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Genealogy

 

Bontrager Gallery

 

Grandfather David Bontrager was born in Fairfield Co, OH and came to IA with his father John in 1877.  He was a descendant of John Bontrager, son of the immigrant Martin Borntraeger, and younger brother of Andrew Borntrager.  David married Mary Kempf, daughter of Samuel Kempf, and granddaughter of John Kempf, the second of the four immigrants tracked on these pages.  He was a farmer until the children were born and then moved to Amish (now Joetown) where he was a blacksmith..  In 1944 he retired to Kalona.

The pictures are thumbnails which will open in a new page when clicked.  The top three rows of pictures where graciously arranged for by Lois Gugel at the Kalona Historical Museum and Archives.  Lois grew up across the road from David Bontrager and recalls that her mother often heard Maggie singing "The Old Rugged Cross" while working in her garden.  The last four photos are from the Gladys Bontrager "family archives"

Amish Post Office

Located 16 miles SW of Iowa City and on the "angling road" used by the 49ers, the town boasted a hotel and livery stable. The town was renamed Joetown early in the 1900's.

David E Bontrager home in Joetown

Built by Fred Dickel, an Amishman from the Amana Colony, ca 1894. David bought it ca 1915 and worked in the blacksmith shop next door. Webmaster and younger brother are sitting on the steps, ca 1941

Back of the David Bontrager house

Blacksmith Shop

David Edwin and Mary Magdalena (Maggie) Kempf Bontrager

David Edwin (1873-1952)

Maggie (1874-19730

Great Uncle Dan, brother of David

1869-1950

Uncle Ora Ray Bontrager (1898-1986)

David & Maggies oldest child.

David & Maggie Children

Lois (1912-2012 )

Cecil (1910-2001)

Lloyd (1901-1994)

Gladys (1905-2002)

Maggie & kids

Back - Lois, Florence (1903-2003), David Russell (1908-1971), Gladys

Front - Maggie, Nadine (1915-1970)

Other information taken from "Recollections of Joetown", Mrs. Owen Swartzendruber (Lois Gugel) & John K Swartzendruber, Kalona Graphics, 1978