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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 1238~


Leonard Wolf


The gentleman whose brief life story is outlined in the following paragraphs is an American by adoption, belonging to that large and eminently respectable class of citizens of German birth to whom this country is so greatly indebted not only for its material prosperity but also for progress along most every line of activity and thought. The family of which Leonard Wolf is an honorable representative had its origin in Wittenberg Germany, and it was there that his parents, George and Kate (Brininger) Wolf, were born and reared. The father was a farmer and followed his vocation in his native land until August, 1873, when he emigrated to the United States and settled in Jefferson county, Wisconsin, where he remained a short time, removing thence to Fayette county, Iowa. Later he went to South Dakota, where his death occurred in September, 1886; his wife, who survived him two years, died in September, 1888.


George and Kate Wolf were reputable members of the Lutheran church and inherited many of the sterling qualities for which their respective ancestors were noted. They had six children, whose names are as follows: Michael, of Wittenberg, Germany; Leonard, subject of this sketch; Frederick, a farmer in Scott township, who died in 1906; John, who died in the fatherland; Lewis died in Wisconsin, and Jacob departed this life in September, 1904, in South Dakota.


Leonard Wolf was born February 6, 1845, and spent his early life in Wittenberg, receiving a good education in the Lutheran schools of his native place. He remained in Germany until attaining his majority, when he decided to seek his fortune in the great republic beyond the sea; accordingly, he sailed for America and on arriving at his destination proceeded as far west as Jefferson county, Wisconsin, where he secured employment for about five months as a farm laborer. At the expiration of that time he went to Wentworth county, in the same state, where he spent the ensuing six years on a farm, working for a certain sum per year. Severing his connection with his employer in 1872, he came to Fayette county, Iowa, and purchased two hundred and forty acres of land in sections 23 and 24, Scott township, and an eighty-acre tract in section 26, the only improvement on the land at that time being a small, illy-constructed house, about sixteen by sixteen feet in size and barely habitable.


With characteristic industry and thrift, Mr. Wolf went to work improving his land and in due time realized the results of his labors in one of the best farms and one of the finest country homes in Fayette county. He has made commendable progress as a farmer and stock-raiser and his improvements of all kinds bear witness to the interest he has taken in establishing a good home and providing comfortably for those dependent upon him.


At the present time he owns three hundred and twenty acres of excellent land, the greater part under a high state of cultivation, a portion being devoted to live stock, for which it appears admirably adapted. Mr. Wolf has been unsparing of his means in the matter of improvements, his various buildings being modern and in first-class condition, and. as already indicated, they compare favorably with the best in the county. Some idea of the interest he takes in making his farm a model of its kind may be obtained from the fact of his having expended about four thousand dollars within less than two years on improvements to say nothing of various other large sums, prior to and after the time referred to.


Mr. Wolf came to the New World with no capital save a sound mind in a sound body and an inborn determination to make the most of his opportunities. By diligent labor and the exercise of good judgment, he has succeeded in placing himself in independent circumstances, being at this time the owner of one of the most beautiful and desirable farms in Scott township. Aside from farming, Mr. Wolf has achieved a wide reputation as a breeder and raiser of fine livestock, devoting special attention to Durham cattle, which he markets every year in large numbers, while his hogs of the Chester-White, Poland China and Duroc varieties are among the finest in this part of the state and the source of a large income. He is also an admirer of good horses and on his place may be seen quite a number of exceptionally fine animals, chiefly of the Norwegian-Norman and Belgian breeds and, like many of the enterprising men of his section of the country, he takes pride in poultry, making a specialty of the Brown Leghorns, which he raises on quite an extensive scale.


While living in Wisconsin, Mr. Wolf was united in marriage with Mrs. Barbara Weisner, widow of John Weisner, of Bavaria, Germany, and daughter of John Weisner, also a native of that country. Mrs. Wolf's parents came to the United States a number of years ago and settled in Wisconsin, where her father died at the age of seventy-eight.


Mr. and Mrs. Wolf are the parents of eight children, the oldest of whom, Henry, is unmarried; Annie, the second in order of birth, is the wife of William Falk and the mother of children as follows: Elva, Iva, Dorthea, Lydia, Lewis, Helen and Otto. Frederick, the third of the subject's children, is a resident of Jefferson township and by occupation a dairyman; he married Millie Wagner, of this county, and is the father of a daughter, Mildred, and a son by the name of Laymond. Mary and Maggie, twins, are the next in succession, the former dying in 1906, the latter being still with her parents, as are also Lizzie, Willie and an infant.

Mr. Wolf is a Republican in politics and, with his family, holds membership with the Lutheran church. He is essentially a self-made man and one of the intelligent and influential citizens of his township, being a great reader, a close observer and always keeping well informed on the questions before the public.


~transcribed for the Fayette County IAGenWeb project by Cheryl Walker.


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