JOHN NOVAK — Our citizens of foreign birth have vied with each other in the completeness and rapidity with which they have assimilated with the American body politic. By as much as they have cherished the best heritages they brought with them from their native lands and have woven them into the fabric of their citizenship, by so much have they added fine and strong fiber to the American people. Among those of foreign birth and lineage who have attained success and prestige in connection with industrial and business activities and civic affairs in Benton county is numbered John Novak, who was one of the enterprising business men and progressive citizens of the county for a term of years and who has recently retired and removed from Walford, this county, to the city of Cedar Rapids, where he now maintains his home.
Mr. Novak was born at Richnov, Bohemia, on the 4th of April, 1839, and in the schools of his native place he secured his early educational training. He was about sixteen years of age at the time of his immigration to the United States, and in 1855 he took up his residence in Johnson county, Iowa, thus becoming one of the pioneers of the Hawkeye state. At the age of twenty-five years he purchased eighty acres of land in Linn county and there initiated his independent career as a farmer. Two years later he sold this property and effected the purchase of a tract of two hundred and sixty acres, in Linn county. There he developed one of the valuable farms of the state and there he continued to be actively identified with the great basic industry of agriculture for a period of seventeen years. In 1891 he sold this fine farm and took up his residence in the village of Walford, Benton county, where he engaged in the grain and lumber business, in which he continued successful operations in an individual way until 1902, when he sold the business and property to the Neola Elevator Company, for which corporation he here continued as manager until March, 1910, when he sold his residence property in Walford and removed to Cedar Rapids, where he is now living virtually retired.
Mr. Novak is not affiliated with any political party but maintains an independent attitude and gives his support to the men and measures meeting the approval of his judgment. He has served as road supervisor, of which position he was incumbent for several years, and also as a member of the school board. In religious matters he is liberal and tolerant and gives his support to any good cause. Though he has led an essentially active and busy life he has found time to keep in touch with current events and he is well informed and well fortified in his convictions and opinions. He is known as a progressive and public-spirited citizen, and the success that stands to his credit is the direct result of his own earnest and indefatigable efforts.
In the year 1864 Mr. Novak was united in marriage to Miss Ann Cherveny, and of their five children one son and two daughters are now living.