Marcus Wichmann, a successful business man of Charter Oak, whose prosperity is the direct result of his efforts, first along agricultural lines and later as the proprietor of a saloon in this city, is one of Germany's native sons, his birth there occurring on the 27th of September, 1865.
His parents, Henry and Charlotte (Schmidt) Wichmann, were also born in the fatherland and there spent their entire lives, the mother passing away in 1870 and the father surviving until 1908. Of their family of two children the elder, Christiana, still makes her home in the old country and is the wife of Frederick Westfall.
Marcus Wichmann, the younger member of the family, acquired his education in the public schools of Germany and he remained a resident of his native land until 1887, when, actuated by a desire to test the validity of the reports which he heard concerning the opportunities offered in the United States, he determined to seek his fortune in the new world, amid new scenes and environment.
Consequently he crossed the Atlantic and upon landing in this country made his way to Chicago, Illinois, where for five years he successfully conducted a milk business. At the expiration of that period he came to Iowa, locating in Crawford county, and the succeeding five years were devoted to the operation of a rented farm. He then purchased two hundred and forty acres of land in Monona county, Iowa, in the cultivation of which he was engaged for four years, when he sold that farm and came to Charter Oak, where he invested in property and has since conducted a saloon.
In all of his business transactions he has proven unusually successful and something of the prosperity which has come to him is indicated by the fact that in addition to a fine residence here he also owns other valuable property, including four lots in Charter Oak and three business buildings. Possessing in large degree the sturdy German characteristics of thrift, determination and perseverance, he has also exemplified in his business career the spirit of enterprise which has constituted the foundation of America's commercial greatness, and to this strong combination is due the gratifying success which is today his.
In early manhood Mr. Wichmann was united in marriage to Miss Magdalena Fraasa, who was born on the 18th of August, 1861, in Germany, where she was reared and educated in the public schools. Her parents were Max and Marie (Hechen) Fraasa, who were also natives of the fatherland, in which country they spent their entire lives. Of their three children Mrs. Wichmann is the second in order of birth, the others being: Katrina, who married Claus Bratencheon and yet resides in Germany; and Christ, who passed away in that country.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Wichmann have been born six children, as follows: Henry, a farmer of Monona county, Iowa, who was born on the 19th of July, 1887, and is now married; George, born March 17, 1889; William, born October 24, 1891; Fred, born November 11, 1893; Dora, born November 10, 1898; and Herman, born July 12, 1900. This family circle remains unbroken by the hand of death and with the exception of the eldest son all of the children reside with their parents.
Mr. and Mrs. Wichmann are members of the German Lutheran church, to which the children also belong. Mr. Wichmann has never taken an active part in politics, preferring to concentrate his energies upon his business affairs. He has never had occasion to regret his determination to come to the new world, for here where opportunity is ever open to the ambitious and determined he found the advantages which he sought and in their utilization has won success.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.