WILLIAM T. WEHRLE, b. 4Nov1819


from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906

William T. Wehrle, who is carrying on general farming in Richland township, was born in Granville, Mahaska county, March 7, 1860, and is a son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Blattner) Wehrle, both of whom were natives of Switzerland, the former born November 4, 1819, and the latter April 21, 1835. The father was a blacksmith by trade and about 1854, leaving the land of the Alps, made his way across the briny deep to the United States and on to Oskaboss, Iowa. There he worked at his trade for two years, after which he purchased a shop at Granville. It was about that time that Elizabeth Blattner arrived in Mahaska county, having come direct from Switzerland, and they were married in Granville, October 16, 1856. For several years thereafter Mr. Wehrle continued to follow his trade, and when his labors had brought to him sufficient capital he invested in land, becoming owner, in 1862, of one hundred and eleven and a half acres of new and unimproved land near Granville. Two years later he removed to the farm upon which he and his wife spent their remaining days. He built the first house on this farm and cultivated the land, transforming it from a raw tract into one of rich fertility and productiveness. Mr. Webrle passed away September 23, 1883, when about sixty-four years of age, while his wife died June 11, 1894. In the family were the following children: Mary, the wife of T. J. Clevenger, of Lamore, Missouri; William T., of this review; John, who is teaching school in Richland township; Arnold W., who married Ida Taylor and is living in Grinnell, Iowa; Lillie, the wife of Frank Byram, of Chariton, Lucas county, Iowa; Warner S., who married Zella Awtry, and is living on the old home farm; Ada, the wife of Walter Jones, who makes his home in Kansas City, Missouri; Ella, the wife of Charles Shroyer, who is living in Rose Hill, Iowa; and one who died in infancy. William T. Wehrle was educated in the schools of Granville,and remained at home with his parents until twenty-one years of age. He afterward engaged in farming for a year in this county and then went to Spink county, South Dakota, where he took up a claim and followed farming until 1890. He then gave up his claim and returned to Mahaska county. Here on the 12th of November, 1891, he was married to Miss Laura Wassom, who was born August 9, 1863, upon the farm which they now make their home. She is a daughter of Moses and Elizabeth (Woodside) Wassom, both of whom were natives of Tennessee, the former born May 7, 1817, and the latter March 10, 1821. They were married in Illinois, where they lived for a short time, and in 1843 they came to Mahaska county, being among its first settlers. All the indications of pioneer life then existed here, and they aided in subduing the wild country and extending the frontier. Mr. Wassom first located in Madison township, living on the river for about three years. In 1846 he took up a claim of one hundred and sixty acres and built a house, making his home there until his death. As time passed by and his financial resources increased he added to his property until he owned two hundred and forty-five acres of land. He was a prominent character in the early history of Richland township and Mahaska county and did much to shape public policy and also for the direct improvement of the locality. His political allegiance was given to the democracy and he served as justice of the peace, as school director and as township trustee. He was very active in local political circles and his opinions carried weight in the councils of his party in township and county. He died upon the home farm, June 22, 1891, and his wife passed away on the 22d of June, 1892. In their family were eight children but only two are now living: Monroe, who was the second in order of birth and married Mary Williams, their home being in Blackwell, Oklahoma; and Mrs. Laura A. Wehrle, who was the sixth in order of birth. The others were: Cyrus, who died at the age of nineteen years; William, who married Belle Foster and lived upon a part of the old home place until the time of his death at the age of forty-four years; Mary, who died at the age of seventeen; Sophronia, who died at the age of eighteen; and two who died in infancy. At the time of their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Webrie took up their abode upon the farm which has since been their home. They now have one hundred and twenty-five acres of good land which is rich and productive. There is a substantial residence and good barns upon the place, all of which were built by Mr. Wassom. Mr. Wehrle keeps everything about the farm in good condition of repair and carries forward the work of improvement along progressive lines. His fields are highly cultivated and he annually harvests good crops. He is considered one of the prosperous farmers of Richland township, and in addition to the home place, he has another farm of eighty-three acres in the township, which lie rents. He is a stockholder in the recently organized Farmers Bank at Oskaloosa. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Wehrle have been born three children: Icie, a daughter, thirteen years of age; Verner and Birch, who, like their sister, are attending school. Mrs. Wehrle is an active and devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal church and, although not a member, Mr. Wehrle attends its services and contributes to its support. He votes the democratic ticket on questions of state and national importance but at local elections casts an independent ballot. He displays many of the sterling characteristics of his Swiss ancestry-the undaunted purpose, the resolution and industry, together with a courage of conviction which has ever been a salient trait of the Swiss character. His entire life has been passed in Mahaska county and he is known as a representative citizen here.

Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa

Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy

Iowa Genealogy

Home Page