Cerro Gordo County Iowa
Part of the IaGenWeb Project




Manies E. BITTERMAN, a prominent farmer of Portland township, Cerro Gordo county, takes an active interest in public affairs and has held several local offices. Mr. BITTERMAN was born in Canton, Ohio, August 27, 1843, son of Frederick and Margaret (BAIR or BAER [descendant of William PENN]) BITTERMAN. The father was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1820, and at the time of his death, in 1847, was a school teacher in Canton, Ohio. Mrs. BITTERMAN was born in Stark county, Ohio, in 1824, and died in 1903. They had but two children, of whom Manies is the only one surviving. After Mr. BITTERMAN'S death his widow married Samuel SPOTTS, by whom she had three children, namely: Abraham, of Portland township; Mary, wife of Levi HENDRICKSON of Santa Anna, California; and Samuel, of Kansas City, Missouri. Mr. SPOTTS now lives in Pasadena, California. He was born in Stark county, Ohio, in September, 1822. The SPOTTS family moved from Ohio to Will county, Illinois, in the sixties, and in the spring of 1872 located in section 15, Portland township, Cerro Gordo county, on wild land.

When he was but four years of age, Manies BITTERMAN lost his father, and when he was but twelve-years-old he had to begin to work for his living. He worked at anything he could find until 1861; when he moved to Lockport, Illinois, remaining in that vicinity for some years. During the war he bought and shipped hay and became successful in this business. In 1867 he engaged in farming near Plainfield, Illinois, and continued there until March, 1870, when he located on eighty acres of land in section 11, Portland township, part of his present farm, having purchased this land some fifteen years prior. He erected building and began to make improvements, adding to his possessions from time to time and becoming very successful. All the improvements have been made by him, even to setting out the trees, and at one time he owned two hundred and eighty acres. At present he has two hundred acres, in the homestead and eighty acres in section 13, this township, all under cultivation, and which for the last ten years his youngest son has operated. He has always paid special attention to stock raising and feeding. He has always shown good judgment in the conduct of his affairs and has paid close attention to every detail of his work.

In February, 1865, Mr. BITTERMAN married, at Lockport, Illinois, Sarah HINTZLMAN (sic), [daughter of George and Katherine (CRAEMER) HEINTZELMAN] who was born in Center county, Pennsylvania, in November, 1843, and they became the parents of six children, namely : Calvin, of Portland township; Edward, also of Portland township; Jennie, wife of William ALLEN of Mason City; Trullie, wife of J. SHULTA; Mary, wife of Milton FORBES of North Platte, Nebraska; and Clinton, operating the home farm.

For the past thirty-eight years Mr. BITTERMAN has served as township treasurer, and has been township trustee eighteen years. He served one year as assessor and has also been school director and road superintendent. Mr. Bitterman is highly esteemed in the vicinity of his home and his fellow citizens have delighted to show him honor. He served in 1892-94 as a member of the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth General Assemblies of Iowa. He has always been a strong supporter of the Republican party and prominent in party councils. He is a member of the M. W. A. of Nora Springs. Mr. Bitterman is wholly a self-made man, for he started out when a boy without any means and has risen to a place of influence by his unaided efforts.

NOTE: Manies E. BITTERMAN died in Nora Springs on December 23, 1919. Sarha (HEINSELMAN) BITTERMAN died in Nora Springs on July 31, 1920.

SOURCE: Wheeler, J. H. History of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. Vol. II. Pp. 760-62. Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago. 1910

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2011

~ ~ ~ ~
The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Iowa
by Deb icklay of the Globe Gazette


NORA SPRINGS Like the trees first planted on the property almost 30 years ago, the Rich and Rita PAXSON home has bloomed. The redesign of their 1870's farm house has been a fulfilling process that, while exhausting, "was lots of fun, too," said Rita.

Although the professional couple has lived in Alaska and Rich is a native of Chicago, "we really just wanted to live in a farm house in Iowa," Rich said.

They purchased the property just a few miles west of Nora Springs in 1975. They conducted two major remodelings since then to develop the property into the special place it is today.

"We've spent a lot of time and energy working on it, but it has been fun doing it, too, Rita said.

The couple was drawn to the sprawling home and intrigued by the home's history.

Manies BITTERMAN, a descendant of William PENN, built the home in the 1870s, a convenient overnight stop for settlers pushing to west. Additions were made about 1900 and again in the 1960's.

The home was showing its age when the PAXSONS purchased it. An upstairs toilet was "sinking into the floor," Rita said with a laugh. While repairs were made, plans got under way for the first remodeling including the installation of a new kitchen in 1985. A larger project was undertaken six years ago.

With help from Osgood and Sons on the first project and Jim PATCHEN on the last, the entire home was rewired, replumbed and revamped. Walls were opened and new windows were installed throughout.

Today, the home is an open and graceful residence, not unlike the people who live there. . . The home is awash in other unique touches.

Almost all the windows, and there are many of them, are oversized. Some reach from floor to ceiling. In areas where the couple could have easily bypassed window installation, they took special care to incorporate them into the design. Airflow has been maximized and light fills the home every hour of the day.

. . . The PAXSON home, far different from its look 30 years ago, has rooted and flowered. And, like the settlers of more than a century ago, friends and family find welcome comfort here.

Photograph courtesy of The Globe Gazette

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2011


  • Return to Biographies Index Page

  • Return to Cerro Gordo Home Page


    © Copyright 1996-
    Cerro Gordo Co. IAGenWeb Project
    All rights Reserved.