HENRY J. MEYER is one of the representative citizens of Benton county and one of the prominent business men of Keystone, a retired farmer, president of the Farmers Savings Bank and a stockholder and director of the Keystone Mercantile Company. He was born in Holstein, Germany, November 14, 1841, a son of Henry and Annie (Fremke) Meyer, and on the 1st of April, 1865, the family left their native Fatherland for the United States, landing in the harbor of New York on the 19th of May of the same year. Locating first in Davenport, Iowa, they farmed for three years on rented land in Scott county, and coming from there to Benton county in 1868 they purchased eighty acres of the virgin soil of Homer township, in section 26, but subsequently selling that tract they bought a farm of one hundred and sixty acres. After the death of his wife in 1872, when fifty-six years of age, Mr. Meyer lived with his children until he too passed away, dying at the age of fifty-nine years. Of the nine children that blessed their marriage union the five now living are: Henry J.; J. Herman, living in Luzerne, Iowa; Margaretta, the wife of Joachin Struck, of Keystone; Sophia, the widow of Fritz Jammer and living in Dysart, this state; and Christena, the wife of P. M. Seeck, of Keystone.
Henry J. Meyer spent the early years of his life on a farm in his native country, receiving in the meantime a common school training, and coming with his parents to the United States he remained in the parental home until his marriage. Following this event he was a Kane township farmer for two years on rented land, and he then purchased one hundred and sixty-acres of the wild and unimproved land of Homer township, paying six dollars an acre, and at the time of his purchase he had saved the sum of three hundred dollars. For the last farm he purchased in Benton county he paid one hundred and fifty dollars an acre, showing the wonderful increase in property values in Iowa during recent years. Mr. Meyer now owns an estate of seven hundred and twenty acres in Homer township and two hundred and forty acres in Kane township, and while actively engaged in agricultural pursuits he was also a heavy stock feeder. But in 1905 he retired from the work of the farm and built the beautiful modern home in Keystone where he now resides. He assisted in the organization of the Farmers Savings Bank of Keystone iu 1905, and has since been the president of the institution, and he is both a stockholder and director in the Keystone Mercantile Company. During a number of years he gave his political allegiance to the Republican party, but in 1882 he transferred his membership to the Democracy. During thirty years he held the office of school director, for ten yeas was the assessor of Homer township, during eight years the clerk of that township, and he is now serving as the school treasurer. On the 11th of September, 1868, Mr. Meyer was married to Elsabea Peters, born in Holstein, Germany, November 7, 1842, a daughter of M. and Emma (Behmke) Peters, who came to the United States in 1868 and located in Kane township, Benton county, Iowa, spending the remainder of their lives there. Mrs. Meyers was their only child, and she died on the 10th of September, 1887, the mother of eight children, namely: Henry N., living in Dickerson county, Iowa; Annie M., wife of Henry G. Hansen, of Homer township; Emma M., deceased; Herman H., also in Homer township; Mary R., the wife of George Knowles, of the same place; John A., living in Union township; Rosa, wife of Herman Sculdt, of Homer township; and F. William, a farmer in Union township. On the 25th of June, 1893, Mr. Meyer was married to Catherine Mansfield, born in Schleswig, Germany, June 12, 1845, and she came to Benton county in 1888. Mr. Meyer is a member of the German Lutheran church, and he is numbered among the successful men of this section of Benton county, well read and leal and loyal to the duties of citizenship.