IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Dr. John A. Walter

Dr. John A. Walter, easily the most prominent dentist in Clayton county, and now practicing in McGregor, was born January 9th, 1861, in McGregor, and is the son of Peter and Mary (Rice) Walter. Peter was born in Huckenheim near Heidelburg, Germany, and came to America with his parents at the age of seven years, settling at Sandusky, Ohio. In the public schools of that town he completed the prescribed course, after which he took a position as painter and decorator, which he held for some time. Learning of the opportunities to be found in the state of Iowa, he came to Dubuque in 1856, where he resided for one year, after which he removed to McGregor, arriving at this point in 1857. He entered the painting and decorating business in connection with his brother, and later entered the furniture business, which they conducted up to the time of his death. November 20th, 1906, Peter Walter was the organizer and teacher of the famous Walter Family Band, which attained worldwide reputation. The especial feature was that Mr. Walter taught each of his children and had no outside assistance in bringing the band to its highest efficiency. They toured the country, especially the Mississippi valley, and were everywhere accorded a splendid reception. It is worthy of note that this was the first family band to appear before the American public and their repertoire was large and varied. In 1855 occurred the marriage of Peter Walter and Mary Rice also a descendant of a pioneer German family residing in Sandusky, Ohio, and they were blessed with seven children, Odilda, Matilda, John A., Emma, Anna, William and Hannah. John A. had his preliminary education in the public school of McGregor and entered high school and after graduation there he commenced the study of dentistry under Dr. A. O. Kent in McGregor, with whom he remained three years. On completion of his course he opened a dental office in McGregor, where he has been practicing his profession for the past 36 years. It is worthy of note in these days of western colleges that when Mr. Walter studied his profession that there were no dental colleges west of Ohio and the young dentists of the Middle West studied under the practicing dentists of the days. On November 18th, 1885, occurred the marriage of Dr. Walter and Odilda Bergman, one of the well-known Bergman family of McGregor, special mention of whom is made in another part of this volume. Six children have been born to them: Marguerite, Marie, Frederick, Odilda, Helen and William. John A. Walter has been prominently identified with the civic progress of McGregor and served the City as mayor from 1897 to 1911, inclusive, and was president of the League of Iowa Municipalities in 1903. He is a member of the Democratic party and was alternate to the Democratic convention at St. Louis in 1904, which nominated Judge Alton B. Parker for president. Dr. Walter is a member of Bezer Lodge, No. 135,
A. F. and A. M., Dubuque Lodge, No. 297, of B. P. O. Elks; Itasca Lodge, No. 111, McGregor Encampment, and Canton McGregor, No.8, 1. O. O. F., and also a member of M. W. A., W. O. W., M. B. A., B. A. Y., and the Continentals.

source: History of Clayton County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; pg. 422-423
-scanned & submitted by S. Ferrall


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