A widely known citizen of Des Moines county, Iowa, and one who for many years has been a prominent representative of the business interests of this portion of the State, is Albert Hacker, now residing on his farm in Section 20, of Burlington township. Mr. Hacker is a native of Germany, the date of his birth being June 25, 1837, and it was there that he received a good and permanent grounding in the common branches of education in the public schools. He is the son of Carl and Louisa Hacker, both natives of Germany, where the father passed his life as a successful farmer, and where both died at an advanced age, and were buried, they never having visited this country.
In his native land our subject attained to years of maturity, and began the active work of his life by taking employment in a flouring mill, in which he continued until about his thirtieth year, when he resolved to avail himself of the greater and more abundant opportunities awaiting his enterprise and abilities on this side the Atlantic, and taking passage to New York, came directly to Iowa, locating temporarily at Burlington. He remained in that city for only a short period, however, before taking work by the month on a farm, a work in which he spent the next three years, during which time he became familiar with the language and customs of the country, and by the practice of industry and frugality was enabled to accumulate a sufficient capital to embark in independent business. With this he purchased a remunerative dairy route in Burlington, and by careful management and unceasing attention to the needs of the public, as well as by making at all times the fullest and best use of his resources, he achieved a substantial success — one which has well repaid him for the time, labor, and executive ability which he has expended in its promotion. For the first ten years he rented his present farm for dairy purposes, at the end of that time buying it outright, it then consisting of one hundred and fifty acres of fine land, to which he afterward added twenty acres; and here for many years he kept never less than fifty, and often as many as one hundred cows, himself conducting the enterprise until about four years ago, when he sold the business, and since that time he has been leading a retired life at his farm, enjoying in ease the fruits of his long and successful career. Having never given more than a passing attention to agriculture, and now having no further use for his land for his dairy, Mr. Hacker has recently sold one hundred and twenty acres of his valuable farm land as an addition to the city of Burlington, receiving payment therefor at the rate of somewhat more than one hundred dollars an acre.
Mr. Hacker has been twice married: first to Miss Louisa Ries, by whom he had two children: Albert, who died at the age of six months; and Louisa, who became the wife of George Fetsher, a street-car conductor of Burlington, and has two children. The demise of the mother of this family occurred at the home farm, and she is interred in Burlington. The second wife of our subject was Mrs. Rose Sleter, now also deceased, who was the widow of William Sleter, by whom she had four children: Anna, deceased; Charles; William, deceased; and George. To her and Mr. Hacker were born six children, as follows: Albert, a farmer of Des Moines county, who married Miss Emma Fildi, and has one son, Carl; Edward, who resides at his father's home; Caroline, now deceased, who married Fred Hadley, and was the mother of two children, Ralph and Eva; Laura, who married Frank Hardley, of Burlington township, and has one child, Florence; Oscar, who died at the age of six months; Emma, who died at the age of six and one-half years; and Helene, who is a member of the paternal household. To all his children Mr. Hacker has supplied the advantages of an excellent education, thus discharging one of the highest obligations of citizenship in the land where he has attained such great and well-merited success as a result of his own unassisted efforts; for his achievements are indeed his own, and the energetic, honorable, and upright course he has always pursued has made him many friends, who admire his character and greatly value him for his social qualities.
A fine portrait of Mr. Hacker appears at the beginning of this article, which will be fully appreciated by his many friends, not only in his own township, but throughout the whole county.