Dutch Fred

"Dutch Fred", Fredrick Wilhelm Feldman, was one of the colorful figures of early O'Brien County. Leaving his home and his wife and daughter in Germany, he arrived in the United States about 1866 and came to the frontier in Iowa. Hannibal Waterman hired him to help on his farm and built him a small tenant house which Fred plastered.

In August 1868 he files a homestead claim in the land office in Sioux City on 80 acres in section 34, Waterman township. He built a sod shanty for himself and a shelter for his livestock, a yoke of oxen, some chickens and a pig.

Some of his quaint sayings were widely repeated, "I am der peoples. Der rest all be officers", he used to say, and that was literally true when he came to the county.

He took sick in the winter of 1873 and died on February 13. He expressed a wish that his daughter should be given his property, but his land lacked six months of being improved and reverted to the government. It is now the property of Charles Youde of Signal Hill, California,

In 1922, through the perseverance of James P. Martin, a fund was secured by dollar contributions with which to purchase material for a marker for his grave. Roy Lampman disinterred the remains which had been buried in a valley and excavated a new grave on a bluff. Over the grave, facing the Little Sioux River, a suitable monument bearing his name and the date of his death, has been erected to the memory of Frederick Wilhelm Feldman. Look off to the south when you're driving west from F.A. Bradstreet's and you'll see it. Taken in part from an article by O.H.Montheimer. and Published in Sutherland Courier December 3, 1942

O'Brien County Iowa Genealogy - The IAGenWeb Project