In order to properly and fully understand the greatness of the country in which we live, it is necessary to make a study of the various sources from which that greatness arises, to analyze its elements, and determine the importance of these elements. In such an inquiry we find that in Des Moines county a very great measure of credit is due to families of Swedish origin, and that the energy, enterprise, and dogged determination of this class of citizens have made the part played by them in the development of the county worthy of most honorable mention in a historical work of this character. A prominent representative of this class of estimable citizens in Des Moines county is Carl J. H. Bloomberg, of Yellow Springs township, where he resides on a large and highly improved farm in Section 17 and successfully conducts a business of general farming and stock-raising.
Mr. Bloomberg is a native of Sweden, having been born in Flisby, Yonkopings,
Sweden, Nov. 30, 1847. He was the son of Johannas and Sarah (Stehr) Johnson. He was one of a family of eight children, of whom four, Gustave A., Carolina, Sophia, and Claus, are now deceased. Those still living are: Tena; Matilda; Amanda, the wife of Charles Adolphson, of Yellow Springs township; and Carl Johan Helmer, the subject of this sketch. Mr. Bloomberg's father lived in Sweden until the time of his death, which occurred in 1880, when he was seventy-one years of age. After that his mother came to America, and made her home with her children till the end of her life. She died at the home of Mr. Bloomberg, Aug. 29, 1892, aged eighty-three years.
Mr. Bloomberg received his early education in the public schools of his native land, and also learned the shoemaker's trade, thus following the example of his father, who pursued that trade. Mr. Bloomberg followed this occupation as long as he remained in Sweden, and for several years after coming to America. He came alone to America in 1870, landing at New York. He located first in Sheffield, Pa., May 3, 1870, and taking up his trade, remained there until the following 4th of July. At that time he went to Oquawka, Henderson county, Il1., engaged as a farm hand, and remained there until August, 1872, when he went to Keithsburg, Ill. At Keithsburg he again worked at his trade, being in the employ of Thomas Sauster, with whom he remained for about four years. By this time his health began to fail, as the result of his sedentary occupation, and he decided that it was necessary for him to find work that would permit of his being in the outdoor air. Accordingly he again went to work on a farm, and has made farming his life work ever since.
Jan. 21, 1884, Mr. Bloomberg came to Des Moines county, Iowa, and bought a part of his large farm of one hundred and twenty-one acres in Yellow Springs township. Since taking possession of this place Mr. Bloomberg has fenced his property, improved all the buildings, built another substantial barn, added modern implements, and brought the entire place up to its present high degree of excellence. In 1903, he purchased an addition to the farm of two hundred and eleven acres, this land also lying in Section 17. Each year has seen additions made to the conveniences about the home, until now he has one of the most comfortable homes, as well as one of the most efficiently cultivated farms in the entire community.
In addition to his success as a general farmer, he has made a specialty of breeding fine cattle and hogs, until he is recognized throughout the township as having done much to raise the standard of the stock kept in the county, and also much to advance the material prosperity of farmers in general. He makes a specialty of the Polled Angus cattle, keeping on an average about forty-two head of this breed. He has over eighty head of hogs, raising the Poland China and Duroc Jerseys. The entire appearance of his home and the surrounding farm is a constant tribute to the great success that this man has made: and when it is remembered that all this has been built up by his own efforts, starting in his youth without resources, none who see it can fail to honor and admire him for what he has accomplished.
Mr. Bloomberg was married on Christmas day, 1874, in Gladstone, Ill., to Miss Marie Louisa Peterson, daughter of Nels and Caroline (Johnson) Peterson, who was herself a native of Sweden, being born in Vimmerby, Sweden, Sept. 24, 1855. She came to America when only sixteen years of age, coming with a friend who had been in America and had returned to Sweden for a visit. To Mr. and Mrs. Bloomberg have been born eleven children, as follows: Henry Oliver, born Aug. 30, 1877, died March 22, 1879; Durward LeRoy, born Aug. 14, 1880: Mabel M., born Jan. 21, 1883, and Myrtle R., born Dec. 7, 1884, have both become teachers, and have won excellent reputations in their chosen profession by the thorough and efficient work that they have done in the district schools of Huron township, where they are both now engaged in this work; Emma R., born Oct. 11, 1886, is at home: Florence H., born Oct. 3, 1888, is a student in Elliott's Business College, where she is taking a course in stenography and typewriting; Hazel B., born Aug. 8, 1890, and Ethel C, born Oct. 29, 1892, are both attending high school in Mediapolis; Ruby P., born Jan. 7, 1894; Carl L., born Sept. 8, 1896; and Louis Glenn, born Jan. 5. 1899. Mr. and Mrs. Bloomberg have a happy, genial family, that shows the result of the Christian influence in the home, a family of which they have every reason to be proud. Mr. and Mrs. Bloomberg are devoted members of the Swedish Lutheran church of Mediapolis, and have raised their family in that faith. Mr. Bloomberg has served the church faithfully and well as a trustee for over nine years. In his fraternal relations, he was at one time a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, holding membership for about three years in the lodge at Keithsburg, Ill. During this time he held the office of junior warden in the organization. Genial, ever courteous, he is justly popular, and his many friends rejoice at the measure of prosperity that has come to bless him in his home, and hope to see him and his estimable wife live many more years to enjoy the hard-won fruits of their toil together.