IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Christian H. Overbeck

Christian H. Overbeck has been a resident of Clayton county since his boyhood, is a scion of one of the sterling German pioneer families of this section of the Hawkeye State, and he has contributed his share to the civic and material development and progress of the county as a successful farmer, as a merchant and as a loyal and public-spirited citizen. He is now living retired in the village of Luana, where he was formerly engaged in the hardware business, with which he continued to be identified until 1904, when he sold the same to the present proprietor, Rudolph J. Stoehr. Christoph Henry Overbeck was born in the Province of Hanover, Germany, on the 9th of June, 1843, and has been a resident of Clayton county for more than sixty years. He is a son of Adam and Louise (Wagman) Overbeck, both of whom were born and reared in Hanover, where they continued to maintain their home until 1852, when they immigrated to the United States, their son Christoph H. having been at the time a lad of about eight years. The family remained about six months in the State of Indiana and in the spring of 1853 came to Clayton county, Iowa, and became members of the fine German pioneer colony in and about the present village of Guttenberg. There Adam Overbeck obtained a tract of government land and instituted the development of a farm, the same having comprised forty acres. On this old homestead, which he made one of the productive farms of the county, both he and his wife passed the remainder of their lives--folk of prodigious industry and sterling character, and well worthy of the high esteem in which they were held. They were honored pioneer citizens of this county at the time of their death, and both were earnest communicants of the German Lutheran church. Of their children the subject of this sketch is the eldest; Louisa is the wife of Bernhard F. Schroder, of Postville, Allamakee county; and Henry resides at Elgin, Fayette county. Christoph H. Overbeck was reared to the sturdy discipline of the pioneer farms and in the meanwhile did not in the least neglect the advantages afforded him in the schools of the locality. He soon initiated a virtually independent career by finding employment at farm work aside from that of the home place, and at the age of twenty-three years he became associated with his father in the renting of a farm which he later purchased. To the work and management of this farm he continued to devote his attention about 5 years, and after selling the property he purchased a tract of two hundred and seventy acres in Grand Meadow township. This large landed estate he developed into one of the model farms of this section of the State by bringing it under effective cultivation and by making the best of permanent improvements, including the erection of substantial farm buildings. There he won distinctive success in connection with diversified agriculture and the raising of good grades of live stock, and he continued his residence on the farm until 1894, when, with a substantial competency, he retired from the arduous labors and manifold cares that had long been his portion, and established his home at Luana, where he owns an attractive residence and where he was for a number of years engaged in the hardware business, though he has lived retired from all active business since 1904, as previously intimated in this article. His career has been that of a quiet, unassuming, persistent and successful worker, and his character and achievement have been such as to make him fully entitled to the unqualified popular confidence and esteem in which he is held. His political allegiance is given to the Republican party and he has long been a zealous and earnest communicant of the German Lutheran church. For eleven years he served as treasurer of the church of this denomination at Luana. On the 4th of July, 1874, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Overbeck to Miss Caroline Bierbaum, daughter of Gerhardt and Caroline (Walker) Bierbaum, who were honored pioneers of Clayton county. Mrs. Overbeck passed to the life eternal on the 16th of July, 1899, a devoted wife and mother and an earnest communicant of the German Lutheran church. Of the children of this union the first, Catherine, died in childhood; Caroline remains at the paternal home; Louise is the wife of John Goerges and they reside in South Dakota; August and Anna are deceased; Benjamin and Margaret are twins, the former being a substantial farmer in Monona township and the latter being the wife of William Loeske, of Denver, Colorado; Eleanora is deceased; Amelia remains at the home of her father; and Emma, Esther and Nora are deceased. On the 24th of December, 1904, Mr. Overbeck contracted a second marriage, when Mrs. Minnie (Springborn) Neverman became his wife, she having an adopted daughter, Bertha. Mrs. Overbeck was born at Garnavillo, this county, on the 3d of June, 1858, and is the eldest of a family of four children, the second of whom was John, who died young; Elizabeth is the wife of Fred Lempke, of Allamakee county; and Frederica is deceased. John and Elizabeth (Saaso) Springborn, the parents of Mrs. Overbeck, were born in Mecklenburg, Germany, and came to America about the year 1856. They became pioneer settlers near Farmersburg, Clayton county, where Mr. Springborn developed a good farm, to the operations of which he continued to give his attention until a short time before his death, his wife likewise being deceased, and both having been communicants of the German Lutheran church.

~source: History of Clayton County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; pages 313 - 315.

~transcribed by
Keith Schrader


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