A. F. Wilken
From the raw prairie A. F. Wilken has developed his farm in West Side township until it is one of the most valuable properties of the size to be found in this section of the county. He has also made many improvements by the erection of buildings and fences and the planting of trees. By the application of modern methods of farming and stock-raising he has been enabled to secure a handsome annual revenue.
He was born in Holstein, Germany, March 29, 1852, a son of A. and Mary Wilken. The parents were both natives of Germany and spent their entire lives in the old country. There were. four children in the family, Henry, Johannas and Caroline, all of whom are living in Germany; and A. F., the subject of this review. Henry, the eldest son, is a highly educated man and occupies a position as justice of the peace and county supervisor.
A. F. Wilken attended the public schools and received a good preliminary education, which he has greatly widened by reading and observation. He continued in his native land until he reached the age of twenty-seven years and then, having decided to seek larger opportunities, which he believed were to be found in the new world, he crossed the ocean to America, selecting Crawford county as his home. He devoted his attention closely to agriculture and stockraising and now owns a farm of fout hundred and forty-seven acres on section 3, West Side township. He planted an orchard, set out shade trees and made a highly attractive place, which is well worth the labor he has bestowed upon it. He specializes in raising and feeding cattle and hogs, feeding over two hundred head of cattle and three hundred head of hogs yearly, and in his business has met with the most gratifying success.
Mr. Wilken was married in Germany in 1879 to Miss Louise Eves and seven children were born to them: Hans, of Crawford county; Otto, who lives in West Side township; Agnes, the wife of Alfred Casperson, of Crawford county; Elsie, at home, who is a college graduate and is now engaged in teaching school; Henry, also at home; Emma, now attending college at Storm Lake; and Frank. who received a high-school education and is now at home.
Mr. Wilken devotes his attention mainly to his business, which is in a highly flourishing condition, but as a public-spirited citizen he attends to his duties at the polls and casts his ballot for the republican party, which in his opinion can be safely trusted to guide the republic through all the dangers which it may encounter. He is a good friend of education, as is shown by the excellent advantages possessed by his children, and a firm believer in the authority and inspiration of the Bible, he and his wife being earnest members of the Lutheran church.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.