Gode, Mr. Henry

Mr. Henry Gode

In 1903, Henry Gode was appointed as one of the nine trustees for the Marengo Public Library.  He was voted vice president of the board shortly after.  He was also a prominent business man in Marengo.  In 1884, Gode pursued his own business ventures and partnered with a man named E.J. Evans.  Together they created Gode & Evans.  This venture was shortlived, and Evans sold his half of the business to Gode later that same year.[1]  Gode became the president of his own establishment called the Henry Gode Dry Goods Company.  He was president of this company until 1904.  Gode was also on the first board of directors for the German American Savings Bank of Marengo, which was established in 1907, and he served on the city council for many years, playing as a key initiator for the water works in Marengo.[2]

Henry Gode was born in Germany on May 17, 1856.  His father, John Gode, immigrated to the United States in 1869 and purchased a farm in Iowa County during the fall of the same year.[3]  Henry lived for seven years on his father’s farm, then moved to Marengo in 1876, where he accepted a position as a clerk for the H. Deffinbough dry goods store.[4]  During his time as a clerk, Henry married another German immigrant by the name of Minnie Bennick on February 25, 1880.[5]  Together they had seven children.[6]  Gode passed away on April 28, 1938.[7]

-Hannah Hacker

1938 clipping from The Register’s Iowa News Service announcing Henry Gode’s death. [9]
Henry Gode’s gravestone in the Marengo IOOF Cemetery.[8]









[1] Though no information on why Evans left could be found in the biography or Marengo history by Dinwiddie, there was information on Evans becoming the cashier for the Peoples Savings Bank in 1905.

[2] James C. Dinwiddie, History of Iowa County, Iowa, and Its People, vol. 1, (Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing, 1915).

[3] There was not much information to be found about the rest of his immediate family, like his mother. He did have a brother named Claus. Source: “Claus Makes Visit to Brother Henry Gode in Marengo, IA c 1911.” Newspapers.com, Ancestry, 18 Mar. 2018.

[4] James C. Dinwiddie, History of Iowa County, Iowa, and Its People, vol. 1, (Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing, 1915).

[5] Minnie was from Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, but there was no specific area of Germany mentioned for where Gode was from.

[6] No names of the children were listed, and three of the children died during their infancy.

[7] “Henry Gode Dies Marengo, IA c. 1938.” Newspapers.com, Ancestry, 18 Mar. 2018; Gother, Bill. “Henry Gode.” Findagrave.com, Find A Grave, 11 Aug. 2011.

[8] Grother, Bill. “Henry Gode 1856-1938”, Findagrave.com, Find A Grave, 11 Aug. 2011, www.findagrave.com/memorial/74756474/henry-gode.

[9] “Henry Gode Dies Marengo, IA c. 1938,” Newspapers.com, Ancestry, 18 Mar. 2018, www.newspapers.com/clip/18410367/henry_godes_dies_marengo_ia_c_1938/.