Cerro Gordo County Iowa
Part of the IaGenWeb Project




[William BOHN, t]he subject of this sketch is a fine type of the sturdy German-American farmer. Without financial backing, unacquainted with the language of the country, he landed here when a young man, and by his own hard work and perseverance made a home, earned a competency, and gained a place among the representative citizens of the community. Mr. BOHN has three hundred and twenty acres of fine land in Grant township, Cerro Gordo county, Iowa, where he has resided since the early '70s.

He was born in Prussia, Germany, October 26, 1839, son of Christopher and Christena (MARKS) BOHN, and the only one now living of their family of three children. He was reared on a farm in his native country and received a common school education in his native tongue. Ambitious to see something of the world and better his condition, he decided to try his fortune in America, and on April 27, 1864 landed in New York city with only fifteen dollars in his pocket. He spent some time at farm work in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and McHenry county, Illinois, beginning with wages at sixteen dollars a month. In 1866 he came to Iowa and worked north out of Cedar Rapids, on the B. C. R. & N. Railroad. In 1869, employed on the Milwaukee road, he followed it to Mason City, Iowa, which point was reached in the fall of that year. The following year his parents joined him here. His father purchased one hundred and twenty acres in section 19, thirty acres of which had been broken and planted, and there was a log house on the place. For this farm he paid thirteen dollars and fifty cents an acre, including the crop.

Here the parents passed the rest of their lives, and died, the father dying at the age of eighty-two years, the mother at sixty-nine. When the farm was divided, William came into possession of eighty acres of it, to which he subsequently added until he now has three hundred and twenty acres. A snowball bush in his front yard is the only thing now growing here that had been planted before he came. All the other plantings and improvements on the place have been made by him, and, with the assistance of his sons, he continues to operate the farm.

In 1873, Mr. BOHN married Miss Augusta BOHN, like himself a native of Germany. She died in 1900, at the age of forty-eight years. Of the seven children born to them, we record that Clara, the eldest, is the wife of Albert ROENFANZ, of Hancock county, Iowa; Helen, wife of Albert JASS, also lives in Hancock county; Julius is a resident of Grant township, Cerro Gordo county, and Edward, Emma, Bertha, and Herman are at home. The family are members of the German Lutheran church.

SOURCE: Wheeler, J. H. History of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. Vol. II. Pp. 391-92 Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago. 1910

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2011



  • Return to Biographies Index Page

  • Return to Cerro Gordo Home Page


    © Copyright 1996-
    Cerro Gordo Co. IAGenWeb Project
    All rights Reserved.