The village of Froelich, Iowa came into existence after two childhood friends from Germany came to this area. The Mississippi River played an important part of this story.
Friend Herman Schneider came to America to avoid being drafted into the German Army at age 17. He became a blacksmith and gunsmith traveling often from Fort Crawford at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin across the great Mississippi River continuing West along the “Military Trail” to Fort Atkinson in Iowa. On these journeys he found an area in what is now known as Giard township to create a homestead for he & his wife, Margaret. Many letters were sent back home to his good friend, Henry Froelich, inviting friends and relatives to come here to live with Herman. Henry and a group of 27 others spent 3 months on a ship, finally landing at MacGregor’s landing on June 6, 1847. They settled in with Herman Schneider until each person was able to find their own place to live.
Henry Froelich settled just west of what became known as the village of Froelich named after him. He and his wife Kathryn had nine children. Their eldest son was John. John Froelich invented the very first successful gasoline tractor able to propel itself both forward and backward in 1892. This tractor was far-reaching in its effect on modern agricultural history, as it moved out of this village and into the World that year. By early 1893, Mr. Froelich joined with others in organizing the Waterloo Gasoline Traction Engine Company which in 1918 was purchased by the John Deere Tractor Company.
The Froelich Foundation for the Preservation of Farm Tractor History, Inc was formed in 1986. We are a nonprofit organization and Museum. Our Museum site is an 1890’s historical village sharing this fine history during our guided tours of our multi-building village museum site. Our tours include: The 1891 Iron Clad General Store, 1866 One Room Schoolhouse, 1920’s Freight Warehouse, Blacksmith Shop, Railroad Depot and train cars, 1903 Vintage Barn, and the Froelich Tractor Replica’s. Original buildings, relics and artifacts are included in our hands-on, family friendly oriented tours. Our site is all about catering to our tour guests, whether they are very young or just young at heart.
This is a “one-of-a-kind” historical village museum enjoyed by many from throughout the United States and many other countries each year!