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History of Benton County, Iowa
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1910; Luther B. Hill, Ed.

Pages 484-486

WILLIAM BOISEN — During many years William Boisen has been prominently identified with the business interests of Benton county, and in this time has become recognized as one of the most valued and useful citizens of Van Horne. He is at the present time the proprietor of one of the best furniture stores in the county, is also prominently engaged in concrete work, is a stockholder in the Van Horne Savings Bank and the one to whom the credit of this organization is due, a stockholder in the Farmer's Savings Bank of Van Horne and was one of its organizers, and has served three terms as the mayor of Van Horne and in other public offices. Such in part are the achievements of William Boisen during his residence in this city.

He was born in Elensburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, May 8, 1852, a son of Claus and Christine (Mason) Boisen, who spent their lives in that country. William was one of their eight children, and the eldest of the three now living, the two others being Fred and Crist, the former of Keystone, Iowa, and the latter of Luverne, Minnesota. The boyhood days of William Boisen were spent at his native Elensburg, receiving there a common school training, and beginning learning the carpenter and brick layer's trade at the age of sixteen. He served an apprenticeship of three years. On the 28th of August, 1872, he set sail for the United States, and arriving in the harbor of New York he made his way west as far as Barrington in Cook county, Illinois, where he followed his trade until the spring of 1873. Going then to Chicago, he worked there for nine months, when he returned to Barrington, and in the spring of 1874 came to Benton county, Iowa, and located at Blairstown. He worked at his trade there during the summer, and went south in the winter, to St. Louis, Vicksburg and New Orleans, returning to Blairstown in 1875. Then he began contracting, but in 1876 went to Luzerne in this state, erected a building and embarked in the furniture and undertaking business, but in 1879 disposed of those interests and returned to contracting. Next he purchased a farm in Big Grove township and worked his land in connection with his trade until 1887, when he came to Van Horne and worked exclusively as a contractor until 1894, when he returned to the farm for two years. Selling his land in 1896 he came again to Van Horne, and this time purchased a furniture stock, while in 1892 he erected a brick building, forty-six by eighty feet, doing most of the work himself, and he has now one of the best furniture stores in Benton county, and in connection therewith he has an undertaking department. He also owns another store, conducted by his daughter, where he handles china, tin and granite ware, paints, wall paper and kindred articles. In addition to all this Mr. Boisen is extensively engaged in concrete work, manufacturing cement blocks, doing considerable concrete bridge work and has built many miles of concrete sidewalk for private parties. He was elected the mayor of Van Horne in 1887, serving three terms in that office when the town was in its formative period, and he has also served as a member of its council and as a justice of the peace of Union township. He is perhaps one of the most progressive, far-sighted and public spirited citizens of the town, and he worked hard to secure for it the court house and failed in this only on account of insufficient support.

Mr. Boisen married on June 10, 1876, Mary Rostenmandt, born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, in 1856, and they have six children: John, a resident of Union township; William F., residing at Willow Lake, South Dakota; August, also of Willow Lake; Emma, the wife of John Hannemann, of Union township; and Lena and Eddie, at home with their parents. Mr. Boisen was one of the organizers of the fraternal order of Odd Fellows at at Van Horne, and is now one of its charter members, and he is also a member of Belle Plaine Canton 20, and is associated with the Modern Woodmen of America at Keystone. He is one of the representative citizens of Benton county.


Note from Kate Ramsey William Boisen was born in Flensburg not Elensburg.  Also his wife's maiden name should be Rostermundt instead of Rostenmandt.



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