IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co.

Wilhelm August Gottfried Hertrampf


Farming, stock-raising and dairy interest of Linton township find a progressive and worthy representative in Wilhelm August Gottfried Hertrampf, who owns and operated one hundred and sixty acres of fine land. He was born in the grand duchy of Oldenburg, Germany, September 16, 1865, and is a son of Gottfried and Margaret (Koester) Hertrampf, both natives of the fatherland, the former born in Silesia in 1825 and the latter in East Friesland, August 8, 1845. The father engaged in general contracting and built a great number of railroad canals in Germany, dying there in 1879. His widow afterward married again, her husband being Franz Hafke, with whom she came to America in 1888. They settled in Farmersburg, Clayton county, Iowa, where both passed away, Mr. Hafke dying in 1893 and his wife in 1903.

Wilhelm A. G. Hertrampf was reared in Germany and when still a child at the age of thirteen, learned the trade of a woodturner and cabinet-maker, and after following these for some time learned the machinist’s trade. He secured employment in a powder factory and there remained until 1888, when he crossed the Atlantic to America, settling with his mother and stepfather in Farmersburg, Clayton county, Iowa. For one year thereafter he worked as a farm hand and then went to Boston, Massachusetts, where he secured a position with the Harvard Company, piano manufacturers. He remained with this concern for eighteen months and then returned to Farmersburg, where for one summer he worked at the carpenter’s trade. He then learned the brick and stonemason’s trade, following it for four years, after which he invented a grubbing machine, which, however, he did not have patented on account of the expense attached to this operation. For four years he went to various parts of this and neighboring bought a forty-acre farm in Monona township, Clayton county, which he improved and developed for eleven years, selling it in order to purchase his present property. He owns one hundred and sixty acres of valuable land and upon it carries on general farming and stock-raising and also operates a large modern dairy, selling its products to the Monona Creamery Company, in which he is a stockholder. His interests are all carefully and conservatively conducted and have been attended by a gratifying measure of success, Mr. Hertrampf standing today among the representative farmers and progressive business men of this locality.

On the 15th of October, 1889, Mr. Hertrampf was united in marriage to Miss Magdalena Bencke, who was born in Germany, April 7, 1867, a daughter of Hans H. and Sophia G. Bencke, also natives of that country, where both passed away. Mr. and Mrs. Hertrampf have become the parents of seven children. The eldest, Frank, was born September 6, 1890, and married Miss Anna Mielke, a daughter of Frank Mielke, of whom further mention is made else where in this work. The other children in this family are as follows: Edward, who was born June 9, 1893; Anton, born October 5, 1896; William, born April 14, 1899; Freda, born October 11, 1901; Minnie, born December 12, 1903; and Georgia who was born November 26, 1906.

Mr. Hertrampf gives his political allegiance to the democratic party and is a member of the Lutheran church. A man of exemplary character and unusual ability, he has become well known throughout this township, commanding and holding the respect and high regard of all who come I n contact with him.

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

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