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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
Gustav A. Oelwein
"Gustav A. Oelwein, after whose family the city of Oelwein was named, is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and the only surviving child of Frederick and Cecelia (Schmidt) Oelwein, who were natives of Saxony, Germany, and emigrated to America in 1837, settling in Baltimore.
Mr. Oelwein, the subject of this sketch, was born on the 10th of February, 1838, and in 1848 removed with his parents to Dubuque county, Iowa, and later, in 1855, the family moved to Jefferson township, Fayette county. He attended the schools of Baltimore and Dubuque, and after moving to Fayette county, he gave his attention to agricultural pursuits, which business he followed for many years. In 1857 the land on which the city of Oelwein now stands was purchased, and in 1868 he purchased a tract of land about two miles south of the present city and erected a flour and feed mill, which he operated for some time. He has recently sold this land to the city for a park site.
In 1872 the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern railroad survey came through, and the town was started in 1873. Mr. Oelwein donating the site, the town was given his name.
On the 23d day of February, 1861, Mr. Oelwein led to the marriage altar Emma Schmidt, daughter of Frederick and Maria Schmidt, who was born in Saxony, Germany, on March 24, 1836. She attended the schools in her native country and in 1855 came with her parents to America, where they located on a farm in Jefferson township, Fayette county.
By their union eight children have been born, as follows: Mary E., Carl F. W., Emma A., Oscar R. (who died in infancy), Anna L., Lena C., Gustav A. Jr., and Theresa C. All the children received good educational advantages.
The city bearing the family name of
the subject is a thrifty, prosperous, wide-awake business place,
containing more than six thousand inhabitants. It has two railroads, the
Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific and the Chicago Great Western, whose
lines branch from this point to Chicago, St. Paul and Minneapolis,
Kansas City and Omaha, making this an important railroad center. The
city has made rapid strides in the past few years, and is destined soon
to become one of the important cities of Iowa. These facts are given in
view of the name of the city being associated with that of the subject
of this sketch. Mr. Oelwein and his family are members of the Lutheran
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