Fred Beutler


Fred Beutler owns and operates a fine farm of eighty acres in Fairview townshi and is classed among the progressive farmers and public-spirited citizens of his locality. He was born in Berne, Switzerland, August 2, 1852, and is a son of John and Susanna (Gemppelar) Beutler, the former a native of Buchholterberg and the latter of Wimmis. The father engaged in farming in his native country, working in the employ of others, and he and his wife never came to America.

Fred Beutler acquired his education in the public schools of Switzerland and at the age of seventeen years began earing his own livelihood, working during two summers as a farm hand in the employ of his uncle. He afterward obtained a position in an embroidery factory and retained that until 1874, when he purchased his father's farm, which he operated for some years, also working on a telegraph line. In May, 1884, he crossed the Atlantic to America and settled first in Monroe, Wisconsin, where he spent seven years as a cheese-maker. From there he removed to Dubuque, Iowa, and obtained a position in the employ of the Illinois Central Railroad Company, retaining it two years and purchasing in the meantime a house and lot in Waukon Junction. When he sold this he purchased an eighty acre farm in FAirview township, this county, and upon this property he still resides, giving practically all of his attention to its improvement and development with the result that it is today a valuable place equipped with substantial buildings and labor-saving machinery. Mr. Beutler engages in general farming and has also important stock-raising interests. In addition to his own farm he also operates a tract of land adjoining which belongs to his son.

Mr. Beutler has been twice married. He was married first in October, 1874, to Miss Anna Egger, who was also born in Berne, Switzerland, June 10, 1851, and to their union six children were born: John F., who resides in Wyoming, where he is engaged in farming; Anna, the wife of Charles Carney, a farmer residing at Waukon Junction; Bertha, who married John Atall, who is engaged in clam fishing and in work at the blacksmith's trade at Waukon Junction; Alfred, who follows the trade of a breidge carpenter and also engages in clam fishing on an island near Waukon Junction; Rosa, who married Charles Albright, a farmer in FAirview township; and Emma, the wife of Alexander Overlee, who is employed in a mill in Waukon.

Mrs. Beutler passed away February 24, 1903, and on the 5th of April three years later, Mr. Beutler was again married, his second wife being Mrs. Emily Reed, widow of George Reed and a daughter of George Gentz. She was born in McGregor, Iowa, July 26, 1865, and her first husband was a native of Galena, Illinois, and a representative of a very prominent family. Mr. Reed's father was a close friend of General Grant, having been his neighbor and quartermaster under him during the Civil war. Having met with financial reverses he left home and took up his residence upon a farm near Cresco, Ioa, but not understanding practical agriculture, met with difficulties and was obliged to dispose of his holdings. Some time later, when Grant became president of the United States, Mr. Reed's father wrote him a letter explaining the situation and was appointed to a position in the postoffice in Chicago, where he made his home until his death. Mr. Reed's mother died at an early age and the father afterward married again. Mr. Reed continued to make his home in Chicago until he was about eighteen years of age. He wished to enlist in the Union army but was prevented by his father's objections and became a railroad worker, being employed as newsboy on a train running from Chicago to North McGregor. He later secured a position in the yards as switchman and rose from that office to be yardmaster at McGregor, whence he was transferred to Calmar and then to Sanborn. He afterward returned to North McGregor, where he was killed while making a coupling on March 12, 1896. Mr. and Mrs. Reed were the parents of two children: Melitta, who married Alfred Beutler, a son of the subject of this review by his first wife; and Crystal, who lives at home and engages in teaching. Both are graduates of the McGregor high school; Crystal a member of the class of 1909, and Melitta, of the class of 1908. The former taught for three years in the district schools of Clayton county and since that time has been connected with the schools of Allamakee county.

Mr. and Mrs. Beutler are the parents of a son, George Frederick Walter, born May 1, 1908.

Mr. Beutler attends the Presbyterian church and in general votes the republican ticket although he casts an independent ballot when he feels that the best interests of the community require such action. For the vast majority of people the term good citizenship does not mean the faithful performance of official duty but rather industry and reliability in business with a spirit more or less active in measures which are calculated to uphold the social and political status of the community. Mr. Beutler is generously endowed with all the qualifications which the term good citizenship implies and he holds therefore the respect and high esteem of his neighbors and friends.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Sharyl Ferrall

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