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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 685~


Rev John G. Rembold


The writer of biography, dealing with the personal history of men engaged in the various affairs of every-day life, occasionally finds a subject whose record commands exceptional interest and admiration and especially is this true when he has achieved more than ordinary success or made his influence felt as a a leader of thought and a benefactor of his kind. The gentleman whose name forms the caption of this sketch was eminently of that class who earn the indisputable right to rank in the van of the army of progressive men, and by reason of a long and strenuous career devoted to the good of his fellows and to the dissemination of the gospel of peace throughout the world he occupies a position of wide influence and made a name which will long live in the hearts and affections of the people. Though most of his latter life had been closely identified with agricultural pursuits, yet he never lost an opportunity to do a good deed, to help some one in need of kindly service or to foster any movement looking to the general good. He was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, June 24, 1832, and was the son of George and Barbara (Enteman) Rembold, who also were natives of Wurtemberg, the father born in 1800 and the mother in 1807. They married in 1827, and became the parents of four sons and three daughters: Dora, born in Wurtemberg in 1829 married George Rapp, and became the mother of eight children; Mr. Rapp for many years operated a meat market at East Dubuque, Iowa; Frederick, born in Germany, married after coming to America and died in 1853; Rev. John G., of this review; Barbara, born in Germany, in 1833, married Jacob Loeb, who died in Germany, after which his wife with her five children came to America in 1882. The mother of this family died in 1836 and the following year Mr. Rembold was again married, and three children were born of the second union: Jacob, born in 1839; Frederica, born in 1840, and Christoph, born in 1842. The father died in Germany in 1875, at the advanced age of seventy-five years.


Rev. J. G. Rembold spent his boyhood days in his native land and laid the foundation for an excellent education in the common schools there. When twenty years of age he came to America, landing in New York City, a few weeks later went to Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, where he spent about four years with an uncle. He came to Iowa in 1856, locating in West Union, where he remained until 1858. Determining upon the ministry as a life work, he resumed his studies, entering the Upper Iowa University at Fayette and a year and a half later became a student at St. Sebald Seminary, from which he was graduated in 1864, having made a splendid record there. The Iowa synod of the German Lutheran church, which was in charge of that school, ordained him as a minister in the year of his graduation.


The domestic life of Rev. Mr. Rembold began at Detroit, Michigan, on June 13, 1865, when he espoused Magdalena Prottengeier, who was born in Germany, March 2, 1844, a daughter of Conrad and Barbara Braunlein Prottengeier, whose family consisted of three sons and five daughters, namely: George, born July 26, 1829, married Emma Koeberle about 1862, and eight children were born to them; he was a miller by trade and resided near St. Sebald until after the death of his wife, when he moved to a farm near Waverly, Iowa, where he died in July, 1890; Annie Prottengeier was born September 20, 1831, and died in St. Sebald in 1881; she married George Wuest, a cabinetmaker of Dubuque, Iowa, and six children were born to them: Margaret, who was born in 1832, married Prof. Sigmund Fritschel, D.D., of Dubuque, Iowa, and for many years professor of literature and Bible history in St. Sebald Theological Institute, and they became the parents of eleven children, one of whom was exceptionally highly educated, passing through many noted institutions in this country and Germany, and at the beginning of a very promising and brilliant career, he died in Mendota; Annie Magdalena Prottengeier was born in 1836, married Albert Andrew, formerly a merchant in Dubuque, later a farmer near St. Sebald; Barbara, born in 1839, married Rev. C. Ide, and became the mother of eight children, dying at the parsonage of Zion's congregation in 1881; Rev. Christoph, who was born in 1841, a minister in the German Lutheran church, married in Toledo, Ohio, and eight children constituted his family; the next in order of birth was Mrs. John A. Rembold, wife of the subject; the youngest was born in 1847 and died in childhood.


Over thirty years of Rev. Mr. Rembold's life was spent in educational work, which he began in 1858 and he became one of the noted educators of this section of the state during that long period of service in this line. Twenty-four years of his very busy and useful life were spent in the ministry, his first charge being at Marine City, Michigan, from which place he was soon transferred to Sanilac, Michigan, where he remained until 1867, when he came to Iowa and became pastor of the church at Bellevue. In 1873 he was appointed superintendent of the Asylum for Orphans and Destitute Children, of the Evangelical Lutheran church. He assumed full charge of the school, both the financial and clerical business, in a manner creditable to himself, of much profit to the institution and of general satisfaction. Three hundred children were taken into the school, educated and provided for otherwise at the expense of the church, during his superintendency, all homeless and destitute children being welcomed; most of those children have become useful and worthy citizens. In connection with his work there, he also had charge of the congregations at Andrew and Maquoketa, where he preached two Sundays each month. He also served as local missionary at various times, preaching to congregations who were without a minister, laboring in such a manner at Lost Nation, Spragueville, Buckeye and other places. He started the congregations at the last three named places, and, in fact, served them for years. He revisited each of these in 1909 and found flourishing conditions, good strong churches. He found his most pleasant work in the church; he started many Sunday schools, and during his long ministry he never missed a Sunday on account of sickness. He was always liberal in his views on public matters, being independent in politics, also liberal in his views on prohibition - in fact he was not a prohibitionist. Although advanced in years, he served the church at Wadena until his death. He was a power for good in the church, a forceful, learned, eloquent expounder of the gospel of the lowly Nazarene. He was always a profound student and had one of the most extensive and best libraries in the county, composed of the world's best literature, with which he was familiar and he was a most charming conversationalist as well as a public speaker. He led a useful and upright life, devoted to the church and its interests and was esteemed by all classes.


Finding it necessary on account of failing health to abandon regular work, in 1885 he purchased the farm to which he moved in 1887, which is known among old settlers as the Turner place and consists of two hundred and eighty acres, which is valuable and well improved, having a large, attractive and cozy dwelling and commodious barns and outbuildings. The place is well watered and admirably adapted to stock raising and grain production. He managed his place in a very able manner and made of it one of the choice farms of the township. Here Mr. Rembold lived until his death in September, 1910.


To Rev. Mr. Rembold and wife the following children were born. Barbara, born May 23, 1866, is the widow of Rev. John Moehl, who died at the age of thirty years while pastor of the church at Lost Nation; Godfried, born October 9, 1868, received an excellent education, and is now a cement contractor at Oelwein; John, born October 11, 1870, became a farmer, assisting his father on the home place; Hans is a barber at West Union, Iowa; Albert, born January 27, 1873, operates the home farm; Christoph, born September 24, 1875, is a minister in the Lutheran church at Berea, Ohio; he graduated at the Waterbury Seminary at Waverly, Iowa, and he served the church at Lost Nation, Iowa, and Genoa, Illinois; Paul, born February 9, 1878, is a jeweler at Farmington, Minnesota; Mary Ann, born March 9, 1881, is the wife of Emil Moschel, a farmer in Windsor township; Karl, born December 1, 1883, is a graduate of the Watbush Seminary, and became a minister, preaching in the Lutheran church at Lamont and Aurora, Iowa, and at Dundee; Julius born November 22, 1887, is a jeweler. These children were all well educated and are successful in their chosen callings, men and women of high ideals and are regarded as good honorable people wherever they live, reflecting the wholesome home environment in which they were reared.




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