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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
PETER J. KALB
The gentleman whose name introduces this sketch holds worthy prestige among the younger farmers of Fayette county, and as a public spirited man he occupies a conspicuous place in the community of his residence. Peter Kalb, who is one of Iowa's sterling German-American citizens, who born in the county of Dubuque on the 28th day of July, 1875. His parents, Peter and Anna (Weaber) Kalb, were born in Germany and came to America in 1852, before their marriage, making the voyage on the same sailing vessel and being on the ocean two months ere reaching their destination in the city of New Orleans. John Kalb, a brother of Peter, Sr., accompanied the latter to the new world and is now living in Dubuque, this state. In due time Peter Kalb and Anna Weaber were married, and came to Iowa, locating in Dubuque county, where Mr. Kalb purchased ninety acres of government land which he at once proceeded to improve and reduce to cultivation. Later he bought an additional eighty acres, which he subsequently increased by forty acres adjoining the entire tract, consisting of two hundred and ten acres, becoming in the course of a few years one of the finest farms and among the most beautiful and desirable country homes in the county. Peter Kalb was quite successful as a farmer and at his death left a very valuable estate. He was essentially a self-made man and as such was held in high esteem in his neighborhood and enjoyed to a marked degree the confidence of his fellow citizens. His first wife dying on the 12th of April, 1876, he subsequently married Margaret Younkers, who, with their four children, is still living. Mr. Kalb departed this life on the 8th day of May, 1887. By his marriage with Anna Weaber he had three children, John, Peter, of this review, and Joseph, the subject being the only survivor. The following are the names of the children born to the second marriage: Anna, wife of Peter Pitz, of Dubuque county; Margaret who married Henry George, also a resident of that county; Paul and Bert, who are with their mother on the family homestead.
Peter Kalb, subject of this sketch, was reared to agricultural pursuits in his native county and received his educational discipline in the Catholic schools near his home and a similar school in the town of Centralia. at the early age of sixteen years he started out to make his own way and lay the foundation of his fortune, his first effort being as a farm laborer, in which capacity he continued for several years with the object in view of ultimately becoming something more than a worker for others. Animated by this laudable motive, he applied himself diligently to all he undertook, saved his earnings with scrupulous care , and in 1894 found himself in a position to carry out the resolutions made in his youth. Accordingly in that year he came to Fayette county and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of new land in section 10, Scott township, to the improvement of which he at once addressed himself. By industry and thrift Mr. Kalb soon succeeded in reducing the greater part of his land to cultivation and it was not long until he added a series of improvements which made his farm one of the best as well as one of the most beautiful and attractive places of its kind in the township. In 1894 he erected his present comfortable modern dwelling, which, with other buildings in keeping therewith, adds very much to the appearance of the farm, to say nothing of its increase in value. Since coming to his present place of residence his career has been signally successful and, as indicated in a preceding paragraph, he is now in independent circumstances and occupies a leading and influential position among the men of his calling in the township honored by his citizenship. Mr. Kalb carried the mail for one year between the towns of Scott and Aurora and at the present time is treasurer of school district No. 1. He manifests an active interest in all that makes for the material advancement of his township and county and the advancement of the people, gives an unyielding support to the Democratic party and keeps in touch with the leading questions and issues of the times, on all of which he is well informed, being an independent thinker whose opinions command respect and carry weight.
With a desire to see and inform himself concerning the vast extent of our western domain, Mr. Kalb, in 1899, started on an extended trip through various states and territories, proceeding as far as the Pacific coast and visiting many interesting places in California and elsewhere. During this trip, which occupied the greater part of two years, he traveled several thousand miles and added greatly to his knowledge and practical experience to say nothing of the pleasure enjoyed ere returning to his home in June, 1901. Mr. Kalb is one of the popular men of Scott township, and has many friends else where in the county, being well known and highly regarded by those with whom he has mingled. His character and integrity have ever been above reproach and his reputation as an honorable, high-minded and enterprising citizen entitles him to a worthy place among the progressive men of his day and generation in the county of Fayette.
Mr. 'Kalb, on October 23, 1902, was united in marriage with Matilda Liewer, of Carroll, Iowa, daughter of Wendell and Feronica Liewer, who came to this country from Germany. Four children have been born to this union, namely, Vita, born February 9, 1904; Cleopha, May 8, 1905; Norbert, June 12, 1908, and one who died in infancy. The living children represent many fond hopes which the parents indulge for their future.
Mr. and Mrs. Kalb were reared under the influence of the Catholic religion and have always remained loyal to the teachings and traditions of the mother church. They hold membership with the local church at Oelwein and are active in all good work under the auspices of the same.
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