Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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HISTORY of CERRO GORDO COUNTY, IOWA
WHEELER, J.H. Vol. II. Pp. 791-92. Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago. 1910

BIOGRAPHY ~ GEORGE H. FELTHOUS

One of Rockwell's most prominent and valuable citizens is George H. Felthous, a one time agriculturist, later engaged in the elevator and grain business, and at the head of several progressive movements, among them the establishment of the Rockwell Bank. He was born in Dubuque county, Iowa. August 4, 1848, and is of Teutonic origin, his parents, Jolm H. and Caroline (Foell) Felthous, both having been born in Germany. They emigrated separately to the United States, the father with a brother who died shortly after his arrival upon American shores, and the mother when nineteen years of age in company with her parents. They were married in Dubuque eouuty where the father had taken up farming and where he died in 1869. The mother resides in Rockwell with a daughter and now (in 1910) is past eighty-one years of age. There were four children besides George; Mrs. Louisa C. Specht; John C.; and John Adam and Amelia, the two latter deceased.

George H. Felthous received his education in the public schools of Dubuque county and for one term attended the commercial college at Dubuque. For the following seven years he taught in the county schools during the winter and in the summer devoted his energies to the farm. In June 1869 he made the change which was to prove very far reaching in its effect, coming to Geneseo township, in Cerro Gordo county and purchasing two hundred and eighty acres in sections 17 and 19. He returned to Dubuque county and the following year removed finally to his land where he proceeded to break a quarter section of the wild prairie. In 1871 he undertook the management of a grain business in Roctwell which had been started by others the year previous when the Iowa Central Railroad had been built through. He built a warehouse and in 1874 the elevator. He continued in the grain and elevator business until 1882 when he sold out to his brothers. For the ensuing five years he engaged in buying and improving wild lands in Cerro Gordo county. His present agricultural holdings consist of fifty-six acres in Cerro Gordo county and a tract in Minneapolis.

In 1887 Mr. Felthous established the Rockwell bank, he being sole owTier. The capital stock was $10,000 and the officers, Mr. Felthous and F. R. Putnam, the latter having been associated with the bank for sixteen years. He was succeeded by F. C. Siegfried, the present cashier. The capital stock has been increased to $25,000 and the bank does considerable business in real estate loans and insurance. When the bank was inaugurated its home was a plain frame building which it occupied until 1892 in which year was built the present substantial brick building with vault and all modern appliances. He built his first Rockwell residence in 1872 and the one now occupied by him and his family in 1883.

Mr. Felthous has given his support to the Republican party through many campaigns and he has given efficient public service in several offices, among them township clerk for several years, member of the school board and of the town council. He was a member of the Rockwell Knights of Pythias until the reliquishment of their charter. Both he and his wife are active and consistent members of the Methodist church in whose good works they are always interested. Mr. Felthous has been superintendent of the Sunday School for a number of years and gave excellent assistance in the building of the church edifice some time since.

Mr. Felthous laid the foundation of a happy home in 1874 in which year he was married to Miss Lucretia M. Lyman, eldest daughter of George E. and Sarah E. Lyman. They have one daughter, Hazel Lou, who is at home. She was graduated in 1909 from Cornell College (Iowa). Mr. and Mrs. Felthous believe in culture and cultivate the finer side of life. Consequently they are good travelers. In 1882 they took a trip to the Pacific coast and in 1900 accompanied by their daughter they visited the Paris Exposition and the Passion Play at Oberammergau. They were abroad for several months and visited England, Ireland, Scotland, Holland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France.

NOTE: George H. Felthous died in 1936, and was interred at Rockwell IA.

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2014

 

 

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