Johann Friedrich Mutterer, or Friedrich to those who knew him best was born October 26th 1856 in Hofen Germany. He was the only child of Johann George and Anna Mutterer. Friedrich’s parents were successful farmers in southeastern Germany along the border with France. In 1876 Friedrich married Magdalena Braunning. 13 months later they were blessed with their first son, Hermann (later called affectionally called HAM). Two more boys were born before 1884 when The Mutterers decided to immigrate to the United Stated of America. Landing in New York the family eventually made its way to Rockford sometime in 1885. The family chose Rockford in part because members of the Kettenacker family whom they know from Germany had already settled there and had positive reports of the area. Friedrich initially worked as a farm hand in the area. Soon he saved enough money to rent land he could farm himself. In 1897 he bought his first 80 acres to farm and set forth to clear the woods and create farmable land. Two years later another 80 acres was purchased and he built his own log home. In 1910 still living on the farm he built a “modern home” out of cement blocks he also made himself. By now Friedrich and Magdalena had 10 children, unfortunately one had drowned in the Buffalo River not far from Moorhead MN while working as a farm hand.
Fredrich was passionately involved in civic duties during the turn of the century. He represented the Rockford Creamery at several state meetings and fought to protect the members interests in milk pricing and unfair transportation costs imposed by the railroad. An active member in the Rockford Mutual Stock Shipping Association he worked to assist other farmers in bringing their cattle to market. Friedrich was also a charter member of Cross Lutheran Church who helped start the congregation and served as their first secretary which he continued for several years. In 1919 he retired from farming and moved into town. Sadly, a little over a year later his wife passed away after fighting heart issues. In retirement Friedrich served on the village council until he passed away Dec 29th, 1930. One sentence in his obituary summed up his time in Rockford well “Friedrich was a public spirited man who stood up for the best interests of the community.”