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Posted By: Jean Kramer (email)
Date: 5/24/2004 at 16:42:34

Biography reproduced from page 341 of Volume II of the History of Kossuth County written by Benjamin F. Reed and published in 1913:

W. C. Bissell, who has been identified with mercantile business during his active life, is now a general merchant of Galbraith, Iowa, and is known as an upright and honorable man. He was born in McGregor, Iowa, October 2, 1871, and is a son of Conrad and Mary (Welte) Bissell. His father was born in Germany and came to the United States before the Civil war. He located in McGregor, Iowa, paid two substitutes to do service for him in the army and entered the mercantile business, in which he engaged until his death in 1892. His wife was also a native of Germany, but came to the United States with her parents when she was only nine years of age. The journey across the Atlantic occupied ten weeks and was made under the most primitive conditions of travel. Mrs. Bissell is still living at McGregor. She is the mother of ten children: Josephine, who is now Sister Letitia in La Crosse, Wisconsin; Emily, the wife of John Schutanic, of McGregor; Mary, who married Philip Meyer and is living in the same place; Katie, the wife of Philip Etterdorf, of Aberdeen, South Dakota; Ada, now Mrs. Peter Meyer, who resides in Elkader, Iowa; Minnie, wife of John P. Collins, who makes his home in Waukon; Tillie, the wife of Henry Thuente, residing at Guttenberg, Iowa; W. C., the subject of this sketch; Henry, of South Dakota; and Hugo, of McGregor, Iowa.

W. C. Bissell received his early education in the schools of McGregor and later attended the Sacred Heart College at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, from which institution he was graduated with the class of 1888. He remained at home for some time but eventually removed to South Dakota, being engaged in mercantile business in Sioux Falls. After a short period spent in that city he went to Forest City, Iowa, where he engaged in the same line of business. In 1900 he came to Kossuth county, Iowa, and established business at Galbraith, where he is now prominent and successful in his chosen field.

In 1904 Mr. Bissell was united in marriage to Miss Mary Deveraux, and they have become the parents of five children: Irma; Willis; Myra and Marcia, twins, the latter of whom is deceased; and Cecelia. Mr. Bissell gives his political allegiance to the republican party and is an active factor in local public affairs. He held the position of township clerk for two years and served at one time as justice of the peace. He was the first postmaster at Galbraith, and was instrumental in getting the office established at that place, June 2, 1902. He has served as station agent for three or four years and has charge of the grain elevator in Galbraith. He is a member of the Catholic church at Livermore, Iowa, in the faith of which he was reared. He is one of the prominent citizens of Kossuth county, where his genial manner has gained for him hosts of friends and where his well known qualities of honesty and integrity have made his business prosperous.


Kossuth Biographies maintained by Linda Ziemann.
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