Chapter 22, Part 1 (translation): German Settlements
The translation of this chapter is a work in progress. More sections will be added as they become available.
[pages 305-484 are not yet translated]
[...]. [Franz Joseph Frank] served 18 years as school director and he has been administering the public funds of the City of Buffalo for thirty years. He is a member of Lodge 161 of the Ancient Order of United Workingmen and also one of the founders
of the Buffalo Gymnastics Club [= Turnverein] and one of its 11 loyal, committed members. A simple, genuinely German man: that is Franz Joseph Frank.
[image: John Murer]
John Murer. Mr. John Murer was born in Erlendorf, Kingdom of Bavaria. on August 1, 1827. After finishing school, he was sent to be apprentice with a cabinet maker and building carpenter in the year 1844. After becoming a journeyman, he went abroad for 5 years and joined the Hecker irregular voluntary corps in Baden during the turbulent times of the revolution. On May 22, 1854, he went to America. At first, he worked in New York; then he moved up to Lake Superior where he found work at the canal “Sault St. Marie”. In November of the same year, he married Miss Christine Kuhn, and this marriage produced one son, Mr. John Murer Jr., who runs a wood shop in Griswald, Cass Co. In the same year, he came to Rock Island where he found work as carpenter near the bridge leading to Camden (now Milom). On February 22, 1855, he moved to Buffalo. He was elected mayor three times, he was principal for many years and today he still is (like he has been previously for 9 years) justice of the peace. It was on the birthday of this worthy old man that the Buffalo gymnastic club was founded, and he contributes to its survival. For John Murer is of German hearted and mind; a full man, a G e r m a n [highlighted in the original] man.
He is one of the elders,
as only few of them remain.
and as the scholars have recorded.
Muscatine, Muscatine Co. Like almost all of the cities on the western shore of the Mississippi from Keokuk upwards, Muscatine has a beautiful location – one could even say charming. The city currently has 15,000 inhabitants, but it could be what Davenport is today, if the first settlers had possessed more initiative and a spirit of progress. The situation of Muscatine is like the one of the German city of Guttenberg on the upper Mississippi in Clayton County, above Dubuque. The Milwaukee railroad company was looking for a location on the Iowa side of the river to gets its railroads to the west and north of Iowa. And if the businessmen of Guttenberg had been more daring at the time, McGregor, 12 miles upwards, would have had never come into being and Dubuque would not be what it is now. And such was the fate of Muscatine. If, for example, the Muscatine moneyed men had offered the Rock Island Railroad what it demanded and what they could easily have afforded, the main railroad line would have gone via Muscatine and Oskaloosa instead of via Davenport and Des Moines. But nevertheless, Muscatine became a beautiful city. When the writer of this saw this small mountain town for the first time in 1849, it made a picturesque impression on him, which has not faded in the course of many years.
Muscatine was named Bloomington before 1837, later, after the rearrangement of the counties of the former Wisconsin territory and the placement of the county court in Bloomington, it was re-baptized Muscatine as this was the name of the county. In those days, the small town counted slightly more than 50 inhabitants. In 1840, when the court house was being built, the small town already had 507 inhabitants, generously counted. Among the first Germans was Henry Molis, the gunsmith who opened a business there. In 1851, Muscatine was incorporated as a city – until then it was a village.
The Germans have contributed much more to the buildup and development of the city than the old Anglo-Americans who had arrived before them. Thus, it was exclusively Germans who founded the first chemical fire company. Gust. Schmidt was its first president and M. Saal, W. F. Eichoff, John Neibert, Herm. Schmidt, J. Köhler, Barney Schmidt, Thos. Kern, Sr., Ernst Schmidt i. a. belonged to its members.
But the Germans also own all of the industries of the city, thus, for example, the Hüttig Bros. Manufacture Company is one of the biggest factories for door and window frames of the state; Mr. Herschen’s lumber mills; Mr. Fritz Böpple’s mother-of-pearl factory; Wilhelm Kaiser and Chas. Mosque’s box factory; Fritz Meyer’s cooperage. Also, the Germans are leading in the trading and business houses.
In December 1897, the vigorous editor of the “Deutscher Anzeiger” published a nicely illustrated commemorative issue in which he stated i.a. the following about the German businessmen of Muscatine:
“There is the big wholesale business founded by Mr. Wilhelm, now run by his sons Will. and Chas. Mull, the big business of the same kind directed by Mr. Fred Dant, then we have the businesses of Mr. Achter, Bodman[,] Barney Schmidt, Christ. Gremmel, Chas. Richard, Hy. Geiß, Geo. Reuling, F. Reppert, Hermann Gremmel, P. Leysen, Alex Großheim, Hy. Wasserman, E. Reinemund, C. Zeidler, E. Rosenbaum, F. Nesper, John Knopp, C. Braunwart, J. Fisch, J. Heß, J. Nierel, Schröder & Zoller, J. Havercamp, C. Otto & Sons, G. Schmidt and Bro., S. & L. Cohn, Geo. Eichenauer, Fred Feu, F. Gerdes, H. Molis, Brothers Wittich, Chas. Fuller, Oscar Großheim, F. Gottbrecht, L. C. Lange, Geo. Volger, Hy. Eigenmann, Jos. Winkler, John Kleinfelder, John Nester, Frank Eitman, Otto Schmitz, Geo. Boch, M. Kautz etc. Indeed, the Germans seem to be running the businesses in our city almost completely by themselves.
“And who does not remember all the other well-known names of the old German settlers who passed away in the last ten years. Which German can talk of the gymnastic hall, for example, without remembering the old Bernhardt (called “Sach”), Kranz, Butz, Henry Fuller i.a.? Who has not heard old Bernhardt’s often so tragic “tear” of farewell? Who does not recall the sometimes rather lively gatherings in the gymnastic club or the sociable and jolly dilettante theater performances with dances?
“And then the times of the first gymnasts come to mind again. In the days when Hy. Geiß was still director and Mr. Fred and Chas. Tappe, Gustav Herman and Barney Schmidt, Aug. Deutschmann, Sam. Cohn, John Höhl, Wm. Neibert, Jacob Worst, John and Geo. Köhler, John Hartmann, etc.
keenly participated in the meetings and theater performances in “Hare’s Halle” where, according to history, one or another cheeky intruder was nudged down the stairs!”
Nevertheless, not only in the city but also in the surrounding area, a high number of Germans are represented as can be learnt from the index of the “Deutscher Anzeiger”:
“There is Mr. Chas. Leiendecker, one of the biggest landowner in the neighborhood, the always merry gardener Wilhelm Degner, August Jesse, Jakob Wekerlin, August Kretschmar, Georg Schmidt, Daniel Grimm, Herman Vogel, Funck, Hintermeister, the brothers Körner, Louis Kern, Geo. Schmidt, Hy. Timmersman, Gustav Linde, A. Rowland of Nichols; Chas. Schulte, Franz Joseph Walz, Ch. Kübler, Chas. Wiese Sr., C. A. Zeisig, Wm. Duffe, Frank Leimkühler of Moscow; D. Ruff, Peter Daut Sr., F. J. Angerer of Wilton; Otto Schmitz and Paul Müller from Letts; Hy. Bierkamp, Louis Duge Sr., Moritz Beernick and August Henke of Pleasant Prairie; Mrs. Ursula Keller and Peter Walker of Illinois City; August Schoppe, Pomeroy, Illinois, etc.”
In 1865, a gymnastic club was founded which existed until 1896, but closed down after having built too large a gymnastic hall which cost more money than they could afford.
We report more on the Muscatine newspaper elsewhere.
Of course, Muscatine has several German clubs which are enumerated by the “Anzeiger” as followed:
“There is the “German Craftsmen Mutual Society” with about 360 members whose officials are: president, F. Petersen; vice president, H. Schmidt; first secretary, W. E. Lange; second secretary, K. Schröder; treasurer, N. Bast; finance committee F. Köckeritz, John Apel, B. Jüttner. Aforesaid club has already existed since December 10, 1865, has a fortune of $8,000 and has already done many good things. Then there is the German singing club “Männerchor” [Men’s Choir] with the following officials: president, H. Klappenbach; vice president, John Nester; secretary, H. Heinz; treasurer, Otto Klappenbach; conductor Prof. F. Grade. This club consists of 60 active and passive members and is presently in full bloom thanks to the untiring efforts of
several of its members and provides for them and their families many joyful hours. Then, there is the St. Joseph Mutual Benefit Society, which was founded in connection with the Catholic St. Mary’s Church for sickness and death benefits and which consists of 75 members, the following being the officers: president, John. T. Nester; vice president, John L. Knopp; first secretary, Anton Fackeldey; second secretary, Jos. Fuller; treasurer, John Bartemeier. Finally, we have the social club “Germania”, which is known for its sociable evening entertainments, consists of about 30 members and is directed by the following officers: president, Aug. Deutschmann; vice president, Emil Kranz, secretary, Wilh. Degner; treasurer, Wilh. Großklaus.
Although the above mentioned clubs are exclusively German our German citizens are present in all English clubs and lodges like: the Freemasons, the Knights of Pythias, the Odd Fellows, the Modern Woodmen, the A. O. U. Workmen Legion of Honor, the Musical Union etc., participating partially for social purposes, partially for life insurance; and the German citizens are heavily represented in businesses and clubs, they have also held and kept their own in politics and public offices. Thus, our present city council, which consists of the mayor and 8 councilors, is constituted by 7 Germans and 1 American, the German members being the following: Mr. Hermann Gremmel, Mr. Barney Schmidt, Mr. Georg Arnold, Mr. George Köhler, Mr. W. C. A. Busch, Mr. R. J. Hittel and Mr. Chas. Richards.
As at present, in the past our German co-citizens have also served in several offices, such as Mr. Henry Funck, who was elected the first German mayor in 1863; Mr. Gustav Schmidt, who honored the Germans as a city councilor and later as mayor; Mr. H. Stoltzenau was assessor, and Mr. Wilhelm Hüttig, W. C. A. Busch, Herman Schmidt are members of the school board etc.”
At present, there are six German churches in Muscatine, i.e. a Catholic, a Congregational, a Methodist, and a Baptist; the pastors are: Rev. Father J. J. Grieser Georg Maier; F. C. Klein; Jakob Henn, H. Roß and Schmidt.
[image: Barney Schmidt]
Mr. Barney Schmidt has been elected mayor of Muscatine since then, as you can see from the following sketch.
Barney Schmidt. Mr. Barney Schmidt was born on October 17, 1845, in Homberg, Hesse-Cassel, Germany. When he was 20 he came to America and in 1865, to Muscatine where he has lived since and run a very successful shoe shop. He became a wealthy man through hard work and thriftiness. His honesty and uprightness have gained him the highest respect of the community. In the last municipal election, he was elected mayor with a large majority.
Nichols[,] Muscatine Co. Nichols is located near the intersection of two Burlington and Cedar Rapids railroad lines in Muscatine County, near the western border of the state. It has about 400 inhabitants, among whom are about 10 German families. The first German settlers were Ludwig Kern, wagon maker and blacksmith; B. Kirchner, retiree; W. Richter, Gustav Linde, Aug. Wagner, Joseph Borsten, Silas Heinzle, Ludwig Hinz, Fritz Gabel, Conrad Braun, Conrad Juhle, A. Juhle, H. Vogel, Georg Schmidt, John Meyer, Henry Meyer, Wilh. Brüs etc.
Wilton, Muscatine Co. Wilton is in the northern part of Muscatine County by the main line of the Rock Island railroad and a branch of that railroad which leads south to Muscatine. It has a population of 1,800 people. About 30 families are German. German culture is not strongly represented in the neighborhood. The two German churches are both Lutheran. The pastors are Julius Doden and Ph. Dorenseif. They both have a German school and German is also taught in the college of the Congregationalists. Old settlers are: Georg Fränzel, Fred. Frieden, Fred. Marrolf, John Burnet, Fred. Maurer, the brothers Brameier, Peter Daut, Anton
Feldmann, Adolph Opitz, Ernst Kleinmeier, Friedr. Nolte, John Marrolf, Jakob Friedli, Georg Bannick, Rud. Farmer, Jap. Japsen, the brothers Wacker, John Beinford, the brothers Friedrichsen, Peter Grunder, Johannn [Johann] Grunder, D. Ruff, Gottl. Fritz, P. F. Müller, Nic. Holzhauer, C. Holzhauer, Herm. Kirle, Ant. Romann etc. Pastor J. Doden describes his church in a report as follows: “The German Lutheran Salem parish was founded in 1869. It belongs to the Lutheran Synod of Iowa and Other States. The pastors that have worked in the church since its founding are: Kiesel, Friedrichs, Bangerter, Strobel, Hast, Hahn, Lauddeck, Fr. Lutz, J. List and Julius Doden, the current pastor. The church has about 192 members at present.” Mr. Doden also takes care of the German Lutheran parish in Moscow, Muscatine Co.
Columbus Junction, Louisa County. Columbus Junction is located on the intersection of the Rock Island and the Burlington Cedar Rapids railroad lines and near the place where the Iowa and Cedar rivers meet in the county mentioned above. It has about 1,500 inhabitants, among those ca. 10 Germans. The first German settlers were: August Gilbert, G. F. Kern, Peter Bretz, Fred. Weber, F. J. Klotz, Bernhard Schade etc.
At the beginning, of the 50s, there were more Germans in Louisiana County than today. In the county seat (Wapello), there are even fewer Germans than in the city mentioned above. There are of course more in the rural areas.
Clinton-Lyons and Clinton County. The city, which currently has 22,000 citizens, is one of Iowa’s youngest cities on the Mississippi. The city of Lyons, which has merged with Clinton into one municipality, has existed long before there was a house in the countryside where a flourishing city is situated now. The location of Lyon is prettier than the one of Clinton. When Clinton was built, it was called a boggy hole, and indeed, almost all streets and building sites in the commercial district had to be filled up so they would not sink into the marsh. But it was the ideal location for sawmills and lumber storage places and Clinton is also known as the biggest market for lumber in the Mississippi area, even though all riverine cities from Keokuk to Lansing have big sawmills and storage for planks. The sawmills no longer operate as
intensely as they did several years ago, but still one thousand people work there. These and the machine shops of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroads, as well as the rail service of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, the C.B. & O., H.B. C. R. & N. and H.C. B. & N. and other railroads provide employment for 850 people and earn large sums of money which are divided among the workers. Clinton claims to have the biggest locomotive shed of the world.
Where there was bog and morass in the past, there are wonderful residential streets in the present. Some of these streets are 150 feet wide and planted with tall shady trees. The wealth of so many businessmen who earned their money in Clinton has created the expensive residences in these streets.
Clinton-Lyons has been the court seat of Clinton County since 1869. The first official seat created by the territorial legislature in 1840 was in Camanche; but it was relocated to Vandenburg in 1841 and this name was changed into De Witt in 1843 and the court seat stayed there until it was relocated to Clinton-Lyons. First a cheap frame house was built on a boggy place; since, then it has been replaced by a considerable court house and the land next to it was filled in and cultivated beautifully. In this court house there are presently several German officials: C. A. Arlen county treasurer; Fritz Horn county auditor; J. H. Edens Jr., stenographer, and August Schnell, county land surveyor, all efficient young men, who administer their offices faithfully.
The oldest German settler from Clinton who is still alive is Mister John Edens, whose biography is part of this book. We remember the other longtime German citizens of the city, most of whom passed away, as follows: Claus Petersen, C. Arlen, Henry Gerhard, Peter Matzen, J. Pipping, John Grusendorf, Chas. Spurman, M. Lauer, Anton Walde, Paul Albrecht, B. Christiansen, F. Ingwersen, Sanka Boysen, A. Schweickert, M. Zweigert, H. Frahm, John O. Petersen, Otto Kahl, Chas. Siefert, J. Hochstert, F. Steeger, Wm. Bayer, Hans Fr. Jakob, Julius Andresen, N. Nissen, Ed. H. Carstensen, Martin Peterson, W. Peetz, John Nissen, Asmus Nissen, Peter Loehndorf, and Henry Petz.
German club life has not established itself in Clinton as it did in other major river cities, and this is surprising because of the numerically strong German population. It
seems as if the lack of German unity and the Americanization of the majority of the Germans have suppressed the homely public life with its German festivities in Dubuque and Davenport. Nevertheless, there are still staid Germans that continue incessantly with their eager pursuit of preventing the complete demise of Germanness, as the following historical report penned by Mister Paul A. Demann, editor of the “Clinton Anzeiger”, confirms:
German Clubs. At the time of the foundation of the first German clubs in 1866, the city of Clinton was still in the process of blossoming. Among the roughly 400-500 inhabitants, the German element was represented in a way that it was already a part of public life. In the above-mentioned year, 40 Germans gathered at the Gerhard Haus, now Grand Hotel on 1st Street, who initiated the first gymnastic club. The first officers were: president, Fr. Witzigman; vice-president, Theo. Gottlob; treasurer, Michael Bach; secretary, Chas. Heupel; bookkeeper, Rudolph Beher; administrator, Hermann Krummland[,] John Weber[,] John Breitling; 1st gymnastics supervisor [Turnwart][,] Frank Arlen; 2nd gymnastics supervisor, Aug. Stößinger; kitman [Zeugwart], John Mosen.
In March 1872, a second German club called “Workers’ Mutual Benefit Association” was founded in Mister Jacob Claussen’s inn on 12th Avenue. The association’s purpose matched its name. Its first officers were: president, Fr. Lindloff; vice president, K. C. Johannsen, secretary, Peter Matzen; treasurer, Frank Eisleben. The association merged with the gymnastic club in 1877 after functioning successfully for several years and was given the name “Education and Mutual Benefit Association”, but it had to give up its name after a few years in favor of the current name “German Club”. Mister K. Johannsen was elected president of the association. Our association achieved many positive things during the time of its existence which is recognized by everybody. Hundreds of dollars were given to the needy, widows, and orphans and the association did many other good works. The club has had ups and downs like every other association; the climax was reached between 1888 and 1892, when there were more than 300 members. Thanks to its eagerly cooperating members, the association is moving forward slowly but surely, and we hope that, in these times
of strong opposition to Germanness in this country, it will remain faithful to its name and its principles as the years fly by.
The German Hall adapted to the circumstances of changing times and was, when necessary, enlarged and beautified and provided with the newest facilities several times. Now, we have a wonderful stage as well as dance and assembly halls with a selected library that is available to every member.
Besides the founders already mentioned, the gentlemen Thos. Richardson, John Edens Sr., Christ. Brunnenkant, Joe Nießley, Chr. Moesinger, Jürgen Offe, Wm. H. Heß and J. H. Ketterer in Odebolt, Iowa; Louis Brüggemann Alton, Ill.; Chrs. Pfeiffer, Council Bluffs, la.; Joe Adler, Windsor, Ala.; Adam Büchner, Missouri; Peter H. Meyer, Leopold Simons, and A. Goldstein, Chicago, John Breiling, Fremont, Neb are still living in the city.
The current officers of the German Club are: president, K. C. Johannsen, vice president, August Broders, secretary, Carl Volkmann, treasurer, J. Andresen; bookkeeper, Carl Schumacher; administrator, Hermann Müller, Robert Bülendorf, and Paul Lorenzen; supervisor, Henry Stege; 1st librarian, M. Gideonsen; 2nd librarian, Sönke Bahnsen; 1st marshall, Chr. Christiansen; 2nd marshall, Wm. Loreenz.
In Wartburg CollegeClinton can call a major German school its own. The “Clinton Anzeiger” writes the following about it:
“Wartburg College, on a knoll directly west of the business center of the city of Clinton, does not only have a healthy, but also a very beautiful location in the heart of a well-equipped park, which promises to become an adornment for the region as time passes. It is worthwhile to visit the college because of its great view alone. The college building, 248 feet long, 76 wide, 3 stories high, with spacious basement and attic, was built out of brick. It is provided with all necessary modern furnishings, heated with steam, lighted with gas, and is connected to the city’s water conduit. The administration of the college lies in the hands of an administrative board elected by the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Iowa and Other States. The administration of studies and of discipline is assigned to the teacher council, which currently consists of the professors O. Kraushaar, F. Richter, J. Fritschel, H. Kuhlmann, A. Bartels, A. Estrem, and the instructor D. Babp. Music lessons are taught by
Professor E. Wourth. The directorship has been taken over by director O. Kraushaar who is the successor in office of Dr. F. Richter.
A main attraction for visitors constitutes the museum of the Wartburg College with its comprehensive zoological, botanical, numismatic, geological, archaeological, and art collections with a total of 5000 exhibits.
The same source provides the following shortened description of the German Evangelical Lutheran church in Clinton:
“In the year 1883, an Evangelical Lutheran congregation was organized, which was named “Evangelical Lutheran Zion Congregation”. Their first pastor was P. H. Valentiner. The same year, the congregation was founded, a church was built, in fact the same church still exists today and is located at the corner of 5th Street and 3rd Avenue and it is shown in the picture of our newspaper today. The parish only had 40 members at that time and the construction of the church was a big enterprise for this small congregation.
Pastor Valentiner was pastor of the parish until 1887. His successor was O. W. Hartmann who stayed in the parish until 1895 with great success. Since then, Mister L. Seehase has been the pastor of the congregation with now 130 members entitled to vote.
Meanwhile, the school building and the church got too small, so the congregation extended and beautified both and spent $ 2,575 on it, so that they now own one of the most beautiful churches in Clinton.
In past years, Lyons had a larger German community than currently, and it was an intelligent one that stuck together and accomplished many things that brought them glory. After the battle of Sedan in 1870, the German Club of Lyons raised the lovely amount of $ 1,500 exclusively for the care of the German soldiers who were wounded during the Franco-Prussian War. Lyons had a singing club, a gymnastic club and many more German associations that, unfortunately, had to close down after the death of its older members. Among the recognized elder settlers who are commemorated still today are Ph. Fritschler, Chas. Rademacher Theodor Marx, J. Hoffmann.
Vitus Lund is the oldest settler of Lyons, followed by the esteemed citizens B. H. Henningsen, Peter Dirks, Johannes Lund, Jacob Bäre, Adam Schneider, Wm. Claussen, Jacob Dung, L. L. Stahle, Ed. Balle, Franz Biermann, Hans Friedrichs,
Nich[.] Bunz, Christ. Eggert, Tierse Zingelmann, Christ. Eggert, George Burger, and Adam Beck.
Just like the city of Clinton-Lyons, Clinton County is also settled by many Germans, especially the cities and villages of DeWitt, Wheatland, Almont[,] Andover, Bryant, Calamus, Charlotte, Elvira, Elwood, Goose Lake, Grand Blound, Loft Nation, Low Mour, Toronto, and Welton. In the former state seat of DeWitt, we remember the deceased brewer A. Yeggi and his brother Markus Yeggi, Peter Grill, F. E. Koch, and Theodor Peters. In Wheatland, L. Homrichhausen, C. Hoffmeister, William Siegmund, Wm. Indorf, Fred. Lahann, Ph. Tede, Wm. Riedesel, James Lopstein, Max Steffen, and Fritz Bentrott belong to the older settlers. Henry Muhs, a longtime member of the County Supervisory Authority, lived in Camanche. In Elvira, the names Hans Wiese, H. Sander, Christ. Schluenz, und A. A. Hansen are well-known. In Bryant the brothers Nagel, Grimm & Sohn Nich. Thiele and Aug. Feddersen.
[image: John Edens]
John Edens. The oldest living German settler of Clinton, Ia., is Mister John Edens, who came to the city in 1855 whilst the city was still being built – it was not a city yet, there were only a few houses that had been built in the preceding year. He has witnessed the fact that out of a bog of the former lowland, a proud city grew, and just like his German compatriots, he contributed his own part to make the city as great and significant as it is today.
John Edens was born on December 22, 1832, in Büsom, Dithmarschen. He became a bricklayer and worked in this job over there until the age of 22,
in 1854, when he came to America and stayed in Davenport for one year. In 1855, cholera broke out in Davenport and he went to Clinton that year, where he started the first profitable job that was offered to him and spared no effort to move forward.
In 1868, Mister Edens married Miss Dora Heide and they had three children: John H. Edens, Miss Lizzie and Miss Emma Edens, all of them children who make their parents proud. The son, John H. Edens, was assistant county clerk and has been elected county clerk three times, so that he is now in his fourth year in office, enjoying high popularity.
Mister and Mrs. John Edens live in a pretty house on 2nd Avenue and quietly enjoy their wealth which was acquired by Mister Eden’s diligence and prudence. His family is highly esteemed and valued by the whole citizenry.
[image: Edlef H. Carstensen]
Edlef H. Carstensen. One of the most popular citizens of Clinton and at the same time one of the best and most popular innkeepers in the state is Edlef H. Carstensen, who always gave generously to German life and German sociability. He is one of the northern Germans who come from Schleswig, a region that sent so many free men to this country.
Mr. Carstensen was born October 15, 1846, in Stedesand, Schleswig. After attending the local schools, he entered the 16th regiment of the Hussars, where he served four years and, as a private, fought in the major battles of the Franco-Prussian war. He was captured near Ablis, 12 miles from Paris.
[pages 498-510: translation pending]
[page 511: full page image; caption: "The Honorable Franz Xavier Mangold"]
As a young man, Mr. Mangold took an active interest in politics. In 1848, he was a delegate of the Democratic Convention in Iowa City, which nominated the second governor of the state of Iowa, Stephen A. Hempstead, partly as a result of the zealous efforts of Mr. Mangold.
In 1860, Mr. Mangold represented Dubuque County in the legislature of the state by getting more votes as an independent candidate and anti-slavery man than his two co-candidates received together on the Democratic and Republican ballots.
Later, he was a member of the County Supervisory Council for two years, as such he was a conscientious clerk.
Mr. and Mrs Mangold have been living in retirement since then. They had two children, two little girls, who unfortunately died, and now he stands alone, as his wife has also passed away. His only consolation is that he can spend his last years as a generally respected citizen.
Friedrich M. Knoll. One of the most outstanding men of German descent in public life is Ex-Senator Friedrich M. Knoll from Dubuque County, a widely known and rightfully distinguished citizen of the state, a man who was raised on a farm and who spent almost his whole life, ever since he came to America, running a farm, but who gained high public positions and held them with honours. We extract the following details about Mr. Knoll from the “Biographical Record of Dubuque, Jones and Clayton Counties”.
“Mr. Knoll was born on March 8, 1833, in Alsace-Lorraine, as a son of John M. and grandson of Friedrich and Flora Knoll. Aforesaid grandfather ran away from his parents when he was young and came to America during the Wars of Liberation, but later he went back to France. There, he joined the army, made it to artillery captain under Napoleon and remained officer until his death.
The father of Mr. Friedrich M. Knoll was first lieutenant in a French hunter regiment. In the spring of 1848, he emigrated with his family to America and settled in the country side of the state of New York, where he practiced agriculture until 1853 and then moved to Dubuque County, where he took up 200 acres of land and settled down. Here, he died at the age of 76, highly respected. He was an eager and conscientious politician. When the old Mr. Knoll turned 32,
[page 513: full page image; caption: "The Honorable Friedrich M. Knoll"]
he married Ms. Katharina Dusenburger, born in Alsace, who, however, died in Buffalo, N.Y. This marriage produced three children, Friedr. M. Knoll., Mrs. Appel in Los Angeles, California, and Louis Knoll in Howard County, Arkansas.
Mr. Friedrich M. Knoll stayed at his father’s farm. He was married three times, first to Ms. Kath. Deckert from Alsace, then to Ms. Agnes Stader from Baden and finally to Mrs. Olga Heymisch of Berlin. The first marriage produced 6 children: Eugenia, Josephine, Albert, Auguste, Minnie and Heinrich. The second marriage produced three sons: Eduard, Theodor and Oscar.
Mr. Knoll exerted his suffrage for the first time in 1856, and he voted for Buchanan. Since then he has been faithful to the Democratic Party and as a Democrat, he has held many positions.
He was supervisor for ten years, assessor for 16 years, justice of the peace for 32 years and since 1857 he has been active as a school clerk. In 1861, he was voted into legislature as a representative. There he did so well that he was elected senator by his co-citizens two years later and that they voted for him again and again after his term of office had expired. Mr. Knoll served in many important committees, and he was also chairman of the committee for pardons and prisons. When he quit legislature, he was the member who had stayed for the longest time in both houses. In 1889, he was again elected to the House of Representatives. Thus, he served for 14 years in Iowa’s halls of legislature, and he left behind an honourable reputation. He was a special friend of the German press, which was subsidized by the state in earlier years through his efforts, by assigning it official announcements, for example the supervisory negotiations and new laws. He is a member of Iowa’s Pioneer Lawmakers’ Association, and he was vice president of the same.
Mr. Knoll’s financial situation is good. He is shareholder of two banks and has profitable property. Furthermore, he enjoys the affection of his co-citizens, who respect and value him as a clear-thinking, principled and courageous representative. Mr. Knoll is indeed one of Iowa’s most energetic German-American public figures, who deserves general respect.
Joseph Gehrig. One of the oldest landmarks of the city of Dubuque is the old and widely known Jefferson Hotel, which was the home of many thousands of Germans in the last 46 years. This hotel is sort of a memorial to an old Swiss settler in Dubuque, Joseph Gehrig, a good
[page 515: full page image; caption "The Honorable Joseph Gehrig"]
man whose word was always as good as gold, and who, like his inn, enjoyed general popularity.
Mr. Gehrig was born on December 26, 1819, in Wallenstädt, Canton St. Gallen; he learned the craft of shoe making and emigrated to America in November 1844. In 1854, he came to Dubuque and took every profitable employment he could get there to make a living in the promised land. He worked in Lorimer’s quarry. But when the California Gold rush broke out in 1849, he was also infected and with thousands of others he engaged in the stressful and life-threatening overland trip through the American deserts and wastelands, without any roads at the time; he reached Sacramento safe and sound in December of the same year. The now so magnificent capital of California then consisted of 14 tents. Gehrig dug the first cellar in Sacramento and took every work he could get. He managed to collect a pretty large sum, which he did not waste at the gambling table, as many others, but which he brought back to Dubuque. Here, he married Ms. Ursula Kiene on September 26, 1851. Ms. Kiene was born in Tamins in Switzerland and was a sister of the gentlemen Paul, Peter and Richard Kiene. She already died in 1879.
In 1854, Mr. Gehrig built his hotel, which he named after the immortal Democratic president Thomas Jefferson, whom he greatly admired. The hotel stands on a historic point of the city: it used to be an immense Indian burial mound, which had been raised by the natives of the Mississippi valley over the remains of their chiefs, and which could be seen from far away. The excavations brought to light precious human skeletons of natives as well as jewellery and hunting equipment, which can be found in the Smithsonian-Institute in Washington. On this mound, the first white man named O’Connell was hung and buried in a corner of the same. In 1849, the celebration of the 4th of July was held in this place, where John Adam Koch, the adolescent but promising son of captain Heinrich Koch, held his maiden speech. Peter Kiene was marshal of the celebration.
The guest house of Mr. Gehrig was at that time a great hotel and could, as well as today, be seen from far away; it was the lighthouse of all the Germans, so to speak, and enjoyed huge popularity.
Mr. Gehrig was an eager Democrat and was elected alderman of the second ward two times. The first time he ran
against the popular Col. Theo. Stimming. The ward had always been Republican before, but Mr. Gerig [Gehrig] was too popular, and the first time in history the ward went Democratic.
Mr. Gehrig died on April 13, 1885, and many mourning citizens escorted him to his final resting place. He left six children, who are all still alive: Marie, Lena, Paul, Heinrich, Johann and Joseph Gehrig. Mr. Heinrich Gehrig has been successfully leading the hotel since the death of his father. He is an honor to the memory of his good father and keeps up the good name of the family.
Mathias Tschirgi. Mr. Mathias Tschirgi was born in October 1824 in the Canton St. Gallen in Switzerland. He went to school there and afterwards learned the craft of brewing. In 1845, he emigrated to America and arrived in New Orleans in December of the same year after a slow journey on a sailing ship. In New Orleans, Mr. Tschirgi had to look for work, before he could continue his journey, and he earned money in a brewery for himself and a friend, who had come with him from the old homeland, but who was without work; he earned enough so that he could redeem his watch that he had been obliged to pawn. Both found work on the emigrant steamship “Congress”, on which both departed for St. Louis at the beginning of January 1846 and had to work very hard for their trip. When the ship was about 50 miles north of Vicksburg, it was hit in the middle by a cotton ship and it received a great leak; moreover, a steam pipe was destroyed so that a large amount of passengers got terribly scalded. Only few passengers jumped onto the other ship, and since the “Congress” immediately capsized and sank, it was no surprise that over 300 immigrants drowned; no woman survived. Of the few who were saved, many returned to New Orleans, the others, among them Mr. Tschirgi, were brought to shore and had to wait there one night and one day until a ship arrived to bring them to St. Louis. Tschirgi arrived there in a sad state; all his belongings were lost; but he found a compatriot, Jos. Gehrig, who took care of him. He was accepted into his family and got work in the brewery there. Mr. Gehrig went to Dubuque, Iowa, with his family already in April of the same year and Mr. Tschirgi joined them. In Dubuque, they started building a brewery together; it is the old Heeb
brewery now and was the first in the state of Iowa. Already during the construction, Mr. Gehrig died as well as his wife, and Mr. Gehrig’s son-in-law, Anton Heeb, came from St. Louis and took over the brewery as well as the share of Mr. Tschirgi. Mr. Tschirgi now went to Peru, Ill., built a brewery there and got married. In 1848, he returned to Dubuque and opened a lodging house on Main Street, between Sixth and Seventh Street. But soon after that he opened a brewery on Julien Avenue, and for that brought all his brewing equipment from Peru. In 1854, Tschirgi bought several acres of land in West Dubuque and built the facility that is now called the Western brewery with Jakob Schwind as his partner. Mr. Tschirgi ran the brewery until the death of his partner in 1881 when their sons took over the business. Mr. Tschirgi and his wife, respected and honored by everyone who knows the family, live in West Dubuque in a pretty home and are in good health.
[image: Jos. Fridolin Heer]
Jos. Fridolin Heer. Mr. Heer was born on July 30, 1834, in Wallenstaedt, Canton St. Gallen in Switzerland and went to school there. In 1850, he went to Rapperswyl on Lake Zürich, where he learned the craft of a stonemason and was later entrusted with the function of a site supervisor. He then was conscripted to military service in the artillery and became Feldwebel; he travelled through Germany working as a stonemason, afterwards he went to building schools in Holzminden and Munich, under Professor Meyer; at the same time, he worked in Munich with the sculptor Riedmüller. In 1859, he founded a business in Chur, which soon flourished thanks to his good work. One of the highlights of his work is the fountain at the episcopal court of Chur,
which was publicly recognized by the the art association of Munich. In 1860, Mr. Heer married Miss Lisetta Breitler. This marriage produced three children who are still alive. In 1865, Mr. Heer emigrated to America und went to Belleville, Ill., where he had relatives. He soon found new friends here. He built a house for the shooting club that had been newly founded there, and also, he was entrusted with the preparation of the plans and the supervision at the construction of the gymnastic hall. Now, Mr. Heer sent for his family, but his wife could not stand the climate. She went blind und therefore he moved to Chicago, where she regained her eyesight. He established an office as architect in Chicago on Sedgwick Street, but he lacked the necessary acquaintances and he therefore decided to leave Chicago. In February 1868, he went to Dubuque. He liked it there so much that he had sent for his family and has lived here since then. Many buildings in Dubuque are testimonials of his achievements as an architect as well as of the solidity of his work. Among these buildings are Mt. St. Joseph’s Academy, the St. Francis Convent, as well as many residential houses. Mr. Heer was also charged with the construction of buildings outside Dubuque. For example, he planned the St. Antonius church in Milwaukee, the Corpus Christi church in Ft. Dodge, the Institute for the Mentally Disabled in Glenwood, Ia., as well as many other churches and schools. Mr. Heer’s only son Fridolin became an architect as well, after finishing several schools successfully. First, he worked in the office of the architect Adler in Chicago. Afterwards, he attended the royal building industry school in Stuttgart, where he stayed for almost three years and then returned to Dubuque with the best reports. He now associated with his father under the name Frid. Heer & Sohn. This new firm has already created many considerable buildings, like the new courthouse in Dubuque and four public schools, the Security Building and many beautiful residences, such as those of Mr. H. L. Stour, M. Molo, G. Mathews, F. A. Rumpf and many more. The men also built churches outside of Dubuque, such as in Dyersville, Ft. Dodge, Ia., Pomeroy, O., Oregon and Savannah, Ill., the College of Jesuits and the Sisters’ Academy in Prairie du Chien, Wis. Each of these works gives the best recommendation for the Heer business. Mr. Frid. Heer, Sr. is a member of several clubs, such as the shooting club, the singing association of Dubuque and the Swiss Society. He was always eager to act for the welfare of his new homeland,
and he is respected and honored by everyone who knows him. Ever since he moved to this country he took part in all the liberal aspirations, and as he was always generously minded, he used to support every initiative aiming to promote the German way of life. Dubuque does not have a more popular man than Fridolin Heer.
T. W. Ruete. Mr. Ruete was born in Hanover, attended high school in Bremen and learned the pharmacist’s trade in the Hofapotheke in Detmold. After passing his exams in Hanover he immigrated to America in 1861 and held a position in a pharmacy in New York. When the Civil War broke out, Mr. Ruete joined the 103rd Infantry Regiment as the regiment’s pharmacist and participated in the campaigns of the Potomac army, participating in all the big battles and campaigns in Virginia as well as the siege of Charleston. From 1864 until the end of the war, he served as lieutenant and ambulance officer and received an honorable discharge. After the war, Mr. Ruete spent a year in Germany and studied his discipline at the University of Göttingen. After that, he worked as a pharmacist in New York for several years and settled in Dubuque in 1873, where he has been directing one of the best German pharmacies in Dubuque ever since. Mr. Ruete got married in Lockport, N.Y., and has a son, Otto M. Ruete, who also studied in Göttingen and now runs the business with his father. Mr. Ruete holds several positions of public trust, among them: president of the state’s association of the pharmacists of Iowa, director of the Fire and Marine Insurance Co. and director of the Dubuque National Bank. Mr. Ruete is one of the most reputable citizens of Dubuque and he is respected and honored accordingly.
Adolph T. Lusch. Mr. Lusch was born on January 25, 1841, in Reinbeck [Reinbek] near Hamburg in Germany, emigrated to America in June ´39, and obtained a position in Waterloo Ia., in the bank of John H. Leavitt. On January 1, ´65, Mr. Lusch became associate of the bank and remained in this position until the fall of ´76 when he quit business due to health reasons. In 1885, Mr. Lusch became director of the country mortgage business of Leavitt & Johnson and in November ´91 treasurer and director of the Leavitt & Johnson Trust Co. in Waterloo. In September ´95, Mr. Lusch moved
to Dubuque, Ia., where he had accepted the position as vice president and director of the Iowa Trust Savings Bank. He married Ms. Emma M. Evans in February ´65, and this marriage produced two sons. Harry B. owns a business in Chicago and Eduard F. is pay clerk of the Iowa Trust & Savings Bank in Dubuque. Mr. Lusch has gained the biggest trust in Dubuque in a short time; highly considered as a financier, he also played a considerable role in the sale of the waterworks to the city of Dubuque and he has been appointed one of the trustees of the waterworks of the city by the district judges.
A. F. Frudden. Mr. Frudden, born on September 16, 1854, in the village of Tuftum on the island of Föhr, Schleswig-Holstein, was destined to become a sailor, but in the spring of ´71, he immigrated to America. In January 1871, he arrived in Clinton, Ia., with a cash balance of 2 cents and worked on a farm in Jackson County, Ia. for the first 20 months. In the spring of ´73, he went to the city of Clinton, where he found employment in the door and window factory of Curtis Bros. & Co.; he stayed there until the fall of 1879 and came to Dubuque in October ´79, where he got employed in the factory of Carr, Austin & Co., now Carr, Ryder & Adams Co. On January 1, 1982, Mr. Frudden again took a position with Curtis Bros & Co., this time as works manager in their new factory in Wausau, Wis. In August ´84, he came back to Dubuque as works manager. In 1888, he associated with a younger brother and Mr. F. A. Rumpf and they established a lumber business under the name The Frudden Lumber Co., where A. F. Frudden held the function of secretary and treasurer as well as supervisor. The company has branches in different cities all over the state and is one of the most well-known ones in the Northwest. In the spring of `95, these gentlemen established the Engros-Lumber-Business in Dubuque under their administration. Mr. Frudden is also Vice President of Blackhawk Lumber Co. in Waterloo, Ia., and was elected President of the North Western Lumber Manuf. Assoc. in 1896 and travels through the states of Minnesota, Iowa[,] North and South Dakota; he is also President of the North Eastern Iowa Lumber Association. Mr. Frudden was delegated to Baltimore in March 1900 in order to represent the Northwest as a delegate. In 1878, he married Ms. Philine Johannsen,
who also comes from Schleswig-Holstein, in Clinton, Ia. This marriage produced seven children, five of whom are still alive. Mr. Frudden has visited the old fatherland several times, he loves and appreciates it as a good German man, but is strongly rooted in his new fatherland by now. That he was elected President of the Germania Club, which was founded here, proves that he is also honored as a German man here.
Carl Pitschner. Mr. Pitschner was born on November 19, 1828, in Hagenow, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, received a good education and trained as a merchant. In 1850, he emigrated to America, went from New York to Cincinnati and stayed there for six years while working in different positions. In 1868, he founded a business in the northwest corner of 14th and Clay Street, but Mr. Pitschner sold it in 1877. He then purchased a larger plot of land in West Dubuque and built a store and a warehouse next to his home where his children run the business today because he now is too old to work on his own. Mr. Pitschner is living a happy family life, is a welcome member in different clubs and a friend to his friends.
Nicolaus J. Schrup. Mr. Schrup was born in Roth, Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, in 1853. His parents emigrated to America already six months after his birth and moved to a farm in Mosalem Township, Dubuque County. Mr. Schrup lived there until he was 17 years old, worked on the farm in summer and went to school in winter. At the age of 17, he entered the Wisconsin Normal School and after passing his exams very well, became a teacher in Cascade, Dubuque County, Ia., and worked there for five years. Already as a teacher Mr. Schrup used his free time to learn about the insurance business and started devoting all his time to this business until he was elected Deputy County Auditor in 1800. In 1883, Mr. Schrup organized the Dubuque Fire & Marine Insurance Co., gave up his position as Deputy County Auditor, became secretary and manager of the newly organized company, and was so successful that this company has an important position among the insurance companies of Iowa and the Northwest today.
Mr. Schrup is also president of the German Bank of Dubuque, member of the school council, director of the bank and the insurance building and is involved in different important businesses. In 1884, Mr. Schrup married Ms. Marie Kranz from Chicago, and
[image: Nicolaus J. Schrup]
four children originated from this marriage. Mr. Schrup enjoys a great reputation here in this town and also in the surrounding areas, and his big circle of friends wish him good health and all the best.
[image: Christian Kleis]
Christian Kleis. Herr Christian Kleis was born on May 11, 1827, in Sitzenkirch, Baden, and went to school there. After his confirmation, he started working as a merchant apprentice in a company in Lörrach, Baden. He stayed there for six years, at first as an apprentice, then as an assistant. In 1848, he emigrated to America and arrived in New Orleans in the fall of the same year, remained there about six weeks and then went to St. Louis, where he found work in a store. In 1852, he wanted to see more of America, so he first moved to New York, then to Savannah, Philadelphia and other big cities, where he lived for a short or longer while. However, he returned to St. Louis where he found work in a soda water factory. In 1857, Mr. Kleis was sent to Galena by his principals in order to establish a soda water factory there. In 1858, he took over the factory on his own account. In 1862, Mr. Kleis married his wife Caroline Föll, who is still alive, and moved to Dubuque with his family and the equipment of the soda water factory in 1863, where he started a business on Sixth and White Street. The business continued to expand and in 1868, he built the current factory at the corner of Ninth and White Street. Mr. Kleis is a long-time member of the gymnastic club, the shooting club and different highly respected lodges. He has a big family, and anyone who has dealt with them knows how pleasantly fast time goes by in their presence.
[image: Christ. Jungk]
Christ. Jungk. Mr. Christian Jungk is not exactly one of the founders, but still a German pioneer of the city of Dubuque. Now a highly respected citizen of old age, he did not play a small part in the construction and development of this pretty town. Being a man of generally respected honesty, he will leave his family – once called to his ancestors – not only with a respected name, but also with a fortune earned with diligence, prudence and frugality and which his wife faithfully helped him build.
Mr. Jungk was born on February 12, 1821, in Heindorf near Reichenbach, Kingdom of Saxony. After going to school there, he learned weaving and was journeyman when he came to America in 1844. He first settled in St. Louis and made the experience, like immigrants before and after him, that even in the blessed new country you cannot become prosperous without effort and concern. He was not doing well; he had to work very hard to earn four dollars a month, at building sites he carried bricks and mortar on ladders and then became a commercial assistant at a store. As such he worked his way up with diligence and after two and a half years he ran a successful store of his own. Seven years after he had arrived in America, he sold his store and went back to his old homeland, where he married Ms. Henriette Malz on February 22, 1852. For their honeymoon the young married couple travelled to America, actually to St. Louis, from which they moved to Dubuque on May 1, 1853, and have lived in this town since then. Until a few years ago, when they retired and moved to a beautiful farm near the city, Mr. and Mrs. Jungk ran
a well-known and viable store here.
This marriage produced ten children, of which eight are still alive, namely: Miss Lina Hermann, Miss Emma Dammann, Robert, Hermann and Otto Jungk, Miss Selma Weeda and Miss Clara Wieland, children who fill their respected parents with honor and joy in their old days.
Franz N. Schröder. Mr. Schröder, born on July 16, 1849, in Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, emigrated to America with his parents in 1854. They landed in New Orleans, lived in Mobile, Alabama, for about a year, and came to Dubuque, Ia via steamship. Here Mr. Franz N. Schröder went to school, started working as a clerk for Mr. W. H. Rumpf in 1865 and stayed there for about 17 years. In 1882, Mr. Schröder established a wholesale grocery store with Mr. Johann H. Klein. After 12 years, they consolidated their business with the business of F. A. Rumpf and C. P. Ferring & Co. under the name of Schröder-Klein Grocery Co., which has a respected name today. Mr. Schröder was always a leader of the Democratic Party, was chairman of the County Committee several times and was made delegate of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1880. Since 1896, Mr. Schröder has been Treasurer of Dubuque County and was re-elected for the third time, proof of his reputation and his large circle of friends. Mr. Schröder is a member of the Pius Alphonsus Association, the Roman Catholic Shooting Club of Iowa; furthermore, he is a member of the Dubuque Luxemburg Association and of the Germania Club. Mr. Schröder is popular everywhere and rightly enjoys a high reputation.
The history of Clayton County is part of the prehistory of the state. The county is located in the Northeast of Iowa, it is bordered in the East by the Mississippi, in the South by Dubuque and Delaware Counties, in the West by Fayette County and in the North by Allamakee County. It has a population of almost 28,000 and it has forests, plains landscape and hilly parts, which are mixed and form pleasant sceneries; it is a very romantic area with extremely fertile ground.
At the beginning of the century, the inhabitants were Sac and Fox Indians and the whole county was one big wilderness until civilization started spreading west. The first settlement was in 1833 near the Turkey River, about four miles from its mouth, by Robert Hatfield, W. W. Wayman and Wm. D. Grant. The best building was a hut, which was built at the mouth of the Turkey River and was used as a ferry house. W. W. Wayman brought along a housekeeper called Rebekka Clues. In January 1836, Dr. Frederick Andros claimed the land one mile south of present-day Garnavillo and built a hut; soon thereafter, someone called Loomis settled next to Andros. Then, John. W. Gillett settled there where Garnavillo is today. The next spring, Wm. Correll claimed the land where Farmersburg is today. Allen Carpenter claimed the country 3 miles north and in the same year, the land of Clayton County north of Millville was for the first time cultivated by the hands of a white man. This man was John W. Gillett. In the same year, Elisha Boardman, Harry Boardman, Horace Brownson, Capt. Grant and a man named Hastings made an exploratory tour along the Turkey River. During that tour, the Indians stole their horses and they had to return partially by foot and partially by using a raft to the settlement four miles south of the mouth. On the way back, Elisha Boardman claimed the land where Elkader is today, then Boardman and Brownson went back home to Green Bay, Wis., and after a long and dangerous journey they brought Brownson’s family and several other men to their new home and founded the city of Elkader. At that time, there were two empty huts where McGregor is today. Back then, Clayton County was still part of Wisconsin and its governor made John W. Griffith the first sheriff of Clayton County. He called the first court hearing on May 4, 1838, in Prairie la Porte (today Guttenberg). The first census counted 274 inhabitants. On July 4th in the same year, Iowa became a territory. On September 10, 1838, the first election was held. Prairie la Porte was selected as official county seat, but in 1843 it was moved to Jacksonville (Garnavillo today) and after 13 years to Elkader. In 1857, it was moved back to Prairie la Porte, in 1859 to Jacksonville and then back to Elkader, where it still is today.
In 1867, the first part of the country court building was erected and in 1877, the county gave $50,000 and the citizens of Elkader another $5000 and the building was built in its present extent.
Clayton County has a high number of German inhabitants and therefore, the county offices are largely held by Germans; the wealthiest farmers are German and the most outstanding businessmen are Germans. Germans are everywhere and because of their tireless activities the county has such an outstanding position in the state. The exported products are mostly farm products like cattle and butter because the county does not have factories. Many other cities have been founded over the last years and today the county has four cities that have a population over 1000 and 15 villages with a population over 150. Especially high are the percentages of German inhabitants in Guttenberg, Garnavillo, Elkader, Clayton, Clayton Center and Littleport. In Elkport, Osterdock, Farmersburg and Millville, there are also many Germans.
Guttenberg. Guttenberg is located, almost like Fort Madison, on a beautiful, bright stripe of tableland that rises about 20 feet high above the Mississippi. Behind the town, on the western side, are mountains, which reach a height of between 4 and 500 feet, and from the top, you have a wonderful view over the Mississippi and its valley. It is a location fit for a town and if the first settlers and businessmen had been more enterprising, then Guttenberg would be a rival for Dubuque today. The French, who dwelled here first, called this place Prairie la Porte (the gate to the prairie) and, in fact, this place used to be the entry point for the most wonderful prairie the human eye had ever seen until McGregory came to be and the railroads created other towns. From Guttenberg up until Monona and even further, there is uninterrupted wave like prairie that is the most fruitful you can find. This is proven by the fact that an acre there costs between $75 and $100. The German farmers made that district into the paradise that it is today.
Until 15 years ago, Guttenberg was almost completely German. Just one family of English descent lived there. At the moment, a third of the population is Anglo-American.
The history of Guttenberg alone could fill a grand book, if written in detail. The beautiful location must have impressed the original inhabitants, the Indians, because until 30 years ago, their burial mounds in various forms could be found on the tableland that, like a little prairie, reaches north and south. Many of those have been searched by the former judges Eliphalet Price and Samuel Murdoch, and they found all sorts of antiquities like earthenware vessels, objects made out of copper and battle axes etc., which point to a higher, more advanced human race than the Indians of today. The most valuable findings have been brought to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. The biggest burial mounds were over 100 feet long and in the form of animals, like elephants, dogs and such. Without a doubt, the builders of those burial mounds belonged to the same tribe which inhabited Mexico many centuries ago and from which the Aztecs emerged. Among the Hyda [Haida] Indians near Puget Sound in the state of Washington, a legend turned into valid history; thousands of years ago, when the climate in the north was mild and giant animals grazed in the most abundant period of plants in northern areas, which today have a harsh climate, two Asian tribes warred with one another, and one of the tribes was forced over the Bering Strait. They were seized by the Gulf Stream and then washed onto the Aleutian Islands and then to Alaska, from which they walked across the American continent and probably also reached the valley of the Mississippi. The Indians left at Puget Sound look a lot like the almond-eyed Chinese. Their jewelry and spoons etc. have Chinese figures and symbols.
The modern history of Guttenberg only starts in 1845. Long before that, it was the court seat of the county and the gathering point of the first pioneers. In the aforementioned year, the county sold to the Western Settlers’ Society of Cincinnati 365 lots for $2,000. The agent of the society, Christian Müller, had already bought the private properties adjacent to the lots and so the society, which consisted entirely of Germans, got the most beautiful landscape on the Upper Mississippi, an area that had enough room for 10,000 people. According to the Society’s ruling only Germans were allowed in Guttenberg and no land was to be sold to an Anglo-American.
The first settlers did a lot for the development and the improvement of the town even though they were a bit shortsighted concerning railroad facilities. Some of the first houses that were built in the first years still look good among the new buildings. Among the colonists that arrived in the 40s and 50s were a reasonable number of educated people, among the craftsmen not less than among the professionals, we remember the following: Dr. Weber, Dr. Wm. Hoffbauer, G. F. Wiest, Conrad Scherling, the brothers Fleck, Ihm and Weiner[,] L. Heine, Joseph Huene etc.
The first German settlers were Jonathan Kauffmann, who was sheriff for many years, John Andreß, Fred. Aulwes, Adam Goetz, A. Hottinger, the first mayor, Wm. Nolte, Henry Nolte, John Wolter, G. H. Niemeyer, John Troester, Gustav Beutel, Peter Wolter, Alfred Arnemann, Wm. Appel[,] G. H. Pelzer, John Rau, J. Tujetsch, J. Zimmermann, Peter Klein, Joseph Klein, H. Kruckewitt, C. and J. Falkenhainer, John Henry Thamann, Henry Eppens, Ben. Albers, Louis Bierbaum, J. Deifel, H. H. Everslage, Fred. Fürste, Herm. Ihm, M. Seippel, Aug. Jungk, John Roffuth, M. Weiner, C. Floete, Cas. Kreppahne, Henry Huntemann, the first lead digger in the area, John P. Kriebs, the first and longterm justice of the peace, Michael Weber, F. W. Helwich, John Ackermann, D. Stohl, Friedrich Boholtz, Joseph Block, Chas. Nus, Ernst Beber, Henry Fahling, Henry Overbeck, Julius Overbeck, Fred. Bosecker, J. H. Heitmann and John Luther.
The first church was Catholic; it was originally a residential building that John Leonard and Heitmann had built.
Dr. Christian Mitrucker, an herb doctor, was the first German doctor in Guttenberg. Among the first German farmers in the area were the father Gottfried and his sons Wilhelm, Heinrich, John and Friedrich and also John Dorweiler, John Clefisch, Henry Duwe, F. W. Henry, John and Fred Kugel, Henry Faßbinder, Fred. Kahle, Friedr. Müller, H. Eilers, Bernhard Eilers.
James Schröder. – James Schröder was born January 13, 1832, in Steinsel, Luxembourg, and was raised as a farmer; but his love for freedom was so big that there was not enough space for him at home, so he went to America in 1852 and travelled through different states until 1854, when he came to Guttenberg, Iowa, for a visit. Due to several reasons he stayed and married Miss Anna Esser in 1855, but she was taken her grieving husband in 1861 by consumption. He came into politics as a Republican at a very young age. He has held many public offices since then, among them Chairman of the Republican County Central Committee, Justice of the Peace, Assistant Judge, County Supervisor, Assistant Revenue Assessor; he was school director for 40 years and postmaster for 20 years in a row, for which he is responsible again. He had the honor of being elected Grand Patriarch of the J. [I.] O. O. F. of Iowa and that he fulfilled his duties in this office as in every other he ever held is a given. In 1867, he married Jennie McDonald and they had 13 children, of whom 8 are still alive. Mr. Schröder has always been a strong fighter for the German language and his English wife speaks German just as well as he does. He can look back on his life with pardonable pride and enjoy the rest of his days in peace though it seems that Mr. Schröder never wants to get old.
August Hüne. Mr. August Hüne, mayor of Guttenberg, Iowa, was born on September 10, 1863, near Glen Haven, Wisconsin. When he was just 11 months old he was taken in by Mr. Joseph Hünne in Guttenberg and since then this town has been his home. Since he finished school he has been active in his foster father’s department store until he took over the business 7 years ago and has been directing it ever since. He is not new to public affairs, he was clerk and trustee for the township and a town councilor. For more than ten years, he has been identified with all public improvements in Guttenberg and always stood for innovative ideas. His popularity is shown by his election as mayor against one of the strongest candidates.
Garnavillo, an idyllic town with 5,000 inhabitants, was the former state residence and center of one of the richest farming areas of the state. The Germans took over the whole place and its surroundings and that is why one cannot by land for under $100 per acre there. It is the same wave formed prairie which also extends from Guttenberg to Allamakee County. The land used to be owned almost entirely by Anglo-Americans; but the Germans drove them away with their hard work and thriftiness by buying the land for a good price and then making more profit out of it than the former owners.
Among the first settlers in and around Garnavillo were the Hagensicks, B. F. and Heinrich Schröder, the Tangemanns, J. H. Nietert, the John C. and Heinrich Mohrmanns, Wm. Schalte, H. L. Schuette, J. F. Schumacher, C. D. Meyer and Helmuth Brandt. The latter is still alive and is among the most respected citizens of the county. In Garnavillo, there is also a gymnastic club, which owns a pretty and roomy hall.
G. F. Wiest. It makes us happy to present to the readers a biography of the old and faithful father of gymnastics G. F. Wiest. He was born in 1825 in Ludwigsburg, Kingdom of Württemberg, and in 1848 came to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he and others founded the first gymnastic club. In 1854, he moved to Guttenberg and opened a hardware store and people came from around 25 miles to buy their hardware from his smithy. In 1850, he married Miss Philippine Claß. In 1857, he expanded his business by turning it into a general department store. In 1866, he went for a visit to his old homeland Germany with his wife and a year later, he built a mill at Buck Creek, which burned down in 1883. In 1893, Mr. Adolph Claß, Mrs. Wiest’s brother, became his business partner. He had worked hard for Mr. Wiest since the age of 14.
Mr. Wiest has always been highly respected by the whole citizenship of Guttenberg and Clayton County.
Hermann Ihm. Mr. Hermann Ihm was born in 1831 in Schwetzingen, Baden, and he emigrated to America after finishing school. Soon after that he came to Guttenberg where he and Mr. Weiner opened a store. In 1874, he took over the business on his own and has continued that ever since. Mr. Ihm served during the Civil War in one of the brave gymnastic regiments of Missouri for ten months. He married Miss Karoline Kölitz in 1876 and they have had three sons and one daughter. Besides his store, Mr. Ihm owns a big granary, holds important shares in the Excelsior mill and ships cattle and grain. He used to be a good gymnast and is a highly respected member of the Odd Fellow Lodge of Guttenberg. Mr. Ihm has been working hard from a young age and even though he is 68 years old, he is still in good shape and is directing his big business all by himself.
Hermann Scholz. Mr. Hermann Scholz was born in 1850 in Silesia, Prussia, and emigrated to this country in 1867. He worked for a year in Milwaukee and was a travelling salesman for eleven years. In 1872, he married Miss Julia Brüner who bore him six children. In 1878, he came to Guttenberg and opened an inn in 1888 that was known everywhere in the county. He has held several municipal offices and was mayor for two terms, town councilor for six years and now is head of the school board and a notary. Mr. Schulz is a very cheerful man who has spent every day of his life being useful and followed the rule “live and let live”, which is why he has many friends.
Elkader, Clayton County
16 miles west of the Mississippi and near the middle of the county is the county seat Elkader, in the valley of the Turkey River, protected on all sides by romantic, beautiful mountains. The city has a population of 1,250 souls and is German for the most part. On the east side of the town are the county court building, the prison, the new mental institution, the municipal pumping station, the “Milwaukee” train station etc. On the west side of the river is the business district of the town. On both sides of Main Street are a row of businesses that you would rarely find even in bigger cities.
Elkader was founded in 1845 is therefore 54 years old. The first house was built by a man called Sage. The town was named after the belligerent Algerian Emir Abd-El-Kader. The big malt mill was started in 1844 and finished in 1849. The first inn was established in 1850 and stood where the pretty and modern hotel Bayleß is now. In the year 1850, a bridge was built across the river, but it was replaced in 1889 by a more impressive one made of stone that cost $17,000 and was built by Byrne and Blake in Dubuque. The stones for that were provided by the quarry “Lover’s Heap”.
The city developed slowly but steadily and the old buildings, one after the other, fell victim to flames or progress; instead, there are now beautiful and solid business houses. In the last years, there have been improvements worth over $100,000. In the year 1891, the town was incorporated. H. H. Hagensick was the first mayor; his successor was Chas. Reimbeck and the office is now held by D. G. Griffith.
[pages 535-540 are not yet translated]