August Gilbert, who is now deceased, was for many years well known in Columbus Junction and as a hotelkeeper
gained a reputation which enabled him to accumulate a competency. He was a native of Germany, where he was born
October 22, 1821. He attended the public schools and continued under the parental roof until after reaching his
majority. Like thousands of ambitious young men he desired the most favorable conditions for advancement that the
world afforded and he decided to seek his fortune beyond the seas. Accordingly, he arrived in America early in
the '50s and took up his residence in Wisconsin, where he became connected with railroad work and later engaged
as railroad contractor. This was a time when railroads were being extensively built throughout the northern states.
He continued in this country about twenty years and through his industry and sound judgment prospered financially.
His mind, however, turned to his old home and once more he crossed the ocean to visit the scenes of his youth,
and when he returned to America it was with a bride. After spending two years in Minnesota he came to Iowa and
followed hotelkeeping for two years at Muscatine. He then settled in Columbus Junction, where he was connected
with the grocery and drug business. In 1875 he sold out and erected a building which became known as the old Gilbert
House, where he conducted a hotel during the remainder of his life. He was a man of pleasing address and the Gilbert
House gained a wide reputation as one of the favorite stopping places in this section. He was a generous provider
for his guests and made many friends, who found in him one whom they could trust implicitly and who always aimed
to be entirely fair and just in transactions with his fellowmen.
On May 2, 1866, Mr. Gilbert was married to Miss Anna Achardt, a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Smith) Achardt.
The parents were natives of Germany and spent their entire lives in that country. Four children. were born to Mr.
and Mrs. Gilbert: August, Jr., who is now a. resident of Chicago, Illinois; Charles, who lives in Ohio; Carrie,
who is the wife of William G. Roberts, of Columbus Junction; and William, who makes his home at Des Moines, Iowa.
Mr. Gilbert died January 28, 1890, and the announcement of his death was received with general regret, as he was
one of the most esteemed citizens of Columbus Junction. He was an energetic and progressive man, who possessed
in a marked degree the sturdy characteristics of the Teutonic race. Early in life he had the courage to cast his
lot in a strange land and here he found home and friends. He was a consistent member of the Lutheran church, as
is also his widow. She continues in the hotel business and, as she is a woman of unusual energy and also possesses
tact and sound judgment, she is meeting with well merited returns for her labors.
History of Louisa County, Iowa
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1912
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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