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Clayton County >> 1916 Index

History of Clayton County, Iowa:...
edited by Realto E. Price. Chicago: Robert O. Law Co., 1916.


Unless otherwise noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.

CHARLES F. HENNING 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 homesteads of Garnavillo township, where it is eligibly situated in Section 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 remainder of their lives, successful in their earnest endeavors and respected by all who knew them. Charles F. Henning early initiated 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 Amelia 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 fundamental 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 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 community. 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 established 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, 19O1, 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 resides 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 representative farmers in Lodomillo township until 1895, when he removed 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 December 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.

ANTON HUEBSCH has in his career effectually set at naught any application of the scriptural aphorism that "a prophet is not without honor save in his own country," for in his native city of McGregor his secure place in popular confidence and esteem is indicated 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, Illinois, 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 September, 1895. Of their children, the eldest is Lena, who is the wife of William T. Minney, of McGregor; George died in childhood; Frances is the wife of Frederick Wehler, of Algona, Kossuth 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 Dakota; Margaret died in infancy; and Frank is employed as a bookkeeper at McGregor. Owing to the exigencies of time and place, the early educational discipline of the present postmaster of McGregor 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 productive 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 McGregor, where for the ensuing six years he held the position of foreman in the printing and newspaper office of J. F. Widman. In June, 1896, Mr. Huebsch purchased the plant and business of the North Iowa Times from O. G. Wall, and of this paper he continued editor and publisher until 1906, when he sold the plant and business at McGregor and went to North Dakota, where he entered 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 connection 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 township 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 admirable resources. He takes deep interest in all things pertaining 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 postoffice 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 vacillating policy of political allegiance on his part, for he is found a staunch and well fortified advocate of the principles of the Democratic 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 Keystone 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 1885 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 gallant 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; Burros 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 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.

James T. Humphrey, was born in Clayton county on August 23, 1876. He is the son of Lawrence and Mary (Fleming) Humphrey, 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, Ia. 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 business, 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 thriving business in all sorts of farming implements. Mr. Humphrey was united in [marriage] 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 Yeoman, Woodmen and Knights of Columbus.