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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.

LOUIS L. SIEGELE is the owner of one of the excellent farms that mark Clayton county as one of the finet agricultural and livestock sections of the Hawkeye state, and he is giving special attention to the raising of high-grade livestock though devoting due consideration also to diversified agriculture. He is known as one of the progressive and successful representatives of these basic industries in his native county and is one of the broad-gauged and popular citizens of Mendon township, where his homestead farm comprises one hundred and fifty-seven acres. He is a member of a family whose name had been worthily linked with the history of Clayton county for nearly sixty years and comes of staunch German lineage. Mr. Siegele was born on the pioneer homestead farm of his father, in Mendon township, this county, and the date of his nativity was November 12, 1860. He is a son of John G. and Christena (Young) Siegele, both natives of Germany. The father dwas born and reared in the Kingdom of Wurtemburg and as a young man emigrated to America, in order to gain better opportunity of achieving independence through personal endeavor. He remained in the state of New York for a time and was there employed in connection with farm enterprise in Orange county. In 1858 he numbered himself among the early settlers of Clayton county, Iowa, which was then on the very frontier, and he purchased a tract of forty acres of virgin land in Mendon township. He reclaimed this land to cultivation and aded one hundred and twenty acres to the same, so that eventually he developed a good farm of one hundred and sixty acres, besides which he further manifested his progressiveness and resourceful energy by establishing and operating a small grist mill. He long continued his activities, a sterling citizen who commanded unqualified popular confidence and seteem, and he passed the closing two years of his life in well-earned retirement, his death having occurred on the 14th of February, 1893. His political allegiance was given to the Democratic party and he was a zealous communicant of the German Lutheran church, as was also his wife, who survived him by about four years and who was summoned to eternal rest on the 13th of September, 1897, a woman of earnest and gentle personality and one who had proved a devoted wife and mother. Of the chilcren the eldest is Charles, who resides at Emmettsburg, Palo Alto county, this state; Frederick is a prosperous farmer in Mendon township; Louis L., of this review, was the third in order of birth; Lena is the wife of Richard Davis, and they maintain their home in Clayton county; and Bertha is the wife of John Miller, of Emmettsburg. To the pioneer schools of his native county, Louis L. Siegele is indebted for his early educational advantages, and with the work of the home farm he continued his effective association until he had attained to the age of twenty-two years, when he rented the place and initiated his independent activities as an agriculturist and stock grower. After thus continuing operations on his father's farm for a period of eight years, he purchased a farm of eighty acres in the same township, later increasing its area by obtaining an adjoining seventy acres. He finally sold this property and purchased a farm near Emmettsburg, Palo Alto county, where he remained about two years. He then made an advantageous sale of the property and returned to Clayton county, where he purchased his paresent homestead, which comprises one hundred and fifty-seven acres. He has individually supplemented the improvements that had previously been made on the place and has brought to it definite status as one of the model stock farms of this section of the state, his special field of enterprise being in the raising of cattle and swine of the best grades. Loyal to all the duties and responsibilities of citizenship, Mr. Siegele has given co-operation in the furtherance of those enterprises that tend to advance the general welfare of the community, and though he has had no ambition for public office, he is aligned as a staunch supporter of the cause of the Democratic party. The religioius affiliation of the family is with the Lutheran church. On the 7th of October, 1885, Mr. Siegele wedded Miss Clara Foley, who likewise was born and reared in this county and who is a daughter of Timothy and Melinda (Frames) Foley, the former of whom was born in Ireland, on the 15th of April, 1838, and the latter of whom was born in Clayton county, on the 3d of August, 1844, a date that indicates conclusively that her parents were numbered among the earliest pioneer settlers of this section of Iowa. Mr. Foley came to Clayton county in 1858, and here his marriage was solemnized on the 11th of January, 1860. He was long one of the successful farmers and representative citizens of Clayton county, where he lived to pass the plalmist's span of three score years and ten and where his death occurred on the 11th of June, 1910, his cherished and devoted wife having passed away on the 27th of May, 1906. Of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Siegele, the first born id Mabel, who is the wife of Arthur Hankes, of Farmersburg township, their two children being Carroll and Foster and these two being the only grandchildren of Mr. and Mrs. Siegele; Carl is associated with his father in the work and management of the home farm; Amy is the wife of Peter Hansen, of Dubuque, this state; Ruth now resides at Mason City, Cerro Gordo county; Walter and John remain at the parental home; Glenn is deceased; and Gayle is the youngest member of the gracious family circle at the parental home.

ALBERT SMITH, one of the vigorous and progressive business men of Strawberry Point, has been a resident of Clayton county since he was an infant, is a scion of a sterling pioneer family of the county and through his own energy and well-directed efforts, has gained success and prosperity in connection with normal lines of industrial and business enterprise. He was born in the province of Ontario, Canada, on the 25th of December, 1857, and a few months later his parents, Andrew and Martha N. (Sargent) Smith, likewise natives of Canada, came, in 1858, to Clayton county, Iowa, where the father obtained a tract of land near Strawberry Point and instituted the reclamation and development of a farm. Here he continued his active association with the basic industry of agriculture until his death, which occurred in 1876, his wife having survived him by a number of years. Of their children the subject of this review is the first born; Louis died in childhood; Wilbur is a resident of Marion, N. D.; and Lillie is the wife of Charles F. Hesner, of Edgewood, this county. Albert Smith was reared to adult age under the influences of the pioneer farm of his father and in the meanwhile broadened his intellectual ken by duly attending the district schools. He was a sturdy youth of eighteen years at the time of his father's death, and, as the eldest of the children, he assumed the management of the old home farm, which comprised sixty acres. Later he devoted twelve years to effective clerical service in mercantile establishments at Strawberry Point, and at the expiration of this period he became associated with a man named Deckwood in the conducting of a feed store. One year later he sold his interest in this enterprise and turned his attention to the buying and shipping of cattle, with which line of commercial enterprise he continued his identification from 1886 to 1892. In the latter year he became a member of the firm of Lang, Hulbert & Smith, which controlled a butchering and meat market business at the time when he purchased the interest of his partners in 1902. Thereafter Mr. Smith continued the business in an individual way until 1911, when he sold out. In 1913, however, he became associated with Carl A. Schoeppe and repurchased the business, which they have since successfully conducted, in connection with active operations in the buying and shipping of livestock. Mr. Smith is a vigorous and progressive citizen, a staunch supporter of the cause of the Republican party, and he has not only served most acceptably as a member of the village council but is also making an excellent record in the office of trustee of Cass township, of which he is the incumbent in 1916. He has received the three degrees of ancient- craft Masonry, as an active member of the lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons at Strawberry Point, and he holds membership also in the adjunct organization, the Order of the Eastern Star, besides being affiliated also with the Modern Woodmen of America, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Royal Neighbors, and his wife is a member of the Congregational church. As a young man Mr. Smith wedded Miss Flora Cooper, a native of the state of Ohio, and they have four children: Lynn Cooper Smith, the eldest of the number, now resides at Cresco, Howard county; Bert A. is associated with his father's business; Marguerita is the wife of H. D. Staehle, of Strawberry Point; and Claude C. remains at the parental home.

G. A. SMITH is consistently to be designated as one of the representative business men of his native county and since 1901 he has been established in the hardware and farm-implement business at Volga, where effective service and fair and honorable dealings have gained to him a substantial and profitable supporting patronage. Mr. Smith is in both the paternal and maternal lines a scion of staunch English ancestry, his parents having been born in England and having been children at the time of the immigration of the respective families to the United States. He whose name introduces this article is a son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Keeling) Smith, who became pioneer settlers of Clayton county, where the father still maintains his home; he is now living retired at Volga, after long years of successful association with agricultural pursuits, and in this village his devoted wife passed to the life eternal in 1914. They became the parents of five children, all of whom survive the loved mother. G. A. Smith is indebted to the public schools of Clayton county for his early educational training and in the same he continued his studies until he had availed himself of the advantages of the high school at Volga. He continued his association with the work and management of the home farm until he had attained to his legal majority, and he then went to the city of Spencer, Clay county, where he entered upon and served a thorough apprenticeship to the trade of tinner, in which he is a skilled workman, his technical knowledge and mechanical ability being of much value to him in connection with his present well-ordered business enterprise. Mr. Smith continued to be employed at his trade until 1901, when he established his present hardware and implement business at Volga, and his trade now extends throughout the splendid agricultural section normally tributary to this thriving village. He is a progressive business man and public-spirited citizen, is a Republican in his political adherency and he is serving, in 1916, as president of the board of education of Volga. His success and advancement have been won through his own ability and efforts and he has so ordered his course as to merit and receive the confidence and goodwill of his fellow men. He is affiliated with the Modern Brotherhood of America and his wife holds membership in the Methodist Episcopal church. In the year 1897 Mr. Smith wedded Miss Ruth Sanborn, who was born and reared in Howard county, this state, where her father still resides, her mother being deceased. She is a member of a family of ten children, all of whom are living except one.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith have two children, Winnifred H. and Glen W., both of whom are, in 1916, students in the Volga high school.