Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


Henry N. Jahn

A native of Iowa, Henry N. Jahn has made his home in Crawford county for more than forty years, becoming actively identified with various interests here. He is now at the head of a flourishing implement business at Manilla. He comes of sturdy Teutonic ancestry and was born four miles from Davenport, in Scott county, Iowa, November 14, 1860, a son of Claus and Louisa (Kortum) Jahn, both of whom were natives of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.

The father, who learned the miller's trade, came to America in 1853, and arrived at the end of his journey, near Davenport, with one dollar and a half in his pocket. He began his career in the new world as a farm laborer and applied himself with such diligence that in 1857 he was prepared to engage in farming on his own account. He was one of the pioneers of Hayes township, Crawford county, and became one of the substantial men of his section. He now lives in Manilla and is the owner of four hundred acres of good land in this county. His wife departed this life in 1890 at the age of fifty-four years, Mr. Jahn having now arrived at the age of seventy-seven. He held various township offices while living upon his farm but never devoted much attention to politics, as his interests were concentrated upon his business. He holds membership in the Lutheran church and is one of its earnest supporters.

Claus Jahn, the paternal grandfather of our subject, had five children: Claus, Bertha, Catharine, Henry and Anna. The maternal grandfather, M. Kortum, died near Davenport in middle life leaving a widow and the following children: Christian, William, Joachim, Henry, Louisa and Elise.

There were six children in the family of Claus and Louisa Jahn, four of whom are now living: Henry N., Anna E., William L. and Emile.

Henry N. Jahn came to Crawford county with his parents at the age of nine years and was reared on his father's farm, receiving his early education in the district schools. He continued at home until twenty-seven years of age and then for five years farmed a part of his father's land. In 1893 he removed to Manilla and the following year began buying and shipping hogs with his brother, William L., the two continuing together in business for ten years. In 1895 they built a steam elevator at Manilla and were for eight years actively engaged in the grain business. They also owned a half interest in the Isaac Hurd Lumber Company from 1901 to 1903. They then bought three hundred acres of land in Miner county, South Dakota, but Mr. Jahn of this review sold his interest to his brother in 1908. In 1904 he formed a partnership in the implement business with L. L. Hockett, and they continued together until February, 1908, when the partnership was dissolved. The business has since been carried forward by Mr. Jahn and is one of the prosperous enterprises of the town.

On the 3d of January, 1900, Mr. Jahn was united in marriage to Miss May E. Roderick, who was born in Milledgeville, Whiteside county, Illinois, a daughter of William and Mary E. (Bidlack) Roderick, the former of whom was born in Maryland and the latter in Pennsylvania. They removed to Illinois, where they lived for a number of years, settling in Crawford county, Iowa, in 1882. The father died in 1905 and the mother now lives in Manilla. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Jahn, Wilbur R. and Ruth E.

Religiously Mr. and Mrs. Jahn are both identified with the Presbyterian church. Politically he gives his support to the republican party, being an earnest advocate of the progressive element of that organization. He has shown himself to be a man of excellent business capacity and capable management, and his efforts have been crowned with a gratifying measure of success. He early learned that diligence and close application are highly important factors in the accomplishment of any worthy object and it is along those lines that he has achieved his prosperity.

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.