John Tebbe, who well deserves the title of a self-made man, his present success in the agricultural world coming to him as the result entirely of his own well directed efforts, is one of those sturdy citizens who have come from the fatherland and in the new world have found opportunities for advancement in business impossible in the old world.
Born in Germany, in the Rhine province, on the 16th of March, 1850, he is a son of Albert and Henrietta (Tebbe) Tebbe, both natives of the fatherland, the former's birth occurring in the same place as that of the son. That district remained the home of the family until 1875, when Albert Tebbe, with his wife and seven children, came to the United States, locating in Clinton county, Iowa, near Big Rock. He had been a farmer in his native country and after coming to Iowa resumed that occupation, being thus engaged in Clinton county until his death, which occurred on the 12th of May, 1894. He had survived his wife for only a few years, her death occurring July 30, 1890.
Their family of seven children included the following: Henry, a farmer of Hanover township; John, of this review; Elizabeth, the wife of George Bush, a farmer of Lost Nation, Iowa; Anna, who married Henry Bush, a farmer of Jackson county, Iowa; Minnie, the wife of William Kuhn, of Clinton county; Matilda, who wedded August Kuehl, also of Clinton county; and Christina, the wife of Leonard Zogg, who follows farming in Genoa, Wisconsin.
In the common schools of Germany John Tebbe acquired a good education and he remained with his parents during the period of his boyhood and youth. He was a young man of twenty-five years when, in 1875, he came with the family to the United States and for a year after his arrival here was employed as a farm hand in Clinton county. At the end of that time he rented a farm, which he operated until coming to Crawford county in 1882, when he purchased a farm, becoming the owner of eighty acres of land in Hanover township. Later, however, he sold that property and acquired another tract in the same township, consisting of one hundred and sixty acres. To the improvement of that property he devoted his entire time and attention, bringing it under a good state of cultivation, and it remained his place of residence for eighteen years.
He then purchased an eighty acre tract near Kenwood, in Paradise township, but never lived upon that place, coming to his present home about three years ago. Altogether his possessions aggregate three hundred and twenty acres, all located in Paradise township and all in excellent condition. The home place is equipped with good buildings and all modem conveniences for facilitating farm labor, and besides cultivating the cereals best adapted to soil and climate he engages in stock-raising to a considerable extent. His stock is of an excellent grade and therefore commands ready sale and good prices on the market. He has adopted practical, progressive methods in the management of his affairs, gives close application to and is careful in the supervision of his business interests, and his efforts therefore are effective forces in the acquirement of substantial results.
It was in the year 1881 that Mr. Tebbe was united in marriage to Miss Johanna Tebbe, and unto them have been born seven children, namely: Anna, deceased; Emma, the wife of Jurgen Detlefsen; Albert, Christina, Herman, all at home; Elizabeth, deceased; and George, at home.
The parents are members of the Lutheran church, in the work of which they take a helpful interest, and in politics Mr. Tebbe gives his support to the republican party. He is not, however, an active worker in party ranks, preferring that his duties of citizenship shall be performed in a private capacity, and yet he has ever taken a deep interest in all matters pertaining to the welfare of the communities in which he has resided and he is numbered among Iowa's loyal adopted sons. The sturdy qualities in his nature, which are the birthright of the Teutonic race, have been elements in the acquirement of a gratifying success, while the personal elements in his character-clean manhood and honest principles-speak for desirable and valuable citizenship.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.