IAGenWeb Project

Audubon County


1915 Bios Index


William and Henry Onken, well-known farmers of Oakfield township and sons of the late George Onken, are at present managing their father's farm of two hundred acres in Oakfield township, and have made a very commendable success of farming.

William and Henry Onken are sons of George Onken, who died on October 27, 1913. He was the son of Hoegh and Mary Onken, natives of Germany, who lived and died in their native land, where they were farmers. Upon coming to America, George Onken first located at Marne, Iowa, where he remained with his uncle on a farm for two years. Coming to Audubon county in 1873, he purchased two hundred and eighty acres of land on Buck creek and was engaged in farming there for sixteen years, when he sold out and purchased two hundred acres near Brayton. Here he farmed until two years before his death, when he moved to Brayton and lived retired. George Onken and his wife had nine children: Mary, Anna, Amelia, Bertha, William, Henrv, Kate, Fred and Lillie. William was born on October 12, 1883, and Henry was born on October 28, 1885. Several of the children are now married. The late George Onken was a member of the Baptist church. A Democrat in politics, he held several minor offices, such as road supervisor and school director. He was also president of Oakfield cry.

Educated in the public schools of Oakfield township, Audubon county, William and Henry Onken worked with their father on the farm until his retirement and removal to Brayton. At this time, they took charge of the farm and have been managing it since that time. They raise on an average of seventy-five acres of corn and thirty acres of small grain every year, and feed out one hundred head of hogs. William and Henry Onken are known among the most progressive and up-to-date farmers in Oakfield township.

On November i8, 1908, William Onken was married to Anna Anderson, the daughter of Jesse and Lena Anderson. They have two children, Walter and Ethel.

On April 30, 1914, Henry Onken was married to Lena Anderson, also the daughter of Jesse and Lena Anderson. The wives of these two brothers are sisters.

Both families are members of the German Lutheran church. William and Henry Onken are Democrats in politics. They are well-known young farmers of Oakfield township, and, being well advised and well informed with regard to modern agricultural methods, their advice and counsel is freely sought by other farmers of Oakfield township. William and Henry Onken are popular in the neighborhood where they live.

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. 700-701.
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