IAGenWeb Project

Audubon County


1915 Bios Index


The German nation has furnished thousands of good citizens to the state of Iowa, and Audubon county has been fortunate to count a number of these as part of her body politic. The descendants of these early German settlers in Iowa are characterized by the same thrift and economy which made their fathers the leading farmers and business men of the various communities in which they settled. August Burr, one of the leading farmers of Audubon county before his retirement and removal to Audubon, the county seat, was a worthy citizen of Audubon county and a native-born German, possessing all of those admirable qualities which characterize his people.

August Burr was born in December, 1846, in Mecklenburg, Germany. He is the son of Henry and Christian Burr, who died when August was young.

In 1870, when twenty-four years of age, August Burr came to America and located near Iowa City, working as a farm hand for some time. Later, he rented a farm in Johnson county, near Iowa City, and lived upon this farm until 1880. In the meantime he had adapted himself to American methods and was becoming prosperous. He left the farm in Johnson county, Iowa, and after that moved to Audubon county, where he lived on a rented farm for two years. At the end of this period, Mr. Burr bought a farm of one hundred and twenty acres in Greeley township; this farm consisted of raw prairie land and had never been plowed. Mr. Burr was able to purchase the land for seven and eight dollars an acre and, although he had little money at the time, he was able to make the first payment and soon built a small house. He lived on this farm until 1907 and then moved to Audubon. In the meantime, Mr. Burr had prospered by good management and frugal, economical habits and now owns four hundred and forty acres, one hundred and sixty acres of which is Hamlin township. August Burr has worked hard and has been thrifty throughout his life. In the early years, his struggle for success was made harder from the fact that he had to pay a heavy rate of interest, in some cases as high as twenty-four per cent. Mr. Burr sold his home farm in 1914 for one hundred and fifty dollars an acre. This price is in marked contrast to the price that was paid thirty years ago, when money was very scarce and living was very hard.

August Burr was married on November 23, 1876, to Marie Schalow, who was born on February 23, 1853, at Mecklenburg, Germany, and who is the daughter of John Schalow, who came to America in 1875. Mr. and Mrs. Burr were married in Johnson county, Iowa. They have been the parents of six children: Mrs. Lena Savage, of Audubon; Mrs. Etta Owen, of Hamlin township; Minnie, who is at home; Mrs. Sophia Rubel, of Greeley township; Henry, who married Glee Anciaux and lives in Greeley township, and August, who lives in Greeley township.

August Burr has always been independent in politics and has never identified himself with a particular party. He believes in supporting measures and men rather than parties and party emblems. Mr. and Mrs. Burr and familv are members of the German Lutheran church.

Transcribed from History of Audubon County, Iowa Its People, Industries and Institutions With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families, by H. F. Andrews, editor, Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1915, pp. 518-519.