Seegmiller, John J. and Anna (Mihalek)

(Gillmer Seegmiller)

Bio Photo

Mr. and Mrs. John Seegmiller

John was born 25 Jan 1862, in the family home which was located at what was then known as Locust Lane, Decorah, IA. He was the oldest son of Jacob Seegmiller and Mary (Schwalm) Seegmiller.

In 1883 he engaged in the horse business with his father and operated on a large scale. They purchased the St. Cloud barn on Main Street, and later replaced it with a modern brick building. On 21 Feb 1887 John married Anna Mihalek in Decorah. Anna was born 20 Mar 1867 in Vienna, Austria, the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. John Mihalek. Anna came to America in 1873 at the age of 6, and was educated in the Spillville public school. John and Anna were the parents of Ellen (b. 4 Sep 1889); Edward (b. 2 Feb 1891); and William Frederick (b. 26 May 1893 - died in infancy). John and Anna celebrated their Golden Anniversary with their two children, grandchildren, and many other relatives present.

In 1889 John accompanied his father on the first of several trips to France where they purchased Percheron horses which they brought to Decorah. Their fame as horsemen grew. Through the next few years they made several trips to France. On a trip in 1890 John and his father bought 16 French Percheron stallions, and a French Coach Stallion. On his last trip in 1901 John was twenty minutes late with his horses and missed the sailing of the ship on which he was booked, and had to take the next ship. A few hours out of Le Havre the first ship sank with all on board. Word of the sinking came back to Decorah, and for twenty-four hours, until Anna received a cable from John, she thought he had gone down with the ship.

In 1903 he sold his interest in the business, and purchased a farm just outside of Decorah. Although he was supposed to be out of the horse business, and devoting his time to farming, he was still interested in horses. The latest record was in Feb 1913 when he and son Edward took horses out to Carrington, ND. Throughout the remainder of his life he continued to own and offer the service of a quality stallion, with which he won many prizes exhibiting at the local fairs.

His youthful vigor and zest for life continued to the end. He died 1 Oct 1942 of a heart attack.

Seegmiller, Telford and Evelyn (Thornton)

(Evelyn Thornton Seegmiller)

Telford Seegmiller was born 24 Apr 1917 in Canoe Twp, Winneshiek Co, IA on the farm of his grandfather, Jacob Seegmiller, bought in 1864. He was the son of Will Seegmiller and Louise Spilde. Will Seegmiller was born 3 Apr 1875 and died 26 Aug 1949. Louise was born 29 Oct 1884 and died 5 Aug 1956. They are buried in Phelps Cemetery, Decorah, IA. Telford's siblings were: Evelyn (m. Willet Sampson), Jesse, Floyd and Horace.

For many years the entire family was involved with horses. Telford had the ability to handle all livestock calmly and carefully and also had above average mechanical ability. Will bought a Studebaker when Telford was quite young and had difficulty keeping it running. Telford would reach over and adjust the choke and Will would slap his hands and tell him not to touch things. While Will was cranking the engine, Telford managed to adjust the choke without being seen and the car kept running. While in his teens he tinkered till he couid get any motor to run that others could not. When the brothers started to crush rock everything was done the hard way with shovels and wheelbarrows. Eventually they designed and built a vibrating screen to sift the fine lime from the coarser rock. The Cedar Rapids Manufacturing Company came to see their machine and later produced a commercial one. Around 1950 they built a portable crushing and screening plant from scratch so they were able to move from quarry to quarry and cut down on hauling distance. Telford’s adult years went spend farming, crushing and hauling rock, and doing long distance trucking. He sometimes remarked that if he “had his druthers" he would buy a thousand acres and put a fence around it and a house in the center.

Bio Photo

Evelyn and Dewey, Floyd and ’34 Chevy, Horace and bicycle, Telford and '34 Chevy, Jene and '33 Chevy.

Telford married Evelyn Thornton on 15 Feb 1945. Evelyn was born  in Decorah, the daughter of Roy and Josephine (Pederson) Thornton. Evelyn had two sisters: Lucile (m. Lawrence Eilers) who died in 1967 and Lillian (m. Berwyn Yates). Telford and Evelyn had a daughter, Mary Louise, born in 1947. Mary married Mervin Sears in 1968. They have two sons, Todd and Terry (both single


Partial OCR transcription, some sensitive personal information such as birth dates of people that maybe living is not included.

See the associated scan to compare with the published information.

Please, contact the County Coordinator to submit additions or corrections.

Winneshiek IAGenWeb Home

Copyright statement

Please read the IAGenWeb Terms, Conditions & Disclaimer
~all of which applies to the Winneshiek Co. website. ~
this page was last updated on Monday, 29 March 2021