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Cherokee County Biographies

Frank Otto Radeka

FRANK OTTO RADEKA, a farmer of Spring Township, was born in the hamlet of Arnswalde, Prussia, November 4, 1842.  He is the third of a family of eight children of Ferdinand Radeke.  Louisa, the oldest of the family, died at the age of twenty-eight years; it is not known what became of Herman; Anna died at the age of two years; Henry, William, Arthur and Gustave reside in Benton County, Iowa.  The father died in Benton County in 1888, aged eight-one years; he had lived in Benton County since 1864.  The mother of our subject died when he was a lad of six years and his father was married after coming to this country to Miss Wilhelmina Smith, a native of Germany, who survives her husband.  In July, 1854, the family crossed the ocean, and settled in Johnson County, Iowa where they resided four years, then removing to Tama County.  After living there six years they settled in Benton County, where they made a permanent home. The father was a harness-maker by trade.  Frank O. remained at home until past eighteen years of age when he entered the Dutch Society of Amana.  This is a peculiar community consisting of about 1,500 souls who had settled in this county in 1856; all the property is held in common, but Frank did not attach himself to the society as a member; he worked by the month for them for two years, and then went to Illinois, where he was employed by one man, James S. Taggart, a prominent farmer of Stephenson County, for five years continuously.  He then returned to Johnson County and worked for five years longer.  By this time he had saved a little money and felt able to take unto himself a wife, which he did April 13, 1871, by wedding Miss Helen Coleman, a daughter of Philo G. Coleman.  The following year, 1872, he came to Cherokee County and purchased a small tract of land in Spring Township.  He has met with success in his operations and has increased his farm from fifty-four acres to 200 acres.  Mr. Radeke has recently concluded that the South presents better opportunities for money-making, and accordingly has purchased land in Louisiana, expecting within the next  year to make that country his home.  He is a ma of quick intelligence and close observation, and stands high in his township.  His neighbors have made him township assessor three terms and he has also served as road overseer and as clerk of the School Board.  His political tendencies are Republican.  He has experienced some of the rough side of life, having lost five crops sine coming to the county; two by grasshoppers, two by hail and one by drowning.  Mr and Mrs Radeke are the parents of six children: Clarence, Ernest, Nettie, Floyd, Amy and Dora.

Source: Biographical History of Cherokee County, IA, W. W. Dunbar & Co Publishers, 1889

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