IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Andrew Charles Reuschel

Andrew C. Reuschel left his German Fatherland when he was a lad of thirteen years and came alone to the United States, where as a youthful stranger in a strange land he forthwith encountered distracting and none too pleasant experiences, but he had sturdy courage and self-reliance and it has been entirely through his own ability and efforts that he has achieved independence and definite prosperity. He is a skilled workman at the trade of harnessmaker and is now the proprietor of a well-equipped harness and saddlery establishment at Elkport, Clayton county, where he is known and valued as a progressive business man and loyal and upright citizen.

Andrew Charles Reuschel was born in Bavaria, Germany, on the 13th of December, 1868, and his venerable parents, Arnold and Amelia (Bals) Reuschel, still reside in their native land, strong in both mental and physical powers. This sterling couple became the parents of thirteen children, concerning whom brief record may here be consistently entered: Christian and George are serving in the German army and taking part in the greatest war known in the history of the world; Hans is in the Germany navy; Schorg, Max and Otto are gallant soldiers in the army of the harassed Fatherland; Herman remains at the parental home; Ida remains in Germany, and is the wife of George Gewinner; Mary is a widow and resides at Wurtzburg, Germany; Gretchen and husband are residents of Lindau, Germany; Amelia remains with her venerable parents; and the youngest child, a daughter, died in infancy.

Arnold Reuschel, father of the subject of this sketch, became a skilled watchmaker and continued for many years in the active work of his trade, besides which he has been an honored and influential citizen of his community and served for some time as a member of the municipal council of the town in which he still maintains his home.

Andrew C. Reuschel gained his early education in the excellent schools of his native place and at the age of thirten years he severed the home ties and set forth for the United States, no other member of the family and no companion having accompanied him on the voyage. Upon landing in the port of New York City the lad failed to find the woman friend who was to have met him, and a business man noted his predicament and took him to a hotel. The weary boy went to bed, but about an hour later he arose and set forth to search for the missing friend. After riding on street cars in the metropolis from nine until half-past eleven o'clock in the morning he at last arrived at the home of the friend who had kindly agreed to help him in placing himself in his adopted land.

For two and one-half years he was employed in a trunk factory in Philadelphia and he then started for Clayton county, Iowa, where kinfolk of his mother resided. On arriving in the city of Chicago misadventure again became his portion, for he was put on the wrong train and landed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin instead of the desired destination in Clayton county. From the Wisconsin metropolis he came by freight train to McGregor, Clayton county, where he was refused further transportation, though his ticket designated Elkport as his destination. His worldly possession by this time had been reduced to his apparel, thirty-five cents in cash, a silver watch and a gold ring. Without providing himself with breakfast Mr. Reuschel, who was then 15 years of age, set forth on foot for the village of Guttenberg, where he arrived footsore and weary, but with undaunted courage. It is pleasing to record in this connection that he still retains in his possession the little gold ring which he wore on this journey.

On arriving at Guttenberg a kindly old hotel man, Henry Eppenes, provided him with a bountiful supply of food and sent him on to his destination at Elkport. At this latter place, which is now his home, he found employment in the harness shop of John Bals, a relative of his mother, and entered upon a practical apprenticeship to the harnessmaker's trade. After remaining with Mr. Bals for a period of seven and one-half years Mr Reuschel went to the city of Dubuque, where he remained twelve years in the employ of a large harness and saddlery concern. After three years of service he was made foreman of the shop and during the last three years he held the position of superintendent of the entire manufacturing department of the business.

In 1904 Mr. Reuschel returned to Elkport and purchased the shop and business of his former employer, Mr. Bals, and he has since conducted the enterprise most successfully, the shop building which he owns having been devoted to its present use for the long period of forty-five consecutive years and being one of the pioneer business establishments of Elkport. Mr Reuschel has expanded the scope of his business by acting as local agent for the Demo Cream Separator Company and also as agent for the Hartford Fire Insurance Company.

He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1890 and has since given a staunch support to the cause of the Republican party. That he has secure place in popular confidence and esteem is shown by the fact that he served two terms as mayor of Elkport, besides having given efficient administration also in the offices of the township clerk, township assessor and member of the school board, of which last mentioned body he is president at the time of this writing, in 1916. He was mayor of Elkport 1911-13. He is a zealous communicant of the German Lutheran church at Elkport and is serving as a member of its board of trustees. He is affiliated with the local organizations of Modern Woodmen of America and the Modern Brotherhood of America, in each of which he holds the office of clerk.

Mr. Reuschel on October 5, 1893, married Amelia Mueller, of Elkport and they have four children as follows: Myrtle, Herman, Amelia and Andrew Jr.

source: History of Clayton County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; pg. 348-350

-OCR scanned by S. Ferrall


Return to 1916 Biographies Index