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The IAGenWeb Project

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

Pages 434-436

JOHN E. MARIETTA, head of the loans and insurance firm of Marietta & Bickel, is the dean of this business in Benton county, having been successfully established in the business long before any of his present competitors began business. He has been engaged in placing loans, chiefly on real estate, since October 1, 1875, and to the present writing the total volume of this business aggregates over twelve million dollars, all of which he has negotiated without a single foreclosure or the loss of a cent of principal or interest. This is a business record that speaks for itself For the most part he represents the money of eastern investors, though he handles large amounts for relatives and friends. He also represents the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company. For the first five years he was in partnership with J. P. Johnson, under the name of Johnson & Marietta, was then in business alone until June, 1899, when W. E. Bickel became his partner, and the firm has since been Marietta & Bickel.

Mr. Marietta is one of the directorates of or otherwise identified with various business enterprises of Benton county. He is a member of the board of trustees of the Vinton Public Library. He is secretary and treasurer of the Methodist church, having been secretary for about thirty years and treasurer also for a long time. In civic affairs he has likewise performed a large share of duties, always keeping political allegiance with the Republican party. At one time he was deputy county treasurer and auditor. During the ten years he was in the city council he was active in securing water works and other public improvements.

Mr. Marietta was born in Wayne county, Ohio, January 13, 1852. He belongs to an historic family of Ohio. His great-grandfather, Jacob Marietta, a native of Germany, was one of the first settlers of southeastern Ohio, and Marietta, the oldest town of the state, was named in his honor. The grandfather's name was John Marietta, and all the family were farmers on a large scale in that part of Ohio.

Mr. Marietta's parents were David and Anna (Ralphschneider) Marietta, both being of German lineage, and it is said that their parents were unable to speak the English language. David Marietta was one of the most esteemed citizens and business men of Benton county. He was a successful farmer in Wayne county, Ohio, for a number of years, and in January, 1869, moved to a farm near Vinton. Some years later he took up his residence in Vinton and was there engaged with his brother, J. H. Marietta, in the livery business. His tragic death by drowning, May 15, 1888, removed one of the ablest men of this community, and for the first time in the history of the town the business houses were closed during his funeral. He was then sixty-six years of age. He had been a member of the Methodist church all his active life, but never belonged to secret society nor accepted political office. His first wife, Anna Marietta, was a native of Stark county, Ohio, and she died when her son John E., was twelve years old. Of their children, two of the older daughters, Mary and Maria, both married, died in Ohio. Dr. George A., who was a graduate of the University of Michigan, died in Clarion, Iowa, May 14, 1899. The five children now living are: Mrs. E. J. Tillinghast, of Clarion; D. S., of Atwood, Kansas; H. R., of Oberlin, Kansas; W. H. of Hendley, Nebraska; and John E. David Marietta married for his second wife Anna R. Tryon, who still lives in Vinton. They had one daughter, now Mrs. Anna Barkdoll, of this county.

John E. Marietta was reared in Ohio and for two years was a student in Oberlin College. He had no capital when he began business, but his integrity and ability have gained him a large degree of material success. He is a member of the lodge and encampment of Odd Fellows and of the different Masonic bodies, including the Shrine, his wife being a member of the Eastern Star. His home is a fine residence which he built on East Jefferson street, and he has always voted in the First ward. He married, at Vinton, September 11, 1878, Miss Alice C. Barger. She was born in Indiana and was brought to Benton county as a child, but after her parents died she was reared by an aunt. Her father was James Barger. Mr. and Mrs. Marietta have two children. Zoe, who graduated at the Vinton High School and was a student in Cornell College (Iowa), is the wife of C. H. DeAcres, a successful merchant of Cedar Rapids. He was the youngest member of Company Gr, recruited at Vinton, in the Spanish-American war, and served as bugler. He is now a lieutenant in Colonel Allen's Fifty-third Regiment, I. N. G. Farley, who was five years younger than her sister Zoe, died of the measles at the age of seven. She was a very bright child and could write legibly when three years old.

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