IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Herman C. Kuenzel

Herman C. Kuenzel has the distinction of being one of the representative business men of his native village of Garnavillo, where for more than thirty years he has been successfully established in the drug trade and where he has a well appointed drug store that commands a substantial and appreciative patronage. He is a scion of one of the sterling pioneer families of Clayton county, with whose history the name which he bears has been closely and worthily identified for nearly three score years and ten, and in this connection it is most gratifying to render incidental tribute to his honored parents, who here lived and labored to goodly ends and whose memory is here held in enduring esteem. Mr. Kuenzel was born at Garnavillo on the 14th of October, 1855, and is a son of John Henry and Anna (Mohrman) Kuenzel, the former of whom was born in the Kingdom of Bavaria, Germany, and the latter in the Province of Hanover. John Henry Kuenzel was but seven years of age when he accompanied his parents on their immigration to America, and the family home was established at New Bremen, Auglaiz county, Ohio, where he was reared to adult age and where he learned the trade of harnessmaker. In 1850 he came to Clayton county, Iowa, and numbered himself among the pioneer settlers of Gamavillo, which was then a mere frontier hamlet. About one year later he became associated with his brother-in-Iaw, the late Benjamin F. Schroeder, in the erection of a flouring mill at this point, and in the early days they were compelled to haul their flour product by team and wagon to Clayton, from which point it was shipped down the Mississippi river to St. Louis, Missouri. Mr. Kuenzel was one of the pioneers of this important field of enterprise in Clayton county, and through the same he aided greatly in the industrial and civic development of the county, his identification with the milling business having continued up to the time of his decease. John Henry Kuenzel was known and honored as one of the vigorous, upright and enterprising men of the county, was influential in public affairs of a local order and commanded the high regard of all who knew him. He served in minor township offices and also as school director, and he played well his part in connection with the development and upbuilding of the community in which he long maintained his home. Of the family of ten children the eldest is Margaret, who is the wife of Frederick Harberg, of Garnavillo; Julia is the wife of Frederick Schoelerman, of Lake Park, Minnesota; Herman C., of this review, was the next in order of birth; Anna is the wife of Joseph Walleser, of Garnavillo; Marie is a resident of Cleveland, Ohio; Henry maintains his home in the city of Dubuque, Iowa; Edward C. and Frederick B. reside in Cleveland, Ohio; and Fredonia and Laura are deceased. Herman C. Kuenzel is indebted to the public schools of Garnavillo for his early educational discipline, and at the age of sixteen years he here entered upon an apprenticeship to the cabinetmaker's trade, in which he became a skilled workman and to which he devoted his attention for a period of eight years. He then, in 1880, establishd himself in the drug business in his native village, where he has since continued successfully in this line of enterprise, with present status as one of the oldest merchants of the place in point of consecutive operations. Mr. Kuenzel has shown the deepest loyalty to his home village and county and has been an influential figure in community affairs, with impregnable vantage-ground in popular confidence and good will. He was for six years a member of the village council, and the high estimate placed upon him in this connection was shown when he was elected to the office of mayor, of which he continued the incumbent two years and in which he gave a most progressive and satisfactory administration. He was for a long period given preferment as a member of the board of education, of which he served twelve years as president, and for nine years he held the office of postmaster of Garnavillo. His political allegiance is given to the Republican party, he is affiliated with the local Turnverein, and both he and his wife are communicants of the Lutheran church. On the 9th of July, 1884, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Kuenzel to Miss Nellie Walleser, who likewise was born and reared at Garnavillo, a representative of another of the 'honored pioneer families of the county. She is a daughter of Matthew and Rosina (Riester) Walleser, both natives of Germady and both now deceased. Of their children she was the seventh in order of birth, and concerning the others the following brief record is consistently entered: Henry is deceased; Frances (Francis?) is a resident of Nashua, Chickasaw county; Emil maintains his home at Garnavillo; Elizabeth is the wife of Theodore J. Krasinsky, of this place; Rosina is the wife of William Schumacher, of Garnavillo, where also resides Joseph, the next in order of birth; and Anna is the wife of Henry Kuenzel, their home being in the city of Dubuque. Mr. and Mrs. Keunzel of this review have one son, Webber B., who is now serving as postmaster of Garnavillo and who is one of the representative young men of Clayton county.

source: History of Clayton County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; pg. 234-235
-submitted by S. Ferrall


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