Transcribed by Teresa Kesterke from: Biographical Review of Des Moines County, Iowa: Containing Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of Many of the Prominent Citizens of To-day and Also of the Past, Hobart Publishing Company, Chicago, 1905.


Among the sons of the Fatherland who have come to America and won success and prominence, and at the same time been recognized as valued and worthy citizens of the communities in which they live, is numbered Casper H. Breder, who was born in Westphalia, Germany, April 5, 1826, and who now lives on his large farm in Benton township. Mr. Breder was educated in Germany, and lived there until he was twenty-six years of age, his parents dying in that country.

In 1852 Mr. Breder came alone to the United States, and arrived in New York City without any money, having to borrow fifty cents from a friend to get to Lockport, N. Y. Since that time he has, unaided and by his own efforts and talents, climbed the ladder of success, his achievements forming a lesson in self-help worthy of studious consideration by all younger men. He remained in Lockport, for two years, after which he came to Burlington, Iowa, where he worked as a laborer. Here his native thrift and good management were such that at the end of five years he was able to come to Benton township, where he bought a farm of one hundred and six acres, which he cleared. Later he sold that, and bought his present farm of one hundred and eighty-seven acres, besides other property. Here he has lived ever since constantly making improvements, now he has one of the best-kept farms in the community. He has put up a large, substantial house with modern improvements and has erected other buildings as need arose, all increasing the value of the place, as well as adding to the comfort of living on it. Mr. Breder has carried on general farming and stock-raising successfully, and has owned other farms; but as it took too much of his time, has sold out and invested the proceeds differently, becoming a stockholder in the Citizens' State Bank of Mediapolis, of which he is also a director.

In 1865 Mr. Breder became interested in bee-keeping, and started them with one or two stands. Liking bees, he has made a study of improved methods, and from the small beginning he increased it to one hundred stands, that in themselves were valuable. A few years ago he sold many of his stands; but has increased them to large proportions again, being in this as in all else successful in his undertaking.

Mr. Breder was married in Lockport, N. Y., in 1854. His wife was Elizabeth Schaffer, who was also born in Germany, and came to the United States the year she was married. She was a worthy helpmeet, as well as a loving companion to her husband through a married life of forty-seven years, helping him through the struggle of the early years, and enjoying with him the fruits of their labors, in later years. She departed this life July 25, 1901, at the home place. She was the mother of six children. Of these one died in infancy, Louis died at the age of six years, and Elizabeth at the age of two. The three living children are: Henry, lives in Franklin township, and carries on farming: John, owns a hotel and is in the real estate business at Hugo, I. T.; and Tillie, who lives at home, Henry married Louisa Meyer, daughter of Herman Meyer, and they are the parents of four children, Bessie, Clell, Floyd, and Ursula. John married Miss Missouri Pershing, a native of Pennsylvania, and has three children: Verne, Alice, and Harry. Both Mr. Breder and his excellent wife were members of the Evangelical church, in which they were highly regarded as people whose lives kept close to their professions, making religion sincere and practical in every case. For a number of years Mr. Breder has been a deacon in that church, and is known as an active and efficient official. In all questions affecting the public welfare, as well as in his private life, Mr. Breder's influence has always been on the side of strictest integrity and morality.

He has always been active in local politics, serving the Republican party in various capacities, in which his energy and unwavering loyalty have been important factors in its success, for he is possessed of practical ability of an unusual order. He enjoys vast popularity in his own community and throughout Des Moines county, as is evidenced by the fact that although he has never sought for political preferment, he has been repeatedly called upon to fill some of the minor offices, such as were within the power of his neighbors to bestow upon him. The career of this sturdy citizen of our great commonwealth is and should be full of inspiration for all young men, especially for those who depend for advancement upon their own efforts and devotion to duty.

He has made his way in the world by his own efforts, and by his industry. He has done his full share toward making the country what it is today.


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