Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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Among the successful [merchants] in Cerro Gordo county, Iowa, is Valentine BLIEN, who carries a good stock of general merchandise in his establishment at Rock Falls. Mr. Blien was born in New York city July 1, 1858, son of John and Clara (CLAUS) BLIEN, both natives of Germany, the father born, October 28, 1831, died January 3, 1903, and the mother born August 8, 1837, is yet living. They were the parents of twelve children, of whom five survive, namely: Valentine; Elizabeth, widow of William ROEBUCK, living with her brother Valentine; John, of Plymouth, Iowa; Caroline, wife of Fred LIPPERT, of Mason City; and Leonard, of Rock Falls. The father of this family was a shoemaker and followed his trade in Germany. He came to the United State[s] about 1856, having barely his passage money, and he spent forty-five days on the ocean voyage. He worked at his trade in New York city until 1867, then located at Plymouth, Iowa, where he followed his trade one year, then followed the same occupation at Rock Falls until 1880, when he established a general merchandise store, which he conducted until he sold out to his sons.

At the time the family located at Rock Falls, Iowa, Valentine BLIEN was but a child. He grew up there and received his education in the district schools. He remained at home until he was twenty-two years of age, then began working at the trade of plasterer. In 1873 he moved to Mason City and followed his trade until 1885, then bought his father's business at Rock Falls. In 1895 he took his brother L. C., into partnership and in 1905 they took in another brother, John, establishing the store at Plymouth, and of which John has charge. The Rock Falls store carries a stock of general merchandise valued at six thousand dollars and the one at Plymouth has a stock worth six thousand dollars.

Valentine and L. C. BLIEN together owned three hundred and twenty acres of land in Falls township, and the two, Valentine and L. C., own six hundred and forty acres is Oliver county, North Dakota.

On June 1, 1887, Mr. BLIEN married Hattie KIDDER, a native of Pennsylvania, who died in 1888. He married in 1891 Anna KIRK, a native of Virginia. They have no children.

Mr. and Mrs. BLIEN are members of the Lutheran church. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity, being affiliated with Benevolence Lodge, No. 145, A.F. and A. M.; Benevolence Chapter, No. 46, R. A. M.; and Antioch Commandery, No. 43, Knights Templars, of Mason City. He is also a member of the K. of P., of Mason City, and of the M. W. A., No. 5064, of Rock Falls.

He is a popular and public spirited citizen of Rock Falls and is highly esteemed by his fellows. For the past thirteen years he has served as postmaster of Rock Falls. He and his brothers are industrious and ambitious and have displayed good judgment in the conduct of their affairs.

SOURCE: Wheeler, J. H. History of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. Vol. II. Pp. 498-99. Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago. 1910

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2011



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