John Wahlert, now numbered among the prominent and successful farmers of Greeley township, this county, was born on November 22, 1866, in Moline, Rock Island county, Illinois, the son of Jurgen and Lena (Dolmeier) Wahlert, the former of whom was born in Holstein, Germany, on December 3, 1842, son of John and Elizabeth (Stormon) Wahlert, both natives of Germany. John Wahlert was a laborer and farm hand, who came to America in 1885 many years after his son Jurgen had located here. He located in Illinois and after remaining there for a short time, came to Audubon county, where he spent the rest of his life with his children. He and his wife were the parents of the following children, namely: Fred, Jurgen, Tenia (deceased), John (deceased), Jacob, Catherine, Margaret, Edward and August. Jurgen Wahlert was educated in the schools of his native land and "worked out," as a farm hand, by the month. He came to America at the age of twenty-four, a year after his marriage, arriving in this country on May 28, 1866, and located at Moline, Illinois, where for a time he worked as a laborer in a saw-mill and in the lumber yards of that city, later engaging in farming near Moline, and was thus engaged until 1881, in which year he came to Audubon county and purchased a farm. He now owns two hundred and forty acres which he purchased from the Rock Island Railroad Company for seven dollars an acre.|
On April 16, 1865, in Germany, Jurgen Wahlert was married to Lena Dolmeier, the daughter of Jacob Dolmeier, and to this union nine children were born, namely: John, Bertha, Fred, August, William, George, Edward, Minnie and Gustave, John Wahlert, the subject of this sketch, being the eldest.
John Wahlert attended the public schools of Illinois until he was sixteen years old. In 1881 the family came to this county and he continued to live at home until he was twenty-three years old. He then spent a few months in Fremont county, Iowa, and in South Dakota, after which he came back to Audubon county, where he has since lived. Working out for various farmers in the neighborhood until he was twenty-seven years old, Mr. Wahlert then bought one hundred and twenty acres of partly improved land in section 26 of Greeley township. On this he has made many additional improvements, and it is now regarded as one of the best farms in the county. Mr. Wahlert has prospered and not long ago added two hundred acres more to his farm holdings, this latter farm being located in section 34 of Greeley township.
On November 1, 1894, John Wahlert was married to Ida Foss, of this county, who was born on March 11, 1874, in Atkinson, Henry county, Illinois, the daughter of Henry and Mary (Jacobsen) Foss, both of whom were natives of Germany, the latter having been born in Schleswig on September 25, 1846. She came to the United States with her parents in 1868 and after settling at Moline, Illinois, was married on December 11, of the same year to Henry Foss. In 1885 they came to Audubon county, purchasing a farm six miles east of Exira, in Audubon township, where they lived until 1907 when they retired and moved to Exira. They were the parents of four children, Henry, Ida, Charles and a second daughter, who died at the age of five years. To John and Ida (Foss) Wahlert have been born five children, Herbert, born on September 24, 1895; Myrtle, May 14, 1897; Ralph, October 29, 1899; George, September 27, 1902, and Emma, October 21, 1904.
Mr. Wahlert is engaged in general farming and stock raising. In the fall of 1913 he built a large ten-room house, which is equipped with every modern convenience, including gas lights and bath, one of the largest dwellings in Greeley township. Mr. Wahlert's barns are also of excellent construction. There are three barns on the farm as well as granaries, hog-houses and other well-kept farm buildings.
All in all John Wahlert must be regarded as one of the most progressive and enterprising farmers of Audubon county, not only for the reason that he gets handsome profits from all of his investments and labor but also for the reason that his farms are among the best-kept places in Audubon county. He is well known in this section of the state for his sturdy, independent manhood, his shrewd, business-like management and his honorable, upright character.
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. 514-515.