Cottonwood County MN Biographies--August Mertens
August W. Mertens was born in Cook county, Illinois, August 31, 1846. He is a son of Christopher C. Mertens, a native of Germany, and Mary (Jaeger) Merterns, a native of Prussia.

The parents of the subject of this sketch came to America in 1845 and located in Cook county, Illinois, where they made their home until 1856, when they removed to Scott county, Minnesota, where they remained rest of their lives. The Father died in 1884; the mother in 1886. The children of this family were: Frederick G., August W., Randolph F., Minnie, Bertha, Ida, Louisa, Mary and Louis L.

August W. Mertens was educated in the public schools of Cook county, Illinois, and in Scott county, Minnesota. During his school years he worked on a farm, and at the age of nineteen he went to St. Paul, Minnesota. There he attended Curtis College at night for two years, and also learned the tinners' trade. He was afterward employed as a clerk for N. B. Harwood, of St. Paul, for three years. In November, 1869, he started a general merchandise store at Jordan, Minnesota, which he continued until 1875.

He then sold out and went to Granite Falls, Minnesota, where he engaged in the hardware and lumber business for one year; then removed to New Prague, Le Sueur county, and opened up a general store, dealing in hardware, implements and grain; in 1893 he sold out this store and removed to International Falls, Minnesota, where he resumed the hardware business. In a short time he again sold out and engaged in the real estate business, continuing in this business until 1908, when he left there and came to Jeffers, Cottonwood county, and started a general merchandise store. This is the business in which he is at present engaged.

Mr. Mertens is a stockholder and vice-president of the Farmers State Bank, of Jeffers; and is a stockholder and director of the American Loan Society, of Minneapolis. He is identified with the Republican party, and has served one term as mayor of the village, and also served as a member of the village council. His church relationship is with the German Lutheran church.

Mr. Mertens has been twice married. His first wife was Matilda J. Bonander, to whom he was married in 1876; she died in 1892. The children born to this union were: Mannie, Frederick L., Arthur L., and George T. His second wife was Ida Fort; no children by this marriage.

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