Johann M. Koselke, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .
Transcribed biography of Johann M. Koselke
JOHANN M. KOSELKE. In all lines of industrial enterprise, in all phases of loyal citizenship, the German element in the complex social fabric of our great American republic has proved one of inestimable value, and Porter county has not been denied a due quota of this admirable type of citizens, among whom stands Johann M. Koselke, a representative agriculturist and stockgrower of Morgan township and a man whose sterling integrity has gained to him the implicit confidence and esteem of the community in which he has won prosperity and independence through his own industry and good judgment. He came to America without more than nominal financial resources and without fortifying influences, but, strong in courage and ambition, he worked his way forward toward the goal of success and proved himself possessed of those attributes of character which make success not an accident but a logical result.
Mr. Koselke was born in West Prussia on the 24th of December, 1845, and was the third in a family of six sons and five daughters born to Michael and Rosa (Banckert) Koselke. Of the children three are living in addition to the subject of this review: Rosa is the wife of Johann Boehlke; Michael is likewise a representative agriculturist of Porter county; and Bernard, the youngest of the children, is a widower, residing in the home of his brother Johann, of this review. Michael Koselke and his wife were both born and reared in West Prussia, where they maintained their home until 1865, and where he followed agricultural pursuits. In the year mentioned he immigrated to America with his family and they made Porter county, Indiana, their destination. He eventually accumulated two hundred and forty acres of land in Morgan township and to the development and cultivation of the same he devoted the remainder of his active career. He remained on the old homestead until his death, at the age of about seventy-seven years, and leis wife was about seventy-one years of age when she was summoned to eternal rest, both having been devout communicants of the Catholic church, and the remains of both having been interred in the Sacred Heart cemetery at Wanatah, LaPorte county.
Johann M. Koselke was reared to maturity in his native land, where he gained his early education in the excellent national schools, the while he learned the lessons of practical industry in connection with the work of the farm -- a knowledge that has proved of great value to him in his independent operations in later years. At the age of nineteen years he severed the ties which bound him to home and fatherland and set forth to seek his fortunes in America. He made the voyage on a sailing vessel, on which he embarked in the city of Bremen, and one month and five days elapsed ere he reached his destination, at Wanatah, LaPorte county, Indiana. A stranger in a strange land, and with virtually no financial resources at his command, he valiantly faced the problems which confronted him and soon after his arrival in Indiana he secured employment on a farm, for a compensation of twenty dollars a month. After working two weeks and receiving no pay for his services he found it necessary to seek other employment, and thereafter he was employed about two years on the Pennsylvania and Pan Handle Railroads, the major part of his wages having been given to his father to aid in the support of the family.
On the 22d of January, 1871, Mr. Koselke laid the substantial foundation for a successful career by taking unto himself an effective companion and helpmeet. On that date was solemnized his marriage to Miss Paulina Falk, and of this union were born ten sons and three daughters -- a fine family of children who have honored the name to which they were born and ten of whom are still living. Michael is a prosperous farmer of Washington township, Porter county, is married and has five children; Frank, who is in the employ of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, resides at Wanatah, LaPorte county, and is the father of four children; Bernard is a successful business man in the city of Valparaiso, and he and his wife have no children; John, who resides at Fort Wayne, Indiana, is a fireman on the fast passenger trains of the Pennsylvania Railroad, is married and has four children; August is engaged in business in Valparaiso; Bertha Marie is the wife of Levi A. Eaton, who is a prosperous business man at Wanatah, LaPorte county; Rosa Elizabeth is the wife of August Flutter, a farmer of Morgan township, Porter county, and they have two children; Paul is a representative farmer near Wanatah, LaPorte county, is married and has two children; George and Raymond remain at the parental home and assist in the work of the farm. Mr. and Mrs. Koselke have given their children good educational advantages and each of the number speaks both the German and English languages with fluency.
Mrs. Koselke was born near the historic old city of Posen, Prussia, on the 12th of April, 1854, and is a daughter of August and Rosa Falk. She is now the only living member of the immediate family and she received her education in the schools of her native land, having been fourteen years of age at the time of the family immigration to America and having been reared to maturity in Indiana, where she received further educational advantages. Both she and her husband are zealous communicants of the Catholic church, in which he was confirmed by Bishop Dewenger, of Fort Wayne. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Koselke resided on the old home farm of the former's father for four years, at the expiration of which they came to their present homestead in Morgan township. Here they took up their abode in a small frame house, as renters, and for a number of years they rented the farm. Frugality and unceasing industry finally brought definite rewards, and they purchased their present fine landed estate, which comprises three hundred and thirty-three acres and which is one of the best farms of Morgan township. Laboring unceasingly and conserving all resources with a definite purpose, they eventually cleared an indebtedness of three thousand dollars and found that prosperity of substantial order had crowned their efforts. They now own four hundred and ninety-three acres of most productive land and in 1906 they erected their beautiful home, which is modern in equipment and appointments and which has been made a center of generous hospitality, the while the evidences of thrift and prosperity are discernible on every hand, not a dollar of indebtedness standing against the fine property which they have so worthily accumulated. Such achievement is in itself a noble life work, and Mr. and Mrs. Koselke may well feel that they have earned the smiling plant and fair prosperity which now compass them.
In politics Mr. Koselke is a stanch adherent of the Democratic party and he and his wife and children are all devout communicants of the Catholic church of the Sacred Heart at Wanatah. Mr. and Mrs. Koselke aided liberally in the erection of the present fine church edifice and parochial school and they take a deep interest in the various departments of church work. Their wedded life has been one of ideal order, though they have endured their full share of sorrows and vicissitudes, and they have so ordered their course as to retain the high regard of all who know them, the while they have won success that is worthy of the name and that places them on a substantial basis of prosperity and independence, with surroundings and associations of the most gracious order.
Source: Lewis Publishing Company. 1912. History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company. 881 p.
Page(s) in Source: 562-564
This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.
Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook