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Albert Schmidt, Page 337
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ALBERT SCHMIDT is a man who has ever used his influence in the promotion of the welfare of his fellow-citizens, and has long been an honored resident of Sheboygan Township. He has seen the wonderful development of the county, and it is a source of great enjoyment to him to look backward over the period of forty years he has spent here, and think of the wonderful transformation that has been wrought. He owns a beautiful farm property, one of the most valuable places in the township, situated on section 21.
The birth of our subject took place March 4, 1838, in Prussia, Germany, his parents being Daniel and Lizette (Kramer) Schmidt. He is the eldest in a family of twelve children, comprising nine sons and three daughters. At the present time he has five brothers and one sister living. The father was also born in Prussia, in the year 1811, and his death occurred in 1883. He was a blacksmith by trade, and followed that calling until 1860, when he became a farmer. He crossed the Atlantic in 1853, sailing from Hamburg, and after six weeks spent on the high seas landed in New York City. He came to Sheboygan County when it was quite new, the date of his arrival being June, 1853, the year after the cholera had proved so disastrous in this region. He worked at his trade for several years, and then became owner of eighty acres of partly improved land. There was no house on the place, and he was obliged to erect a home for his family. He paid about $350 for the whole tract of land, and engaged in its cultivation until shortly before his death. He was a Democrat, and a man of honesty and integrity. He and his wife were members of the German Reformed Church. The lady was born about 1818, and is still living on the old homestead in Sheboygan Falls Township, with her youngest son.
A lad of fourteen years when he came to this county, Albert Schmidt at once set out to learn the blacksmith's trade, at which he worked for two years. Subsequently, he commenced learning the trade of a machinist at Smalley's Globe Foundry and Machine Ships, of which George A. Rodgers was foreman. He continued there until 1857, when he went to Milwaukee, and for three or four months worked in the railroad shops. Thence returning to Sheboygan, he again was employed in the old foundry, which in the mean time had changed hands and was then carried on under the firm name of Shafter, Newell & Vollroth. At the end of two years the firm was again changed, and in 1863 the shops were burned down. When the Globe Foundry was destroyed by fire it was owned by a Mr. Lathrop. Our subject was foreman of the machine shop. Philip Meyer was foreman of the foundry department, and Henry Foeste foreman of the wood-work department. These gentlemen formed a partnership, under the firm name of Foeste & Co., Globe Foundry, erecting works at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Ninth Street. Their work comprised all kinds of machinery, engines, threshing-machines, plows and all kinds of agricultural implements. These gentlemen, who are so well known in the early history of Sheboygan, were in partnership for eleven years and met with signal success.
In 1875 Messrs. Schmidt and Philip Meyer sold their interest in the foundry business to their partner and retired entirely from a commercial career. The former purchased eighty acres of land, which was partly improved and only a-half mile distant from the city limits. As the years have passed, the city has been extended, until this farm is now only a quarter of a mile away. The place is one of the most valuable on the Sheboygan Road. It is beautifully located, and the owner has erected a fine modern residence and good barns, in addition to which he has also made other valuable improvements on the place. Land located on the various sides of his farm has been sold at prices ranging from $525 to $1,500 per acre, and thus it can readily be seen that should he choose to sell his place he would be in possession of a large fortune.
The marriage of our subject and Miss Augusta Paulmann was celebrated February 28, 1861. The lady is a native of Hanover, born November 10, 1840. To them have been born three children. Lillie is the wife of George J. McGraw, manager of a large wholesale furniture house and of the Crocker Chair Company of Minneapolis, Minn. They have two children. Julia is the wife of Reginald Carl Zillier, one of the leading business men of Sheboygan. They also have two children. Charles A., of Minneapolis, is bookkeeper in the furniture establishment of the Crocker Chair Company, of which his brother-in-law is manager. he has been given a college education and was in the German Bank of Sheboygan for four years.
When Mr. and Mrs. Schmidt commenced their married life, they had barely enough money to pay for their marriage license, and now they are classed among the prosperous and representative citizens of Sheboygan Township. This fact shows what can be done by the proper exercise of energy, determination and economy. They have made a fortune for themselves and children, and have given the latter superior educations. For many years they have been members of the Congregational Church of Sheboygan, and have taken a leading part in good works and benevolent enterprises of all kinds. In political sentiment, Mr. Schmidt is a Republican, but cast his first Presidential vote for Stephen A. Douglas. His right of franchise has been exercised as he deems most wise for his country's good. He has never aspired to any position of municipal authority in his township, but is a loyal and patriotic son of his adopted land.
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