Fred Gebers, who resides in Audubon township, Audubon county, Iowa, where he is regarded as a successful farmer, has been able since coming to this country, more than a half century ago, to accumulate land until he now owns two hundred acres in Audubon county, and eighty acres in Adair county, Iowa.|
Fred Gebers was born. October 5, 1853, in Hanover, Germany, and is the son of Peter and Marie (Peters) Gebers, also natives of Hanover, and farmers by occupation, and who were the parents of seven children. Of these children, Chris came to the United States and after living in Nebraska for five years, returned to his native land, and now lives there; Henry lives in Adair, Iowa, though he formerly lived in Audubon township, Audubon county; Fred, the third child, is the subject of this sketch; William, who lives near Adair, was an early settler in Audubon township; Marie never came to this country; Mrs. Anna Meisker, now deceased, lived in this country and died at Kansas City, Missouri; Mrs. Katie Wedemeyer, wife of Fred W. Wedemeyer, lives in Audubon township.
Fred Gebers, who was almost nineteen years old when he came to the United States, and landed at New York city, had worked out at various occupations from the time he was eight years old. After arriving in America, he came west to Scott county, Iowa, and here worked on a farm for seven years. After making a trip back to his native land, where he remained six months, he then returned to the United States and located permanently in Audubon county. In 1883, Mr. Gebers purchased eighty acres of land of the Rock Island railroad, paying ten dollars an acre for it, and here, four years later, added forty acres more, east of the original tract, for which he paid fifteen dollars an acre. All of this land which lies in section 22 of Audubon township was raw prairie when it was purchased, and was absolutely devoid of any improvements. Mr. Gebers, after building a fifteen by twenty-four foot house, of a story and a half with two rooms downstairs, had the misfortune to lose the house by fire and subsequently built a splendid eight-room dwelling. In 1907 he built an excellent barn, and has made other substantial improvements upon the place. In 1908 he also purchased eighty acres of land, forty acres of which lie in section 15. This farm had a group of buildings, and was fairly well improved. In 1914 Mr. Gebers purchased eighty acres in Adair county.
On March 31, 1885, Fred Gebers was married in Audubon county to Mary Wedemeyer, who was born August 12, 1867, in Hanover, Germany. She was the daughter of Jacob and Kattie (Earnest) Wedemeyer. They came to the United States when Mrs. Gebers was about one and one-half years old, and after settling in Guthrie county, Iowa, later purchased land in Audubon township, Audubon county, and lived here on their farm until their death.
Mr. and Mrs. Gebers have been the parents of six children, five of whom are living, as follow: Henry, born on June 1, 1887; Emma, April 6, 1890, and who married Chris Krause, now deceased, left a family of three children, Viola, Evona and Lawrence; Susie, November 3, 1892; Anna, April 23, 1896; George, February 9, 1898, and Clara, who died at the age of two years.
The Gebers family are all members of St. John's German Lutheran church, Mr. Gebers having been a charter member of the congregation, and one of those men who helped the parish buildings. He is a Republican in politics, and has served at school director for several years.
There are many men no older than Fred Gebers, who were born in this country, and who from the time of their birth were familiar with our customs and manners, and who have not been able to accumulate a competence for their declining years. It is a tribute to the enterprise, economy and prudence of thousands of German citizens, that they accumulate property and acquire wealth whatever may be their handicap. Moreover, they become good citizens of this great democracy, and Fred Gebers is a typical American citizen.
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. 756-758.