The name of John Isch is well known among the leading farmers of the Flathead country, whither he came many years ago, and through close attention to business and unswerving industry he has met with a large degree of material success. He comes of sturdy Swiss stock, he himself having been born in Switzerland and his family on both sides going far back into the annals of the mountains and valleys of that wonderful little republic. So he has in him many of the elements that always win in the battle of life, no matter where fought out, and while he was fortunate in coming to a rich country where the soil was strong, competition not too fierce and where, as the English poet, Mackay, wrote a century ago, "the humblest may gather the fruits of the soil," if they be willing to put forth a little effort, yet Mr. Isch, no doubt, would have succeeded in establishing a good home in any country or locality where he might have settled.
John Isch was born in 1854, the son of John and Fannie Isch. His parents brought their little family to the United States when the subject was but six months old, their first home here being established in Iowa. In that neighborhood he was reared to manhood and secured a good practical education in the public schools. Subsequently the family moved to the state of Illinois, where both of the parents spent the remainder of their lives and died. The subject, who has devoted his entire active life to agricultural pursuits, acquired considerable farming land in Iowa, but when he finally decided to make his permanent home in Montana he disposed of his Iowa holdings and devoted his entire attention to his home ranch. Progressive and energetic, Mr. Isch was enabled to create a home that would be hard to excell in the way of comfort and convenience. A good business manager, he was successful through the years, enjoying an enviable reputation throughout this section of the country as an enterprising, industrious and far-sighted farmer. After applying himself indefatigably to his farm through the years until 1917, Mr. Isch decided to retire from the active management of the farm and moved to Kalispell, where, at the edge of that attractive little city, he owns a comfortable home, surrounded by thirteen acres of land, and where he expects to spend the rest of his days in the enjoyment of that rest which his years of toil so richly entitle him.
Mr. Isch was married to Wilhelmina Nels, who was born in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany, the daughter of Louise and Ernestine (Donvagen) Nels. To Mr. and Mrs. Isch have been born ten children, namely: Josephine, Emma Alfred, Herman, August, Julius, Lena, Henry, Ella and Minnie. Josephine became the wife of Samuel Streit, and to them were born the following children: Josephine, Emma, Della, John, Helen, Edna, Gladys, Herman and Daisy. The mother of these children died in 1918 of the influenza. Emma became the wife, first, of Frank Will, and they had one daughter, Caroline. After the death of Mr. Will Emma became the wife of Rudolph Striet, of Alabama, and to them were born seven children: Willie, Julius, Minnie, Mary, Margaret, Paul and August, the lattr deceased. Herman, who is a successful rancher near Kalispell, married Hattie Jacobson, and they have four children, May, Grace, Mary Louise and Josephine. August, who also operates a ranch in the Flathead Valley, was married to Hilda Jacobson, now deceased, and they had one child, Viva. Julius enlisted in the United States army for service in the recent World war, was first sent to Camp Lewis and then to France, where he spent eighteen months. He took part in many of the notable engagements in which the "doughboys" had a part and was severely wounded in battle. He was finally returned to the United States and honorably discharged. He is married to Emma Bernard. Lena is the wife of Frank Donek, and they have two children, Rozelle and Francis. Henry was married to Anna Jensen, and they have one son, Harry. Ella remains at home with her parents. Minnie became the wife of Gus Wendt and the mother of three children, Vivian, Eva and Wayne.
In his political views Mr. Isch is not bound by party ties, though he sees some good in all parties. But he reserves the right to vote for the men and measures which in his view promise to be of the greatest enefit to the greatest number. Fraternally he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Mrs. Isch was reared in the faith of the Lutheran Church, of which she is a faithful member. Mr. Isch has been closely identified with the progress and prosperity which has characterized the Flathead Valley, and a history embracing this section of th state would not be complete without the foregoing reference to his life and the success he has achieved as an earnest, courageous laborer in one of the most important fields of endeavor, agriculture. He is public spirited and generous, and enjoys to an eminent degree the confidence and good will of all who know him.
Extracted from "Montana Its Story and Biography" Volume III; Tom Stout, editor; page 844