IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Fred C. Wilke

Fred C. Wilke is another of the native sons of Clayton county who has achieved definite success in connection with agricultural operations, and he may well consider himself fortunate in his choice and stage of vocation, for he is the owner of one of the well improved and valuable farms of the county, is established in peace and. plenty and finds that in all respects his "lines are cast in pleasant places," for the further reinforcement is given him of having the confidence and good will of the people of the county which has represented his home from the time of his birth and to which he pays the full tribute of loyalty and appreciation.

Mr. Wilke was born in the village of Read, a place familiarly known as Clayton Center for many years, and the date of his nativity was October 7, 1879. He is a son of Fred W. and Dorothy (Lembke) Wilke, who were born and reared in Germany and who established their home in Clayton county soon after their immigration to America, about the year 1860. In his native land the father had learned the tailor trade and after taking up his residence at Clayton Center he there worked diligently at his trade for a period of fifteen years. He then engaged in the general merchandise business at that place and with this line of enterprise he was identified until advanced years and well earned independence rendered consistent his retirement from active business. He was about 65 years of age at the time of his death and his widow still maintains her home at Clayton Center, a lifelong and zealous communicant of the Lutheran church, as was also her husband.

Of the twelve children seven still survive the honored father. Fred C. Wilke is indebted to the public schools of Clayton Center for the educational training which he received in his youth and he remained at the parental home until he had attained to the age of twenty-two years, when he took unto himself a wife and signalized this assumption of connubial dignities and responsibilities by initiating an independent career as a farmer. For twelve years he conducted his operations on a rented farm, and in 1914 he purchased his present farm, which comprises one hundred and seventy-six acres and is situated in Section 6, Read township. The place has excellent buildings and other permanent improvements, is maintained under a high state of well ordered cultivation and is devoted to diversified agriculture and the raising of good grades of live stock. Mr. Wilke is aligned as a supporter of the cause of the Democratic party and his influence in community affairs, as well as his personal popularity, is indicated by the fact that in 1916 he is the vigorous and progressive incumbent of the office of township trustee. Both he and his wife are communicants of the Lutheran church at Clayton Center; St. Olaf, Iowa, R. R. 2, is their postoffice address. He is a stockholder in the Farmer's Creamery Company at St. Olaf, and is a member of the St. Olaf Live Stock Company.

In the year 1900 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Wilke to Miss Emilie Engelhardt, who has been a resident of Clayton county from the time of her birth and who is one of the ten surviving children of Rudolph and Maria Engelhardt, her parents having been born and reared in Germany and having established their home in Clayton county about 1865, soon after their immigration to the United States. Here the father followed agricultural pursuits until his death and here his widow still resides.

Mr. and Mrs. Wilke have four children: Edna M., Amanda, Lorenz F. and Helen.

source: History of Clayton County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; page 445-446
-transcribed by Mary Cameron


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