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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
Adam Oldfather, a respected citizen and honored early settler of this county, now engaged in farming on section 13, Fairfield Township, was born in Wurtemburg, Germany, October 26, 1836. His father, Adam Oldfather Sr., served in the French army under Napoleon during the war with Russia, after which he became a lumber merchant. He lived in a forest country, and floated the lumber down the Necker River, doing an extensive business in that line. His wife died in 1838, leaving two children - Frederick, who is now a blacksmith in Jersey City; and Adam, then a babe of two years. The father was again married, his second union being with Joanna Wuly, who died in this county about five years ago.
The subject of this sketch was reared to manhood in his native land, and between the ages of six and fourteen years attended school every day in the year except Saturdays. He then spent two and a half years in learning the shoemaker's trade, after which, at the age of seventeen, he bade good-by to the Fatherland and came to the United States. Securing a position with a farmer on Long Island, he remained with that employer six years, a fact which indicates his faithfulness to duty and that the trust reposed in him was not misplaced. He first came to Fayette County, in 1859, and after two years purchased twenty acres of land on section 13, Fairfield Township. Not a furrow had been turned or an improvement made; in fact, he had to cut away the timber in order to make room to build a log house. He underwent many of the usual experiences of frontier life but his industry and perseverance overcame all difficulties and the small farm was increased to a one hundred and forty-four acre tract of land which is now under a high state of cultivation and improved with good buildings.
In 1860 Mr. Oldfather wedded Miss Regina Leonhart, a native of Germany, who at the age of nine years came to America. Unto them were born the following children - Mary, the wife of John Copeland, of Fairfield Township; Martin a resident farmer of Clayton County; Charles, who married Anna Settlemyer and is living in Clayton County; Fred, a carpenter of Brush Creek; August who is also engaged in carpentering in Brush Creek; Walter, who is a student in the Institute for the Deaf and Dumb in Council Bluffs; Joseph; Henry; George; Annie; Frank; Richard and Louis.
Mr. Oldfather is one of the leading and representative citizens of the community and is a man of more than average intelligence and ability. By all who know him he is held in high esteem and he is well worthy of their regard. He cast his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln, and in 1868 voted for Horace Greely, since which time he has usually supported the Democratic party but holds himself free to vote for whomsoever he will. In 1877 he was elected Assessor of his township and has held the office continuously since, a fact which indicates his efficiency and fidelity. He is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, of Brush Creek, and during his thirty-one years' residence in the county has always borne his part in the work of its upbuilding and advancement."
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