John Pitstick (1836-1912)
Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 4/5/2022 at 17:27:25
(January 18, 1836 – December 12, 1912)
A farm of one hundred and sixty acres pleasantly located on section 8, Elm Grove Township, is the property of J. Pitstick, and has been gained through honorable business efforts. He owes his success entirely to his enterprise, industry and careful management, and for twenty years he has been numbered among the representative agriculturists of this portion of the state. He came from a foreign land, his birth having occurred in Kuehn, on the Rhine, in Prussia, January 18, 1836. His father, William Pitstick, was a native of the same locality, and when he had arrived at mature years he wedded Margaret Wallersheidt, also a native of Prussia. By trade the father was a miller and followed that pursuit for many years. Hoping to better his financial condition in the new world, he crossed the Atlantic to America in 1843, and on landing on the New York coast proceeded at once across the country to Illinois. He took up his abode near Mendota, in LaSalle County, where he purchased land and developed a farm. The work of cultivating and improving that place occupied his attention throughout his remaining days, and most of his sons have also followed farming.
John Pitstick spent the first seven years of his life in his native country, and then accompanied his parents to America. He pursued his education in La Salle County, and was there married on the 5th of March, 1858, to Miss Frances Billingsfelt, also a native of Prussia, but reared in La Salle county. Mr. Pitstick purchased land near Mendota, acquiring eighty acres upon which he made his home for seven years, when, in 1863, he came to Iowa. His first home was in Polk County, ten miles east of Des Moines, and his farm comprised one hundred and sixty acres, on which as the years passed he placed excellent buildings and made many substantial improvements. There he successfully carried on agricultural pursuits for seventeen years and then purchased the farm in Calhoun County upon which he now resides. Not a furrow had been turned or an improvement made upon the place when he took up his abode there, but the years have witnessed a great change and the property is now a very valuable farm. He has erected a large and comfortable residence, built substantial barns and outbuildings and has now a model home. His lawn is adorned with shade and ornamental trees and he has likewise planted an orchard. Since coming to the county he has traded his farm in Polk County for one hundred and sixty acres of land in Twin Lake township, Calhoun County, which is likewise well improved, and in addition to this he owns eighty acres in Garfield Township, on which is a new dwelling and many modern accessories. He has today three valuable and well improved farms, comprising four hundred acres, and his property has been acquired entirely through his own labor and capable management.
Mr. and Mrs. Pitstick are the parents of ten children, of whom seven are living: Charles, who is married and follows farming
in this county; William, a resident farmer of Scott County Iowa: John L., who assists in the operation of the home farm; Edward, who is married and follows farming in Garfield Township; Frances; Ella; and Josephine. One daughter, Louisa, was married and at her death in April, 1901, left ten children. Lizzie and Emma both passed away in early womanhood.
A devoted adherent of the Republican party, Mr. Pitstick has supported each of its presidential candidates since i860, but in
1856 he cast his first presidential ballot for James Buchanan. He has been quite active in local political circles, doing all in his power to advance the interest of his party, yet never becoming a politician in the sense of office seeking. He has, however, served as commissioner of highways and is a member of the school board. Mr. and Mrs. Pitstick were reared in the Catholic faith and attend services at the Auburn church. He may truly be called a self-made man, for when he entered upon his business career he had no capital and all that he now possesses he has earned through diligence and garnered by capable management and economy. His life record should serve as a source of encouragement and inspiration to others who have to begin business as he did. Steadily has he worked his way upward, and the county now numbers him among its prosperous representatives. [Source – Biographical Record of Calhoun County, Iowa, by S. J. Clarke, 1902, p.293]
Calhoun Biographies maintained by Karon S. Valeu.
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