DANIEL A. FESLER.
Honored and respected by all, no man occupies a more enviable position in the commercial and financial circles
of Riverside than does Daniel A. Fesler, who is the president and was one of the organizers of the Riverside Savings
Bank. He is also one of the leading Merchants of the town, where he is engaged in the conduct of a hardware store
and farming implement business. His birth occurred in Johnson county, Iowa, April 27, 1850, his parents being Jacob
and Mary (Slife) Fesler, the former a native of Ohio, and the latter of Virginia. They came to Johnson county,
Iowa, with.their respective parents and in this state attained their majority and were afterward married.
Jacob Fesler served throughout the Civil war as a member of the Twenty second Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and following
his return to the north, at the cessation of hostilities, he purchased a farm in Washington county about two miles
north of Riverside. His attention was then given to general agricultural pursuits until about 188o or 1882 when
he took up his abode in the town and became connected with the grain trade, being prominently identified therewith
for twelve years. He then put aside active business cares to live retired and spent his remaining days in the enjoyment
of well earned rest, passing away in March, 1908, when in his eighty first year. He had for sometime survived his
wife who died in 1902 at the age of seventy four years. He was a democrat in his political views, was a member
of the old county board of supervisors, acting in that capacity at the time the new law was passed, reducing the
number of the board from fifteen to three. He served in later years in the various township offices and was one
of the influential men of this section.
Daniel A. Fesler was reared at home, acquiring his education in the common schools and in the Iowa State University
at Iowa City, where he pursued a two years' course. He then took up teaching as a profession and followed that
calling from 1871 until 1874, at which time he determined to adopt a mercantile career. Therefore, in 1874, he
established a hardware and farm implement business and that he made wise choice of afield of labor is indicated
in the success which has continuously been his up to the present time. He is today one of the best known merchants
of northern part of Washington county and in point of years and continuous connection with business he is the pioneer
merchant of Riverside, having been located here longer than any other man who is still associated with the commercial
interests of the town. He has ever carried a well selected line of good, his prices have been reasonable and his
dealings fair and honorable and thus he has enjoyed from year to year a constantly increasing trade. In 1888 he
became one of the leading factors in the organization of the Riverside Savings Bank, was made one of its directors
and two years later was elected its president, in which capacity he continued until 1894 when on the death of Jesse
Boyd, the cashier of the bank, Mr. Fesler was called on to succeed him in that capacity. He thus served until 1897
when he was again called to the presidency of the bank, in which position he has continued to act to the present
time. As the chief executive officer he displays keen insight and a knowledge of when and where and how to best
exercise his activities with the result that the bank has enjoyed continuous growth and is now numbered among the
strong financial institutions of this part of the state.
In 1876 Mr. Fesler was married to Miss Mary Boyd, a daughter of Jesse Boyd, now deceased. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Fesler
have been born six children: Zella, the wife of Lints Hirt, of Muscatine, Iowa; Ray A., who is associated with
his father in his business enterprises; Jesse Guy, who is connected with them in business; Zetta E., who is in
the music store which belongs to her father and her brother in law, Linus Hirt; and Ida V. and Lyle J., both at
home. Mr. Fesler is a member of Riverside Lodge, No. 274, K. P., his political allegiance is given to the democracy
and he has served as mayor of Riverside for two years, while for several years he filled the office of township
clerk. He is never neglectful of the duties of citizenship nor of the obligations which devolve upon him in any
official or semi official relation, while the record he has made in business places him in a prominent position
in commercial and financial circles.
History of Washington County, Iowa
From the First White Settlement to 1908
BY: Howard A. Burrell
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Washington County, IA
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