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Biographical Sketches
Lewis Township
1883

BECK, Christian Henry

Farmer, P. O. Council Bluffs, born in Holstein, Germany, August 22. 1827, son of A. H. and Elziaba (Keckbusch) Beck, both Iwrn in Holstein, Germany. They had ten children, five girls and five boys. Suljject was educated in Germany; commenced life as a farmer, and married in this countv in June. 1859, S. Young, born in Alsace, Germany, in 1845, daughter of Jacob and S. Young, both natives of Alsace, Germany, Mr. and Mrs. Beck are the parents of the following children, viz.: Ferdinand, Laura, Margaret, Rosa, Frederick, Gotlieb, Johanna, Christina, John and Adolph. Subject is a School Director, a member of the Lutheran Church, a Democrat; and came to this county in 1856; commenced farming and stock-raising; lives on Section 10, this township; owns 340 acres of good farming land, and came here a poor man, but by close application to business he has made himself a "solid man," and is certainly one of the best farmers in Lewis Township.


DIXON, A.

Farmer, P. O. Council Bluffs, was born in Ohio in 1840, and emigrated to Iowa in 1859, being employed about twelve years on Des Moines Valley Railroad. In 1871, he moved to this county, and went to farming. Bought his place in 1875, and the next year moved to it. He was married, July 20, 1863, in Keokuk, Iowa, to Miss Marilla Jane Wells, born in Missouri in 1843. They have had eight children, seven now living - four boys and three girls. Mr. Dixon began railroading, when about sixteen, in Ohio, and kept it up till he began farming in Pottawattamie County. His father, Jacob Dixon, was a miller by trade; he died in the army in 1862, having gone out with the cavalry from Missouri - Col. McKee. His mother is still living in Iowa. He has always been Democratic. Belongs to Bluff City, No. 71, Masonic fraternity, becoming a Mason first at Keokuk, Iowa. When coming to his place, it was wild land with no improvements whatever. Mr. Dixon has given fruits of various kinds a trial, and has been rewarded with success - blackberries, grapes, plums, etc., of small fruits; and, besides these, he has peaches measuring two and a half inches in diameter and well flavored; apples four inches in diameter. Such is the success in a country where the theory has been that fruit could not be raised.


FROHARDT, J. D.

Farmer, P. O. Council Bluffs, born in the State of Hanover, Crermany, October, 8, 1810, son of J. D. and Mary (Frye) Frohardt, both born in the State of Hanover, Germany; he, in 1761, died in February, 1833; she, in 1771, died in December, 1832. They had nine children. Subject received his education, principally, in the old country; commenced life as a grocer, but only stayed in the business for a short time when he commenced farming; he married in Moniteau Co., Mo., April 15, 1845, Miss W. C. Kunning, born in the State of Hanover, Gerpany, October 30, 1827, daughter of J. H. and M. M. Kuuning, both born in Hanover, Germany, about 1794. Mr. and Mrs. Frohardt have seven children, viz.: F. W., C. W., L. P., C. M., A. M., Ferdinand and Dora. Subject is a Methodist, a Republican, been School Director for several terms and holds the office now; has followed agricultural pursuits nearly all his life; was a member of Company B, under Capt. Rice, of the Home Guards of Moniteau County, Mo.; located in this county in 1866, moving from Moniteau County, Mo.; was a leading member and officer of the M. E. Church in Moniteau County; is also greatly interested in the church in this township; has always been an earnest worker in the cause of Christ, and is a leading and respected citizen. L. P., his second son, is teaching school in St. Louis County, Mo.; William, his oldest son, lives in Keg Creek Township, this county.


HESS, J. P.

Ffarmer, P. O. Council Blufls, was born April 30, 1851, and raised in Lancaster County, Penn., and remained there till April, 1879; then came to Grundy County, Iowa, and first settled in Holland, but, not liking it there, he came on West, and after looking through Nebraska and the western part of Iowa, he bought his present place, and came to it in the fall of 1879. When first buying, he got only eighty acres, and paid $22.50 per acre. He has since added another eighty to his farm. His farming is quite general now, but Mr. Hess bought it more for fruit and vegetable farm, and lias already many grapevines and different fruit trees, and he finds his farm well adapted to fruit, it being high and well protected by timber on the north, so frost does not strike him so early or so late as most other places. Mr. Hess was raised on a farm, and farming has been his business most of his life. He is a son of Rev. J. R. Hess, who is still farming in Lancaster, Penn. His mother is also living. Mr. Hess has five brothers; all are farmers, and live in Lancaster County. He was married, spring of 1872 to Miss Susan Konigmacher, who was also born in Pennsylvania, in Lancaster County, within two miles of Mr. Hess' birthplace. Mr. Hess has a family record which dates back to 1712, when Samuel Hess came from Switzerland toAmerica, and settled in Pennsylvania, and land that was deeded to some of the original members of the family still remains in the same name. Other members of the Hess family have deeds given by William Penn. Mr. Hess' wife's ancestry in America dates back to about the same time, and have figured largely in the history of Lancaster County, Penn. Mr. Hess has three boys - John Jacob (born December 3, 1873), Eddie A. (born March 26, 1875), Adam K. (born February 12, 1881). He is a Republican in politics, and has always been. He received his education in the common schools of his native county. The Hess family is of the religious denomination called Mennonites. They were originally a branch of the Waldenses, of Switzerland, afterward Proselytes of the church of Simon Menno, a reformer, who left the Catholic Church about the time of Luther. They left the old country on account of religious persecutions. When Mr. Hess came here, there was no school in the Carterville School District, but he and Mr. Rich went before the School Board of Garner Township, and through their aid the schoolhouse was put in repair and opened for that district, which includes part of Lewis and part of Garner. Mr. Hess' children are of the eighth generation in America.


NORIN, J.

Farmer, P. O. Council Bluffs, was born in Sweden in 1849. In 1869, he came to America; came to Iowa, and was in Burlington for six months, and then came to Council Bluffs, and ever since has made Pottawattamie County his home. After one year here, he went into the Deaf and Dumb Institute as chief engineer, having charge of their gas works as well as of the heating department. He remained in that for nine years, and then quit on account of health in the fall of 1880, and since that time has been on his farm. In 1875, he bought his farm, and has been having it improved since that time. His main business is hog-raising, and he has been very successful in his business. He also has his place well improved. Mr. Norin was married at the Deaf and Dumb Institute to Miss Anna E.Johnson; she was also born in Sweden. They were married in 1875. They have one child - a girl. His father died in the old country, but his mother came to America in 1879, and is now living with Mr. Norin. He is a Republican in politics, and his first vote was cast for President Hayes. Mr. N. was educated in Sweden in his native language.


PLUMER, H. F.

P. O. Council Bluffs, born in Hanover, Germany, in 1829, son of J. H. and Mary Plumer, both born in Hanover, Germany; he, a farmer, born in 1793, is still living; she, born in 1798, died in her sixty-first year; they had six children. Subject received his education principally in the old country; began life as a farmer and married in California Moniteau Co., Mo., August 20, 1849, Miss S. Kinny, born in Ohio October 12, 1835, daughter of J. H. and Mary Kinny, both born in Hanover, Germany, and both dead. Mr. and Mrs. Plumer have thirteen children, viz.: Mary, John, William, Emeline, Josephine, Ferdinand, Edward, Corniel, Oscar, Augusta, Tomie, Laura and Henry. Subject is a member of the Lutheran Church, a Democrat, filled the offices of School Director, Road Supervisor; was first Director of Subdistrict No. 7, at that time belonged to Kane Township; came to this county in spring of 1851; built the mill in Council Bluffs, known as the "Crystal Mills," in thespring of 1870; has a large stock farm in Woodbury County, this State; also owns some 800 acres of a stock farm in this county; is one of the most prominent farmers in this section; when he came to this county there were no Gentiles living in the county; there was no settlement of any kind, except the Mormons, when he located in this township, in what is called the Plumer settlement; the only stores that amounted to anything were two small buildings on or near where the Ogden House now stands; came to America in 1840; lived  about ten years in Moniteau County, Mo., when he moved here and has resided ever since; is one of the most enterprising farmers in the county, and has erected on his farm a fine barn 60x30 feet; he sold, in the spring of 1882, ninety head of fine fat steers, which he had fed on his own farm, the average weight being 1,600 pounds.


SMITH, Jesse M.

Farmer, P. O. Council Bluffs, was born in Pennsylvania in 1827, and remained there till he was sixteen years old, and then went to Indiana, in the vicinity of Indianapolis, and remained there till 1863, when he moved to Iowa, settling in Harrison County, where he remained two years, and then came to Pottawattamie County, and has been here since in different places, and has been on his present farm for about eight years. When buying his home place, he had to pay $10 per acre, there being no improvements whatever. He has since been ditching - making over two miles of ditches on his place, and in that way has reclaimed all of his land. His other improvements are also good, having a fine residence and barns. Mr. Smith's farm how consists of 400 acres, all under fence and part in cultivation, the remcainder in pasture and meadow. His farming is corn and stock-raising. He was educated in Pennsylvania in the common schools. He was married in Indiana, about 1854, to Miss Hannah Ballard. The second time he was married to Miss Nancy Wright, also in Indiana, in Indianapolis, in March, 1862. He has one son by first wife. He is a Republican in politics. Belongs to the Church of God.


WRAY, William

Farmer, P. O. Council Blurffs, was born in England in 1833, in Lincolnshire;  came to America in 1851; lived in Indiana till 1858; he came to Iowa, and settled in Pottawattamie County, and has been here ever since, except three years he was in Montgomery County, Ind. In 1869, he moved to Lewis Township, and has been here ever since. Mr. Wray was educated in England. He has followed farming most all his life, but freighted across the plains for about three years - from the Missouri River to Denver and difierent mountain towns. On account of the Indians getting bad, he quit in 1864 or 1865. Mr. Wray's father, Benjamin Wray, died in England, but his mother came to America, and died in Union County, Iowa. He has six brothers and two sisters, all in Iowa. His first farm, in Lewis Township, was in Section 14, and had been improved some by the Mormons, but not enough to help it much. He now lives on Section 13, on the bank of Horseshoe Lake. Till the spring of 1881, the channel of the Missouri River was within eight or ten rods of the house, but it has changed till now it is about three miles distant. He was married, in 1865, in Union County, Iowa, to Miss Sarah Barton; she was born in England. They have two children dead, but none living. He is a Democrat in politics.


WRIGHT, I. S.

Farmer, P. O. Council Bluffs, was born in North Carolina February 23, 1816; moved into Putnam County, Ind., when about ten years old; came to Iowa in the spring of 1867; settled in Mills County, and remained till he came to Pottawattamie County February 10, 1875, and came to his present place, which he had bought the year before. His farm consists of about three hundred and fifty acres on what is called the "Bench," and then he has about one hundred acres on the river. Of his home farm, about two hundred and sixty acres are in cultivation - the remainder in grass and pasture. The K. C, St. J. & C. B. R. R. runs through his farm, and has a station near his house called Wright, in honor of Mr. Wright. The road was located here about five years ago, when the railroad had to change part of its track on account of the river washing out its former track. His farming is mostly cornraising. Mr. Wright was married, January, 1840, to Miss Doeia Mills; she was born in Kentucky, but moved to Indiana when young. They have two children living - one in Colorado, now Mrs. Elizabeth Smith. Their son, T. A. Wright, lives on the farm; is also married. He is Democratic in politics. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. His business has been farming most all his life; however, while in Putnam County, Ind., he was in the merchandise business for about five years, and was also County Treasurer in Putnam County a term or two, besides other offices.


WEIDNER, William

Farmer and stockraiser, P. O. Council Bluffs, born in Butler County, Ohio, June 21, 1821, son of J. and Elizabeth (Snyder) Weidner, both born in Sunbury, Penn.; he, a farmer, in 1780, died in Butler County, Ohio, in 1847; she, in 1783, died in Butler County, Ohio, in 1831. They had six children, four boys and two girls. Subject received his education, principally, on Elk Creek, Butler County, Ohio; commenced life as a farmer and stock-raiser, and married his first wife, M. A. Brelsford, in Butler County, Ohio, in 1847, daughter of Benjamin and Jane Brelsford; married his second wife, Hannah K. Marsh, in Shelby County, Ind., in 1858. daughter of John and Sarah Marsh. Mr. Weidner's first wife had four children, viz.: Benjamin, Elizabeth J., A. D. and Katie Ann, and his second wife's children are John W., died February 5, 1882, just twenty-four years old; Samuel, Ida May and Mineola. Subject is a member of the Methodist Church, a Democrat, a Freemason, an Odd Fellow, served as Constable in Shelby County, Ind.; been Township Treasurer; moved from Butler County, Ohio, in 1849, to Shelbyville, Ind., engaging in the stock business; then moved to Clarinda, Page Co., this State, where, in 1867, he lost his second wife; from there he moved to this township, engaging in the stock business, which he still follows; has been handling stock for J. T. Stewart for four years; has been a Freemason for forty years, and is one of the oldest Masons in the State.


From History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, published by O. L. Baskin & Co.
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