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Fayette County, Iowa
Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa
Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of
Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County
Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago
Walter Henry Finke
Walter Henry Finke, dealer in drugs and patent medicines, wall paper and books, of Elgin, Iowa, is a native of Ohio. He was born in the city of Cincinnati, July 31, 1853, and is a son of Frank H. and Anna (Holbrook) Finke, both of whom are natives of Germany; his father born March 1, 1820. At the age of eighteen he emigrated to America and in Ohio, where he settled, formed the acquaintance of Miss Holbrook, who at the age of thirteen had become a resident of this country. They were married in Cincinnati where he followed the painter's trade until 1856, when they emigrated westward. Crossing the Mississippi River on the ice in March of that year they located in the city of Dubuque, Iowa, where they are still living. In their family are three children - Emma, at home; Rosa, wife of H. C. Saunders of Dubuque, and Walter H.
The last named, who is the subject of this sketch, was educated in the public schools of Dubuque and received his business training in the drug store of W. P. Allen of that city, which he entered as a clerk at the age of seventeen. There he remained six years in which time he mastered the business in all its details. In 1876, he went to Colorado and worked in a gold mine in Boulder Canon for a time, after which he returned to Le Mars, Iowa, where he took charge of the drug store owned by W. F. Allison. A year later he established a drug store in Volga City for E. W. Griffith and has now for twelve years been engaged in business for himself in Elgin.
An important event in the life of Mr. Finke occurred at Strawberry Point, April 2, 1879, when he led to the marriage altar Miss Ella Phillips, a native of Elgin, Ill. Unto them was born one child, Rosa Ella, but she died of diphtheria when in her ninth year. In May, 1879, Mr. Finke came to Elgin, Iowa, and established his present business. He at first had a very small stock but constantly increasing trade has necessitated a corresponding enlargement in the quantity of his goods and he is now at the head of one of the best drug stores in the county. His experience in this line of business covers a period of more than twenty-one years. In politics he is a supporter of Democratic principles and socially is a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge and of the Legion of Honor.
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