 1860, and is a scion of a 
family that was founded in this county more than sixty years ago. 
His parents, Embreck and Rachel (Olson) Mork, were born in 
Norway. As a young man the father immigrated to America, in 
1854, and he remained in Wisconsin until the following year, when 
he came to Clayton county and became one of the pioneer farmers 
of Marion township. Here he reclaimed his land to cultivation 
and here he continued his industrious activities as a farmer until 
his death, which occurred in 1880. His wife survived him by a 
number of years and both were consistent members of the Nor- 
wegian Lutheran church. Halver, the eldest of their children, is 
now a resident of Clear Lake, this state ; Sarah S. is the wife of 
T. H. Olson, of Marion township ; Ole is a prosperous farmer in 
that township ; Peter E. resides at Gunder, Iowa ; Thomas is an- 
other of the substantial farmers of Marion township ; and the sub- 
ject of this review is the youngest of the number. Knudt E. Mork 
gained his early education in the pioneer schools of Clayton county 
and continued his association with the work of the home farm until 
he was eighteen years of age. He then served an apprenticeship 
to the carpenter's trade, and as a skilled carpenter and builder he 
continued to follow his trade successfully for a term of about fifteen 
years. He then purchased ninety-three acres of land in his native 
township, and from this he has developed his present valuable 
landed estate of two hundred and twenty-five acres, as he continued 
to make additions to his farm from time to time, in consonance with 
the increasing prosperity that attended his energetic activities as 
an agriculturist and stock-grower. He has made the best of per- 
manent improvements on his farm, the buildings being kept in the 
best of repair and everything about the place giving evidence of 
careful and effective management. Among the modern improve- 



BIOGRAPHICAL 285 

ments is a substantial silo of ninety tons' capacity. Mr. Mork is 
undeviating in his allegiance to the Republican party, has been 
liberal and influential in public affairs of a local order, has served 
with marked efficiency as a memebr of the school board of his dis- 
trict and since 1914 he has been the valued incumbent of the office 
of treasurer of his native township. Both he and his wife are ear- 
nest communicants of the Norwegian Lutheran church, in the 
faith of which they were reared and with which their own children 
are actively identified. The attractive family home, known for its 
generous hospitality, receives mail service on rural route No. 5, 
from the neighboring village of Elgin. On the 15th of February, 
1890, was recorded the marriage of Mr. Mork to Miss Betsy Olson, 
who likewise was born and reared in this county, and of their in- 
teresting family of twelve children all remain at the parental home 
except the eldest two — Rosina, who is the wife of Christ Ander- 
son, of Marion township ; and Alma, who is the wife of William 
Nelson, of Grand Meadow township. The names of the children 
who remain members of the cheery home circle are here entered in 
the respective order of birth : Enoch, Sophia, Clara, Abel, Henry, 
Reuben, Ida, Emma, Ruth and Kenneth. 

Jacob Moser is a citizen who can claim as the place of his 
nativity the staunch and fair little republic of Switzerland, though 
he has been a resident of Clayton county since he was a lad of 
seven years. He is now one of the prosperous farmers and repre- 
sentative citizens of Cass township, where he is the owner of a 
well improved farm of one hundred and sixty acres, in Sections 17 
and 18. Mr. Moser was born in the canton of Sulothurn, Switzer- 
land, on the 24th of April, 1864, and is one of the nine survivors of 
the twelve children born to Jacob and Mary (Grimm) Moser, who 
came with their family to America in the year 1871 and forthwith 
established their home in Clayton county, where the father became 
one of the substantial farmers of Mallory township, though he 
continued for many years to find demand for his skilled work at his 
trade, that of stone mason. He died at the home of his daughter 
in Delaware county, Iowa, and his wife continued to reside on the 
old homestead farm until her death. Jacob Moser, Jr., the imme- 
diate subject of this review, was reared to manhood in Clayton 
county and is indebted to its public schools for his early educa- 
tional training. He continued to be associated with the work of 
his father's farm until he was eighteen years of age, and for the 
ensuing nineteen years he carried on independent operations on a 
farm which he rented. He then purchased his present well im- 
proved homestead farm, which he has made one of the model places 
of Cass township and on which he has not only been successful in 
his activities as a general agriculturist, but also in the raising of 
excellent grades of cattle and swine and in the conducting of a 
specially prosperous dairy department. He is loyal to all civic 
responsibilities, has served two terms as school director, is a Re- 
publican in his political adherency. and is affiliated with the Modern 
Brotherhood of America. In 1888 was solemnized the marriage 
of Mr. Moser to Miss Katherine Hemann, who was born and reared 



286 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

in Germany and who came to the United States in 1883, in company 
with one of her brothers. In conclusion is given brief record con- 
cerning the children of Mr. and Mrs. Moser: Lizzie is the wife of 
James B. Fowler, of Bremer county, this state ; Caroline is the wife 
of Sebo Olrich, a farmer of Bremer county ; Rosa, Edward, Albert, 
Clara and Juanita remain at the parental home, and four children 
died in infancy. 

John R. Moser, one of the vigorous and representative farmers 
of Mallory township, is here the owner of the fine old homestead 
farm which figures as the place of his nativity, his birth having 
here occurred on the 2d of August, 1874. He is a son of Nicholas 
and Annie Marie (Mulett) Moser, both natives of the fine little 
republic of Switzerland. Nicholas Moser was reared and educated 
in his native land and came to the United States when a young 
man. He passed the first three years in the state of Ohio and then 
came to Clayton county, Iowa, where he purchased a tract of land 
in Mallory township and where he developed one of the valuable 
farms of the county, this old homestead having continued as his 
place of residence until his death, which occurred on the 26th of 
January, 1904. The devoted companionship that had existed during 
the entire period of the married life of this sturdy pioneer and his 
gentle wife was not long severed, for she passed to eternal rest 
about one month prior to his death, the date of her demise having 
been January 4, 1904. Both were devout members of the United 
Brethren church, and he was a Democrat in his political proclivi- 
ties. The subject of this sketch is the youngest of the surviving 
children and concerning the others specific mention is made on 
other pages, in the review of the career of an older brother, Lewis 
D. John R. Moser is indebted to the well conducted school of 
district No. 4, Mallory township, for the effective educational disci- 
pline which he received in his boyhood and youth, and in the mean- 
while he waxed strong in physical powers also, through the duties 
that fell to his portion in connection with the work of the home 
farm. Upon arriving at his legal majority he purchased the old 
home place of one hundred and eighty-eight and one-half acres, in 
Section 4, Mallory township, this being only a part of the landed 
estate that had been accumulated by his honored father. He has 
made excellent improvements on the farm, including the erection 
of modern buildings, and has demonstrated most significantly the 
worthy success that is to be gained in this favored section of the 
state through well ordered operations in diversified farming and 
the raising of good grades of live stock, the farm of Mr. Moser 
showing at all times the best types of work horses, graded cattle 
and Poland-China swine. Mr. Moser gives his allegiance to the 
Democratic party, is affiliated with the Osterdock lodge of the In- 
dependent Order of Odd Fellows, and his wife is a communicant of 
the Lutheran church, he himself having been reared in the faith 
of the United Brethren church. On the 28th of December, 1898, 
was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Moser to Miss Elizabeth D. 
Morarend, who was born and reared in Jefferson township, this 
county, and who is a daughter of Dietrich and Dorothea (Schroe- 



BIOGRAPHICAL 287 

der) Morarend. Mr. and Mrs. Moser became the parents of five 
children, three daughters and two sons. Millard L., who was the 
third in order of birth, died in infancy. The surviving children, 
who remain members of the ideal circle of the parental home, are 
Florence, Mabel, Elvah, Bert and Vera. 

Levds D. Moser is the owner of one of the line farms of his 
native county, the same being eligibly situated in Jefferson town- 
ship and comprising one hundred and eighty-one acres. Mr. Moser 
has shown marked energy and circumspection in his independent 
operations as a farmer and his success furnishes the best voucher for 
his ability as an agriculturist and as a grower of high-grade live 
stock. In the stock-raising department of his farm enterprise he 
specialized in the breeding and growing of the best breeds of 
Durham cattle and Poland-China swine. Lewis Daniel Moser was 
born in Mallory township, this county, on the 26th of September, 
1868, and is a son of Nicholas and Annie (Mollat) Moser, both of 
whom were born in the fair and noble little republic of Switzerland. 
Nicholas Moser was reared and educated in his native land and 
upon coming to America, when a young man, he first established 
his residence in Ohio. He remained in the old Buckeye state three 
years and then came to Clayton county, Iowa, where he purchased 
the land from which he developed one of the fine farms of Mallory 
township, this old homestead having continued as his place of 
abode until his death, which occurred January 26, 1904, his cherished 
and devoted wife having passed to the life eternal on the 31st of 
the preceding month, so that "in death they were not long divided," 
after an earthly companionship that had been one of ideal devotion 
and sympathy. Both were earnest members of the United Brethren 
church and Mr. Moser, in consonance with his well fortified opin- 
ions, gave his support to the cause of the Democratic party. Of 
the surviving children, the eldest is Henry, who is a farmer of 
Mallory township ; William follows agricultural pursuits in Jeffer- 
son township ; Frederick continues a representative of agricultural 
industry in Mallory township ; Andrew resides at Millville, this 
county; Lewis D., of this review, was the next in order of birth; 
Lydia is the wife of Charles Friedlem, of Mallory township ; Emma 
is the wife of George Hansel, of Manchester, Delaware county ; 
and John is a prosperous farmer in Mallory township. Lewis D. 
Moser acquired his youthful education in the schools of Mallory 
township, and he continued to assist in the work and management 
of the home farm until he had attained to his legal majority, after 
which he rented the place, to the operation of which he continued 
to give his attention until he was twenty-six years old, when he 
rented the farm of which he is now the owner, the property having 
been purchased by him fourteen years later and he having remained 
on the place during the entire intervening period. The farm com- 
prises one hundred and eighty-one acres of most fertile land, im- 
proved with good buildings, the most of which have been erected 
by the present owner, and it is one of the valuable farm properties 
of Mallory township. Mr. Moser is a staunch supporter of the 
cause of the Democratic party but has consented to serve in only 



288 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

one public office, that of township assessor. He is an appreciative 
member of the time-honored Masonic fraternity, in which his an- 
cient-craft affiliation is with the Lodge of Ancient Free & Accepted 
Masons at Guttenberg, where he likewise maintains membership 
in the adjunct organization, the Order of the Eastern Star. He 
has received various degrees in the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite 
of this great fraternal order, and is in this branch of Masonry affili- 
ated with the consistory in the city of Clinton, this state. He is 
identified also with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the 
Modern Woodmen of America. On the 21st of February, 1894, 
was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Moser to Miss Ella Friedlein, 
who was born in Jefferson township, this county, on the 24th of 
January, 1875, and who received the advantages of the public 
schools in the village of Osterdock. She is a daughter of Frederick 
and Harriet (Schrunk) Friedlein, representatives of sterling pioneer 
families of Clayton county. Frederick Friedlein was born in 
Schmalz, Germany, on the 7th of August, 1850, and was but two 
years old when his parents came to the United States and estab- 
lished their home in Clayton county, Iowa, where he was reared 
and educated and where he became a representative farmer of Jef- 
ferson township, his death having there occurred June 3, 1886, and 
his widow having passed to eternal rest on the 26th of June, 1913, 
her entire life having been passed in Clayton county, where her 
parents settled in the pioneer days, soon after their immigration to 
this country from Germany. Frederick Friedlein and his wife were 
earnest and consistent communicants of the Lutheran church, and 
their daughter Ella, wife of the subject of this review, is a member 
of the Eastern Star at Guttenberg, she being one of their five sur- 
viving children. Mr. and Mrs. Moser have six children, all of whom 
remain members of the attractive and happy home circle, their 
names being here entered in the respective order of their birth: 
Irwin, Mildred, Harold, Reuben, Merrill, and Myrna. 

Herman Mueller, now venerable in years, is living virtually 
retired, after a long period of close and effective association with 
business activities, and he may consistently be designated as one 
of the pioneer merchants of Elkport, where he established his resi- 
dence in 1873, shortly after the completion of the railroad through 
this place, and where he has since maintained his home, secure in 
the high regard of all who know him and specially eligible for 
representation in this publication. Mr. Mueller was born in Ger- 
many, on the 24th of March, 1842, and is a son of Karl and Chris- 
tena (Maier) Mueller, who passed their entire lives in Germany, 
where the father long followed the trade of shoemaker. The sub- 
ject of this sketch is the youngest in a family of five sons and five 
daughters and v.^as reared and educated in his native land, where 
he gained a thorough knowledge of the shoemaker's trade, under 
the effective direction of his father. In 1869, when about twenty- 
seven years of age, he came to the United States, and he first lo- 
cated in New Jersey, where he found employment at his trade, but 
before the close of the year 1869 he came to Iowa and established 
his home in Dubuque. There he continued in the work of his 



BIOGRAPHICAL 289 

trade until 1873, when he removed to Clayton county and opened 
a shoemaking shop at Elkport. He eventually developed a pros- 
perous general boot and shoe business and continued to give to 
the same his supervision for many years. He gained a comfortable 
competency and since his retirement from active business he and 
his wife have lived in peace and comfort in the pleasant home at 
Elkport, the house having been erected by him in the second year 
of his residence at Elkport. Mr. Mueller has been a loyal and 
influential citizen and has done his part in the development and 
upbuilding of Elkport. He served four years as a member of the 
board of aldermen, four years as mayor and for an equal period as 
a member of the board of education. He is a Republican in poli- 
tics, is affiliated with the Ancient Order of United Workmen and 
the Modern Brotherhood of America, and both he and his wife are 
earnest communicants of the German Lutheran church. As a young 
man Mr. Mueller married Miss Jacobina Scharft, who likewise was 
born and reared in Germany, and of their five children four died in 
infancy, the one surviving being Herman F., who is a representa- 
tive business man of Elkport and who is individually mentioned 
elsewhere in this compilation. 

Herman F, Mueller has, through his own industry and well 
directed energies, gained definite success and precedence as one of 
the representative business men of his native county, and in the 
thriving village of Elkport he is conducting a substantial and flour- 
ishing enterprise as a representative of the jewelry, optical and 
music business, with a well equipped establishment that receives 
an appreciative supporting patronage. He was born at Elkport on 
the 26th of October, 1873, and is a son of Herman Mueller, a ster- 
ling pioneer citizen of whom individual mention is made on other 
pages of this work. Herman F. Mueller attended the public schools 
of his native village until 1889, when, at the age of sixteen years, 
he entered Bayless Business College, in which institution he took 
an effective commercial course. In 1890 he returned to Elkport, 
where he assisted in the shoe store of his father until the following 
year, when he again went to Dubuque, where he was employed one 
year in a shoe factory. He then learned the barber's trade, and to 
the work of the same he applied himself in Dubuque until 1894, 
when he went to Elgin, Illinois, the headquarters of the great Elgin 
watch works, and there, with the financial resources which he 
gained by continuing his work at the barber trade, he completed a 
course in the Elgin Horological School, in which he gained a thor- 
ough knowledge of the watchmaking and jewelry trade and also 
of the optical business, which latter he acquired by attending night 
school. It may well be understood that during this period of 
eighteen months passed at Elgin the young man had few idle mo- 
ments, for he was applying himself constantly to study and prac- 
tical work in perfecting himself as a watchmaker and optician and 
in the meanwhile was working at the barber t*rade to aid in defray- 
ing his expenses. His ambition has been a dominating character- 
istic and he is one of those who appreciate the value of hard work 
and who are always ready to apply themselves indefatigably. Upon 



290 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

leaving Elgin Mr. Mueller returned to Elkport and initiated an 
independent business enterprise of somewhat unusual ramifications. 
He realized that no one department of the business would at the 
time render adequate financial returns, and thus he combined the 
barber, the optical and the jewelry business until the enterprise 
grew to such proportions as to justify his disposing of his barber 
shop and the concentration of his time and attention in the con- 
ducting of his now well established jewelry and optical business. 
He has since established also a well equipped musical store, in the 
management of which his wife is associated with him, and in 
which he carries full lines of pianos, Victrolas, and other musical 
instruments, as well as sheet music and musical merchandise in 
general. These brief statements mark him as one of the most pro- 
gressive business men of Elkport, and his success has been the 
result of zealous and well directed effort and fair and honorable 
business policies. He is a Republican in politics. Both he and 
his wife hold membership in the Lutheran church in their home 
village. On the 10th of November, 1896, was recorded the mar- 
riage of Mr. Mueller to Miss Ida Brandtman, who was born and 
reared in this county, and whose parents, Henry and Mary Brandt- 
man, were born in Germany, whence they came to America and 
established their home in Clayton county many years ago. In her 
youth Mrs. Mueller became an expert milliner and after several 
years of married life and after she had become the mother of a fine 
son, she engaged in the millinery business at Elkport. After de- 
voting herself to the enterprise for ten years her impaired health 
caused Mr. Mueller to sell all of his business interests, and for the 
purpose of recuperating his wife's physical energies the family 
passed about eighteen months in the state of California. Upon 
their return home he re-engaged in the music and jewelry business. 
Mrs. Mueller associated with her husband in the music business, 
to which she has since given much of her time and attention. Mr. 
and Mrs. Mueller have one son, Ralph, who was born December 8, 
1897, and who is preparing himself carefully to assist his father in 
the jewelry, optical and musical business. At the time of this 
writing, in 1916, he is attending the Bradley Institute, in the city 
of Peoria, Illinois, where he is taking courses in the watchmaker's 
and jeweler's trade and also further preparing himself for service 
as a scientific optician. 

Donald Munger is another of the native sons of Clayton county 
who is contributing effectively to upholding the high standard of 
agricultural industry within its borders, and his farm, which com- 
prises forty acres, is situated in Boardman township. He is one 
of the energetic exponents of agriculture in this section of the 
Hawkeye state, is a scion of an honored pioneer family of Clayton 
county. Mr. Munger was born in Reed township, this county, on 
the 7th of March, 1886, and is a son of George W. and Augusta 
Sophia (Bandow) Munger, both folk of fine mentality and much 
practical ability, though both were deaf and dumb from birth. 
George W. Munger was born in the state of New York and his wife 
was born in Germany. He passed the closing period of his life at 



BIOGRAPHICAL 29 1 

Elkader, this county, where he died November 18, 1914, and where 
his widow still maintains her home. He became one of the pros- 
perous farmers of the county, to which he came with his parents in 
the early pioneer days. He was a son of Milo E. and Jane M. 
(Glaiser) Hunger, who settled in Reed township in the pioneer 
period of Clayton county history and who here passed the residue 
of their lives. George W. was the eldest of their nine children; 
Frederick is a resident of Rolla, Missouri ; Ebenezer, of Delaware 
county, Iowa ; Eugene is deceased ; Aurelia is the wife of Jeremiah 
Cassidy, of Elkader; Mary is the widow of Edward Gifford and 
she likewise maintains her home at Elkader, this county ; Carrie 
is the wife of George F. White, of Volga, this county; Simeon is a 
resident of Oelwein, Fayette county ; and Milo resides at the county 
seat of Clayton county. Donald Munger, immediate subject of this 
review, was the second in a family of three children. His older 
brother, Charles H., is now a resident of Cresco, Howard county, 
and the younger brother, Dale W., resides at Manchester, Delaware 
county. Donald Munger was reared to the sturdy discipline of the 
farm and continued to attend the public schools of the locality until 
he had attained to the age of sixteen years. Both of his brothers 
had in the meanwhile left the parental home and it thus devolved 
upon him to assume eventually the practical control and supervi- 
sion of the old homestead farm, to the management of which he has 
since given hit. attention, with marked success. He is a loyal sup- 
porter of the cause of the Democratic party and is affiliated with 
the Modern Woodmen of America as a member of the camp at 
Elkader. His name is still enrolled on the list of eligible young 
bachelors in his native county. 

Daniel D. Murphy was born near New Diggings, Lafayette 
county, Wisconsin, August 22nd, 1862. His parents were John G. 
and Ellen (McCarthy) Murphy, both natives of Ireland, who came 
to this country when they were quite young. His boyhood was 
spent in working on farms in the summer time and attending school 
in the winter. When seventeen years of age he taught country 
school one winter, and entered the State Normal School at Platte- 
ville, Wisconsin, from which he was graduated in the spring of 
1883. He came to Guttenberg, Iowa, in September, 1883, and was 
for three years superintendent of the public school at that place, 
during which time the same was developed into a three-year high 
school. During this time he attended summer schools and also 
read law. Entered the Law School of the University of Iowa, from 
which he graduated in 1887. He then returned to Guttenberg and 
for a few months practiced law there and worked in the Clayton 
County Bank, which had then just been established at Guttenberg. 
In 1888 he came to Elkader and has since that time resided and 
practiced law at Elkader, Iowa. In 1890 he was elected county 
attorney, and re-elected in 1892, serving four years. He served 
six years on the Town Council and has been a member of the 
Board of Education of Elkader, Iowa, for about fifteen years, of 
which board he has been for some years and is now president. 
When the State Board of Education, the managing board of our 



2^ MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

State institutions of higher learning — to-wit : the State University, 
the State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, the State 
Teachers' College and the College for the Blind — was created by 
the Legislature in 1909, Mr. Murphy was appointed a member of 
the board, and after serving a term of four years was reappointed 
for a term of six years, and since January 1st, 1914, he has been 
and is now president of the board. He was the Democratic candi- 
date for Congress in the Fourth District in 1910, being defeated by 
about 200 votes in a district in which the normal Republican ma- 
jority is over 5,000. He was married in 1888 to Henrietta Johnsen 
of Guttenberg, Iowa. Her parents were among the pioneer settlers 
of Guttenberg and for many years were in the furniture and under- 
taking business at that place. His family consists of one son, 
Clarence F. Murphy, who since 1914 has been a member of the 
firm of D. D. Murphy & Son. Mr. Murphy was one of the organ- 
izers of the Elkader State Bank in 1892 and has been during its 
entire existence its vice-president. He is also connected as a stock- 
holder or director with many of the banks in Clayton county. He 
is a member of the Catholic Church ; also a member of the State and 
American Bar Associations, and has always taken an active part 
in the work of his profession. In 1908 he served as president of 
the Iowa State Bar Association. In addition to professional work 
he has always been active in public affairs, and especially in edu- 
cational matters. 

Muschewske Brothers constitute a firm of editors and publishers 
who are prominent and representative factors in the newspaper 
profession in Clayton county, where they own and conduct most 
progressively the Guttenberg Press, which they have brought to 
high standard as one of the influential weekly newspapers of this 
section of their native state and in connection with their newspaper 
publishing they maintain also a well ec|uipped job office. The two 
brothers are prominent and valued business men of the fine little 
city of Guttenberg, and in their native county their circle of friends 
is coincident with that of their acquaintances. Louis C. Mus- 
chewske, the senior member of the firm, was born at Elkader, the 
judicial center of Clayton county, on the 19th of July, 1881, and 
Harry J., the junior member of the firm, was there born on the 15th 
of April, 1887. They are sons of Friedrich Wilhelm and Elisa 
(Ortman) Muschewske, whose marriage was solemnized at Elkader 
on the 7th of September, 1879, and of whose four children two are 
deceased. The father was born at Marien Werder, Prussia, Ger- 
many, on the 25th of May, 1839, and the mother was born at Stolpe, 
near Neustadt, in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany, on the 2d of 
April, 1851, both having been reared and educated in their native 
places. Friedrich W. Muschewske became a resident of Clayton 
county, Iowa, in 1873, and after remaining a short time at Elkport 
he removed to Elkader, where he engaged in the harness business 
and where he passed the residue of his long, useful and honorable 
life, his death having occurred on the 21st of May, 1897. This 
sterling citizen had represented his native land as a valiant soldier 
in the Franco-Prussian war, in 1870-71, and it was soon after the 



BIOGRAPHICAL 293 

close of this historic conflict that he came to America. He was in 
full sympathy with the government and institutions of the land of 
his adoption, was a man of superior mentality and broad views, 
was a Democrat in his political adherency, and both he and his wife 
early became earnest communicants of the Lutheran church. Mrs. 
Muschewske became a resident of Clayton county in 1874 and she 
now maintains her home at Guttenberg, venerable in years and sus- 
tained and comforted by the loving devotion of her two sons. The 
Muschewske brothers both continued to attend the public schools of 
Elkader until they had completed the curriculum of the high school. 
On the 20th of June, 1898, Louis C. began at Elkader his novitiate in 
newspaper work, where he found employment in the ofifice of the 
Nord Iowa Herold. Later he was associated with other newspapers 
in the state, and for a number of years thereafter he followed the 
musical profession, his talent in this line being of high order. On 
the 12th of May, 1911, he became associated with his brother in 
the purchasing of the plant and business of the Guttenberg Press, 
and they have since continued as editors and publishers of this 
alert and vigorous weekly paper and in the control of the prosper- 
ous job-printing business that has been developed under their pro- 
gressive management. Harry J. Muschewske formed his alliance 
with the "art preservative of all arts" in April, 1903, when he be- 
came connected with the Nord Iowa Herold, with which he con- 
tinued his alliance at Elkader until he removed to Guttenberg and 
became his brother's partner in the thriving newspaper enterprise 
which they have since conducted. The Press is a vital exponent of 
the best sentiment and action of the community and its policy is 
distinctively one of loyalty and progressiveness. The two brothers 
designate themselves as independent Democrats in politics and are 
essentially loyal and public-spirited citizens. Louis C. is affiliated 
with Guttenberg Lodge, No. 126, Independent Order of Odd Fel- 
lows, and Harry J. with the local organization of the Brotherhood 
of American Yeomen. At Guttenberg, on the 4th of October, 1911, 
was solemnized the marriage of Louis C. Muschewske to Miss 
Minnie K. Soltau, who was born in Guttenberg, this county, on the 
21st of December, 1888. No children have been born of this union. 
At Elkader, on the 14th of September, 1911, Harry J. Muschewske 
wedded Miss Louise D. Pupke, who likewise is a native of this 
county, where she was born July 2, 1884. Mr. and Mrs. Harry J. 
Muschewske have a winsome little daughter, Arleen, who was 
born May 20, 1912, in Guttenberg. 

Mrs. L. Nagel is continuing the general merchandise business 
that was formerly conducted by her late husband at North Buena 
Vista and is one of the well known and popular business women 
of Clayton county, as well as a gracious factor in the social life of 
her home community. She was born at Sand Spring, Delaware 
county, this state, on the 10th of August, 1871, and is a daughter of 
E. P. and Minnie Sawyer, both natives of the state of Vermont and 
members of sterling old families of New England. The father was 
born March 6, 1843, and became one of the pioneer settlers of Iowa. 
For a number of years the home was maintained in Delaware 



294 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

county, but the mother of Mrs. Nagel passed the closing year of her 
life in California. Mrs. Nagel acquired her early education in the 
public schools of Iowa and her discipline included a course in the 
Audubon School in the city of Dubuque. On the 9th of November, 
1893, she became the wife of Frank P. Brahm, who was reared and 
educated in the city of Dubuque and who was a son of John and 
Theresa Brahm. His death occurred in 1899 and he is survived by 
two children — Hazel, who is the wile of Ray Minger, of Buena 
Vista, and Earl, who remains with his widowed mother. On the 
8th of October, 1901, was solemnized the marriage of the subject 
of this review to Charles F. Nagel, who was born in Germany and 
came to Iowa when six years of age, a"d who was educated in the 
schools of North Buena Vista, Clayton county, and those of the 
city of Dubuque. For a number of years he gave his attention to 
agricultural pursuits, and at the time of his death he was one of 
the successful and honored merchants of the village of North Buena 
Vista, and an earnest member of the Lutheran church. He was 
summoned to eternal rest on the 5th of March, 1915, and is survived 
by four children, who lend cheer to the home of their doubly wid- 
owed mother and whose names are here indicated in respective 
order of birth — Blanch, Laura, Elmer and Stella. 

Ole Nelson is one of the venerable and honored pioneer citizens 
to whom it is gratifying to give recognition in this history. He 
is one of the sturdy sons of the far Norseland who came to the 
United States as a young man and who shortly afterward availed 
himself of the privilege of giving extraordinary manifestation of 
his loyalty to the land of his adoption, for within a few months 
after his arrival in America he went forth as a valiant soldier of 
the Union in the Civil war. He came to Clayton county, Iowa, in 
the year that marked the close of the war, and here he has main- 
tained his home during the greater part of the long intervening 
period — a man of strong mentality, sterling integrity and high civic 
ideals. He has been one of the world's workers, has traveled ex- 
tensively both in America and abroad and is now living in gracious 
retirement on his homestead farm, which, with characteristic gen- 
erosity, he gave to the worthy young couple with whom he resides 
and who accord to him true filial afifection and care, he having no 
children of his own and his wife having passed away in 1905. Mr. 
Nelson was born in Norway, on the 19th of November, 1840, and 
is a son of Nels and Margot (Evanson) Anderson, his surname 
being derived from the personal or Christian name of his father, 
in accord with the ancient custom in Norway. The parents came 
to America in 1862 and they were residents of Iowa at the time of 
their death. Ole Nelson was reared and educated in his native 
land and on the 29th of July, 1861, a few months prior to his twenty- 
first birthday anniversary, he arrived in the United States. From 
the national metropolis he forthwith made his way to Wisconsin, 
where he obtained employment at farm work. On the 19th of the 
following November, however, he subordinated all else to tender 
his aid in defense of the Union — an action that shall ever reflect 
honor upon his name and memory. He enlisted as a private in 




OL?] NELSON 



THE NEW YORK 
PU&LIC LIBRARY 



ASTOB, LINOI AND 
TILDEN rOUNDfcTlONB 



BIOGRAPHICAL 295 

Company F, Fifteenth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, with which 
he proceeded to the front and with which he served two years, 
during which he participated in numerous engagements and proved 
himself a faithful and gallant soldier of the republic. In the battle 
of Stone River he received a severe gunshot wound in his left 
leg, and the injury so incapacitated him that he was given an hon- 
orable discharge, at Nashville, Tennessee. After recovering from 
his injury Mr. Nelson went to Jasper county, Illinois, and soon 
afterward he gave evidence of his unabated loyalty and military 
ardor by enlisting in Company I, 143rd Illinois Volunteer Infantry, 
with rank of corporal. With this command he served until the 
expiration of his one hundred days' term of enlistment, his regi- 
ment being commanded by Colonel Smith, and he received his 
second honorable discharge on the 8th of December, 1864, at Mat- 
toon, Illinois. In later years he has perpetuated the more pleasing 
memories and associations of his military career by maintaining 
affiliation with that noble and patriotic organization, the Grand 
Army of the Republic. In the winter of 1865 Mr. Nelson came to 
Clayton county, Iowa, and after having here been employed a few 
months he went to Mower county, Minnesota, where he entered 
claim to a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres. He sold the 
property one year later but continued his residence in Minnesota 
until 1872, when he returned to Clayton county, where he has since 
maintained his home and where his activities have been principally 
in connection with agricultural pursuits and the raising of live 
stock. He may consistently be said to have been one of the foun- 
ders of the village of Gunder, where he became the owner of six 
and one-half acres of land and where he erected the first building 
in the village. The farm upon which he now resides is eligibly 
situated in Section 11, Marion township, with mail service on rural 
route No. 1, from Postville. He made good improvements on the 
farm and continued in the ownership of the property until he trans- 
ferred the same, with proper stipulations and legal provisions, to 
Mr. and Mrs. A. T. Holem, with whom he makes his home and 
whom he looks upon with the appreciative aflFection of a father. 
He married Mrs. Julia Gundelfinger, widow of Alexander Gundel- 
finger, of Madison, Wisconsin, and she was summoned to eternal 
rest on the 20th of November, 1905, no children having been born 
of their union. Mr. Nelson has made four tours abroad since he 
came to America, and has visited not only the land of his birth but 
also England and various continental countries of Europe. His 
political allegiance is given to the Republican party, and he has 
served as trustee of Marion township. He is a zealous communi- 
cant of the Norwegian Lutheran church at Gunder and a member 
of the Grand Army post at Elkader, the county seat. 

Hon. Byron W. Newberry. Prominent in the history of Straw- 
berry Point, of Cass township and of Clayton county as well as in 
the annals of the state of Iowa, stands Byron W. Newberry. He 
has been one of the most helpful, progressive and energetic men 
of his home city, he has well represented Clayton county in legis- 
lative halls and he has helped to write upon the statute books of 



296 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

Iowa many of its best and most effective laws. It is, therefore, 
altogether fitting that his life history should be included in this 
volume as one of the representative men of Clayton county and as 
one who has added luster to its name and fame. He was born at 
Brownhelm, in the old Buckeye state, on the first of September, 
1853, the son of James Newberry and Maria (Westfall) Newberry, 
both of whom were natives of the state of New York. The father 
was born in Orange county, New York, May 26th, 1827, and the 
mother in Onondaga county of the same state, April 14th, 1828. 
They were imbued with that pioneering instinct which was such a 
potent factor in the development of the great central West and 
filled with the courage and energy of youthful ambition they left 
the Empire state to make their home together and to carve out 
fortunes for themselves in Ohio. After some length of residence 
in Ohio they again listened to the call of the West and made Iowa 
and Clayton county their home. In their new home they soon 
made impress through their industry and enterprise and their 
spirit of progressive citizenship, and it was here that their two 
sons, Byron W. and Charles W., were reared to honored manhood. 
With that instinct of Americanism which knows that "Knowledge 
Is Power," they gave to their children not only the lessons of 
thrift and industry from their own example, but equipped them 
with the best educational advantages which the state afforded. 
Thus Byron W. Newberry not only faithfully attended the schools 
of Clayton county, but after completing their course of study he 
received a collegiate education at Upper Iowa University, at 
Fayette, an institution which has ever been a just favorite with the 
people of Northeastern Iowa on account of its thoroughness and 
its Christian surroundings. Graduating from this seat of learning 
with the class of 1875, Mr. Newberry, the next autumn, matric- 
ulated in the law department of the State University of Iowa, an 
institution from which a very large per cent of the successful law- 
yers of Iowa have graduated. In 1876 he graduated from the 
University law school, receiving his degree of LL. B. and being 
admitted as a member of the Iowa bar. He at once began the 
practice of his chosen profession and in 1887 the brothers, Charles 
and Byron, entered upon that successful partnership which still 
continues and which has brought to them not only a competency, 
but established reputation as among the notable attorneys of the 
state. With the years of successful practice came added interests, 
and Mr. Newberry is now not only an attorney but a banker and 
a farmer on an extensive scale and his name is connected with 
many interests of his home city and indissolubly linked with all 
that has made for its progress and upbuilding. Throughout his 
manhood days Mr. Newberry has been a staunch and earnest sup- 
porter of the principles of the Republican party and for many 
years he has been a prominent factor in its councils, not only in 
Clayton county, but in the state at large. Mr. Newberry was 
elected on the Republican ticket as senator for the Thirty-sixth 
Senatorial district and he served with distinction during the 
thirtieth, thirty-first and thirty-second sessions of the legislature 



BIOGRAPHICAL 297 

of Iowa. During this time he served on many important com- 
mittees and his name is now attached to legislation which with 
each passing year gives added proof of its value to the people of 
the entire state. In the year, 1916, he is again the standard bearer 
of his party for this important position, and his friends insist that 
his record and his eminent qualifications will assuredly meet with 
the endorsement of an election. Mr. Newberry is a man who has 
never sacrificed his convictions for expediency. His life has been 
as an open book and no endorsement at the polls could be stronger 
than that which has long been accorded him by his fellow citizens 
through their confidence, esteem and real affection. Always an 
earnest student and a lover of Iowa and all that pertains to it Mr. 
Newberry has for a number of years been a valued member of the 
Iowa State Historical Society, and it is a pleasure to note that a 
large portion of the interesting and carefully prepared history of 
Cass township written by him has been incorporated in the first 
volume of this work. Mr. Newberry is also a member of the Iowa 
State Bar Association and, fraternally, is affiliated with the order 
of the Knights of Pythias, while his religious allegiance is faith- 
fully and zealously given to the Congregational church. On De- 
cember 30th, 1905, Mr. Newberry was united in marriage with 
Miss Eve M. Buckley, a native of Strawberry Point, and the daugh- 
ter of Franklin R. and Helen M. (Turner) Buckley, long respected 
citizens of that community. The home of Senator and Mrs. New- 
berry is one of the centers of the social life of their community and 
both are known and loved for their kindliness, their steadfastness 
to high ideals and their broad and genuine interest in all that per- 
tains to the welfare and happiness of their friends, who include all 
the people of Strawberry Point and vicinity. 

Benjamin Nieland is the fortunate owner of one of the extensive 
and finely improved landed estates of his native county, is a member 
of an honored pioneer family of this favored section of Iowa, and 
that he takes lively interest in all things pertaining to the social 
and material welfare and progress of Clayton county is but evidence 
of his loyal appreciation of its attractions and resources, and an 
evidence also of his representative status as one of the enterprising 
and successful farmers of the county. He was born in Jefferson 
township, this county, on the 14th of June, 1866, and he is one of 
the four children born to Herman and Elizabeth (Roth) Nieland, 
all of the children still surviving the honored parents, who passed 
the closing years of their long and worthy lives on their old home- 
stead farm in Jefiferson township. The parents were born and 
reared in Germany and upon coming to the United States they be- 
came pioneer settlers of Clayton county. They first established their 
home in the fine German colony of Guttenberg, but finally removed 
to the farm, in JeflFerson township, where they passed the residue 
of their lives, prospered in their earnest endeavors and resting 
secure in the high regard of all who knew them, both having been 
devout communicants of the Catholic church. The father of this 
family died, April, 1913, and the mother died about thirty-nine 
years ago when our subject was eleven years of age. Benjamin 



298 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

Nieland did not deny himself the discipline that conserved growth 
of both mind and physical powers during the period of his boyhood 
and youth, for he profited duly by the advantages of the public 
schools of Clayton county and in the meanwhile contributed mate- 
rially to the work of the home farm. With the passing years he 
became thoroughly familiar with all departments of farm activity, 
and development brought him substantial poise as a practical agri- 
culturist and stock-grower. He remained at the parental home 
until 1901, when he wedded Miss Cecelia Burr, who was born and 
reared in this county, one of the family of fourteen children born 
to Matthew and Elizabeth (Wellman) Burr, who were born in 
Germany and who were numbered among the early settlers of 
Clayton county. Mr. Burr was one of the substantial farmers and 
honored pioneer citizens of the county at the time of his death and 
his widow still remains a resident of the county. Within a short 
time after his marriage Mr. Nieland purchased his present fine 
homestead farm, which comprises two hundred and forty-one acres 
in Sections 15 and 22, Farmersburg township, and which is im- 
proved with excellent buildings, is maintained with utmost care 
and circumspection, and which constitutes one of the really model 
farms of Clayton county. In addition to this home place Mr. Nie- 
land owns also forty acres of timber land in Clayton township. He 
is a Democrat in politics, is serving in 1916 as school director of 
his district, and both he and his wife are communicants of the 
Catholic church. They have three children, whose names and re- 
spective dates of birth are here indicated : Norbert J., May 12, 1902 ; 
Sylvia Matilda, June 2, 1905 ; and Adelia Anna, September 29, 1908. 

Bernard Nieland owns and resides upon the fine old home- 
stead farm, in Jefferson township, that figures as the place of his 
birth and on which he has made an admirable record of successful 
achievement along the lines of diversified agriculture, the raising 
of good grades of live stock and the conducting of a well ordered 
dairy department as an adjunct of his progressive farm enterprise. 
On this farmstead he was born November 26, 1863, and he is a son 
of John G. and Mary (Teders) Nieland, both natives of the King- 
dom of Hanover, Germany. Reared and educated in his native 
land, John G. Nieland was a young man at the time of his immi- 
gration to America, about the year 1856, and soon after his arrival 
in the land of his adoption he came to Iowa and numbered himself 
among the pioneers of Clayton county. He purchased wild land 
in Jefferson township and reclaimed the same into one of the pro- 
ductive farms of the county. He was one of the honored and in- 
fluential citizens of this township at the time of his death, which 
occurred in January, 1889, and his widow was summoned to the 
life eternal on the 26th of December, 1914, both having been earnest 
communicants of the Catholic church, and his political affiliation 
having been with the Democratic party. Of the children, the eldest 
is Gerhardt, who likewise is a prosperous farmer of Jefferson town- 
ship ; Catherine is the wife of Edward Harter, of Guttenberg, this 
county ; Annie is the wife of Anthony Mehnke, of Luxemberg, 
Dubuque coimty; the subject of this sketch was the next in order 



BIOGRAPHICAL 299 

of birth; Mary is the wife of Matthias Burr, of Guttenberg; and 
Henry is a substantial farmer of Jefferson township. Bernard Nie- 
land was favored in having in his youth the advantages of the ex- 
cellent public schools at Guttenberg, and after leaving the home 
farm he was employed on other farms in the county about two 
years. For three years thereafter he conducted operations on a 
rented farm, and he then purchased the old homestead farm of his 
father, the same comprising two hundred acres, and having since 
constituted the stage of his energetic and successful operations as 
an agriculturist and as a stock and dairy farmer. He has mani- 
fested no desire for public office, though always ready to do his part 
in the initiating and developing of enterprises projected for the 
general good of the community and standing forth as a staunch 
supporter of the cause of the Democratic party. Both he and his 
wife are zealous communicants of the Catholic church at Gutten- 
berg, which thriving little city is their postoffice address. On the 
23d of November, 1886, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Nie- 
land to Miss Elizabeth Dorweiler, who was born in Jefferson town- 
ship, this county, and who gained her education in the parochial 
and public schools of Guttenberg. She is a daughter of Paul and 
Annie (Roth) Dorweiler, who were born and reared in Germany 
and who became pioneer settlers of Clayton county, where the 
father was one of the substantial farmers of Jefferson township at 
the time of his death, his widow still remaining on the old home- 
stead and both having become communicants of the Catholic church 
when they were young. Mr. and Mrs. Nieland became the parents 
of fourteen children, but only five of the number are now living, 
all of them being still members of the gracious family circle of 
the parental home, namely: Bernard, Jr., Edward, Clara, Theresa, 
and Hildegard. The names of the deceased children are here noted : 
John, Catherine, Lena, Raymond, Elizabeth, Rose, Werner, Paul, 
and Anna. 

Herman H. Nieland is consistently to be given individual rec- 
ognition in this history, for he is not only a scion of one of the 
sterling pioneer families of Clayton county but is also one of the 
native sons who has proved a substantial and resourceful repre- 
sentative of agricultural and live-stock enterprise in his native 
county, his present finely improved farm, in Sections 19 and 24, 
Jefferson township, comprising one hundred and fifty-eight acres 
and being a portion of the landed estate accumulated by his father, 
from whom he received the same by direct inheritance. On the 
farm he has erected excellent buildings, including a commodious 
and pleasant residence, and he has made his homestead give forth 
every evidence of thrift and prosperity, the farm being given to 
well ordered agriculture of consistently diversified order and to the 
raising of approved grades of live stock. Mr. Nieland was born in 
Jefferson township, this county, on the 29th of August, 1860, and 
is a son of Herman and Elizabeth (Roth) Nieland, who continued 
to reside on their old homestead farm until the close of their long 
and worthy lives. The father was a native of Hanover, Germany, 
and was a young man when, in 1856, he immigrated to the United 



300 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

States and numbered himself among the pioneers of Clayton county. 
Here, by unremitting application and good judgment, he gained 
substantial prosperity and developed one of the valuable farms of 
the county. He was a staunch Democrat and he and his wife were 
earnest communicants of the Catholic church. Of their four sur- 
viving children the subject of this review is the eldest; William is 
individually mentioned on other pages of this volume ; Annie is the 
wife of Joseph Berns, of National, this county, in which village 
Benjamin, the youngest of the children, likewise maintains his resi- 
dence. Herman H. Nieland grew to adult age under the sturdy 
and invigorating influences of the pioneer farm and in connection 
with its operations gained the practical experience that splendidly 
fortified him when he instituted his independent career as a farmer. 
He continued his association with the work of the home farm until 
1896, and thereafter rented a portion of the old homestead for about 
two years. He then inherited one hundred and fifty-eight acres as 
his part of the valuable landed estate that had been accumulated 
by his honored father, and here he has since continued his pro- 
gressive and successful operations as an agriculturist and stock- 
grower. He is a Democrat in his political allegiance and is a com- 
municant of the Catholic church, in the faith of which he was reared. 
He has never married. 

William Nieland. — One of the fine farms of Jefferson township 
that receives service on rural mail route No. 1 from the neighbor- 
ing city of Guttenberg, is that owned and effectively operated by 
WilHam Nieland, who has proved one of the progressive and re- 
sourceful exponents of agricultural and live-stock industry in his 
native township and who is a sterling citizen commanding high 
popular esteem, the while he is a representative of one of the hon- 
ored pioneer families of Clayton county. He was born in Jefferson 
township, this county, on the 27th of February, 1862, and is a son 
of Herman and Elizabeth (Roth) Nieland, both of whom remained 
on their old homestead farm in this township until their death. 
The father was born in the Kingdom of Hanover, Germany, and was 
a young man when he came to America, in 1856, and established 
his home in Clayton county. Here he was employed principally at 
farm work for the first two years, and he then purchased a farm 
of his own. He reclaimed his land to effective cultivation and was 
long numbered among the successful farmers and loyal and public- 
spirited citizens of the county, to whose social and material devel- 
opment he contributed his quota. His political support was given 
to the Democratic party and both he and his wife were zealous 
communicants of the Catholic church. Of their four surviving 
children the eldest is Herman, who is a substantial farmer of Jef- 
ferson township; the subject of this review was the next in order 
of birth ; Annie is the wife of Joseph Bours, of National, this county ; 
and Benjamin likewise maintains his residence at National. Will- 
iam Nieland marked the period of his boyhood and youth by the 
diversity implied in attending the district schools and the rendering 
of assistance in the work of the home farm, and it has been a matter 
of good judgment, as well as of personal satisfaction and profit, 



BIOGRAPHICAL 3OI 

that he has never severed his active allegiance to the basic indus- 
tries of agriculture and stock-growing, through the medium of which 
he has gained a generous measure of success. It is specially pleas- 
ing to record that his fine farm, which comprises three hundred 
and thirty acres, is the old home place on which he was born and 
reared and which came into his possession partly through inherit- 
ance and partly through his purchasing of the interests of the other 
heirs. He has proved specially energetic and progressive in his 
operations as an agriculturist and has also made a splendid record 
in the raising of high-grade live stock, including the short-horn 
type of cattle and approved grades of swine. Never a seeker of 
public ofifice, he has given his active co-operation in the furtherance 
of enterprises projected for the general good of the community and 
is found aligned as a loyal supporter of the cause of the Democratic 
party. Both he and his wife are communicants and liberal sup- 
porters of the Catholic church at Guttenberg. In October, 1900, 
was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Nieland to Miss Mary Berns, 
who was born and reared in Garnavillo township, this county, and 
who is a daughter of Peter and Josephine (Schmelzer) Berns, her 
father being one of the representative farmers of that township. 
Mr. and Mrs. Nieland have two children — Anthony and Catherine. 
Gerhardt H. W. Niemann. — More than sixty years ago, as a 

lad of about five years, Gerhardt Henry William Niemann accom- 
panied his parents on their immigration to America from Germany 
and virtually his entire life since that time has been passed on his 
fine homestead farm, in Jefferson township, where his parents estab- 
lished their home soon after their arrival in America. The sterling 
citizen to whom this sketch is dedicated has long been known as 
one of the representative agriculturists and stock-growers of Jef- 
ferson township, has been influential in community affairs of a 
public order and has so ordered his course as to make his example 
well worthy of emulation and as to gain and retain the high regard 
of those with whom he has come in contact in the varied relations 
of life. Though he is nearing the psalmist's span of three score 
years and ten, he is still vigorous of mind and physical powers and 
finds satisfaction in giving a general supervision to the work and 
management of his valuable and extensive farm. Mr. Niemann 
was born in the Kingdom of Hanover, Germany, on the 16th of 
November, 1848, and is a son of Herman and Maria (Enger) Nie- 
mann, who were born and reared in Hanover, where they continued 
their residence until 1853, when they came to America and estab- 
lished their residence on the pioneer farm from which has been 
developed the fine landed estate now owned and occupied by their 
son Gerhardt H. W., of this review, he being the elder of their two 
surviving children, and his sister, Mary, being the wife of Henry 
Brandt, a well known citizen of Garnavillo. The father reclaimed 
his land to cultivation and was one of the sturdy and progressive 
pioneers who did eflfective service in connection with the civic and 
industrial development and upbuilding of Clayton county. When 
well advanced in years he and his wife removed to the village of 
Garnavillo, where they passed the remainder of their lives in the 



302 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

repose and prosperity that properly crowned their earnest and in- 
dustrious labors of preceding years, both having been zealous com- 
municants of the Lutheran church, in which he served a number of 
years as trustee. Under the conditions and influences of the pio- 
neer farm Gerhardt H. W. Niemann was reared to maturity, and 
in the meanwhile he attended the schools of the locality and laid 
the foundation for the broad and practical education which he was 
later to gain under that wise headmaster — experience. He con- 
tinued his association with the work and management of the home 
farm until he was thirty years of age, when he purchased eighty 
acres of the same, to which he later added two hundred and thirty 
acres, so that he now has a splendid landed estate of three hundred 
and ten acres, upon which he erected the substantial and modern 
buildings that now mark the farm, and on which he gives his active 
attention to properly diversified agriculture and to the raising of 
horses, cattle and swine of excellent grades. Through his own abil- 
ity and efforts he has achieved large and worthy prosperity, and 
the owner of so fine a farm as his is to be considered fortunate in- 
deed. Taking a loyal interest in all things pertaining to the 
communal welfare, Mr. Niemann served thirteen years as town- 
ship trustee and several years as a member of the school board. 
His political allegiance is given to the Democratic party and 
in the Lutheran church, of which both he and his wife have 
long been active and valued communicants he held for a num- 
ber of years the office of trustee. On the 19th of January, 1883, 
was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Niemann to Miss Augusta 
Schutte, who was born in Jefiferson township, this county, on 
the 8th of January, 1865, and whose parents, Henry and Enga 
Schutte, there established their home on a pioneer farm upon their 
immigration to America from Prussia, Germany, in the early '50s, 
both "having here passed the remainder of their lives on the old 
homestead and both having been lifelong members of the Lutheran 
church. Mr. and Mrs. Niemann have six children, Alma, Louis H., 
Edward and Alvina, who remain at the parental home, and the 
two older children are Mary and William H., the former being the 
wife of William Hernish, of Bremer county, and the latter being 
engaged in farming in Butler county. 

Willismi Nodurft owns and operates one of the fine farms of 
Cass township and his prestige as one of the representative agri- 
culturists and honored citizens of Clayton county is pleasing to 
note, especially when it is taken into consideration that he has here 
maintained his home since he was a youth of nineteen years and 
is the owner of the farm upon which his parents established their 
home upon coming to this county, more than half a century ago. 
Mr. Nodurft was born in Hanover, Germany, on the 27th of Novem- 
ber, 1856, and is a son of William and Minnie (Oppermann) 
Nodurft, who immigrated to America in 1858 and who first estab- 
lished their residence at Platteville, Wisconsin. In or about the 
year 1876 they came to Clayton county and settled on the farm now 
owned by the subject of this sketch. Here the death of the devoted 
wife and mother occurred, and the father thereafter returned to 



BIOGRAPHICAL 303 

Wisconsin, where he passed the remainder of his life. Of the eight 
children all are living except two. William Nodurft acquired his 
early education in the schools of Wisconsin and was about nineteen 
years old when he accompanied his parents on their removal to 
Clayton county. He remained at the parental home until 1882, 
when was solemnized his marriage to Miss Louise Otdoeffer, who 
was born in Pennsylvania and who was a child at the time of the 
family removal to Clayton county, Iowa, in 1865. She is a daugh- 
ter of Sigmund and Margaret (Scharam) Otdoeffer, who were 
natives of Germany and who passed the closing years of their 
lives in Clayton county, where the father was a prosperous farmer 
for many years prior to his demise. Mrs. Nodurft is one of a family 
of six children, all of whom still survive the honored parents. After 
his marriage Mr. Nodurft rented the old homestead farm of his 
father for a period of fourteen years, at the expiration of which he 
purchased the property, which comprises one hundred and sixty 
acres of fine land, in Section 7, Cass township, and which is one of 
the well improved farms of the county, with all of its appurtenances 
indicating thrift and good management. Mr. Nodurft and his wife 
continued their residence upon the farm until 1908, since which 
time they have maintained their home in the village of Strawberry 
Point, in the full enjoyment of the rewards of former years of 
earnest endeavor. In addition to the old homestead place Mr. 
Nodurft owns six acres of timber land in Sperry township and his 
attractive residence property at Strawberry Point. His political 
allegiance is given to the Democratic party and both he and his 
wife are zealous communicants of the Lutheran church in their 
home village. They became the parents of four children — George 
A., who has charge of the old home farm ; Minnie, who is the wife 
of Louis Frederick, of this county ; Arthur, who died at the age of 
5 days, and Frederick H., who remains at the parental home. 

Ellis Noggle is now engaged in the general merchandise busi- 
ness in the village of Buena Vista, where he had previously suc- 
cessfully conducted a hotel, and he is a popular citizen of the county 
in which the major part of his life has thus far been passed, so that 
he is well entitled to recognition in this history. He was born in 
Delaware county, Iowa, on the 15th of August, 1877, and is a son 
of Jacob and Sarah (Dark) Noggle, both natives of Kansas, where 
their respective parents settled in the early pioneer days. 
Jacob Noggle was born March 12, 1849, and gained his early edu- 
cation in the pioneer schools of the Sunflower state. His entire 
active career was one of close identification with the basic industry 
of agriculture, and he came with his wife to Clayton county within 
a short time after their marriage. He became one of the pros- 
perous farmers of the county, and here he continued to reside until 
his death, which occurred December 9, 1903, his widow having been 
summoned to eternal rest on the 23d of March, 1907. They became 
the parents of seven children : Milton is a resident of Littleport, 
this county; Thomas J. now resides in Wisconsin; A. Corey main- 
tains his home at Buena Vista; Ellis, subject of this sketch, was 
the next in order of birth ; Joseph ; Cassius was killed by lightning. 



304 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

and Rosina is the wife of John Pollock, of this county. Reared on 
the home farm, Ellis Noggle gained his early education in the 
district schools of Clayton county and supplemented this by at- 
tending the village schools of Elkport. He finally assumed the 
management of his father's farm, later followed the same vocation 
in an independent way, and thereafter he operated a sawmill for 
several years. In 1907 he engaged in the hotel and retail liquor 
business at Buena Vista, and with these lines of enterprise he con- 
tinued his association until the 1st of January, 1916, when he opened 
his present well equipped and attractively appointed general mer- 
chandise store in this village, where he is receiving a substantial 
and appreciative patronage. He is a Republican in politics, is 
affiliated with Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Loyal Order of 
Moose, and attends and gives liberal support to the Methodist 
church, of which his wife is an active member. On the 16th of 
February, 1896, Mr. Noggle wedded Miss Rillie Darrow, who was 
born at Peabody, Marion county, Kansas, on the 17th of November, 
1879, a daughter of Sylvester and Louisa (Knox) Darrow. Mr. 
and Mrs. Noggle have five children — Ada, May, Clifford, Sylvia, 
Edna and Geraldine. 

John Nuehring is one of the sterling and honored citizens who 
is specially entitled to specific representation in this history, for 
he is not only one of the extensive landholders and prosperous and 
influential farmers of the county, which has been his home from 
the time of his birth, but is also a scion of one of the very early 
pioneer families of Clayton county, with whose history the name 
has been identified for more than seventy years. Mr. Nuehring was 
born in Jefiferson township, this county, on the 16th of November, 
1848, and is a son of William and Mary (Biermann) Nuehring, 
both natives of the Kingdom of Hanover, Germany. William 
Nuehring was reared and educated in his native land and was a 
youth when he severed the home ties and set forth to seek his 
fortunes in America. He came to this country about the year 1838 
and first established his residence in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio. 
About the year 1843 he came to Clayton county, Iowa, and became 
one of the pioneer settlers of Jefferson township, where he obtained 
a tract of wild land and set to himself the task of reclaiming a farm. 
He proved himself well fortified for the activities and responsibil- 
ities of pioneer life, but his life was not spared to enable him to 
gain the fruition of his earnest labors. He passed to eternal rest 
about the year 1851, when in the prime of his useful manhood and 
when his son John, of this review, was a child of about three years. 
His wife survived him by more than forty years and was summoned 
to the life eternal about the year 1896, when venerable in age, both 
having been devout communicants of the Lutheran church. Of 
their children the first-born was Eliza, who died at the age of 76 
years ; Mary is the widow of Adam Brown and maintains her home 
in the city of Columbus, Ohio ; William is deceased ; John, of this 
review, was the next in order of birth ; Henry is a resident of Gut- 
tenburg, this county ; and Frederick is deceased. John Nuehring 
was, as already noted, a mere child at the time of his father's death, 



BIOGRAPHICAL 30$ 

but he was reared to manhood under the sturdy discipline of the 
pioneer farm, the while he made good use of the educational oppor- 
tunities afforded in the schools of the village of Guttenberg, a fine 
German colony having seen to it in the early days that excellent 
schools were provided for the youth of the community. Mr, Nueh- 
ring as a youth continued his active association with the work and 
management of the old home farm which was the place of his 
birth, and finally he purchased the property, his present valuable 
landed estate, which comprises four hundred acres and constitutes 
one of the model farms of the county. He still gives his active 
supervision to the operations of his splendidly improved farm, which 
is devoted to diversified agriculture and to the raising of high-grade 
live stock, including the Aberdeen type of cattle. Mr. Nuehring 
has never wavered in his allegiance to the Republican party, has 
been loyal and public-spirited as a citizen, has served as school 
director, and both he and his wife have long been zealous commu- 
nicants of the Lutheran church at Guttenberg, which is their post- 
office address. In April, 1870, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. 
Nuehring to Miss Annistina Ribbie, who was born in Hanover, 
Germany, on the 18th of September, 1852, and who was a child 
when her parents, William and Louisa (Luehring) Ribbie came to 
Clayton county and established their home in Jefferson township. 
Of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Nuehring the first was Amelia, who 
died when about 18 years of age ; Alvina remains at the parental 
home; Louisa is the wife of Otto Lake, of Guttenberg; William 
is a substantial farmer of Jefferson township and is individually 
mentioned on other pages of this work ; and Mary died in childhood. 

William Nuehring is a scion of the third generation of the 
Nuehring family in Clayton county and as an ambitious and pro- 
gressive agriculturist and stock-grower he is effectively upholding 
the civic and industrial prestige of the honored name which he bears 
and which has been worthily linked with the history of this county 
since the early pioneer days. Due record concerning the family 
history is given on other pages of this compilation, in the sketch 
of the career of his father, John Nuehring, and it is thus unneces.sary 
to repeat the data in the present article. William Nuehring was 
born in Jefferson township, this county, on the 16tli of August, 
1877, and is a son of John and Annistina (Ribbie) Nuehring, who 
still reside on their fine landed estate in Jefferson township. Wil- 
liam gained his early educational training in the schools of his na- 
tive township and continued to be associated in the work of his 
father's farm until he had attained to the age of twenty years, after 
which he conducted independent farming operations on rented land 
for eight years. He proved in this connection his versatility and 
resourcefulness as an exponent of agriculture and live stock in- 
dustry, and in 1905 he purchased his present admirably improved 
stock farm, which is eligibly situated in Section 30, Jefferson town- 
ship, and which comprises two hundred acres of as fine land as is 
to be found in this favored section of the Hawkeye state. He is 
giving special attention to the raising of Hereford cattle and ap- 
proved grades of swine, in connection with his general agricultural 



306 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

Operations, and his success has been of unequivocal order. He is 
one of the wide-awake and progressive farmers and loyal and pop- 
ular citizens of his native township and county, is an active mem- 
ber of the Farmers' Shipping Society and a director of the Clayton 
County Mutual Insurance Company. His political allegiance is 
given to the Republican party, he has served with marked efficiency 
and acceptability in the office of township trustee, besides which he 
has accorded equally effective service as a member of the school 
board of his district. Both he and his wife are communicants of 
the Lutheran church at Guttenberg, from which village their at- 
tractive home receives service on rural mail route No. 2. On the 
18th of February, 1897, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Nueh- 
ring to Miss Mathilda Dittmer, who likewise was born and reared 
in this county and who is a daughter of Gustav and Ricka (Rausch) 
Dittmer, of Guttenberg. Mr. and Mrs. Nuehring have four children, 
namely: Verni, Sylvia, Augusta and Mathilda. 

August Obermoller is another of the native sons of Clayton 
county who has proved conclusively that through the medium of 
agricultural and live-stock industry is to be gained substantial and 
enduring prosperity, and it is through such means that he has won 
large and worthy success through his own energy, ambition and 
well-ordered endeavors. He has held to the course of integrity and 
honor in all of the relations of life, is one of the highly esteemed 
citizens of his native county and is especially entitled to recogni- 
tion in this history. He was born on a pioneer farm in Garnavillo 
township, this county, on the 24th of October, 1859, and the place 
of his nativity was a humble log house of the true pioneer type. 
He is one of the two surviving members of a family of three chil- 
dren and is a son of Peter and Augusta (Vedaman) Obermoller, 
who immigrated to America from their native district of Germany 
in the year 1856. They settled that year in Clayton county, and 
the little log house which the father built on his embryonic farm 
was equipped with clapboard roof, a floor of rough boards and a 
door with the old-time latch string. On this farm the parents 
passed the remainder of their lives, industrious, upright and useful 
citizens who commanded unqualified popular esteem. The pioneer 
schools of Clayton county provided August Obermoller with his 
somewhat limited educational advantages in boyhood and youth 
and he assisted his father in the work of the home farm until he 
became of age. He then began his independent operations as an 
agriculturist and stock-raiser on the farm which he now owns and 
occupies and which has been brought to its present fine status 
through his energy and good management. With increasing finan- 
cial resources he made additions to his landed estate, and his well- 
improved homestead now comprises two hundred acres, in Section 
35, Farmersburg township, and 40 acres in Garnavillo township. 
On the place Mr. Obermoller has erected the best type of farm 
buildings, including a commodious house that is known for its gen- 
erous hospitality and good cheer. In addition to this valuable prop- 
erty Mr. Obermoller owns three hundred and twenty acres of good 
land near Delrapids, South Dakota, and this latter estate is also 



BIOGRAPHICAL 307 

well improved. He has been one of the world's noble army of un- 
assuming but effective workers, has been loyal to all civic duties 
and responsibilities and has not swerved from the course of alle- 
giance to the Republican party, the while both he and his wife 
have exemplified in their daily lives the faith they profess as earn- 
est communicants of the Lutheran church. In 1886 was solemnized 
the marriage of Mr. Obermcller to Miss Katherine Greimann, who 
was born and reared in this county and who is a daughter of Wil- 
liam and Anna (Hollbrugee) Greimann, who came from Germany 
in 1852 and who were honored pioneer citizens of Clayton county 
at the time of their death. Of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Ober- 
moller the first-born was Peter, who is deceased ; Anna is the wife 
of Christ Bierbaum ; William continues to be associated in the 
activities of the home farm ; Augusta is the wife of William Nei- 
mann ; Wilhelmina remains at the parental home ; Louisa is de- 
ceased ; and Mary is the youngest member of the home circle, 
Edwin Olson is one of the substantial and progressive farmers 
of the younger generation in his native township and is a repre- 
sentative of one of the sterling Scandinavian families that have 
played an important part in the development and progress of this 
prosperous and attractive section of the Hawkeye state. Mr. Olson 
was born on the home farm of his parents in Marion township, and 
the date of his nativity was March 8, 1895. He is a son of Ole K. 
and Isabel (Gulsvig) Olson, who were born in Norway and both 
of whom passed the closing years of their lives on the well-improved 
farm in Marion township, where the father established his residence 
upon coming to this county as a young man. Both were earnest 
members of the Norwegian Lutheran church and they lived right- 
eous, productive and unassuming lives, secure in the respect and 
good will of all who knew them. Of their five children the first- 
born, Cornelius, died in infancy, and to the second son likewise 
was given the name of Cornelius, he being now a prosperous farmer 
in Marion township, and Edwin, subject of this review, being the 
next in order of birth ; Melvin is now a resident of Forest Lake, 
Minnesota, as is also Jetina, the youngest of the children. That 
Edwin Olson did not neglect the educational advantages that were 
afiforded him in his youth is indicated by the fact that he continued 
to attend the public schools of his home township until he had at- 
tained to the age of eighteen years. He gained in the meanwhile 
equally valuable discipline through his active and effective asso- 
ciation with the work and management of the home farm. In ini- 
tiating his independent career he rented a farm in his native town- 
ship, and under such conditions he continued his energetic opera- 
tions as an agriculturist and stock-grower until he was fortified for 
the purchasing of his present farm, which he obtained in the year 
1915 and which comprises one hundred and sixty acres of fertile 
and well-improved land, in Section 12, Marion township, with serv- 
ice on rural mail route No. 4 from the village of Elgin. Here Mr. 
Olson is bending his energies to progressive enterprise as an agri- 
culturist and as a raiser of good grades of live stock, and he is one 
of the substantial and prosperous young men of his native county, 



308 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

with high reputation for sturdy integrity of purpose in connection 
with all the associations and responsibilities of life. His political 
allegiance is given to the Republican party and both he and his 
wife hold membership in the Norwegian Lutheran church. On the 
23d of February, 1915, was recorded the marriage of Mr. Olson to 
Miss Bertina Gunderson, who was born in Fayette county, this 
state, and who presides most graciously and effectively over the 
domestic economies and social activities of their pleasant home. 
Martin A. Olson is another of the sterling citizens who has 
found in his native county ample scope for successful achievement 
in connection with the great basic industry of agriculture, and he 
is one of the substantial and progressive farmers of Wagner town- 
ship, with secure standing as one of the loyal and public-spirited 
citizens of the county in which he was born and reared and in 
which he stands as a popular representative of an honored pioneer 
family. Mr. Olson was born in Wagner township, this county, 
on the 15th of October, 1878, and is a son of Aslak and Gro Olson, 
both natives of Norway. Aslak Olson was reared to manhood in 
his native land and upon coming to the United States he numbered 
himself among the pioneers of Iowa. In the early '60s he settled 
near Postville, Clayton county, where he continued his activities 
as a pioneer farmer until about 1870, when he purchased and re- 
moved to a farm in Section 34, Wagner township, where he gained 
large and worthy success as one of the resourceful and energetic 
farmers of the county and where he continued to reside until his 
death, which occurred in 1895. His widow survived him by a score 
of years and was a venerable and loved pioneer woman of Clayton 
county at the time of her death, on the 4th of October, 1915. Of 
the children of this honored pioneer couple the eldest is Sigre, who 
is the wife of E. T. Sensegard, of Wagner township ; Ole and Nels 
A. are representative farmers of that township ; Lars is a resident 
of Decorah, Winneshiek county ; Albert maintains his home at For- 
est City, Winnebago county; Martin, of this review, was the next 
in order of birth ; Julia is the wife of T. T. Loftogard, of Marion 
township, this county ; and Oscar is a prosperous farmer in Wag- 
ner township. By a former marriage Aslak Olson became the 
father of three children^ — Gulik, who is now a resident of North 
Dakota ; and Astria and Sigre, who are deceased. Martin A. Olson 
found the period of his childhood and youth compassed by the 
benignant influences and discipline of the home farm, and his early 
educational advantages were those afforded in the public schools 
of the locality and period. While still a boy he began to give ef- 
fective assistance in the work of the home farm, and thus it is but 
natural that he should have developed into one of the most prac- 
tical and resourceful of exponents of agricultural industry in his 
native county. After the death of his honored father he assumed 
charge of the home farm, which he rented from his widowed mother 
for one year. He then went to North Dakota and entered claim 
to a homestead, to the improvement of which he gave his atten- 
tion for one year. He then returned to Clayton county and again 
rented the old homestead farm, in connection with which he also 



BIOGRAPHICAL ' 309 

look charge of an additional tract of one hundred and sixty acres, 
which he had purchased prior to going to North Dakota. His own 
farm, which is eligibly situated in Section 26, Wagner township, 
is about one mile distant from St. Olaf, which is his postoffice ad- 
dress, and in 1914 he removed from his father's old homestead to 
his own farm, upon which he had erected an excellent modern 
house of two stories, besides having made other improvements of 
the best order. He devotes his attention successfully to diversified 
agriculture and stock-growing, and has become known also as 
somewhat of a specialist in the raising of bees, as a practical and 
enthusiastic apiarist. On the 4th of September, 1912, was solemn- 
ized the marriage of Mr. Olson to Miss Mabel Nestevy, who was 
born in the State of Minnesota, and the three children of this union 
are: Melvin Arthur, who was born August 17, 1913; Adella Mar- 
guerite, who was born October 11, 1914, and Joel Joseph, the baby, 
who was born April 30, 1916. Both Mr. Olson and his wife are 
strict members of the International Bible Association. 

Nels A. Olson is one of the native sons of Clayton county who 
is here contributing a due quota to the agricultural prestige of the 
county, and he is one of the progressive and highly esteemed citi- 
zens of Wagner township, where he is the owner of one of the 
well-improved and highly productive farms of this favored section 
of the Hawkeye State. Further interest attaches to his career by 
reason of his being a scion of one of the sterling pioneer families 
of Clayton county and a representative of that fine Scandinavian 
element of citizenship that has played so important a part in fur- 
thering the civic and industrial development of the county. Nels 
A. Olson was born on the old homestead farm of his father, in 
Wagner township, this county, and the date of his nativity was 
March 10, 1872. He is a son of Aslak and Gso (Westeleg) Olson, 
both of whom were born and reared in Norway, where their mar- 
riage was solemnized. In the early '60s Aslak Olson and his wife 
immigrated from the fair Norseland to the United States and es- 
tablished their home on a pioneer farm near Postville, Clayton 
county, Iowa, where they remained until about 1870, when they 
removed to a farm in Section 34, Wagner township, where Mr. 
Olson brought under effective cultivation a fine homestead of 170 
acres. He was one of the energetic, industrious and successful 
farmers of the county and his sterling character gave to him se- 
cure place in popular confidence and good will. He continued to 
reside on his farm until his death, which occurred in 1895, and his 
widow passed to the life eternal on the 4th of October, 1915 — an 
earnest and faithful helpmeet who had done well her part in aiding 
her husband to win independence and prosperity and who had 
proved a devoted wife and mother. Of the children the eldest is 
Astri, who is the wife of T. Jacobson, of St. Olaf, this county; 
Sigre is the wife of E. T. Sensegard. of Wagner township; Ole 
and Nels A. are both prosperous farmers of Wagner township and 
the latter is the immediate subject of this sketch ; Lars is a resi- 
dent of Decorah, Winneshiek county ; Albert maintains his home 
at Forest City, Winnebago county ; Martin A. is individually men- 



3IO MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

tioned on other pages of this work ; Julia is the wife of T. T. Laf- 
togard, of Marion township, Clayton county; and Oscar is a pros- 
perous farmer in Wagner township. By his first marriage the 
father had three children : Gulik, who is a resident of the State of 
North Dakota; and Astria and Sigre, who are deceased. Aslak 
Olson aligned himself as a staunch supporter of the cause of his 
political party and took a loyal interest in local public affairs, both 
he and his wife having been earnest members of the Lutheran 
church. Nels A. Olson was reared to the sturdy discipline of the 
home farm and continued to be associated with its work and man- 
agement until about the year 1892 ; the while he had profited duly 
by the advantages afforded in the public schools of the locality. 
After leaving the old homestead on which he was born and reared 
he purchased his present fine farm of eighty acres, in Section 35, 
Wagner township, and he has not only brought his land under the 
best state of productiveness but has also made permanent improve- 
ments of exceptional excellence, including the erection of a sub- 
stantial and modern brick house of two stories. He is known as 
one of the wide-awake and successful representatives of agricul- 
tural industry in his native county, as a liberal and progressive 
citizen and as one altogether worthy of the unqualified esteem in 
which he is held in the community that has been his home from 
the time of his birth. His political allegiance is given to the Re- 
publican party and both he and his wife hold membership in the 
International Bible Association. On the 20th of December, 1897, 
Mr. Olson wedded Miss Mary Olson, who was born in Clayton 
county on the 18th of April, 1874, and who is a daughter of Gilbert 
and Laura (Peterson) Olson, both natives of Norway. Gilbert 
Olson was another of the sterling pioneers and successful farmers 
of Clayton county, where he continued to reside until his death, 
his widow now maintaining her home at Elkader, the county seat. 
Of their children it may be recorded that Ole is a prosperous farmer 
of Boardman township; Mary, wife of the subject of this review, 
was the next in order of birth ; Peter is a resident of Elkader ; Julia 
is the wife of Ole Olson, a farmer of Wagner township ; Louisa is 
deceased ; and Gustav resides at Elkader. Mr. and Mrs. Nels A. 
Olson became the parents of three children: Alph, who was born 
May 6, 1899 ; Millard, deceased ; and Ira Rayme, who was born 
May 7, 1906. 

Thomas J. Olson, one of the representative agriculturists and 
stock-growers of Clayton county, owns and stages his activities 
on the old homestead farm, in Section 10, Marion township, that 
figures as the place of his birth, the date of his nativity having been 
May 14, 1874. He has inviolable place in the confidence and good 
will of the people of the community that has ever represented his 
home, and is now serving as township trustee and as a member of 
the school board of the district in which he himself gained his early 
educational discipline. He has been the zealous and efficient in- 
cumbent of the position of township trustee since 1912 and as an 
executive has put forth earnest efforts to further the measures 
and enterprises that have been projected for the general good of 



BIOGRAPHICAL 3II 

the community. His political allegiance is with the Republican 
party and he and his wife are communicants of the Norwegian 
Lutheran church, their attractive and hospitable home receiving 
service on rural mail route No. 4 from the neighboring village of 
Elgin. Mr. Olson is a son of John C. and Rachel (Holstenson) 
Olson, the former of whom was born in Norway and the latter in 
Clayton county, Iowa, where her parents settled in the early pioneer 
days. John C. Olson was a young man when he came to America 
and established his residence in Clayton county. He began his 
farming operation near McGregor, and about the year 1870 he re- 
moved to Marion township and purchased a tract of land in Section 
10, where he eventually reclaimed and brought under effective cul- 
tivation a fine farm of two hundred acres. Here he continued his 
residence, a sturdy and honored citizen, until his death, which oc- 
curred in 1890, and his venerable widow still remains with her son 
Thomas J., of this review, on the old homestead. He to whom this 
sketch is dedicated is the eldest of the eight children ; Ole resides 
at Clermont, Fayette county ; Mary is the wife of Elling S. Houg, 
of Marion township ; Tillie is the wife of John H. Olson and their 
home is in North Dakota ; Emma is the wife of Henry E. Rear, of 
Fayette county ; Adolph is a successful farmer in Wagner township, 
Clayton county ; Henry is now a merchant in Hillsboro, North Da- 
kota ; and Josephine is the wife of Conrad Reinhardt, of Chandler, 
North Dakota. The public schools of his native township afforded 
to Thomas J. Olson his early educational advantages and he con- 
tinued to assist in the work of the home farm until he was twenty 
years of age. Thereafter he passed about ten months in North 
Dakota, and then he resumed his association with the work and 
management of the homestead farm. In 1897 he purchased this 
valuable property, which comprises one hundred and ninety-five 
acres of fertile land, excellently improved with good buildings and 
maintained under effective cultivation and as the stage of successful 
stock-raising enterprise. June 24, 1894, recorded the marriage of 
Mr. Olson to Miss Mary H. Olson, who likewise was born and 
reared in this county and who is a daughter of the late Hans and 
Sarah (Knudson) Olson, the former of whom died December 4, 
1915, and the latter on the 6th of July. 1906. Of the children the 
wife of the subject of this review was the second in order of birth; 
Charles, Ole and John are residents of North Dakota, as is also 
Emma, who is the wife of Ole Kuppon ; Henry is deceased ; Louis 
is a resident of North Dakota and the youngest child, a daughter, 
died in infancy. Of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Olson 
the eldest is Henry, who is associated with his father in the work 
and management of the home farm ; John died in childhood ; Selma 
was born April 15, 1901, and remains at the parental home; Elmer 
was born May 24, 1903, and is still attending school ; Thalmar is 
deceased ; and the three younger members of the happy home cir- 
cle are: Myrtle, born February 14. 1907; Agnes, born February 4, 
1910; and John, born October 10, 1913. 

Henry K. Oppermann, one of the representative farmers of 
Cass township, has been a resident of Clayton county since his 



312 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

boyhood days and is a member of a family tliat here settled nearly 
half a century ago. He was born near Darlington, Wisconsin, on 
the 23d of September, 1859, and is a son of Christian and Minnie 
(Props) Oppermann, who immigrated from Germany and became 
pioneer settlers in Wisconsin, where they remained until 1867, when 
they came to Clayton county, Iowa, and established their home 
on a pioneer farm in Cass township, where they passed the re- 
mainder of their earnest and worthy lives. They became the par- 
ents of eight children, of whom five are living, and they were zeal- 
ous communicants of the Lutheran church, in the faith of whom 
they carefully reared their children. He to whom this sketch is 
dedicated was a lad of about eight years at the time of the family 
removal from Wisconsin to Clayton county, and here he was reared 
to manhood on the old home farm ; the while he profited by the 
advantages afforded in the common schools of the locality. He 
remained at the parental home until he had arrived at his legal 
majority and then began his independent career as a farmer on 
rented land. He continued his operations under these conditions 
about eight years and then purchased the fine homestead farm upon 
which he now resides, the same comprising one hundred and forty 
acres of fertile land, in Sections 4 and 9, Cass township. Much 
of the land was reclaimed personally by the present owner and the 
substantial and attractive farm buildings were erected by him, all 
things about the attractive rural domain giving evidence of thrift 
and prosperity. After living on the farm about nine years Mr. Op- 
permann and his wife removed to the village of Strawberry Point, 
where he engaged in teaming and where he remained about four- 
teen years. He then returned to his farm, to the active manage- 
ment of which he has since continued to give his attention. His 
political allegiance is given to the Democratic party and he and his 
wife are members of the Lutheran church at Strawberry Point, 
from which village they have service on rural mail route No. 3. In 
1883 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Opperman to Miss Mary 
Griesinger, who was born in Germany, and who came to America 
when a girl. Mr. and Mrs. Oppermann became the parents of five 
children : Anna, Katie, Irwin, Gottlieb and Edgar, and all are de- 
ceased except Edgar, who remains at the parental home and is his 
lather's valued associate in the work and management of the farm. 

Otis, Col. George Henry, was born October 10, 1838, in Kees- 
ville, New York, and was the son of Thomas Jefferson Otis. His par- 
ents were both natives of that state, although the mother was reared 
in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, and it was there her marriage took 
place. Thomas Jefferson Otis was a boot and shoe manufacturer 
at Elmira, New York, and subsequently saw service in the Mexican 
War. He was affiliated with the Republican party in politics, and 
was a member of the Methodist church. He located in the State 
of Iowa with his wife and family in 1856, but afterwards removed 
to Austin. Minnesota, where he died in 1874, his wife following him 
in death in 1882 at McGregor, Iowa. Of the four children born to 
this union, George Henry, the subject of this sketch, is the sole 
survivor. Edmond R., William and Elizabeth are deceased. George 




COL. GEORGE H. OTIS 



THE NEW n,n.fc 

PUBLIC LIBKAKY 



A8T0K, LEN»X ANQ 

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BIOGRAPHICAL 313 

H. Otis received his elementary education in the schools of Elmira, 
New York, Racine, and Mineral Point, Wisconsin. At the age of 
fourteen years he entered the office of the Mineral Point Tribune 
as an apprentice in 1852, but nine years later, at the outbreak of 
the Civil War, he enlisted in the service of his country. His war 
record is a brave and enviable one. He was mustered in as a pri- 
vate and in recognition of excellent and courageous service received 
rapid promotion through the ranks of corporal, sergeant, second 
lieutenant, first lieutenant, and captain of Company I, Second Wis- 
consin Volunteer Infantry, in the famous Iron Brigade. Still higher 
honors were bestowed upon him when he was made major and pro- 
moted lieutenant colonel of his regiment. Still later he was trans- 
ferred by the war department and received a commission as major 
of the Eighth United States Reserves. He gave long and honorable 
service to his country, extending over a time of four years and two 
months, and participated in all the engagements of the Army of the 
Potomac, beginning with the first Battle of Bull Run. He was 
married at Dodgeville, Wisconsin, February 14, 1868, to Marie E. 
Owens, who died March 31, 1871, leaving no children. On Febru- 
ary 19, 1874, he took for his second wife Kate M. Seitz, of Mc- 
Gregor, Iowa, and four children were born to them : Edmund R., 
who is married to Dora Entwisle, and is a prominent and successful 
lawyer and real estate dealer, with headquarters at Des Moines and 
Denver; Irving J., who is a linotype operator in San Francisco, 
California, and married to Clara L. Curtis ; George Stanley, married, 
and secretary of the Chamber of Commerce of Miles City, Mon- 
tana; and Marian Rebecca, wife of Herbert Buchanan, of Monona, 
Iowa. Mr. Otis is an aggressive and consistent advocate of the 
doctrines enunciated by the Republican party, and has served the 
city of Monona as mayor, was postmaster for nine years and filled 
minor offices in a thorough and acceptable manner. In religious 
belief he is a Methodist. He is a member of the Masonic lodge, the 
Community Club, the Grand Army of the Republic, in the last of 
which he has served as Commander of Monona Post No. 495. 

Christian H. Overbeck has been a resident of Clayton county 
since his boyhood, is a scion of one of the sterling German pioneer 
families of this section of the Hawkeye State, and he has contributed 
his share to the civic and material development and progress of the 
county as a successful farmer, as a merchant and as a loyal and pub- 
lic-spirited citizen. He is now living retired in the village of Luana, 
where he was formerly engaged in the hardware business, with 
which he continued to be identified until 1904, when he sold the 
same to the present proprietor, Rudolph J. Stoehr. Christoph Henry 
Overbeck was born in the Province of Flanover, Germany, on the 
9th of June, 1843, and has been a resident of Clayton county for 
more than sixty years. He is a son of Adam and Louise (Wagman) 
Overbeck, both of whom were born and reared in Hanover, where 
they continued to maintain their home until 1852, when they immi- 
grated to the United States, their son Christoph H. having been 
at the time a lad of about eight years. The family remained about 
six months in the State of Indiana and in the spring of 1853 came 



314 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

to Clayton county, Iowa, and became members of the fine German 
pioneer colony in and about the present village of Guttenberg. 
There Adam Overbeck obtained a tract of government land and 
instituted the development of a farm, the same having comprised 
forty acres. On this old homestead, which he made one of the 
productive farms of the county, both he and his wife passed the 
remainder of their lives — folk of prodigious industry and sterling 
character, and well worthy of the high esteem in which they were 
held. They were honored pioneer citizens of this county at the 
time of their death, and both were earnest communicants of the 
German Lutheran church. Of their children the subject of this 
sketch is the eldest; Louisa is the wife of Bernhard F. Schroder, 
•of Postville, Allamakee county; and Henry resides at Elgin, Fay- 
ette county. Christoph H. Overbeck was reared to the sturdy dis- 
cipline of the pioneer farms and in the meanwhile did not in the 
least neglect the advantages afforded him in the schools of the 
locality. He soon initiated a virtually independent career by find- 
ing employment at farm work aside from that of the home place, 
and at the age of twenty-three years he became associated with his 
father in the renting of a farm which he later purchased. To the 
work and management of this farm he continued to devote his at- 
tention about 5 years, and after selling the property he purchased 
a tract of two hundred and seventy acres in Grand Meadow town- 
ship. This large landed estate he developed into one of the model 
farms of this section of the State by bringing it under effective cul- 
tivation and by making the best of permanent improvements, in- 
cluding the erection of substantial farm buildings. There he won 
distinctive success in connection with diversified agriculture and 
the raising of good grades of live stock, and he continued his resi- 
dence on the farm until 1894, when, with a substantial competency, 
he retired from the arduous labors and manifold cares that had long 
been his portion, and established his home at Luana, where he owns 
an attractive residence and where he was for a number of years 
engaged in the hardware business, though he has lived retired from 
all active business since 1904, as previously intimated in this article. 
His career has been that of a quiet, unassuming, persistent and suc- 
cessful worker, and his character and achievement have been such 
as to make him fully entitled to the unqualified popular confidence 
and esteem in which he is held. His political allegiance is given 
to the Republican party and he has long been a zealous and earnest 
communicant of the German Lutheran church. For eleven years he 
served as treasurer of the church of this denomination at Luana. 
On the 4th of July. 1874, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. 
Overbeck to Miss Caroline Bierbaum, daughter of Gerhardt and 
Caroline (Walker) Bierbaum, who were honored pioneers of Clay- 
ton county. Mrs. Overbeck passed to the life eternal on the 16th 
of July, 1899, a devoted wife and mother and an earnest commu- 
nicant of the German Lutheran church. Of the children of this 
union the first, Catherine, died in childhood ; Caroline remains at 
the paternal home ; Louise is the wife of John Goerges and they 
reside in South Dakota ; August and Anna are deceased ; Benjamin 



BIOGRAPHICAL ^1$ 

and Margaret are twins, the former being a substantial farmer in 
Monona township and the latter being the wife of William Loeske, 
of Denver, Colorado ; Eleanora is deceased ; Amelia remains at the 
home of her father; and Emma, Esther and Nora are deceased. 
On the 24th of December, 1904, Mr. Overbeck contracted a second 
marriage, when Mrs. Minnie (Springborn) Neverman became his 
wife, she having an adopted daughter. Bertha. Mrs. Overbeck was 
born at Garnavillo, this county, on the 3d of June, 1858, and is the 
eldest of a family of four children, the second of whom was John, 
who died young; Elizabeth is the wife of Fred Lempke, of Alla- 
makee county ; and Frederica is deceased. John and Elizabeth 
(Saaso) Springborn, the parents of Mrs. Overbeck, were born in 
Mecklenburg, Germany, and came to America about the year 1856. 
They became pioneer settlers near Farmersburg, Clayton county, 
where Mr. Springborn developed a good farm, to the operations of 
which he continued to give his attention until a short time before 
his death, his wife likewise being deceased, and both having been 
communicants of the German Lutheran church. 

Arthur J. Palas has gained secure vantage-ground as one of the 
able and representative members, of the bar of his native country, 
and at its judicial center, the city of Elkader, he is engaged in the 
successful practice of his profession. He is a scion of one of the 
old, honored and influential families of Clayton county, being one 
of the twelve children born to John and Caroline (Voss) Palas, 
both of whom are now deceased, the father having been one of the 
progressive and broad-minded citizens who contributed much to 
the civic and industrial development and advancement of this coun- 
try, where he owned at the time of his death one of the large and 
valuable landed estates of Farmersburg township. John Palas was 
the son of John and Eliza (Wiegman) Palas, and was born in Ger- 
many, October 14, 183 1. He came to the United States in 1855, 
settling in Clayton County and having upon his arrival but $25 with 
which to start his battle for fortune in his new home. With charac- 
teristic German thrift and energy, he at once began his career as a 
farmer, laying the foundations for the fortune which was later his. 
In 1858, he was married to Caroline, a daughter of Frederick Prust, a 
native of Germany. Three children were born to them — John, in 1859 ; 
Mary, in 1861, and William, in 1864. His wife died February 6, 1864, 
and in June, 1864, Mr. Palas was married to Carolina, a daughter of 
George and Mary (Plotz) Voss, also a native of Germany. The fruits 
of this union were ten children — Bertha, bom July 25, 1865 ; Carolina, 
deceased, born July i, 1866; Ida, born July 17, 1868; Anna, deceased, 
born Feb. 14, 1870 ; Henry, born November 24, 1871 ; Fritz, born July 
17, 1873 ; Louis, born July 25, 1875 ; Louisa, born June 19, 1877; Her- 
man, born July 25, 1879, and Arthur, the subject of this sketch, bom 
May 19, 1891. John Palas was highly successful as a farmer and was 
highly esteemed as a citizen. He and his family were reared in 
the Lutheran faith, and Mr. Palas gave his political allegiance 
to the Republican party. At the time of his death he was the owner 
of a farm of 710 acres in Farmersburg township. 



3l6 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

Arthur J. Palas was born on the old homestead farm, in Farm- 
ersburg township, and the date of his nativity was May 19, 1881. 
He received his higher academic or literary education in Drake 
University, from which he received the baccalaureate degree, and 
within a comparatively short time after leaving this institution, 
in the city of Des Moines, he went to Texas. In the Lone Star 
state he availed himself of the excellent advantages of the law 
department of the University of Texas, at Austin, in which he 
completed the prescribed curriculum and was graduated with the 
degree of Bachelor of Laws. Soon after his graduation, with inci- 
dental admission to the Texas bar, Mr. Palas returned to Iowa and 
engaged in the practice of his profession in the city of Des Moines, 
where he remained two years. He then returned to his native 
county, in 1911, and he has since been established in active general 
practice at Elkader, where his ability has been distinctively shown 
forth both in his activities as a trial lawyer and as a well fortified 
counselor. He has developed a substantial and representative law 
business and is one of the prominent and popular members of the 
Clayton county bar. That he has not been denied the fullest meas- 
ure of popular confidence and esteem is indicated by his present in- 
cumbency of the office of county attorney and as a public prosecu- 
tor he has made an excellent record that has added materially to 
his professional reputation. His political allegiance is given to 
the Democratic party and both he and his wife hold membership 
in the German Evangelical church. Mr. Palas married Miss Anna 
Rehmann, who was born at Osage, Mitchell county, this state, a 
daughter of John W. and Anna (Gundlach) Rehmann, the former 
a native of Germany and the latter of Fayette county, Iowa, where 
their marriage was solemnized. Mr. Rehmann was a musician of 
fine talent and was a representative teacher of music in the city 
of Des Moines at the time of his death, his widow being still a 
resident of that city. Of their children, the eldest is Ada, whose 
husband, Reinhold Weissinger, is now a soldier in the German 
army and taking part in the great European war; Mrs. Palas was 
the next in order of birth ; Elsa is the wife of Arthur Neumann, a 
successful contractor and builder in the city of Des Moines ; John is 
engaged in the furniture business at Des Moines ; and Theodore is 
a student in the department of forestry at the Iowa State Agri- 
cultural College, at Ames. 

Henry Palas is to be designated with all consistency as one of 
the representative farmers and popular and influential citizens of 
his native country and township, and is the owner of a well im- 
proved landed estate of two hundred and eighteen acres, eligibly 
situation in Monona township and devoted to well ordered opera- 
tion along the lines of diversified agriculture and the raising of 
high-grade live-stock. The major part of this fine farm was pur- 
chased by Mr. Palas in 1896, when he was a young man of twenty- 
five years, and to the original tract of one hundred and ninety-eight 
acres he added by the subsequent purchase of a contiguous tract of 
twenty acres. He has been specially successful in the raising of 
Angus cattle, of which he keeps an average of about fifty head, and 



BIOGRAPHICAL 3I7 

in the raising of good grades of swine, of which he has about one 
hundred head at the time of this writing, in the summer of 1916. 
Mr. Palas is a stockholder of the Luana Savings Bank, in the 
Farmers' Co-operative Stock Company and the Farmers' Co- 
operative Creamery Co. at Luana, and also in the Town Hall Asso- 
ciation of Luana. He is unfaltering in his allegiance to the Demo- 
cratic party, is well fortified in his opinions concerning matters of 
public im}>ort. is serving as president of the school board of his dis- 
trict and is giving characteristically effective administration in the 
office of township trustee, both he and his wife being communi- 
cants and liberal supporters of the German Lutheran church at 
Luana, from which village their attractive farm home receives 
service on rural mail route No. 1. Of the parents of Mr. Palas — 
John and Caroline (Voss) Palas — honored pioneers of Clayton 
county, adequate mention is made on other pages of this work, 
in the sketch dedicated to their son, Arthur Palas. Henry Palas, 
the immediate subject of this review, was born in Farmersburg 
township, on the 21st of November, 1871, and after having profited 
fully by the advantages afforded in the public schools of the county 
he continued to be associated in the work and management of his 
father's farm until he had attained to the age of twenty-five years, 
when, as previously noted, he purchased his present farm, to the 
successful operation of which he has since given his close attention 
and npon which he has made many high-grade improvements, so 
that the place is one of the model rural homesteads of Clayton 
county. On the 25th of February, 1898, was solemnized the mar- 
riage of Mr. Palas to Miss Emma Buckmann, who was born in 
Farmersburg township, on the 23d of October, 1876, a daughter of 
John and Frederica (Otting) Buckmann, both natives of Germany. 
John Buckmann was a child of three years at the time of his 
parents' immigration to America, and after residing for a time in 
the city of Cleveland, Ohio, the family came to Clayton county and 
settled in Read township. Mr. Buckmann and his wife still reside 
on their old homestead farm, in Farmsburg township, where their 
daughter Emma, Mrs. Palas, was reared to adult age, her educa- 
tional advantages having included those afforded in the village 
schools at National. Mr. and Mrs. Palas became the parents of 
eight children, all of whom remain at the parental home save Lloyd, 
who was the fourth in order of birth and who died at the age of 
five years. The name of the children who remain members of the 
ideal home circle are here noted in the respective order of birth : 
Arthur, Herbert, Ella, Leroy, Henry, Helen and Margaret. 

Louis J. Palas was born on the 25th of July, 1875, and the place 
of his nativity was the fine farmstead on which he now resides, 
in Sections 29 and 30. Farmersburg township, where he is the owner 
of a splendidly improved and well ordered landed estate of two 
hundred and forty acres, besides which he holds in his possession 
a valuable tract of thirty acres of timber land, in Section 24, of 
the same township. This fine old homestead, known as the Stone 
Wall Farm, has been the stage of his vigorous and progressive oper- 
ations as an agriculturist and stock-grower, and in these important 



3l8 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

industrial lines he has added to the prestige which his father had 
long enjoyed in the same field of enterprise. He gives special atten- 
tion to the raising of Red Polled cattle and Berkshire swine, and 
has achieved not only marked success but also more than local 
reputation in this department of his farm operations. Mr. Palas 
is emphatically one of the liberal and progressive citizens of his 
native county, where he is a popular representative of an honored 
pioneer family, and his prominence and influence in connection with 
civic and business afifairs are indicated measureably by the fact that 
he is a director of the Clayton County Telephone Company, the 
Garnavillo Insurance Association, and the Clayton County Live 
Stock Association, besides which he is treasurer of the Farmersburg 
Creamery Company and the St. Olaf Creamery Company, of which 
latter he was formerly president. He is serving as a member of 
the board of trustees of Farmersburg township, is a stalwart in the 
local camp of the Democratic party and both he and his wife are 
communicants of the Lutheran church at Farmersburg. Their 
home is an attractive modern residence with the most approved 
appointments and facilities, including an individual electric light 
system. The beautiful home is the acme of comfort and pleasing 
surroundings, and is further known as a center of hospitality. M. 
Palas was reared to manhood on the fine farm of which he is now 
the owner and is indebted to the public schools of his native county 
for his early educational training. Soon after attaining to his legal 
majority he purchased the old homestead farm, to the supervision 
and improvement of which he has since given his attention with all 
of zeal and enterprise, so that he stands forth as one of the essen- 
tially representative exponents of agricultural and live-stock indus- 
try in Clayton county. He is a son of John and Caroline (Foss) 
Palas, both natives of Germany. Upon coming to America, in 1851, 
the parents became pioneers of Clayton county, and later they came 
into possession of the farm now owned by the subject of this sketch, 
the father having reclaimed the same from the primitive wilds and 
having become one of the substantial, well-known and highly-hon- 
ored citizens of Farmersburg township. John Palas passed forward 
to the life eternal in the year 1903, and his widow was summoned 
to eternal rest in 1910. both having been devoted communicants 
of the Lutheran church. Of their fourteen children all are living 
except two. On the 26th of February, 1901, was solemnized the 
marriage of Louis J. Palas to Miss Mary Lenth, who likewise was 
born and reared in this county and who is a daughter of Carl and 
Dorothea (Schmalfeld) Lenth, both natives of Germany and both 
numbered among the honored pioneers of Clayton county, where 
the father continued his association with agricultural pursuits until 
his death, which occurred in December, 1915. The widowed mother 
still resides on the old homestead and of the family of twelve chil- 
dren seven survive the honored father. The names and respective 
dates of birth of the four children of Mr. and Mrs. Palas are here 
indicated : Luther, May 22, 1904 ; HarleyJ., January 29, 1906 : Iva C, 
April 22, 1908; and Sylvan L., August 10, 1910. 



BIOGRAPHICAL 319 

John L. Palmer has not been compelled to go outside the lim- 
its of his native township to find opportunity for the achieving of 
definite and worthy success through association with the basic in- 
dustries of agriculture and stock-growing, and he is essentially one 
of the enterprising and substantial farmers of Mallory township. 
Mr. Palmer is descended, in both paternal and maternal lines, from 
families that were founded in America in the colonial period of our 
national history, and his father was born in the State of New York, 
his mother having been a native of Vermont. Mr. Palmer was 
born in the township that is now his home, and it is pleasing to note 
that the place of his birth, which occurred July 12, 1860, was the 
homestead farm which he now owns and occupies. He is a son of 
Henry and Clarissa (Penhollow) Palmer, and his father came to 
the west about the year 1841. Henry Palmer became one of the 
early settlers of Clayton county, where he obtained one hundred 
and sixty acres of government land, from which he reclaimed one 
of the fine farms of Mallory township. Here he remained, a sterling 
and honored citizen, until the time of his death, which occurred in 
1872, and his wife survived him by nearly two score of years, she 
having been summoned to eternal rest in 1910, when venerable in 
years. She was a devoted member of the United Brethren church, 
as was also her husband, and the latter gave his political allegiance 
to the Democratic party. Of the children the first-born were twins, 
Frank and Francis, the former being deceased and the latter being 
now a resident of Nebraska ; Eugene is deceased ; Charles is a res- 
ident of Dunn county, Wisconsin, and Richard of Spring Valley, 
that state; Whitman maintains his home at Blaine, Washington; 
Burdette is a substantial farmer in Mallory township ; Edna now 
resides in the city of Duluth, Minnesota ; Lucy is the wife of Lavine 
White, of Elk township, Clayton county ; Emma resides at Duluth ; 
and the subject of this sketch is the youngest of the number. John 
L. Palmer acquired his earlier educational training in the district 
school near his birthplace and supplemented this by attending the 
village schools at Elkport. After leaving school he continued his 
association with the work of his father's farm until he had attained 
to the age of 22 years, when he went to Knapp, Wisconsin, in which 
state he remained nine years, devoting his attention to farming dur- 
ing the greater part of this interval. He then returned to his native 
county and purchased eighty acres of his father's old home farm, 
upon which he has made excellent improvements, including the erec- 
tion of good buildings, and upon which he is giving his attention 
with marked success to the raising of general lines of agricultural 
products and the breeding and growing of high-grade live stock, in- 
cluding Durham cattle and Jersey Red swine. He is at all times 
ready to do his part in supporting measures and enterprises advanced 
for the general good of the community, is a Democrat in his polit- 
ical proclivities and has served with marked efficiency as school di- 
rector of his district, though he has had naught of desire for political 
preferment. He is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America 
and his wife is a member of the United Brethren church. September 
10, 1882, stands as the date recording the marriage of Mr. Palmer 



320 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

to Miss Catherine Mallory, who was born in Delaware county, this 
state, on the 11th of September, 1863, a daughter of Augustus H. 
and Rose (Knee) Mallory, concerning whom more specific mention 
is made on other pages of this work, in the sketch dedicated to their 
son Horace A. Mrs. Palmer has been a resident of Mallory town- 
ship since early childhood and received her education in the public 
schools of this part of Clayton county. To Mr. and Mrs. Palmer 
have been born eight children, concerning whom brief record is 
given in conclusion of this review : Harry, who was born September 
3, 1883, is now a resident of Aberdeen, Washington ; Ralph M. 
who now maintains his home at Duluth, Minnesota, was born Nov- 
ember 13, 1885 ; Francis, who was born December 27, 1888, died 
at the age of five years; Ray resides at Dayton, Iowa, and was born 
February 4, 1893. The other four children remain at the parental 
home and their names and respective dates of birth are here indi- 
cated: Augustus, April 14, 1895; Edna B., December 15, 1897; 
Max, March 18, 1901 ; and Howard, March 5, 1907. 

Dr. H. S. Patterson, a prominent physician of Clayton, Iowa, 
was born June 5, 1851, and is a son of Wesley and Lucy Ann (Shu- 
man) Patterson. His father is a native of Ohio, and his mother was 
born in Pennsylvania, but soon after their marriage they came to 
Iowa, locating in Clayton county, on a farm in 1850, remaining until 
1891. In that year they went to North Dakota, where Mr. Patter- 
son began a banking business, that proved to be a most prosperous 
undertaking, in which he accumulated great wealth. Mrs. Patter- 
son died June 7, 1915. To this marriage were born six children, 
of whom the subject of this sketch is the eldest, followed by Daniel 
of New Rockford, North Dakota ; Joseph, who is a bank president 
of Wahpeton, North Dakota ; Wesley, Jr., of Corry, Ohio ; Jennie, 
wife of W. L. Carter of Tellman, Florida ; and Perry W. of North 
Dakota. Dr. Patterson received his education in the public schools 
and afterwards went to Hahnemann College, Chicago, for the study 
of medicine. After receiving his degree from that institution in 
1888, he went to Toledo, where he engaged in the practice of his 
profession for two years, at the expiration of which time he re- 
moved to Grundy Center, and later to Waukon, Iowa, remaining 
in each place for a period of about one year, finally locating in 
Clayton county, Iowa, in 1892, where he is still practicing. On 
December 19, 1872. he was united in marriage to Sarah E. Shel- 
hamer, daughter of Jesse B. and Emeline (Pierce) Shelhamer, who 
were natives of Pennsylvania and New York respectively, both of 
whom are now deceased. They were the parents of four children : 
the first two boys dying at birth ; Emaline, wife of Dr. Patterson, 
and Rosalia, deceased. Dr. Patterson and his wife had two daugh- 
ters, Alice and Susie, both of whom were taken from them by 
death. He is a member of the Methodist Church, and is afifiliated 
with the Republican party, at one time holding the office of town- 
ship clerk under its patronage. 

Ernest M. Penhollow is one of the native sons of Clayton county 
who can claim descent from a long line of sterling New England 
ancestors, and on the paternal side he is a scion of a family that was 



BIOGRAPHICAL 321 

founded in America in the colonial era of our national history. He 
is the owner of a well improved farm of eighty acres, in Mallory 
township, and the same was the place of his birth, even as it is a 
part of the original homestead that was obtained by his honored 
father from the government in the early pioneer days. On this old 
homestead Ernest M. Penhollow was born on the 21st of April, 
1863, and he is a son of Richard and Mercy (Bates) Penhollow, 
the former of whom was born at New London, Connecticut, and 
the latter in Chautauqua county, New York. Richard Penhollow 
was reared and educated in his native state and as a young man, in 
the period prior to 1850, he came to Clayton county, Iowa, and 
became one of the pioneer settlers of Mallory township, where he 
obtained a tract of one hundred and sixty acres of wild land and 
where he developed the fine farm of which that owned by his son 
Ernest M. is an integral part. Richard Penhollow and his wife 
passed the remainder of their lives in this county, honored pioneer 
citizens who had the fullest measure of popular esteem and who 
contributed their quota to the civic and material development and 
progress of the county. Both were consistent members of the 
United Brethren church and in politics Mr. Penhollow gave unfal- 
tering support to the principles and policies of the Republican 
party. Of the children, the first two were George W. and Emily, 
both of whom died young; Helen is the wife of Jesse Holtman, of 
Lima, this state ; Malvina is deceased ; Roswell B. resides at Nor- 
folk, Nebraska ; Henry is deceased ; Ansel maintains his home at 
Millville, this county ; Jason H. is deceased ; William H. is a resident 
of Arlington, Fayette county ; Miranda and Edward L. are deceased ; 
Dora is the wife of Frederick Chittenden, of Fayette ; and the sub- 
ject of this review is the youngest of the number. Ernest M. Pen- 
hollow has from his boyhood been associated with the work of the 
farm of which he is now the owner, and his early educational ad- 
vantages were those afforded in the public schools of his native 
township. At the age of twenty-six years he purchased eighty 
acres of the old home farm, and upon the same he has erected sub- 
stantial buildings of modern type, besides making other permanent 
improvements of excellent order. In connection with judicious ag- 
riculture of diversified character, he is a successful grower of graded 
Durham cattle and Poland-China swine, and he is known as one of 
the progressive farmers and loyal and public-spirited citizens of 
this section of his native county. His political allegiance is given 
to the Republican party, he is serving in 1916 as township trustee, 
and in the village of Osterdock he is affiliated with the lodge of the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the camp of the Modern 
Woodmen of America. In March, 1890, was solemnized the mar- 
riage of Mr. Penhollow to Miss Sophrona McSperrin. who likewise 
was born and reared in Clayton county, a daughter of William and 
Heneretta (Walters) McSperrin, of Elk township. Mr. and Mrs. 
Penhollow have but one child, Harry, who remains at the parental 
home. 

Lee Perkins has been numbered among the vigorous and rep- 
resentative business men of the village of Volga since the autumn 



322 MEMOIRS OF CLAYTON COUNTY 

of 1915, and has here developed a prosperous enterprise in the 
conducting of a blacksmith and general repair shop and in the han- 
dling of a full line of the standard grades of farm implements. He 
gives special attention to the repairing of automobiles and is known 
and valued as one of the energetic and progressive members of 
the local business community. Mr. Perkins was born in Fayette 
county, this state, on the 3d of June, 1859, and is a son of Calvin 
and Adelia (Scott) Perkins, the former of whom was born in Ohio 
and the latter in Indiana, in which latter state their marriage was 
solemnized. In 1846, within a few years after their marriage, 
Calvin Perkins and his wife came to Iowa and courageously took 
upon themselves the responsibilities of pioneers. The father ob- 
tained a tract of government land in Fayette county, erected thereon 
a log cabin of the true pioneer type, and then gave his energies to 
the reclaiming and developing of a productive farm. He became 
one of the substantial exponents of agricultural industry in Fayette 
county and he and his devoted wife were sterling pioneer citizens 
of that county at the time of their death. They became the parents 
of fourteen children, of whom eight are now living. Reared and 
educated in his native county, Lee Perkins there contributed in his 
boyhood and youth a very effective service in connection with the 
work and management of the ho