CHARLES J. HAAS.
A highly profitable and productive farm of two hundred and eighty acres on section i6, French Creek township, Allamakee
county, is evidence of intelligent labors along agricultural lines undertaken by Charles J. Haas, who was born
upon this property October 4, 1872. As his father, who settled upon this property, was one of the most progressive
men of his time, he follows in his footsteps and is considered the most modern and up to date agriculturist in
French Creek township.
Joseph Haas, the father, a native of Germany, came to America when about twenty years of age, entering upon his
first work at West Point, New York, whence he subsequently removed to St. Louis, where he was engaged in railroad
work as stone mason and stone cutter. Later he took contracts for putting in culverts and laying of steel and finally
by branching out was enabled to make agreements which covered complete jobs of railroad construction. In 1851,
Joseph Haas came to Allamakee county to see his mother, who had preceded him here and during his sojourn assisted
in completing the building of the stone elevator at Lansing. Returning to St. Louis, he remained there until 1856,
when a brother in Allamakee county wrote him that a railroad was then to be built from the junction to Waukon.
Packing up his tools and instruments, he came with his outfit and teams to Allamakee county in order to be on the
spot if construction should begin, but although the road had been surveyed its building was delayed for several
years. He therefore turned his attention to agricultural matters and purchasing three hundred acres of land in
French Creek township settied thereon. About thirty five acres of this tract were under cultivation and a primitive
log shanty was upon the farm. In 1857-8 Mr. Haas erected the stone house which still stands and here made his home,
engaging in the breaking of the land and placing his acres under cultivation, continuing in general farming until
his demise on August 3i, 1900. Careful management and thorough and progressive methods resulted in gratifying financial
returns and he was enabled to extend the boundaries of his farm until it comprised six hundred and eighty acres.
It was said of him by his old time neighbors that he was the most up to date farmer in French Creek township, for
it was he who installed upon his farm the first mowing machine, the first riding plow and the first threshing machine.
In fact it was he who was always first to own any new machine, to try out its merits, and always first to adopt
any new method. That he was successful his ensuing prosperity was the soundest proof. Joseph Haas was united in
marriage, in St. Louis, to Miss Julia Remstein, a native of Germany, who came to the United States in the company
of friends when a young woman, and at the time of her marriage was employed in St. Louis. She was a true helpmate
to her husband during all her life, and after his demise made her home in Mankato, Minnesota, passing away at an
advanced age in April, 1913. It is but natural that a man of such advanced views as Mr. Haas should have taken
an active part in the public life of his township, and he held all the township offices with the exception of that
of assessor, ever discharging his duties to the satisfaction of his constituents. He gave his support to the democratic
party and both he and his wife were members of the Catholic church. In their family were ten children: Joseph,
who died at the age of twenty; Lawrence, of Hammer, North Dakota; George, of Jackson Junction, Iowa; Ferdinand,
a salesman for the International Harvester Company; Mary, the wife of Henry Shulte, of Kansas; Matilda, of Great
Falls, Montana; Julia, who married S. J. Bray, of Helena, Montana; Henry, of Waukon, this state; Charles J., the
subject of this review; and Katie, the wife of Joseph Schultz, of Wilmont, Minnesota.
Charles J. Haas was reared under the parental roof and there were early instilled into his boyish consciousness
the old fashioned virtues of honesty and industry. In the acquirement of his education he attended the district
schools and later a business college at Waukon, Iowa, and at La Crosse, Wisconsin. Early he became acquainted with
agricultural pursuits, acquiring thorough methods under the able guidance of his father and assisting him until
his own marriage, after which he continued along the same line. He lost his wife soon afterward and then attended
Upper Iowa University, after which he was for one summer employed by the Atlas Art Studio of Chicago, for which
concern he solicited orders for photo enlarging. The following summer he was employed as fireman by the Chicago
& Northwestern Railroad, running out from Eagle Grove, Iowa, and for the following two years held a position
with the Plano Manufacturing Company, being stationed as agent in North Dakota. When his father passed away in
1900 he was appointed administrator of the estate and returned home. After the affairs were settled none of the
other heirs wishing to take over the farm, he purchased the interests of the others and has since continued the
operation of the old homestead with ever increasing success. He owns two hundred and eighty acres, all of which
is in a high state of cultivation, and engages in general farming, planting grains most suitable to soil and climate,
and giving a great deal of his attention to stock raising. His buildings are modern and up to date, substantial
and suitable, and the latest machinery and implements can be found upon his farm in order to facilitate the labors
that increase the yield of the land. Mr. Haas follows in every way in the footsteps of his father as a progressive
agriculturist, and he has the distinction of being the first in French Creek township to own an automobile.
The first wife of Mr. Haas was Miss Alice. O'Brien, a native of Allamakee county and a daughter of James O'Brien.
Of this marriage one son was born, Charles James, at home. Mr. Haas was again married, his second union being with
Miss Helen Tilzenberger, a native of St. Lucas, Fayette county, Iowa. They have six children: Viola Laona, Anna
Marie, Evelyn Eleanora, Daniel Ferdinand, Bernard John and Merill Joseph.
In his political views Mr. Haas reserves independent judgment giving his indorsement to whatever candidates he
considers best suited to the offices to which they aspire. He has efficiently served as township trustee and as
school director has done much toward promoting the cause of education. Both he and his wife are members of the
Catholic church, to which they give helpful support, and are highly respected and esteemed in French Creek township
for their qualities of mind and character. While Mr. Haas has attained individual prosperity and is considered
one of the most prosperous agriculturists of his district, he had done much toward promoting general advancement
and has proven a serviceable factor in making this section one of the richest in the state. He is public spirited
in the best sense of the word and is ever glad to bear his share of time and money in promoting any worthy public
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
For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium