Trumbold Families

Johannah Trumbold Holzer


Hannah (Johana on her death certificate, Johannah on her Probate record and grave marker) Trumbold was born May 19, 1853, in New Jersey to Johan Georg and Johannah Trumbold.  She settled with her family in Clayton County, Iowa, in the late 1850s, and married August Holzer in 1877 when she was 24 and he was 37.1  He had been living in Elgin, Fayette County, Iowa since 1866 and they spent the rest of their lives in Elgin. 


August began working as a mason and contractor and constructed the brick block in downtown Elgin, several buildings in Elkader, and the St. Paul's Methodist parsonage in Elgin (1874).2  He  accumulated quite a bit of property in downtown Elgin including at least one city block (see his Probate record in Fayette County) and 446 acres in Dallas County, Texas. 


He was owner of Central House, a boarding house and hotel, and in 1892 Gus bought Elgin House, a former competitor.   His boarding house/restaurant was in the fire that burned down a block of downtown Elgin in 1919.  He also owned a grocery store which was later sold to John Falb.


They had three children - Charles W., born in 1878; Mabel, born May 10, 1881; and Alfred A., born in 1882.  When Hannah's sister, Mary Coventry, died in 1891, Hannah also took in her two-month-old baby, Arthur, until he died in February 1892.3


August Holzer's death occurred on April 7, 1915, at Cedar Rapids in St. Luke's Hospital and is recorded in Linn County, Iowa.4  He died of apoplexy and cirrhosis of the liver and was in the hospital 23 days. His birth date is shown as July 17, 1840, so he was 75 years old at the time of his death.


Hannah Holzer, age 73, died August 17, 1926, at home, of carcinoma of the rectum and uterus. Johana (sic) Holzer's death certificate5 lists Johana Walter as her mother and George Trumbold as her father.  This is one of the few mentions we have of her father's first name or her mother's maiden name which is listed as Halbuer [Hallbauer] in Emma Meyer's obituary.  She is buried with her husband and children in the Elgin Cemetery.


"Funeral Notice (Front page)


The funeral of August Holzer, who passed away Wednesday afternoon at St. Luke's hospital, Cedar Rapids, where he had gone for treatment, will be held from the German Baptist church Sunday afternoon at 200 o'clock.  Revs. H. W. Wedel and J. H. Graham will conduct the services.  The Masonic order will then have charge of the body and exemplify the ritualistic burial service at the grave."6




"In memoriam

August Holzer


August Holzer was born in Kroelpa, Germany, July 17, 1840, and passed away April 7, 1915, at the age of seventy-four years, eight months and twenty-nine days.  He was brought up a Lutheran and at the age of twenty-six years he came to America.  For a time he worked at his trade, that of a mason.  In the year 1887 he was united in marriage to Joanna Trumbold and then located in Elgin where he has been engaged in business ever since.  To this union three children were born.  Charles, Mabel and Alfred, all at home, and they with the wife and mother, one brother and one sister and many other relatives and friends are left to mourn.


Mr. Holzer was a strong, robust man and vigorously applied himself to any task he undertook and by management accumulated a competency of this world's goods.  He was a man of strong convictions and made a true friend.  His kindness of heart was often shown when he befriended the worthy who were in need, and friends who went to him for help or advice were never turned away disappointed.


In his early life he won distinction as a soldier in the army of his native country and was awarded the military badge for bravery, when on the morning of April 18, 1864, he was one of the volunteers of a forlorn hope which stormed the forts at Duebbel, Denmark.  The forts were taken and the German government had medals made from the metal of the captured cannons and presented them to the soldiers who survived the fierce conflict.  On the same bar is another badge which recommends him for distinguished bravery throughout the war.  He was a man of many good qualities and will be missed by all.


Mr. Holzer's last illness dates back several months.  At first he was not bedfast but he realized that the end was not far distant and he faced the inevitable with the same determination that he had faced life's problems and died like the soldier that he was, with no fear and steady tread he marched onward and then passed forward to that other shore from which no mortal returns.


Mr. Holzer joined the Masonic order in 1893 and the members of Silver Leaf Lodge A. F. and A. M., had charge of the remains.  Services were held in the German Baptist church Sunday afternoon at 200 o'clock, Revs. H. W. Wedel and J. H. Graham conducting them.  The Masonic escort then marched to the cemetery where the rites of the order were given, Dr. H. S. Hadsel acting as Master with E. H. Phillips, of West Union, as Marshall.  The pall bearers were C. J. Harrington, T. J. Capper, Ed. Hanson, Aug. Benson, C. F. Becker, and Albert Schori.  Thus the brother was laid away in his silent tomb.


Relatives from out of town who were in attendance at the funeral were  August Trumbold, Chicago, Ill.; August Holzer, Madison, South Dakota; Lewis Holzer, Lansing Mich.; Mrs. R. E. Meyer and daughters, Mary and Emma and Frank Frieden, Communia; Herman Meyer, Elkader; Aug. Doehrer and wife, Volga City; C. W. Coventry and wife, Wadena."7


Notice of death [Mrs. August Holzer]


"Just as we send in this week's letter we learn that Mrs. August Holzer died at 2 o'clock this (Tuesday) morning after an illness of about a year.  She had been seriously ill for six months, and of late her death had been expected at most any time.  She was about seventy-three years of age.  Her husband died eight or nine years ago.  She is survived by two sons and one daughter -- Charles, Alfred, and Miss Mabel Holzer, all at home."8



"Hannah Holzer

May 19, 1853  -  August 17, 1926


Mrs. Hannah Holzer, one of our most highly respected elderly residents passed away on August 17, after an illness of several months having reached the age of seventy-three years, two months, and twenty-nine days.  The sympathy of our community is extended to the bereaved children.


Mrs. Hannah Holzer, (nee Trumbull) was born May 19, 1853, in the state of New Jersey, and while a young child together with her parents and family, emigrated to Iowa stopping for a short time near Communia, later locating in Highland township, Clayton county, where they acquired a farm and established a permanent home.  Both parents died while she was a young girl.


During the year 1878 (sic, 1877), the deceased was married to August Holzer, a business man of Elgin, and where they located permanently.  To this union were born three children � Charles, Alfred and Mabel, all living at the parental home.  The husband and father died April 7, 1915 and Mrs. Holzer and the children lived together during the remainder of her lifetime.


Mrs. Holzer was one of nine children all of whom had preceded her in death.


In the passing of the deceased, our community feels the loss of one who always stood for the best in all things; a good neighbor and friend.  Mrs. Holzer came from a line of ancestors from which she inherited honest thrift and ambition, and together with her husband and children acquired a comfortable fortune which stands as a monument for their industry.  She loved flowers and her home and grounds bear evidence of this, the grounds being well laid out and beautifully adorned with flowers and shrubbery.


During her youth, Mrs. Holzer was converted and affiliated with the German Lutheran church but there being no church here of this denomination she attended the local churches and during her illness Rev. Franke of the Lutheran church of Elkader called frequently and to him she spoke of her faith in Jesus Christ with joy and understanding.


Funeral services were held at the Baptist church on August 20, conducted by Rev. Franke and assisted by Rev. Ph. Lauer of the local Baptist church and music by the Baptist choir.  Rev. Franke used for the text, 1st book of Corinthians 13th chapter and 7th verse, "Love Beareth all things, Love Believeth all things, Love Hopeth all things, and Love Endureth all things."  The pastor referred to this text as the one he spoke from for the funeral of the deceased's sister, the late Mrs. Emma Meyer of Elkader, who passed to the Great Beyond three years ago.  The local Order of the Eastern Star, of which the deceased was an honored charter member, took charge of the services at the grave giving the work in an impressive manner, and the remains were interred in the Elgin cemetery by the side of the grave of her husband.


The relatives from a distance who were present were, Mr. and Mrs. August Holzer and Louis Holzer of Junius, South Dakota, Mrs. Bergholser of Chicago, Mr. and Mrs. Gus Dohr and Emma and Mary Meyer of Elkader, and Elmer Trumbull and mother, Mrs. C. Trumbull of Chillicothe, Illinois."9



Ad in 1891 and 1892 issues of The Elgin Echo




Aug. Hoelzer, Proprietor

First-class accommodations.  Rates

reasonable.  Free buss to and from all

 trains.  Commercial man's home.





November 26, 1891


Aug. Hoelzer had a runaway last evening at the depot.  His team was hitched to the bus and became frightened at the train turned to run. "Gus" pulled them into the fence thus stopping them before any serious damage was done.



December 3, 1891

Aug. Hoelzer has been unable to be around the past few days owing to injuries received from his runaway last week.


Thursday, April 14, 1892 issue of The Elgin Echo


Aug. Hoelzer has purchased the Elgin House of Jake Walters for $1,130.  Mr. Hoelzer will thoroughly renovate and improve it.  Then he will have one of the best hotels in the county.  He will also run a good livery in connection.



March 10, 1892


August Hoelzer made a business trip to West Union Wednesday.



March 24, 1892

Mrs. August Hoelzer, landlady at the Central House, accompanied by her children, Mabel and Alfred, took Saturday morning's train for Dubuque where she will visit friends.


Thursday, April 21 1892 issue of The Elgin Echo


Mr. and Mrs. A. Hoelzer give their first dinner at Elgin House today.


Aug. Hoelzer returned Monday from a Chicago trip. 

Note  the ad also changed to read Elgin Central Hotel



July 1, 1892


Landlord Hoelzer wishes to inform the public that hereafter no one will be conveyed free to and from the depot unless they be customers of his hotel.  Note  the ads were also changed.



Source Notes

1.  Marriage Certificate, August Hoelcer and Hannah Trumbold, August 22, 1877, Fayette County, Iowa, page 203.

2.  Elgin Then and Now 1848-1988, The Elgin Historical Society, Elgin, Iowa, 1988.

3.  The Elgin Echo, Thursday,October 15, 1891.

4.  Transcript of Deaths in the County of Linn, State of Iowa, for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 1915, August Holzer, #571.

5.  Certificate of Death, Johana (Trumbold) Holzer, Fayette County, Iowa, August 17, 1926, #98.

6.  Funeral Notice, August Holzer, The Elgin Echo, Thursday, April 8, 1915, page 1.

7.  Obituary, In Memoriam, August Holzer, The Elgin Echo, Thursday, April 15, 1915, page 1.

8.  Notice of death, West Union Argo-Gazette, August 18, 1926.

9.  Obituary, Hannah Holzer, The Elgin Echo (front page, center), Thursday, August 26, 1926. 

Johannah and August Holzer
Mabel and Alfred Holzer