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Carl H. Zishka, 1862-1921


Posted By: Clay County IAGenWeb Coordinator (email)
Date: 1/15/2011 at 08:09:34

Germany has furnished a number of worthy citizens to Clay county and their enterprise and progressive spirit have constituted features in the county's upbuilding and development. Among this number is Carl H. Zishka, now living on section 16, Summit township. He follows general agricultural pursuits and stock-raising, also feeds stock to a considerable extent and that he has prospered as the years have gone by is indicated in the fact that he now owns four hundred and eighty acres of fine farming land. He has lived in this county since 1881, arriving here when a young man of nineteen years. His birth occurred in Germany September 4, 1862, and he came to the new world with his father, Godfrey Zishka, who first located in Illinois. The same year, however, he came to Iowa, settling in Franklin county in 1874. Locating on a farm he continued to make his home there for seven years, and in 1881 removed to Summit township, Clay county, where land was purchased and the development of a farm was begun.

Carl H. Zishka was at that time a young man of nineteen years and his strength and energies were employed in tilling the soil and developing the property. He broke and fenced one hundred and thirteen acres of land, carrying forward the work of improvement until the place became very valuable. He remained with his father until twenty-fie years of age and then made arrangements for having a home of his own.

It was in Summit township in 1887 that Mr. Zishka wedded Miss Minnie Schuneman, a sister of G. H. Schuneman, who is mentioned elsewhere in this volume. Following their marriage the young couple located on a farm adjoining his father's property, Mr. Zishka purchasing eighty acres which he cultivated and developed. As the years passed he continued the work of improvement and his industry was seen in the well-tilled fields that brought forth abundant crops. In 1889 he purchased the farm upon which he now resides on section 16, Summit township, beginning here with one hundred and sixty acres. Later by trade he extended the boundaries of his farm and is now the owner of four hundred and eighty acres of rich land. The soil is very arable and responds readily to cultivation. That practical farming methods are employed is indicated in the rich harvests which are annually gathered for he secures extensive crops of corn and other cereals. In improving his property he has erected a large two-story residence built in modern style of architecture and supplied with modern conveniences. There are also two big barns upon the place, while cribs and granaries furnish shelter for the grain and houses have been built for hogs. He uses woven and barbed wire fences to enclose his fields and he has a feed grinder which is operated by a gasoline engine, ,in order to grind feed for the stock. He keeps stock of good grades, having now sixteen head of Aberdeen Angus cattle, with a pure-blooded, thorough-bred male at the head of the herd. In addition to raising find stock he fattens from one to two carloads of cattle and from one hundred to one hundred and fifty heads of hogs annually and his live-stock interest constitute an important feature in his success. in connection with his brothers, Frank and Dan, he owned and operated a steam thresher twenty-seven seasons, threshing for people all over this part of the country and in adjoining counties. Carl H. Zishka is likewise a stockholder in the Fostoria Farmer's Elevator and the Cooperative Creamery there. He is a director in both enterprises and also of the Telephone Company.

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Zishka has been blessed with two sons and six daughters, Gustav H., Carl, Lena, Annie, Minnie, Mary, Edna, and Richie. They also lost a son, Otto, at the age of four years.

In his political views Mr. Zishka is a democrat where national issues are involved, but casts an independent local ballot. He is now serving as township trustee of Summit township, has been identified with the schools for several years in an official capacity, and at the present time is acting as one of the school directors. He is a member of the Lutheran church and his life has been well spent, his religious principles constituting a moving force in all that he does. Great changes have occurred since he arrived in this country, where he has now...

Source: A History of Clay County, by W. C. Gilbreath, 1889.


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