The Henry Gode Dry Goods Company is one of the leading mercantile establishments of Marengo and its president,
Henry Gode, is a prominent man of the city. He was born in Germany on the 17th of May, 1856. a son of John Gode,
who was born in the fatherland in 1825 and brought his family to America in 1869. In the fall of that year they
settled in Iowa county, where the father purchased the farm which is now owned by his son Fred and where he followed
agricultural pursuits for a number of years but was living in Marengo at the time of his death, which occurred
on the 31st of January, 1893. His first wife, who was in her maidenhood Meta Von Camden, was born in Germany and
there died in 1852. She was the mother of four children: Minnie, the wife of Fred Floto, of Steubenville, Ohio;
Gesiene, the deceased wife of C. Rehling, of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, who has four sons and a daughter; Ahlke,
the deceased wife of J. Fred Wichmann, of Iowa township, who has two sons and three daughters living; and Diedrich,
who is associated with his brother in business. The father was again married, his second union being with Catherine
Von Campen, a sister of his former wife. She was born in Germany in 1830 and died in this county, August 13, 1878,
leaving four children: Henry, of this review; John, residing a mile and a half east of Marengo upon a farm; Claus,
of Williamsburg; and Frederick G., who is residing upon the homestead.
The last named attended primary school in Germany and continued his education for one term of three months in the
public schools of this county following the emigration of the family to the new world. He remained upon the homestead
until 1876 and then came to Marengo, accepting a position as clerk in the dry goods store of H. Deffinbough. He
remained in that employ for about nine years but in 1884 embarked in business on his own account. He formed a partnership
with E. J. Evans under the name of Gode & Evans, which was continued until November, 1884, when Mr. Evans sold
out to Mr. Gode. The latter was alone in business until 1904, when a corporation known as the Henry Gode Dry Goods
Company was organized with Mr. Gode as president. Diedrich Gode is now vice president, and Orrin J. Gode, secretary.
On Christmas Day, 1910, the store burned, but, as the town furnished ground to put up a temporary building, within
thirty days the company was doing business much as usual. They remained in their temporary quarters until December
11, 1988, when they moved into their handsome new building on the corner of Court avenue and Washington street.
It is one of the best business blocks in the city and the upper floors are given over to well appointed offices.
The Henry Gode Dry Goods Company carries a stock valued at thirty thousand dollars and as their policy is to adjust
sound values to reasonable prices, their annual sales reach a large figure and their customers come from a wide
territory. Mr. Godei is also a director of the German American Savings Bank.
On the 25th of February, 1880, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Gode and Miss Minnie Bennick, who was born in
Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, in July, 1860, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Casper Bennick, both of whom are deceased.
Mr. and Mrs. Gode have had seven children, but two daughters and a son, twin of Orrin J., died in infancy. Charles
H., who passed away on the 6th of June, 1910, was secretary of the Henry Gode Dry Goods Company; Helen is the wife
of Robert R. Hibbs, who is associated with that company; Florence is employed in her father's store; and Orrin
J. is the present secretary of the Henry Gode Dry Goods Company.
Mr. Gode is a republican of the progressive type and takes much interest in the trend of public affairs. He served
on the city council a great many years, being a member of the same when the water works were put in. Fraternally
he is a Mason and an Odd Fellow, and his religious adherence is given to the Presbyterian church. Those associations
indicate the principles that govern his life and in all of his dealings with his fellowmen he seeks to act in accordance
with the highest ethical standards. He values the respect which his sterling qualifies of character command as
highly as he does the splendid material success that has crowned his labors.
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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