Theresa Sartori


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Lee R White

    Theresa Sartori was born in the city of Baden, Germany, on September 27, 1833. She was the only daughter of Conrad Wangler, who had three younger sons. Her father, the burgomaster of the city, would not allow Theresa to marry Joseph Sartori. So Sartori left for the United States, leaving her behind. In 1857, he sent for her to come over to the United States to be with him. [1] She landed in New Jersey, where Sartori met her and they were married there. [2] After they were married, they traveled across country, stopping in Chicago and Dubuque, before ending their journey in Cedar Falls. When they arrived in Cedar Falls, they purchased some land to build their family home, which still stands today at 603 Clay Street. Theresa gave birth to their two children, Joseph Francis and Ludwig, but only Joseph lived into adulthood. [3] 

    Joseph Sartori became an important businessman in Cedar Falls, and his wife also played a role in Cedar Falls society. In 1860, Theresa was elected the first president of a Ladies’ Aid Society at her church. She held that post for forty years. She also participated in other activities around the community. She helped the sick and homebound in Cedar Falls, and she was also a member of the Women’s Relief Corps. [4] She founded the Cedar Falls Woman’s Club together with Sarah Radell, a close friend. [5] Theresa Sartori developed cancer in her later years and suffered with it until her death on December 24, 1901. After her death, her husband and son arranged for a hospital to be built in Cedar Falls to honor her. This hospital became known as the Sartori Memorial Hospital. [6] 


1. Neva Henrietta Radell and The Sartori Committee, The Sartori Legacy (Cedar Falls: Cedar
    Falls Historical Society, 1985), 4. 

2. Cedar Falls Historical Society Archives: Series III: Box 11A:  Folder 2 (Sartori Family),
    Biographical Material of Sartori  family. 

3. The Sartori Legacy, 5. 

4. The Sartori Legacy, 22. 

5. Glenda Riley, Cities on the Cedar: a portrait of Cedar Falls, Waterloo and Black Hawk County
    (Parkersburg, Iowa: Mid-Prairie Books, 1988), 41. 

6. The Sartori Legacy, 23. 


Cedar Falls Historical Society Archives: Series III: Box 11A: Folder 2: Sartori Family. 

Radell, Neva Henrietta, and The Sartori Committee. The Sartori Legacy (Cedar Falls: Cedar
    Falls Historical Society, 1985). 

Riley, Glenda. Cities on the Cedar: a portrait of Cedar Falls, Waterloo and Black Hawk County.
    Parkersburg, Iowa: Mid-Prairie Books, 1988. 

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