Notes on John Welterlen (1830 - 1910)
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Notes on John Welterlen

From History of Delaware and Buchanan Counties, 1891.


          John Welterlen was born in Alsace-Loraine, then France, now Prussia, on the twentieth day of February, 1830. He is a son of John and Mary (Deanser) Welterlen, natives of the same place. His parents always resided in Alsace-Loraine and there died, the mother in 1845, aged forty-five, and the father in 1851, aged sixty-two. The father was a mechanic and farmer and passed his life in industrial pursuits. He was a blacksmith by trade and followed this calling for many years. He was held in high esteem in his native village and occupied for a long time the responsible position of chief peace officer of the place. He and his wife were both devout members of the Catholic church and lived lives worthy of their professions. They had only two children--John, the subject of this notice, and Mary, now the wife of J. B. Menkler, residing in Prussia.
          John Welterlen was reared in his native place, attending the public schools of that place in his youth, and learning the blacksmith's trade under his father on growing up. At the age of twenty-two, in May, 1852, he sailed for America, and landing in New York City after a voyage of forty-six days, made his way at once to Milwaukee, Wis., where he soon obtained employment at his trade, remaining there about a year. He then came to Iowa and locating in Dubuque took up his trade again, working for the Illinois Central Railroad Company at their shops in East Dubuque. He remained there till 1854, when on account of the outbreak of the cholera at this place, he left and came to Delaware county, locating at Millheim. There he built a shop and began work at his trade. He ran a shop in that place from that date until 1871, at which latter date he closed out his shop and moved on to his farm in Delaware township which he purchased in 1870., where he has since continued to reside. He has been engaged in farming and stock-raising exclusively, now for twenty years. He is one of the largest farmers of his township and one of the most solid and substantial men in it. He has two hundred and ninety acres of land lying in section 2, 11, and 12, in Delaware township, all of which is under fence and all, except what is in pasturage and hay land, under cultivation. It is splendid prairie land and yields well. Mr. Welterlen has it well stocked with improved grades of cattle, horses and hogs, and most admirably arranged for comfort and convenience. His improvements are of a superior kind, being of the best quality of material and constructed in the most workman-like manner. He has over $3,000 worth of buildings on his farm, water conveniences unsurpassed and splendid artificial groves of trees and shrubbery. He gives his whole time and attention to his farming interest, managing his affairs with superior skill and meeting with marked success in all his undertakings. He is rather extensively interested in the dairy business, milking a number of cows and owning stock also in the Oneida creamery located at Oneida in Oneida township.
          Mr. Welterlen has a family consisting of a wife and several children, he having married on March 22, 1865, about a year after settling at Millheim, in Delaware county. His wife's maiden name was Mary Kaltenbach, then residing with her parents, John and Mary (Harmond) Kaltenbach, Millheim, which place her father laid out and named, being one of the first settlers on the town site.
          Mrs. Welterlen, born in Greene county, Ohio, whence they moved in 1840 to a place near Monroe, Wis., coming to Iowa in 1853. The mother died at Millheim in 1858, aged fifty-three. The father is still living, being now in his eighty-second year. Mrs. Welterlen is the fourth of a family of ten children born to her parents, the eldest, John, being a farmer residing at Yates Center, Kansas; the next, Fred, a farmer of Delaware county, this state; Jacob and Elizabeth dying young; William, dying in the Union army at Nashville, Tenn., during the war; two twins, dying in infancy; Samuel, a farmer, residing in Delaware county, and Sophia, the wife of Benjamin Weatherbee, residing in Buchanan county, this state.
          Mr. and Mrs. Welterlen have had five children, two of whom are now deceased, Mattie, the youngest, dying in infancy, and Horace E., dying at the age of nine. Their eldest, John J., is a farmer, residing in Delaware county. He married Annie Menker, of Clayton county, Iowa, by whom he has one child, Gladys M. Mr. and Mrs. Welterlen's next, Henry W., is a carpenter, residing in Manchester, Delaware county. He married Jennie Hemmings, of Watson county, Kans. Their next, Samuel, is a farmer, residing in Delaware county. He married Grace Fishel, of Delaware county.
          When Mr. Welterlen landed in Milwaukee, Wis., in 1852, he had just $40 in money. What he has now represents his labors during the years intervening between that date and the present time. Comment on his career is unnecessary. The facts speak abundantly as to what he is and what he has accomplished.

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