Transcribed by Pamela Wagler 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.


William Brumm left his home across the sea over fifty-three years ago and has for many years bent his time and energies to the improvement and welfare of Des Moines county. He is a son of Carl and Anna (Oswalt) Brumm, and was born Feb. 12, 1850, in Würtemburg, Germany. His parents were both natives of Germany, and came to America by way of New Orleans in 1852, being about six weeks on the way. In the old country the father was what is called a freighter, hauling provisions and supplies from Carlsruhe to Stuttgart, and also carried the mail, driving sometimes as many as sixteen horses at one time.

He remained in New Orleans until 1854, when he came to Burlington, where he located, and engaged in the cooper business. In 1867 he moved to Benton township, and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land, which is now a part of our subject's farm. He improved the farm to some extent, and farmed very successfully till the fall of 1870, when he died in the fifty-ninth years of his age. He was a Democrat, and a member of the Lutheran church, and is interred in the St. Paul cemetery in Benton township. Mrs. Brumm survived her husband till March 6, 1902, when she passed away aged eighty years. She held membership in the Methodist church, and is buried in the Methodist cemetery. Mr. and Mrs. Brumm were the parents of ten children, five of whom are living. John, a younger brother of our subject, resides on the home place.

Mr. Brumm, of this review, received his education in the public schools in Burlington, after which he clerked in a grocery till his parents moved to Benton township. After the death of his parents he bought eighty acres of the home farm in Section 14, in 1896 added eighty acres, located on Section 13, and also at one time owned forty acres in Jackson township. He has since been a prosperous farmer and stock man. He erected a nice modern two-story frame dwelling, a substantial barn, and other outbuildings for the protection of grain and stock, and today he can say his land is of the best under cultivation in the township.

He, with his wife, is a member of the Presbyterian church, and has been an elder in the church since its organization. He is a Democrat, and cannot remember a year since he grew to manhood that he has not held some township office. He is now treasurer of the school board, and has been constable, road supervisor, and clerk.

April 1, 1871, Mr. Brumm became the husband of Miss Helena Thomas, a daughter of Isham and Mary (Flesher) Thomas. Mr. Thomas was of Welsh descent, coming from Virginia to Iowa at an early day. Mrs. Thomas also came from Virginia to Iowa, settling in Burlington when there were but two houses in the city. When Mrs. Brumm's mother first came to Burlington, she was the wife of Joseph Walker, a veteran of the War of 1812, who died in 1852, aged seventy-five years. Mrs. Walker married Mr. Thomas in Burlington, and passed away in 1889 at the age of seventy-nine years. Mr. Thomas was a cooper by trade, and a small farmer of Benton township, and Mrs. Brumm was his only child.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Brumm have been born seven children, six of whom are living: Charles, died at the age of twenty-one years; Leslie, a bookkeeper, and lives in Burlington; and Boyd, Ruth, Clayton, Byron, and Burton, the last named being twins, and all reside at home. Mr. Brumm has seen many changes in Des Moines county, and has ever been ready to do his part toward improving this part of the county. He is a man devoted to his home and family, and is giving every advantage within his means. He is a man who is held in the highest esteem, and his long, continuous service in the township shows with what regard he is held in the estimation of his fellow-citizens. He is much interested in educational matters, and has devoted much time to bringing the schools of Benton township up to their present high standing. He and Mrs. Brumm are both Christian people and active church workers, and their lives are living examples of their professions.


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