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Posted By: Jean Kramer (email)
Date: 1/3/2004 at 15:53:03

Biography reproduced from page 644 of Volume II of the History of Kossuth County written by Benjamin F. Reed and published in 1913:

John F. Markgraf, formerly one of the most prominent farmers in Kossuth county, is now living retired in Lotts Creek township. He was born December 8, 1859, and is a son of August and Anna (Herman) Markgraf, both natives of Germany. His father came to this country in 1856 and located in New York, where he bought a small farm which he operated until 1865. In that year he removed to St. Paul, Minnesota, and followed the trade of a stone mason which he had learned in his native country. He worked in St. Paul until 1878, when he removed with his family to Kossuth county, Iowa, and purchased eighty acres of land in Lotts Creek township, renting it, however, the first two years. This farm he improved and operated until 1897, when he rented his land and retired from active life. He died ten years later, September 25, 1907, having survived his wife since 1881.

John F. Markgraf was reared at home and was educated in the public schools of St. Paul, Minnesota. He came to Kossuth county with his parents in 1878 and worked in the employ of others for some time. In 1887 he bought a quarter section of land in Lotts Creek township. He was a practical farmer and had learned the details of the business through personal experience on his fatherís land. His knowledge was a valuable asset to him in the improvement and cultivation of this quarter section, and when he retired in 1899 his farm was one of the most modernly equipped and well cultivated properties in Kossuth county. Upon his retirement he removed to Lotts Creek where he has lived since that time. He has a firm faith in the future of that community and has invested his savings in local enterprises. He takes an active interest in the affairs of the Lotts Creek Creamery Company, of which he is a stockholder and has been an officer of the same for eighteen years.

Politically Mr. Markgraf is a democrat and has always taken an active interest in local affairs. He is well known in political circles and is the present clerk for Lotts Creek township. Ever since he attained his majority and was able to vote, Mr. Markgraf has held some kind of a township office. He has served as trustee, assessor and constable and in other official capacities and is well known in this district for his able and efficient work. He holds membership in the German Lutheran church of Lotts Creek, and his religion is an important factor in his daily life. He retired from active agricultural life when he was only forty years of age. He concentrated his energies in his youth and labored earnestly during his period of activity and earned his rest at a time when most men are barely beyond the commencement of success. Retirement with Mr. Markgraf, however, was not meant quietness, it has merely been a change of industry and a slackening of the hard labor of the farm. He works intelligently for the welfare of his community, is active in politics and a vital force in municipal affairs.


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