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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
"The little republic of Switzerland has, perhaps, sent a larger number of its best and most representative citizens to America than any other country in proportion to its size and they have been of great benefit to whatever community they have gone, being, as a rule,, hard workers, loyal and honorable in their relations with their neighbors. In mentioning this class the name of Fred Messerli, of West Union, Fayette county, should not be overlooked. He was born in Switzerland on June 10, 1866, and is the son of Christian and Marie (Krebs) Messerli, both born in Switzerland. The subjectís father followed farming and dealt in wool, as did also his father, whose name was Christian and who spent his life in the old country. He participated in one of the early wars of that country. In 1867 Christian Messerli, Jr., and family came to America, the trip requiring six or eight weeks. They came direct to Illyria township, Fayette county, Iowa, and there bought at first forty acres of land, later added to this as they prospered until they finally became the owner of a fine farm of two hundred and twenty-three acres. Mr. Messerli greatly improved the place, erected substantial buildings and had one of the best farms in the township and he was considered one of the best farmers of the same. He carried on general farming and stock raising with great success. He still lives on the old place, but for several years has not done any regular work. He has lived a quiet life, devoting his time exclusively to his individual affairs, and he is deserving of a great deal of credit for what he has accomplished, having been very poor when he came here. He cleared one hundred and sixty acres.
To Mr. and Mrs. Christian Messerli seven children were born, named as follows: Elizabeth, Amanda, Anna, Christian, Mary, Fred (subject) and Clara. The father of these children is a member of the German Lutheran church. Fred Messerli was educated in Illyria township, this county, and he began working on his father's farm when a boy. Later he purchased eighty acres of land near the home place and there farmed successfully for several years and then bought one hundred and twenty-four acres and moved onto it, carrying on general farming. In the fall of 1906 he came to West Union and has lived retired; however, he still looks after his agricultural interests in a way. He has been very successful in his life work, being a good manager and a man who believes in looking well to his individual affairs.
Mr. Messerli was married in 1891 to Ella Hall, daughter of D. H. Hall, a prominent citizen of this county, and this union has resulted in the birth of the following children: Walter Day, Erla May, Florence Frieda and Merrill Hall.
Mr. and Mrs. Messerli and their children are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. The father is a Republican, but he has never aspired to public positions; being reserved, honest and of a disposition that makes friends readily, he is popular with all."
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