~ ADELBERT VON OVEN, b 9 Apr 1842 ~
Related Surnames - VON OVEN, HEYNEN, NOTTEBOHM
The creamery industry in Jackson County, Iowa, was practically established by this
gentleman, who is one of the pioneers of the business, having the principal charge of the
Miles Pioneer Creameries, with which he has been connected since they were left on the
hands of his partner and brother-in-law, O.W. Heynen, who is represented elsewhere in this
work. Mr. Von Oven is a gentleman of education and refinement, with excellent business
capacities, and is conducting his present enterprise very successfully. He has had
considerable experience as a farmer, having owned and operated land in Saltillo Precinct,
Neb., before his removal to Miles. As a man and citizen he is held in high esteem; he is
a strong Republican, has a fine army record, and is a very efficient Sunday-School worker.
Personally he commands respect, being of fine appearance and address.
The little village of Hattingen, in the Province of Westphalia, Germany, was the native
place of our subject, where his birth occurred April 9, 1842, and he lived there until the
age of six years, when his father moved to near Duesseldorf, on the Rhine. He was brought
up on a farm, and attended what was then called the gymnasium, which corresponds to the
American academy for boys. He acquired a good practical education, and later assumed
charge of his father's farm until after the death of the latter in 1859. In the
meantime his two elder sisters and one brother had emigrated to America, settling at
Naperville, Ill., and were joined by their brother Adelbert in 1861.
After the outbreak of the Civil War, Mr. Von Oven enlisted as a Union soldier in Company
B, 105th Illinois Infantry, which spent two or three weeks in drilling at Dixon and
Chicago. They then received marching orders, and proceeding to Louisville, Ky., were
assigned to the army of Gen. Buell, took part in all the marches, fights, countermarches
after Gen. Morgan, and spent the winter of '63 in Ft. Negley, Nashville, Tenn. Thence
the army marched to Lookout Mountain in Tennessee. The 11th and 12th Corps being
consolidated formed the 20th Corps, commanded by Gen. Jos. Hooker, his regiment belonging
to the 3d Brigade, 3d Division. The regiment had its share in the battles of the Atlanta
campaign, commencing with Resaca, where the 3d Brigade captured a battery of four guns.
Our subject participated in the march to the sea, and was at Raleigh, N.C., at the time of
the surrender of the Rebel Gen. Johnston. His comrade, Ernest Heynen, a patriotic
foreign-born citizen, fell in!
the last battle of the regiment, being the last man killed in it.
Mr. Von Oven, although escaping wounds and capture, experienced his full share of the
hardships and privations of a soldier's life, but bore them with the sturdy courage
which has been one of the leading elements of his makeup. After the events above referred
to he went with his regiment to Washington, participating in the grand review, and later
received his honorable discharge at Chicago, after a service of two years and nine months.
In due time he and his brother Ernest started a nursery and berry farm at Naperville, but
Mr. Von Oven not liking the business sold out in 1869, and settled upon a farm at
Naperville, Ill., where he sojourned until 1879.
In the meantime our subject was married, in March, 1869, to Miss Anna, daughter of Ernest
and Matilda (Heynen). Mrs. Von Oven was born at Naperville, Ill., in JUne, 1851, and is
the sister of O.W. Heynen. They left Illinois in the spring of 1879, and removed to the
vicinity of Lincoln, Neb. Mr. Von Oven buying a farm in Centerville Precinct near Rora,
and battled with the elements of a new soil until in the fall of 1881. Then the climate
of Nebraska not being favorable to his health, he leased his farm, and coming to this
county assumed the management of the Miles Creamery, becoming the partner of Mr. Heynen.
This creamery was in a very sad condition at that time, the business having been
bankrupted, and at least $1,000 owing to the farmers around. By the exercise of
unremiting labor and excellent judgment Mr. Von Oven in due time succeeded in lifting it
out of its troubles, and placing it upon a sound footing. It required no small amount of
ingenuity to regain the confidence of the people, but this was accomplished, and the
creamery is now an established business. A great many improvements have been effected in
the apparatus and equipments, last but not least being the Separator system. Its patronage
has more than doubled in one year, and it is now a matter of public pride and
Messrs. Heynen & Von Oven are also the proprietors of a creamery at Spragueville, and
are likewise carrying on one at Andover. During the first year of Mr. Von Oven's
connection with the Miles Creamery they put out 40,000 pounds of butter, but in 1885 had
increased this product to 192,000 pounds. Their pay roll that year averaged $1,000 per
week. Mr. Von Oven in 1884 sold his farm property in Nebraska, and has since purchased a
nice home in Miles. His family includes four children, all sons - Oscar, Hugo, Edmund and
Adelbert. The eldest is attending the Northwestern Business College at Naperville. The
others are attending the district school. There were born to them two other sons in
Naperville who died at the ages of three years and fifteen months.
The parents of our subject were Frederick William and Elizabeth (Nottebohm) Von Oven, both
also natives of Westphalia, where they were reared and married, and spent their entire
lives. The father died in 1859, aged fifty-eight years, and the mother in 1886, ages
eighty-two. Their household included four sons and four daughters, three of whom are
living and residing in Naperville, Ill., and the eldest son and two daughters in Germany.
Mr. Von Oven, politically, is a stanch Republican, and has been of great assistance to his
party in this section, frequently officiating as a delegate to the various conventions,
and giving an active support to the principles in which he thoroughly believes. Both he
and his excellent wife are members in good standing of the Congregational Church.
Socially, Mr. Von Oven belongs to the G.A.R., and is Past Commander of the Post at Miles.
("Portrait and Biographical Album of Jackson County, Iowa", originally published
in 1889, by the Chapman Brothers, of Chicago, Illinois.)