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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 1382~




Among the successful farmers and praiseworthy citizens of Oran township is Henry Sidler, who was born in LaSalle county, Illinois, on the 3rd day of August, 1850. His father, Samuel Sidler, a native of Germany, came to the United States when young and settled in Pennsylvania, where he married Nancy Meyers, some time after which he moved to LaSalle county, Illinois. He was accidentally killed in the year 1850, by the explosion of a steamboat on Red river, and later his widow became the wife of Henry Gerken, who moved his family to Fayette county, Iowa, in 1854. (See sketch of N. A. Gerken.) Henry and Nancy Sidler had three children, viz: Elias, a farmer of Douglas county, Oregon; Melissa, who died young, and Henry, the subject of this review. The mother died in August, 1883, and subsequently Mr. Gerken married Mrs. Hillman, a widow, after whose death he married her sister, who had been left a widow some years before.


Henry Sidler was brought to Fayette County, when about four years old, and spent his early life on a farm in Oran township, receiving his education in the public schools. He grew up a well developed young man and remained at home until his marriage, which was solemnized on April 17, 1878, with Sarah Jane Hotchkiss, of DeKalb county, Illinois, after which he lived with his grandmother Meyer until moving to the farm he now owns. Mr. Sidler, in 1879, purchased one hundred and twenty acres of fine land in sections 2 and 3, Oran township, which he at once began to improve and in due time he had his farm under an excellent state of cultivation and well stocked. From that year to the present he has devoted his attention very closely to his chosen calling, and as a general farmer and raiser of a high grade of livestock he now occupies a conspicuous place among the leading agriculturists of his township. His industry and good management mark him as a man of practical intelligence and mature judgment and as a result of his well directed labors he is now in comfortable circumstances, with a sufficiency of this world's goods in his possession to insure his future against any probable adversity. In all that concerns the advancement of the community and the welfare of his fellow men, Mr. Sidler manifests a lively interest and as a Republican, in touch with his party and familiar with questions of the day, he wields a strong influence for good government and stands firmly for law and order. He is an excellent neighbor, a loyal friend and as a citizen is public spirited and stands today among the most enterprising and successful men of his adopted country.


Charles and Maria (Crandall) Hotchkiss, parents of Mrs. Sidler, were natives of Chenango county, New York, but early went to DeKalb county, Illinois, where they lived until their removal to Iowa, in the year 1855. Locating in Center township, Fayette county, Mr. Htchkiss entered land, which he improved, and later he purchased two additional farms which in time made him one of the well-to-do men of his neighborhood. He was a progressive farmer and an excellent citizen and his death, on February 6, 1904, was greatly deplored by the community in which he had spent the greater part of his life. Mrs. Hotchkiss survived her husband and is still living on the family homestead, having reached the ripe old age of eighty-five years and retaining to a marked degree the possession of her faculties. She is the mother of four children, namely: Mary, formerly a teacher in the public schools who married Frank Dewey and lives in Fremont township; Charles H. is unmarried and lives on the home farm with his mother; Sarah J., wife of Henry Sidler, and Helen M., now Mrs. William Cross who lives near the town of Fayette. Mr. and Mrs. Hotchkiss early united with the Methodist Episcopal church, and were always very active in religious work, also took a lively interest in whatever made for the moral welfare of those with whom they mingled. In connection with farming, Mr. Hotchkiss worked at the blacksmith trade and his shop was long prized by the people of the community.


Mrs. Sidler received her preliminary education in the schools of Fayette and later attended for three years the Upper Iowa University, fitting herself for teaching. After leaving that institution she taught in the townships of Oran and Harlan and was thus engaged until her marriage, achieving honorable mention for the excellency of her work with young people. She has borne her husband six children, as follows: Etta, who married Henry; Shamer and has four offspring, Clint, Roy, Janie and Blanche. Maude is the wife of Charles Hahn, of Grove Hill, Illinois, and the mother of two children, Clarine and Clyde. Lottie married Valentine Loeb, of Buchanan county, Iowa, and has one daughter by the name of Ida. Elias, a farmer of Bremer county, this state, married Minnie Carpenter and is the father of three children, John, Daisy and Pearl, the last named being deceased. Blanch and Minnie, the youngest, are members of the family and still with their parents. Mrs. Sidler is a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal church and a leader in its various lines of work. Although Mr. Sidler is identified with no particular church, he is a regular attendant of the congregation with which his wife is identified.



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