IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co.

Frank J. Spinner


Frank J. Spinner, senior member of the firm of Spinner Brothers, dealers in farm implements, gasoline engines, automobiles, wagons, buggies, etc., is one of the progressive, straightforward and enterprising business men of Lansing, his own initiative, determination and dominating ability having brought him a success which places him in a position of influence in commercial circles. He is a native of Allamakee county, born in Village Creek, July 17, 1861, a son of Peter Spinner, a native of Germany. The father left that country when he was fifteen years of age and came to America, settling first in Davenport, Iowa, where he worked at the blacksmith's trade which he had learned in Germany. After a few years he moved to Allamakee county and located at Village Creek in 1855. He there built a shop and did general blacksmithing and repairing for several years, building up a large and profitable business. Eventually, however, he turned his attention to farming, purchasing raw land which he cleared, fenced and improved, his sons assisting him upon the homestead and also with the work of the shop during the busy seasons. Peter Spinner married in Ohio, Miss Katherine Markt, a native of Germany, and they became the parents of a number of children. The family was reared in Village Creek and the father spent the last years of his life on the farm there, dying in 1890. His wife survives him and makes her home in Lansing with one of her daughters.

Frank J. Spinner was reared in Village Creek and learned the blacksmith’s trade from his father. He moved with the family to the farm and assisted with its operation until he was twenty-four years of age when he formed a partnership with his brother and they opened a shop in Waterville where for four years they carried on a blacksmith, wagon and repair business. At the end of that time Mr. Spinner of this review sold out his interests to his brother and went to Helena, Montana, where for a year and a half he worked at his trade, finding business conditions much better there and wages higher. Upon his return to Iowa he took charge of his father's shop at Village Creek and there carried on a profitable business until 1895, when he came to Lansing and formed a partnership with his brother Fred - as association which has continued to the present time. At first their enterprise was a blacksmith, wagon and repair shop but they soon added a full line of farm implements and they now carry a complete and well selected stock of these articles, such as gasoline engines, cream separators, automobiles, wagons and buggies. The brothers own their own shop and control a large and representative trade for their goods are the best that can be found on the market, their business standards are progressive and honest and their methods practical and modern. Their large and well managed enterprise is the more creditable to them in that they began on a small scale and by industry, frugality and good business judgment have become successful, being now ranked among the city's able and substantial business factors. Frank L. Spinner was one of the organizers of the Peoples State Bank of Lansing and is now one of the large stockholders in the institution. He was formerly for many years identified with mercantile interests of Waterville as a partner with his brother C. A. Spinner in the conduct of a general store. The association was formed about 1894 and Mr. Spinner of this review continued as a silent partner until February, 1913, when he sold his interests.

In Waukon, on the 27th of March, 1894, Mr. Spinner married Miss Kate McGeough, a daughter of E. McGeough, one of the early settlers in Allamakee county. Mr. and Mrs. Spinner became the parents of nine children, Francis Earl, Raymond J., Katherine Leonette, William D., Marie J., Edward P., Frank, Kenneth and James. The family are members of the Catholic church of Lansing. Mr. Spinner gives his political allegiance to the democratic party and he served eight years as a member of the city council, discharging his duties in an earnest, straightforward and capable manner. An able and discriminating business man he carries forward to completion whatever he undertakes and his name on the list of promoters of any enterprise is a guaranty of its weight and importance as well as of its ultimate success.

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

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