IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co.

Carl Holter


Mercantile interests of Postville find a progressive and able representative in Carl Holter, who for many years past has been closely connected with the clothing, gentlemen’s furnishings and shoe business in the city, controlling today a large and representative enterprise. A native of Norway, he was born in Christiania, June 30, 1847, a son of Ole and Martha (Oleson) Holter, both born in the vicinity of that city. The father spent his entire life farming in Norway, dying in that country in 1860. The mother afterward crossed the Atlantic to America, settling in Postville in 1873, and continuing to make her home in the city until her death, which occurred about the year 1903.

Carl Holter supplemented an education acquired in the public schools of Norway by one winter’s attendance after he came to America. He had, however, begun his independent career before crossing the Atlantic, having secured a position as clerk in a government office in his native country. After two years in that capacity he went to Christiania and was there employed in a grocery store, later becoming connected with a hat store in that capital. He came to the United States in 1869 and pushed westward to Chicago, where he remained for four months working at anything which would bring him an income. Having studied English while in Norway he had one advantage over many of this fellow emigrants and found that his knowledge of the language of the country was a valuable asset to him in the beginning of his career here. From Chicago he went to Memphis, Tennessee, and there worked for six months in a large bakery, returning at the end of that time to Chicago. After two months he came to Postville, working upon a farm near the city for two years thereafter and then securing employment in a general store, a connection which he retained for ten years, although he spent one year during that time in River Falls, Wisconsin. Being ambitious to engage in business for himself, he founded the firm of Holter, Schultz and Welzel but after one year withdrew from this connection and established the clothing firm of Armstrong and Holter. This association continued from 1883 to 1892, at which time Mr. Holter purchased his partner's interest and assumed entire control of the business. He has conducted it alone since that time and controls an important and growing trade accorded him in recognition of his full and complete line of goods, his modern and progressive business methods and his courteous service. Always a progressive and public-spirited citizen, he has taken a great interest in the growth of Postville’s business institutions and aided in the organization of the Citizens State Bank, of which he is now a director. He has not, however, varied outside interests, preferring to devote all of his attention to the conduct of his store, with the result that he is numbered today among the substantial merchants of the community.

On the 22d of May, 1883, Mr. Holter married Miss Mary Marston, who was born in Post township, October 26, 1854, a daughter of James C. And Nancy Marie (Fisher) Marston, natives of New York state. The father was a prosperous farmer and also a local preacher. He came as a pioneer to Post township, he and his wife being among the first settlers there, and both died in the community where they had so long made their home. Mr. and Mrs. Holter are the parents of a daughter, Edna, born April 23, 1884. She is the wife of W. H. Burling, an attorney in Postville, and they have one son, Carl Frederick, born November 21, 1912.

Fraternally Mr. Holter is connected with the blue lodge of Masons, in Postville, with the chapter of Elgin and the commandery at West Union. He was formerly connected with other important fraternal organizations but has now withdrawn from membership. He is a progressive republican in his political view and for twelve years did straightforward, able and businesslike work as a member of Postville city council. He is one of the best known and most highly respected citizens of the community where he has so long resided. His record is, indeed, a commendable one and the most envious cannot criticize his business or political accomplishments. His course has been characterized by the strictest fidelity to principle and in social relations he displays an unfailing courtesy and cordiality which have won for him many friends.

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

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