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Cherokee County Biographies

Daniel Melter

For fifty-five years a resident of Rock township, Daniel Melter is thoroughly familiar with events that have shaped the history of the district during this period, and as one of its pioneer agriculturists and useful citizens he is widely known and highly esteemed. He was born October 16, 1843, in Stark county, Ohio, and his parents, Michael and Eva C. (Dean) Melter, were natives of Germany. In 1835 they came to the United States and for a number of years the father followed the trade of a carpenter in Ohio. Subsequently he settled on a farm in Wisconsin and the mother passed away in that state in 1870. After her demise he migrated to Iowa, where he spent the remainder of his life, responding to death's summons in 1895.

Mr. Melter is the only surviving member of a family of six children. He attended the rural schools near his father's farm and remained at home until 1864, when he enlisted in Company D of the Forty-fifth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. He served until the close of the Civil war, gallantly defending the Union cause, and was mustered out on July 17, 1865. he returned to Wisconsin and engaged in farming in the Badger state for three years. In 1869 he came to Iowa and lived for a year in Black Hawk county. In March, 1870, he moved to Cherokee county and purchased a tract of one hundred and sixty acres, which he still owns. He was one of the early settlers in this district and has experienced the various phases of life on the frontier, watching with interest the onward march of civilization in the west. In the work of development he has borne his full share and through unabating effort, wise management and the exercise of the qualities of patience and perseverance has converted his private property into a public asset. he takes justifiable pride in his farm, which is supplied with many modern improvements and ranks with the best in the township.

In 1868 Mr. Melter married Miss Mary Spinharney, a native of Wisconsin. Death severed their union in 1918 and her remains were laid to rest in the Cherokee Oak Hill cemetery. She had become the mother of seven children: Fred W., who was the first white child born in Rock township and now makes his home in Cherokee; Rose, the wife of William Frambach, of Boise, Idaho; one who died in infancy; Edwin, who lives in South Dakota; Bertha, the wife of C. Johnson, of Danbury, Iowa; Maggie, now Mrs. William Huber; and Stephen, a resident of Cherokee.

Mr. Melter has sixteen grandchildren and one great-grandchild and in their society renews his youth. He is a stanch republican in his political views and his public spirit had been demonstrated by both word and deed. He was a member of the school board for some time and was the first clerk of Rock township, of which he was also assessor. Along fraternal lines he is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, belonging to Cherokee Lodge, No. 188. Mr. Melter is a self-made man, deserving of all the praise which the term implies, and at the venerable age of eighty-two years is enjoying eh prosperity earned by honest toil. His record is an unblemished one and commands for him the highest admiration and respect.

Allen, Arthur Francis., ed. Northwestern Iowa Its History and Traditions 1804-1926. Vol 2. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1927.

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