AREND BALSTER was born at Scotch Grove, Jones County, Iowa, May 9,
1894, and is regarded as the most conspicuously successful business man in that
prosperous little farming community.
Mr. Balster's father, John C. Balster, was also a native of Iowa and was of
the substantial farmers of Scotch Grove Township, where he lived until his death
in 1914. He married Gesine Heyen, a native of Germany, who came to Iowa when a
girl. She is still on the old homestead farm. With her is her oldest daughter,
Mary, who during the World war, while her brother Arend was in training camp,
took charge of his business at Scotch Grove. Anna Balster married George Moenk,
a farmer in Castle Grove Township, Jones County, Louise is the wife of Edward
Stadtmuller, a farmer in Wayne Township. Hannah married Ernest Heiken, a farmer
in Scotch Grove Township. Robert H. is in the implement business at
Monticello. Louis is deceased.
Mr. Arend Balster made good use of his advantages in the country schools of
Iowa. When he left school, at the age of seventeen, he farmed for two years and
at the age of nineteen began his business career at Scotch Grove, handling farm
implements. He started with one small building and is today owner of a complete
establishment, comprising three main buildings, which house stocks of hardware
and implements, groceries and dry goods, and also provide quarters for the post
office. Mr. Balster has held the office of postmaster of Scotch Grove for the
past ten years. He also has the wholesale agency for repairs and cutting parts
for the Adriance and Moline Grain and Corn Binders and other implements, and
ships these parts to all the western states except California. He is also
manager of the Scotch Grove branch of the Eclipse Lumber Company.
In his first year in business Mr. Balster sold goods to the value of about
$11,000. The past year his volume of business has exceeded $110,000. This is a
remarkable showing for a town numbering only sixty-one population and is an
evidence of Mr. Balster's enterprise and his reputation for integrity.
On May 10, 1918, during the World war, he was drafted into the Twenty-first
Infantry and was sent out to San Diego, California. He was also in training at
the Rockwell Flying Field at North Island near that city, and later was sent to
Camp Kearney, where the Sixteenth Division was still in process of formation
when the armistice was signed. He was made a corporal. He returned home
January 9, 1919, and since then has given uninterrupted attention to his
business. Mr. Balster is a member of the Monticello Post of the American Legion
and is a Lutheran.
He married, December 12, 1917, Miss Minnie Hedden, daughter of Henry and Mary
(Hausman) Hedden. Her parents are well-to-do farmers of Scotch Grove Township.
Mr. and Mrs. Balster's only son, Leslie, is attending school at Monticello,