Charles L Voss

Biography of Charles L. Voss

Charles L Voss
Charles L Voss

Among the younger generation of those who came to Crawford after the pioneer period but who have contributed largely to its recent growth and prosperity there is none who stands nearer to the hearts of the people than C. L. Voss. Still in his prime, with every faculty alert, with keen appreciation of the refinements of life, with a character grounded in integrity and with a heart that responds promptly and cheerfully to the obligations of man’s brotherhood, it is a pleasure to include this brief sketch in a history of Crawford county. Croesus admonishes, “Call no man happy until you know the manner of his death,” but judged by any less austere standard, Mr. Voss seems to have well laid the foundation for a successful, happy and helpful career.

Though occupying for many years the responsible position of cashier of the Bank of Denison, he is best known throughout western Iowa as a daring and highly successful buyer and seller of real estate. His holdings are large and are scattered throughout all this portion of the state. He is almost as much a business man of Sioux City as of Denison, and we are to be congratulated that he has thus far refused the very tempting offers made him to engage in business in larger cities. Mr. Voss presents the rare combination of a man who not only knows how to make money but how to spend it. To spend it for himself without ostentation, for travel, for art, for good literature and for all the refinements of a good home. To spend it for others with a glad willingness that is the best index of a generous nature.

Mr. Voss is a sincere and genuine Christian, one of the most helpful and liberal members of the Methodist church of Denison. In politics he is a republican of the stalwart school and he has taken an active, though thoroughly unselfish part in the councils of his party. As president of the Denison Commercial Club he has inspired that organization with much of his own enthusiasm and thoroughness and has launched it upon what promises to be the most successful year of its history. His education has been a continuing process for he is a lover of good books and a thoughtful student of men and events.

In his home life he has been exceedingly fortunate. On October 2, 1895, he was married to Miss Gertrude Gulick, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Gulick, of this city, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere. Mrs. Voss is a Denison girl, educated in our schools and in Cornell College at Mount Vernon. Iowa. She is one of the most representative and best beloved of Denison’s young matrons. She takes an active and helpful part in all the work of club life and social life and church life, but she combines _with all of these activities a wifely and motherly devotion which make her home all that it should be, a delightful center for her loved ones and her friends. They have one son, Eugene Loyal, who is at once the pride and the hope of the home.

A native of Illinois, Mr. Voss was born in Freeport, October 19, 1867, one of the eight children of Henry and Catharine (Maurer) Voss. The family name is indicative of the German origin, and while comparatively little is known concerning the ancestral record, the paternal grandfather lived and died in Germany. His son, Henry Voss, was born in Holstein, Germany, and in his native land engaged in merchandising. When a young man, however, he came to America and traveled into the interior of the country as far as Freeport, Illinois. In 1 86 1, following the outbreak of the Civil war, he espoused the Union cause and served for three years and nine months, being promoted to official rank. He was wounded at Raleigh and at the close of a long and valorous service received an honorable discharge. After the war he returned to Freeport, where he engaged in merchandising. He married Catharine Maurer, who was born in Alsace, Germany, and was a daughter of Daniel and Catharine Maurer, who, emigrating to the new world, settled in Freeport, Illinois, where they lived for many years, the father passing away at the age of eighty-two and the mother when seventy years of age. Their .family numbered a son and three daughters : Catharine, Jacob, Lucy and Carolina. Of these the first named became the wife of Henry Voss and is now living in Freeport, Illinois, at the age of sixty-eight years. Mr. Voss, however, passed away in January, 1908, at the age of seventy-one years. Both were members of the Lutheran church. In their family were three sons and five daughters: Charles L.; Lucy, a resident of Freeport, Illinois; Josephine, the wife of Frank Miller, of Norway, Iowa; Emma, Matilda, Jacob, Kathryn and Daniel, all of Freeport.

Charles L. Voss was only a year old when brought to Iowa by his parents, who settled at Cedar Rapids but later removed to Blairstown, from which point they afterward returned to Freeport. He grew to manhood at Blairstown and attended the public schools there. He also was a student of the school at Blairstown and subsequently attended Coe College at Cedar Rapids. His initial business training came to him in a clerical position in a bank but after a short time he was made bill clerk by Shaver & Dows, at Cedar Rapids. Later he was connected with the bank of G. F. Van Vechten, of Cedar Rapids, and subsequently returned to Blairstown and was in the Benton County State Bank for several years. In 1889 he removed to Denison and was abstractor and bookkeeper for the Bank of Denison until 1896, when he was promoted to the position of cashier, in which capacity he is still serving.

Mr. Voss is a member of several fraternal organizations. He has attained high rank in Masonry, belonging to Sylvan Lodge, No. 507, A. F. & A. M.; Ark Chapter, No. 89, R. A. M.; Mount Zion Commandery, K. T.; Des Moines Consistory, A. A. S. R.; and Abu Bekr Temple of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He also holds membership in Dowdall Lodge, No. 90, K. P., and with the Modem Woodmen of America. Both he and his wife are members of the Eastern Star. In all the reflations of life he has proven himself a man of genuine worth and straightforward purposes and his progress in business has been the direct result of energy, intelligently directed.


Meyers , F. W. History of Crawford County, Iowa: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1911.

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