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Peter Christena


Posted By: S. Ferrall - IAGenWeb volunteer
Date: 1/6/2022 at 09:51:19

By the exercise of his own resourcefulness, even from youth, Peter Christena has largely attained the object of his early ambition, namely, a competency and a place of respect and esteem among his fellow men. He has kept in view the final good, and by tenacious activity and faith in himself, he has sought to exemplify in his life and conduct the principles and high ideals which he inherited from his ancestors who were known to be people of sterling worth. But in doing this, he has not been unmindful of the claims of others upon his time and generosity.

Peter Christena a retired farmer in Lincoln township, is a native of Germany, having been born in Bavaria, on May 27, 1834, and is the son of Michael and Margaret (Gardner) Christena both of whom were also born in Bavaria, Germany.

In 1843 the father of Mr. Christena, perhaps influenced by the migratory habits of his friends joined some of them and journeyed to the United States, making his first home in the new country in Dearborn county, Indiana. Here he began life on eighty acres of land which he cultivated until 1854, when, with his family he removed to Clayton county, Iowa, where with his son Peter, he purchased two hundred and fourteen acres of land at seven dollars an acre.

These enterprising pioneers traveled overland on horseback and in wagons in which their household goods were stored, and en route, they passed through Indianapolis, and South Chicago, making the trip in the fall of the year. The journey required twenty-three days, and it was necessary to traverse forests and to ford many a dangerous stream.

The father of the subject of this sketch made his home with his son, Peter, until his death which occurred in 1861, his wife dying ten years later. Of the seven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Christena, only two remain, these being Peter and his sister, Barbara.

Peter Christena attended school in Dearborn county, Indiana, his course, however, consisting of a very limited term of six months. He then assisted his father on the farm until the two journeyed to Clayton county, where he farmed until 1891, taking entire charge of the enterprise. In that year he located in Lincoln township on one hundred and sixty acres of land which he purchased and which became the scene of his general farming operations and stock raising. Among his assets as an agriculturist are a large number of Poland china hogs.

Mrs. Christena was formerly Julia Goeller*, and to her the subject of this sketch was married in 1865 in Clayton county, Iowa. Mrs. Christena is the daughter of William and Mary Katherine (Funke) Goeller.

Eight children formed the household of Mrs. Christena's early home, and of these only three, August, William and Mrs. Christena are living. Mrs. Christena was born in Prussia, Germany, of which country her parents were natives. Her father was a miller in Germany until the time when he came to America and located on a farm in Clayton county, Iowa, which he cultivated until a few years previous to his death, when he made his home with a daughter in Yankton, South Dakota.

To Mr. and Mrs. Christena have been born the following children: Mary, now Mrs. John Ulrich; Emma, who married Alfred Pinion and became the mother of a daughter named Viola, and who is now deceased; Carolina and Amelia who are at home.

Mr. and Mrs. Christena are devout members of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which Mr. Christena has held all the prominent offices, including that of trustee. Politically he is a Republican.

Although living more than the biblical allotment of three score and ten, the gentleman whose life history is here considered, is unusually active and alert both mentally and physically. He takes an interest in the life about him and in affairs concerning the county and enjoys a large share of popularity. His has been a most useful and helpful career and the many friends his geniality have won attest to the fact that he is a man worthy of friendship.

~Transcribed by S. Ferrall from images of the book:
"History of Wright County Iowa, Its People, Industries and Institutions. With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families"; Hon. B.P. Birdsall, editor; 1915, B.F. Bowen & Company, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana. pgs 503-504 (familysearch.org)

*Transcriber's note: Mrs. Christena's maiden name is commonly found spelled KUHLER or KUEHLER, her marriage to Peter is found in Clayton County, Iowa Record of Marriages, Book 1, pg 121


Clayton Biographies maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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