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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. II, Biographical Sketches



~Page 808~




Prominent among the leading business men of Oelwein is Henry Joseph Luthmer, proprietor of one of the largest grocery stores in the town and a man of high repute in commercial circles and as a citizen. Mr. Luthmer was born in 1861 in Dubuque county, Iowa, being a son of Ferdinand and Elizabeth (Varwald) Luthmer, the father a native of Mecklenberg, Germany, the mother of Cincinnati, Ohio. Ferdinand Luthmer was brought to America by his parents when eight years old and spent his early life in Dubuque county, Iowa, being left an orphan by the death of both father and mother two years after they came to this country. He grew to maturity in Dubuque county, of which his father was an early pioneer, and from the age of ten was obliged to make his own way in the world. The Varwalds were also among the early settlers of the above county, the subject's mother being about five or six years old when her parents moved west. Ferdinand Luthmer and Elizabeth Varwald were married in the county of Dubuque and there spent the remainder of their lives.


Henry Joseph Luthmer grew up in his native county, received a fair education in the public schools of the same and on laying aside his studies engaged to carry the mail between the towns of Dyersburg and Colesburg, in which capacity he continued for a period of five years. Resigning his position at the expiration of that time, he accepted a clerkship in a general store at Earlville, and when the proprietor died one year later he entered the employ of the Riddell Brothers, of Manchester, who purchased the stock, and was with that firm continuously during fifteen years ensuing. Serving his connection with the firm at the expiration of the period indicated, Mr. Luthmer engaged in business for himself, at Sumner, where he conducted a grocery store for four years and then purchased a similar establishment at Oelwein, which he managed in connection with the former two years longer. Disposing of the establishment at Sumner at the end of that time, he gave all his attention to the business at Oelwein and it was not long until he forged to the front among the leading merchants of the town, and his store is now one of the largest and best patronized of the kind in the county of Fayette.


Mr. Luthmer began business at Oelwein in March 1904, since which time his career has been remarkably successful and, as already indicated, he now commands a large and lucrative trade and occupies a conspicuous place in the commercial circles of his town. He carries a full line of groceries and his business is such that seven clerks are required to attend to the wants of his numerous customers, his patronage being by no means confined to the town, but including an extensive country trade as well. Mr. Luthmer is a fine business man and his advancement from a very modest beginning to his present enviable position as the head of one of the largest and most successful mercantile enterprises of the kind in his part of the state demonstrates the possession of sound intelligence, clear foresight and other abilities of a high order.


Mr. Luthmer was married June 20, 1882 to Ann M. Rubly, of Delaware county, the daughter of Francis Rubly, the union being blessed with three children, Arthur J., Henrietta and Marguerite. Arthur J. married Clara Richie, of Westgate, and is associated with his father in business; the two daughters are still with their parents. Mr. Luthmer and family are highly esteemed and move in the best social circles of the community. They are Catholics in religion and devoted to the good work of the church.



~transcribed for the Fayette Co IAGenWeb Project by Eppie Litmer


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