"Our Friends on the Acres"
Mr. & Mrs. Carl H. Meyer
Two of the oldest and most successful residents in this vicinity live four miles northwest of Postville. They are Mr. and Mrs. Carl H. Meyer, who will observed their 56th wedding anniversary next month.
To present a complete story of their activities, we must go back 83 years ago when Mr. Meyer was born at Garnavillo, in Clayton county, on June 23, 1857, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Meyer. When he was five years old he moved with his parents to a small farm northwest of Elkader. Here he lived until becoming of age. "When I was 21 years old, I decided to leave the farm, so I went to Postville where I got a job with the Ward & Meyer general store, " Mr. Meyer related. It is evident that he was a hard and willing worker, for he spent 30 years as a clerk for Ward & Meyer. "I worked for $150 the first year, then I was given a raise the second year. You couldn't live on that salary today, but it seemed like good money in those days - especially since I was getting my board and room for nothing," he related.
Mrs. Meyer's early history is as interesting as that of her husband. As Miss Reka Sass, she was born December 1, 1861, in Germany, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Sass. She came to the United States with her parents and her older sister when she was three years old. "I can remember hearing my folks talk about that trip. it took us nine weeks to make the voyage - my, but that was a long time. Three years ago my daughter and son-in-law made the same voyage in five days. Times certainly have changed." After docking in this country, the Sass family went to Chicago, Ill. "My father, and my uncle, Christoph Loevenhagen, walked all the way from Chicago to Springfield." (Postville residents will remember that Springfield was a settlement southeast of Postville.) Mrs. Meyer continued to speak of her father, who worked on a farm for six months before returning to his family in Chicago, saying, "We accompanied him back to Springfield. This time, however, we all rode on the train. In those days the trains were in the pioneer stages. I don't believe the tracks had been extended as far as Postville for very many months." (Editor's Note: The first train arrived in Postville in August, 1864. Mrs. Meyer was probably one of the first passengers of the road as she accompanied her parents here in the fall of that year.) Mr. Sass acquired farm property in the following years northwest of Postville. The land, today, is part of the Meyer property.
Mr. Meyer and Miss Reka Sass were married February 15, 1884, in the Sass farm home by the late Rev. John Gass. After their marriage they took up residence in Postville where the bridegroom was employed at the Ward & Meyer general store. To this union four children were born: Louisa, Mrs. Phillip Kekos, who passed away February 7, 1938; Bertha, Mrs. Clemens Schwabe of Seward, Nebr.; Damond Meyer of near Castalia; and Edmund Meyer of near Waukon. When Damon and Edmund were in their teens, the Meyer family moved to the Sass homestead. That was on March 1, 1908.
When Mr. and Mrs. Sass passed away, Mr. and Mrs. Meyer purchased the 90 acre Sass farm. then in the succeeding years they acquired property adjoining their farm. Today they own 327 1/2 acres of land. Of this total, 2 1/2 acres lie in Winneshiek county and 325 in Allamakee county. The 2 1/2 acres in Winneshiek county cost us more than any of the other acreage," said Mr. Meyer. "We paid $200 an acre for it about 10 years ago. I would say that we paid on an average of $75 an acre for our entire property."
Although Mr. Meyer is almost 83 years old, he can remember many of the men from whom he purchased his land. He got the first 10 acres from Conrad Thoma, 10 acres from Henry Weihe, 10 from John Schroeder, 20 acres from Mrs. Wilbur Dresser, 10 acres from Thomas Henderson, 50 acres from August Schara, 20 acres from the Krogman estate, 25 acres from Geo. Cole, 10 acres from John Welzel, 25 acres from William Dawson, 10 acres from Frederick Meyer, 25 acres from the Chas. Schara estate. The old Sass farm was the home of the Meyer family until 1912, then they moved to the other farm home on their property, leaving their sons in charge of the Sass farm. Mr. and Mrs. Meyer built a new farm home in 1915 in which they are living today. The old house was moved to the north of the new house. It is still in good repair, being used as a store house today.
When Edmund and Damond were married they left the home farm. It is rented today by Rudy Martens. Mr. and Mrs. Meyer are still very active. Although Mr. Meyer does not do any farm work, he does little chores around the house and yard. Mrs. Meyer had just canned 50 quarts of beef, which was butchered recently. They are not alone, as their grandson, Harry Kekos, makes his home with them.
~Postville Herald, January 17, 1940
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