Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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WHEELER, J.H. Vol. II. Pp. 650-52. Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago. 1910


One of Bath township's most extensive farmers and one of the county's most highly esteemed and reliable men is William F. Doderer, now making his residence in Rockwell. He was born in Allamakee county, Iowa, May 13, 1864, his parents being Frederick and Catherine (Naas) Doderer, both natives of Germany. The former was a native of Stutgart, and died in Bath township, Cerro Gordo county, in January, 1890. The latter, who is a native of Ilesse-Darmstadt, still resides in Mason City. They came to the United States in their youth and were married in Pennsylvania. The father made his living by the practice of civil engineering and stone cutting, which he had learned in the old country. In 1857 the family came westward to Allamakee county, making the journey by rail and boat. Upon arrival the father bought a farm of wild land and lived upon it until 1870, when he sold and came to Mason City. There he conducted a grocery for six years and then removed to his farm in Bath township of which he had purchased a part in 1869. Although this was all wild at the time it was purchased, a house had been built and some of the ground broken by tenants previous to his moving upon it. It was he, however, who made most of the improvements, built the present house and barn, and added to the land until he was the owner of five hundred acres in Bath township and a one-half interest in one hundred and sixty acres in Mt. Vernon towTiship. There were eleven children in the family, six of whom died young. Those surviving are: Mr. Doderer; J. F., principal of the school in Demming; Minnie, wife of J. H. Hardy, of Mason City; Herman J., residing with his mother; and Elizabeth, wife of John Daum, of Buffalo Center. Mr. Doderer's parents were originally of the German Lutheran church, but latterly came to affiliate with the Congregational church. The father gave loyal and effective support to the Democratic party, had held the position of town clerk and was secretary of the school board at the time of his death.

William F. Doderer received the best public school education to be had, attending the common school in Bath township and the high schools of Mason City and Rockwell. He remained with his father until that gentleman's death and then after his marriage moved into another house on the family homestead. A short time after he moved back to his father's place and lived there for many years, or until 1910, in the spring of which year he retired and bought and moved to his present home in Rockwell.

In 1892 Mr. Doderer took as his wife Marian Ryburn, daughter of James Ryburn, a sketch of whose career appears elsewhere in this history. She died in October, 1893. In February, 1899, Mr. Doderer was a second time married, this time to Isabelle Kneider, daughter of John and Jane (Traill) Kneider. The former, a Pennsylvanian, and the latter, a native of Scotland, were married in Pennsylvania and came to Carroll county, Illinois, in 1873. After five years there they came to Floyd county, and then to Cerro Gordo county, where they bought a farm in Bath township. The father continued to make his home there until his death in 1892, and for seven years thereafter the mother remained in the old home, in 1899 removing to Rockwell, where she now resides. Mrs. Doderer was one of eight children, six of whom survive: W. H., lives in Carroll county, Illinois; J. J., is a citizen of Owen township; Mary J., is the wife of W. J. Grimes of Hampton; D. W., makes his home in Rockwell; Emma is now Mrs. Sherp; and the youngest member of the family is the wife of the subject of this biography.

Mr. Doderer is a Republican and takes an active interest in all matters vitally concerning the county. He has held several public offices, having been trustee of Bath township for six years, assessor for the same length of time, and for twenty years before he moved to Rockwell was secretary of the school board. At the primary caucus, June 7, 1910, he was nominated for county supervisor. For the past twelve years he has been secretary of the Farmers' Co-operative Society of Rockwell and previous to that was a member of the board of directors. He belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America and he and his wife are members of the Rockwell Congregational church. In addition to his farm he has other interests. For instance in 1907 the Farmers' Telephone Company of Rockwell was organized, and Mr. Doderer was made a member of the board. Later he was elected secretary and still later mauager and now holds both offices. He is a successful stock raiser and while on the farm each year prepared for the market from one to three carloads of cattle. Mr. and Mrs. Doderer have one daughter, named Ruth, who is six years of age.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2014



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