Jurgen Wahlert is a retired farmer of Exira, Iowa, who owns two hundred and forty acres of land in Greeley township. Like so many residents of Audubon county, Mr. Wahlert is a native-born German, who was inspired by the opportunities offered to the young man in America and who left his home and native land to cast his fortune with the people of a comparatively new country. Mr. Wahlert is one of those men--and there are many of them living in Audubon county--who has profited by the nominal rise in value of farm real estate within the past twenty years. Mr. Wahlert purchased his land for an inconsiderable sum compared with its present value.|
Jurgen Wahlert was born in Holstein, Germany, December 3, 1842. His parents were John and Elizabeth (Storman) Wahlert, both natives of Germany. John Wahlert was a laborer and farm hand. He came to America in 1885, many years after his son, Jurgen, had established a home in this country. He located in Illinois and after remaining there for a short time, came to Audubon county, where he lived retired with his children. He and his wife had nine children, Fred, Jurgen, Tenia, deceased; John, deceased; Jacob, Katherine, Margaret, Edward and August.
Jurgen Wahlert was educated in the schools of his native land and after leaving school, he worked out as a farm hand by the month. At the age of twenty-four years, he came to America, arriving in this country, May 28, 1866. Mr. Wahlert first located at Moline, Illinois, where he worked mostly as a laborer in a saw-mill and in the lumber yards of that city. Several years later he purchased a team, rented a farm and farmed near Moline for ten years. In 1881 he came to Audubon county and purchased a farm. He now owns two hundred and forty acres of land which he purchased from the Rock Island Railroad Company for seven dollars an acre. The land is many times as valuable at the present time. Mr. Wahlert broke the sod and built a small house and barn and engaged in general farming. During the period of his active career as a farmer, he fed from fifty to two hundred head of hogs and sold about two carloads of cattle. At one time he owned four hundred acres of land. Mr. Wahlert last purchased one hundred and sixty acres in 1894 for eighteen dollars an acre. In 1912 he sold this same farm for one hundred and twenty-five dollars an acre. Mr. Wahlert farmed practically until 1898 when he moved to Exira, and since that date he has lived retired.
Jurgen Wahlert was married on April 16, 1865, in Germany to Lena Dolmeier, the daughter of Jacob Dolmeier. Mr. and Mrs. Wahlert have had nine children, John, Bertha, Fred, August, William, George, Edward, Minnie and Gustave. John married Ida Frost and has five children, Herbert, Myrtle, Ralph, George and Emma. Bertha married Edward Heckwell and has four children, Lena, George, John and Edward. Fred married Maude Highby and has three children by this marriage, Arthur, Lena and Irene. His wife died and he later married Edna West and one child has been born to this marriage, Lucille. August married Anna Slater and has four children, Clyde, Floyd, Milo and Nettie. William married Minnie Minnerman and has four children, Harold, Lyman, Ruth and Hazel. George married Mamie Hensley but she died and he later married Minnie Gripp. Two children have been born to this marriage, James Henry and Marion. Edward married Anna Baylor and they have no children. Minnie is single and at home. Gustave married Ina Hensley and has three children, William, Gladys and Robert.
Mrs. Wahlert's parents were natives of Germany, where her father was a farm laborer. He came to America in 1870 and located in Jackson county, Iowa. Here he worked as a farm hand until his death. He and his wife were the parents of two children, who are now living, Mrs. Wahlert and Anna, who is living at Clinton, Iowa.
Jurgen Wahlert is a member of the German Lutheran church. He is a Democrat in politics and has served as school director and as road supervisor. Naturally, he is a well-known citizen of Audubon county and from any standpoint is entitled to the confidence and esteem of his neighbors and fellow townsmen, a confidence and esteem which he enjoys to the fullest measure.
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. 633-635.