Joseph Hammel


The history of Allamakee county’s agricultural growth and development would be incomplete without mention of the career of Joseph Hammel, who since 1879 has been engaged in general farming in Iowa township, to the progress and advancement of which he has made many substantial and lasting contributions. He was born in New York in 1851, and is a son of Raymond and Mary (Long) Hammel, the former a native of Switzerland and the latter of Alsace, Germany. Their marriage occurred in Switzerland, and in 1851 they crossed the Atlantic to America, settling first in New York and removing shortly afterward to Ohio, where they settled at Buffalo, the father following the railroad business for a short period. In 1854 they came to Iowa, settling on May’s Prairie in early times, and there Raymond Hammel engaged in general farming for three years, removing at the end of that time to Iowa township, where he purchased land. He bought at that time one hundred and thirty acres, which he increased from time to time, owning at the time of his death in 1902 four hundred acres of well improved and valuable property. He had survived his wife several years, her death having occurred in 1894. To their union were born four children: Joseph, of this review; Josephine, who resides in Iowa township; Annie, who became the wife of Charley Obitz, of La Crosse, Wisconsin; and Elizabeth, who married John Blank, of Oregon.

Joseph Hammel was still an infant when his parents removed to Iowa, and in this state he grew to manhood, dividing his time in his childhood between the work upon the homestead and attendance at district school. He continued to assist his father upon the farm until he was twenty-eight years of age, beginning his independent career in 1879. Naturally he turned his attention to the occupation to which he had been reared and, buying one hundred and thirty acres of land in Iowa township, six miles south of New Albin, engaged in general farming. This tract forms a portion of his present farm, but he has added to it as his prosperity increased, owning today five hundred acres of highly cultivated land. He has, besides, another tract of three hundred and sixty acres in Lansing township, and is one of the extensive landowners in this part of the county. Being thoroughly familiar with the best agricultural methods, he has directed his efforts intelligently through the years, success steadily attending his labors until today his farms are productive and valuable properties, and he himself is numbered among Allamakee county’s substantial and progressive agriculturists.

In 1880, Mr. Hammel was united in marriage to Miss Paulina Troentle, who was born in Baden, Germany, and who was brought to America by her parents when she was two years of age. They settled in Lansing township, Allamakee county, where the father purchased land, engaging in general farming there until his death, which occurred in 1895. He had survived his wife since 1887. They became the parents of eleven children, all still living: Lebold, who resides in Canada; Verona, the wife of Frank Billymire, of Canada; Mary, who married John Grow, a resident of the same country; Paulina, the wife of the subject of this review; Adeline, who married John Intlehofer, of New Albin; Annie, the deceased wife of Frank Tablet, who has also passed away; Katie, who died at the age of eighteen; Minnie, who married John Gruber, of Lansing; Fred and Joseph, both of whom reside in Canada; and Josephine, who married Robert Glenn, of Lansing. Mr. and Mrs. Hammel have six children: Joseph, who was born in 1881, and who is married and lives near Lansing; Minnie, the wife of Frank Donovan, of Freeburg, Minnesota; Flora, who became the wife of George Mauss, of Allamakee county; Fred, who was born in 1887, and who still resides in Allamakee county; and George, born in 1892, and Cornelius, born in 1894, both of whom are still at home. The family are members of the Roman Catholic church.

Mr. Hammel gives his political allegiance to the democratic party, but has never sought nor desired office, preferring to concentrate his attention upon his business affairs, which are bringing to him a substantial measure of success. Having resided in Allamakee county since his childhood, he is well and favorably known here, his many excellent qualities of mind and character gaining for him the respect and confidence of all who are associated with him.

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

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