JOHN HENRY PICKART, cashier of the Benton County Savings Bank at Norway, is one of the ablest young business men and most highly esteemed citizens in this section of the state. He is also most active in educational and religious matters, being largely instrumental in building both the Catholic church and the Catholic school at Norway. Mr. Pickart has always been a most devout member of his church and an active worker in its extension, being at present vice president of the R. C. M. P. No. 97 of Norway, Iowa. In his political affiliations he is a Democrat, and has well served the people of Norway as one of their first councilmen, as town treasurer for six years and as school treasurer for many more.
Mr. Pickart is a native of Benton county, born May 3, 1864, and is a son of John and Angela (Becker) Pickart, his parents having been born in Germany where their marriage occurred. John Pickart, the elder, emigrated to the United States in 1858 and for a time worked in Buffalo, New York, but in the same year came to Benton county, Iowa, to investigate the country. In the fall of 1858 he returned to Germany and sold his holdings there and with his wife and three children returned again to the United States and at once located in Benton county. Here he purchased one hundred acres and engaged in farming. As he prospered from year to year and his savings accumulated, he added more than five hundred acres to his original purchase, besides becoming the owner of three hundred and twenty acres in Pocahontas county, Iowa. He died on the home farm January 17, 1885, his widow surviving him until several years ago.
John H. Pickart was educated in the district schools of Florence township, and lived on the old homestead until after his father's death in 1885. He then moved to the village of Norway, where he engaged in merchandise until December 1, 1892. The personal results of this period was to establish his unusual ability and absolute integrity as a business man, and to bring from the management of the Benton County Savings Bank the offer of its cashiership. As the bank had been organized in 1881, was capitalized at $15,000, had a surplus of $15,000, and was one of the most reliable financial institutions of this part of Iowa, the honor was high to be conferred, especially, on a young man of twenty-eight. But, from the first, the position which sought the man has been found perfectly adapted to his executive and business talents and his individual popularity.
On November 24, 1889, Mr. Pickart married Miss Louisa Brecht, daughter of Lorenz Brecht, who is a wealthy farmer of Florence township, a large owner of land in Iowa county, and vice president of the Benton County Savings Bank. Mrs. Pickart was educated in the schools of Lennox township, Iowa county, and is a woman of domestic tastes and high character. Ten children have come to the Pickart household, Wilma being deceased. Edward J., the eldest, is a late graduate of St. Joseph's College, Dubuque, Iowa, and is now living at home with his brothers and sisters. The others are: Oscar F., Rosie, Hilda, Lorenz, Alvin, Leah, Paul and Max.