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Posted By: Jean Kramer (email)
Date: 5/27/2004 at 17:00:47

Biography reproduced from page 297 of Volume II of the History of Kossuth County written by Benjamin F. Reed and published in 1913:

There are many pioneers of Kossuth county living, who have to their credit long and useful lives but justice demands that on such a roll of honor the name of Jacob Altwegg be given a prominent place. Born in Switzerland, March 4, 1836, Mr. Altwegg came with his parents to the newer and more promising field of endeavor, America, when twenty years of age, or in 1856. His education, which was quite thorough, was gained in the schools of Switzerland, where his childhood and boyhood were spent. The parents remained in the United States nine years, living first in Philadelphia, then in Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania, and still later, in 1858, in Kossuth county, Iowa, where the family remained seven years. The father and mother then returned to their beloved, beautiful homeland in 1865, where they have since passed away.

Jacob Altwegg, on settling in Kossuth county, availed himself of the American preemption laws, taking up a claim of one hundred and sixty acres which he improved, bringing it to a high state of cultivation and upon which he lived and toiled and reared his family. In the spring of 1911, having by five years passed the allotted span of life vouchsafed to man, he retired from the farm to a comfortable home in Algona, where in peace, comfort and plenty, he is passing his declining years. Mr. Altwegg was not only a man of industry and thrift, but took a lively interest in the affairs of his community and for twenty years was clerk of Plum Creek township, where he resided. When the Civil war broke out, Mr. Altwegg became a member of Company A, of the Border Brigade, under Captain Ingham, and served his country valiantly.

In 1864 Mr. Altwegg was married to Miss Jennie Brown, a daughter of Alexander Brown, of Kossuth county, who came to Iowa from Massachusetts. This union was blessed by the birth of six children: Louisa V., who is the widow of J. T. Wolfe and resides with her two children at Lake Crystal, Minnesota; Anna R., at home; John A., of Germania, Kossuth county, who is a widower with a family of six children; Mabel E. who is the wife of J. C. Baker, of Lake Crystal, Minnesota, and the mother of two children; William H., a farmer of Plum Creek township, who married Jessie Robinson, by whom he has one child; and Ruth M., who is the wife of Elias M. Sparks, a farmer of Plum Creek township, and the mother of four children.

In his quiet life of retirement which he spends for the most part at his own fireside with his family, Mr. Altwegg does not forget the many friends and associates of earlier days and at his hospitable home his many friends often gather, seeking restfulness and that entertainment for which his good wife is still noted. Among his close personal friends are many of the leading people of Algona. His has been a well spent life and his example furnishes many traits worthy of emulation on the part of the younger generation, now arising to grapple with the active and stern duties of life.


Kossuth Biographies maintained by Linda Ziemann.
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