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Adolphus Methfessel


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 11/13/2011 at 10:46:50

ADOLPHUS METHFESSEL. No name is more familiarly known in Grundy County than that of Methfessel, and it is so thoroughly interwoven with the history of the community that a work of this character would be incomplete without frequent reference to this prominent man. In 1864, he came to this county and purchased four hundred acres of land where Reinbeck is now located, and he claims the honor of laying out the city proper. He has always been liberal and public spirited in promoting enterprises for the benefit of the community, and contributed $6,000 to the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railroad now running through the city, and also generously gave fifteen acres of land to the St. Paul & Kansas Railroad.

The German has always been a potential element in the development of Iowa. No better blood ever infused pioneer life, no sturdier arm ever set about the task of subduing the wilderness, and no less vigorous mental activity could have raised a great commonwealth. Our subject was born in Prussia in 1841, and is the son of Gotfried and Catherine (Seelander) Methfessel. His grandfather, Godfried A. Methfessel, was also a German by birth, and was a prominent musician in his native land, which profession he followed throughout his life. He reared a family of five sons and two daughters, of whom the father of our subject was the eldest. The latter was given a good education, and received the best opportunity for obtaining musical training, and when old enough took charge of a band in the town of Muhlhausen. He also had charge of and furnished the music for two churches in that place.

The parental family of our subject comprised six sons and four daughters, of whom Adolph, Frederick, Christolph and William are deceased. Those living are Anton G., Christina, Johannah, Emily, Adolphus and Christian. Anton G. is a professor of music and languages in the Methfessel Academy in Staten Island, N. Y. The father of our subject died of apoplexy when sixty years of age. His good wife, who is also deceased, survived him fifteen years.

When our subject was a youth of fifteen years, he served an apprenticeship of five years in the woolen mills of his native county, and in 1860 decided to try his fortune in America. Landing in the United States, he began the study of music in New York City, and at the same time learned to be a model cabinet-maker. After spending some years in the Empire State, he came west to Iowa, and for five years his time was employed in working for other people. Then he began clerking in Waterloo, and after a short time spent thus, came in 1864 to Grundy County, and as before stated, purchased a farm which is now the site of Reinbeck.

Mr. Methfessel was one of the first men to organize the steam elevator of this place, is also one of the large coal merchants of the city. He gave to the city a block of land on which to erect the school building, and has been generous in his gifts to public-spirited enterprises.

Our subject was married in this county in 1867 to Miss Louisa, daughter of John and Henrietta (Hinch) Lusch. To them were born five children: Henrietta, John, Adelia, Natalie and Louis. Socially, our subject is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and politically votes with the Democratic party. He is greatly interested in educational affairs, and has been President of the School Board for several years. He has been Justice of the Peace for a period of twelve years. He is very rapid in all his business transactions, yet carefully weighs and considers every movement, but having decided upon any work or enterprise, throws the entire force of his energy toward its success.

Portrait and Biographical Record
of Jasper, Marshall and Grundy Counties, Iowa


Grundy Biographies maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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