MOUSEL, JOHN B.
MOUSEL, GEHLER, SCHLITZ, WELBES, MCKEE
Posted By: Jean Kramer (email)
Date: 12/11/2003 at 13:46:53
Biography reproduced from page 306 of Volume II of the History of Kossuth County written by Benjamin F. Reed and published in 1913:
Among the public-spirited and progressive citizens of Bancroft, to whose enterprise and active cooperation the town is largely indebted for the rapid development it has made of recent years, must be mentioned the name of John B. Mousel. He was formerly identified with the agricultural interests of Kossuth county, but in the early ‘90s he left his farm and took up his residence in Bancroft, where for more than a decade he has most efficiently discharged the duties of mayor, and he is also vice president of the First National Bank and is connected with various other local enterprises.
He is a native of Germany, his birth having occurred at Luxemburg, on the 31st of August, 1845. His father, Peter Mousel, was born and reared in France, but he subsequently became a resident of Germany, and there he met and married Miss Helen Gehler, and to them were born three children. The mother died with cholera in 1849, while still in her early womanhood, but the father lived to a ripe old age, his death occurring in 1898. They both passed their latter years in Germany and were members of the Roman Catholic church.
John B. Mousel, who was only a child of four years when his mother died, was reared and educated in his native land, where he subsequently engaged in farming until 1867, when he resolved to become a citizen of the United States and in autumn of that year took passage for America. Traveling both by land and sea was much slower at that period than in the present day, and he spent eighteen days on the Atlantic ocean. Upon his arrival in this country he came direct to Dubuque, Iowa, continuing his journey from that point to Spruce Creek, Jackson county, this state, where he passed the winter with an uncle, who was there engaged in farming. During the spring and summer he worked out for a cousin and the following autumn he was married, after which he began farming on his own account. He remained in Jackson county until 1885, when he brought his family to Kossuth county, purchasing three hundred and twenty acres of land in Ramsey township. He cultivated this place with excellent success for eight years, and then sold it to J. P. Mousel and removed to Bancroft, with the expectation of living retired. It is practically impossible for a man of his energy and ambition to withdraw from active business, however, and ever since locating here he has been identified with various local enterprises and has figured prominently in political affairs. He was one of the twelve men who organized and incorporated the Gas & Power Company of Bancroft, and since 1908, he has been acting as vice president of the First National Bank.
In Jackson county in the autumn of 1898, Mr. Mousel was united in marriage to Miss Mary Margaret Ann Schlitz, who was born in Germany on the 8th of January, 1850, and is a daughter of Peter and Mary (Welbes) Schlitz. The parents emigrated to America during the early years of their domestic life and settled in Jackson county, where for many years the father engaged in farming. He subsequently retired and he and the mother went to Jackson county, this state, where they passed the remainder of their lives. They were Roman Catholics in religious faith, and the parents of eleven children, the three eldest of whom were born in Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Mousel have reared three children: Annie, now Mrs. J. P. Mousel, of Greenwood, Iowa; Katie, the wife of Edward McKee, of Boone, Iowa; and Agnes Mousel, who is a teacher in Whittemore township, this county.
In matters of faith Mr. and Mrs. Mousel are Roman Catholics and contribute liberally toward the maintenance of that church and its various organizations. His political allegiance is accorded to the republican party, and he has always taken an active and helpful interest in all local affairs. While residing in Ramsey township he served as postmaster, secretary of the school board, treasurer and school director, and after locating in Bancroft he served for five years as a member of the council, beginning his duties in 1897, following which he became mayor. That he has proven highly efficient and generally satisfactory in the latter office is evidenced by the length of his incumbancy, which covers a period of ten years. Mr. Mousel is held in high regard in Kossuth county, his fidelity and integrity in the discharge of his public duties, his straightforward, honorable methods of conducting his business transactions and his loyalty to his friends, all having united in winning him esteem and respect.
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