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Fayette County, Iowa
Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910
Author: G. Blessin
B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana
Vol. I, Biographical Sketches
FREDERICK GEORGE BURKHART
"The popular and well known village marshal and street commissioner of Hawkeye, Frederick G. Burkhart, is a native of Kendall county, Illinois, born in the town of Oswego, on the 29th day of March, 1850. His parents, Leonard and Margaretta (Brunemeyer) Burkhart, were born in Bavaria, Germany, but came to America when young and were married in Oswego, Illinois, near which place they resided for a number of years. Frederick G. Burkhart spent his childhood and youth on a farm near the above town and remained there until his twenty-third year, in the meantime attending the public schools as opportunities afforded and after attaining his majority, looking after his own interests as well as those of his parents. In 1873, when twenty-three years of age, he was united in marriage to Mary A. Rhutasel, of Aurora, Illinois, born July 3, 1854, and five years later they came to Fayette county, Iowa, and purchased a tract of prairie land in Banks township, which in due time he reduced to cultivation and converted into a very valuable farm. After living fourteen years on the place and bringing it to a high state of tillage, he sold it, and in 1892 moved to Hawkeye, where, in partnership with Chris Burkhart and T.L. Hinz, he helped incorporate the Burkhart & Hinz Mercantile Company, subsequently succeeding Mr. Hinz and continuing with the enterprise until the failure of the company, about one year later. About 1869 Mr. Burkhart engaged in the threshing of grain upon quite an extensive scale and for forty years devoted considerable attention to that line of work, operating at times as many as nine machines, which did a very large and successful business, although there were always more demands for his services each year than he could possibly meet. He earned a wide reputation as a thresher in northeastern Iowa and other parts of the state, his machinery being of the latest and most approved kinds and his services were always eminently satisfactory. In 1894 he was elected marshal of Hawkeye, which office he held two years and filled the office again at different times until 1910, when he was succeeded by another. He also discharged the duties of street commissioner, filling both positions with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of the people of the town. His long service as marshal speaks well for his high standing with the public and it is worthy of note that while he looked after the peace of the town the laws were more strictly enforced than ever before, offenders and criminals giving the place a wide berth. Mr. Burkhart made his name a terror to evil-doers and under his careful surveillance Hawkeye became one of the most quiet and law respecting cities of its size in the state. He discharged his duties fearlessly and impartially, not only as a peace officer but also in the matter of the streets, which have been greatly improved since he became street commissioner. Fraternally, he is an Odd Fellow, holding membership with Relief Lodge No. 138, at Hawkeye, of which he is secretary, and is otherwise interested in social and benevolent affairs, being ever ready to help a fellow man in need and never turning a deaf ear to the cry of suffering or distress.
Mr. and Mrs. Burkhart have four sons and one daughter, viz: Ed G., a farmer of Banks township; Arthur C., a graduate of the School of Pharmacy at Des Moines and for some time past engaged in the drug business in Hawkeye; Roy, an expert electrician, graduating from the State Agricultural College in 1909 and now holding the position of electrical engineer at Waukon, this state; Elmer Henry, who was graduated from the Hawkeye high school in 1909, is still with his parents; the daughter, Nora E., who is also a high school graduate, is the wife of Ralph Hecht, D.D.S., of Hawkeye. Mr. and Mrs. Burkhart are surrounded by their children and live a happy and contented life. He lives retired and enjoys life, being a very pleasant gentleman to meet. He has a beautiful home, over which his wife, one of Fayette county’s best ladies, presides and make all welcome who call."
~Transcribed for Fayette County IAGenWeb by Nancy Schroeder
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