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. 632-33.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  Jacob F. Engelkes

Jacob F. Engelkes, a well known and prosperous farmer and stock-raiser residing in Lincoln township, was born in Amsterdam, Holland, on the 17th of September, 1858, his parents being John and Anna (Steillwacht) Engelkes.  The father, who was a baker by occupation, passed away when his son Jacob was but two years of age.  The mother, however, survived until 1893 when she, too, was called to her final rest.  Unto this worthy couple were born three children, namely:  Jennie, deceased; Jacob F., of this review; and Andrew, who follows farming in South Dakota.


When seventeen years of age Jacob F. Engelkes crossed the Atlantic to the United States, believing that the new world offered better opportunities for business advancement.  He first worked as a farm hand for five dollars per month but the second year received twelve dollars and the third year twenty-five dollars per month, his wages being increased as his services became more valuable.  Carefully saving his earnings, he at length procured enough capital to bring his brother; and sister to the United States.  When twenty-seven years of age he took up his abode near Rochelle, Illinois, while the year 1886 witnessed his arrival in Buena Vista county, Iowa, where he has since resided.  He now operates a rich and productive farm of three hundred and twenty acres, the fields annually responding to his care and labor by yielding a golden harvest.  When he first arrived in this country he found the struggle for a livelihood very difficult and through one whole winter subsisted on oatmeal.  Nothing daunted, however, he worked steadily and perseveringly on and was at length rewarded with the success which always crowns untiring and well directed effort.


Mr. Engelkes was united in marriage to Miss Augustine Daeguer, a native of Germany, who came to America when a maiden of thirteen years. Their children are William and John, both at home.


In his political views Mr. Engelkes is a stanch [sic] republican, while his religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, with which his wife is also identified.  He has never had occasion to regret his determination to seek a home in the new world, for here he has gained the prosperity which he sought and has now long been numbered among the progressive and enterprising agriculturists of his adopted county.