Thrift and perseverance have been essential features in the career of Fritz Schoenfeld and the result is to be seen in a farm of nine hundred and seventy seven acres which he has accumulated by his remarkable business ability during the last twenty years.
He is one of the prominent landowners of the county and is also at the head of a large and promising family. Born in Germany, April 9, 1860, he is the son of P. H. and Anna K. (Arps) Schoenfeld, both of whom were natives of Germany, The mother died on June 15, 1906, but the father is still living in the old country and has reached the advanced age of eighty nine years. There were three children in their family: Heinrich and Caroline, both of whom are living in Germany; and Fritz, of this review.
Fritz Schoenfeld attended the public schools of his native land and continued in Germany until he reached the age of twenty-nine years. In 1889 he started out in quest of fortune, crossing the ocean to the United States and selecting Crawford county, Iowa, as his field of operation. At that time he was not greatly blessed with this world's goods but he possessed a stout heart and two strong arms, which are often more valuable to their owner than a large allotment of money. He worked for two years by the month and was then married and began farming on his own account in Hanover township.
After seven years. having acquired sufficient capital, he removed to Soldier township and bought six hundred and sixty-six acres on sections 8, 16 and 17, establishing his residence on section 8. He prospered greatly and has increased his landed possessions until he is one of the large landowners of his part of the county. He not only cultivates the soil on an extensive scale but he is a large feeder of stock. using his entire crops to good advantage in this way. Everything about his place indicates careful management and liberal financial returns.
On the 24th of September, 1890, Mr. Schoenfeld was married to Mrs. Cecelia Prokosch, who was born in Germany in 1859 and is a daughter of Michael and Therese (Pfister) Geimer, both of whom are now deceased, the father passing away in 1885 and the mother in 1910. They spent their entire lives in the old country. There were eight children in their family: Agatha, now living in Wisconsin; Anna, of Germany; Stephen, who died in Germany; Cecelia, now Mrs. Fritz Schoenfeld; Sebastian, of Oregon; Paulina and Constantine, both of Germany; and Bernhard, who is also deceased.
Mrs. Schoenfeld has been three times married. Her first husband was George Stroback, to whom she was married April 14, 1884. He died two years later, leaving two children, Mary and George, both of whom are deceased. She was married in November, 1887, to Joseph Prokosch, who died in 1889, and there were two children born of this union: Joseph, who is living at home; and Henry, deceased.
Ten children have come to brighten the home of Mr. and Mrs. Schoenfeld, six of whom are now living, namely: Bertha, who was born July 6, 1894; Emma, born January 24, 1896; Alma, born December 25, 1897; Herbert, born March 10, 1899; Arthur, born April 16, 1901; and Fritz, born June 3, 1905.
Mr. Schoenfeld and his family are members of the German Lutheran church. He has exemplified in a. striking degree the possibilities that are to be found in the productive soil of Crawford county provided the latent energies are awakened by one who knows how to direct them to the best advantage. That he thoroughly understands his vocation as a farmer is readily acknowledged and in business foresight he has few superiors in the county. In earlier years he practiced economy and unwearied industry but if he desires to do so he can now relax his efforts as he is abundantly blessed financially. On account of his honorable dealings and progressive spirit he is esteemed as a most worthy and useful citizen.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.