As a young man seeking to establish a home where conditions might be more favorable than in the old world, Matthias Leitzen came to Iowa and for twenty-eight years has been a resident of Crawford county. His ambition has been largely realized and today he is the owner of a productive farm which under his care has become one of the attractive and valuable properties of Willow township. The success he has attained is the result of his perseverance and good management.
He was born in Germany, December 26, 1859, a son of John and Mary (Smith) Leitzen, both of whom were natives of the old country. The father came to the United States in 1883 and lived for two years near Galena, Illinois, when he died. The mother died in Germany. There were seven children in the family: John, now living in Jo Daviess county, Illinois; Mrs. Gertrude Schones, of Red River Valley, Minnesota; Mrs. Maggie Hennin, also of Red River Valley; Mrs. Julia Saskin, who lives near Charter Oak; Kate, of Canada; Matthias, of this review; and Mrs. Anna Thurman, of Norman, California.
Matthias Leitzen received a good education in the common schools of Germany and after laying his books aside learned the shoemaker's trade. At the age of nineteen he emigrated to America and for five years worked by the month as a farm hand in Jo Daviess county, Illinois. He then came to Crawford county, Iowa. and continued working by the month for one and one-half years. Having through industry and economy acquired sufficient capital, he purchased land on section 17, Willow township, and now owns a farm of two hundred acres, upon which he has made all the improvements.
In 1885 Mr. Leitzen was united in marriage to Mrs. Anna Aldrich, who was born in Clinton county, Iowa, and is of German parentage. To them were born seven children, namely: John A., who engages in raising full-blooded stock; Eva, who is the wife of E. H. Sauber, of Boyd county, Nebraska; Bert, Ollie, Alice and Martha, all of whom are at home; and Arthur, deceased.
The beloved wife and mother passed away December 18, 1908. Together she and her husband traveled life's pathway for twenty-three years. She was a woman of many admirable characteristics, whose principal interest centered in her husband and children. Religiously she was a consistent member of the Catholic church, as is Mr. Leitzen. He also holds membership in the camp of Modem Woodmen of America at Charter Oak and as an industrious and successful farmer ranks among the prominent men of his section. In politics he adheres to the republican party and being an earnest friend of education he has served very acceptably as a member of the school board.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.