"Our Friends on the Acres"
Mr. & Mrs. William Brockmeyer
Another prominent Allamakee county couple, Mr. and Mrs. William Brockmeyer, were interviewed this week for "Our Friends on the Acres." Each has lived in this vicinity long enough to be termed "pioneer" residents and Mr. Brockmeyer has been located on his farm for 44 years.
He was born July 10, 1876, in Levern, Westphalia, Germany, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Brockmeyer. The the fall of 1894 he decided to come to this country. At that time William Koenig, father of Fred Koenig (an earlier subject of this column) and Henry Dahms, Sr., father of Mrs John Backhaus, Mrs. Helen Moon, Mrs. C.F. Heins and Fred Dahms, were visiting in Germany. Mr. Brockmeyer joined them on the voyage from Germany to the United States.
"We came directly to Postville where I spent the first two days with Mr. Koenig." Mr. Brockmeyer explained. "Then I went to the farm of his brother-in-law, William Meyer, in the Moneek vicinity where I worked as a hired hand. In the succeeding months I worked for Henry Schroeder, father of the late Geo. J. Schroeder, Carl Meyer and Louis Meyer."
Mr. Brockmeyer liked living in this country so well that he wrote his parents in Germany to come to the United States. In July of 1896 they made the journey. Soon after arriving in this vicinity, Mr. Brockmeyer and son purchased the property on which Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Brockmeyer are living to day, located 2 1/2 miles northwest of Postville. At that time the farm consisted of 57 acres. They bought the property from Paul Willman.
Their new property was heavily wooded and at one point on the place a saw mill had been in operation years before their arrival. In the immediate vicinity of the saw mill their work of clearing land was made easy as the trees had been cut down. But they needed more tillable soil so they went to work cutting down trees and grubbing stumps until they had cleared the necessary acreage.
Today the farm consists of 138 acres. To the original 57 acres Mr. Brockmeyer first added 40 acres of land adjoining the farm to the southwest. He made this purchase from Dietrich Reinhardt in 1904. In 1912 he purchased 20 acres from Chas. Kerr. The Kerr land was located to the south of the Brockmeyer property, being separated by a strip of ten acres. Mr. Brockmeyer purchased these ten acres last year from the John Moetsch estate. In August of 1921 when Jacob Meyer, father of Mrs. Brockmeyer, passed on, Mr. Brockmeyer purchased an additional ten acres of land which had been owned by Mr. Meyer. It was located to the south of the farm. Also included in the farm is an acre of land Mr. Brockmeyer purchased in 1904 from Henry Casten. This small purchase was necessitated due to lack of a suitable road from the main road to the Brockmeyer farm house, a distance of about half a mile. With the acquisition of Mr. Casten's acre it is easy to drive today down the winding road to the Brockmeyer place.
On November 28, 1905, Mr. Brockmeyer was married to Miss Anna Meyer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Meyer. Her parents also came to this country from Germany. Her father was well known in Postville where he operated a blacksmith shop in what is today the Meyer implement building. To their union was born one son, Elmer, who takes an active part in working the farm.
"The farm didn't look much like it does today, when I first saw it," Mr. Brockmeyer explained. "The house was a one-room affair with a leanto and the farm buildings were constructed of logs." Shortly after their marriage, in May 1906, the Brockmeyers built an addition to the house on the east side. In the succeeding years they continued to erect new buildings. Among these put up were the following: a granary, chicken coop, hog house, machine shed, separator house and a garage. In 1910 a big barn, 28X60, was erected. Ten years later another barn, 30X36 was also put up.
Livestock on the farm includes 17 Brown Swiss cows, five calves, two heifers, four horses. This spring six sows produced 36 pigs. The Brockmeyers have plenty of chickens, too, as they have a flock of 250 New Hampshire Reds and approximately 200 baby chicks.
Sixty acres of their farm is devoted to crops this year: 10 acres of corn, 20 acres of oats, 9 acres of alfalfa, 10 acres of clover hay, 5 acres of soy beans, and 6 acres of timothy. The remainder of the farm is pasture and wooded land.
The location of the Brockmeyer farm is one of the most picturesque in all Allamakee county. A creek, which has its beginning near the brickyard on the outskirts of Postville, runs its course directly below their farm house in the valley. About two miles north of the Brockmeyer place it runs into the Yellow River. "There isn't much water in the creek today," Mrs. Brockmeyer stated. "In fact, the creek gets drier every year. But I can remember when it used to be quite a stream. Before the springs started drying up, there was a lot of water in the creek. We occasionally had a flood, too. The last one was about 18 years ago, occurring just as we were having threshers. My, what a time the men had to get their work done. The water didn't do any damage though, as it didn't reach to the house."
In 1924 it was necessary to drill a well as so many springs went dry on the farm. During the drouth in 1934 the well went dry and the Brockmeyers had another well drilled. In spite of the fact that their farm is down in a valley, the drillers had to go down 175 feet before striking water.
Mr. Brockmeyer has three sisters, all living in this community. They are Mrs. Christ Heckman of Ossian, Mrs. Fred Martens of Waukon, and Mrs. Fred Stopperan, who lives on a farm nearby. One sister has passed away. His parents have also passed away, his mother in 1914 and his father in 1933.
Mrs. Brockmeyer is the only member of a family of 11 children living today.
~Postville Herald, June 19, 1940
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