John H. Gericke, a successful farmer and expert machinist, owning a fine property of one hundred and sixty acres
in the vicinity of Postville, was born in Clayton county, near National, on the 3d of July, 1874. He is a son of
John and Mary (Klinge) Gericke, natives of Germany, the former born in Prussia and the latter in Mecklenburg. The
father crossed the Atlantic about 1869 and settled first in Chicago, where for a short time he worked in the employ
of others, later removing to Iowa and engaging in railroad construction work between McGregor and La Crosse, Wisconsin.
He abandoned this in favor of agricultural pursuits, working as a farm hand in Clayton county until his marriage,
after which he rented land and engaged in farming for himself. Success steadily attended his labors and he was
eventually able to purchase a fine property in Post township and to this he has added from time to time until he
now owns two hundred and twenty acres. He has of late years laid aside the cares of active life and is living retired,
his sons developing and cultivating the farm. He and his wife became the parents of ten children: John H., of this
review; Ida, the wife of Chris Meyers, who operates the farm adjoining Mr. Gericke's; Fred, who is engaged in farming
in Franklin township; Bertha, the wife of Wendell Wagener, a farmer near Castalia, Winneshiek county; Amelia, who
married Otto Sanders, a carpenter in Postville; Matilda, who lives at home; Henry, who resides with his father
on the homestead; Amanda, who became the wife of William Sebastian, a farmer in Franklin township; Senda, who lives
at home; and William, who resides on a farm in Post township.
John H. Gericke acquired his education in the district schools of Clayton county and began his independent career
when he was eighteen years of age, at which time he formed a partnership with his brother William and purchased
a threshing machine, which he operated during the threshing seasons, spending the remainder of his time assisting
in clearing the homestead. He continued thus until he was twenty seven years of age and again in partnership with
his brother William purchased a half interest in two hundred and sixty four acres of land. This property they cultivated
for three years, and at the end of that time Mr. Gericke of this review sold his interests to his brother. He then
purchased the farm on which he now resides, his one hundred and sixty acres being principally fine timber land,
although he has a small tract cleared and under cultivation. In addition to general farming he operates a sawmill,
a threshing machine, a silo filler and cutter and a corn shredder and has developed a natural mechanical ability
until he is today an expert machinist, never needing any assistance in setting up or operating his machinery.
Mr. Gericke is a member of the Turner Society of Postville and is well and favorably known in that place. His life
has been such as to give him high standing in the locality where he makes his home, and he is generally recognized
as a man whose industry, ability and well directed labors have not only contributed to his own prosperity but have
also promoted the growth and advancement of the community at large.
Past and Present of Allamakee County, Iowa
A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievemant
By: Ellery M. Hancock
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Allamakee County, IA
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