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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 1398~




Among the substantial men of foreign birth to settle in Fayette county is the well known farmer and excellent citizen of whom the biographer writes in this connection. Ernst F. D. Lenz is a native of Brandenburg, Prussia, where he was born on the 19th of November, 1853. His parents, Carl and Louisa Rosengarten Lenz, also natives of Brandenburg, grew up together and after their marriage obtained their livelihood from the mill which Mr. Lenz owned and operated. He died in 1865 and later his widow became the wife of Charles Linius, who moved his family to the United States in 1868 and settled in Jefferson township, Fayette county, Iowa, where he spent the remainder of his days, dying in June, 1909, his wife preceding him to the grave in 1907.


Carl and Louisa Lenz were the parents of six children, viz : Albertina, who married William Wagner, of Harlan township ; Ernst F. D., of this review ; Herman, a farmer living near Hawkeye, Iowa ; Albert H. S., of Oran township, Hannah, who died in December, 1881, and Gustav, whose death occurred in the year 1874. By her marriage to Mr. Linius, the mother had three children, Charles W., of Oran township ; Theodor, a farmer of Jefferson township, and Fred, who lives on the home place where his parents originally settled.


Ernst F. D. Lenz spent his childhood and early youth in his native land and received his educational training in the schools of the same. When about thirteen years old he accompanied his mother and step-father to America and until the age of nineteen lived at home, the meanwhile becoming proficient in the English tongue and acquiring some knowledge of the common school branches. At the age indicated, he began working for himself as a farmhand, and a little later went to Kansas and Nebraska, where he continued farm labor until his return to Fayette county. In 1880 he bought the farm in section 3, Oran township, which he still owns and which contains two hundred acres of as fine and valuable land as the county can boast.


Mr. Lenz has made all the improvements on his place and is now in independent circumstances, ranking among the leading farmers and stock-raisers of the township in which he resides and standing high in the esteem of the public as an enterprising citizen. In the month of June, 1889, he was happily married to Elisa Helen Lenz, of Pommern, Germany, daughter of William and Emily Lenz, who immigrated to the United States in 1882 and settled in Oran township, Fayette county. Mr. Lenz purchased a small tract of land in the above township and he lived there until 1900, when he removed to Oelwein, but after a residence in that town of two years went to Ridgefield, Washington. In 1909 he made a trip to Europe and upon his return went to Elgin, Illinois, where he now lives with his son Charles, his wife having died in March of 1908. Mr. and Mrs. Lenz had nine children, namely : Henry ; Mrs. Anna Gruenhagen; William; Charles; Elisa; Helen, the wife of the subject; Herman, deceased; Martha, wife of John Morton; Minnie, now Mrs. H. Weirts, and an infant that died unnamed.


The marriage of Ernst and Elisa Helen Lenz has been blessed with the following offspring : Gertrude A., Rudolph E., Gertrude E., Agnes M., John G., (deceased), Walter G., Annie E., and Robert Frederick, who died in 1906.

Mr. Lenz has an interesting family and takes pride in his children, all of whom are bright and intelligent and making the most of their opportunities. The farm home is one of the most beautiful and attractive places in the township of Oran. Mr. Lenz devotes considerable attention to the raising of fine livestock and is also interested in dairying, keeping from twenty to twenty-five cows selected with special reference to their value as milk producers. As already indicated, he is now in independent circumstances and well prepared to enjoy many material blessings which have come to him as a result of his well directed industry and has served on the school board of this town although not a politician nor seeker after honors or emoluments of office. He now lives in Oelwein, though still maintaining the operation of the farm.


In closing this brief review of one of Fayette county’s most estimable citizens, it is deemed proper to include a short notice of his brother, Albert H. S., who is also a man of considerable local prominence and one of the leading farmers of the section of the county in which he resides. Albert H. S. Lenz was born March 29, 1858, in Brandenburg, Prussia, and came to America at the age of ten and on November 18, 1884, he was united in marriage with Hermine Meyers, of Mecklenburg, Germany, a union resulting in the birth of twelve children, viz : H. A. D., Louisa H., Martha M., Carl A. E., Martin T., Minnie E., Albert W., Bertha H., Paul H., Margaret A. and Edgar W.



~transcribed for the Fayette Co IAGenWeb Project by Judy Boie


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