John H. Ketelsen
Of worthy Teutonic parentage and early imbued with true ideas as to the importance of industry, John H. Ketelsen, of Charter Oak township, was given a fair start in life and although he is a young man he has become well established as a farmer, his place giving evidence of thorough cultivation and generous returns for the time and labor expended upon it.
He was born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, in June, 1884, a son of Peter and Anna (Wamser) Ketelsen, both of whom were natives of Schleswig-Holstein. In 1891 the family emigrated to America, sailing from Hamburg and landing in New York city. They came west to Clinton county, Iowa, and the father worked on a farm for one year, after which he took up his residence in Clinton, where he was employed in sawmills until about ten years ago. In 1901 he came to Crawford county and rented a farm near Buck Grove, in Washington township, five years later moving to Charter Oak township, where he and his wife are now living. He has followed farming most of his life, having worked at that occupation in Germany. In politics he adheres to the democratic party and religiously he and his wife are members of the German Lutheran church. They are the parents of seven children, namely: Margaret, now the wife of Hans Dirks, of Jackson county, Iowa; John H., of this review; Dora, now Mrs. Fred Kuhlmann, a record of whom appears elsewhere in this work; and Mary, Peter, Clara and Albert, all of whom are at home.
John H. Ketelsen came to Iowa with his parents at the age of seven and to Crawford county when he was seventeen. He received his education in the common schools and continued with his parents, assisting in the support of the family, until he was twenty-four years of age. He then began farming on his own account in Washington township, where he rented land for three years. after which he removed to section 3, Charter Oak township, and located upon one hundred and twenty acres. The farm is provided with many improvements, including a good house, barn and outbuildings, and a thorough system of drainage. His success as a farmer is to be attributed to his untiring industry and good management.
On the 3d of April, 1907, Mr. Ketelsen was united in marriage to Miss Tina Schroeder, a native of Washington township and a daughter of Charles and Margaret (Ohl) Schroeder, both of whom were natives of Germany. The father is deceased but the mother is now living in Buck Grove. They had five children, four of whom are now living: Albert, who. is engaged in farming near Buck Grove; Fred, who also lives near Buck Grove; Tina, now Mrs. John H. Ketelsen; and William, who is engaged in farming in Washington township.
One child, Laura, has come to bless the union of Mr. and Mrs. Ketelsen. Mr. Ketelsen and his wife are earnest members of the German Lutheran church, in which they were both reared, and they are interested not only in the prosperity of the church but also in promoting the welfare of the entire community. Their cheerful home is the center of genial and generous hospitality. Mr. Ketelsen ever since he cast his first ballot has given his support to the democratic party, believing that its principles are in accord with the best interests of the country. Diligent and enterprising in the calling to which he devotes himself with untiring zeal, he has attained a fair degree of success and is numbered among the substantial citizens of Crawford county.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.