IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Louis F. Zahrndt

Louis F. Zahrndt is a native son of Germany; coming to America when but a child, undergoing with his parents and their family all the hardships of pioneering, benefiting by every opportunity offered by the new land, working indefatigably, exercising thrift and good business judgment, building for himself a reputation for thoroughgoing integrity and obtaining for himself a competency and high standing in the business life of his community; this is in brief the life story of Louis F. Zahrndt.

He was born in Germany, April 18, 1847, the son of John D. and Wilhelmina (Clapman) Zahrndt. In 1853, when Louis was but six years of age, the parents decided to leave the land of their birth and with their little family made their way across the vast spaces of the Atlantic to build a home for themselves in free America. The journey to Iowa which state they had decided to make their home, was saddened by the death of Ida, their youngest child. They immediately settled upon a farm and it may well be believed that there were no idle hands in the little household, and that all then learned the lessons of frugality and industry which served them so well in later life. The father not only pursued the clearing and cultivation of his farm, but during the winter months followed his trade as a cooper. It is well to know that these German pioneers lived to see their family grown to respected and self-supporting maturity, and to enjoy, themselves, the fruits of their early labors. Both died in this their adopted country in the enjoyment of the esteem and affection of all who knew them. The children of John D., and Wilhelmina Zahrndt were five, Herman and Lena who died in infancy; Louisa, now the widow of Henry Lange and living in Cox Creek township; Louis, the subject of this sketch and Ida, who died during the journey to America.

Louis as a lad and youth enjoyed the privileges of the public school system and with willing hands assisted his father in the work on the farm. It was while he was with his father on the old homestead farm that he was married, December 5, 1869, to Miss Augusta Meyer also a native of Germany. By hard work and careful economy the young man accumulated sufficient capital to purchase property in the village of Mederville and there for eight years he engaged in the hotel business. He then sold his Mederville property and returned to agricultural pursuits. By this time his reputation for business ability and strict integrity had become recognized by all and he was appointed to the important position of superintendent of the County Asylum for the Insane, located at Elkader. This position which requires the qualifications of good management, kindliness, great patience and force of character was filled by Mr. Zahrndt most acceptably for a period of five years. Following this he was for four years a successful salesman and representative of the well known McCormick line of agricultural implements. Resigning this position he next engaged in the hotel business at Elkader and for eight years conducted a popular hostelry in the county seat town. Later he disposed of this business and purchased the Elkader Laundry which he is now conducting, having installed modern machinery and appliances and giving his patrons excellent satisfaction.

Mr. Zahrndt has been honored by his fellow citizens with election to a number of township offices, he is an esteemed member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and his church relations are with the Lutheran church. To Mr. and Mrs. Zahrndt five children were born all of whom are living and in the enjoyment of prosperity and the esteem of their community. The children of this worthy couple are Louis D., a prosperous farmer living in the vicinity of Edgewood; Ida, who resides with her parents at Elkader; Fred, who is engaged in farming the old family homestead and Martha, living in Elkader.

source: History of Clayton County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; pg. 454-455

-OCR scanned by S. Ferrall


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