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Michael Berger
Born 2 October 1860


Though not one of lowa's native farmers and one who has taken up his present occupation comparatively late in life, Michael Berger has been successful beyond the average and by his work has added to the reputation of Madison township, as a progressive agricultural locality. He was born October 2, 1860, in Bavaria, Germany, and is the son of George and Catherine (Iseman) Berger, who were also natives of that land and there lived and died. He acquired his education in the public schools of his birthplace, completing the prescribed course of study in the common branches when in his fourteenth year. Thereupon he went to Nuremberg, where he apprenticed himself to a baker that he might learn the trade, which he followed about twenty-two years both in his native land and in the United States. He served for six weeks in the Laeb, regiment at Munich (or Munchin) Bavaria, in 1882. In 1885 he came to America and, after traversing the country, located in Wyoming, Iowa, where he pursued his vocation for some eleven years, but in 1895 began his career as a farmer. For the first nine years he worked on rented land, and then, in 1901, he purchased one hundred and thirty-five acres of the Kinsey Elwood estate and has since resided on it. Endowed with those qualities of industry and frugality which are the proverbial possession of members of his race he has been very successful in his agricultural undertakings and is now one of the substantial men of this community as he was one of its poorest when he came here twenty-four years ago. He still retains his skill as a baker, however, and nearly every fall follows his trade in Anamosa, where the products that come from his hands, and especially the German kuchen he delights to make at Christmas time, are in great demand.
In the year 1888, Mr. Berger married Mrs. Amelia (Grimm) Schullman, of Madison township, a native of Coal Valley, Illinois. To Mr. and Mrs. Berger have been born five children, all of whom live at home. They are John, Emma, Caroline, Walter and Lueverne. By her first marriage Mrs. Berger also had five children: George, a farmer of Madison township; Fred and William, of Omaha, Nebraska; Tillie, the wife of Charles Fiddler, a farmer of Wyoming township; and Ida, who has remained unmarried and lives in Omaha.
Since becoming a citizen of this republic Mr. Berger has supported the democratic party. He is liberal in his political views, however, and at local elections votes for measures and men as he thinks best. He has not aspired to public preferment, though he is vitally interested in the welfare of his townspeople and in advancing educational opportunities in particular. He has served the community by acting as a member of the school board. A man who has been accustomed from his youth to win success, it was for him not an unusual thing to find his agricultural undertakings fraught with so much profit to himself. In his old country home he made bread that was good enough to be placed upon the table of the Emperor and on that of the Iron Chancellor, Bismarck: here the fruits of his labors do not come so directly into the lives of those who know him, but as they see the results of his toil, look at the excellent condition of his fields and regard the substantial income which his harvests bring him, they bestow upon him ungrudgingly their praise and their admiration. He and his wife are members of the Lutheran church, that being the faith in which they were reared.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 527.

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