One of the self-made men of Denison township, Crawford county, is Mathias Frey, a well known and prosperous farmer of that locality. His parents, both of whom were natives of France, were Mathias and Mary (Oberlin) Frey. The mother died there in 1874, and the father's death occurred in 1880. Politically he favoured a republican form of government for his country. To this couple five children were born, as follows: Mary, deceased; Mathias; Jacob, at present a farmer in France, who was a soldier in the Franco-Prussian war of 1871; Salome, residing in France; Lena, deceased.
The subject of this sketch was born March 11, 1846, in Epesheim, which at that time belonged to France, but after the war was acquired by Germany. The early education of Mr. Frey was obtained in the public schools, where, besides his own language, he was taught German. At the age of fourteen he entered the tailor shop of his father in order to learn the trade and remained there two years. He then worked on a farm for four years, at the expiration of which time he decided to emigrate to the United States.
He first located in Chicago and worked in that city and vicinity for eight years. He then married and removed to Lake county, Illinois, three years later coming to Crawford county, Iowa, where for two years he worked on a farm. He then rented land in Washington township and one year later removed to Denison township. Sixteen years ago he bought the farm he now resides on, consisting of one hundred acres. in the latter township, having since then greatly improved the property, and he is now engaged in general farming and stock-raising.
In 1874 Mr. Frey was united in marriage to Miss Kerren Jensen, who is of Danish extraction. By this union there are eight children, as follows: Mary, the wife of H. Stahl, of Bucks Grove, Iowa; Sarah, the wife of Julis Mahler, who follows the carpenter's trade in Denison; Henry, deceased; Emma, who married Bert Hester, of Washington township; Lydia, the wife of Carl Clausen, a farmer residing in Spinks county, South Dakota; Rose, deceased; George and John, who are residing at home.
Mr. Frey is politically a stanch republican and has served his township as school director. In his religion he is a member of the Evangelical church.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.