Altwegg, Jacob 1836-1916
ALTWEGG, BROWN, WOLFE, BAKER, SPARKS
Posted By: Linda Linn (email)
Date: 5/13/2012 at 23:20:58
Algona Upper DesMoines
OLD SETTLER GONE.
Jacob Altwegg Dies Sunday
Evening With No Preceding
Death again has broken the chain of surviving settlers who located in this county during the latter 50's, and has lessened the number of those who have personal knowledge of the local events that transpired during the Civil
War period. It was Jacob Altwegg who, without a murmur, dropped out of the circle at the bidding of the grim messenger, at, 5 o'clock Sunday evening, August 13, 1916. As he he was over eighty years old, he was ready and willing to go when the end came after he had been confined to his bed for only a week. Although his physical powers had begun to decline about a year ago, at no time afterward was he regarded as being on the sick list, or in danger of being taken away, until a few moments before he breathed for the last time.
Jacob Altwegg was born in Switzerland, March 4, 1836, and while in that country procured the practical education that marked his career through life as a man of good judgment and reliability. With his parents he came to America when he was about, twenty years of age. The f amily after spending a couple oŁ years in Pennsylvania, started towards the setting sun in search of cheaper land beyond the Mississippi. It was during the summer of 1858 that they with their jaded teams arrived in Kossuth county. They came the very worst year for traveling overland they possibly could have chosen; for it was the wettest year the people of the west ever experienced. From April until October the Des Moines river bottom was covered from bluff to bluff with a. vast sheet of water. Moreover, this was at a period when there was not a single bridge spanning the river. Both Algona and Irvington were then straggling frontier villages, each having a stockade in its center for protection against the Indians.Amid such scenes and conditions the Altweggs came and located on the banks of Plum Creek, on a quarter section which they had managed to preempt. Here their little log cabin home became their royal palace in those days. After seven years of
frontier life the parents returned to their own native land, where they have long since fallen asleep in death.
During the year 1864 their son Jacob, the subject: of this sketch, was united in marriage with Miss Jennie Brown,
the bright, energetic daughter of one of the very early settlers. His selection of so valuable a life companion was fortunate for him at that early period when he was just embarking in business for himself. He inherited from his ancestors a hardy, robust constitution and a nature that made him among our most reliable and trustworthy citizens. Being matter-of-fact, sincere, and substantial, he abhorred the shams and glitter of the social world. For twenty years he was clerk for Plum Creek township, a fact: that, witnesses his reputation for reliability. During the fall of
1862, when it became necessary for protection to organize the Border Brigade, after the Indian massacre at
New Ulm, Mr. Altwegg joined Capt. Ingham's company, shouldered his gun, and went to the front. He remained
on his farm until about five years ago when old age compelled him to relinquish such strenuous toil. From that time until his death he made his home in Algona. Here June 10, 1915, the loss of his devoted companion, who had been by his side for more than fifty years, greatly saddened his life. The death of a beloved daughter a couple of years before also wore heavily upon him.
Mr. Altwegg was the father of three daughters and two sons. Of the former, Anna R., a trained nurse died February 14, 1913 Mrs. Louisa? Wolfe, at whose house her father died, lives at Algona; Mrs. Mabel E. Baker, at Lake Crystal; and Mrs.Ruth M. Sparks, in Plum Creek township. Of the latter John A. lives at Germania, and William H., on the home farm.
The funeral services of this much respected citizen were conducted at the home at 2:30 o'clock Tuesday afternoon
Kossuth Obituaries maintained by Linda Ziemann.
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