No land has given to this country better citizens or more successful farmers than Germany, and many of these have come to Audubon county. Among the sterling citizens of German birth in this county is August Zierke, a well-known farmer of Cameron township, and the owner of one hundred and twenty acres of land in that township. Mr. Zierke was born on February 7, 1850, in Germany, the son of Gottfried and Anna (Karl) Zierke, both of whom were born in that country. Gottfried Zierke was a farm hand in his native land and was so engaged all his life. He and his wife had eight children, only three of whom are living, and August is the only member of the family living in this county.|
August Zierke received his education in Germany, and after leaving school worked out as a farm hand until he was twenty-six years old, when he decided to come to America. Upon arriving in this country he located near De Witt, Iowa, where he worked for one year for the Rock Island Railroad Company. He then removed Poweshiek county, where he worked as a farm hand for four years, and then, in 1881, came to Audubon county. At that time the settlement of certain sections of this county had scarcely begun, and Mr. Zierke found himself among pioneers. For several years he worked in Cameron township, and then located on eighty acres of land, which he had purchased for nine dollars an acre before he came to Audubon county. He broke the sod, reduced the soil to a fine state of cultivation, and has made many improvements upon the farm, the same costing in the neighborhood of six thousand dollars. Mr. Zierke raises annually about forty acres of corn, and small grain amounting to at least fifteen or twenty acres. The corn usually yields not less than forty bushels to the acre. All of the grain raised on the farm is fed to hogs and cattle.
In 1887, August Zierke was married to Bertha Neitzel, daughter of Henry and Matilda Neitzel, to which happy union eight children have been born, Albert, Clara, Henry, George, Elmer, Carl, Ora and Ella. Only one of these children is married, Clara, who married Roy Somers, and has one child, Harold. The remainder of the children live at home with their parents. Mr. and Mrs. August Zierke are members of the German Lutheran church, in which faith their children have been reared, and Mr. Zierke is a Republican.
August Zierke is not only one of the substantial farmers of Cameron township and one of its good citizens, but he is also popular in Cameron township. Though he has never held office, he is a man who is well informed on public questions, and is considered a wide reader. His primary interests, however, are his family and his farm, and to these he devotes most of his attention.
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. 357-358.