Claus Bielenberg, who has lived retired in Schleswig for the past nine years, followed farming throughout his active business career and accumulated eleven hundred and ten acres of valuable land, all of which is in Crawford county with the exception of a quarter section which lies in Ida county.
His birth occurred in Holstein, Germany, on the 20th of March, 1840, his parents being Hans and Dora (Rusch) Bielenberg, both of whom are deceased. Their children were nine in number, namely: Amelia, the wife of Fred Jaade, of Germany; Claus, of this review; Margaret, the wife of J. Fredricks, of Brooklyn, New York; John, Jacob and Peter, all of whom have passed away; Herman, who when last heard from was in California; Henry, whose demise occurred in New York; Rheina, who is living in Germany.
Claus Bielenberg remained in his native land until he had attained his majority and in 1861 crossed the Atlantic to the United States, wishing to test the truth of the many favorable reports which he had heard concerning the opportunities to be enjoyed in the new world. Making his way to Davenport, Iowa, he first worked as a farm hand for three years and then cultivated rented land for eight years. On the expiration of that period, having accumulated sufficient capital, he purchased a tract of one hundred and sixty acres in Crawford county.
As his financial resources increased, owing to his untiring industry and capable management, he added to his holdings from time to time until they now embrace eleven hundred and ten acres, making him one of the extensive landowners of this part of the state. All of his property lies in Crawford county with the exception of one hundred and sixty acres in Ida county. In 1902 he put aside the active work of the fields and purchased a home at Schleswig, where he has since enjoyed well earned ease. He has added to and remodeled his residence from time to time until it is now very commodious and beautiful.
On the 1st of March, 1864, Mr. Bielenberg was joined in wedlock to Miss Margaret Stubbe, a daughter of John and Margaret (Plaht) Stubbe, who had five children, namely: Martin, who is deceased; Mrs, Bielenberg; Sophie, the wife of Claus Warner, of Davenport, Iowa; Lena, the wife of Peter Hahmann, of Schleswig, Iowa; and John, who has also passed away.
Mr. and Mrs. Bielenberg are the parents of eight children, as follows: Henry and Fred, who are farming near Schleswig, Iowa; Rosa, the wife of Fred Fredrickson, also living near Schleswig; Dora, the wife of Fred Rienking, near Schleswig; Martha, the wife of Carl Wellendoph, of Ida county; Adolph and Claudius, living near Schleswig, Iowa; and Julius, who makes his home in Nebraska.
Since becoming a naturalized American citizen Mr. Bielenberg has supported the democracy, believing firmly in the principles of that party. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Lutheran church. The hope that led him to leave his native land and seek a home in America has been more than realized. He found the opportunities he sought and through their wise utilization has won a place among the most prosperous and respected citizens of his community.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.