A Narrative History
The People of Iowa
ALBERT R. BLUHM. The banking interests of a community are necessarily among the most important, for financial stability must be the foundation stone upon which all great enterprises are built, and it is upon the banks of the
country that rest the possibilities of all progress. The men in charge of these institutions must be carefully selected, for it is from their wisdom, sagacity and foresight that the strength of a bank is drawn. One of the men of Ottumwa whose efforts are given to the continuance of the solidity of the Farmers & Merchants Bank of this city is Albert R. Bluhm, a man of high standing and
unquestioned probity, who holds the position of assistant cashier.
Albert R. Bluhm was born in Illinois, in 1878, a son of Godfrey and
Henrietta (Shultz) Bluhm. Godfrey Bluhm was born in Germany, and came to the United States from Berlin, in 1871, and settled in Tazewell County, Illinois. From that state he came to Iowa in 1907. At the time he came to this country he was a married man, and had served in the German army as a member of the Second Company of the Kaiser Franz Regiment of the Royal Guards, his captain being Count von Velou, afterwards chancellor of Germany. While serving in his regiment Godfrey Bluhm was on guard at the royal palace at the time of the reception given in 1855 to the then Crown Prince Frederick William and his bride Princess Victoria of England. Both in Germany and in this country the family is a well known and highly esteemed one, and Albert R. Bluhm, of this review, is living up to the high ideals of those who have gone before him.
Growing to manhood in Illinois, Albert R. Bluhm attended the local schools
and Valparaiso College, Indiana, and in 1907 he was graduated from the law
school of the University of Illinois. Following his graduation he came to
Wapello, Iowa, and engaged in farming, but several years later established himself at Ottumwa, where he was state organizer for the Grange. He was also one of the prime movers in organizing the Farmers & Merchants Bank of Ottumwa, the youngest of the seven banks of the city, which has forged ahead until it is recognized as one of the strongest in this section. In 1916 he became its assistant cashier, and still holds that position. In 1926 Mr. Bluhm was accorded signal recognition by being appointed bank examiner by Supt. L. A. Andrew, of Iowa. Fraternally Mr. Bluhm is a Mason. He is a staunch Republican and served for two years as secretary of the Wapello County Republican Central Committee, and for the last fourteen years he has been treasurer of this committee.
In 1912 Mr. Bluhm was married in Wapello County to Miss Maud Elizabeth Baker, born in November, 1888, in Wapello County, and for some years a teacher in the public schools. Mr. and Mrs. Bluhm have one son, Albert, Junior, who was born February 23, 1917. The family are members of the First Presbyterian Church of Ottumwa, and are active in the various departments of its work.
Mrs. Bluhm is a daughter of Frank D. Baker, and a granddaughter of Taylor L. Baker, the latter one of the first six to settle in Richland Township, Wapello County. He was a farmer, a progressive man, helpful in many ways, and he continued to reside there from the time of his settlement, in 1844, to his death. On her father's side of the house Mrs. Bluhm is descended from John Hill, an Englishman who came to the United States from Gloucester, in 1841. He, too, located in Richland Township, coming here in 1843, and he brought with him a violin which was made in the latter part of the seventeenth century, a remarkably fine and valuable instrument, now in the possession of Albert Bluhm, Junior, a student of the violin. Frank D. Baker, father of Mrs. Bluhm, was born in Wapello County, in 1860, and he still owns the farm on which his father, Taylor L. Baker, settled in 1844, although for some years past his home has been at Ottumwa. He married Miss Ellen Neil, who was born at Ottumwa, in 1860, daughter of Daniel and Eliza (Wilson) Neil. The Bakers and the Hills belonged to that pioneer stock so closely identified with the progress and development of Iowa. The young son of Mr. and Mrs. Bluhm has a splendid heritage from fine people on both sides of his family, and this, combined with the watchful training and home atmosphere given him by his parents, no doubt will result in the development of a citizen that will be a credit to all concerned.