Among the worthy citizens that Germany has furnished to the new world is Clements Rethmann, who is now extensively and successfully engaged in general farming on section 14, Marion township, Nemaha county. His birth occurred in Prussia, in 1833, and he belongs to one of the old families of that country. His grandfather, Barney Rethmann, was also a native of Prussia, and was one of the well-to-do farmers there. Barney Rethmann, Jr., the father of our subject, was horn in the same locality and was reared to agricultural pursuits, which he also made his life work. He married Elizabeth Hotthouse, who was born in Prussia. By their union they became the parents of nine children of whom Clements was the youngest. The father died at the age of fifty-seven years, and the mother's death occurred when she was sixty years of age.
Mr. Rethmann of this review spent the days of his boyhood and youth in the land of his nativity, and, determining to try his fortunes in America, crossed the Atlantic. Locating in Cincinnati, he drove a coal team there for five years, and on the expiration of that period he came to Marion township, Nemaha county, which was then a part of Richmond township. His first home was a little log cabin of one room, and there was not another house within five miles of him. By hard work and perseverance he has accumulated a handsome competence, and has overcome obstacles and difficulties which would have utterly disheartened many men of less resolute spirit. The nucleus of his farm was a tract of forty acres, to which he has added from time to time until he is now the owner of three hundred and sixty acres, all of which is in a good state of cultivation. He raises the cereals best adapted to this climate, and his models of practical farming have resulted in bringing him satisfactory success. He is also engaged very extensively in stock-raising and has now more than one hundred head of hogs upon his place. He also makes a specialty of the raising of cattle, and he has some fine horses of superior breeds.
Mr. Rethmann was united in marriage, in 1871, to Miss Agnes Gettmating, who was born in Prussia, Germany, and came to America in 1870, taking up her abode in Cincinnati. Her father, Frank Gettmating, was also born in Prussia, made firming his life work and died at the ripe old age of seventy-five years. Unto our subject and his wife have been born six children, namely: Mary, Christianna, Anna, Josephine, Charley and Bennie. All have been provided with good educational privileges, thus being fitted for life's practical and responsible duties.
The cause of education finds in Mr. Rethmann a warm friend who has done effective service in its behalf. He filled the office of school trustee for eleven years, and during his incumbency largely promoted the educational interests in his locality. He and his family are members of the Catholic church, and have aided in erecting four different houses of worship in St. Benedict. Their present financial condition and pleasant surroundings are in great contrast with their home life of many years ago, when they took up their abode here amidst a frontier settlement. For a year they lived on corn bread and pork, and Mr. Rethmann fed his cattle on hay, for he could get nothing else. As years have passed, however, his financial resources have steadily increased as the result of his continuous and well directed labors, and his capable management and enterprise have been rewarded by the acquisition of a handsome property.