Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. 
 Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa
Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 229-30.

Transcribed by Mary Alice Schwanke and Cyndi Vertrees

Biography of  Henry John Behrens

Henry John Behrens, like many a man of foreign birth, Henry John Behrens, fully appreciating the advantages and possibilities which the new world offers, has through the inherent force of his character, worked his way upward until today he is classed among the substantial agriculturists of Buena Vista county, owning four hundred and forty acres of well improved land in Coon, Fairfield and Lincoln townships. He was born in Germany, October 26, 1833, a son of Dietrick and Dora (Meinking) Behrens, both of whom were born in Germany but are now deceased. The other children of their family are: William and Dick, both residents of Chicago, Illinois; Mary, the wife of Henry Papenhouser; Louise, the wife of Henry Timke; and Lena, the wife of William Scharkopf.

Henry John Behrens, the other member of the family, was reared in his native land and attended school to the age of fourteen years. He then started out to make his own way in the world, working as a farm hand for ten years. On the expiration of that period he purchased a small tract of land and established a home of his own by his marriage to Miss Sophia Brackman, who was likewise a native of Germany. Believing that he might better provide for himself and family in the new world, Mr. Behrens eventually decided to emigrate to America. Upon arriving in the new world he located near Chicago, Illinois, but later, in 1880, he removed to Buena Vista county, Iowa, and looking around for a favorable location decided upon Coon township as a place of permanent abode. He here purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land, to which he has added as the years have gone by, so that his farm property now embraces four hundred and forty acres. All this is well improved with good buildings and the land has been made very productive through the rotation of crops and the practical methods of agriculture which he follows.

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Behrens has been blessed with six children but two died in infancy. The others are: Dick, residing in Minnesota; Dora, the wife of John Severs; William, living in Fairfield township; and Henry, at home.

Mr. Behrens is a member of the Evangelical church and in politics is a republican. He has filled the office of road supervisor but otherwise has never sought nor desired public office. He is a man of excellent business ability and foresight as is attested by the success which he has achieved since taking up his abode in America, for the fine farm which he today possesses is the result of his own labor, economy and careful management.