Since the age of twenty-six years John Eck has applied himself to agriculture in Crawford county and his efforts have not been in vain as he is well established in his business, and a farm of one hundred and sixty acres pays tribute to his industry.
He is a native of Germany, born January 10, 1856, and is a son of John and Lena (Moeller) Eck, both of whom were born in Germany. The father died in 1869, when the subject of this review was thirteen years of age, and the mother was called away in 1881. In their family were seven children: Katrina, deceased; Matilda, now living in Germany; Lena, also in Germany; Wilhelmina, deceased; John, of this review; Theodore, who lives in Nebraska; and Wiebke, living in Germany.
John Eck gained his education in the public schools of the old country and remained at home until twenty-six years of age. Having decided, however, that the new world offered superior advantages, he crossed the ocean to the United States and came to Crawford county, working by the month for three years as an introduction to his experience as a farmer in Iowa. Having thus obtained a practical knowledge of the work for which he showed an adaptability, he rented land for three years and at the end of that time he purchased eighty acres in Charter Oak township. He cultivated his farm for seven years, and, having decided to locate in another part of the township, he sold his land and bought one hundred and sixty acres on section 30 and 31, where he still lives. He raises the various grains best adapted to the climate and soil, and his livestock interests contribute liberally to his income.
In 1885 Mr. Eck was united in marriage to Miss Minnie Hargens, who was born in Germany, November 5, 1866. She emigrated to America as a child with her mother, the father having died leaving four children: Gertrude and John, both of South Dakota; Minnie, now Mrs. John Eck; and Celia, deceased.
Five children came to brighten the home of Mr. and Mrs. Eck: John, who was born January 31, 1886, and is still living at home; Lena, who was born April 1, 1889, the wife of Herman Schneekloth, now conducting the home farm for Mr. Eck; Ferdinand, born March 28, 1891; William, who died in infancy; and Henry, who died at the age of three months. The mother of these children died in 1895, at the age of twenty-nine years. She was a woman of many attractive qualities, an invaluable assistant to her husband and to her children a true and loving parent.
Mr. Eck and his family are members of the German Lutheran church and take a deep personal interest in its welfare. Ever since becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States he has supported the democratic party, believing that its principles are more conducive to good government than those of any other party. He has been prominent in local affairs and for four years past has served as township trustee and for eight years as a member of the school board. He is a true friend of education and is active, wide-awake and efficient in all his undertakings, fully deserving the respect in which he is held by those who know him.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.