IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co.

James W. Steele


One of the most prominent of the younger business men of Postville is James W. Steele, now engaged in the conduct of a large restaurant and confectionery store in the city. He was born here, January 2, 1880, and is a son of Joseph and Margaret (Ryan) Steele, natives of Illinois, where the father followed farming for many years. The parents came from that state to Iowa and located on a tract of land about one mile and a half northeast of Postville, where the father still owns and operates a farm, to the conduct of which he gives his entire time and attention. His wife passed away March 2, 1913. They were the parents of thirteen children, of which the subject of this review is the fourth in the order of birth.

James W. Steele acquired his education in the district schools of Post township and in his childhood divided his time between his studies and work upon his father’s farm. He remained with his parents until he was twenty-eight years of age and then went to South Dakota, where for two years he engaged in farming. When he returned to Postville at the end of that time he established himself in the restaurant and confectionery business, to which he still gives his entire attention. By close application, energy and careful supervision of his business he has secured a large patronage and is now the proprietor of one of the leading restaurants in the city. The confectionery department has also proven profitable and is an important source of income to him. The entire enterprise is carefully and systematically conducted and has brought to Mr. Steele a degree of success which places him among the representative and substantial business men of his native city.

On the 25th of April, 1911, Mr. Steele was united in marriage to Miss Frances Bromelkamp, a native of Monona, Clayton county, born April 29, 1882. She is a daughter of Bernard and Christina (Miller) Bromelkamp, natives of Hanover, Germany, whose marriage occurred in McGregor, Iowa, six weeks after the father’s arrival in America in the spring of 1881. He worked in a carriage factory for one summer and then turned his attention to carpentering, later removing to a farm in Clayton county, where he and his wife still reside. In their family were four children, of whom Mrs. Steele is the eldest. Mr. and Mrs. Steele have one son, Joseph Bernard, who was born February 25, 1912.

Mr. Steele is member of the Roman Catholic church. Politically he is identified with the democratic party and, although he never takes an active part in public affairs, is yet loyal in matters of citizenship. He devotes his entire time, however, to his business and, although he is still a young man, he has already gained that success which follows earnest, persistent and well directed labor.

-transcribed by Linda Earnheart

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