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Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa
Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887

ANTHONY ERNST, deceased, was born in Prussia in March, 1829, and was a son of Joseph and Tracy Ernst, natives of Germany. Joseph Ernst, the father of our subject, was one of the largest farmers in his section of country, and it was there that Anthony learned the trade of wagon-maker. He followed this occupation in his native land, and there received the advantages afforded by the common schools. In 1851 he bade adieu to his native land, his kindred and his friends, and, taking passage on a vessel at Bremen, set sail for the United States. Arriving at Baltimore without a mishap, he proceeded to Philadelphia, where he was variously occupied for some years, working for one gentleman three years. He was industrious and economical, and while living at Philadelphia saved every cent he could possibly spare, and after accumulating a goodly sum, he deposited it in a bank in that city. The bank broke, and all his savings, which had been acquired through years of incessant toil, were swept away. He was, however, not of the temperament to give up, even at the loss of his all, and in 1858 he went to Iowa City, and there worked at the carpenter's trade for three years, saving some money here, also. The following year he came to this county, and, locating at Norway, worked at his trade until 1867. He then moved to the place where his widow is at present residing, on section 14, Polk Township, which he had previously purchased. The farm consisted of eighty acres, and Mr. Ernst erected a small log cabin upon it, into which the family moved, and he at once entered upon the laborious task of improving his uncultivated land.

Mr. Ernst was united in marriage, Oct. 22, 1861, with Miss Margaret Wieneke, a native of Germany, born June 24, 1839, and who came to this county with her parents in 1860. The children born to their union are as follows: Magdalena married Michael Schmitz, and they reside in Harrison Township; Anna married Mat Loes; Frank, deceased; Amelia, Joseph, Mary and Anthony.

On the 4th of July, 1874, an extremely hot day, while Mr. Ernst was stacking wheat on his place, a storm came up, and he was struck by lightning and instantly killed. He was a kind husband, a loving father, a generous neighbor and an honored citizen. He was a member of the Catholic Church, and his loss was deeply felt by all who knew him. His widow and family still reside on the old homestead, and are comfortably provided for. Mrs. Ernst is a member of the Catholic Church. Her two sons, Joseph and Anthony, cultivate the farm and are hard-working young men.

Source Citation: "1887 Benton County, Iowa Biographies"  [database online]  Benton County IAGenWeb Project. <>
Original data: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa." Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887, p. 345.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on February 18th, 2009.  Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.

Return to: 1887 Biography Index

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