Biography of Lorenz Misbach
Iowa County, IA Biographies





Lorenz Misbach is perhaps the most venerable citizen in point of years in Iowa county, but there are many men who have traveled a much less distance along the journey of life who fail to maintain equal physical and mental vigor. Life is not to him a retrospect. He is interested still in the questions of the day and in all that pertains to community affairs. He was born in New Bavaria, Germany, April 16, 1823, a son of Michael and Catherine (Elbert) Misbach, Who spent their entire lives in Germany. His mother was left an orphan at an early age and when she reached nineteen years was married.

Lorenz Misbach spent his boyhood in Germany and there learned the shoemaker's trade. He left his father's home on the 6th of April, 1852, and in that year sailed for the new world, leaving Havre on the loth of April as passenger on a sailing vessel which, after a voyage of fifty two days, reached the harbor of New Orleans. From the Crescent City he proceeded up the Mississippi river to St. Louis and then up the Illinois river to Peru, Illinois. On his arrival there he had only four dollars in cash, but he began work at his trade, receiving eight dollars per month and his board, which seemed to him wonderful wages at that time, as in the fatherland he had been paid only a dollar per week. He became an expert workman and subsequently was paid seven dollars per week. In 1853 he and a partner, with a combined capital of seventy two dollars, went to Chicago and purchased a roll of leather, pegs, lasts and other stock needed and engaged in business on their own account as shoemakers at Hollowayville, Bureau county, Illinois.

On the 17th of November, 1854, Mr. Misbach was united in marriage to an American girl, who died December 23, 1863. On the 2d of April, 1865, he wedded Mrs. Robert Lockard, a widow, who bore the maiden name of Hannah Cafferty and was born in Bureau county, Illinois, April 7, 1843, a daughter of William and Alzina (Searl) Cafferty, the former a native of New Jersey and the latter of Ohio. Her grandfather, David Searl, was one of the early settlers of Bureau county, Illinois.

For seventeen years Lorenz Misbach continued to engage actively in business in Hollowayville, Illinois, and in the fall of 1869 came to Iowa county, settling in Sumner township. He had previously purchased two hundred acres of land in what is now Hilton township, near where the village of Conroy is located, but traded that for one hundred and sixty acres in Sumner township. There were no fences upon the place and the only improvement that had been made was a little frame house sixteen by twenty two feet. Upon that farm Mr. Misbach resided until 1902, when he removed to Williamsburg and retired. He still owns the farm, to which he had added in the meantime until it comprised two hundred and forty acres, constituting one of the nicest farms in Sumner township.

To Mr. and Mrs. Misbach have been born nine children, as follows: Lorenz U., a resident of Le Roy, Kansas; Harry, who is engaged in the implement business at Marengo; Joe, a clothing merchant at Algona, Iowa; L. S., a rural mail carrier residing at Williamsburg; J. D., on the old home farm; R. G., also a clothing merchant of Algona; Bessie, who gave her hand in marriage to Elmer Pugh, a merchant of Williamsburg; R. E., a clothing merchant of Williamsburg; and one who died in infancy.

The parents celebrated their golden wedding anniversary April 2, 1915, and the occasion was a most enjoyable one to all who were present. Mr. Misbach was reared a Catholic, but now attends churches of various denominations and contributes to their support. Though past ninety two years of age, he is yet in good health and his life is an indication that nature is kind to those who abuse not her laws. He receives the veneration and respect which should ever be accorded those well advanced in years, and no history of the county would be complete without mention of him.

From:
History of Iowa County, Iowa
And its People
By: James C. Dinwiddie
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1915


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