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Cherokee County Biographies

John F. Siegel

JOHN F. SIEGEL was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, February 25, 1836 and is a son of Jacob F and Barbara (Jakly) Siegel.  This family is from the same stock as that of General Franz Siegel.  When John F was fifteen years old the family crossed the waters to the strange shores of America.  The first five years they lived in the State of New York and then pushed farther west and settled in Outagamie County, Wisconsin, in 1856.  There the father continued to reside until his death, which occurred in 1887, at the age of eighty-four years.  His widow still lives in Wisconsin at the age of seventy-six years.  There were fourteen children in the family, and with the exception of one they grew to maturity and twelve of them are now living.  One sister, Sophronia,wife of Daniel Ferguson resides in Cherokee and Barbara wife of Frank Jones, lives in Dallas County, Iowa; Alexander is in Washington Territory and the rest excepting George who lives in Ohio are in Wisconsin.  When John F. had arrived at his majority he began work by the month, but made his  home for one year with his father.  From this time until he was thirty-two years old he was engaged in the lumber regions, first working by the month and afterward contracting to get out logs.  Making some money in this way he determined to buy a farm and before 1879 he had improved two timbered farms, which he disposed of when he came to Cherokee County, which presented a more favorable outlook for agricultural purposes than the timber country of Wisconsin.  He at first secured eighty acres and now owns 240 acres of excellent land.  His business has been lucrative and he has made quite a successful farmer.  His place is considered one of the neatest and best in the vicinity and all his surroundings indicate thrift and the guidance of a master hand.  Mr. Siegel's military career is something out of the ordinary.  He enlisted in the Third Wisconsin Cavalry, but was rejected not being considered fit for military duty.  A few months after he was drafted and placed in Company A, Eighteenth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry.  His command was sent to Tennessee where he did guard duty until 1865 when they were ordered to North Carolina.  After being quartered at Raleigh some time they were sent to Washington, District of Columbia, and there he marched in the grand review.  His discharge bears date of July 1865.  He participated in but one regular battle that of Kingston.  Mr. Siegel was married in May, 1862 to Miss Christina Dexter, who died in April,1870, leaving him two little boys,  Albert and Ransford.  He was married a second time, September 8, 1870 to Miss Regina Fuller.  They have four children: Alice, Stephen, Willie and Lydia.

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

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