1914 Biographies

History of Franklin County, Iowa by I. L. Stuart. 2 vols. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1914.
Transcribed by Don Turner, former coordinator of this website.

T. W. Gaulke

T. W. Gaulke, a native of Germany, has become one of the successful agriculturists of Morgan township, where he owns a valuable farm and also serves at the present time as township assessor. He was born May 11, 1864, and is a son of Herman and Wilhelmina (Pigolpke) Gaulke, natives of the fatherland, who came to America about 1867 when our subject was but three years of age. They settled in Wisconsin but after two years came to Franklin county, locating in Morgan township, where the father still lives at the age of seventy-seven years. The mother has passed away. To their union were born seven children: Otto, of Hampton; a daughter who died in infancy; Ernest, of Morgan township; T. W., our subject; Ida, the wife of George A. Hess, of Bird Island, Minnesota; Emma, deceased; and Sarah, of Dows.

T. W. Gaulke received his education in the schools near his father's farm and remained with his parent, assisting him with the farm work until twenty-nine years of age. He then took up farming independently, acquiring title to one hundred and seventy-three acres in Morgan township. He has since added to this property and also owns in partnership with his brother Otto four hundred and eighty acres in North Dakota. For a number of years Mr. Gaulke devoted his attention to his farm, bringing the land to a high state of productivity and installing the most modern machinery. He now rents his property and lives retired at Dows.

On September 13, 1893, Mr. Gaulke married Miss Sarah Buge, a native of Hardin county, this state, and a daughter of William and Caroline (Schwantz) Buge, natives of Germany, who upon coming to this country located in Morgan township. The father died June 22, 1910, and the mother now makes her home in Dows. They had five children: August, a resident of Dows; Frank, of Popejoy; Sarah, wife of the subject of this review; Otto, of Minnesota; and Lucinda, who married E. Erickson, of Oakland township. Mr. and Mrs. Gaulke have seven children, Harry H., Edna Estella, Louis W., Inez Esther, Orville Newton, Leo Theodore and Fay Sylvester.

Mr. Gaulke is a democrat and has been actively interested in politics. He is now serving as township assessor, faithfully fulfilling the duties falling upon him in this official capacity. Fraternally he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, in which order he is very popular. His religion is that of the Evangelical church. Mr. Gaulke has by diligence and modern methods succeeded in making himself financially independent at a comparatively early age in life and his success is the merited reward of honest labor. He is a man of high character and pleasant manner, and those who call him friend are proud of the distinction of being admitted to his close acquaintance.


Alexander D. Gibson

Alexander D. Gibson, living retired in Hansell, was born in Pennsylvania, January 27, 1846, a son of Alexander and Jane (Hammond) Gibson, both of whom passed away in the Keystone state. Seven children were born to them: Margaret, a resident of Pennsylvania; George, deceased; William; Joseph and Maria, who have passed away; Robert, of Rockwell; and Alexander D., of this review.

Alexander D. Gibson was reared in his native state, acquiring a public-school education. On the 20th of October, 1861, he enlisted .in Battery C, Independent Light Artillery, under the command of Captain Thompson, and be served for two years in the Civil war taking part in various engagements, including the battle of the Wilderness. He received his honorable discharge June 30, 1865,, and returned to Pennsylvania, where he remained until 1869. In that year he moved west to Illinois and in 1872 came to Iowa, locating in Ingham township, Franklin county, where he engaged in general farming until 1892. He then located in Hansell and turned his attention to the mercantile business, continuing in this line of work for four years. At the end of that time he retired from active life and has since resided in a comfortable home in the city. He owns in addition two hundred and forty acres in Ingham township.

On the 7th of November, 1867, Mr. Gibson married Miss Catherine Hartman, a native of Pennsylvania, and they became the-parents of four children: Curtis H., deceased; Joseph E., of Hampton; Ora May, the wife of C. H. Hansell, of Hastings, Nebraska; and Bert Ray, deceased.

Mr. Gibson is a member of the United Brethren church and his political allegiance is given to the democratic party. He has been school director and has held a number of other township offices, serving creditably and ably in positions of trust and responsibility. He is well known in Hansell as a man of integrity and enterprise and his present period of leisure is well deserved, having been won through a long season of honest and successful labor.


George Goppinger

George Goppinger, who has lived retired in Sheffield for the past ten years, came to this county forty-four years ago and underwent all the experiences and hardships of the pioneer agriculturist. Today he owns six hundred acres of rich and productive land in Ross township and an attractive and commodious town residence. His birth occurred in Bavaria, Germany, on the 31st of December, 1855, his parents being Joseph and Frances Goppinger, who passed away in that country when our subject had been in the United States for ten or twelve years. Both died when seventy years of age.

George Goppinger acquired his education in the common schools of his native land. Early in life he became imbued with the desire to see America and determined that as soon as old enough he would set sail for the new world. He worked at the shoemaker's trade until he had saved enough money to pay his passage and in August, 1869, emigrated to the United States. He reached Milwaukee, Wisconsin, without funds and was obliged to borrow two dollars in order to get to Sheboygan, spending the winter at work in the lumber woods. The year 1870 witnessed his arrival in Franklin county, Iowa. He bought a team at sheriff's sale, gave a mortgage on the horses and worked on the old Iowa Central Railway, now the Minneapolis & St. Louis, which was being built through Sheffield, while later he was employed on the railroad in Minnesota. In the spring of 1871 he came to Sheffield and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of wild prairie land in Ross township for seven dollars an acre. He erected a shanty, eight by ten feet, and for ten years farmed and kept bachelor's hall. This was still a pioneer district and the hardships of its early settlers were numerous. During certain seasons of the year, when the region was largely a swamp, Mr. Goppinger's primitive little dwelling was often extremely uncomfortable because of invading water and dampness. He was obliged to sell his team of horses in order to purchase lumber for a house and used a span of oxen in his farm work. He bought a plow for two dollars and fifty cents and during the first year had not even a wagon! The farm machinery of those days he could not afford, as a Marsh harvester sold for three hundred and twenty-five dollars and the McCormick self-rake for one hundred and sixty dollars, while a four-foot mower cost one hundred dollars. Unable to give security for a pair of boots, he went barefooted all summer and often worked for twenty-five cents a day. In 1880 he was married and built a new house twelve by fourteen feet. The furniture comprised a homemade bedstead , a table and bench. For five years Mr. Goppinger had no "Sunday" clothes. However, he was long-headed enough to realize that land here would eventually become valuable and therefore worked industriously, earnestly and untiringly until he was enabled to add to his original purchase. Today he owns six hundred acres of excellent farming land in Ross township and a substantial residence in Sheffield, where he has lived retired for the past ten years, enjoying the fruits of his former toil in well earned ease.

In 1880, Mr. Goppinger was united in marriage to Miss Ellen Ormrod, who was born in Newport, Rhode Island, on the 24th of May, 1857, and is a sister of Mrs. S. H. Holmes. They have two daughters: Elizabeth Frances, the wife of H. H. Storck, who resides on the farm of his father-in-law; and Lulu, the wife of A. F. Storck, who lives on his father's farm east of Sheffield. Mr. and Mrs. Goppinger have one grandchild, Georgearl, born August 16, 1913, the son of Mr. and Mrs. A. F. Storck.

Mr. Goppinger is independent in his political views and has always declined to accept office, preferring to devote his attention to his private business interests. In religious faith he is a Catholic. The hope that led him to leave his native land and seek a home in America has been more than realized. He found the opportunities he sought, which, by the way, are always open to the ambitious, energetic man, and making the best of these he has steadily worked his way upward. He possesses the resolution, perseverance and reliability so characteristic of his nation, and his name is now enrolled among the representative citizens of Franklin county.


George Graff

Since 1883 George Graff has been a resident of Franklin county and during practically all of the intervening period has been closely connected with agricultural interests. He is today one of the.progressive and representative farmers of Grant township owning and operating two hundred and eighty acres of land on section 9. He was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, August 17, 1860, and is a son .of Christian and Dorada (Haas) Graff, also.natives of Germany. The parents emigrated to America on the 17th of October, 1882, and on the 1st of March, 1883, came to Franklin county, joining the subject of this review, who had located here in the previous autumn. Both the father and mother died in Franklin county. They had six children: George, of this review; Matthew, a resident of Chicago; Gottlieb, deceased; Mary, the wife of Jacob Schwartz, of Lemoore, California; Christ, of Popejoy, Franklin county; and Andrew, residing in Reeve township.

George Graff came to Franklin county in the fall of 1882, and after he was joined by his parents made his home with them until he was thirty years of age. He married in 1890 and then rented one hundred and sixty acres, whereon he resided for five years. At the end of that time he bought one hundred and sixty acres on section 9, Grant township, and he has since increased this farm to two hundred and eighty acres. He has provided it with substantial barns and outbuildings and modern machinery, and he has made other excellent improvements, making the property a visible evidence of his life of industry and thrift.

Mr. Graff married Miss Mary Beilharc, a native of Germany, and they became the parents of eight children: John, a resident of Minnesota; Andrew, deceased; and Emma, Herman, Ella, Rosa, Carrie and Mabel, at home. Mr. Graff is a member of the Lutheran church and in politics votes independently. His life has been such as to give him high standing in the eyes of the community, and he is generally recognized as a man whose long years of earnest labor in this township have not only contributed to his own prosperity but have influenced also general-growth and advancement.


William Bruce Grant

William Bruce Grant, one of the progressive and prosperous agriculturists of Grant township, engaged in general farming and stock-raising upon a fine farm, part of which he owns and part of which he rents from his father, is a native son of this county, born August 2, 1875. His parents are A. B. and Louisa (Blake) Grant, the former a native of Scotland and the latter of Illinois. The father came to America at the age of twenty and settled immediately in Ackley, Iowa, where he remained for about five years. Later he turned his attention to farming in Grant township and still owns a quarter of section 20. He and his wife make their home in Hardin county, Iowa. They became the parents of eight children: William Bruce, of this review; Nellie, a resident of Hardin county; Richard B., of Ackley; Norman A., of Hardin county; Jessie, the wife of M. E. Peck, of Seattle, Washington; Jane, who married William Law, of Iowa Falls; Bessie, deceased; and Eva, at home.

William B. Grant was reared at home and acquired his education in the public schools of Grant township. When he began his independent career he turned his attention to railroad work and later secured a position in the oil fields of Louisiana, retaining this until 1905. He then began farming, buying eighty acres of land in Grant township, and this tract he still operates in connection with a quarter section which he rents from his father. In addition to general farming he engages also in stock-raising and has extensive interests along both lines.

On the 28th of December, 1904, Mr. Grant was united in marriage to Miss Clara E. Meyer, a native of Franklin county, and they became the parents of two children, Edna Belle and William Lawrence. Mr. Grant is a member of the Masonic lodge, chapter and commandery and is connected also with the Modern Woodmen of America. He gives his political allegiance to the republican party and is at present school director. He is interested in the welfare of the county and has won for himself a creditable position as a valued citizen and business man.


James A. Green

James A. Green, one of the early settlers of Franklin county, has here been actively identified with general agricultural pursuits for the past thirty-seven years and owns and operates an excellent farm of one hundred and forty-eight acres on section 6, Scott township. His birth occurred in Monroeville, Huron county, Ohio, on the 10th of April, 1854, his parents being Thomas and Mary McCaffrey, the former a native of Ireland and the latter of Huron county, Ohio. The mother died in Monroeville, Ohio, in 1858. The father enlisted at Sandusky, Ohio, for service in the Union army and remained at the front for three years. It was in Ohio that his demise occurred. When four years old our subject went to live with his mother's cousin, George Green, in Wood county, Ohio, and there he grew to manhood. He has but one sister, Mrs. E. O. Williams, who is a resident of Cleveland, Ohio.

Mr. Green's education was acquired in the common schools of the Buckeye state. In 1876 he came to Reeve township, Franklin county, Iowa, and here secured employment on the farm of an uncle. He worked as a farm laborer during the first three years of his residence in this county and in 182 took up his abode on section 6, Scott ownship, where he has been actively and successfully engaged in farming and stock-raising continuously since. His holdings now embrace one hundred and forty-eight acres of valuable land in Scott township and an unimproved tract of one hundred and sixty acres on section 31, Wisner township. His home place is well improved in every particular and in its operation he has won a highly gratifying and well merited measure of prosperity.

In Hampton, Iowa, in 1879, Mr. Green was united in marriage to Miss Clara Shroyer, a native of Reeve township, Franklin county, who there grew to womanhood and acquired her education in the common schools. Her parents, Lewis and Joane (Jones) Shroyer, were among the pioneer settlers of this county. The father passed away in Reeve township in 1906, but the mother, a native of Indiana, still survives and lives on the old home farm in Reeve township. Their four children, all born and reared in Reeve township, are as follows: D. W., who is a resident of Reeve township; Mrs. Clara Green; Martin L., who lives on the old home farm in Reeve township; and Victor E., of Geneva, Iowa. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Green have been born six children, namely: Lloyd M., whose natal day was November 2, 1879; E. Ray, who was born January 21, 1882, and is engaged in the hardware business in Alexander; Claud William, who was born January 25, 1885, and died January 28, 1889; Harriet Beryl, born September 1, 1887; George L., born October 15, 1891; and Agnes M., whose birth occurred September 4, 1893.

All of the children, with the exception of E. Ray, reside on the home farm with their parents. The two eldest are natives of Reeve township, while the other children were born in Scott township.

Mr. Green is a republican in politics and has ably served in the capacity of township trustee and as a school director. His life is actuated by. high and honorable principles, manifest in his business and social relations and in his connection with public interests. He indorses various movements for the welfare and progress of the community and his influence is always found on the side of justice, truth and right.


Wolbertus Gruis

Wolbertus Gruis, the owner of a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 22, Osceola township, whereon he has resided since 1907, was born in Germany, December 18, 1864. He is a son of W. and Fannie (Lukin) Gruis, also natives of Germany, where both passed away, the mother's death occurring January 19, 1914. In their family were seven children: Harm and Barrand, deceased; Telaho, the wife of George Bolhman, of Grundy county, Iowa; Gertrude, a resident of Germany; Wolbertus, of this review; Henry, of Hancock county, Iowa; and Fannie, of Germany.

Wolbertus Gruis acquired his education in the public schools of his native country, attending until he was fourteen years of age. He then turned his attention to farming, following this occupation in Germany for two years, after which he emigrated to America, settling in the vicinity of Ackley, Franklin county, Iowa. In 1907 he made his first purchase of land, buying one hundred and sixty acres on section 22, Osceola township. Upon this property he has made excellent improvements in building and equipment and has so intelligently managed his farming and stock-raising interests that they have today become extensive and important.

Mr. Gruis married Miss Maggie Miller, in 1896, a native of Stephenson county, Illinois, He attends the Lutheran church and is independent in his political views, voting for men and measures rather than parties. He early learned that industry is the foundation stone of success and as the years have passed has labored diligently and perseveringly to gain a comfortable competency and to win for himself a creditable position in business circles. The course he has followed has commended him to the confidence and good-will of all, and he has an extensive circle of friends throughout Franklin county.


John Guldberg

John Guldberg is one of the younger generation of successful agriculturists of Morgan township, Franklin county. He is a native of Iowa, his birth having occurred in Cedar Falls, October 31, 1882. His parents were Hans and Carrie (Nelson) Guldberg, natives of Denmark, the former coming to America as a young man. He located at Cedar Falls, Iowa, and remained there for a short time but then returned to his native land, where he made his home for two years. He again crossed the Atlantic, and coming back to Cedar Falls, made that city his home for about seven years. At the end of that period he bought one-hundred and sixty acres of land on section 3, Morgan township, Franklin county, and there he spent the remainder of his life in agricultural labors. He passed away a highly esteemed citizen and successful agriculturist on March 29, 1911. His wife still lives on the home farm. They were the parents of ten children: Peter, deceased; Anna, who married L. Stenehjem, of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Albert, of Davenport, Iowa; Sophia, who married F. H. Rodemeyer, of Redmond, Oregon; Emanuel, of Thornton, Iowa; John, of this review; George, of Wallace, South Dakota; Marie, who married Sigrid Anker, of Seattle, Washington; Matilda, the wife of A. F. Iverson, of Popejoy; and Clara, at home.

John Guldberg was reared under parental care and attended school in this state. After laying aside his text-books he assisted his father with the work of the home farm and since the death of the latter has taken charge of this place. He has since made a number of valuable improvements, and his land is in a high state of cultivation. He engages in general farming and stock-raising. Mr. Guldberg is not yet married and his mother looks after his household affairs. Politically he is a republican, and his religious faith is that of the Lutheran church. He is an energetic, serious-minded young man of good qualities of character and pleasant in manner. He has many friends in his neighborhood, who esteem him highly and who consider it an honor to call him friend.


1914 Biography Index

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