IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co.

Joseph F. Wachter


Joseph F. Wachter, who since 1885 has lived upon the farm in Fariview township which he now operated, is well known in this vicinity as a progressive and substantial agriculturist, his fine property of one hundred and twenty acres being visible evidence of his life of industry and thrift. He was born in Aurora, Indiana, October 22, 1854, and is a son of Anton and Grace (Sprool) Wachter, natives of Wurtemberg, Germany, the former born in April, 1821, and the latter January 8, 1825. Their marriage occurred in Germany, where the father was a teamster and a freight and grain hauler, driving four and six-horse teams before the days of the railroads. They crossed the Atlantic to America in 1853 and settled first in Indiana, whence they removed to Wisconsin, where for sixteen years they resided upon a farm in the vicinity of Seneca. At the end of that time they came to Iowa settling in Fairview township, Allamakee county, where the father became an extensive landowner and prosperous farmer, making his home here until his death, which occurred May 8, 1898. His wife afterward removed to Harper’s Ferry, where her death occurred May 8, 1909.

Joseph F. Wachter attended district school for four terms in Wisconsin, but his advantages along this line were limited and he is practically self-educated. When he was about eighteen years of age he began working at farming in the employ of others, and he afterward aided in the operation of the homestead, remaining there until 1885. He then married and bought a farm in Fairview township, whereon he has since resided. At that time there were but ten acres improved and the house consisted of a crude shack. This has been replaced by a modern dwelling. Substantial barns and outbuildings have been erected and the entire tract of one hundred and twenty acres is under cultivation. Mr. Wachter has carried forward the work of development with characteristic energy and enterprise and his farming and stock-raising interests are today extensive and important, placing him in the front rank of progressive and substantial agriculturists.

On the 14th of October, 1885, Mr. Wachter was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Gast, who was born in Paint Creek township, April 25, 1861. They have become the parents of eight children: Emma, born September 22, 1886, a ladies’ tailor at Nora Springs, Iowa; Lurena, born September 1, 1888, the wife of Nels Attall, a farmer, residing in Mead county, South Dakota; Hattie, born November 3, 1891, the wife of Albert Hancock, a farmer living in Montana; Lydia, born January 5, 1893, teaching in the district schools of this county; Florence, born December 14, 1895, who attends the Sisters’ School; Walter and Gertrude, twins, born December 13, 1901; and Joseph, born February 5, 1906.

Mr. Wachter is a republican in his political beliefs, but he is not an active office seeker, preferring to do his public service in other ways. During the twenty-eight years he has lived upon his present farm he has brought the property from a raw tact to a highly developed and productive condition and has made many substantial contributions to the general advancement of this section of the state.

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

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