John Clausen was born in Germany in 1832. He came to America when he was 21 years old and worked in New York City for a few years before coming to Council Bluffs in 1856. He worked several odd jobs here before saving enough money to open a grocery store at Park and Broadway known as the One Horse Grocery.
In 1856 John married Anna Bergfleth, who immigrated from Germany with her parents. Together they had eleven children, only seven survived infancy.
Eventually John Clausen expanded the grocery business to hardware and implements. Later he operated a successful transfer business.
Mr. Clausen was also active in city affairs. He was city treasurer, on the board of the State Savings Bank, member of the school board and a long time volunteer fireman.
His business was located at 100 East Broadway and his home was at 407 East Broadway. He and Anna were members of the Episcopal and Methodist Church.
By all accounts John and Anna Clausen were well respected citizens of Council Bluffs.
From the History of Pottawattamie County:
“His interest in community affairs was deep and sincere and rose from an earnest desire for the city’s welfare and upbuidling. No movement for the public good ever sought his aid in vain and on the contrary he stanchly advocated every measure that tended to benefit Council Bluffs and the county at large”
After being ill with typhoid fever for 3 weeks John Clausen died August 26, 1900 at the age of 68. Anna Clausen died December 18, 1915 at the age of 81. They are buried in Fairview Cemetery.