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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 1251~




No more substantial citizens ever connected themselves with a community than the family of this name, which has been connected with Fayette county for over forty years. They are of the best known Switzerland stock, with a natural turn for all branches of the mechanical arts and invariably successful as artisans. Christian Freiburghaus married Rosina Bigler in his native and by her had several children, but she died when the latter were young and the father determined to seek a betterment of his condition on distant shores. Gathering his young family around him, he set sail for the United States in 1867 and in due time reached the gales that open upon the land of promise. He had picked out Iowa as his destination and lost no time in making his way to that growing state. He located in Clayton county and, though a cabinetmaker by trade, he turned his attention temporarily to carpentry. In 1869 he changed his place of operations to Fayette county, located at Elgin and opened up a lively trade as carpenter. This he kept mainly until 1875, but the year previous he took up cabinet work in a furniture store established by his son. He died in May, 1892, after an industrious and useful life.


Christian L. Freiburghaus, son of the old cabinetmaker, was born in Switzerland, November 19, 1855, and was consequently only twelve years old when he crossed the ocean with his father. He was able to obtain a limited education as his fate was that of the “hired boy," overworked all the time. During the summer, when there were no schools, he was pushed hard by his employers in the thousand and one jobs that boys can do on a farm. In winter he had to work for farmers to pay his board and as his hours were long and his tasks exacting, he had little time left for school or private study. The result was that he grew practically with-out the kind of education that is obtained in school houses, but he made the deficiency later by his good sense, faculty of observation and the keeping in touch with affairs around him. In 1873 he came to Elgin to make his home and learned the carpenter's trade under his father. In 1874 the latter started a furniture store at Elgin and his son worked for him until his death in 1881, Since that time he has conducted the business alone and made it one of the prosperous houses of Elgin. In 1893 he built the large store and residence structure which he has since occupied. He also conducts an undertaking business, having received his professional education at Howenshoe and the embalming school at Des Moines, Iowa. In 1881 he married to Rosa Hiltbrunner, a native of Switzerland. Her parents were John and Elizabeth Hiltbrunner, who came over on the same boat that brought Mr. Freiburghaus to America. By a singular coincidence they proceeded at once to Iowa and located in Elgin on the very spot where Mr. Freiburghaus has his furniture store and residence. The father of Mrs. Freiburghaus, who was a tinsmith, died in 1894. Mr. and Mrs. Freiburghaus have had eight children; Emilia, Marie, Ella, Julius, Lillie, Carrie, Katie (died in infancy) and Frieda.


Mr. Freiburghaus is a Republican and always takes an interest in local politics. For fifteen years he has been a member of the school board and during that time has been able to do much for the cause of education. He also takes much interest in religious affairs as a member of the Baptist church. For thirty years he has taught the infant class in Sunday school, has been treasurer of the church since 1884, and one of the trustees for five or six years.


~transcribed for the Fayette Co IAGenWeb Project by Cheryl Walker


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