AUGUST F. TATGE. — A gentleman in the prime of life, active and energetic, with a clear head for business, August F. Tatge has for many years been a prominent factor in developing and advancing the agricultural, mercantile and financial interests of Benton county, and is now widely and favorably known as president of the Luzerne Savings Bank. He is a fine representative of the native-born citizens of this section of Iowa, his birth having occurred February 20, 1858, in Luzerne, a son of Conrad Tatge.
Conrad Tatge was born, April 18, 1822, in Hessen, Germany, and was there bred and educated. Soon after his marriage he started with his young wife for America, and after a tedious voyage of seventeen weeks landed in New York city. Proceeding westward, he located in Kendall county, Illinois, and the following three years was engaged in farming near Oswego. In 1855 he drove across the country to Iowa, and shortly after bought eighty acres of land on section 19, LeRoy township, Benton county, on which the only improvements of consequence were a small log house and a log stable shingled with slabs. He met with success from the start, by his own exertions accumulating a handsome competence. He came to this country a poor man, and by means of industry and thrift became owner of much valuable land, owning three hundred and twenty acres in LeRoy township, and another tract of three hundred and twenty acres in Carroll county, Iowa. In 1882 he moved to Luzerne and retired and there his death occurred in November, 1884. His wife, whose maiden name was Mary Steege, was born in Germany September 14, 1818, and died in Luzerne, Iowa, June 9, 1901. Their children, five in number, are as follows: Sophie, deceased; Henry W., of Keystone, Iowa; August F., the subject of this sketch; Mary, wife of Henry Studt, of Evanston, Illinois; and Emma, wife of F. H. Kluss, of Iowa township. Both parents were members of the German Lutheran church, and the father was for several terms one of the trustees of LeRoy township.
Brought up on the home farm near Luzerne, August F. Tatge was educated in Benton county, attending first the common schools and afterwards the Tilford Academy at Vinton. Under his father's instruction he early acquired a practical knowledge of the many branches of agriculture, and after his marriage began life for himself on the land which his father had previously purchased in Carroll county. When he moved on to it in 1880 the land was in a primitive condition. He upturned the prairie sod, placed all of it under culture, and resided there four years. Returning to the parental homestead in 1884, he managed it successfully until 1899, becoming known as an expert agriculturist. Retiring from agricultural labors Mr. Tatge purchased the elevator at Luzerne, also buying a lumber, coal and implement business, and for eight years carried on an extensive and profitable mercantile business. Selling out in 1907, he with others organized the Luzerne Savings Bank, which was opened for business October 14, 1908. This institution, although comparatively young, is one of the strongest of the kind in the county, and under the supervision of Mr. Tatge, who is its president, is carrying on a substantial business.
On January 17, 1880, Mr. Tatge married Minnie Kollmann, who was born in Kendall county, Illinois, near Yorkville, August 24, 1858, a daughter of William and Sophia (Wehrman) Kollmann, who are still living in Kendall county, Illinois, Mr. Kollmann being now seventy-four years of age, while Mrs. Kollmann is four years younger. Politically Mr. Tatge has the courage of his convictions, voting for the candidates he thinks best qualified for office, independent of party restrictions. He served as township assessor several terms, and was for a number of years township trustee. Religiously he and his estimable wife are faithful members of the German Lutheran church. A man of undoubted ability and integrity, Mr. Tatge is in every way worthy of the esteem so cordially accorded him by his fellow-townsmen, with whom he is popular and influential.