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August Reichelt


Posted By: Volunteer (email)
Date: 4/2/2002 at 15:33:41

REICHELT, AUGUST, of Reichelt Brothers, farmers and manufacturers of brick and tile, Sec. 13, sons of John Reichelt, who was born in Prussia, March 31, 1821; at the age of 25, married Mary Veronica Heinze, who was born in Prussia, Dec. 18, 1824, and on April 27, 1856, with his family, which now consisted of wife and five children, embarked for America; arrived at Burlington on July 4, of that year; invested his all in eight acres of land in this township, leaving him in debt $60; among people of his own country and tongue in this vicinity, he sought employment, and they, taking advantage of his ignorance of wages paid at that time, kept him hard at work at 40 cents per day for three years, which (although his wife took in washing whenever it could be obtained) at the prices then of the necessaries of life, scarcely kept the family from want, and they often suffered from hunger; at one time he sent his sons, August and John, to mill with a bushel of corn; and a hen, the price of which paid for grinding; while waiting for their grist at Madison, one of them picked up an oyster-can, which he supposed his mother could utilize. On their way home, having gone to the mill before breakfast, they stopped to let the old mare graze, and the boys being hungry milked the mare into the oyster can, mixed the milk with corn-meal and made their breakfast of it. The father began to learn more of the American people, and secured employment from them which was more remunerative; after a while, he obtained a team of a heifer and a steer, and a wagon, the wheels of which were sawn from a log of wood, then rented a small tract of land for two years, and in 1865, he bought eighty acres of land, where the family now reside, to which, in 1867, he added another eighty, and the same year they opened their brickyard, mixed their clay with an old fashioned mud-mill, and a $10-horse; molded by hand; made only 35,000 the first year; he added to his farm until he had 200 acres, now valued at $40 per acre, which he continued to improve and cultivate, and in the manufacture, in his crude way, of brick and tile until his death, which occurred May 10, 1876, leaving a family of seven children-John A., born July 13, 1847, now of Chicago, in the boot and shoe trade; Louise E. F., August, 1849 (the wife of Herman Wauku, a farmer of this township); Augustus J., the subject of this sketch, was born in Prussia Sept. 7, 1851 (married Mary, daughter of Christ. Witty, of Fort Madison; she was born in Fort Madison March, 1857; they have one child-Harry, born April 10, 1878); Francesca, born Sept. 24, 1853 (wife of Hugo Artz, of this township, a farmer); Paulina E., born Oct. 8, 1855 (the wife of Samuel Boobier, a native of England, now connected with the Sherman House of Chicago; Julius F., born June 1, 1858, forman in the brick and tile yard, and Ida, born Dec. 21, 1864. Since the death of their father, the sons have added to their brick manufactory new and improved machinery, which has a capacity (with the assistance of four men) to turn out 6,000 to 7,000 of the finest pressed brick known to this part of the country, per day, and find a good market for all produced. In the way of farming, they have all the necessary machinery of the latest improvements, with seven fine horses and other stock; have a yearly tax of $80; their first tax, for which they now hold the receipt, being 18 cents. Family politics, Republican; religion Catholic.


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