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Clinton County >> 1911 Index

History of Clinton County, Iowa
ed. by P. B. Wolfe. 2 vols. Indianapolis, Ind.: B. F. Bowen, 1911.


Unless otherwise noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.

John Fred Bendtschneider

In going over Clinton county one is impressed with the large number of thrifty farmers of the Germanic race who have settled within our borders, most welcomed citizens, all of them, for they are, it may be said, almost without exception, hard workers; they believe in improvements, in progress, in keeping abreast of the times, and in such a nature-favored region as this we find them almost always prosperous, for all they have to do here is to work, to make the effort and their toil is abundantly rewarded.

One such is J. F. Bendtschneider, whose birth occurred in Germany in September, 1846.  He is the son of John and Catherine (Sievers) Bendtschneider, both born in Germany, where they were reared and married; they came to America in May, 1857, and located in Davenport, Iowa, and there lived a year and a half, then moved to a farm near Charlotte, Clinton county, where they lived several years or until the father's death in 1869.  He took out naturalization papers and became one of the community's best citizens, and he was a successful farmer.  His wife survived him until the spring of 1888.  They were the parents of three children.  The father had served quite awhile in the German army and he made an excellent soldier.

The subject was educated in the public schools of this county and reared on the home farm here, which he worked on when but a small boy and he has made farming his chief life work.  In the fall of 1869 he bought eighty acres in Boone county and lived there three years, got a good start and then returned to Clinton county and rented a farm for some time near Bryant.  After living on two different farms he moved to Lincoln township and bought two hundred and twenty acres, which place he still owns, and which he has brought up to a high state of improvement.  He has a neat, substantial and comfortable home and excellent outbuildings.  He has transformed this farm since purchasing it into one of the best in the township in every respect, it being greatly admired by all who see it.  As to fertility of soil, he has brought it up to a high state of cultivation and has so skillfully rotated his crops and applied artificial fertilizers until it is as rich as at any time in the past.  He has now retired from active work and is living in an attractive and comfortable house at No. 516 North Sixth street, Lyons.

In politics he is a Republican, but has not been an office-seeker. He and his wife are members of the Lutheran church at Lyons.

The subject was married on February 26, 1874, to Anna Born Grants, a native of Germany, from which country she was brought to America by her parents when one year old.  This family settled near Charlotte, Clinton county, Iowa, later moving to Lyons, where both parents died.

Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Bendtschneider, named as follows: Ella, the wife of John Ommen; J. Adolph; Martha, the wife of John Holdorf; Clara, the wife of Arnold Peterson; Arnold, Anna and Henrietta, all three at home.  


Liberty township is one of the most beautiful regions of Clinton county, and among its farms are some that cannot be excelled. Among the better farms of the township is that of Mr. Cavey, which presents an extremely attractive appearance to the passer-by, thus giving evidence that a careful and progressive farmer is its owner, for usually a farmer's capability can be ascertained from the appearance of his farm.

Matthew Bernard Cavey was born on the farm where he now resides in 1865. the son of Mathias and Margaret (Connelly) Cavey. His parents were born in Ireland and married there, emigrating to the United States in 1847 and first locating in Ohio, but after a short stay there they removed overland to Clinton. Iowa, each driving a cart over the long road. In 1856, when the western portion of Clinton county was still mostly unsettled, Mathias Cavey came to Calamus and worked as a grading contractor on the Northwestern railroad, then in process of construction. Farming seemed promising to him and for about eleven years he lived on a farm of ninety acres three miles north and a half mile east of Wheatland. In 1864 he bought two hundred acres one and one-half miles southeast of Toronto, a farm with but few improvements, on which he erected excellent buildings and brought the place to its present high condition. Mathias Cavey has lived a quiet life, giving his attention to his business and his family. He is a stanch Democrat, and a member of the Catholic church. He was the father of ten children, one of whom died in Ireland and two near Clarence, Iowa; seven of them now living. Mrs. Cavey, having been many years a faithful wife and loving mother, died in the spring of 1908.

Matthew B. Cavey received his education in the common schools and has always followed farming, never removing from the home place. Like his father, he has found general farming and stock raising the most profitable method of disposing of the soil in this locality. In 1902 he was married to Katy Curran, of Cedar county, who has borne to him the following children: Merl Matthew, Ethel and Ward James. He and his family are members of the Catholic church. In politics Mr. Cavey is a Democrat, but has never cared to become a candidate for office. A strong, honest, substantial citizen, he stands well in his community, is known as a successful farmer, and has a wife and family of whom any man might be proud.