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EMIL BILHARZ, an active business man of Audubon, has been identified with the town since the spring of 1879.
He was born in Baden, Germany. October 20, 1845, and emigrated to America when he was nine years of age; his parents
came to this country at the same time; they were on the water thirty days, and landed at the city of New York;
from New York they went to Ottawa, Illinois, where they settled; here the father died two years later; he was a
harness-maker by trade. The mother, Maria (Speas) Bilharz, died in Ottawa in her forty third year; she was also
a native of Baden, Germany. There were ten children in the family, six of whom survive. Emil was the fourth child.
After coming to this country he spent his youth in Ottawa, Illinois. At the age of nineteen years he entered a
store in Seneca, Illinois, as clerk; here he remained several years, and acquired a very thorough knowledge of
the business. Be then removed to Audubon, Iowa, where he established himself in business, first in a general store,
and later he kept a restaurant for several years. In 1886 he opened a grocery store with a large and well selected
stock, arid he is now firmly fixed in Audubon busi. ness circles. Mr. Bilharz was married in 1871 to Miss Emma
Moore, of La Salle County, Illinois, a native of Pennsylvania, who came to Illinois with her parents at an early
day. At her death she left two children — Edward F. and Harrie May. Mr. Bilharz married his present wife in 1887;
she was Miss Mary Dawson, of Audubon, a native of Canada. No children have been born by this marriage. Mr. Bilharz
owns a farm in Leroy Township, one in Melville Township, and one in Cameron Township; he also owns three good business
houses which he rents. He began his career without means, and by industry and wise management he has accumulated
a good property. He is a member of Seneca Lodge, A. F. & A. M.; Amity Chapter, No. 93, Audubon, and of Godfrey
Cornmandery, No. 44, Audubon. Mr. Bilharz’s son is a student at Grinnell College, Iowa.
Biographical History of Shelby and Audubon Counties Iowa
W. S. Dunbar & Co., Publishers.