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.


Henry John Dustman, known in business as J. H. Dustman, who, becoming an independent factor in business life in Burlington in 1877, has since made continuous advancement in commercial circles until he is now one of the leading grocery merchants of the city, controlling a trade, which in its extensive dimensions, is an index to his ability and enterprise, was born in Prussia, Germany, a son of H. J. and Mary (Berksteigle) Dustman. When four years of age he was brought to America by his parents, who located first in St. Louis, Mo., and after a few years came to Burlington, where he continued his education in the public and private schools, having already mastered the elementary branches of learning in St. Louis. Leaving school, he assisted his father in the further development and improvement of the home farm until seventeen years of age, when he went to St. Louis, Mo., where he learned the cabinetmaker's trade, which he followed until 1877. He then engaged in business for himself as a furniture dealer on North Hill, his store being located at the corner of North and Seventh Streets, where he remained for a year. He then removed to his present location, continuing in the furniture business alone for about two years, when he joined his brother, August J. Dustman, in a partnership, and they dealt in both groceries and furniture. When two years had thus passed he purchased his brother's interests, and has since confined his attention exclusively to the grocery trade. The brothers erected the buildings which now stand at the corner of Eighth and North Streets, — a visible proof of their enterprise and executive ability. Under the capable guidance of Mr. Dustman his trade has steadily increased until it is hardly surpassed in the grocery line in the city. The tasteful arrangement of the store, the carefully selected stock, the straightforward business methods employed, combine to make his career a very prosperous one. In connection with groceries he also handles hay, grain, and feed. Mr. Dustman, in matters relating to the city's welfare and progress, is deeply interested. For two years he has served as a member of the school board and has also been a member of the board of trustees of the Burlington Hospital since 1900. His political allegiance is given the Democratic party. Fraternally, he has been connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows since 1872, always holding membership with the lodge in Burlington, in which he has filled a number of offices. He has membership relations with the Zion German Evangelical church and is at present vice president of the board of trustees and has also served as deacon. He is thus deeply interested in the intellectual and moral development of the community, and possesses a benevolent spirit which has been manifest in many acts of charity.

On the 14th of October, 1875, Mr. Dustman was married to Miss Paulina Paule, a daughter of Jacob and Christina (Wehrt) Paule. She died Sept. 22, 1882, leaving three children: Ida C., Phillip H., and Lydia Mary. On the fifth of June, 1884, Mr. Dustman was again married, his second union being with Emma Paule, by whom he has one child, Selma D. His obligations to his family, his fellow-men and his city have always been conscientiously discharged, and by reason of his close application strong purpose, commendable ambition, and unflagging perseverance, he has gained a creditable place among the reliable and successful merchants of Burlington.

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