Benedict Troendle

Benedict and Hedwig (Nierling) Troendle

Benedict Troendle has lived in Allamakee county for sixty-one years and he is one of the very few who have so long witnessed its growth and development. During the time he has made substantial contributions towards its upbuilding by opening up and developing a number of fine farms, and by his upright dealings, his high integrity and his honorable and worthy life has aided in raising standards of business and of citizenship. As a result he is known and honored all over this section of Iowa and is today one of the leading and representative citizens of Waukon where he is living practically retired.

Mr. Troendle was born in Baden, Germany, March 25, 1831, and acquired an excellent education in his native city where he remained until he was nineteen years of age. He became proficient in Latin and French as well as German for he studied for the priesthood, never, however, taking orders. In 1850 he emigrated to the new world, going immediately to Ohio and joining his brother, Sales, in Huron county. There he went to work on a farm, engaging in agricultural pursuits during the summer months and in the winter attending an English school. For two years thereafter he continued as a farm laborer and then in 1852 came with his brother to Iowa and settled in Allamakee county where he has since resided being today one of the earliest living residents. They purchased eighty acres in French Creek township and also twenty acres adjoining, buying this latter tract from a neighbor in order to get the benefit of a spring of clear, cold water which supplied enough for all domestic purposes and also for watering the stock. The land was raw and unimproved but with characteristic energy the brothers set about the task of developing it, clearing it of timber, breaking the soil, and fencing the property into convenient fields. In 1856 Benedict Troendle purchased his brother’s interest and continued the work of improvement alone, erecting the necessary outbuildings and tilling the fields in the most practical manner, his progressive methods and well directed industry bringing him a substantial measure of success. He continued upon this farm until 1865 when he disposed of the property and purchased another tract of land of one hundred and twenty acres, slightly improved. He made this also a valuable and productive enterprise, selling it in 1868 and buying in the same year eighty acres in Makee township near Lycurgus. To this he later added another two hundred acres of which a part was improved when it came into his possession, and he cleared this property and fenced it into fields, continuing upon it for twelve years and making it eventually one of the finest and best improved farms in this part of the country. It was during the period of his residence upon it that he was made postmaster of Lycurgus and he held this office for many years, discharging his duties in an able, straightforward and systematic manner. He is numbered among the pioneers in French Creek township and was long a potent force in its development, cooperating heartily in movements for the general good and giving his active support to all progressive public measures. He helped in the organization of the first school, donating a half acre of land for the schoolhouse and also became a leader in founding the first independent school in Lycurgus. Always interested in the cause of education, he gave freely of his time and talents in this direction, accomplishing much far-sighted, discriminating and beneficial work during a long period of service as a member of the school board. Mr. Troendle erected a comfortable residence upon his farm wherein he continued to reside until 1892 when he laid aside the cares of active life, moving into Waukon where he has since lived retired.

On the 29th of July, 1855, Mr. Troendle married Miss Hedwig Nierling, also a native of Germany, born and reared in Prussia. She is a daughter of Anton Nierling, who emigrated to America and made a permanent location in Allamakee county in 1854, purchasing land in Makee township and turning his attention to general farming. Mr. and Mrs. Troendle became the parents of five children: Julia, who married Gus Kerndt, a farmer of French Creek township, passed away in 1910 when she was forty-eight years of age. Caroline became the wife of J. W. Rice of Waterloo, Iowa. Mary married John Miller of Waukon. Johanna became the wife of Dan Haas. Gustave, youngest member of this family, owns and operates the old home farm in Makee township. On the 29th of July, 1905, Mr. and Mrs. Troendle celebrated the completion of fifty years of a peaceful and happy wedded life, their golden wedding anniversary being attended by their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to the number of thirty-two, who together with over two hundred friends, gathered at the home in Waukon, making the day one of gladness and rejoicing. They presented many tokens as souvenirs of the occasion, endeavoring in this way to express in some slight degree the love and veneration in which they held these worthy people, to whom they were bound by many ties of love and friendship.

Few if any men of Allamakee county are more widely known or more highly honored throughout this section of the state than is Mr. Troendle, who for over sixty-one years has lived in the county and who during all of that period has honorably borne his share in the work of upbuilding and development. Viewed from any standpoint, his life may be termed successful, for he has accumulated a comfortable fortune, has drawn to himself many loyal and faithful friends and has made his name an honored one wherever it is known.

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

Return to index