America owes much today to the strong, robust German nation, which has furnished so many successful agriculturists and businessmen to America. The subject of this sketch is a worthy representative of this class of our citizens. Born in Bohemia, Germany, in August, 1856, he was a son of Anthony and Josephine Bodenberger and was one of nine children. The father died in Germany.
As one of a large family Erwin Bodenberger was obliged to work during his early years in order to assist in the family’s support, but at the same time he acquired an education in the thorough schools of his native land. Though he contributed generously to the support of the family he was able to save what would seem to most young men a small fortune. Accordingly in 1882 he and his brother Anthony came to the United States and located in Dallas county. Determined to learn all the details of American agriculture, he worked by the month on different farms for eight years. So successfully did he achieve his purpose that he was enabled, in 1890, to purchase his present farm of eighty acres. Though he had about one hundred dollars on coming to this country he decided to live frugally and work industriously and so attained to the front rank in the agricultural world.
In 1892 Mr. Bodenberger was married to Miss Anna Huffman, a native of Bohemia, Germany, who came to this country in 1882. To their union were born seven children, six of whom survive: John, Gladys, Elenor, Elwin, Igan and Reo.
In his political relations Mr. Bodenberger has always supported the democratic party and though he has never sought the honors or offices of that party be has always been willing to assist those who have had that ambition. He is an active member of the Catholic church and is a well-to-do farmer of this county. By sheer force of will and untiring effort he has worked his way upward and has realized the hope which brought him to our shores.
Source: Past and Present of Dallas County, Iowa, by Robert F. Wood, S. J. Clarke Publishing Company Chicago, IL, 1907.