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WILLIAM M JANSSEN, b 12 Aug 1859


Posted By: Donna Moldt Walker (email)
Date: 6/12/2004 at 07:19:45

William M. Janssen, a native of Jackson County, is the son of a former well-known, honored pioneer, and the grandson of another, and in him they have a worthy descendant, who is vigorously doing his part in carrying on the work so well begun by them and their fellow-pioneers. He is a prominent figure among the intelligent, enterprising young farmers and stock-raisers of Perry Township, where he owns, on section 12, a well-appointed, well-managed farm that compares favorably with the best in the neighborhood.

His father, John Janssen, was born in Holland, and his grandfather, Charles Janssen, was born in Germany. He was a well-to-do farmer, but, desirous of making more money, in 1852 he emigrated to the United States, and coming to Iowa became an early settler of Perry Township. He bought 200 acres of land here, improved a fine farm and resided on it until his eyes closed to the scenes of earth. During his life in this country he had won the respect and esteem of all with whom he came in contact, as his genuine worth was easily recognized in his dealings with others and in his general conduct.

The father of our subject was reared to the life of a farmer, and was a young man when he came to the United States in 1852. At that time he bought land in Perry Township, and vigorously entered upon its improvement, but he subsequently bought a farm near Samott, on Farmers' Creek, and there he engaged in farming 120 acres of land, making all the necessary improvements, and also paid attention to stock-raising. In 1871 he bought a farm of 320 acres in Perry Township, beautifully located on the banks of Brush Creek, and by patient industry and hard work he acquired a good deal of valuable property. He had made many fine improvements on his place, and continued to carry on agricultural pursuits here quite extensively until his death in 1882. At that time Perry Township lost one of its most valued citizens, and his family a kind husband and good father. He was a member of the Lutheran Church, and every good work met with his hearty approbation and material assistance. In his political views he was a decided Democrat. While in Germany, in his early manhood he served as a soldier in the army.

In his wife our subject found one of the most helpful of helpmates, and to her encouragement and aid he was much indebted for his success in life. She is now living in Andrew, where she is highly respected by her neighbors and friends. She is a sincere Christian and a devoted member of the Lutheran Church. Her maiden name was Christine Smith, and she was born in Germany, her parents being also natives of that country. She was early left an orphan, and her struggles to earn her own living made her self-reliant at an early age and doubtless strengthened her character. Of her marriage four children were born, namely: Charles, William M., Henry and Otis, both of whom are on the old homestead.

William, the subject of this sketch, was born near LaMotte, Richland Township, Aug. 12, 1859. He was bred to the life of a farmer, receiving from his father careful, practical instruction in agriculture in all its branches. His education was gleaned in the district schools, which he attended in the winter seasons until he was twenty-one years old. He was fourteen years old when his parents removed to Perry Township, and here the remainder of his life has been passed thus far. He continued to assist his father in the management of his farm, remaining an inmate of the parental household until he was twenty-six years old. He then began farming on his own account, having in the spring of 1883 bought his present place of 120 acres of rich and productive land. It was only partially improved, but he now has it in a fine condition, with a good dwelling, barn, and other necessary buildings, windmill and tank. He has about seventy acres under cultivation, has a good orchard, and the farm is well watered by Jesse Branch. He engages in mixed husbandry, paying much attention to raising graded Short-horns, besides buying and feeding other cattle, and raising draft horses and Poland-China hogs.

April 14, 1883, Mr. Janssen was married in Andrew to Miss Sophia Hawkammer, a native of Clayton County, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Janssen's happy household is blessed by the presence of two children that have been born to them - Mary and Ella. They have a cosy, attractive home, the centre of true hospitality that "welcomes the coming and speeds the parting guest." They are both consistent members of the Lutheran Church, at Andrew. Mr. Janssen is a young man of steady purposes, a hard worker, possessing forethought and energy combined with prudence and thrift. His honorable character has won him the trust of his fellow-citizens. He is an ardent Democrat in his political sentiments. He has the cause of education at heart, and at present is serving acceptably as School Director.

("Portrait and Biographical Album of Jackson County, Iowa", originally published in 1889, by the Chapman Brothers, of Chicago, Illinois.)


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