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Posted By: Jean Kramer (email)
Date: 1/5/2004 at 15:51:47

Biography reproduced from page 562 of Volume II of the History of Kossuth County written by Benjamin F. Reed and published in 1913:

August Manthei is one of the enterprising natives of Germany, who emigrated to the United States in quest of better opportunities than are afforded in the more congested districts of the fatherland, and by reason of his diligence and perseverance has achieved his ambition and now owns a fine farm of one hundred and twenty acres in Harrison township. He was born in West Prussia on the 4th of June, 1863, and is a son of John and Elizabeth Manthei, also natives of Germany. When a young man the father worked out as a farm hand, but through thrift and industry he ultimately acquired land of his own which he cultivated until his death in 1902. The mother is still living and continues to make her home in the old country, where all of her children reside with the exception of our subject, who is the eldest. In order of birth the others are Benjamin, Mary, Theresa, Martin, George and Olive. The family originally numbered twelve but five are now deceased.

August Manthei was reared at home and given the advantages of a common-school education. At the age of sixteen years he left the parental roof and started out to make his own living. He had been assisting his father about the work of the farm from his early boyhood, and was therefore familiar with the practical methods of agriculture, so for three years thereafter he was employed on farms in the vicinity of his home. From time to time he received letters from his friend and future brother-in-law, August Klepke, who had emigrated to America, urging him to leave the fatherland and come to the United States, where there were seemingly unlimited opportunities for diligent young men. At last he yielded to his friendís persuasions and took passage for the United States, with Eldora, Iowa, as his destination. There, with the assistance of Mr. Klepke, he found employment as a farm hand. He followed this occupation for four years and during that time acquired a very good knowledge of the language and customs of the country and accumulated sufficient money to engage in farming on his own account. In 1886, he came to Kossuth county and rented land north of Ledyard, in the township of that name, which he cultivated for four years. At the end of that time he moved west of Ledyard, where he continued to farm as a renter for ten years. In 1909, he purchased his present farm, located on section 12, Harrison township, to which he removed the following year. In addition to the cultivation of his own fields Mr. Manthei rents a tract of eighty acres, and here he engages in general agricultural pursuits. In connection with farming he raises stock of a good grade, and feeds both cattle and hogs for the market. During the two years of his residence on his farm, Mr. Manthei has made such improvements as his circumstances have warranted, as he takes great pride in his place and aspires to have the model farm of the community. He is industrious and progressive and exercises good judgment in the direction of his undertakings, giving his personal supervision to everything about the place.

At Eldora, Iowa, in 1896, Mr. Manthei was united in marriage to Miss Rosa Klepke, a daughter of Anton and Gustina (Dox) Klepke, and a native of Germany. Her parents passed their entire lives in the old country, where for many years the father held the position of sheriff. Mrs. Manthei emigrated to the United States in 1894 and joined her brother, who was living in Hardin county, where she was subsequently married. There were eight children in the family of Mr. and Mrs. Klepke, but four of these are now deceased. To Mr. and Mrs. Manthei have been born eight children: Ella; Leonard, whose birth occurred on February 18, 1897; Mary, who was born on the 12th of October, 1899, John, whose natal day was the 12th of July, 1901; Albert, who was born April 25, 1902; Sophie, whose birth occurred on the 7th of October, 1905; Anna, born on December 30, 1907; and Agnes, born October 3, 1909. All but the three last named are attending school in district No. 1, Harrison township.

The parents are communicants of the Roman Catholic church, in which the elder children have been confirmed, and Mr. Manthei is a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters, while his political support is accorded the republican party. Although he has met with the obstacles and difficulties encountered by all settlers in a foreign country, he has never had occasion to regret transferring his allegiance to the United States, as he has here found the opportunities he sought and is prospering in his undertakings.


Kossuth Biographies maintained by Linda Ziemann.
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