HERMAN D. KEOEHNKE was during a number of years prominently identified with the business interests of Keystone, but he is now living in comparative retirement in that city. He was born in Holstein, Germany, December 2, 1846, a son of Claus and Anna (Barnhold) Kroehnke, born respectively on the 13th of March, 1807, and in 1810. They came to the United States in 1869, locating in Union township, Benton county, Iowa, where they purchased two hundred acres of land in section 6, and they improved that property and spent the remainder of their lives there, Claus Kroehnke dying in 1886 and his wife in 1870. He had served in the Prussian army in his native land. Of their family of eight children five are now living: Magdalena, widow of T. Theissen and a resident of Keystone; Peter J., living in Wisconsin; Herman D., mentioned below; Margaretta, the wife of Nicholas Hennings, of Everly, Iowa; and Sophia, wife of Henry Theissen, of Keystone.
Herman D. Kroehnke spent the early years of his life on a farm, receiving in the meantime a common school training, and on the 29th of August, 1867, he left his German home for the United States, and after landing in the harbor of New York he went to Calumet county, Wisconsin, where he spent three months. From there he came to Benton county, Iowa, working first for a brother, and in 1872 he purchased his father's farm of two hundred acres in Union township and continued to farm it until 1886, the year in which he came to Keystone and embarked in the lumber and implement business, but after three years in that business he disposed of his interests, and turned his attention to buying and feeding stock. He owns three brick blocks in Keystone and a splendid residence, where he is living in quiet retirement after a long and successful business career. During the past several years he has been a member of the town council, and he is an independent political voter though favoring the principles of the Democratic party.
In 1871 Mr. Kroehnke married Sophia Bonewitz, born July 3, 1846, in Holstein, Germany, and the two daughters of this union, Lilly and Nannie, are both at home. Both are graduates of the high school at Mt. Vernon, Iowa. Lilly Kroehnke also attended the Women's College at Frederick, Maryland, and is a graduate of the State University at Cedar Falls, Iowa. Since leaving college she has taught school. Nannie, the younger daughter, attended Western College at Toledo, Iowa, and then pursued a musical course in the Northwestern University at Evanston, Illinois. The family are members of the German Lutheran church.