IAGenWeb Project

Audubon County


1915 Bios Index


Jacob F. Wahlert, for many years a farmer in Greeley township, and one of the prosperous and highly-respected citizens of Audubon county, was born on July 4, 1846, in Schleswig, Holstein, Germany, the son of John and Arsby (Starmann) Wahlert, natives of the same place. The father was a laborer in the old country, who came to the United States some ten years after the arrival of his wife, and both spent their last days in the home of their son, Jacob F. They were the parents of nine children, of whom Jacob F. was the fifth child.

Jacob F. Wahlert received but a limited education, his attendance at school having been limited to a few months during the winters until he was about fifteen years, after which he worked out as a farm hand until 1870. in which year he came to the United States. Upon landing at New York City, he proceeded directly to Moline, Rock Island county, Illinois, where his brothers, George and Fred, previously had located. On the day after his arrival in Moline he obtained work on a gravel train on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific railroad, and continued at this work for five or six months, after which he went to work on a farm. During the last five or six years of his residence in Rock Island county he rented land.

In 1881 Jacob F. Wahlert came to Audubon county and purchased two hundred and forty acres of land in section 35, in Greeley township. Land was cheap in those days and Mr. Wahlert paid Mr. Harter, the owner, seven to eight dollars an acre for it. A fourteen by twenty-four foot house and a lean-to-kitchen, ten by twelve feet, was considered very good for those times. About 1902 Mr. Wahlert built a comfortable seven-room house. In addition to this house he also erected a new barn, cribs and hog houses. As he prospered he purchased additional land, the greater part of which he has since disposed of to his children, and now retains but one hundred and sixty acres. Since retiring from active farm work he has rented the remainder of the land to the children.


Click image to enlarge

On December 16, 1874, Jacob F. Wahlert was married in Rock Island county, Illinois, to Ernestine Fritche, who was born on May i6, 1854, in Atkinson, Rock Island county, Illinois, the daughter of Frederick and Minnie Fritche, natives of Germany, who came from Saxony. To this marriage nine children have been born, seven of whom are living, as follow: Jacob, who married Elizabeth Bartell, daughter of Fred Bartell, and has two children, Mildred and Robert; Anna, who married William Porter, and has five children, George, Gretchen, Floyd, Verla and Verna; Mary, who married Howard Shoesmith and has four children, Stella, Virgil, Marvel and Rollo; Edward, who married Ida Jacobsen and has four children, Florence, Ruby, Marvin and Ramona; Sadie, who married Follie Littlefield and has three children, Gladys, Kenneth and Zola; Ernestine, who married Roy White, and has two children, Alvin and Marvin; Fred, who married Bertha Bartell and has two children living, Carl and Leona, Richard Robert dying in infancy; Franklin, who died when thirteen years old, and another child who died in infancy. On February 18, 1890, the mother of these children passed away, since which time Mr. Wahlert has been making his home with his children.

Jacob F. Wahlert is a Democrat, but has never been active in political affairs and has held no offices. He is a member of the German Lutheran church, of which Mrs. Wahlert also was a member, and their children were reared in that faith. Fraternally, Mr. Wahlert is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. Although his productive period now is past, Mr. Wahlert has been a highly successful farmer and a good citizen, and in all of the years he has lived in Audubon county has been highly respected by his neighbors. Enjoying the satisfaction of having reared a large family to useful and honored lives he may look back upon his career as a distinct and unqualified success and may also rest assured of the warm esteem of his neighbors, all of whom hold him in the highest regard.

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. 416-417.
Site Terms, Conditions & Disclaimer
Home > Top