Biography of Nicolaus Lafrentz

Nicolaus Lafrentz, who lived retired in Denison for the last thirteen years of his life and died February 11, 191 1, was long and successfully identified with agricultural pursuits and continued to own ten htmdred and twenty acres of highly improved land in Crawford county. His birth occurred in Germany on the 17th of May, 1835, his parents being Jacob and Anna Lafrentz, who spent their entire lives in that country. Their children were five in number, namely: Anna, the widow of Henry Freese, of Crawford county, Iowa; Hans, who resided with our subject; Nicolaus, of this review; and two who have passed away.

Nicolaus Lafrentz spent the first twenty-two years of his life in the fatherland and there received his education. In 1857, having determined to establish his home on this side the Atlantic, he emigrated to the United States, first locating in Scott county, Iowa, where he worked on a farm for about two years. On the expiration of that period he went to Jackson county, Iowa, there residing until 1869, when he came to Crawford county. He purchased a farm here and began its cultivation and improvement, being successfully engaged in its operation until he put aside the active work of the fields in 1898. In connection with the tilling of the soil he made a specialty of raising and feeding stock, which branch of his business added materially to his annual income. For thirteen years he lived in honorable retirement at Denison, where he owned a handsome residence. During his active business career he accumulated ten hundred and twenty acres of valuable land in this county, all of which is still in possession of the family.

Mr. Lafrentz was married twice. In 1860 he wedded Miss Amanda Fulton, a native of Ohio, by whom he had six children, namely: Jacob, who is a resident of Montana; Henry, living in Crawford county; James, who makes his home in Salt Lake City; Anna, the wife of Ingwert Hollander, of Crawford county; Daniel, who is a resident of Montana; and Etta, who is the wife of William Dixon and also resides in Montana. The mother passed away in 1880 and the following year Mr. Lafrentz was again married, his second union being with Miss Dora Moller, a native of Germany. Unto them were born five children, as follows: Christ, John, Albert, Max and Sarah.

In politics Mr. Lafrentz was a republican and his fellow townsmen, recognizing his worth and ability, called him to several . positions of public trust. He held the offices of trustee, assessor, justice of the peace and school director, discharging his duties in these various connections in a most prompt and capable manner. Fraternally he was identified with the Masons, belonging to Lodge No. 518 at Denison, while both he and his wife were consistent and devoted members of the Lutheran church. Mr. Lafrentz never regretted his determination to come to the new world, for here he found the opportunities which he sought and through their wise utilization won a place among the wealthy and respected citizens of his community. The period of his residence in Crawford county covered more than four decades and he enjoyed a wide and favorable acquaintance within its borders.

Source: 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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