from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906
Daniel K. Unsicker, who is one of the prominent business men and representative farmers of Mahaska county, has been successfully engaged in the grain and lumber trade at Wright since 1898. He is one of the more recent arrivals in Mahaska county, having become a resident here in 1896 but during this period has demonstrated his right to rank with its representative citizens and merchants. He was born in Tazewell county, Illinois, March 9, 1857, and as the name indicates, is of German lineage. His father, John Unsicker, was a native of Germany and became one of the pioneers of Tazewell county, where he located in 1849. He opened up a large farm there and became a prosperous agriculturist and stock-breeder, dealing in pure-blooded shorthorn cattle, Poland China hogs and Norman horses. He raised his fam ily upon the old farm and there he spent the greater portion of a useful and well directed life, passing away in October, 1887. Daniel K. Unsicker remained upon the home farm with his father until he reached his majority and during the period of his youth received good educational advantages at the village school and in the Evergreen City Business College, at Bloomington, Illinois, where he completed a course of study that well qualified him for the practical and responsible duties of a business career. He was graduated from that institution in the class of 1880, and afterward became a partner of his father as a breeder and dealer in pure-blooded shorthorn cattle, Poland China hogs and Norman horses. They succeeded in building up a large and profitable business, the extent of their operations making them well known as stock-dealers in Illinois. D. K. Unsicker was married in the spring of 1886 to Miss Lizzie Zimmerman, a native of Ohio, who was reared and educated in that state and a daughter of Squire Zimmerman, who was a prominent Ohio farmer. Mrs. Unsicker has indeed been a faithful companion and helpmate to her husband on life's journey, sharing with him in the joys and sorrows, the adversity and prosperity which checker the careers of all. They have become the parents of three children Vesta B., Carl C. and Helen M., all under the parental roof. Following his marriage Mr. Unsicker rented a tract of land which he farmed for two years and then bought a farm in Livingston county, Illinois, where he lobated, there carrying on general agricultural pursuits in connection with the breeding and sale of stock. He lived upon that place for eight years, at the end of which time he sold the property for almost double what he had originally paid for it. Coming to Iowa he made a prospecting tour over the state, spending about two months in selecting a location. He bought a farm of four hundred and ninety acres near Wright, in Spring Creek township, Mahaska county. Here he located and began the further improvement of the property. He is a progressive agriculturist, successful in his farming operations and in his stock business. From time to time he has added to his property until his farm now embraces nearly one thousand acres. He erected an attractive residence, good barns and outbuildings, has fenced his place and has added to the productiveness of the soil by tiling, having thirty- six miles of tiling upon this farm. It is one of the best drained farms in the state, and in several ways Mr. Unsicker has been equally resourceful and enterprising in improving and developing his property. In 1896, prior to removing to Iowa, he entered into partnership with E. Kennell under the firm name of D. K. Unsicker & Company, grain merchants. He then established elevators and began business in connection with the grain trade at Fremont, Butler and Wright. He bought and shipped large quantities of grain and carried on a prosperous business. In 1901 he sold his interests in the Fremont and Butler grain business and bought out the interest of his partner in the Wright elevator and the business at this point. Here he has continued as a grain merchant and in 1905 he formed a partnership with Mr. Knudson in the lumber business, since which time they have carried a full line of lumber and building materials, and are now numbered among the progressive and prominent business men of the county. Mr. Unsicker removed from the farm to Wright and erected here a neat and substantial residence. He leases the farm for grain-raising, and has a good tenant upon the property. Politically Mr. Unsicker has been a lifelong democrat but without aspiration for office. He has, however, served in various local positions of trust and honor, to which he has been called by his fellow townsmen, and in 1901 he was nominated by his party for candidate for the legislature. He made the race, and at the election carried the full party strength. He is a successful financier and business man, of ready recognition of opportunities, of keen enterprise and sound discrimination, and he has so directed his labors and energies that prosperity has followed his efforts and he stands today among the most prominent and successful landowners and grain and lumber merchants of Mahaska county.
Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy