William H. Niehaus

William H. Niehaus

William H. Niehaus, one of the leading financiers of Waukon, where he is cashier and general manager of the Citizens State Bank, was born in Clayton county, Iowa, August 5, 1872. His father, D. H. Niehaus, was a native of Hanover, Germany, and was there reared to manhood, learning the ship carpenter’s trade, which he followed for some time. When he crossed the Atlantic he came immediately to Iowa, locating in Guttenberg about the year 1855. He there married Miss Anna Margaret Mahlstead, and after his marriage located on a farm in Clayton county. He purchased one hundred and sixty acres of timber and brush land and with characteristic energy set himself to clear and improve it. After he had cut down the trees, he fenced his property and erected upon it the necessary buildings, steadily carrying forward the work of development until he was the owner of a valuable and productive property. Eventually he disposed of his holdings and retired from active life, moving to Guttenberg, where his wife died in 1898. He afterward made his home with his son upon the farm and there his death occurred February 26, 1912.

William H. Niehaus was reared in Clayton county on his father’s farm. He acquired his primary education in the public schools, later completing the high school course at Guttenberg. This he supplemented by a course in a commercial college at Dubuque and, after completing it, accepted a position in the Clayton County Bank at Guttenberg, thus gaining his first experience in the banking business. He advanced from the position of bookkeeper to be cashier of the institution and later resigned that position and came to Waukon, where he became connected with the Citizens State Bank as assistant cashier. He soon demonstrated his ability and efficiency and gained promotion, becoming cashier and general manager, a position which he still holds. He has aided materially in keeping the bank upon a sound financial basis and has been an active and prominent factor in its substantial growth. He is widely recognized as one of the leading financiers of this section of the county and has earned for himself an enviable reputation as a careful and conservative man of business. He is extensively interested in Iowa and North Dakota farming lands and has some valuable holdings in both states.

Mr. Neihaus married, in Waukon, in June, 1899, Miss Ruby Dayton, a daughter of Hon. Henry Dayton, one of the most prominent men in northern Iowa and a successful and able lawyer of Waukon. Mrs. Niehaus was born and reared in this city and acquired her education in Cornell College. Mr. and Mrs. Nihau have four children, H. Dayton, Marion, Margaret and Ruth. The family residence is on Pleasant street in Waukon and is the center of an attractive social circle.

Mr. Neihaus has always been prominent and active in local public affairs and as a member of the city council for four years did able work in the interests of the city. He was also for two terms treasurer of his school district. His fraternal affiliations are extensive and important. He belongs to the Masonic order, holding membership in the lodge, chapter and commandery, and has held various important positions in the organization. He and his wife are members of the Eastern Star and are active in the work of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Niehaus is a man of exemplary habits and strict integrity and all who know him entertain for him the highest regard and esteem.

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

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