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History of Adair
County, Iowa, 1915.

Biographical.  Volume 2.


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Diedrich Frese.

Diedrich Frese, one of the largest landowners in Adair county, his possessions comprising four hundred and eighty acres, has since 1913 made his home in Fontanelle but still operates one hundred and sixty acres near by.  He was born in Bremen, Germany, June 11, 1858, a son of Henry and Anna (Ehlers) Frese.  The mother passed away in her native land and subsequently, in 1872, the father accompanied by two daughters and his son Diedrich, made his way to the new world.  He established the family home in Mendota, Illinois, and there was employed at farm labor for one year.  He then purchased forty acres of land and engaged in business on his own account.  He died on a farm in Bureau county, Illinois.

Diedrich Frese was in his fifteen year at the time of his arrival in America and after a location was made at Mendota, he, like his father, was employed at farm labor, his time being thus occupied until 1895.  In the previous year, however, he had invested his money in a quarter section of land in Summerset township, Adair county, but had returned to his home in Mendota, Illinois.  In 1895 he took up his permanent abode in Iowa, and as his land was at that time in a wild and uncultivated state he had to develop a farm out of the wilderness.  In due time he had his land under cultivation and he also erected substantial buildings.  As time passed and he accumulated means he kept adding to his holdings until he at one time owned six hundred and forty acres of some of the most valuable and productive land in the state.  He has since disposed of some of this, however, but retains possession of four hundred and eighty acres.  In 1913 he took up his abode in Fontanelle, leaving his son William on the home place, which constitutes three hundred and twenty acres.  Mr. Frese now gives his attention to another tract of one hundred and sixty acres.  In addition to his other interests Mr. Frese is a stockholder in the Fontanelle Lumber Company.

Mr. Frese was married in 1886 to Miss Magdalena Weinheimer, a native of Bureau county, Illinois, but of German parentage.  Mr. and Mrs. Frese have become the parents of four children but only two survive:  William, on the home farm;  and Luella, at home.  The family hold membership with the German Lutheran church.  In politics Mr. Frese is independent, supporting the men whom he deems best fitted for office regardless of party ties.

Mr. Frese possesses the characteristics so notable in the German race and he deserves much credit for what he has accomplished since coming to America, for, starting out at an early age to make his own way in a land with whose customs he was wholly unfamiliar, and working in the humble capacity of a farm laborer, he has gradually advanced on the highway of prosperity until he stands today among the wealthiest men and most substantial citizens of Adair county.



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