Stephen J. Jans
Stephen J. Jans, who is justly accounted one of the leading agriculturists of Crawford county, owns and controls one hundred and sixty-three acres of land on section 5, Jackson township, and an inspection of his place indicates his careful supervision and progressive methods.
He was born October 20, 1873, in Chicago, Illinois, a son of John and Wiebka (Webers) Jans, both natives of Germany. In 1865 the father came to the United States with the intention of joining the Union forces in the Civil war, but upon arriving here he found that the conflict was ended. He located in Davenport, Iowa, where he earned enough money to send for his wife in Germany and upon her arrival they took up their residence in Chicago, where they remained until 1875. In that year they removed to Carroll county, Iowa, and began farming on a section of land in Arcadia township, where they remained until 1900, when the father retired from active life.
This couple were the parents of thirteen children, of whom five died in infancy. The remaining members of the family are as follows: John, who lives in Minnesota; Annie, who is the wife of Fred Rickers and resides at Jackson township; Sophia, whose husband is James McKinnon, of Chicago; Stephen J., of this review; George, who lives in Sioux City, Iowa; Frank, a resident of Arcadia; Mary, who married Christ Kuehl and lives in Minnesota; and Julius, who resides in Crawford county. The father departed this life in 1906, at the age of sixty-four years, being survived by the mother, who still resides at her home in Arcadia.
Stephen J. Jans obtained his early education in the public schools of Carroll county and at the age of seventeen began working on a farm, where he remained for the following four years. He then obtained employment in the Hayes Township Creamery in West Side, where he remained for five years, subsequently accepting a position in the Arcadia Creamery, continuing there for seven years. In 1905 he purchased one hundred and sixty-three acres of land in Jackson township, upon which he located in 1906 and immediately began to improve the property, which is now considered one of the best pieces of land in Crawford county. While he here carries on general farming, he makes a specialty of stock-raising, giving particular attention to Hereford cattle and Poland China hogs.
On September 11, 1901, Mr. Jans was united in marriage to Miss Lizzie Peters, a daughter of C. H. and Augusta (Martin) Peters, who were natives of Arcadia and were the parents of the following children: Lizzie; Mary, who married Frank Jans and resides near Arcadia; Claude, who is on a farm adjoining Arcadia; Minnie, the wife of Emil Kaspersen, of Arcadia; Alvina, who became the wife of John Holck and lives in Paulina, Iowa; Henry, who is attending school in Des Moines, Iowa, together with his brother Emil.
Mr. and Mrs. Jans are the parents of four children, namely: Harry, born August 12, 1902; Helen, born June 3, 1904; Claude, born July 10, 1906; and Leslie, born September 13, 1908.
In politics Mr. Jans has always supported the republican party but has never sought nor desired political favors. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America and in religion he and his wife are consistent members of the Presbyterian church. He early realized that labor is the strongest force and he so directed his efforts that obstacles and difficulties have been overcome and he has gained a merited place among the prominent and prosperous farmers of Crawford county.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.