August(us) Cl. Johns, or, the things you learn from newspapers…

3272969592_2e033c7c83_o August, who has used the name Augustus at times, was the younger brother of my great great grandfather Friedrich Wilhelm Jahn. August went by the surname Johns after arriving in the United States. As I have mentioned before, regarding his military service during the Civil War, he married Mary Schaal shortly after his arrival.

The family lived in Dodge County, Wisconsin until sometime between 1880 and 1885 when they packed up the household and family of 4 girls and moved to Algona, Kossuth County, Iowa.

While living in Algona the family ran a hotel and eatery in association with the Milwaukee Railroad depot in town. Not all of their customers were of upstanding quality1:


August was mentioned in an article in an Iowa paper because of their hotel and eatery business. Judge Conklin of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin was taking Bowe’s Excursion through Iowa on the railway in 1887, he stopped in for breakfast with August “the erstwhile cooper at Josh Large’s Oakfield mills.”2

In 1890 his son-in-law George Adams came down from Minneapolis to pick up his wife and visit with the in-laws.3


When the Civil War Veterans had their 30th encampment in St. Paul, in 1896, August and Mary thought it would be a good time to visit their daughter in Minneapolis.4


Due to August’s ill health, from what I believe was an injury caused by being kicked by a horse, August and Mary headed up to Minneapolis to spend their later years, so that they could be around their daughter and her family. He died July 26, 1917 and his body was transported back to Iowa for burial.5


1 The Upper Des Moines: Algona, Iowa, Wednesday, August 4, 1886, no page, col. 2

2 The Spirit Lake Beacon, Vol. XVII, No. 17, Spirit Lake, Dickinson County, Iowa, Friday, March 18, 1887, page 1, col. 3.

3 The Upper Des Moines: Algona, Iowa, Wednesday Dec. 10, 1890, no page, col. 3.

4 The Republican, Algona, Iowa, Wednesday, September 2, 1896, no page, col. 4.

5 Upper Des Moines Republican Algona, Iowa, Wednesday, August 1, 1917, Vol 16, No. 5, page 1 col. 5.

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