IAGenWeb Project

Audubon County


1915 Bios Index


It is proper to judge the success of a man's life by the estimation in which he is held by his fellow citizens. They see him at his work, in his family circle, in church, and hear his views on public questions, observe his morals and witness how he conducts himself in all the relations of society and civilization. They are, therefore, competent to judge of his merits and demerits. After a long course of years of daily observation, it would be out of the question for a man's neighbors not to know his worth. In this connection it is not too much to say that Carl D. Forsbeck has passed a life of great service to the people of Audubon county. That he has been industrious and has the confidence of all who have the pleasure of his friendship cannot be denied. Mr. Forsbeck has been honored by the people of Audubon county with appointment to the responsible position of county engineer.

Carl D. Forsbeck was born on May 3, 1883, on a farm near Gray, Iowa. He is a son of Andrew G. and Mary (Aikman) Forsbeck, natives of Sweden and Lyons, Iowa, respectively. Andrew G. Forsbeck was born in 1846 in Sweden and came from that country when twenty-five years of age to America. He was a sailor from boyhood and crossed the ocean several times from Liverpool to New York. He made several voyages, in fact, to New York city and to southern ports, and also to southern European ports. He settled in Illinois in about 1874 and there married. In 1880 he came to Lincoln township, Audubon county, Iowa, and settled on prairie land. He purchased land from the Rock Island railroad and was successful in developing a fine farm. Since 1911 he has been living in Gray. During his active life he was an extensive dealer in live stock. Andrew G. and Mary (Aikman) Forsbeck had three children; Ella, the wife of Lou Hansen, of Gray; Sadie, the wife of Chris Christensen, a farmer near Gray; and Carl D., the third child.

Carl D. Forsbeck was educated in the Gray and Audubon schools and in Iowa State College. After attending the latter institution five years he received the degree of Bachelor of Science in 1908, and was graduated as a civil engineer. Subsequently, he took a post graduate course at the Armour Institute of Technology in Chicago. He is now working for his Master's degree in this institution. For some years Mr. Forsbeck was civil engineer for the Rock Island railroad and was connected with the maintenance work on the Iowa division. While attending college he worked for the Des Moines and Iowa Falls railroad; also the Ft. Dodge and Southern railroad during his vacations. After his graduation he went to New Mexico, where he had charge of forty thousand acres of land and made a survey which required one year. Mr. Forsbeck was employed by the Santa Fe railroad for about one year in New Mexico, Texas and Colorado on maintenance and construction work. He then worked for the Southern Pacific railroad and was located in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado for seven months on locating a new line across the Navazo Reservation from Gallup, New Mexico, to Durango, Colorado. After this he returned to Iowa and did valuation work for the Union Pacific for nearly two months. At Waterloo, Mr. Forsbeck maintained a private office as consulting engineer until June, 1913, when he came to Audubon and took charge of the county work on January 1, 1914. Previously, Mr. Forsbeck had twice been elected county surveyor of Audubon county. He also had been appointed once. He has been in charge of the engineering work in Audubon county for the past eight years.

Mr. Forsbeck designed and constructed the Kimballton waterworks system. He also designed the first steel bridge, with concrete floors and concrete abutments that was ever erected in Audubon county. In fact, Mr. Forsbeck was the first engineer appointed in Audubon county.

Politically, Mr. Forsbeck is an independent Republican and votes for men rather than party emblems. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Fraternally, he is a member of the Free and Accepted Masons, the blue lodge and the chapter, and he is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Mr. Forsbeck is a member of the Iowa Engineering Society and a member of the Delta Upsilon national Greek letter college fraternity.

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. 438-440.
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