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The career of this successful businessman has been crowned with results which must be taken as another evidence of the progressive quality of the German-American character. Joseph Geiger was born in Baden, Germany, July 28, 1853, was educated in the Fatherland and came to the United States at the age of seventeen years, poor in purse and ignorant of the English language. After spending six months in New York city, he went to Texas, where he remained two years. Then he lived two years in Iowa. By that time he was pretty thoroughly Americanized, for he was a studious and observant young man, with everything to accomplish and with an indomitable determination to make his way in spite of any and all obstacles.
From Iowa he came to Genesee valley, in Idaho, and took up a government ranch of three hundred and twenty acres. There were not, at that time, more than half a dozen settlers in the valley, and Lewiston and Walla Walla were the nearest towns. Mr. Geiger built upon and im-proved this holding, sold it at a profit and bought other lands, and he still owns one hundred acres of rich clover land, about a mile from the center of the city of Genesee. He is the owner also of considerable town property, including one of the most cozy and comfortable homes in Genesee.
In 1888 the firm of Geiger & Kambitch built and established the Genesee brewery, one of the pioneer concerns of the town. The plant has been enlarged from time to time to meet the requirements of the increasing trade of the growing town, and it has been kept always adequate to the demands upon it. The beer made by Messrs. Geiger & Kambitch is of superior quality, and finds ready sale in Genesee and throughout the surrounding country.
In 1889 Mr. Geiger married Miss Meta Smith, and their union was blessed by the advent of one child, a daughter, whom they named Ann. His young wife died when they had had but two years of happy married life. In 1893 Mr. Geiger married Miss Charlotte Brager, and to them have been born two children, Tillie and Fred. Mrs. Geiger is an admirable woman, an affectionate wife and mother and helpful in the woman’s work of the city. The family are members of the Catholic church.
A stanch Democrat, Mr. Geiger is influential in the public affairs of Genesee. He has been for two terms president of the city council and in other ways has done the community good service. In every sense of the term, he is a public-spirited citizen, and his generosity has been manifested not only in the building of his own church, but in the establishment and material advancement of the other churches of Genesee. He is always ready to aid to the extent of his ability any movement which has for its object the promotion of the public good. He is unostentatious in his private helpfulness, but it is known that ignore than one man has found him “a friend in need.”