The strong characteristics of industry and steadfastness of purpose which are predominant in the Teutonic race are fully demonstrated by the career of Jurgen Schroeder, who, seeking broader fields of endeavor in a foreign country, has attained that measure of success that comes to all who work for it.
A son of Jurgen and Gertrude (Bliesman) Schroeder, he was born May 26, 1851, at Fehmarn Island, Puttgarten, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, the fourth in a family of four children born to this couple, the other surviving child being Dorothea, who is the wife of Charles Tamn and resides in Germany. Those deceased are Mathias and Nichols.
On July 7, 1868, at the age of seventeen years, Jurgen Schroeder emigrated to the United States and upon arriving in this country began working on a farm near Davenport, Iowa, where he remained for two years. He then went to Tama county, this state. In 1873 he rented one hundred and sixty acres in Tama county, which he farmed until 1877, when, on January 20 of that year, he removed to his brother's farm near Denison, where he continued for the ensuing six years, and then purchased eighty acres of land one mile west of Schleswig.
Here he inaugurated his first business venture by opening a small store on the farm, which he conducted until the advent of the railroad into Schleswig, in 1899, when he moved, not only his business, but his entire building, consisting of the store, a blacksmith shop and a dance hall, to the town and there continued his mercantile pursuits on a more extensive scale. He is now engaged in general merchandising and owns the largest establishment of its kind in Crawford county outside of Denison. From his initial venture, which began in a room ten by twelve feet in Hohenzollem, he has developed and expanded his business enterprises until at the present time it comprises a drygoods department twenty-five by one hundred feet and a grocery department twenty-four by sixty-four feet, with an addition in the rear twenty by twentyfour feet, which is utilized as a store room. The building is heated by steam, lighted by gas and has all the up-to-date improvements that are necessary for the conduct of a modem store.
Mr. Schroeder has been married three times, his first wife having been Miss Wilhelmine Carstens, of Davenport, Iowa, by whom he had four children, namely: Matilda, who married H. J. Seymour, of Soldier, Iowa; W. H., who resides in Schleswig; Maggie, who is the wife of Herman Jahle and lives near Schleswig; and Herman, who makes his home in Washington.
The mother of these children died December 13, 1873, and subsequently Mr. Schroeder was married in Hohenzollern, Iowa, to Miss Johanna Lorensen, by whom he had four children, as follows: Olga, Walter and Freda, who are at home, and Eddie, who is attending school in Des Moines.
Mrs. Johanna Schroeder having died, Mr. Schroeder was married August 8, 1900, to Mrs. Tena Frahm, of Denison, Iowa, and they have one son, Raymond.
Mr. Schroeder has always cast his vote for the republican party and takes a deep interest in the welfare of his community. He served as postmaster at Schleswig for four years and held the same position at Hohenzollern for eight years. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Odd Fellows and the German Brotherhood in Denison, while religiously he is a member of the Evangelical church. In the country of his adoption he has ever maintained a reputation for integrity and honest dealings in all his business enterprises and richly merits the confidence and high esteem accorded him by his fellow citizens.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.