John H. Gericke

John H. Gericke

John H. Gericke, a successful farmers and expert machinist, owning a fine property of one hundred and sixty acres in the vicinity of Postville, was born in Clayton county, near National, on the 3d of July, 1874. He is a son of John and Mary (Klinge) Gericke, natives of Germany , the former born in Prussia and the latter in Mecklenburg. The father crossed the Atlantic about 1869 and settled first in Chicago, where for a short time he worked in the employ of others, later removing to Iowa and engaging in railroad construction work between McGregor and La Crosse, Wisconsin. He abandoned this in favor of agricultural pursuits, working as a farm hand in Clayton county until his marriage, after which he rented land and engaged in farming for himself. Success steadily attended his labors and he was eventually able to purchase a fine property in Post township and to this he has added from time to time until he now owns two hundred and twenty acres. He has of late years laid aside the cares of active life and is living retired, his sons developing and cultivating the farm. He and his wife became the parents of ten children: John H., of this review; Ida, the wife of Chris Meyers, who operates the farm adjoining Mr. Gericke’s; Fred, who is engaged in farming in Franklin township; Bertha, the wife of Wendell Wagener, a farmer near Castalia, Winneshiek county; Amelia, who married Otto Sanders, a carpenter in Postville; Matilda, who lives at home; Henry, who resides with his father on the homestead; Amanda, who became the wife of William Sebastian, a farmer in Franklin township; Senda, who lives at home; and William, who resides on a farming Post township.

John H. Gericke acquired his education in the district schools of Clayton county, and began his independent career when he was eighteen years of age, at which time he formed a partnership with his brother William and purchased a threshing machine, which he operated during the threshing seasons, spending the remainder of his time assisting in clearing the homestead. He continued thus until he was twenty-seven years of age and again in partnership with his brother William purchased a half interest in two hundred and sixty-four acres of land. This property they cultivated for three years, and at the end of that time Mr. Gericke of this review sold his interests to his brother. He then purchased the farm on which he now resides, his one hundred and sixty acres being principally fine timber land, although he has a small tract cleared and under cultivation. In addition to general farming he operates a sawmill, a threshing machine, a silo filler and cutter and a corn shredder and has developed a natural mechanical ability until he is today an expert machinist, never needing any assistance in setting up or operating his machinery.

Mr. Gericke is a member of the Turner Society of Postville and is well and favorable known in that place. His life has been such as to give him high standing in the locality where he makes his home, and he is generally recognized as a man whose industry, ability and well directed labors have not only contributed to his own prosperity but have also promoted the growth and advancement of the community at large.

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

Return to 1913 biographies index