Joseph Eiboeck obituary


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With heavy hearts we must fulfill our obligation to the readers of the Staats-Anzeiger and to the overall German community of the state and report the sad news that Joseph Eiboeck, that unflinching fighter for liberty and justice, was snatched away by the grim reaper on Wednesday, the 5th of January, at 11:15 a.m. Although he occasionally experienced moments of frailty at his advanced age, he nevertheless always recovered quickly, and was from dawn to dusk one of the most capable and active men we have known. On December 28 he complained of a light cold that kept him housebound, but initially showed no serious symptoms. A few days later he developed pneumonia and then, the day before his passing, suffered a stroke which fully paralyzed him and left him in a coma. It was deeply saddening to see a man like Joseph Eiboeck depart; we will never see a man so full of energy and courage in Iowa again, and his death will be mourned across the state and far beyond its borders, above all among the friends of the German-American Liberal State Association of Iowa, which he had served as president since its founding.

A short biography of the deceased follows. We will provide a more detailed one as soon as circumstances allow.

Mr. Eiboeck was born on February 23, 1838, in Breitenbrunn (Szeluskut), Hungary, and emigrated with his family at the beginning of 1849 to America, arriving on May 1st in Dubuque, Iowa, where he became a typesetter and the first apprentice at the first German newspaper in Iowa. For a couple of years he was a school teacher––he gave writing lessons when he was 18 years old and became a public school teacher at 19. In August 1859, in Garnavillo, Clayton County, he bought the English-language “Clayton County Journal,” which he relocated one year later to Elkader following the transfer of the county seat there. He published and edited the “Journal” until August 20, 1872. From ’61 to ’62 he was a member of the [illegible] of the Ninth Iowa Infantry Regiment in the Civil War. In 1868, he founded alongside his English paper [i.e., the “Clayton County Journal”] the “Nord Iowa Herold,” which he sold six months afterwards. In addition to the above named papers and the “Iowa Staats-Anzeiger,” which he edited and published for more than 39 years, he also published two English-language newspapers in Des Moines, first the “Herald of Liberty” and afterwards the “State Independent.” He edited both these papers as anti-Prohibition publications, against the interference of [temperance] fanatics in the basic rights of American citizens.

In 1873 he was in Europe, spending three months in Vienna as American Commissioner for the Vienna World’s Fair.

In 1872 Mr. Eiboeck wrote a “History of Clayton County and Northern Iowa” (Geschichte von Clayton County und dem nördlichen Iowa) and in 1900 he wrote the history of “The Germans of Iowa and their Achievements” (Die Deutschen von Iowa und deren Errungenschaften).
In 1879 he was nominated by the Democratic State Convention for the office of State Auditor, running against Buren R. Sherman, the later Governor. He was [initially] ahead of the other candidate on the ticket by so many votes that for a while it was uncertain which of the two was elected.

In 1893 Mr. Eiboeck was one of two national commissioners for the Columbian World’s Fair in Chicago. Thanks to his influence and industriousness, the Fair also stayed open on Sundays. His speech before the National Commission was cabled to both Paris and London.

On June 15th, 1862, Mr. Eiboeck married Miss Fannie Harrison. The couple had six children, including a son who died when he was five years-old. Only one child survives him, Mrs. Minnie McFarland, spouse of the late S.C. McFarland, American consul in Nottingham, England.

For more than half a century Mr. Eiboeck held yearly campaign speeches for the democratic party, to which he belonged since 1872. He was an honorary member of the Des Moines Turners and the German Jonathan Lodge No. 137 U.O.S.B., was also a Freemason and a Knight Templar, as well as an honorary member of the German Men’s Choir.

The deceased belonged likewise to the German-American Press Association of the West, which he served for many years as president and then, in the last few years, as honorary president.

The funeral will take place on Friday, January 10th at 2:00 PM, beginning at the Freemason Lodge, which has been entrusted with planning the entire ceremony, and among whose members the deceased ranked as one of the oldest. The Turners Club, the German Odd Fellow Lodge and the German Men’s Choir will send honor escorts. The grieving spouse, daughter (Mrs. C. S. McFarland) and grandchild (Frau Howard), the last two of Marshalltown, mourn a truly beloved husband, loving father and grandfather.

In the passing of Joseph Eiboeck, the entire German community has lost one of its dearest friends.

The burial will take place at Woodland Cemetery.

Dublin Core


Joseph Eiboeck obituary


Joseph Eiboeck; Iowa Staats-Anzeiger; Fannie Eiboeck; Deutsch-Amerikanischer Liberaler Staatsverband; Minnie Eiboeck; Minnie McFarland; S.C. McFarland; Deutsch-Amerikanischer Pressverband des Westens; Des Moines Turnverein; Germania Männerchor; Herald of Liberty; State Independent


The Iowa Staats-Anzeiger devoted a front-page obituary to Joseph Eiboeck, who had edited and published the paper since 1874. The obituary contains details of Eiboeck's life, family, political activities, and professional pursuits.


Paul Krüger (?)


Iowa Staats-Anzeiter




10 January 1913


State Historical Society of Iowa







newspaper text; obituary


microfilm newspaper collections, State Historical Society of Iowa


Des Moines; Iowa; Polk County