Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


John F. Pfarr

The mercantile business offers an inviting field for a young man of energy and ability especially if he has a gentlemanly address and is actuated by a laudable ambition to win his way to the front by honorable methods. Many of the best known merchants have been attracted from agricultural pursuits and one of this number is John F. Pfarr now senior member of the firm of Pfarr, Gebert & Hunt, of Denison.

He is a native of Pomeroy, Ohio, born December 12, 1866, and is a son of Philip and Elizabeth (Hoepfner) Pfarr. The father was a native of Germany and was educated in that country and reared as a farmer. At the age of twenty-eight he came to America and settled in Meigs county, Ohio, now living on a farm near Pomeroy, in that county. His wife was born on the place where they reside. They are both members of the German Protestant church. Our subject's paternal grandfather was also a farmer.

He died in Germany when a young man and his widow subsequently married his brother, John George Pfarr, by whom she had two children, Peter and George. She came to America and took up her home in Meigs county, Ohio, where she continued to reside during the remainder of her life. There were three children by the first marriage: Philip, Elizabeth and Catharine.

The maternal grandfather of our subject was Peter Hoepfner, who came from Germany and was a pioneer of Meigs county, Ohio. His wife was Catharine Brown and they had one child, Elizabeth.

Seven children were born to Philip and Elizabeth Pfarr, namely: Jacob, of Cedar county, Iowa; Mary, now the wife of Paul Stahl, of Okanogan county, Washington; Kate, now Mrs. W. W. Stobart, of Meigs county, Ohio; Lucy, the wife of George Gaul, of Cedar county, Iowa; John F., the subject of this review; Philip L., also of Okanogan county, Washington; and Minnie, the wife of Henry Kautz of Meigs county, Ohio.

John F. Pfarr was reared on his father's farm in Ohio and as a boy attended the district schools, later becoming a student in Carleton College at Syracuse, Ohio. After leaving college he worked on a farm for several years, but having made up his mind that the west offered more favorable inducements than he could hope to find in his native state, he came to Cedar county, Iowa, in 1888. His first employment in this state was as a farm laborer but later he became a clerk in a store at Tipton. In 1890 he arrived in Denison and for three years acted as clerk for the firm of J. P. Miller & Company. In 1893 he became associated with J. J. Wieland and Hugo Gebert in the general mercantile business. Later Mr. Wieland sold his interest to N. L. Hunt and the firm has since borne the title of Pfarr, Gebert & Hunt. They have a large general store and carry a well selected stock which meets the demands of an extensive and growing patronage.

On the 10th of October, 1898, Mr. Pfarr was united in marriage to Miss Jessie H. Shattuck, who was born at Francestown, New Hampshire, a daughter of John L. and Sarah (Hartney) Shattuck. She came west about 1896. Her father died in the east in 1903 at the age of sixty-eight years, but her mother is still living at home. There were four children in the family in which Mrs. Pfarr was reared, the others being Anna Belle, John Alfred and Berenice. Two children came to bless the union of Mr. and Mrs. Pfarr, Dorothy and Sarah Elizabeth.

Since casting his first presidential vote Mr. Pfarr has been in sympathy with the republican party and has given to its platforms and candidates his earnest support. At all times he has cooperated in movements aiming to promote the public good and his influence may always be counted upon in forwarding any project that will make Denison a more beautiful city or a more inviting place for business. Socially he is prominent in the community, and fraternally he holds membership in Sylvan Lodge, No. 507, A. F. & A. M.

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