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Fayette County, Iowa
Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa
Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of
Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County
Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago
John W. Stohr
John W. Stohr, a prosperous and representative farmer of Oran Township residing on section 3, was born in Illinois October 9, 1854. His father, John Stohr, born in 1828, was a native of Germany and when seventeen years of age crossed the Atlantic to America. Two other members of his family also became residents of this country - Victoria, who is now the wife of Frank Singer, a well-to-do farmer of Illinois, by whom she has seven children; and a brother who came to America in 1847, locating in the State of Missouri. John Stohr, Sr., located first in New Jersey where he learned the trade of clock making. Afterwards he removed to Pennsylvania, where in December, 1851, he married Miss Sarah Jane Myers who was born in the Keystone State in 1832. Her father was a farmer and she spent her childhood days under the parental roof and attending the district schools of the neighborhood. She was one of quite a large family the eldest of whom, Isaac, came to Iowa with his parents, married Angeline Lewis, by whom he has four children and is now engaged in farming in Rooks County, Kan. Christina became the wife of James Dickson of Oran Township, who sold his farm in this county in 1878, removing to Kansas. They settled in Graham County but are now residents of Greely, Anderson County, and unto them have been born eight children. Nancy was the wife of Henry Gerkin of this township and their family numbers seven children. William who wedded Mary A. Holmes by whom he has three children and has for some time successfully operated a farm of one hundred and twenty acres in Oran Township, is now living a retired life in Oelwein. Sarah Jane, mother of our subject, is the next in order of birth. Lucinda is the wife of George Swartz and the mother of four children. They located on a farm in Fremont Township but sold out in 1885 removing to Nebraska where they now live. John, who owned and operated an eighty-acre farm in Jefferson Township, sold out in 1877 and two years later removed to Rooks County, Kan., where his death occurred in 1886. He married Miss Alice Holmes, who with her six children now resides in Washington. Sarah became the wife of Silas Judd of Oran Township by whom she had two children, and for her second husband wedded Robert Farley, a farmer of Oran Township by whom she has seven children. Lydia is the deceased wife of Perry Weatherby, a farmer of Oran Township, who after her death married Frances Myers, by whom he has seven children. They now make their home in Oelwein. Mary Ann became the wife of Lewis Thorman, a farmer of Oran Township and with their four children they now reside in Southern Iowa. Margaret married Edwin Bebee, a farmer and wagon maker who is now carrying on agricultural pursuits in Winneshiek County. Unto them have been born nine children. James, who completes the family, is a resident of Washington.
Deciding to try his fortune in the West, John Stohr Sr. emigrated from Pennsylvania to Illinois, locating in La Salle County, where he resided until 1855, when he removed with his family to Buchannan County, Iowa. Four years later they settled in Oran Township, this county. The mother died on the 9th of November, 1872, in Fremont Township and the father's death occurred on the 6th of December, 1873, in Bremer County, Iowa. They were the parents of these children - Henry M., born June 28, 1853, married Lydia Miller, December 14, 1890, and is engaged in farming in Winnesheik County; John W., of this sketch is the next younger; William F., born February 17, 1856, is a farmer of Decatur County, Kan.; Jordan, who was born May 2, 1858, and is extensively engaged in farming married Ella Wilcox in Oberlin, Kan., December 25, 1887, and unto them have been born two children; Angeline, born July 10, 1860, died September 21, 1881; Corwin, born October 14, 1861, married Matilda Sylvester March 25, 1888, and is engaged in farming in Fremont Township; Silas P., born March 10, 1863, married Ida Aldredge, March 10, 1886, and owns and operates a farm of eighty acres in Banks Township, where with his wife and one child he has a pleasant home; Amos B., born February 26, 1865, died September 3, 1878; Aaron, born December 15, 1865, died February 15, 1866; Daniel L., born February 6, 1868, resides in Oran Township and collects milk for a dairy; Martha, born February 26, 1870, died in early infancy; and Victoria E., born June 2, 1871, died May 3, 1889.
We now take up the personal history of our subject, who since the age of five years has been a resident of this county, where he was reared to manhood and educated in the public schools. With the family he shared in the hardships and trials of pioneer life and also in its pleasures and excitements. In 1882 he was united in marriage with Mrs. Delila Zimmerman, whose maiden name was Aldrich. The father of the family to which she belonged was Jonathan E. Aldrich, who was born in New York December 25, 1831, married Sarah Carroll in Erie County, Pa., emigrated to Wisconsin in 1865, and in 1870 engaged in farming in Bremer County, Iowa. Their children are as follows: George, born November 17, 1851, in 1874 married Maggie Roberts by whom he has five children and is a carpenter by occupation. Jeanette L. born July 31, 1853, became the wife of Daniel Davis, a farmer who died in April, 1888, leaving six children. Mrs. Stohr is the third child. Merritt, born May 31, 1861, is a resident farmer of this county. Lavirn, born May 5, 1862, is living in Kansas; and Eva J., born December 10, 1866, is at home. The father of this family died on the 16th of December, 1890, at his home in Fayette County, Iowa.
Delila Aldrich in 1875, became the wife of James Zimmerman, and unto them were born two children - Cora R., born June 22, 1876; and James Q. May 19, 1878. By her second marriage she has three children - Angeline G., born June 6, 1884; Burley A., January 23, 1886; and Jennie Viola January 4, 1888.
The first land which Mr. Stohr owned was an eighty-acre tract of raw prairie but it did not long remain in an uncultivated condition, he soon transforming it into fertile fields. Afterwards he became the owner of another eighty acres and now has a quarter section of choice land, well improved with good buildings and a comfortable home. He is also extensively engaged in the dairy business from which he reaps a good income as he always finds a ready market for his produce which is of the best quality. He is accounted one of the leading and successful farmers of the township, and is also a valued citizen who has served on the School Board, and ever takes an active part in anything pertaining to the welfare of the community and the advancement of its best interests. His estimable wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
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