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John F. C. Harnack


Posted By: Linda (email)
Date: 4/23/2007 at 06:16:23

John F. C. Harnack

John F. C. Harnack, one of the substantial pioneer farmers of Remsen township, is a native of Germany, but has been a resident of Iowa since he was three years of age. He was born in the grand duchy of Mecklenburg on May 3, 1850, son of John and Mary Harnack, both of whom were born in that same section of Germany and who came to this country in 1853 entering by way of Quebec and proceeding on out to Iowa and settling in Clayton county, the trip occupying three months, nine weeks of which time was spent on the sailing vessel which brought them over.

Upon coming to this state the elder John Harnack for a time rented a farm in Clayton county and then bought a tract of land there, on which he established his home and where he spent the rest of his life. His widow later came to Plymouth county and her last days were spent in the home of her children, who meanwhile had located in this county. John Harnack and wife were the parents of five children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the first-born, the others being Mary, Louis, Herman and Christina.

John F. C. Harnack, as noted above, was but three years of age when his parents came to Iowa. He grew to manhood on the home farm in Clayton county, receiving his schooling in the local schools, and early learned the carpenter trade, at which he worked for thirteen years, ten years of which time he was engaged as a contracting carpenter. He then turned his attention to farming, about the time of his marriage, and was thus engaged in Clayton county for three years, or until 1883, when he came out to Plymouth county, where, five years before, he had bought a quarter section of land in Remsen township, paying eight dollars an acres for the same. He erected a small “shack” on the place, eight by sixteen feet in dimension, and there established his home and proceeded to break and improve his farm, to which he added by later purchase until now he is the owner of two hundred and forty acres of well-improved land in Remsen and Marion townships and is regarded as one of the most substantial farmers in his neighborhood. Mr. Harnack has made excellent improvements on his place and has a fine residence and good farm buildings. In addition to his general farming, Mr. Harnack pays considerable attention to stock raising and feeds about three carloads of hogs and a carload of cattle each year. Mr. Harnack is a Republican and gives a good citizen’s attention to local civic affairs, but has not been a seeker after public office.

It was in 1879 that John F. C. Harnack was united in marriage to Elizabeth Greiman, daughter of William Greiman, and to this union seven children have been born, five of whom are still living, Anna, Bertha, Elizabeth, Henry and John, all of whom are at home. The Harnacks are members of the Evangelical Lutheran church at Remsen and take an earnest interest in the affairs of the same, as well as in the general social activities of the community, helpful in all neighborhood good works.

Source: The History of Plymouth County by W.S. Freeman; Vol. II, 1917


Clayton Biographies maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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