Fritz, Priscilla 1a
|Birth Name||Fritz, Priscilla 1a|
|Death||about 1873||Tyrol, Austria||Death of Fritz, Priscilla||
|Relation to main person||Name||Relation within this family (if not by birth)|
|Mother||Jochum, Maria Veronika|
Portrait and Biographical Album of Wapello County, Iowa
- Page: Pages 276, 277
B FRITZ, a prominent and representative citizen of Blakesburg, Wapello County, is a native of Austria, born in the beautiful Province of Tyrol, on the 15th of October, 1826. He is the son of Benedict and Virneck (Yocum) Fritz, the latter of whom died in her native country at the age of about forty years, when her son, our subject, was a lad ten years old. He still remembers her as a careful and affectionate mother, devoted to the religious faith of her fathers, that of the Catholic Church. She was buried near the old home in Tyrol, and is held in sacred remembrance by the son who, although so young when she passed away, can recall her devoted and loving care. The father of our subject died in his native country in about 1859, and was also a Catholic, as were most of the people of that part of the country. Their children were carefully trained in the doctrines of that church.
The parental household of our subject consisted of several children, five sons and two daughters. Joseph came to this country with the subject of our sketch, and died in Columbus, Ohio, in 1884; Benedict of this history was the second son; Christian is engaged in farming near Des Moines, Iowa; Anthony, a baker by trade, is in his native land; Priscilla died in the old country in about 1873; the second child died in infancy.
Mr. Fritz left his native country for the United States in the spring of 1853. The voyage occupied thirty-six days, and after landing in New York City he proceeded to Cleveland, Ohio, where his brother Christian had previously located. Upon arriving he found that the latter had left there, and not being able to find out his whereabouts, went to Columbus, and there engaged as a house-painter, in which he was occupied for the following eight months. About this time came the glowing reports about the quantity of gold to be found in California, and Mr. F. being seized with the fever, started on the 5th of January for San Francisco via New York, and thence by steamer, arriving on the Pacific coast on the 2d of February, 1854, and proceeded straight to the mines in Placer County, Cal., where he was engaged in searching for the shining ore for the following three years. He was successful in his enterprise, and in the year last mentioned returned eastward as far as Iowa, and coming to Wapello County, purchased 160 acres of land in Adams township, on section 17, obtaining possession of it in October.
In the meantime, however, on the 20th of September, Mr. Fritz secured unto himself a partner and helpmeet in the person of Miss Annie Miller, a native of his own country. She was born May 7, 1831, and was the daughter of Martin Miller. Of this union there were eight children, as follows: Louise B., born July 13, 1858, became the wife of Moses Abernethy, a merchant and hotel-keeper of Blakesburg; William T. was born Jan 15, 1860, and is now the manager of his father’s farm in Adams Township; Henry, born Nov. 25, 1862, is employed as a clerk by his brother-in-law, Mr. Abernethy; Matilda, born May 5, 1861, died March 20, 1864, and is buried in the cemetery at Blakesburg; the next daughter, also named Matilda, was born Aug. 7, 1864, and married Mr. Frank Hardy, a farmer residing near Blakesburg; George, born Oct. 10, 1866, is now attending the Business College of Bryant & Stratton, at Chicago; Franklin, born Sept. 26, 1868, is attending the district school; and Gertrude C. was born Feb. 14, 1871.
Mr. Fritz is the owner of about 1,000 acres of land. He is extensively engaged as a dealer in life-stock and is also interested in mercantile pursuits. In addition to this he owns and superintends a gristmill. In his various business pursuits he has been remarkably successful and has accumulated a handsome competency. On departing from his native land he was possessed of a very small amount of this world’s goods, and that little was spent on the journey. But he has been reared to habits of industry, and had served over four years in the German army, and thus became familiar with hardship and privation, so that he was well fitted for the emergencies of the future. He had been richly rewarded in his efforts to become a man among the men of this great Republic, and occupies an enviable position as a representative citizen, enjoying the fullest confidence and respect of those among whom he has lived for so many years. Although his course has been seemingly very successful, he, too, has been visited by afflictions, the greatest being the death of his wife, to whom he was devotedly attached; she departed this life at her home on the 25th of August, 1884. She was an affectionate wife and mother, a faithful friend and counselor, and devotedly attached to the religion of the Catholic Church. Her remains were laid to rest in the cemetery near Blakesburg, and she is kindly remembered by a large circle of friends and acquaintances.
Mr. Fritz has provided liberally for his children, giving each the advantage of a good education, and has generously assisted them in starting in life. He is now retired from active labor and can look with satisfaction over the years of a life in which he has striven to perform his duty to those within his influence and to fulfill the obligations of a good citizen. He is a stanch adherent of the Democratic party, and uniformly casts his vote in support of its principles.