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Adair County Iowa

USGenWeb Project


Residents of Prussia Township 1976 part 2



In 1882, Heinrich Traugott Mueller (known in America as Henry T. Miller), born in Meuselwitz or Koepsen, Saxony, Germany, July 4, 1854, and his wife, Anna Katherine (nee Rohner), born in Wurttenburg, Weilheimteck, Germany, October 25, 1852. Homesteaded land in Prussia Township (T-75-N, R-32-W), district number 9, located 4 miles north of Fontanelle, and established a home.  There were no former residents on this farm.  Mrs. Miller passed away on March 27, 1936 and Mr. Miller on February 18, 1942, in the home they erected in Fontanelle, after moving from the farm in 1916.

Nine children were born to this couple: Lucy, who married George Weinheimer, and Herman, who married Maggie Held, were born on the Rohner homestead one mile east of the miller homestead.  All the remaining children were born at the Miller home.  They included: Ernest (married to Katie Baudler), Anna married to Claus Held), Clara (married to Fred Mangels), Frank, who remained all his life at this farm and married Meta, nee Grothen of LaMoille, Illinois, Emil (married Luella Frese), Carl (married Marie Kiefer), and Pauline (married Henry Queck).

Frank and his wife, Meta, were married February 20, 1916, at LaMoine, Illinois, and immediately established their home and continued farming the Miller homestead.  They were the parents of two daughters, Lorene and Marie.  Mr. Miller passed away December 24, 1932.  His wife and daughters continued farming.  Mrs. Miller retired and moved to town in January,1947, and her daughter, Lorena (who was married to Albert L. Walker, son of Herbert and Florence (nee Culp) Walker, remained on the home place, making the third generation to reside at this location.  Upon the death of Mrs. Miller, March 16, 1955, Lorena received her half of the farm, and she and her husband purchased the other half from her sister, Marie (Mrs. Rex Denton).  Mr. and Mrs. Walker are the parents of three children: Russell Craig, Larry A., and Lana Lorene.  They have two grandchildren.


Harry John Ferber was born December 13, 1907 in Prussia Township, Adair County, Iowa.  He was the son of August Ferber (born August 16, 1875, deceased September, 1955) and Pauline Louise (Lucy) Hofman Ferber (born May 26, 1877, deceased November, 1946).  He worked 16 years with Adair County Construction.  He has farmed 200 acres in Prussia Township since 1944.
He is married to Mabel Iona Proctor, born July 22, 1907, in Grand River Township, Adair County, to Harrison Perry Proctor (born February 12, 1867, deceased December, 1944) and Effie (Jordon) Proctor (born March 18, 1871, deceased December, 1947).  She was educated in the rural schools of Grand River Township, graduated from Greenfield High School, Iowa State Teachers College, Cedar Falls, Iowa, and Drake University, Des Moines.  She taught many years in Zion Consolidated, Grove No. 3, Prussia Center, and Adair-Casey Schools.

Harry and Mabel Proctor are members of the United Presbyterian Church of Greenfield.

The Ferbers have one son, Bobbie Dean, who was born March 20, 1929 in Greenfield.  He was educated in the Greenfield Schools, a graduate of Greenfield High School and the University of Iowa at Iowa City, B. S. degree; a post graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, with Science scholarships at Syracuse University, New York, Worcester University, Massachusetts, and Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.  He is a teacher and farmer.  He is a member of the Greenfield United Presbyterian Church.


Thomas Sturdy, son of John and Margaret (Sargent) Sturdy, was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, on March 14, 1852.

When he was 14 years of age, he crossed the St. Lawrence River on the ice and came to Watertown, New York.  Later he migrated to Kansas.

In 1881, he came to Adair County, Iowa and settled in Prussia Township.  His brother, John (Jack) Sturdy helped him build a small building to live in.  We children later affectionately called it “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” or “The House That Jack Built”.  After he built a house, this building was used for chickens.

Mr. Sturdy raised Poland China hogs, and supplied most of Prussia Township and surrounding area with breeding stock.

He was married to Clara Florenna Heifner, daughter of Agraham Milton and Isabella (Jennings) Heifner on July 3, 1886.

Clara Heifner Sturdy as born in Jasper County, Iowa, near Ira, on December 13, 1867.  She was one of the early settlers to live over the century mark.  She passed away January 24, 1970, at the age of 102 years, 1 month and 11 days.

Thomas Sturdy passed away April 5, 1929, at the age of 77.

The cabin where Mr. Sturdy batched on his farm in Prussia Township in 1881.  His children called it “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”

Then children were born to this Union, three having died in infancy.  Others are Grace, Maude (sturdy) Warrior, Edith, Edna (Sturdy) Wallace, Kathryn (Sturdy) Martin, and Alice (Sturdy) Ehrsam.  An only son, Arthur D., was killed in July, 1966, by an explosion where he worked.  Mr. and Mrs. Sturdy’s other descendants are 13 grandchildren, 26 great grandchildren, and 7 great, great grandchildren.

Mrs. Thomas Sturdy on her 100th birthday, December 13, 1967


Ivan Duane Queck’s maternal grandfather, George Weinheimer, purchased the farm in Prussia Township in  section 35 and 36, consisting of 112 acres, in 1902.  He lived there with his family until 1922.  His son-in-law and daughter, Paul M. and Anna Weinheimer Queck, moved to this farm that year, and Mr. and Mrs. Weinheimer moved to Greenfield.  In 1936, Paul Queck bought 120 acres adjoining this land in section 36.  This was land that, as far as was known, had never been plowed.  In 1947, Ivan Queck purchased the full 312 acres.  He still owns and lives on this farm in 1976.


In 1870, William and Caroline Funke Kramer and family came to Adair County, Iowa.  William Kramer was born in Germany in 1832, and came to the U. S. A. when a young man.  In 1863, in New York City, He Married Caroline Funke, who was born in New Brunswick, Germany, in 1836.  They moved to Lee County, Illinois, where three sons were born: John William in 1864, George in 1866, and Charles in 1869.  Coming to Adair County in 1870, they bought land in Section 13, Prussia Township.  Here their only daughter, Caroline, was born.  In 1882 land was purchased in Section 12.  In 1893 they moved to Greenfield, where mother Caroline died in 1902, and father William died in 1909.

In 1888 John William Kramer married Wilhelmine Kopp, daughter of Henry and Henrietta Luhrs Kopp.  Wilhelmine Kopp was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1865, and came to Brooklyn, N.Y., U.S.A., with her parents when she was six years old.  In 1875, the Kopp family moved to Adair County, Iowa, living in Prussia Township and Casey.

After their marriage, Mr. and Mr. J. W. Kramer lived on the farm in Section 12, Prussia Township, where two sons were born: Carl henry, in 1890, and William Herman, in 1901.  At the death of his father, J. W. inherited 120 acres in Section 12; and in 1905 he bought 80 acres in Section 13.  These 200 acres are presently owned by Mrs. Carl H. Kramer of Stuart.  In 1911, Mr. and Mr. J. W. Kramer moved to Greenfield to the big house on Depot Street at 504 Prairie Ave.  J. W. died in 1931, and his wife, Minnie, in 1953.  They were members of the Immanuel Lutheran Church, first in Prussia Township, and then in Greenfield.

In 1914 Carl H. Kramer married Marie C. Mensing, who was born in Germany in 1892, and came to the U.S.A. in 1913.  They farmed in Sections 12 and 13 from 1916 to 1921, at which time they moved to Stuart, first to Guthrie County and then to Adair County.

Carl H. Kramer died in 1958, and William H. Kramer died in 1965.  The only living descendant of J. W. Kramer is his granddaughter, Betty Marie Kramer Denning, wife of Carl M. Denning, and they live Harrison Township, Adair County.


Philip Frederick Weinheimer and his wife, Elizabeth Decker, both natives of Germany, were married in 1864 at Mendota, Illinois.

In 1884 they came to Adair County, Iowa, and purchased 200 acres of land in Prussia Township in section 26, which has been occupied by Weinheimers since that date. Later he purchased 120 acres more.

Nine children were born to this union.  (One died in infancy.) They were Mrs. Lena Frese, Fred, Charles George, Mrs. Lizzie Erbes, John, Mrs. Minnie Erbes, and Mrs. Carrie Grothen.  All are deceased except Minnie, who is 93 years of age.

The Fred Weinheimers lived on this homestead for twenty years before moving to Fontanelle.  Mr. Weinheimer died April 1, 1912 and Mrs. Weinheimer on February 15, 1926.

Son, John, purchased 200 acres of land from his father in 1903, and on February 24, 1904, he was married to Matilda Leuthauser, daughter of Nicholas and Anna Wedemeyer Leuthauser.  They resided on the farm until 1930, when they moved to Greenfield.  They were the parents of four children: Wilhelmina, who died at the age of 6 ½ years; Edward; Mrs. Florence Hohertz: and Mrs. Wilma Weber.   John Weinheimer died on April 30, 1965, and Mrs. Weinheimer January 1, 1968.

On May 21, 1930, Edward was married to Wilma Held, daughter of Claus and Anna (Miller) Held.  Their residency on the farm was from 1930 to 1962.   They are the parents of five children: Opal Wille, Klemme, Iowa; Mrs. Arlene Schwartz, Greenfield; and Mrs. Janet Wickert, Dayton, Ohio.

In 1952 Edward purchased the 200 acres from his father.  Later he purchased 120 acres from his father.  Later he purchased 120 acres from Henry Mangels which Fred Weinheimer had originally owned.  He also owns 160 acres in section 27 and 160 acres in section 23 in Prussia Township.

On October 6, 1962, Leo was married to Leone Lee, daughter of Archie and Hilda (Erdman) Lee of Belmond, Iowa.  They are the parents of three children, Brian Edward, John Lee, and Jill Louise Leo and family have lived on the farm since their marriage.

Part of the house is still the original dwelling of the Fred Weinheimers.

Leo purchased the 320 acres from his father in 1973, and has made many improvements to both the land and buildings.


Merrill Charles Nichols was born in Cass County, Iowa, in 1906, son of Charles Fletcher Nichols and Jane Brown Nichols.  He farmed in Cass County until his marriage to Gladys Hansen of Davy, Nebraska.  After two years of farming north of Lincoln, they purchased a farm in Prussia Township, Adair County, Iowa, where they still reside.

A son, James David, and a daughter, Edyth Jane, were born in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Two more children, Lee Edwin and Evelyn Marie, were born in Adair County.

In the early 1950s, Merrill and his two sons started a purebred Angus cattle herd which, over a period of years, became a major enterprise of the farming operation.  In 1974, they added polled Herford cattle to the Nichol’s Farms operation.  They were one of the first purebred cattle breeders to engage in production testing of their cattle.  J. David served as national president of the Beef Improvement Association.

J. David married Phyllis Ellen Gibbs of Greenfield.  They had two children, Fletcher Lee and Jennifer Lynn.  They made their home on a farm south of Anita.  Edythe Jane married Rev. Arthur Hill of Minburn, Iowa.  They had three children, Lee Edwin, Angela Jean and Gwen Marie.  Rev. Hill served various charges in the Iowa Conference of the Methodist church.  Lee Edwin married Lillian Marie Zietlow of Fontanelle.  They had two children, Charles Edwin and Deborah Jane.  They resided on a farm north of Bridgewater.  Evelyn Marie married George Alanson (Lans) Gibbs of Greenfield.  They had two children, Ann Elizabeth and Jill Lynette.  Lans farms with his father, Audra Gibbs, in Lee Township, Adair County.


Orval D. Conley, born September 28, 1911 (deceased August 20, 1975), was the son of William Stephen Conley and Elvira Gertrude (Wiley) Conley.  He married Mable Jane (Perry) Conley, who was born October 2, 1912, to John Wesley and Lottie Anna (Lee) Perry.  Their children are: Carol Ann Conley, born February 24, 1938, who married Michael J. Miller, born September 5, 1937,  They have two children, Julie Kay Miller (born August 15, 1959), married to Rodney Dean Harter (born March 28, 1957), and Jane Ann Miller (June 23, 1966).

Judith (Judy) Arlene Conley, born August 2, 1942, married Carl David Zietlow (March 28, 1941).  Their two children are Lori Jill Zietlow (February 14, 1962), and Jeffrey David Zietlow (February 1, 1965).

Susan Jane Conley (September 8, 1951) married Donald Owen (May 4, 1949).  They have two children, Thomas Donald (February13, 1973), and Matthew Dale (February 28, 1975).


Christian Mensing (1860-1927 and wife, Emma (Blaas, 1860-1935), came to Calhoun County, Iowa, from Germany in 1887.  In 1895, they settled in Prussia Township on the farm now owned and operated by Ralph Mensing, a grandson.  They retired in Greenfield in 1921, in the home now owned by Alma Hoepner.  There were nine children.

August (1884-1954) married Nannie Peterson (1885-1959), daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Peterson, in 1905.  There are six children.  Rosy (Mrs. Raymond D. Morrison), Carl, Walter, Violet (Mrs. Merle Vanderpool), and Raymond, all of the Greenfield vicinity, and Arthur of Green Valley, Arizona.  They retired from their Orient Township farm, purchased in 1912, and now owned by son, Raymond, in 1947, to the home in Greenfield now owned by Merle and Violet Vanderpool.  There were eighteen grandchildren, two now deceased, and twenty-eight great grandchildren.

Christ (1886-1966) married Mae Williams (1894- ), daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Williams in 1910.  There were three children Harold, Helen (Mrs. Paul Chonka), and Robert (deceased).  There are five grandchildren and three great grandchildren, the family moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1927.

Dora (1889-1967) married Fred Schermacher (1889-1967), son of Mr. and Mrs. Augus Schermacher, in 1910.  There are three children: Emil, Clara and Wilma.  The family left Iowa in 1925 to make their home in Oregon.

Mary died in 1904 at the age of twelve years.

Minnie (1894- ) married Henry Peterson (1886- ), son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Peterson, in 1916.  There is a son, Albert, and one grandson.  The family have been residents of Greeley, Colorado since 1928.

John (1899- ) married Lillie Bochart (1896-1950), daughter of Mrs. And Mrs. Wm. Bochart, in 1921.  There are four children: Ralph, Marjorie (Mrs. Robert Jensen), and albert, of Adair County, and Emil of Des Moines.  There are fourteen grandchildren, and fifteen great grandchildren.  In 1952, Iva Johnson (1898- ) and John were married.  In 1962 they retired in Greenfield.

In 1921, Alma (1900- ) married Wm. Hoepner (1896-1965), the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hoepner.  There are five children: Doris, Ernest, and Robert of Texas, Ruby and Elsie, of council Bluff.  There are thirteen grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

Mandie (1902- ) married Wm. H. Morrison (1898- ), son of Mr. and Mrs. George Morrison, in 1936.  There are two children: Duane, who occupies the Morrison farm in Prussia Township, and Doris of Greenfield.  There are three grandchildren.\

William (1904-1961) left Adair County in 1925, first living in Colorado, later in Texas.  He married Ione Thompson in 1927.  There are two daughters, Gail Marie and Lynda.  There are five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.


In 1917, Chris Mensing, Sr., a carpenter in Germany before migrating to Iowa, and continuing in the occupation to some extent for most of his life, built a horse barn on his Prussia Township farm that is worthy of note.  The bar was designed by Mr. Mensing, and built by him, with his son, John, Harry Eger, and Henry Bittner as helpers.

All the pieces for the frame construction were cut and numbered from 1 to 7.  Holes were bored where each piece joined another.  The pieces of lumber were piled by number.  The framework was then assembled in one day.  The pieces were all bolted together with six and eight inch bolts.  The barn is forty by fifty feet, twenty feet to the eaves, standing forty-two feet high, with a hi roof.  There were feedways next to the outside walls the length of the building.  There were a total of twelve single stalls and four box stalls built of plank, with cement footings under them.  A driveway runs through the center of the building lengthwise.  The entire upper floor was hay mow.  The lumber was purchased for $1,200.00 from the Casey Lumber Yard.  There are very few knots in the lumber.  The original wood shingles have been replaced once with composition shingles.  Over the years there has been remodeling of the interior as needs of the far, now owned by Ralph Mensing have changed.

John says of the barn, “It stands as straight today as when it was built fifty-nine years ago”.

Transcribed from Adair County History, 1976 by Carlyss Noland



Adair County

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