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Carstensen, J.H.


Posted By: BCGS
Date: 1/20/2010 at 10:48:13

J.H.Carstensen, a well known citizen of Tripoli, connected with the contracting and building business as a member of the firm of Carstensen and Rebholz, was born in Will county, Illinois, July 13, 1858. He is a son of Andrew and Elsabe (Buller) Carstensen, natives of Germany, who came to the United States in the 40's, settling in Will county, Illinois, where they engaged in farming. In 1869 they moved to Bremer county, this state, and purchased three hundred and twenty acres of land, comprising the north half of section 15, Fremont township.

They resided on this property until 1880, when they moved to Tripoli, having purchased one hundred acres adjoining the town, where they lived until the death of Mr. Carstensen which occurred in 1901. Mr. Carstensen was a devout member of the Evangelical Lutheran church, and a faithful worker in the Sunday school. He was for many years a director of the Tripoli graded schools. He visited them frequently, always showing much interest in the children's work. He served as a member of the county board of supervisors for nine years and as township clerk for a long period. He was twice married and to his first union five chiildren were born, as follows: Helen, who married John Freitag, of Fremont township; George, a resident of Tripolli; P.A., of Fremont township; J.H., of this review; and Andrew P., of Minnesota. After the death of his first wife Andrew Carstensen married Mrs. Mary Winters. To this union were born five children: Theodore, deceased; Rika, the wife of C.L. Piegors, of Fremont township; Henry and Matilda, deceased; and Herman, of Ohio.

J.H. Carstensen was educated in the district schools of Bremer county and at the age of fifteen began working out. He later learned the blacksmith's trade and followed it for three years, after which he went to Minnesota. Returning in 1880, he was in January, 1881, appointed deputy sheriff and served for about three years. For some time he devoted his attention to buying and shipping cattle, making shipments of stock cattle to the sourthern part of Iowa and to Missouri. Realizing the value of more thorough business training than he had yet received, in 1898 he pursued a course in a commercial college at Cameron, Missouri, from which he graduated in the year 1899. It has always been characteristic of him, if he recognized a deficiency in any way, to put forth his utmost effort to supply the lack and thus thoroughness has been one of the elements in his growing success, constituting an example that might well be followed by others. In 1900 he returned to Tripoli, where he conducted a milk and dairy business and also dealt in pure-bred shorthorn cattle and Poland China hogs. He continued in this line until 1910 and then turned his attention to contracting and building, becoming one of the organizers of the firm of Carstensen & Rebholz, of which he is still the senior partner. This firm is widely and favorably known and conducts an extensive business, both of the partners being representative and able business men. Mr Carstensen has made some judicious investments in property and has recently become interested in Minnesota land.

In 1901 Mr. Carstensen was united in marriage to Miss Delaphine Bennett, a daughter of George Eben and Cynthia (Mulock) Bennett, the former born in Massachusetts and the latter in New York.

Mr. and Mrs. Bennett were married in McHenry county, Illinois, November 14, 1857, and in 1861 came to Bremer county, Iowa, having taken up land from the government in Frederika township, a part of which is today owned by Mrs. Delaphine B. Carstensen. Mr. and Mrs. Bennett were among the earliest settler of Bremer county and were of the typical pioneer type. They were public-spirited citizens doing everything in their power to help the cause of progress, a couple whose names were written on the hearts of their fellowmen. Mr. Bennett was for some time a trustee of his township. As a school director he always procured the best talent available and the cause of education ever found in him a warm friend. Mr. and Mrs. Bennett were the parents of four children. One son, C.W. Bennett, who in 1889 married Carrie B. Kimbal, now resides in Lovewell, Kansas. Hess E. in 1885 became the wife of J.F. Keough, a stock buyer of Tripolil. Delaphine is next in the family. Rosetta A., in 1897 became the efficient helpmate of W.D. Chapin, an up-to-date farmer of Fremont township, proved to be a model wife and mother. The four Bennett children were very successful teachers. C.W. taught three terms. Hessie taught for seven years, being the first teacher in the Tripoli primary. Rosetta taught for ten years, being also a teacher in the Tripoli primary. Delaphine taught for eighteen years, commencing in the country schools. Eleven years were spent in the Tripoli primary and three in the Waverly primary.

She has taken an active and helpful interest in religious and temperance work. She was for four years president of the Young Women's Christian Temperance Union, was Sunday-school superintendent for three years and is now the president of the Ladies' Aid Society of the First Congregational church of Tripoli, doing important and valuable work in that connection. Her influence in church and Sunday-school work has been far-reaching and beneficial. She is an untiring worker for the cause of Christ and humanity. Mr. Carstensen, too, is a member of the Congregational church, being a charter member and a contributor to its support. He gives his political allegiance to the republican party. He is a member of the executive board of the Bremer County Fair Association and is interested in all movements and measures to promote the advancement and growth of the community. He is held in high regard as a progressive business man and a useful citizen.

History of Bremer County, Iowa Vol. II 1914


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