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John Von Spreecken
Born August 29, 1858
John Von Spreecken, who has attained to a substantial position among the agriculturists of Wyoming township, was born in Germany, August 29, 1858, and is a son of Peter and Elizabeth Von Spreecken. The mother and one child have passed away, but the father and two others are still living in the old country. John, of this review, Henry, of Spirit Lake, and Mary, of Clinton, are in this country.
John Von Spreecken received a good education in the public schools of his native land, where he also learned the miller's trade. Since he came to America, however, he has devoted himself exclusively to the tilling of the soil as a farm hand first, then as a renter, and finally as a man who, owning his land, obtains from it the full measure of its productiveness. It was in the year 1880 that he reached Clinton county, Iowa, having gone there immediately after landing upon our shores. For two years he worked for others and then secured eighty acres of land on which he worked as a tenant for three years, moving at the end of that time to a place twice that size, which remained his home for four years. He was then able to buy the farm on which he now lives. It is a fine tract of land, two hundred and forty acres in extent, which Mr. Von Sprecken has improved and cultivated until it is one of the best in the township. He also owns fifty-six acres in another part of Wyoming township, which makes his holdings lack but just a little of reaching the three hundred mark. He follows general farming, although he is mainly interested in the raising, feeding and shipping of all kinds of stock, and has found that his operations have brought him a large measure of success.
It was in 1881 that Mr. Von Spreecken was married to Miss Wilhelmena Schmalfeldt, who, like her husband, was a native of Germany. She, however, was but six years old when her parents went to Clinton county and with them she came to Wyoming township, where her father is still living, but her mother has passed away. Mrs. Von Spreecken is one of a family of seven children and has become the mother of nine: Rosie, Emma, Pauline, Maria, Alice, Leona, Peter, John and Harry. The eldest is the wife of Gus Eihlers and lives in Rockwell City; Emma married Max Hennigsen, of Wyoming township; and the other children are all living at home. The family are members and liberal supporters of the Lutheran church, while Mr. Von Spreccken has allied himself politically with the democratic party. He is interested in the welfare of the country of his adoption, especially in that of the little community where he lives, but aside from having held the office of school director for the last four years he has taken no part in its public life. Unremitting in his toil and careful in the management of his resources, he is now living in the enjoyment of all the comforts and many of the luxuries of life.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 579.

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