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J Henry Herman


Posted By: County Coordinator
Date: 3/20/2009 at 02:06:30

J Henry Herman, Of the younger men in financial circles of Boone, non stand higher in public confidence than J Henry Herman, cashier of the First National Bank. Boy and man he has spent his life in this place and his reputation has been fairly won in a position where the strong light of publicity is thrown upon it occupant. He was born October 18, 1864, in Monroe, Greene county, Wisconsin, eldest son of John M and Anna (Spring) Herman, natives of Germany and Switzerland, respectively and removed with his parents, when two years of age, to Boone, Iowa, arriving here August 16, 1866. Here his youth was that of any lad in a new town. He attended the pubic schools, and worked steadily and conscientiously at his lessons, graduating in the high school class of 1882. From the home school he entered Elliott Business College at Burlington, Iowa taking the prescribed course and in 1885 was given the position of bookkeeper in the National Bank of Boone, with which and its merger the first National Bank of Boone, he has since been continuously connected. On January 10, 1888, he was promoted to assistant cashier and in the following year became its cashier. This bank was originally organized under the title of the National Bank of Boone in 1864, with a capital of fifty thousand dollars, beginning business January 1, 1885, with the following officers: S L Moore president, J M Herman vice-president, James Hazlett cashier, J Henry Herman bookkeeper. The directors were S L Moore, D F Goodykoontz, John T Nelson, J Stevens, T B Moore and watt Webb. On April 7, 1888, the institution was reorganized under the name of the Firs National Bank of Boone. The present officers are S L Moore, president, J Henry Herman cashier, S J Jayne assistant cashier and the following directors, John F Herman, D F Goodykoontz, A F Westberg, T B Moore, W H Crooks, Sam J Jayne and J Henry Herman.
On March 14, 1899, Mr Herman as married to Miss Caroline daughter of Henry Goeppinger, of Boone, signalizing the event by a trip to Europe, accompanied by Miss Emma Herman, and paying a visit to relatives and enjoying the scenery in the land of their fathers. One child was born of this union Paul Henry, November 26, 1900. A pleasant dwelling in a desirable residence quarter of the city, shelters them and the warm friends whom their hospitality and genial address calls to their fireside. Mr Herman has so far as human foresight can predict a long life of usefulness and business success before him, the just recompense of diligence, fair dealing and personal courtesy.
John M Herman, father of the subject of this sketch, was born at Hengstfeldt, in the kingdom of Wurtemberg, Germany, December 21, 1830, and came to America in 1846, settling at first in Ohio. The gold fever of the later 40’s infected him in 1850 and he made the long land journey form his home to California. The perils, hardships and adventures of this long march--one hundred and five days in his case--formed the subject of many conversations in the company of his friends, and as he was an observant an, these were intensely interesting to his listeners. He remained three years in the gold fields, and, being a prudent man, brought home sufficient capital for his endowment in business, making the return journey by the Isthmus of Panama. He remained a few years in Ohio, then sought the promising west, setting his stakes at Monroe, Wisconsin in 1857. He tarried there until 1866, when he again set the course of his travels still farther towards the setting sun, and camped down in Boone, Iowa, August 16, 1866, which became thereafter his permanent residence.
While residing in Monroe, Wisconsin, he contracted a marriage with Mrs Anna B Spring, who was born in Thun, Switzerland, and came to America in 1857. The marriage was solemnized August 16, 1860. Six children were born to them: Emma, now residing with her mother in Boone, J Henry the subject of this sketch, John f who is married and residing in Boone, Otto C also married and residing here, Julia who died aged three years, and Anna who died aged thirty.
His arrival in Boone was the second year of its founding, and then bore the name of Montana. His judgment indicated the advantages of the location and he early took an active part in its development and secured desirable property interests therein. He did not come empty handed, as was the case with so many of its early inhabitants, yet his business judgment and prudent foresight enabled him to largely increase his store during his stay within its borders. His first venture was the establishment of the Boone Brewery, with a wide range of territory for is product. This he conducted successfully until “Prohibition” became the policy of the state. Then in obedience to the law, he promptly closed its doors and faithfully obeyed its mandates as became a good citizen, though the act cost him his business and many thousands of dollars. He always held that this regulation of the general assembly of Iowa, uncoupled with compensation to those whose means were confiscated by the act was injustice to those in his line of manufacture, and in this belief he had the comparty of many “prohibitionists”. One of ht is business energy was not long idle and he devoted his attention to the care of his other properties, finding abundant occupation in the same. He has secured realty in the days when it was cheap and this he developed by building and otherwise improving, thus adding to his wealth and benefiting the community at the same time. He as one of the founders of the First National Bank, of which he was the vice-president, had large interest in the Security Savings Bank, and developed his large interests in farming properties. He was gathered to his fathers January 15, 1898, at the age of sixty-eight, Mrs Herman survives him to enjoy the respect of all good citizens and the love and care of her affectionate children.
In manner Mr Herman was quiet and reserved, but most genial when approached, especially in the company of those whom he had chosen as his friends. He was a just man, a public spirited citizen--not in the sense of rushing madly after every new fad or so called improvement, but liberal in all that commended itself to his mind as being proper and desirable in a developing community and which gave promise of doing good and bearing its own expense. He was justly esteemed for these and other good qualities of a model citizen, his loss was sincerely mourned and his memory held I respect by all. He leaves the best heritage to his descendants that of a good man and true.

1902 Boone County History Book


Boone Biographies maintained by Jan Bony.
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