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.


A valued element in the development of Burlington has been largely supplied by the Fatherland, and of this Charles Ende is a representative. He was born in Schwarzenfels, Electorate of Hesse, Oct. 29, 1837, and came to the United States with his father, a brother, and two sisters in the year 1851. His father, however, was not the first of the family to emigrate to America: there were several precursors. A cousin of Mr. Ende's grandfather came over as an officer in the Hessian Auxiliaries in 1776. He was severely wounded at the storming of Fort Washington, and taken prisoner at Trenton. During his captivity he married an American, and in 1783 took his wife with him to Cassel. It seems that after some time, becoming homesick, she induced her husband to take her back to her native land. Apparently he was easily prevailed upon to accede to her wish, having during his seven years' forced sojourn become quite attached to this country. In the course of time correspondence ceased between him and his relatives in Germany, and all efforts made in later years to trace their descendants were unsuccessful. In 1845 an uncle of Mr. Ende's, Carl B. Merz, emigrated to America, locating near Beardstown, Ill. In 1852 he removed to Burlington, Iowa, and for a time was the publisher of the first German newspaper in Iowa. Some years later he purchased a large farm near Sigourney, Iowa, where he settled, and remained up to the time of his death in 1902, reaching the ripe old age of eighty-eight years.

A cousin, Fritz von Ende, came to New Orleans in 1847, and afterward located in Greenville, Texas, where his widow and children still reside. Mr. Ende's grandfather, Carl von Ende, was a minister of the Reformed church, at Netra, a small town in Hesse-Cassel. He had six sons, Mr. Ende's father, Ferdinand von Ende, being the youngest. Two of his brothers were officers in the Hessian contingent of Napoleon's armies, and both fell in battle, one in Spain and the other in Russia. A third served in the campaign of 1815, as volunteer in a battalion of sharpshooters, largely recruited from the students of the School of Forestry, which he was attending at that time.

Conrad Merz, the grandfather of Mr. Ende on the mother's side, born about 1775, completed his studies at the Catholic Seminary in Fulda, and later became private secretary to the bishop. In 1810, when Prince Carl von Dalberg was made grand duke of Fulda by emperor Napoleon, Mr. Merz received an appointment in the finance department of the new government. This position he held until 1815, when the great political changes of that period caused him to resign. He retired in his prime on a liberal life pension, granted by the Bavarian government, and became a gentleman of leisure. He died in 1860.

Ferdinand von Ende, Mr. Ende's father, was born in 1803, at Netra, where he was reared, and began his education in the common schools. From there he went to a higher school at Eisenach, and subsequently graduated from the gymnasium at Cassel, the capital of the electorate of Hesse. Thus being properly qualified, he was matriculated as a student of law in the State University at Marburg. After having obtained his degree of Doctor Juris, he prepared for and successfully passed the state examination incumbent upon an aspirant for government office. In due time he was appointed to a position on the judiciary, which he retained until 1851. During his term of service he was repeatedly promoted, and at the close of his official career was associate judge of one of the higher courts. Political troubles, so prevalent all over Germany in those days, and from which the electorate of Hesse was by no means exempt, caused him to resign and emigrate to the United States, preferring to live in a land of liberty that promised a better future for his children. Ferdinand von Ende was united in marriage to Miss Nanny Merz, of Fulda, in 1836. She died in the year 1847, leaving four children who reached mature years, and one who died an infant, soon after the mother. Mr. Ende's father spent the first winter near Beardstown, Ill., and in the spring of 1852 moved to Des Moines county, Iowa, where he purchased a farm about two and a half miles from Burlington. There he resided until 1864, when, after about a year's sojourn in St. Louis, he took up his abode in this city, and lived retired from that time until his death, which occurred in 1885.

Charles Ende acquired a liberal education for his age in Germany, and was a youth of fourteen years when he came to the New World. He lived with his father, brother, and sisters on the home farm until 1855. From that time until 1860 he worked out at various places, Pittsfield, Quincy, and Galesburg, Ill., and Des Moines, Henry, Lee, and Decatur counties, Iowa, being among the number. In the spring of 1860 he started from Burlington on the way to St. Joe, Mo., there to join a wagon train for the newly discovered gold region of Colorado. Pike's Peak was the name it went by in those days. He was accompanied as far as Hannibal, Mo., by his brother Fred, who was bound for Greenville, Texas, where he is still living. They did not meet again until after the War. Mr. Ende then learned for the first time that his brother had been compelled to serve in the Confederate army for nearly three years. The trip across the plains in those early days, and the life in the mining camps, proved highly interesting, with a touch of the romantic that gave it an additional charm. The hardships and privations of travel were easily overcome by a robust body, and amply compensated by the delights of outdoor life. Game of all kind was plenty, even buffaloes could be seen in numbers. At Fort Kearny the outfit met the first Indians, and later on passed several of their villages, which were closely inspected by the members of the train. The Indians, being perfectly peaceable, seemed to be pleased to have visitors, and accepted little gifts, such as tobacco, matches, and bread, with great avidity. In the hope of finding gold, however, Mr. Ende was sadly deceived, and accordingly returned to Iowa. Crossing the Missouri River at Omaha in December, 1860, he arrived at Burlington about Christmas. From Burlington he went to Chicago for two months, and afterward found employment on a farm near Galesburg, Ill.

On Sept. 7, 1861, he enlisted at Burlington as a private in Company F, Fifth Iowa Cavalry, and was mustered out of service as first lieutenant, Aug. 11, 1865. He was with the Western army, operating in Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. The regiment to which Mr. Ende belonged left Benton Barracks, St. Louis, for Fort Henry, February, 1862. It remained stationary in the vicinity of Forts Heiman, Henry, and Donelson till June, 1863. While stationed at the above-named places, the regiment was principally engaged in fighting bushwhackers and partisan rangers, and in scouting. Engagements during this period were as follows: August, 1862, Rolling Mills, near Fort Donelson: September, 1862, Clarkesville, Tenn.; October, 1862, Wagner's Landing, Tenn.; November, 1862, Garrettsburg, Ky.; January, 1863, Waverly, Tenn.: February, 1863, Fort Donelson. In May, 1862, when out on a scout, Mr. Ende was taken prisoner, and with a number of other comrades sent to Jackson, Miss., where they were paroled and brought into the Union lines near Corinth under a flag of truce, in charge of Major Thompson, ex-secretary of the interior under President Buchanan. General Halleck, ignoring the obligations of the parole, ordered the men to report for hospital duty at once, and when they refused, upon the plea that such would be a violation of their parole, sent a platoon of infantry, with bayonets fixed, to drive them to work. In June, 1863, the regiment was transferred to Murfreesboro, where it joined General Rosecrans' army. July 3, 1863, the regiment was again detached, and after a week of escorting trains to the front, ordered to McMinville. During the short stay with the main army it had seen some hard service. October, 1863, the regiment participated, under General Crook, in the pursuit of Wheeler. Upon this occasion, the battalion to which Mr. Ende's company belonged made a very successful charge on Wheeler's rear guard, at Sugar Creek, taking a number of prisoners. Jan. 6, 1864, Mr. Ende re-enlisted, and returned from veteran furlough to Nashville, March 30, 1864. May 26 he was detached with thirty men to garrison a blockhouse erected for the protection of a railroad bridge over Richland Creek, near Pulaski, Tenn. July 10, 1864, he joined, with his command. General Rousseau at Decatur, Ala., and took part in the expedition to Montgomery. The regiment had barely returned when it was ordered out again on the disastrous McCook raid. Here Mr. Ende had a little extra experience. Having lost his horse in crossing the Chattahoochee River, he was left behind, and it took him ten days to reach his command at Marietta, Ga. After the fall of Atlanta, the Fifth Iowa Cavalry, which at that time was attached to Kilpatrick's Division, received orders to proceed to Louisville to be remounted, and then return to Nashville. When Hood began his advance upon Nashville, the regiment was ordered to Columbia, where it soon encountered the enemy. After a short skirmish the command was relieved by infantry, and sent ten miles up Duck River to guard fords. The day following the regiment distinguished itself by cutting its way out through a vastly superior force that had surrounded the brigade. During the battle of Franklin the regiment was scouting on the right flank.

Mr. Ende could not participate with his regiment in the battle of Nashville, since he had been appointed judge advocate of a general court martial convened by order of General Wilson, commanding the cavalry corps of the military division of the Mississippi. It took about two months to try the cases which had accumulated. His task completed, Mr. Ende was relieved, and rejoined his regiment at Gravelly Springs, Ala., where General Wilson was assembling three divisions of cavalry, and making preparations for the last and most successful raid of the war. The Fifth Iowa Cavalry was assigned to Alexander's Brigade of General Upton's Division. After the cessation of hostilities the Fifth Iowa was stationed for some time at Macon, Ga.; then at Atlanta, from whence it was ordered to Nashville; at which place, after having been mustered out Aug. 11, 1865, the regiment embarked for Clinton, Iowa, and there was paid off and disbanded. A closing incident of Mr. Ende's military career worth mentioning is that while stationed at Atlanta, on May 14, 1865, he was detailed to take charge of a detachment, furnished by the regiment, to help guard Mr. Jefferson Davis from Atlanta to Augusta, where he was turned over to another command which took him to Fortress Monroe. Strange to relate, Mr. Ende, although he served during the entire war, and took part in a number of hard-fought engagements, was never wounded.

Mr. Ende came back to Burlington in November, 1865, and made a permanent location here, joining his brother-in-law in the purchase of a brewery. The latter is located at 1307 Mt. Pleasant Street, and as the years have gone by marked improvements have been made. With the exception of three years, the business was conducted continuously, and during the time mentioned the firm acted as agents for Lemp's St. Louis beer. The partnership was dissolved in September, 1902, since which time Mr. Ende has conducted the business alone, and is having a good local patronage. The plant represents an investment of about twenty-five thousand dollars. Mr. Ende is a member of the Turnverein, and was a charter member of Matthies Post, G. A. R., which was organized in 1866. He was elected alderman, and served as a member of the city council from the second ward for four years. He was chairman of the police committee during both terms of his office. On Oct. 3, 1869, in Liberty, Mo., Mr. Ende was married to Miss Thusnelda Louise Leopold, a native of Liberty, and of German parentage. Her father and mother came to this country in 1834. She died in 1902, and her remains were interred in Aspen Grove cemetery. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Ende were born four children: Carl, who married Miss Alice Ankeney, and is now living at Iowa City, Iowa, is a graduate of the State University of Iowa, and also of the Gottingen University of Germany, the latter conferring the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Since 1899 he has been instructor in chemistry at the State University of Iowa, and quite recently was promoted to an assistant professorship. The second son, August, is also a graduate of the State University of Iowa. At one time he entered Cornell University, of New York, taking special work in mathematics. After completing his university course he held the position of instructor in mathematics in the State University, resigning to go into business. He is now assistant manager of his father's business. Marie, the only daughter, is at home, and the youngest son, Henry, was a student in the Burlington High School. The family residence is at 722 North Third Street, the old Starker home. Mr. Ende, having been endowed by nature with excellent health and a vigorous constitution, has retained in a great measure the capacity for work and the enjoyment of the out-of- door sports of his younger days.

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