Past and Present of Winneshiek County, Iowa - 1913 - S

Winneshiek County >> 1913 Index

Past and Present of Winneshiek County, Iowa
by Edwin C. Bailey. 2 vols. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1913.

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Andrew Scheidemantel

Andrew Scheidemantel needs no introduction to the readers of this volume for his name has been known and honored in Winneshiek county since pioneer times and has come to be regarded as a synonym for personal integrity, business probity and for reliability in all relations of life.  Andrew Scheidemantel is today one of the most substantial and progressive farmers in this section of the state, owning four hundred acres of land in Military and Springfield townships and in its cultivation he has met with a gratifying measure of success, his prosperity coming as a result of his practical methods and unremitting industry.

He was born on the old Scheidemantel homestead on the 29th of October, 1862, and is a son of Henry and Kunigunda Scheidemantel, of whom more extended mention is made on another page in this work.  His childhood and youth were passed on his fatherís farm and before he had attained his majority he was a practical and able agriculturist, having from an early period assisted with the operation of the home property.  When he began his independent career he formed a partnership with his brother and they rented the homestead, carrying on general farming and conducting also a profitable creamery.  After eighteen years they disposed of the latter business and at the death of the father divided the farm, Mr. Scheidemantel of this review receiving as his share one hundred and sixty acres which he still owns.  He has since added to it and now has four hundred acres in all.  Upon this fine property he carries on general farming and stock-raising and by constantly following the most practical methods and steadily adhering to the highest standards of business integrity he has met with well deserved success, both branches of his activities being important and remunerative.

Mr. Scheidemantel married Miss Mary Lavachek, a native of Bohemia, and they have become the parents of fourteen children: Earl, born March 29, 1893; Henrietta, born July 12, 1894; Della, whose birth occurred on the 12th of July, 1896; Alvie, born August 6, 1899; Rudolph, born June 11, 1903; Bertha, born November 3, 1905; Jerome, born March 2, 1907; Paul and Paulina, twins, born on the 29th of July, 1908; Iola, born February 7, 1910; Louis, born January 7, 1912, and three children who died in infancy.

The family are members of the Roman Catholic church and fraternally Mr. Scheidemantel is connected with the Catholic Order of Foresters.  His political allegiance is given to the democratic party and he is at all times progressive and public-spirited in matters of citizenship, although he neither seeks nor desires public office.  His business interests are at all times carefully and capably managed and they have brought him a degree of success which places him in the front ranks of Winneshiek countyís substantial and representative native sons.

Edward Scheidemantel

One of Winneshiek countyís most progressive and successful native sons and one of the most substantial and prosperous farmers living in the vicinity of Ossian, is Edward Scheidemantel, who owns and operates one hundred eighty acres of land in Military township, whereon he engages extensively in farming and stock-raising.  He was born on the 9th of August, 1868 and is a son of Henry and Kunigunda (Meyer) Scheidemantel, natives of Germany, who came to America in 1848 and settled in Wisconsin.  After two years spent in that state they removed to Winneshiek county, Iowa, and here the father engaged in farming until his death, which occurred in 1888.  His wife survived him a number of years, dying on the 1st of November, 1911.  To them were born eleven children: Eva, the wife of Joseph Brown, of Humphrey, Nebraska; William, of Clear Lake, Minnesota; Theodore, who is engaged in farming near Ossian; Mary, the wife of Theodore Lamm, of Canute, Oklahoma; Clement, also of Canute; Andrew, who resides in Calmar, Iowa; Carrie, who is a nun in a convent in La Crosse, Wisconsin; Henry, of Ossian; Edward, of this review; Joseph, of Winona, Minnesota; and Emilie, the wife of Julius Gernes, of Winona.

Edward Scheidemantel was reared upon his fatherís farm and from his early childhood assisted with its operation, becoming in this way thoroughly familiar with the best agricultural methods.  When he began his independent career he formed a partnership with his brother and they established themselves in the creamery business on the home farm which they operated at the same time, making both branches of their occupation profitable and important.  For about ten years they continued thus but at the end of that time they sold the creamery business and divided the farm, Mr. Scheidemantel of this review receiving as his portion the one hundred and eighty acres upon which he now resides.  He engages in general farming but makes a specialty of stock-raising and, being at all times practical in his methods and straightforward in his business dealings, has met with gratifying and well deserved success.  He has made substantial improvements upon the property, erecting at a cost of over seven thousand dollars a fine two-story, modern residence with nine rooms and a bath, and well furnished and convenient in every particular.  In addition to this there are fine barns, outbuildings and modern machinery, and the farm is in all respects an excellent and well equipped property.

Mr. Scheidemantel married Miss Antonia Mikesh and they have become the parents of seven children, Fred Philip, Alois Clemence, Leo, Ida, Adolph A., Arthur A. and Marcella.  The family are members of the Roman Catholic church and Mr. Scheidemantel is connected fraternally with the knights of Columbus and the Order of Foresters.  His political allegiance is give to the democratic party and although he is not active as an office seeker he is at all times ready to cooperate in movements for the public good.  Through his own labor, industry and good management he has become the owner of a valuable property and is widely and favorably known in his native county for his many sterling traits of character and his business ability.

Henry Scheidemantel

Henry Scheidemantel, carrying on general farming and stock-raising upon two hundred and fifteen acres of land in Military township, near Ossian, is a native of Winneshiek county, born January 25, 1867.  He is a son of Henry and Kunigunda (Meyer) Scheidemantel, natives of Germany, who came to America in 1848 and after spending two years in Wisconsin settled in Winneshiek county, where the father engaged in farming until his death, which occurred in 1888.  His wife survived him many years, dying on the 1st of November, 1911.  To them were born eleven children: Eva, the wife of Joseph Brown, of Humphrey, Nebraska; William, who lives in Clear Lake, Minnesota; Theodore, a farmer living near Ossian; Mary, the wife of Theodore Lamm, of Canute, Oklahoma; Clement, who resides in the same city; Andrew, of Calmar, Iowa; Carrie, who is a sister in a convent at La Crosse, Wisconsin; Henry, of this review; Edward; Joseph, who lives in Winona, Minnesota; and Emilie, the wife of Julius Gernes, also of Winona.

Henry Scheidemantel was reared upon his fatherís homestead and from his childhood aided in its operation, becoming before he had attained majority a practical and able agriculturist.  At twenty he formed a partnership with his brother and for a few years they rented the homestead, which is called the Silver Springs Stock Farm and is one of the finest agricultural properties in this section of the state.  After the fatherís death Henry Scheidemantel inherited two hundred and fifteen acres and this he still owns and upon it is carrying on general farming and stock-raising, making both branches of his activities important and profitable.

Mr. Scheidemantel married Miss Barbara Schissel, and they have become the parents of two children, Caroline and Victoria, who live at home.  The family are members of the Roman Catholic church and fraternally Mr. Scheidemantel is affiliated with the Order of Foresters.  He is a democrat in his political beliefs and has rendered the township excellent service in important official capabilities, acting as trustee for nine years and as president of the school board for twenty years.  He is one of Winneshiek countyís most substantial and progressive native sons, well known throughout Military township for his diligence and enterprise.

Theodore A. Scheidemantel

Theodore A. Scheidemantel, who is one of the extensive landowners and prosperous farmers and stock-raisers of Winneshiek county and also controls important landed and financial interests in various parts of Oklahoma, was born on the old Scheidemantel homestead in Military township on the 20th of October, 1856.  He is a representative of one of the oldest and most prominent pioneer families in this section of the state, being a son of Henry and Kunigunda Scheidemantel, of whom extended mention is made on another page in this work.  The parents were natives of Bavaria, Germany, the father born on the 20th of October, 1820, and the mother on the 16th of June, 1832.  In their family were eleven children:  Eva J., whose birth occurred on the 18th of June, 1853; William, born January 7, 1855; Theodore A., of this review; Mary E., born October 9, 1858; Clemence, born on the 7th of December, 1860; Andrew H., born October 29, 1862; Caroline C., January 9, 1865; Henry J., January 25, 1867; Edward J., November 9, 1868; Joseph F., May 1, 1871; and Emilie M., born July 19, 1873.

Theodore A. Scheidemantel was reared upon the family homestead and throughout the period of his boyhood and youth assisted with the work of its cultivation, gaining in this way knowledge and experience in the details of farm operation which has proven invaluable to him in after life.  In 1880 he left home and went to St. Paul, Minnesota, and thence to Minneapolis, where he became connected with the mercantile business as clerk with Engram & Company, wholesale dealers in dry goods.  After remaining in this connection for about a year he went to Grafton, North Dakota, and there for two years engaged in the butcher business, building up a large and profitable trade before he disposed of his enterprise.  When he did so, he turned his attention to the development of a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres which he had taken up in Pembina county, North Dakota, a property which he afterward sold.  Upon the death of his father he returned to Winneshiek county and when the estate was divided inherited two hundred and forty acres, known as the old McKinzie Hall farm.  To this he has since added forty acres, making this a property of two hundred and eighty acres, practically all of which is under a high state of cultivation.  Mr. Scheidemantel has also bought the old Carl Brouch place, consisting of one hundred and sixty acres on sections 13 and 14, Military township, and he gives a great deal of time and attention to the further development and improvement of these two farms, which are among the finest agricultural properties in the state.  He engages in general farming and stock-raising and, being a reliable, farsighted and discriminating business man, has made both branches of his activities important and profitable.  In addition to his extensive holdings in this county, he also has important landed and business interests in Oklahoma, having become interested in the development of that state in 1900, when he bought one hundred and sixty acres of land in Washita county at the time when the Choctow, Oklahoma & Gulf Railroad was constructed through that part of the state.  He has gradually extended the scope of his interests, having been carried forward by his initiative spirit, his keen sense of business opportunity, his excellent administrative and organizing ability into important relations with financial affairs.  In 1902 he organized in Canute, the Canute State Bank, of which he is now president and in which he owns a controlling interest, and he was also the leader in the founding of the German State Bank of Elk City, Oklahoma, an institution organized during the panic of 1907 with a capital stock of fifty thousand dollars.  Mr. Scheidemantel is not now connected with that enterprise, having sold his stock in 1909.  He assisted his brother Henry in organizing the Silver Springs Creamery Company and although they met with great opposition at the time, it was carried to a successful issue and our subject remained as general manager until success was assured.

Mr. Scheidemantel is a member of the Roman Catholic church and fraternally is connected with the Knights of Columbus and other organizations affiliated with his church.  He is a democrat in his political views and a stanch supporter of the partyís principles, although he never seeks public office for himself.  A man of broad views, modern ideas and progressive spirit, he has left and is still leaving the impress of his work and personality upon the agricultural development of Winneshiek county and upon the financial history of that section of Oklahoma in which he is active, and he is in all respects a man of action and initiative Ė valuable as a factor in the promotion of the growth and advancement of the community in which he has spent his entire life.

Joseph K. Schreiber

Joseph K. Schreiber, well known in commercial circles of Fort Atkinson as buyer and manager for the Farmers Produce Company, was born in Franklin county, Indiana, on the 6 th of January, 1854, and is the son of Anton and Christina Schreiber, the former a native of Switzerland and the latter of Holland. The father came to America as a young man and settled in Oldenburg, Indiana, whence in 1854 he came to Winneshiek county, where he engaged in farming during the remainder of his life, dying on the 14 th of August, 1878. His wife survived him many years, passing away on the 29 th of January, 1891.

Joseph K. Schreiber acquired his education in the public schools of Winneshiek county, whither he was brought by his parents when he was still an infant, and from early boyhood assisted with the operation of the homestead. At the age of twenty-two he assumed entire management of this farm and after the death of his father remained in control until he was thirty years of age, at which time he made an entire change in his active pursuits, turning his attention to the mercantile business in Fort Atkinson. He formed a partnership with his brother Frank and continued in association with him for twelve years, after which he sold his interests and returned to his farming operations, again cultivating the family homestead. After two years, however, he came again to Fort Atkinson and bought a livery business there, which he successfully conducted for six years, selling it at the end of that time in order to engage in farming. He has now six hundred and forty acres of land in the Panhandle of Texas, a property which is bringing him a gratifying annual income. Mr. Schreiber, however, does not five it his personal attention for in 1912 he became connected with the Farmers Produce Company of Fort Atkinson as buyer and manager. In this position his excellent business and executive ability has been called forth and he has accomplished a great deal of important work for the concern, being numbered today among its most trusted and worthy representatives.

On the 18 th of June, 1875, Mr. Schreiber was united in marriage to Miss Mary Kabla and to their union were born eleven children: Anton, a jeweler of Fort Atkinson; George F., who is associated with his father in business; Annie, the wife of William Burns, of Phoenix, Arizona; Edward, of Wagner, South Dakota; Frances, who married F. C. Smith, of Fort Atkinson; Cecilia, who follows the profession of nursing at Fargo, North Dakota; Philip, of Miles City, Montana; Catherine, a Sister in a convent in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Eleanor and Cornelius, both at home; and a child who died in infancy.

Mr. Schreiber is a member of the Roman Catholic church and politically gives his allegiance to the democratic party. Although not an active politician he is interested in the growth and development of Fort Atkinson and in his business capacity has already done a great deal of work which is important as a factor in promoting general commercial activity.

Frank A. Schreiber

Frank A. Schreiber is one of the most prominent and important residents of Fort Atkinson, where he is known as a capitalist and man of affairs. He was born in Sumner township, Winneshiek county, on the 20 th of September, 1856, and is a son of Anthony and Christina (Vahman) Schreiber, the former a native of Switzerland and the latter of Holland. As a young man the father came to the United States and settled in Oldenburg, Indiana, whence in 1854 he came as a pioneer to Winneshiek county. He purchased land and from that time until his death, which occurred on the 14 th of August, 1878, engaged in farming. His wife survived him many years, dying on the 29 th of January, 1891. To their union were born two children: Joseph K., stock buyer for the Fort Atkinson Farmers Cooperative Produce Company; and Frank A., of this review.

Frank A. Schreiber acquired his education in the district schools of Washington township and at the age of seventeen began his independent career, accepting a position as clerk in a general store at Spillville. This he held for two years and at the end of that time came to Fort Atkinson, where he went into business for himself, establishing a general store, which he conducted in partnership with his brother for twelve years, finally assuming entire control. For twenty-two years he continued in successful management of this enterprise, each year witnessing his increased prosperity and the growing importance of the trade which he controlled. The liberal patronage accorded to him was the result of his straightforward business dealings and honorable methods and his activities formed an important element in the promotion of mercantile advancement of the community. Mr. Schreiber sold his store in 1898 and since that time has lived practically retired, having accumulated a comfortable fortune.

On the 19 th of February, 1878, Mr. Schreiber was united in marriage to Miss Mary Krick, who passed away May 15, 1895. On the 26 th of May of the following year Mr. Schreiber was again married, his second union being with Miss Josephine Brockamp, by whom he has one son, Frank C., who was born November 12, 1899. Mr. Schreiber is a member of the Catholic church and is a man of exemplary character, highly respected and esteemed in Fort Atkinson, where his genuine personal worth is well known to his fellow townsmen.

Gustav J. Selnes, who was born on the farm which he now operates, on February 22, 1879, is one of the younger agriculturists of Winneshiek county, owning one hundred and six acres on section 8, Highland township. He is a son of John and Carrie (Solberg) Thorson, natives of Norway. The father came to the state of Iowa in 1861, and the mother was brought here by her parents when she was two years of age. They were married in this county and spent the rest of their lives on the farm which is now the home of their son Gustav J. The father became the owner of two highly cultivated prop­erties of two hundred and one hundred and sixty acres respectively. Long 3'ears of arduous labor brought him prosperity and his high qualities of mind and character earned him the respect and esteem of the neighborhood. Both parents were members of the Lutheran church at Hesper. The father died at the age of sixty-seven, his death occurring on November 8, 1904, and the mother died in 1881, long preceding her husband. In their family were the following children: Theodore, of Highland township; Peter Thorson, of Bow­man county, North Dakota; Gilbert, who passed away at the age of eleven years; John and Julius, of Highland township; Gustav J., our subject; and Clara, who died in infancy.

Gustav J. Selnes acquired his education in the schools of the neighborhood and early adapted himself to an agricultural life. He has resided upon the home farm all his life and now owns a property of one hundred and six acres on section 8. Its improvements are modern and substantial and most of them were made by our subject. He follows modern and up-to-date methods and his years of close application have brought him prosperity.

On September 12, 1906, Mr. Selnes married Miss Gina Augedahl, who was born in Houston county, Minnesota, August 31, 1886. She is a daughter of Andrew and Anna M. Augedahl, natives of Norway, who now reside in Allamakee county, this state. Mr. and Mrs. Selnes have three sons, James, Clifford and Gerhard. The parents are members of the Lutheran church. It is interesting to note that the father of our subject used the name of Thorson, reverting to the old Norwegian family name, while the son has adopted the patronymic Selnes. Mr. Selnes has made a good start toward prosperity and although he is yet young has already accomplished much that comes to many only in later life. He is industrious, painstaking and possesses good judgment and has made use of these qualities in promoting his fortunes.

CHRISTIAN J. SIVESIND

Mr. and Mrs. Christian J. Sivesind

Among the worthy and representative citizens that Norway has furnished to Winneshiek county is numbered Christian J. Sivesind, who was born in the land of the midnight sun, December 28, 1846, his parents being Johannes and Olina Sivesind, who in the year 1853 came to the United States and settled upon the farm where their son Christian now resides, spending their remaining days there. Both reached a good age, for the father, who was born February 19, 1805, passed away April 29, 1885, when in the eighty-first year of his age; and the mother, who was born March 6, 1817, died March 23, 1895. Mr. Sivesind had followed shoemaking in his native country, five men working under him. They tanned the leather, which they would take to the farmers' homes and there make shoes for different members of the family, according to the custom of the times. In 1882 Christian J. Sivesind returned to Norway and talked with many of his father's old friends, who spoke of him as a fine workman who had made wedding shoes for many of them.

After coming to the new world Johannes Sivesind turned his attention to agricultural pursuits and stock-raising, to which he devoted his remaining days, becoming owner of two hundred acres of land, which he carefully and success­fully cultivated. After becoming a naturalized American citizen he cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and was thereafter a republican, never falter­ing in his allegiance to the party. He was an active and helpful member of the Lutheran church and subscribed to the building of Luther College in Decorah. Unto him and his wife were born nine children: Maria, now living in Min­neapolis; Johanna, the wife of George Anderson, of Frankville township; Johan, who was a pioneer of both the Dakotas and Montana and died in 1911; Chris­tian J.; Mina, who died at the age of nineteen years; Emma, the wife of the Rev. J. A. Blilie, of Flandreau, South Dakota; Ole, who died in infancy; Olena, of Charleston, North Dakota, who is the widow of J. J. Worley, who was a school teacher and merchant and also postmaster there, but died in 1910; and Julianna, who married Barrd Hulverson, but both are now deceased.

Six decades have come and gone since Christian J. Sivesind took up his abode upon the farm which is now his home. He today owns one hundred and twenty acres of well improved land on section 26, Glenwood township, and is one of the progressive farmers of the district. His only absence from the home place occurred when he was a student in Luther College at Decorah, in which he spent two and a half years. He has worked diligently and persistently to bring his land under a high state of cultivation, and he has upon his place good farm machinery and modern equipments.

On the 19th of December, 1901, Mr. Sivesind was married to Miss Christina Evenrud, who was born in Glenwood township and is a daughter of Andrew and Carenna Evenrud, of whom mention is made on another page of this volume in connection with the sketch of Nels A. Evenrud.

In politics Mr. Sivesind has always been a republican, stanchly supporting the principles of the party. He has held all of the township offices, save that of justice of the peace, to which he has been elected on four different occasions but would never qualify. He was postmaster at Woodville until the office was dis­continued, and in 1900 he was census enumerator. He holds membership in the First Lutheran church, in which he has filled various official positions, and at all times his life has been actuated by high and honorable principles in harmony with his professions as a member of the church. He was a little lad of but six years when brought by his parents to the new world, and since that time he has resided continuously in Winneshiek county, always identified with its agricul­tural interests, and the record which he has made is a commendable one.

Peter J. Smith

Among the successful and progressive farmers of Winneshiek county is numbered Peter J. Smith, who owns and operates a fine property of one hundred and sixty acres on section 33, Washington township.  He is a native of Iowa, born in Fayette county, November 15, 1870, and is a son of John and Margaret (Schatz) Smith, natives of Prussia, Germany, who came to America in 1856, locating first in Wisconsin.  After two years they moved to Fayette county, Iowa, and in 1880 came to Winneshiek county, the father buying two hundred and eighty acres of land on section 33, Washington township.  This property he made a model farm, giving his entire attention to its improvement and development until his death, which occurred in 1898, his wife surviving him until 1907.  To their union were born twelve children:  Catherine, who married Christopher Nepper, of Gregory, South Dakota; Zita, the widow of John Henke, of Fayette county; Philip and Fred, who reside in Fayette county; Annie, the wife of Gen Gardner, of the same county; Barbara, the widow of C. C. Grimes, of Lelo, South Dakota; Mary, who has passed away; Frances, the wife of John Schleier, of Winneshiek county; Peter J., of this review; John, deceased; Clemence, of Fayette county; and Frank, a resident of Fort Atkinson.

Peter J. Smith accompanied his parents to Winneshiek county in 1880, being at that time ten years of age, and he completed an education begun in his native section in the district schools.  He remained with his father until he was twenty-six years of age and then began his independent career, renting one hundred and twenty acres of land in Fayette county.  Upon this he resided for two years, after which he purchased one hundred and sixty acres on section 33, Washington township, Winneshiek county, upon which he has since made his home.  There is an attractive swelling upon the property, the other improvements are substantial and modern and the entire farm is divided into fields of convenient size by means of fences.  Mr. Smith engages in general agricultural pursuits and stock-raising and both branches of his activities are profitable and important.

On the 15th of November, 1899, Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Miss Maggie Hein and they have become the parents of five children, Nora, Irvin, Herbert, Louis and Bertha.  Mr. Smith is a devout member of the Roman Catholic church and politically gives his allegiance to the democratic party, taking an active and public-spirited interest in community affairs, although never seeking office for himself.  He early learned that industry is the basis of all success and he has labored diligently and earnestly throughout the years to gain a comfortable competency and to win for himself a creditable position in agricultural circles.  The many sterling qualities of his character have commended him to the confidence and good-will of all and he has an extensive circle of friends in the community where practically his entire life has been spent.