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, 271-73.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  Peter C. Bodholdt

Peter C. Bodholdt, whose residence in Buena Vista county dates from 1879, owns and cultivates a tract of land on section 12, Providence township. His original holdings in this county were one hundred and sixty acres and that he has prospered as the years have gone by is indicated in the fact that he today owns about seven hundred and twenty acres. His fields are carefully tilled and in addition to raising the crops best adapted to the soil and climate he is also quite extensively engaged in raising cattle.

Mr. Bodholdt was born in the province of North Schleswig, Germany, January 3, 1853. That district, however, was formerly a part of Demark, and his grandfather, Knud Bodholdt, spent his entire life in Denmark. Between the ages of eighteen and thirty-six years he served in the Danish army and both he and his wife died in middle life. They had three sons: Nels C., Claus and Christen. Claus Bodholdt, father of our subject, was born in North Denmark, and having arrived at years of maturity he married Karen Johansen, who was also born in North Schleswig. She was a daughter of Peter Johansen, who died in Denmark when about eighty-five years of age, while his wife passed away in middle life. Their family included Johan, Maren, Karen, Elizabeth and Bodelstine.

In early manhood Claus Bodholdt learned the blacksmith's trade, which he followed tor many years. He was an energetic man who made good use of his opportunities and enjoyed the respect of those with whom he was associated in his native country. He died in Schleswig in April, 1903, at the age of seventy-nine years, having for several years survived his wife. Their family numbered three sons and three daughters: Metta Maria, the wife of Hans Hansen, of Schleswig; Peter C.; Maria Christine, the wife of Martin Holtz, of Cedar Falls, Iowa; Knud C., who is mentioned elsewhere in this review; Hans C., who was a twin brother of Knud, and is now deceased; and Anna C, the wife of Hans Grau.

Peter C. Bodholdt spent the first eighteen years of his life in the land of his nativity and there learned and followed the blacksmith's trade. He determined to come to America for he realized that the advantages of the new world were superior to those furnished in his native country and, ambitious to succeed, he crossed the Atlantic to America in 1871, settling in Jackson county, Iowa. A few weeks later he removed to Clinton county, where he followed his trade and then went to Black Hawk county, where he resided for five years. In 1879 he arrived in Buena Vista county, which was then comparatively new and unimproved. In the thirty years of his residence here he has lived to see many changes and his labors have been an element in the development which this part of the state has enjoyed. He at first purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in Providence township, which he improved and as he has prospered in his undertakings he has extended the boundaries of his farm until he now owns seven hundred and twenty acres. He is therefore one of the extensive farmers of the county and his property is valuable owing to the many modern accessories and equipments he has placed thereon. He pays considerable attention to fattening stock, feeding all of his corn and also purchasing a considerable amount for that purpose. He is one of the largest stock shippers of this locality and the extent of his business makes him one of the most prosperous residents here.

In 1879 Mr. Bodholdt was united in marriage to Miss Mary E. Naeve, who was born near Davenport in Scott county, Iowa, where her parents, Nicholas and Louisa (Honike) Naeve, located on their emigration from Germany in 1848, being natives of South Schleswig. Her father was a cooper by trade and followed that pursuit in early life but later purchased a farm and devoted his attention to its cultivation. His wife died in 1901, at the age of fifty-six years, but he is still living. His parents, Henry and Louisa Naeve, also came to America and died near Muscatine, Iowa. Mrs. Bodholdt’s maternal grandparents were Henry and Lizzie Honike, who came to the new world about 1848 and died at an old age. Mrs. Bodholdt is one of a family of eleven children, seven sons and four daughters, one of whom, William, is now deceased. Those living are: Henry; Mary E.; Louisa; Fred; Christ; Nicholas; John; Annie, the wife of Peter Ehlers; Lena, the wife of Peter Schroeder: and Albert.

The marriage of .Mr. and .Mrs. Bodholdt has been blessed with ten children: Hans C, who is cultivating one of his father's farm, married Mettie Sorensen and they have one daughter, Sine; Emil N., who also follows farming, married Amelia Peterson, and they have a daughter, Esther; Carrie E. is the wife of A. Peterson and has one daughter, Mabel; Lizzie is the wife of Albert H. Peterson; Annie and Mettie are both at home; Lena died at the age of three years; Ida, Lena; and Askel are all yet with their parents.

Mr. and Mrs. Bodholdt hold membership in the Lutheran church. His political support is given to the democratic party and his fellow townsmen, recognizing his worth and ability, have frequently called him to public office. He has served as school director, as assessor and trustee, and in these various positions he has discharged his duties with promptness and fidelity. He is well known in Buena Vista county, where he has now made his home for almost three decades. During this period the country has largely emerged from pioneer conditions and taken on all of the evidences of a modern progressive civilization.  Mr. Bodholdt has assisted materially in the advancement of the county, his large holdings indicating most clearly that his life has been a very busy, active and useful one. In all of his dealings he has been thoroughly reliable, and his energy and integrity are perhaps his most salient characteristics.