Representative John E. Wichman View All Years

Compiled Historical Information
Date of Death: 3/28/1929
Birth Place: Galena, IL
Party Affiliation: Republican
Assemblies Served:
Senate: 39 (1921) - 40 (1923)
House: 37 (1917) - 38 (1919)
Home County: Hancock
John E. Wichman
Hancock County


MR. PRESIDENT: Your committee which was appointed to report resolutions commemorating the life, character and services of the late John E. Wichman, begs leave to submit the following report and moves its adoption:

John E. Wichman was born in Galena, Illinois, April 16, 1859. He lived in Galena until 21 years of age. After finishing the public schools he entered the Northwestern German English college, an institution owned by the German Methodist Church, which was then situated at Galena, but later removed to Charles City, Iowa, and in still later years merged with Morningside college at Sioux City. He graduated from the normal department of this school in 1876. After his graduation he taught school and in 1881 came to Iowa, settling near Garner, Hancock County, where he worked on a farm during the summer and taught school during the rest of the year.

He began the study of law at Garner in the spring of 1882, in the office of A. C. Ripley, remaining with him a year and then pursuing his studies in the office of H. H. Bush, of Garner, with whom he formed a partnership which continued for six years. He was admitted to the bar in 1884.

He had practiced law in Garner continuously from that time until the time of his decease. For the past fifteen years he had been in partnership with I. C. Hastings. He was an able and successful practitioner of his profession and was held in the highest esteem by his colleagues.

He served Hancock County in the State Legislature in the Thirty-seventh and Thirty-eighth General Assemblies, 1917-1921. In the Thirty-ninth, Fortieth and Fortieth extra General Assemblies he represented the Forty-third Senatorial District, Cerro Gordo, Franklin and Hancock counties, as their Senator. He was a member of the commission that made the revision of the Iowa Code, which was accepted by the State Legislature in 1924.

He has held various positions of trust in Garner and her environs, and has carried responsibility well. He was mayor of the city for two terms, several years on the city council, served for years on the school board, four years as county attorney, and always worked shoulder to shoulder with the rank and file of the citizens. He was modest and unassuming, and accomplished his work in a quiet manner.

He was married to Mary Lucy Prescott, November 15, 1888. To this union there were born three daughters, one dying in infancy. The two remaining, Mrs. Lois Fenlon, of Clinton, Iowa, and Charlotte Hindt of Rock Rapids, Iowa. These daughters, together with his faithful wife and companion, remain to mourn the passing of a devoted husband and father. He also leaves one brother, Fred Wichman of Alhambra, California, and a sister, Mrs. George Merten of Garner.

While the professional and political life carried him much into the public yet no one was a greater lover of home than he.

He was a member of the Masonic order, the Blue Lodge and the Chapter in Garner and the Commandery in Mason City. He was also a member of the Lions’ Luncheon Club.

The Methodist church has always been his church home and he was regular at her worship. For years he was chairman of the board of trustees. For many years he sang in the choir and to every interest, local and missionary, he gave a generous support. He was ever loyal to his pastor and he will be sorely missed in the church he loved.

In his last illness, which necessitated a very serious operation, and which terminated in his death, he was confined to the hospital just thirty days. Everything was done for him that was known to the best medical and surgical science but to no avail and he passed on and out “to that undiscovered country, from whose bourne no traveler returns.”

He had a wide acquaintance throughout the state who were numbered among his friends. These, together with the “home folks,” will mourn his passing.

For many years in the Twelfth Judicial District of this state and in the Supreme Court where he was engaged in legal practice, he was recognized by judges and his brother lawyers as a careful trial lawyer of fine legal ability, a safe and trusted adviser and a high-minded, courteous gentleman whose word was always good. He was faithful to his clients, true to his friends and true also as a capable public servant. He was incapable of trickery or unworthy conduct in politics or in public life as well as in business and social life. Probably his most outstanding work as a member of the Senate was his work in connection with the code revision.

The death of John E. Wichman brings deep sorrow to his friends and associates in this legislative body and regret to all who knew him.

Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved by the Senate of the Forty-third General Assembly of Iowa, that in the death of John E. Wichman, the people of the Forty-third Senatorial District and the people of the entire State of Iowa have sustained a great loss. Everywhere he was known as a man honored and trusted, a man of sterling quality and irreproachable character.

Therefore, Be It Further Resolved, That we extend to his estimable wife and to his family the deepest sympathy of this Body, and that we join with them in mourning the departure of so good a man. Their husband and father we shall ever remember as our friend and a true public servant of the people.

Be It Further Resolved, That a copy of this resolution be spread upon the journal of this Senate and that the secretary be directed to send an engrossed copy thereof to the family of the deceased.