IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

William F. Meyer

William F. Meyer claims the old Buckeye state as the place of his nativity but was still an infant at the time of the family removal to Iowa, where his parents became pioneer settlers in Clayton county, so that he was here reared to manhood under the conditions and influences of the early period of the county's history, his educational advantages having not only included the facilities of the public schools of the period, but also of Briggs' Academy. He may now be said to be conducting one of the pioneer mercantile establishments of the county, as he is direct successor to the general merchandise business that long received the direct co-operation of his mother and that is one of the leading enterprises in the thriving little city of Garnavillo.

Mr. Meyer was born in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio on the 31st of October, 1853, and is a son of Dietrich H. and Margaret (Kregel) Meyer, who immigrated from their old home in Germany when young folk and who first established their home in Ohio, from which state they came to Clayton county, Iowa in the earlier '50s and became pioneer settlers at Garnavillo, which was then a mere frontier hamlet. Here they became associated in the conducting of a general store of modest order, and after the death of the husband and father, in 1871, the widowed mother continued the business - that from which has been evolved the substantial and prosperous general merchandise establishment, now owned and successfully conducted by the subject of this sketch, who is one of four survivors of a family of twelve children. The devoted mother continued her association with the business until her death, which occurred in 1893, and thus she survived her husband by more than a score of years, both having been zealous communicants of the Lutheran church and having been numbered among the founders of the church of this denomination at Garnavillo.

William F. Meyer initiated his independent career by engaging in the hardware business at Garnavillo, in 1873, and with this enterprise he continued his identification until 1881, when he sold the stock and business and purchased one-half interest with his mother in the well established general merchandise business which he has individually continued since her death. He has maintained for his store a high reputation for effective service and for fair and honorable dealings, so that its trade is drawn from all parts of the prosperous territory normally tributary to Garnavillo. Mr. Meyer was one of the principal organizers of the Garnavillo Savings Bank, of which substantial and popular institution he has been the president from the time of its incorporation. His political allegiance is given to the Republican party and as a citizen he has proved himself loyal and public-spirited. He has had little time to give to official service, but was specially alert and efficient during his incumbency of the township offices of clerk and trustee, besides which he served for several years as a member of the board of education. He and his wife are zealous communicants and influential members of St. Paul's Lutheran church at Garnavillo and for several years he served on its board of trustees in the capacity of president. He owns besides his substantial store building one of the attractive residence properties of Garnavillo, and this pleasant home is known for its generous hospitality.

In the year 1881, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Meyer to Miss Elizabeth Duttle, who was born in the city of Dubuque, this state, where her parents the late Jacob and Christina Duttle, were early settlers. Mr. and Mrs. Meyer have one son, Arthur L. who completed the curriculum of the public schools of Garnavillo and then entered Beloit College, where he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. In preparation for his chosen profession he entered the University of Pennsylvania, in the city of Philadelphia, where he continued his technical studies during four years, at the expiration of which he received his degree of Doctor of Medicine. Thereafter he devoted two years to effective and original investigation in part at Harvard university and in part at Oxford university, England. He is now engaged in research at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, having been appointed to the staff of that institution in the year 1915.

~source: History of Clayton County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; pg. 277-278

~OCR scanned by S. Ferrall


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