Joseph Weirich, who amassed a competency as a farmer of Noble township and retired to pass the latter years of his life as a respected citizen of Griswold, is conceded to be the first German settler of the township. As boy and youth, he passed eight years in the thorough schools of his native province of Bavaria, and from the ages of fifteen to twenty-five was a minor in the Fatherland. In June, 1846, accompanied by his wife, whom he had married two years before, he landed in New York City, and after remaining there with friends for a year went to work in the coal mines of Schuyler county, Pa. He was thus engaged in various parts of the State for a number of years, when he settled in La Salle county, Ill., and bought a little tract of land on time. He commenced to build a log house, but before its completion was taken sick, and the family lived in it for a year and a half without -- having, literally, "no roof over their head" for that length of time. When Mr. Weirich regained his health he purchased coal in the ground at the rate of one cent a bushel, and engaged in mining. In war times coal was high, and he made, with the assistance of his boys, from $4 to $25 per day. His sons paid most of their attention to the farm, while he engaged at his old trade. Thus he was enabled to accumulate money rapidly, pay the mortgage on the land and sell it for another farm in Otto Creek township. At this time, on account of failing health, he abandoned mining and lived with his family on the farm, but in 1869 sold his property and came to Cass county. He purchased 200 acres of unimproved land on section 15 -- a tract of unbroken prairie, with neither houses nor groves in sight. At first he built a small frame house and barn, and planted a grove, but afterward enlarged his residence and, with the development of his farm, increased his outbuildings in number and dimensions. This place remained his homestead until September, 1884, when he removed to Griswold, where he bought a house and lot and retired to reap the reward of his past industry, surrounded by those things which make life desirable and in the enjoyment of general confidence and esteem.
[ NOTE: In the original text a two paragraph biography of Henry Ackerman is included here, followed by the summary below. ]
Messrs. Weirich and Ackerman were the advance pioneers of a large band of Germans who have since settled in Noble township, and have proved a strong bulwark to its respectability, industry and prosperity. The above, also, perhaps constituted the main figures in the founding of the township as now constituted.
From "Compendium and History of Cass County, Iowa." Chicago: Henry and Taylor & Co., 1906, pg. 213-214.