Henry J. Schroeder
HENRY J. SCHROEDER, one of the old and well known contractors and builders of Beardstown, was born in the kingdom of Hanover, Germany, in 1833. His father, Fred Schroeder, had always been a farmer and he died when about 74 years of age, at Beardstown, and his wife died some time later, aged seventy-eight. The family came to the United States in 1844, and came straight to Beardstown upon landing in New Orleans. They came by the usual route up the Mississippi river to St. Louis, and from there up the Illinois river to their destination. Henry was a boy of eleven when he came to this city, and has since made it his home. He grew up, learning the trade of carpenter, and worked as journeyman for a time, and later was with his father-in-law, Henry Mohlman, in his substantial planing mill for some years. It was the first business of the kind in the city, and the firm was successful in doing work for a large territory and for all the lumber yards of the city. The railroads that came into the city interfered with the business, and Mr. Schroeder sold out his interest and launched into the flour-mill business; but a change in the making of flour came about, and to change from buhr to roller process required large outlays: so Mr. Schroeder traded his mill off for a farm and went back to his trade as a carpenter and a contractor. He has since followed his trade and has built many of the houses and public buildings of Beardstown. Among some of the buildings that he has constructed are the Park house, leading hotel of the city, opera house and many others that all bear testimony to the skill of the contractor and builder. He has dealt extensively in real estate, and has an interest in the Mohlman and Schroeder block, one of the best in the city. He also owns one of the largest and best two-and-one-half-story brick houses in the city. He has been a leading worker in local matters and a truly good citizen. For many years he has been a Democrat in politics, and his party once made him Alderman of the city. He has retired, to a certain extent, from active business and now enjoys the fruit of his labors. His sons succeed him: so there is no necessity for him to exert himself in regard to his business interests.
Mr. Schroeder was the first child that his parents had. He was followed by four sisters, but no brothers. The family were Lutherans, and are most of the German families, and were noted for their thrift and honesty. He has only one sister living, Jeanie Walch, of Leavenworth, Kansas.
He was married in Beardstown, to Miss Anna Mohlman, born in one of the Rhine provinces, Germany, in 1841, a daughter of Henry Mohlman, and when young she came to this country with her parents, and has since resided here. She is an intelligent woman, a good, kind wife, mother and neighbor. Mr. and Mrs. Schroeder have seven children, namely: Edward, a contractor of Beardstown, married to Mrs. Annie Balsemier; Dilla, wife of Charles Heinzes, of Beardstown; Henry G., a trimmer by trade, with Mr. Henry Keil, a hardware merchant of this city, and married to Miss Mene Wipker; George, at home, a carpenter; Rhoda, Walter and Edith: the last three named are all at home. Mr. Schroeder has a married daughter, Sarah, wife of Charles Kreke, a furniture dealer of this city. She is a child by a former marriage to Miss Dora Christiana, now deceased.
Mr. and Mrs. Schroeder are members of the Fourth Street Lutheran Church, and are liberal supporters of the same, of which Mr. Schroeder used to be a Trustee.
Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois, Biographical Review Publishing Co., Chicago, 1892, pages 274-275.
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