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Harms, Henry J. 1888-1954


Posted By: Kathy Baker, Volunteer (email)
Date: 9/24/2005 at 01:13:35


Henry J. Harms, prominent LeMars banker, died at the Fontenelle Hotel in Omaha at 3:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 23, following a heart attack.

The Harms family was told by the house doctor at the hotel that Mr. Harms called for the doctor at twenty minutes to three and said that he was having severe pains. The doctor went immediately to the room and talked with Mr. Harms only a few minutes when he lapsed into unconsciousness. Death came at three. Harold Harms of LeMars was notified of his fatherís death.

Mr. Harms stopped in Omaha on his flight back from California and could not make plane connections immediately, so had checked in at the hotel for an over night stay.

Henry Harms, the son of Ihnke Harms and Helen Siebels, was born in Grant township, Plymouth county, Iowa, on January 25, 1888. He had lived in this community his entire 66 years and made his home in Brunsville.

On December 27, 1916, he was united in marriage with Katherine Johlfs at Slayton, Minn.

Mr. Harms became president of the LeMars Savings Bank in 1943 when he bought the controlling interest from M. Kass, who retired at that time. He was presently president also of the Farmers State Bank at Merrill and the First State Bank in Brunsville.

Mr. and Mrs. Harms had been visiting a daughter and son-in-law, Dr. and Mrs. Max Swancutt in Los Angeles and Mrs. Harms had decided to remain for a longer visit with her daughter and family when Mr. Harms returned alone. Mrs. Harms arrived in LeMars on Tuesday after being notified of her husbandís death.

Besides heading the three banks, Mr. Harms was for several years chairman of group 1, Iowa Bankers Association. He was a member of the Elks and Lions clubs, St. Peters Lutheran Church and brotherhood and the Brunsville church board, a member of the executive board of The American Red Cross, the Plymouth County board of education and the American Bankers Association.

Mr. Harms never knew of an honor that was due to be presented to him at a Lions Club dinner by Jim Bowers, vice president of the club, in the absence of the president.

This was a bronze service pin from the treasury department in recognition of five years service as county board chairman.

An agent of the treasury department was in LeMars a couple of weeks ago and made arrangements for a surprise presentation at a forthcoming Lions dinner. Mr. Harms was not to know about it until the presentation was made.

Among other civic organizations Mrs. Harms was also a member of the Brunsville town council for many years.

The body arrived in LeMars Tuesday evening and will be at the Mauer funeral home here until time of services. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, February 27, at St. Johnís American Lutheran Church in LeMars with Rev. A.F. Zenk, pastor of St. Peterís Lutheran Church in Brunsville, officiating. Burial will be in St. Peterís cemetery at Brunsville.

Survivors include his widow, Katherine; three daughters, Mrs. Teresa (Gordon) Mennen, Mrs. Harriette Nedell of Denver, Colo., Mrs. Phyllis Swancutt, Granada Hills, California; a son, Harold, of LeMars; twelve grandchildren; two brothers, Charles Harms, Long Beach, California, Herman Harms, Brunsville; two sisters, Mrs. Katherine Dickman of Brunsville, and Mrs. Anna Harms, LeMars. He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, John & Dick, and one sister, Marie Johlfs.

The LeMars banks will close at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, the day of the funeral.

~Source: The LeMars Globe-Post, February 25, 1954

Henry Harms Died at Omaha

Henry Harms of LeMars died in a hotel at Omaha Tuesday morning while enroute to his home from a visit in California.

Mr. Harms was widely known in this area and had many friends. He was president of the LeMars
Savings, the Farmers State Bank at Merrill and the First State Bank at Brunsville.

Mr. Harms was on his way home from Los Angeles,
where he and his wife had been visiting their daughter and son-in-law, Dr. and Mrs. Max Swancutt. He went to the Fontenelle Hotel in Omaha for an overnight stop. He was returning alone, Mrs. Harms having stayed in Los Angeles for a longer visit. About 2:40 a.m. Mr. Harms
called the hotel desk saying that he was ill and
asking for a doctor. The house doctor went immediately to his room and was present when Mr.
Harms passed away about 3 a.m. due to a heart attack. He was 66 years of age.

Besides heading three banks, Mr. Harms was active in fraternal, civic, and community affairs. He was chairman of the Plymouth County Red Cross drive for funds, and also county chairman in the sale of savings bonds.

Surviving are his widow, a son, three daughters, and many other relatives.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, at St. Johns American Lutheran Church in LeMars and burial will be in St. Peter's Lutheran Cemetery at Brunsville.

Published Hinton,Iowa newspaper, 2/25/1954.

Tombstone Photo

Plymouth Obituaries maintained by Linda Ziemann.
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