Fred Birch, devoting his energies to general farming near Marengo, was born in Iowa county, May it, 1865, a
son of Thomas and Louisa (Wilson) Birch, the latter a daughter of Carmichael Wilson. The parents were both natives
of Ohio and in the year 1864 became residents of Iowa county, where the birth of their son occurred the following
year. They soon afterward settled in Washington township, but subsequently removed to Benton county and in 1898
the family returned to Iowa county. The father had died in the meantime, passing away in 1887. The mother survives
and is now living in Marengo at the age of seventy two years. Their family numbered twelve children, five sons
and seven daughters.
Fred Birch spent his boyhood days under the parental roof and was early trained to habits of industry. He is indebted
to the public school system of the state for the educational privileges which he enjoyed and to the careful training
of his father in farm work for the knowledge which enabled him to start out in business on his own account and
make of it a success. He has worked diligently and persistently and he has today an excellent farm of one hundred
and sixty acres situated in Marengo township. The soil is naturally rich and productive and he has brought his
fields to a high state of cultivation, utilizing practical and progressive methods in the further development and
improvement of his farm.
On the 7th of October, 1891, Mr. Birch was united in marriage to Miss Caroline F. Gieskieng, a daughter of Henry
F. Gieskieng, of Benton county. Her father was born in Germany and at an early day was left an orphan. Coming to
the new world, he was bound out to George Lincoln, a brother of Abraham Lincoln, with whom he worked for four years
or more. At the time of the Civil war he entered the service as a bugler. He is a gardener and has devoted much
of his life to that work. He still survives at the age of seventy two years, but his wife, who bore the maiden
name of Nancy A. Miller, passed away December 22, 1910. She was a native of Ohio, while her father came from Germany.
To Mr. and Mrs. Birch have been born four children: E. Raymond, born May 21, 1894; Lizzie Ellen, November 14, 1895;
Henry Arthur, May 5, 1899; and Ralph Frederick, September 3o, 1906.
The family attend the Presbyterian church and guide their lives by its teachings. They are well known in the community
and the friendship of many with whom they have been brought in contact is freely accorded them. Mr. Birch has never
sought to figure prominently in any public connection, preferring always to concentrate his energies upon his farm
work and his determination and enterprise have been the salient features in winning his success.
History of Iowa County, Iowa
And its People
By: James C. Dinwiddie
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Iowa County, IA
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