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History of Adair
County, Iowa, 1915.

Biographical.  Volume 2.


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H. H. Gerken.

H. H. Gerken, one of the county supervisors of Adair county, makes his home in Greenfield, from which point he supervises important business interests, largely represented in six hundred acres of valuable farm land in this county.  He is a native son of Adair county, born March 15, 18\59, his parents being Christian and Mattie (Hillman) Gergen, who were natives of Germany.  They came to the United States in 1853, settling in Adair county, where the father entered government land.  Upon this tract, which was then wild and unimproved, he built a log cabin, which the family occupied for a number of years but eventually the pioneer home was replaced by a more modern and commodious residence.  Year after year Christian Gerken continued the further development and improvement of his farm until death terminated his life's labors.  His wife has also passed away.  In their family were six children but only two survive:  H. H., of this review;  and F. W., now a resident of California.

Born on the old homestead farm, H. H. Gerken there remained until he attained his majority, when he started out in life on his own account by renting the old homestead for three years.  During that period he carefully saved his earnings and industry and economy brought him sufficient capital to enable him to purchase one hundred and twenty acres of land in Grand River township.  There he resided for twenty-seven years, on the expiration of which period he removed to Greenfield, where he now makes his home.  He still retains the ownership of valuable farm property, however, having now six hundred acres of rich and productive land in Adair county, together with eighty-four acres in the state of Idaho.  He carefully cultivated and improved his land, his farm work being conducted along modern methods, so that his fields annually brought forth golden harvests.  Year after year the careful management of his interests contributed to his success and he has become one of the substantial citizens of the county.  In addition to his farm property he is a stockholder in a bank in Greenfield, while his residence is one of the fine homes of the city.

In 1881 Mr. Gerken was united in marriage to Miss Anna Roeser, who was born in Cedar county, Iowa, a daughter of Peter and Katherine (Deaford) Roeser, natives of Alsace, which was at that time a province of France.  They came to the new world in 1854, settling in Muscatine county, Iowa, but subsequently they removed to Cedar county and afterward became residents of Guthrie county, where their remaining days were passed.  Their family numbered eleven children, of whom six are yet living.  Mr. and Mrs. Gerken have become the parents of four children:  John A., now at home:  Ethel, the wife of Rev. A. B. Miller, of Leavenworth, Kansas;  Gertrude, the wife of Raymond Kurtz, living upon the home farm:  and Vera, the wife of Harry Kurtz, also upon the farm.

The parents are members of the Presbyterian church, in which Mr. Gerken is serving as a trustee.  In the work of the church they are actively and helpfully interested and are generous contributors to its support.  In his political views Mr. Gerken is a stalwart republican and is now one of the supervisors of the county, in which position he is serving for the sixth year.  The record which he has made in office is most commendable, as is indicated by the fact of his reelection.  He stands for progress and improvement in public affairs and his cooperation can always be counted upon to further plans and measures for the general good.  His life, crowned with success and characterized by honorable dealing, has gained for him the respect, confidence and goodwill of all with whom he has been associated.



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