submitted by Jo Ann Carlson, Aug. 25, 2007

June 6, 1886

Death has again aimed his shaft at the ranks of the Old Settlers, and one of the oldest and most prominent pioneers and founders of our city has fallen. Henry Funck died at his home, yesterday morning at 1:45 o’clock, after a complicated disorder which had foreshadowed his end for several days.

Deceased was born in 1817, at Altheim, near Darmstadt, Germany. At the age of twenty he emigrated to America, first settling at Burlington, Iowa, and removing in 1839 to Muscatine where he was continuously resided for forty-seven years. He began his career here in the bakery and grocery business, which was followed until 1852, when he built and operated a distillery for three years, exchanging this business to merchandizing in boatstores, which was the last line of trade claiming his personal superintendency, and which he continued for only three years. He has since been a partner in the banking house of Cook, Musser & Co. and a member of the wholesale tobacco and tea firm of Fred Daut & Co., retiring from the latter business in 1879, but continuing his relations with the bank up to the day of his death. Able and successful as a financier, Mr. Funck has been equally prominent in his public life. He has served his city as its chief magistrate, and added to the honors of the mayoralty, a service of two terms on the Board of Alderman. He was largely identified with the building of the Muscatine Western R.R., the organization of our Water Works system, and other public improvements, and at the last meeting held to consider the railroad wants of the city, he announced that his subscription of $1,000 was ready for a road, connecting Muscatine with the Iowa Central. His long and intimate acquaintance with the people of the city and county, caused him to be sought by all classes in need of monied assistance, and the large fortune which has been assessed by his fertile and economical management, was more largely drawn upon probably than any other private capital of the city, in these special loans.

The public offices held by Mr. Funck, in the wise measured his prominence before the public of his influence with his party. A Democrat of the most pronounced type, no member of his party in this city has wielded a more successful leadership in local politics. For years, his voice and vote in the councils and conventions of his party, determined both its nominations and its policy. Associated with him in this peculiar leadership was the late Henry Molis, and the names of the two Henrys will be inseparably linked in the political annals of Muscatine. Of late years Mr. Funck had lived a comparatively retired life in the repose and enjoyment of his beautiful home. His predominant characteristic was a caustic wit, though none appreciated more the good fellowship of his kind, and he was also well known for his great love and taste for music.

Deceased was united in marriage to Miss Anna C. Funcki, before leaving Germany. Of this union there survive the widow and four children-Adam, the only son, Ada, C. wife of Mr. Fred Daut, Kate, the distinguished violin artiste, and Clara, wife of Mr. Newton H. Hine, all residents of Muscatine, except Miss Kate, who is connected with the Cincinnati College of Music. All were present at the death of their sire. Two surviving sisters, Mrs. Martin Schaefer and Mrs. Philip Kriechbaum of Burlington, also attended at the dying bedside of their brother.

Deceased was member of the Germany Luther Church.

The funeral will take place from the residence, tomorrow afternoon at 2 o’clock.


Obsequies of Henry Funck.

The funeral of Henry Funck this afternoon was attended by a great concourse of citizens of both sexes. The large mansion and extensive grounds and the side-walk without, were crowded with this multitude gathered to pay the last offices of love and respect from the living to the dead. The members of the municipal government were present in a body, and noticeable amid the throng were the several surviving and resident ex-Mayors of the city and other prominent ex-officers of the municipality. The funeral was in charge of Iowa Lodge No. 2, A.F. & A.M. under command of S. Cohn, W.M.

The services were conducted by the Rev. Henry Reinemund, of the German Lutheran church, assisted by Rev. S.H. Parvin, of the First Presbyterian church. The old friend and neighbor of deceased, the venerable pastor of the First Congregational church, Rev. Dr. Robbins, was also present to mark his deep sympathy for the bereaved family.

The casket was covered with beautiful emblems in white flowers, and was borne to the hearse by the following pall bearers:

S.B. Cook, J.F. Walters, R.T. Wallace, Richard Musser, P.M. Musser, A. Reuling, J.J. Hoopes, W.H. Woodward.

The cortege to the cemetery was one of the longest that ever did honor in our city to the memory of the dead.


Memorial Meeting of Old Settlers.

The meeting of the Old Settlers called to take notice of the death of Hon. Henry Funck, convened at the City Hall this morning at 9 o’clock.

The President gave many interesting recollections of the departed pioneer, to which Judge Brannan added some very interesting items.

On motion of Peter Jackson, Messrs. Bridgman, Burnett and Brannan were made a committee on resolutions.

The President took the names and ages of those present as follows:

  Age Date of Arrival
Dr. Chas. Drury 72 1836
Wm. Gordon 72 1836
Joseph Bridgman 72 1837
Ab. Smalley 71 1838
Isaac R. Mauck 70 1839
Peter Jackson 70 1838
Joseph Bennett 68 1840
D.S. Biles 66 1855
W.F. Brannan 62 1855
J.P. Walton 60 1838
Frank Geiger 50 1845
Henry Molis 42 1844
J.B. Mark 41 1845
Harvey Baker 64 1845
Henry Will 42 1844

On motion adjourned.
J.P. Walton, Pres.
P. Jackson, Sc’y


In Memoriam.

Death has again stricken another of our pioneer settlers, Henry Funck, who came to Burlington in 1837, from whence in 1839 he removed to this place, where all his after years was spend, has been gathered unto his fathers. Possessed like all of us of human infirmities, he also possessed many of the best traits of our nature. Kindly in his disposition, pleasant in his manner, and of great conversational powers, his presence was always welcome in social life. Possessed of a sound judgment, his counsel was constantly sought, especially by his own countrymen, in disputes and controversies that arose among them, and his counsel, always on the side of peace and justice, rarely failed in settling quarrels and misunderstandings, and restoring harmony.

By industry, thrift and economy, he had amassed more than a competency, and was always ready to extend a helping hand to those who were worthy. As mayor and alderman of this city he devoted all his energies to the advancements of its true interests, and to all unnecessary, extravagant expenditures he was an uncompromising fee. He had a large share of public spirit, which he exhibited in his own way, without noise and without show.

He was a tender husband, an affectionate parent and a sincere friend, and his loss, felt by the community which he has seen grown up around him, will be felt and deplored more deeply by the surviving pioneers who shared with him the hardships and privations of early territorial days. Therefore, he is.

. By the Old Settlers of Muscatine county, that in the death of Henry Funck, this society has lost an old and valued member, endeared to them by long years of social intercourse, his family a kind, considerate and affectionate husband and father, and the community a respected citizen.

. That we extend to his widow and children our heartfelt condolence in this, the hour of their great bereavement, and that the Old Settlers, as a mark of respect to his memory, attend his funeral in a body.

. That the newspapers of this city be requested to publish this preamble and resolutions.

Joseph Bridgman
Joseph Bennett,
W. F. Brannan.

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