Portrait and Biographical Album of Jackson County,
THEODORE NIEMANN, Sr., one of the rep resentative pioneers of this county, and occupying a leading position among his German fellow-citizens, is numbered among the solid and substantial men of Bellevue Township, which has been his home since October, 1838. A native of Hanover, Germany, he was born May 12, 1812, and is the son of Herman H. and Margaret (Klaphakd) Niemann, who were also of German birth and parentage, and who spent their entire lives upon their native soil. In accordance with the laws and customs of his native country our subject was placed in school at an early age, and received a good education in the mother tongue. He was reared to farm pursuits, and being the eldest son of the family, was the first to leave the home roof. In the fall of 1837, when a man of twenty-five years, not satisfied with his condition or his prospects, he resolved to emigrate to America. He set out in company with his future brother-in-law, Andrew Arnold Reiling, taking passage at Bremen on a sailing-vessel September 23, which landed them in the city of New Orleans, on the 20th of November following.
From the Crescent City our travelers went up the Mississippi River to Galena, Ill., and Mr. Niemann during the following summer occupied himself in smelting lead ore. In the fall of 1838, leaving the Prairie State, he made his way to this county while Iowa was still a Territory. He took up 320 acres of Government land on section 3 in the vicinity of Bellevue, and settled upon it in its wild and primitive state before the Indians had left this locality, and wild game of all kinds was plentiful. He put up a log cabin, and proceeded with the cultivation and improvement of his land. Although enduring the hardships and privations common to life on the frontier, he was prospered in his labors, cleared a good farm, and by degrees erected the necessary buildings. In seven years the cabin was abandoned for a neat stone dwelling, the first of its kind erected in this county. It is still standing in good condition, and occupied by his sons.
Mr. Niemann, as his capital accumulated, invested in additional land, and is now the owner of over 620 acres in this county, besides 160 acres in Cherokee County. When we reflect upon the fact that he came to Iowa with only $500, and has received no financial assistance from any source, it must be admitted that he has done well.
The Nieman [sic] family occupied the farm in Bellevue Township until the fall of 1886, then removed to town, where our subject and his excellent wife propose to spend the remainder of their days comparatively retired from active labor. The latter in her girlhood was Miss Adeline Reiling, sister of Arnold Reiling, Mayor of Bellevue, who is represented elsewhere in this volume. They were married in Galena, July 8, 1839, celebrating their golden wedding this year. Of this union there have been born twelve children, nine of whom are living. August is a resident of Sheridan County, Kan,; Theodore lives in Bellevue; Anton is living in Jackson County; Mary is the wife of Adolph Burgmeier, of Chicago, Ill.; Elizabeth married Nicholas Rolling, of Jackson Township, this county; Lucetta, Mrs. Herman Rogerman, is a resident of Jo Daviess County, Ill.; Nicholas is farming in Bellevue Township; and Frances is at home. Henry (second) operates as a hardware merchant in Cherokee County, this State. The deceased children were named respectively: Julius, Rosanna and Henry.
Mr. Niemann for many years served as School Director in his district, and was also President of the School Board. Politically, he is an uncompromising Democrat, and with his excellent wife is a member in good standing of the Catholic Church. The architect of his own fortune, his career has been one which may well be emulated by the young men of to-day who are thrown upon their own resources, and who must build up their character and reputation by their own exertions.