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Benton County, IAGenWeb Project
The IAGenWeb Project

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

Pages 493-494

WILLIAM J. GRUNEWALD, a successful farmer living in section 10, Leroy township, was born in Frankfort-on-the-Main, Germany, April 20, 1838, son of Ernest and Julia (Reisser) Grunewald. Ernest Grunewald was born in 1802, and died in 1882; his wife died in 1849, aged forty-eight years. They were parents of three children, of whom William J. is the only one living. Ernest Grunewald married (second) Mrs. Elizabeth Reisser, who died in 1900, at the age of eighty-two years. The family came to the United States in 1853, and located in northern New Jersey, where they engaged in market gardening. They removed to Iowa in 1864, locating first in Clayton county; two months later they came to Benton county, where Mr. Grunewald purchased the one hundred and sixty acre farm, he now occupies.

When Mr. Grunewald purchased his farm it contained a seven room home a story and a half high, considered quite a mansion in those days, and known for miles around as the "Belle of the Prairie." The land was also improved, and he purchased the crop harvest and everything on the place for a sum of thirty-five hundred dollars. He now owns five hundred and twenty acres of land in Leroy township, and in 1894 retired from active life. In 1903 he removed to Cedar Rapids, and after living there four years returned to his farm and assists his son in conducting it. He is actively interested in public affairs, and politically is a Democrat. He has served as school director and township trustee. He has carried on his agricultural and financial affairs in a manner to insure success, and is highly esteemed for his honesty and integrity. Mr. Grunewald is a member of the Evangelical church. He received a common school education in his native country, and on coming to the United States set himself to master the English language; he has always made the most of his opportunities, and is an intelligent, well read man.

Mr. Grunewald married, December 7, 1868, Mary M. Rupp, born in Alsace-Loraine, Germany, July 22, 1849, daughter of John and Magdalena (Weber) Rupp. Mr. Rupp was born in 1804, and died in 1883; his wife was born in 1806 and died in 1880. They were parents of four children, of whom the following three survive: John, of Ohio; Margaret, wife of Henry Reisser, and Mary M., Mrs. Grunewald. The Rupp family came to the United States in 1850, spending sixty-two days on the water; they located at Canton, Ohio, where they lived twenty-three years and then located in Benton county, Iowa. Mr. Grunewald and his wife became parents of six children, namely: William J., a graduate of the law1 school at Valparaiso, Indiana, now living at Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Charles E., also a graduate of the Valparaiso Law School, but he did not practice this profession and took up the profession of an architect, for which he had greater ability; Henry, died in infancy; Henry J., is living at home and conducting the home farm; Emma M., a graduate of Coe College of Cedar Rapids, and attended the Chicago University; and George E., attending Harvard University. Mrs. Grunewald did not have an opportunity for obtaining higher education for herself, and desired that her children should have every opportunity for education and improvement they desired, thus fitting themselves better for life's responsibilities. They have profited well by the generosity of their parents.

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