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H. A. Toenjes
Born March 11, 1856


H. A. TOENJES, farmer, Wayne Twp., Sec. 28; P.O. Monticello; born in Germany in 1856; came to America and Jones Co. in 1874. Owns eighty acres. Wife's maiden name was Zimmerman, a native of Ohio; they were married in 1877; have two children—John and Annie. All the family are Lutherans.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Western Historical Company, Chicago, 1879, page 635.

H. A. Toenjes, a farmer and dairyman of Wayne township, was born in Oldenburg, Germany, March 11, 1856, and is a son of John Christopher and Anna (Guelfs) Toenjes. The parents were both natives of Germany, where until his death John Toenjes followed farming. In 1869 his son John canme to the United States and five years later Mrs. Toenjes, who was then a widow, H. A., Dietrich and a daughter, Elizabeth, came here, settling in Jones county. After she arrived in Iowa Mrs. Toenjes married again and passed the last years of her life in Ireton, at the home of her daughter. She had reared a family of five children: Rev. John Gerhart, who is the pastor of the German Lutheran church at Quyvrel, Idaho; Mrs. Johanna Ludwig, a widow, who is still living in the old country; H. A., of this sketch; Dietrich, who lives in Chicago; and Elizabeth, who is the wife of H. L. Vonder, a farmer of Ireton, Iowa.
Accompanied by his mother, brother and sister, H. A. Toenjes came to the United States in 1874, settling in Jones county where he has since resided. He had learned the carpenter's trade in the land of his birth, and after coming to this country he followed it for about two years. He then took up farm work by the month, and four years later engaged in farming for himself. He selected Wayne township as the scene for his labors and bought here eighty acres. After he had proved to his satisfaction that he could make a success of this vocation he bought one hundred and twenty acres more, so, that he now has a farm of two hundred acres on section 28. This is especially well improved, the result of his own endeavors, and the buildings are of an exceptionally fine character. In addition to the work of the fields he milks about thirty-five cows, engaging to some extent in the dairy business. He assisted in the organization of the Co-operative Creamery Company of Amber and is now on the board of directors of the concern.
Mr. Toenjes wedded, January 28, 1877, Miss Margaret Zimmerman, who was born near Dixon, Illinois, May 13, 1859, but was only four weeks old when brought to Jones county by her parents, A. G. and Anna (Grumm) Zimmerman, who were born, reared and married in Hanover, Germany. They came to the United States in 1854 and five years later came to Iowa, where Mr. Zimmerman, bought a farm in Wayne township, where he lived until he retired from active life and took up his residence in the village of Amber. There his death occurred in 1904 and there his widow still lives. Mr. and Mrs. Toenjes have had thirteen children; John C., of Ireton, Iowa; Anna E., who is the wife of Warner Heiken, of Cass township; A. G., of Wayne township; Augusta M., who is the wife of Herman Folkers, of Wayne township; Julia, who lives at home; Johannah, who resides in Greeley, Colorado; George, Elizabeth, Clara, Laura and Herman, who are still at home; William, who died in infancy; and Maria, who died at the age of three. The family are members of Zion German Lutheran church of Wayne township, and take an active part in its social and religious life. Since he has become a citizen of this republic Mr. Toenjes has looked to the democratic party for his guidance in political affairs and while he has not been active in public affairs he held the office of township trustee for a period of three years and has ever been interested in the welfare of his fellowman. He is not only a diligent worker but is also imbued with those ideas of progress which make his counsel of real value to other men who are struggling toward success and distinction in the same line of work.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 569.

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