IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co.

Jacob Hirth


Jacob Hirth makes his home on a fine farm of one hundred and seventy-eight acres on section 29, Lansing township-a property which his father purchased in pioneer times and upon which he himself has resided since his childhood. He is one of the earliest settlers in this section, which he has seen develop from a frontier wilderness, and in all of the work of upbuilding he has borne an active and useful part, his labors constituting elements in general agricultural progress. Germany numbers him among her native sons, his birth having occurred in Baden, on the 3d of October, 1837. He is a son of John Adam and Margaret (Kircher) Hirth, also natives of Germany, where the mother passed away March 6, 1853. In the same year the father and children crossed the Atlantic to America and, after arriving in this country, came west to Iowa, settling in Dubuque, and thence coming to Allamakee county. Here John Adam Hirth purchased one hundred and sixty acres of unimproved land and, with characteristic energy set himself to cultivate and develop it. He built a log cabin upon his holdings and for many years made his home therein, eventually erecting the present frame farm house. The old log cabin, however, still stands - a reminder of the hardships and inconveniences of pioneer times. The father was reared in the Protestant religion in Germany and after coming to America became a member of the Congregational church. He was a democrat in his political beliefs and actively interested in the growth of the community he had done so much to upbuild. He died upon his farm in Lansing township in 1896, having reached the advanced age of ninety-one years. He and his wife became the parents of four children, only one of whom, the subject of this review, survives, Magdalena, who became the wife of Conrad Steibert, has passed away. She and her husband lived for many years in LaFayette township. George was drowned in the Mississippi river when he was twenty-one years of age. Adam died on the ocean while on the journey to the United States. He was at that time two years of age.

In the public schools of Germany, Jacob Hirth acquired his education and after laying aside his books accompanied his father to America and after the family settled in Allamakee county assisted with the work of the farm until after the death of his father, when he assumed ownership and control. Since that time he has steadily carried forward the work of improvement and the results of his many years of care and labor are evident in the neat and attractive appearance of the place. He has increased his holdings to one hundred and seventy-eight acres and upon this carries on general farming, harvesting excellent crops and engaging to some extent in stock-raising. Mr. Hirth has been twice married. In 1869 he wedded Miss Katie Leppert, by whom he had two children: Johannah, the wife of George Wendel, of Lansing township, who became the mother of five children; and Magdalena, the deceased wife of John Decker, by whom she had one daughter. Mr.  Hirth’s first wife passed away in 1894 and three years later he married her sister, Josephine Leppert, by whom he has five children; John J., who resides in North Dakota; Clara Emma, the wife of George Wendel, of Cerro Gordo county, Iowa; Charles E., who married Emma Decker; and Roy Andrew and William, George, who live at home. Mrs. Hirth is a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Hirth is a democrat in his political beliefs and is interested in the growth and welfare of this section of the state, although he never seeks public office. He is numbered among the real pioneers of the county, having come to Lansing township when there were only a few scattered settlements and when the Indians were still numerous on the prairies, wild game abounded in the forest and pioneer conditions were everywhere evident, there being no schools and, indeed, no need for educational institutions. He has watched the evolution which has transformed this wilderness into a populous, wealthy and growing community and has been to a great extent identified therewith.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913; pg 114-115.
-transcribed by Diana Diedrich (cousin of Katharina & Josephine Leppert)

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