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Butler County >> 1883 Index

History of Butler and Bremer Counties, Iowa
Springfield: Union Publishing Company, 1883.


Unless otherwise noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.

John J. Foutch is also an old settler of Jefferson township. He was born in Fulton county, Illinois, December 28, 1833. His youth was passed in his native county, and his school attendance consisted of about sixty days only. Since his marriage, however, by diligent application, he has acquired a fair business education. In 1849, he, in company with Judge Farris, made a tour of the west, their object being to find a good location for settlement, and in the spring of 1850 he claimed the land where he now resides. The following year he was married to Charlotte Jane, a daughter of Judge Farris. They have six children - Rosanna, Hugh, Debby, William J., Hiram, and Nancy C. In 1857 Mr. Foutch went to Kansas with the renowned John Brown, and while there took an active part in the political fight, then waging in that State. In 1861 he returned to Bremer county. Mr. and Mrs. Foutch were the third couple married from this county, and had to go to Independence to secure the license. In those days it was necessary to have both a license and - whisky, upon such occasions. The groom experienced some difficulty in obtaining the former, but none in getting the latter; however, his troubles did not end upon finding the beverage, as he could get no bottle to carry it in. Finally, he succeeded in putting together the pieces of one, which he bound together with twine, and thus carried the fire water and was happy. The distance from their home to Independence was thirty miles, but they made the round trip, on horseback, in twenty-four hours. While at home, John's father always kept (as was the custom in those days) a bottle on the side-board, and the son early acquired a strong appetite for the beverage. However, after marriage, seeing the wrong he was committing, a reformation took place, and he has since been one of the strongest advocates of temperance. About that time he also experienced religion, and is an active worker in the cause of Christ.

Fred H. Frank, the present proprietor of the meat market, was born in Germany in 1850. He is the son of Henry and Dora Frank, both living near Charles City. They came to America in 1866. Fred lived in Indiana one year, and then went to Chicago, where he remained seven years, engaged in a meat-market. From there he went to Charles City, on a farm, where he stayed four years, and then lived in Waverly one year, where he again engaged in the meat business. In the fall of 1880, he came to this place and bought the market belonging to D. R. Littell, in which business he has been since engaged. It is the only one in the place. He bought the building in which he has his market, and owns four lots in the village. Mr. Frank is a member of the German Lutheran Church. He was married, in 1874, to Miss Dora Scheffel, a native of Germany. They have two children - Henry and Johnnie.

[NB: p 1198: "Meat-market. - The first meat-market in the town [Town of Sumner] was started by D. R. Littell in 1875, and continued until 1880, when he sold to Fred Frank, who continues in the business, and has a well appointed market, for a town of this size."]

Geo H. French, born in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, February 5, 1825, is a son of Benjamin and Alice S. (Sanders) French, who were also natives of Massachusetts. His grandfather, Benjamin French, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and served as Washington's body guard for three years, and during the time was wounded in attempting to save the General's life. George H. passed the first ten years of his life in his native town, and the next twenty-two years in Lowell, Massachusetts, working for the Middlesex Corporation, which is the largest woolen manufacturing establishment in the world. During 1857, he came west, arriving in Sumner in December of that year. He settled on section 22, on a farm of forty acres, which he had entered two years previously. Shortly after his arrival he purchased 80 acres more, and still owns the farm. He is a republican, and has held the office of township trustee, besides other minor offices. Mr. French was married on the 6th day of February, 1847, to Miss Miriam S. Holt, who was born in Andover, New Hampshire, and there lived until fifteen years of age, then moving to Lowell, Massachusetts. Five children have been born to them, of whom three are now living - Isora A. L., wife of Charles Follansbee, of Morrison, Rice county, Minnesota; George O. B. and Eddie B.