John C Engelbert, vice president of the German-American Savings Bank of Marengo and president of the Farmers
Savings Bank of Victor, is well known in financial circles of this part of the state. A native of Norway, he was
born on the 8th of April, 1849, and is a son of Christopher Engelbert, who was likewise born in that country. In
1850 the father emigrated to America and four years later removed with his family to Iowa. At that time he purchased
a farm at a dollar and a quarter per acre which could not now be bought for two hundred dollars per acre. The land
is still in possession of the family, being now owned by his son, L. E. W. He devoted his entire active life to
agricultural pursuits and gained a gratifying measure of success. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Ellen Olson,
was also born in Norway and has likewise passed to her reward. They were the parents of ten children: Ole, deceased;
John C.; Hans and Catherine, both of whom have passed away; two who bore the name of Jefferson and who are also
deceased; Hannah, who has also passed away; C. M. W., of Conroy; Ellen, the wife of Mark Faltonson, of Conroy;
and L. E. W., a resident of the same place.
John C Engelbert was educated in the common schools and in his youth was trained to agricultural pursuits. The
family was in straitened financial circumstances and it was necessary that he early provide for his own support.
During three seasons he worked at threshing for others and then purchased a machine of his own, operating the same
for eleven years. In 1873, when twenty four years of age, he purchased eighty acres of land on time, working earnestly
and persistently until he had paid for the property and discharged his debt. As time passed and his financial resources
increased, owing to his well directed industry and capable management, he augmented his holdings by additional
purchase until he owned three hundred and twenty acres of rich and productive land which he cultivated for a number
of years. He still owns eighty acres of that tract and derives therefrom a material addition to his income. In
1885 he went into the grain business in Conroy and continued in that line until 1888, when he was elected sheriff
and his services were so satisfactory to his constituents that he was reelected. At the expiration of his second
term in that office he returned to Conroy and reentered the grain business, continuing to deal in that commodity
until 1903. In that year he took up his residence in Marengo and became a factor in the financial growth of the
city as vice president of the German-American Savings Bank. He is also president of the Farmers Savings Bank of
Victor and both institutions profit by his good judgment and sound advice. His record is that of a self made man
who has worked his way upward unaided until he now ranks among the prominent and representative citizens of the
On the 4th of March, 1878, Mr. Engelbert married Miss Annie Olson, a native of Norway, and they have three children:
Josephine and Gertrude, both at home; and Christopher Leo, who is attending high school.
Mr. Engelbert is a republican and in 1912 was elected mayor of Marengo, in which office he served for two years.
He is now justice of the peace and his official duties are ably discharged. While residing at Conroy he was secretary
of the school board for ten years and in that capacity had a part in promoting the best interests of the school
system. The Presbyterian church finds in him a loyal and active member and he is both a trustee and an elder therein.
He is well known in local fraternal circles, as he belongs to the Masons, the Knights of Pythias and the Odd Fellows.
He is a fine looking man of large physique and is splendidly preserved. Mr. Engelbert possesses marked business
and financial ability and has won a large measure of material success but he does not allow commercial activity
to monopolize his life, being always ready to aid in any way possible movements seeking the moral and civic advancement
of his community.
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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