Biographical Review of Des Moines County,
EDWARD AUGUST BECKMAN submitted by K. Lampe
Edward August Beckman, who owns and operates a farm of two hundred and twenty acres in Yellow Springs township, was born in Danville township, Des Moines county, near Middletown, June 8, 1858, his parents being John E. and Louisa (Granaman) Beckman. In his youth he attended the district schools, and throughout his entire life he has followed farming, having early begun work in the fields. He followed the plow when still a youth, and throughout his entire life has carried on agricultural pursuits with the exception of brief period passed in the West. In 1885 he went to California, and for three years he worked by the month in the gold mines at Hayden Hill, Lawson county. In the fall of 1887, however, he returned home, and in the spring of 1888 purchased the farm which he now occupies from Garrett & Starker, of the Iowa State Savings Bank, paying forty-five dollars per acre for this property. It is now one of the finest farms in Yellow Springs township, and comprises one hundred and twenty acres on Section 23, forty acres of which he purchased from Mr. McKewen, forty acres from John McMillen, and twenty acres of timer land lying in Huron township. His possessions aggregate two hundred and twenty acres, and he has a valuable property, the fields being richly cultivated, and return him golden harvests. Everything about his place is kept in an excellent state of improvement and repair, and in all his farm methods he is practical and progressive, while upon his place are all the equipments and accessories found upon a model farm.
Feb. 15, 1888, Mr. Beckman was united in marriage to Miss Mary Feldman, a daughter of John and Mary (Ries) Feldman. She was born in Franklin township, Des Moines county, Sept. 18, 1859, and has always lived in this part of the State. Two children grace this marriage: Oswald Edward, who was born April 22, 1896; and Margaret Louise, whose birth occurred April 27, 1900.
In his political views Mr. Beckman is a stalwart Republican, but without aspiration for office, preferring to give his time and attention to his business interests. He was reared in the Lutheran faith, but is now a member of the Presbyterian church, and for two years has served as deacon. His life has been characterized by honorable principles and without ostentation or display, and has shown in his life work many sterling traits of character which commend him to the confidence and respect of his fellow-men.
CHRISTOPHER BENDIX submitted by Dirk Bailey
Christopher Bendix, now residing on his farm in Section 16, Union township, is a native of Prussia, having been born about ten miles from the city of Mecklenburg, Dec. 16, 1860, a son of Andrew and Anna Marie (Hess) Bendix. His parents were married in 1846, and came to the United States in 1871, bringing with them their family of three children, of whom Christopher Bendix was the youngest. They came direct to Iowa, locating in the city of Burlington, where the father immediately secured employment at his trade as a carpenter. He continued to reside there for twenty years, but removed to Union township in the spring of 1895, and now resides with his son. He has throughout life enjoyed excellent health, and even now, in the eightieth year of his age, is cheerful, active, and remarkably well preserved. The mother is now deceased, her demise having occurred Dec. 15, 1875.
Mr. Bendix early had the advantage of good training in the schools of his native country, and later in the German schools of Burlington; but when only fourteen years of age was obliged by circumstances to quit school and begin work to aid in the support of the family. He first worked in the basket factory at Burlington, after which he spent three years as a farm hand. He then returned to the city to take a position in the Union depot, whence he was transferred at the end of one year to the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy roundhouse. Here he worked for a period of fourteen years as a machinist, the first three years of that time being devoted to learning the trade. In 1894, he purchased his present farm in Union township, consisting of sixty-three acres of excellent farming land, to which he removed in 1895, and here he conducts general farming in addition to engaging largely in the feeding of hogs for the market.
April 19, 1883, Mr. Bendix wedded Miss Matilda Schwab, who was born in Switzerland, and came to America at the age of sixteen years, making her home in Burlington. To their union have been born five children: Walter Wernhard, Leslie Andrew, Goldie Malinda, Raymond Carl Albert, and Elsie Marie Matilda. Mr. and Mrs. Bendix and their children are members of Saint Lucas’ Lutheran church.
Fraternally, our subject is identified with Red Cross Lodge, No. 242, Ancient Order United Workmen, and is in his political affiliation a Democrat. He has been to some extent connected with public service,
Having been elected to the office of director of public schools in 1897. He occupied that position for three yeas, or until 1900, with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of all. He is pleasant, genial, a good neighbor, and has many friends who wish him well. He has achieved success by his own efforts, entirely without help of any kind, and this by the practice of those distinctively American virtues, energy, enterprise, and self-reliance.
HENRY BREUER submitted by K. Lampe
Henry Breuer, coming to this country empty handed, has won the proud American title of self-made man, his diligence and close application enabling him to work his way upward from a humble financial position to one of affluence.
He was born in Prussia, Germany, Sept. 15, 1838, his parents being Henry and Charlotte (Bulk) Breuer. He was educated in the public schools of his native land, and when eighteen years of age he crossed the Atlantic to America, taking passage on one of the old-time sailing vessels, which was nine weeks and three days in reaching the harbor of New Orleans. He proceeded up the Mississippi River by boat to Keokuk, and as the river was then frozen over, he continued the journey by wagon to Burlington, arriving in that city about a week before Christmas, 1857.
As he had no capital he at once sought employment, and began grubbing land for Mr. Horsenkamp. Later he was employed at chopping wood by the month; and after the first year spent in this country he entered the employ of his uncle, Fred Breuer, with whom he continued for four years. He afterwards spent three years in the employ of his father-in-law, Samuel Witte, and later began farming on his own account, operating a tract of rented land the first year.
In 1867 he purchased from T. Beckman eighty acres of land, one-half of which was on Section 22, and the remainder on Section 27, Franklin township. He also bought from Frank Orndorff, in 1885, a forty-acre tract on Section 23, so that he now owns one hundred and twenty acres of good land. He carries on general farming, and his efforts are winning success. He has worked persistently and energetically, overcoming all obstacles and difficulties by his determined purpose and laudable ambition, and he is now accounted one of the substantial agriculturists of his community.
In January, 1864, Mr. Breuer was married to Miss Mary Witte, a daughter of Samuel and Sophia (Hultzman) Witte. They became the parents of eight children: Henry, Louisa, John, Mary, William, Caroline, Edward, and Lydia. The last named died at the age of five years, while the eldest daughter is now the wife of Frederick Sielerman.
Mr. Breuer is a valued member of the German Evangelical church, in which he has served as trustee for thirty years. In politics he is a Democrat in his views, but does not consider himself bound by party ties. He has served as trustee for one term, but prefers to devote his energies to his general farming interests, wherein he is meeting with success. His life history proves what may be accomplished by a man of determined and unfaltering diligence in a country where effort is not hampered by caste or class.
MERRETT THOMAS EVANS submitted by K. Lampe
One of the most prominent and progressive of the younger farmers of Des Moines county is Merrett T. Evans, now living in Washington township. Upon the farm where he yet resides he was born Jan. 16, 1876, his parents being Henry and Catherine (Williams) Evans, who are living retired in Mount Pleasant. The family was established here in pioneer times by the grandfather, Thomas T. Evans, a native of Wales.
The subject of this review pursued his early education in the district schools, and afterward entered the Iowa Wesleyan University at Mount Pleasant. He was also a student in the high school, and in the college at Mount Pleasant, Iowa, being a graduate of the former. His education completed, he returned to the old home farm and began its development. He is now in control of an extensive tract of land of nine hundred and eighty acres in Washington and Yellow Springs townships, Des Moines county. Here he is engaged in the breeding and raising of cattle, having about one hundred and fifty head upon his place each year. He also feeds about the same number of hogs, and his stock-dealing interests are bringing him very gratifying success.
Sept. 14, 1897, Mr. Evans was married to Miss Florence Bowman, a daughter of Henry Bowman, and they now have four children: Henry, born Aug. 10, 1898; Dorothy, born Feb. 9, 1900; Tom, born July 12, 1902; and Mary Frances, born Aug. 25, 1904.
Mr. Evans, as the result of his study and consideration of the political issues and questions of the country, has given his support to the Republican party. He belongs to the Alpha Beta society, a Greek letter fraternity with which he became connected while attending college at Mount Pleasant. He also belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church, and is now serving on its official board. He is a young man of strong purpose, laudable ambition, and determined will, qualities which are always essential in a successful business career, and in the control of extensive farming and stock-raising interests he displays excellent business ability and executive force.
Hon. Thomas Hedge, member of Congress, and president of the Gilbert-Hedge Lumber Company, was born June 24, 1844, in the city of Burlington, when Iowa was still under territorial government, his parents being Thomas and Eliza Burr (Eldridge) Hedge. In his youth he attended the public and private schools of his native city; and continued his education in Denmark Academy, at Denmark, Iowa, and Phillips Andover Academy, of Massachusetts, being graduated from the latter institution with the class of 1861. The succeeding year was passed in his father’s employ, after which he entered upon his collegiate work at Yale, of which he is an alumnist of 1967. His college course, however, was interrupted by his service in the Union army in 1864 and 1865, when as a member of Company E, One Hundred and Sixth New York Infantry, he went to the South, where he won promotion to the second lieutenancy of Company G of the same regiment. His professional training was received at the Columbia Law School, from which he as graduated in 1869.
For thirty-six years a member of the Burlington board, Mr. Hedge has likewise figured in financial and commercial circles here, being a director of the First National Bank, and president of the Gilbert-Hedge Lumber Company. His name as a political leader is well known, and since 1899 he has represented his home district in Congress, occupying a seat upon the Republican side of the House. He is president of the board of trustees of the Congregational church of Burlington, and his name is found upon the subscription list of many of the worthy charities of the city.
GUSTAV ADOLPH HUEHOLT submitted by K. Lampe
A successful farmer of Pleasant Grove township, and one who has been actively identified with the development of the community, is to be named in the person of Gustav Adolph Hueholt. He is the son of John and Sophia (Tapken) Hueholt, and was born in Oldenburg, Germany, Dec. 11, 1866. His parents were both born in Grossherzogtum, Oldenburg, Germany, where they still live, having never come to America. Mr. Hueholt is a shoemaker by trade and also engages in farming. He was in the German army, but never in active service. He and his wife are both members of the Lutheran church. They have had nine children, of whom seven are living, three coming to America. Jerry is a farmer in Missouri; Henry, a farmer, lived in Pleasant Grove township for some time and now makes his home in Oklahoma. After complying with the laws and regulations in regard to education in his native place, our subject remained for a few years with his father, and in 1884, when about eighteen years of age, came to America by way of New York. He located at once in Burlington, where he remained for about two months, then going to Pleasant Grove township, where he worked on different farms for about three years. After his marriage he rented a farm in Flint River township for five years. By this time he had by his untiring efforts and great energy saved enough money so that he could buy a nice place in Pleasant Grove township, upon which he has since resided as a general farmer and stock-raiser.
In 1889 Mr. Hueholt married Mrs. Sophia Holman, widow of Henry Holman, who died in Flint River township, leaving the following five children: Charles, a locksmith, and who lives in Davenport, Iowa; Amelia, wife of Diedrich Snupper, of Pleasant Grove township; Sophia, married Fred Snupper, of Danville township; Louisa, the wife of Alfred Shroeder, who also lives in Danville township; Lena, now Mrs. John Schroeder, of Pleasant Grove township. Mrs. Hueholt is a daughter of Diedrich Witmerhaus, a prosperous farmer and raiser of a high grade of stock, who resided in Pleasant Grove township till about two years ago, when he died. He passed away on his farm of six hundred acres after an illness of three months, at the ripe old age of eighty-two years. His wife had preceded him to the better land about one year. They were the parents of two daughters: Mary, deceased, and Mrs. Hueholt. Mr. and Mrs. Witmerhaus were both members of the Lutheran church, and are both buried in the Union church graveyard of Flint River township. They were both of much value in the community, and their loss was felt by all. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Hueholt four children have been born: Ida, died aged two years; an infant unnamed; Lyda and Raymond, now living.
Mr. Hueholt attends the Lutheran church. In politics he is a strong Democrat, but does not solicit party distinction, believing he can serve his party better as a private citizen. During the twenty years he has resided in America he has seen many changes for the better take place in Des Moines county. Each year new improvements have been made, and each year finds the average successful farmer better equipped with all modern implements, which tends to greatly lessen his duties. Mr. Hueholt is a man of much ability, of a strong and earnest personality, qualities which have won for him the esteem and confidence of all with whom he has come in contact. He is still a young man, and though he has won a success, there is still a career of exceptional promise before him.
JOSEPH A. LLOYD submitted by K. Lampe
Any work which has for its object the philosophical exposition of the history of a community, with a view to its adoption by the present or future generations as a guide or an inspiration in the daily affairs of life, must in a large measure deal with the origins of that society, with the primeval condition of the land, and with the careers and characters of the men and women who, urged by the stimulus of some supreme conviction, waged war with hostile nature, pushed back her borders, and reclaimed her hitherto wild and untamed forces to the uses and purposes of civilization.
Of the well-known pioneer families that made Des Moines county what it is to-day, --one of the riches agricultural sections of the Mississippi valley,-- Joseph A. Lloyd is a worthy representative, and a record of his life, showing the relation in which he stood to the early development of Iowa, will be valuable as illustrating man's power over environment, as an example of high achievement through noble and inflexible resolve.
Joseph A. Lloyd was born in Dearborn county, Indiana, near the city of Cincinnati, March 6, 1826, the son of William H. and Nancy (Shaw) Lloyd. The father and mother were both natives of the State of Ohio. Nine children were born to them, of whom three are still living. In 1834 the family came to Iowa, Joseph being at that time about fourteen years of age. There was no land sold west of the Mississippi River to any one previous to this family's purchase. They settled first in Lee county, where the father operated a farm in Green Bay township. After farming there for a few years, they moved to Des Moines county, but he never engaged in active life after coming to Des Moines county. He died in 1840, at the age of about seventy years.
Farm life in Des Moines county at that time was a very different matter from that with which we are familiar to-day. The early pioneers had to settle down to a long fight with the wilderness, --a fight which was to issue in such splendid triumph in later years, and whose object was to secure "the glorious privilege of being independent." Theirs was a life of many cares, and was necessarily much concerned with the acquirement of worldly wealth; not because they saw that these might be made the means to spiritual ends, and that the successful tiller of the soil has the strength to resist the march of wrong and to help forward the cause of right.
Joseph A. Lloyd obtained his early education in the common schools of Lee county, and worked on the home farm till he was about twenty-one years of age. He then began working for himself by working by the month on farms in the neighborhood, doing this until the breaking out of the Civil War. Then the call of his country in her time of need sounded clearly to him.
He enlisted in 1863, in Company C, of the Thirtieth Infantry Volunteers, and served till the end of the war. He was engaged in a number of the more important battles of the war, as well as many skirmishes. he was at the siege of Vicksburg, and during the fight was wounded in the wrist. While on the march to the sea with Sherman, he received another wound, in the battle at Resaca, this wound being in the shoulder, and being of such a serious nature that he was left there in the hospital. When the long, cruel conflict was over, and the citizen soldiers were dispersed to their homes, Mr. Lloyd received his discharge at Davenport, Iowa, and came to Des Moines county.
Here he located on a farm in Franklin township, where he purchased eighty acres of land, and made a home. To this farm he added, from time to time, until he owned one hundred and twenty acres of fertile farming land, besides some timber. There he engaged in general farming and stock-raising until 1900, when he retired from active life, and moved into Mediapolis. In that city he has erected a large and beautiful home, in which he is content to pass the evening of his life in peace and quiet, and leave the struggle to others, knowing that he has borne his share through the heat of the day, has faithfully fulfilled all the duties that have devolved upon him, and has earned the rest that he is now enjoying.
Mr. Lloyd was married on Oct. 18, 1871 to Miss Sarah Haynes, a native of Des Moines county, being born in Franklin township, and the daughter of Gardner and Sarah (Porter) Haynes. The father was born Feb. 11, 1816, in Dutchess county, New York, and came to Iowa at an early age, locating in Franklin township, this county, and engaging in farming. He was very successful, and became a farmer on a large scale, and well known in the county. He died on the home place, Jan. 25, 1897, at the age of eighty-one years. The mother was also a native of Dutchess county, New York, and died on the home place in Franklin township, Nov. 1, 1891, at the age of seventy-four years. She was one of a family of five children, four of whom are still living. Mrs. Lloyd received her education in the common schools of the community, and remained in the home community till the time of her marriage.
Politically, Mr. Lloyd acted with the Republican party, and is one of its highly valued members in his township, possessing much influence in its councils, using his influence in accordance with the purest dictates of integrity and honor. He and his wife attend and support the Presbyterian church, doing much by the influence of their lives to advance the cause of right. The keynote of Mr. Lloyd's life and character is integrity and fidelity to his obligations in all his relations of his fell-men, and such has been the strict uprightness and unswerving directness of his course that to him all accord admiration, respect, and genuine regard. He has a wide acquaintance, and to write the chronicle of his life, his work, and his success is a pleasure which will be shared, as readers, by many friends, whose esteem he has won in full and generous measure.
FRANK MILLARD submitted by K. Lampe
Frank Millard, for years one of the prominent and enterprising business men of Burlington, and now in his retirement from labor occupying one of the finest homes of the city, which from its height on Prospect hill commands an excellent view of the city, with its industrial and commercial interests, and the river, with its traffic and its pleasure craft, was born in Hampton, Washington county, N. Y., Oct. 7, 1831. His father, Ashley Millard, was a native of Rhode Island, and a cousin of President Millard Fillmore, whose mother was a daughter of Dr. Abiatha Millard, of Pittsfield, Mass., a sister of the grandfather of Frank Millard. The wife of Ashley Millard bore the maiden name of Polly Peck, and her family were originally from Connecticut, where they were well connected and highly esteemed.
Frank Millard spent his early life upon a farm in Washington county, New York, and ere his removal to the West he was married, in Warsaw, N. Y., in 1862, to Miss Annie I. Catlett, a daughter of Bradley S. Catlett. Three children were born of this union, two sons and a daughter, Courtney, Homer, and Emma.
In 1864 Mr. Millard arrived in Iowa, locating in Burlington, where he engaged in the lumber business in company with his brother George, and William E. Thompson, under the name of Frank Millard & Company. This connection was continued until 1879, when Mr. Millard sold his interest and engaged in the paint and oil trade, which he carried on until 1881, when he purchased the interest of Gilbert, Hedge & Company, in the Cascade Lumber Company, and was elected president of the organization. This company was formed in April, 1880, the incorporators being Gilbert, Hedge & Company, W. S. Berry, H. H. Gilman, and Charles Putnam. Thomas Hedge, Sr., was elected president; John Gilbert, vice-president; and Charles Putnam, secretary. The business was first established and the mill placed in operation by the firm of Berry & Gilman in 1876, and in 1878 A. Kaiser was admitted to a partnership, the firm of Kaiser & Berry continuing the business until 1880, when the Cascade Company was organized and succeeded to the business, the owners being Gilbert, Hedge & Company until 1881, when Mr. Millard bought them out. He was elected president and treasurer, with W. S. Berry as vice-president, and R. G. Saunderson as secretary. These gentlemen, with H. H. Gilman, Charles Putnam, and the Burlington Insurance Company, are the stockholders. The mill was situated on the Mississippi River, near the southern limits of the city, at the foot of the bluff of Crapo Park, at what is known as the Cascade, on the Keokuk branch of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. Employment was furnished to from fifty to sixty hands, and the annual capacity was seven million feet of lumber. Mr. Millard continued with the Cascade Lumber Company until the plant was destroyed by fire in 1896. Later he became identified with J. D. Harmer & Company, who operated a lumber and planing mill, and manufactured sash and doors, acting as manager of the business, and largely furnishing the funds necessary for the conduct of the enterprise. When the business failed some months after, Mr. Millard having withdrawn therefrom, he was appointed receiver for the bondholders, and the business was sold, since which time he has lived a retired life. The Frank Millard Company was organized in 1901 for the purpose of conducting a wholesale and retain business in lime and cement, A. A. McArthur, son-in-law of Mr. Millard, being the active manager, the latter partner being only financially interested.
In 1868 Mr. Millard was called upon to mourn the loss of his first wife, who died at her fatherís house in Warsaw, N. Y. In 1871, at Galesburg, Ill., he married Miss Ella Blannerhasset Hewson, a daughter of Francis D. Hewson, of Toronto, Canada. At the summit of one of the highest bluffs along the Mississippi River, just opposite and above the Iowa approach to the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad bridge, stands the Millard residence, from whose windows there can be obtained magnificent views of a most attractive landscape, overlooking the commercial center of Burlington, as well as many of its homes, the Union depot with its outgoing and incoming trains, and the broad river, with its freight and passenger boats and pleasure craft, and is one of the finest homes of the city.
In politics always a stanch Democrat, he has often been urged to accept a nomination for alderman, or for the mayoralty, but has always declined, yet for a number of years he has been a member of the board of education, the public-school system having in him a strong champion.
On the roll of her pioneers, those who have been her makers and builders, Des Moines county has long since accorded the name of David L. Portlock a high and honorable place. Within her borders he has passed nearly fourscore years of continous residence, and at a time time which is now far beyond memory of the present generation, he courageously encountered and conquered here the hard conditions of life in a new land. He is now residing in Pleasant Grove township on his large and productive far, of one hundred and forty-five acres in Sections 11 and 2. Mr. Portlock was born in Rush county, Indiana, on the 4th day of January, 1825, a son of Barnard D. and Sara (Lyons) Portlock.
Barnard D. Portlock was a native of Barth[sic] county, Virginia, his birth occurring Dec. 24, 1794, from whence he removed to Indiana at an early period in the history of that State. In Indiana he followed the occupation of farming, and also worked at his trade as millwright and carpenter. He again came west in 1836, and became one of the very early pioneers of Iowa, locating at Burlington, where he erected the first grist-mill in that city. There he resided until his dath, which occurred Feb. 10, 1842. A Democrat in his political affiliation, he was a man of exceptional ability, and as such played a prominent part in the public affairs of his time. He early received appointment as justice of the peace, an office whose duties he capably discharged for a number of years. He held a captaincy in the Iowa State militia at the time of the trouble with Missouri over the boundary line between the two commonwealths. He was a member of the Baptist church, and during the time of his residence in Indiana was an elder of the church. His wife, who was also a member of the Baptist church, was born Aug. 20, 1808, in Franklin county, Indiana, and her demise occurred Nov. 11, 1852, in Pleasant Grove township, this county. She was the mother of eight children, four of whom survive, and of these our subject is the youngest, and the only one now residing in Des Moines county.
David l. Portlock began his education in the schools of Rush county, Indiana, and in 1836, when but eleven years of age, removed with his parents to Burlington. There the father built a log house and established a home, and the boy continued his interrupted education in the only school which the town afforded at the time. That humble pioneer home, could it be our privilege to look upon it exactly as it was, would present many points of striking difference from the palatial mansions of the city to-day. The house was made of logs, the old-fashioned fireplace of stone, roughly pieced together, while the huge chimney was constructed of sod. The sod was cut into squares, and these piled one upon another to the required height; and while the home may have lacked many of the comforts that we now enjoy, the song of the sparks and flames leaping from the wide fireplace up the chimney on a winter¹s day was one of encouragement and good cheer not without its value.
After leaving school Mr. Portlock was employed by his father for some time, but in 1842, began farming in Pleasant Grove township, purchasing a few acres of land south of the village of Pleasant Grove, where he farmed and worked as a carpenter. As soon as he had, in this manner, saved sufficient capital, he entered forty acres north of the village, but lived at the village for a few years. He then removed to his farm in the northern part of the township, to which he added by subsequent purchases until he was the owner of one hundred and forty acres, and he made that the place of his residence during a number of years. About the year 1863 he purchased his present holdings, where he has ever since resided. He has greatly improved the farm, and during the active period of his life engaged in genera farming and the usual stock-raising with signal success. At the present time he is retired from active work, leading a life of quietness and ease, and enjoying the rewards of a long, honorable, and useful career.
At Pleasant Grove, in the month of October, 1849, Mr. Portlock was united in bonds of holy matrimony to Miss Elizabeth Fleenor, daughter of Isaac and Lydia (Fleenor) Fleenor. Mr. Fleenor was a pioneer of this section, coming to Iowa in 1836, and locating on a farm in Pleasant Grove township, where he was successful, and also became one of the prominent figures of his day. He died at his farm home at an advanced age. Mrs. Portlock is also now deceased, her death having accurred at the family home, Nov. 8, 1902. She was the mother of seven children, of whom the two eldest, which were twins, died at birth, and those living are as follows: Lydia, who married Charles Kemry[sic], afarmer of this township, and now residing with our subject, and has four children, Walter F., David, Bertha, and Iva; Clarissa, who is the wife of Henry Beckman, a retired farmer of New London, has seven children, Mary, Effie, Anna, Verdon, Lee, Henry, Clara; Sarah, who is the wife of John L. Jones, of Roscoe, this county, has four children, Ralph, Laura, Gertrude, and Detlef; Verdon, who is now a retired farmer residing at New London, Iowa, married Miss Maggie Ritchey, by whom he has two children, Anna and Grace; Elzorah, wife of William Wallman, is engaged in farming in Missouri.
Mr. Portlock is a member of the Christian church, in whose work he was formerly very active, and for many years he held the office of elder. The Christian denomination was at one time the most numerous and flourishing in this vicinity, the membership numbering at its maximum one hundred and thirty-one; but many of them have died, while others have moved away, so that Mr. Portlock is the only one of all these left now. He has also been prominently connected with public life, and as a member of the Democrat is part has been honored by election to almost all the offices within the gift of the people of his township. For a period of about ten years he held the office of justice of the peace, and by reason of his reputation for fairness and absolute impartiality, his court was resorted to for trial and determination of a great many important cases at law. He was also appointed county supervisor to fill an unexpired term, and at the termination of his regular period of service was elected to that office, which he continued to occupy for a further three years. At the time of the Civil War he received appointment as deputy provost marshall, and served in that capacity throughout the course of the war. He is widely known throughout Des Moines county, enjoys the warm and sincere regard of a host of friends, and by virtue of his upright and stainless life and character commands the respect of all.
CHARLES H. RIEPE submitted by K. Lampe
Charles H. Riepe, who is serving for the second term as assessor of Franklin township, was born in this township Sept. 15, 1876, his parents being Herman H. and Caroline (Beckman) Riepe. The father was born in Germany, while the motherís birth occurred in Des Moines county, Iowa; but her father, Charles A. Beckman, was likewise a native of Germany, in which country Henry Riepe, the paternal grandfather of our subject, was also born.
Herman Riepe came with his parents to New York, and was employed in that State until 1855, when he removed westward to Burlington. Soon afterward the family took up their abode on a farm in Benton township, and Herman Riepe remained with his parents until he had attained his majority.
He learned the carpenterís trade in early manhood, and for some years followed that pursuit; but resumed agricultural life and was identified with farming interests in Franklin township until 1895, when he came to Sperry and purchased the general store formerly owned by Jacob Dean. Here he has since carried on general merchandizing, and has likewise, with the exception of a period of six months, served as postmaster at this place since 1895. He is one of the leading business men of the village.
Charles H. Riepe completed his education, which had begun in the district schools, by a course of study in Rising Sun, Iowa, in 1895; and since that time has been connected with his father in the conduct and management of the store. In his political views he is a Democrat, always giving stanch support to the party. In the fall of 1902 he was elected assessor, to which position he was re-elected in the fall of 1904.
HENRY H. RIEPE submitted by K. Lampe
Henry H. Riepe, who has passed the eighty-seventh milestone of lifeís journey, was born in Prussia, Germany, April 3, 1818, his parents being Albert and Catherine (Herslink) Riepe. He acquired a common-school education, and in 1851 crossed the Atlantic to New York. From this city he made his way direct to Lockport, N.Y., being six weeks and one day on the journey from his old home to his destination. He secured employment on a farm near Lockport, where he remained for four years, and thus provided for his family, consisting of his wife and four children.
The year 1855 witnessed the arrival of Mr. Riepe in Burlington, and here he worked on the streets for six months. At the end of this time he purchased fifty-three and a third acres of timber land in Benton township, on which be built a log cabin, and at once began clearing the farm; cutting down the trees, grubbing out the stumps, and clearing away the brush, until the greater part of it was cleared and under cultivation.
Nine years later, after losing his first wife, he sold this farm and removed to Franklin township, purchasing ninety acres of land, to which he added until he owned one hundred and seventeen acres. Subsequently he bought fifty-five acres in the southeastern part of the township and removed to that place, living thereon until 1903, when he again sold out, and took up his abode in Sperry; here he now lives, but expects soon to make his home with his daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. August Quelle, in Benton township.
Mr. Riepe was first married in April, 1837, Miss Annie Hoecamp becoming his wife. They traveled lifeís journey together for five years, and she passed away in 1842. In April, 1852, he married Mary Volbrink, a native of Germany, who died in April, 1872. His third marriage in August, 1872, was to Rosina Schmidt, who was born in Burtonburg, Germany, and is still living. There was one son by the first wife, Fred, who is now engaged in the grocery business in Burlington, Iowa. The children of the second marriage are: Henry, of Mediapolis; Herman, who is postmaster of Sperry; and William. The children of the third marriage are: Mary, the wife of Henry Bishop; Mrs. Lydia Schaele, a widow, living at Pleasant Grove, Iowa; Catherine, the wife of August Quelle, of Benton township; and August, who is living in Lee county, Iowa.
Mr. Riepe is a member of the Lutheran church, and since becoming a naturalized American citizen has given his political allegiance to the Democratic party. He has served as road supervisor, township trustee, and school director, and has always been loyal to the general welfare and active in support of every measure which he has believed would contribute to the public good. The success which he has achieved in life has come as the direct result of his own labors. Now, in the evening of life, he is enjoying a well-earned rest, respected by his fellow-men because of his fidelity to honorable and manly principles as the years have gone by.
HERMAN H. RIEPE submitted by K. Lampe
Herman H. Riepe, Postmaster, is one of the enterprising business men of Sperry, where he is engaged in general merchandizing and in the grain trade, and his activity and integrity in business, his fairness in his opinions, and his genuine personal worth have made him a man of influence in the locality where he resides. His birth occurred in Westphalia, Germany, March 23, 1846, his parents being Henry and Mary (Volbrink) Riepe. Leaving their native country in 1850, they took passage on a sailing vessel which eventually reached the harbor of New York, and for four years Mr. Riepe worked as a laborer in the Empire State. In 1854 he arrived in Burlington, and a year later bought a farm of eighty-six acres in Benton township, owning and operating that place until 1865, when he sold out, and bought one hundred and five acres in Franklin township. In 1880 he purchased fifty-six acres of land in Flint River township, to which he removed, and resided there until 1903, when he sold his different tracts of land and removed to Sperry, where he is now living retired.
Herman H. Riepe, whose name introduces this record, was reared under the parental roof, and acquired his education in the public schools. During much of his life he has been identified with agriculture, although he is now connected with commercial interests in Sperry. In the meantime, however, he had carried on other pursuits, for after his marriage he was for twelve years engaged in carpentering and contracting. He then removed to his fatherís old homestead farm, where he devoted his energies to agricultural pursuits for fourteen years. On Jan. 1, 1894, he came to Sperry, where he established a general mercantile store and grain business, building the grain elevator in 1900. Here he handles corn and small grain, and makes extensive shipments annually, while his business gives a good market to the producers in this part of the county. As a merchant he is also prospering, carrying a well-selected line of goods and conducting a first-class mercantile business.
On Dec. 16, 1875, Mr. Riepe was united in marriage to Miss Caroline Beckman, who was born in Franklin township, and is a daughter of Charles and Sarah (Gondry) Beckman. This union has been blessed with five children: Charles, at home; George; Frank, who is a carrier on the rural free delivery route; Walter J.; and Clara. Mr. and Mrs. Riepe are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which faith they have reared their family. In his political views he is a Democrat. He served as justice of the peace for two terms, and was appointed postmaster of Sperry in January, 1894. He received his first appointment under Clevelandís administration, and was reappointed under McKinley, holding the office continuously until April 1, 1901, when he resigned. He was reappointed, however, the following September, thus having served almost continuously for eleven years. This, together with the fact that he is a Democrat (gold), and held through under Republican administrations, speaks more plainly than words of the esteem and popularity with which he is held by the people. No public trust reposed in him has ever been betrayed in the slightest degree, his loyalty to the general welfare being one of his marked characteristics. His business record is alike commendable, for at all times he has worked diligently and along lines of honorable activity for the accomplishment of success, which is the goal of all business endeavor.
JOHN ELICK RIEPE submitted by K. Lampe
John Elick Riepe is numbered among the native sons of Des Moines county, his birth having occurred on the old home farm in Franklin township, March 18, 1872. His parents were John H. and Amanda (Minnick) Riepe, and in their home the days of his boyhood and youth were passed, his attention being devoted to the work of the fields and the care of the stock. He thus received practical training in the labor to which he has given his time and energies since attaining manís estate. He mastered the elementary branches of English learning as a student in the district schools of his native township, and throughout his business career he has followed farming.
In 1903 he purchased the Gust Abrahamson farm of fifty-three and three-quarters acres in Section 21, in the southern part of Yellow Springs township, and here he carries on general agricultural pursuits. His fields are well tilled, and his place well stocked. He works persistently and earnestly, in order to gain a comfortable competence for himself; and all that he possesses has been acquired entirely through his own efforts.
On March 18, 1896, Mr. Riepe was married to Miss Minnie A. Ward, a daughter of John Wesley and Ruth (Smith) Ward. They now have two interesting children: Ruth, born July 21, 1897; and May, born Oct. 20, 1898. They also lost one daughter, Minnie Maude, who was born July 25, 1901, and died Sept. 12, 1904.
Politically, Mr. Riepe is a Democrat. He takes an active interest in local affairs, and gives his co-operation to all measures which he deems will prove of public benefit.
John Frederick Rolf submitted by Diana Flodin Rogers
John Frederick Rolf, whose life record is another demonstration of the fact that persistent effort, guided by good business judgment, results in success, was born in West Phalen, Prussia, Germany, July 9, 1853, his parents being Gottlieb and Catherine (Ackhorst) Rolf. He is indebted to the public schools for the educational advantages which he enjoyed in his youth, and when he put aside his school books at the age of fifteen, he was apprenticed to a merchant to learn the business, acting in that capacity for three and a half years, and thus gaining business experience which has proved of considerable value to his in later years.
In February, 1872, Mr. Rolf left his native land and started for America, landing at New York in March. He did not tarry long in the Eastern metropolis, however, but came directly to Burlington, Iowa, where he entered the employ of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company, being connected with the section crew for a year. He afterward spent a year as clerk in the grocery store of H.H. Neimyer, after which he began working for John Blaul, but two weeks later he became ill with typhoid fever and it was some time before he regained his health & strength. When he had recovered, he began working for the firm of Rhodes & Kelley, general merchants, continuing with them until the dissolution of the partnership, after which he remained in the employ of John Rhodes, who became sole proprietor of the business. Mr. Rolf continued with him for five years, and then began business on his own account, as a partner of Jacob Scholl, under the firm style of Rolf & Scholl, dealers in groceries, at the corner of Ninth and Locust Streets. This relation was maintained for three years, when Mr. Rolf sold his interest to Mr. Scholl, and formed a partnership with Henry Miller as dealers in general merchandise, at the corner of Center Avenue and South Street, under the firm name of Miller & Rolf. Six months later Mr. Rolf disposed of his interest and spent four months in the supply department of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company, in West Burlington. Subsequently he engaged with his old-time employer, Mr. Niemyer, being with him for about four years in the grocery business, Mr. Rolf having entire charge of the feed store. He then bought out the feed business at 622 Jefferson Street, continuing in that location for eight years, when he leased a piece of ground at 702 Jefferson Street and built a store when he occupied for six years. In the meantime, he bought the land and moved the old building and erected the present brick block at 702-04 Jefferson Street. And has since conducted business here as a dealer in flour, feed, hay, and grain. He now has a large patronage, which renders his business profitable and is regarded as one of the reliable merchants of his section of the city.
May 7, 1878, Mr. Rolf was married to Miss Emma Hippe, a daughter of John Friedrich and Louise (Goesling) Hippe. They have six living children and have lost two, Johannas who died at the age of one year, and Friedrich, who died in infancy. The others are: Louisa Amelia, who is living at home; William Henry; Anna, thirteen years of age; Ruth, age eleven, Carl George, age eight; and Reginald, one year old.
Mr. Rolf is a member of Excelsior Lodge, No. 268, Independent Order Odd Fellows, and was its secretary for some time. He also belongs to Crystal Lodge, No. 272, Ancient Order of United Workmen. He is an advocate of Democratic principles, but does not consider himself bound by party ties, and at local elections regards the capability of the candidate rather than the party allegiance. Coming to America when a young man of eighteen years, he has made his own way in the world unaided, not has he ever had occasion to regret his determination to seek a home in America, for labor is more certain of a just reward in this country, and his own perseverance and resolute purpose have enabled him to become the proprietor of a paying business which affords him all of the comforts and many of the luxuries of life.
JAMES HENRY SCHULZE submitted by K. Lampe
James Henry Schulze was a man of high moral worth, of strong principles, and of deep sympathy, and the sterling traits of his character endeared him to all with whom he came in contact. He is a son of Henry and Anna Margaret Schulze, and was born in the province of Saxony, Germany, Feb. 12, 1837. After taking a course in the common schools in the place of his birth, he spent the time on his father’s farm, carefully learning everything pertaining to the management and equipment of a good farm. In 1884 he crossed the great ocean, and landed in a new world, full of golden opportunities open to any and all who will but reach and grasp them. April 1, 1885, he bought seventy acres of good farm land in Flint River township, a little later added ten acres more to it, and in 1901 purchased an adjoining farm of two hundred and six acres, making in all about two hundred and eighty-four acres in Section 4. Mr. Schulze made great efforts to secure this much property, but was not destined to enjoy it long, for May 7, 1904, the grim messenger Death came for him at the age of sixty-seven years.
April 30, 1869, Mr. Schulze was married to Miss Doratha Harms, daughter of James and Catherine Mary (Schulze) Harms, who was born Feb. 25, 1842. This union was blessed with four children: Martha, born May 24, 1870, at home with her mother; Alwine, born Aug. 28, 1874, died Aug. 17, 1884; Johannes, born June 23, 1877, and Albert, born Aug. 20, 1880, both at home.
Mr. Schulze was always a stanch Democrat, though he never held any office. Mrs. Schulze is a devoted and consistent member of the German Lutheran church, as was also her departed husband. He had been actively engaged in farming, and devoted much time to the raising of fine stock, and since his death Mrs. Schulze has tried to carry on the place much as her good husband did. She has sixty-three head of Hereford stock, twelve fine horses, and is able to ship about fifty fat hogs to the local markets annually. She and her children deserve much credit for their thrift, energy, and untiring efforts to succeed.
The memory of Mr. Schulze is held kindly in the hearts of all who knew him. He lived a life of harmony with the highest principles of manhood, was reliable in business, loyal in citizenship, and most faithful to the duties of friendship and of the home.
HENRY J. TAEGER submitted by K. Lampe
Henry J. Taeger has resided in Burlington since 1854. Thus more than half a century has come and gone since his arrival, and throughout this long period he has been an interested witness of the development and progress of the city, sharing in the improvement and endorsing all measures for the public good. As a pioneer resident, whose life has been active, useful, and honorable, he well deserves mention in this volume. He was born in Prussia, Germany, Nov. 9, 1826, and came to America in 1854. The old-time sailing vessel in which he took passage came by way of Quebec, Canada, and was eight weeks on the water. As this county was new in those days, there were very few bridges, and railroad facilities being limited, nearly all streams had to be crossed with skiffs, but at Davenport our subject was able to take a boat down the Mississippi River to Burlington, where he settled and established a home.
Soon after this he secured the position of watchman at the First National Bank, and night after night for nearly thirty-eight long years Mr. Taeger could be seen carrying his lunch to his place of duty, where he rendered such valuable service to his employers while the major part of the city’s good people were resting from their daily labor. Mr. Taeger was married to Miss Mary Poggeman in 1855. Her birth occurred in May, 1823. This union was blessed with four children: Mary Bertha married Herman Suesens, who was born in Oldenburg, Germany. Mr. Suesens received a fair education in the common schools, and when quite a boy began to learn the trade of a blacksmith, but did not finish till after he came to America. In 1872 he located in Burlington, and became an employee of Funk & Hertzler’s wagon shop, where he remained till he had completed his trade. After this he worked seven years in the blacksmith department of the Murray Iron Works, and two years at the C. B. & Q. R.R. shop. On account of poor health, Mr. Suesens was compelled to give up his trade, and opened a grocery store on the corner of Locust and Ninth Streets; but change of business did not improve his health much, nor for very long, for after conducting this grocery two years he died of heart trouble April 14, 1892. He was an honored member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, Lincoln Lodge. He was also an active member of the St. Lucas church on Fourteenth Street, being the treasurer of the Sunday-school at the time of his death. Politically, he was a Democrat, but his close attention to business, together with poor health, barred him from ever aspiring to office. Besides his widow, Mr. Suesens left the following children: Alfred H., secretary for the superintendent of the C. B. & Q. R.R.; Josephine; Benjamin, aged eighteen, who occupies a position with the Burlington Fuel Company; Mary, a student in the high school; and John, who attends the South Hill school. Henry and Fred Taeger, sons of our subject, were twins, and died when very young; Charles, the youngest son, is a liquor dealer on Third Street. Mrs. Taeger died Jan. 20, 1894, aged seventy years. Since then Mr. Taeger has made his home with his daughter, Mrs. Suesens, at 713 South Ninth Street.
He is a member of the South Hill Lutheran church, which he assisted to organize, and of which he has been deacon ever since its organization. Politically, he is a Democrat, but prefers to vote for the best man qualified for office. He has seen Burlington grow from three or four thousand to a city of nearly thirty thousand, and has always been deeply interested in the progress, development, and improvement of the county. Noting the main features in his career, the reader can not do otherwise than render him respect and admiration, and those who have been actively associated with him give him their warm regard, confidence, and friendship.