Sunday, August 9, 2015

John Henry Schroeder

As I was researching genealogy for my sister's family recently, I came across an interesting entry in Harding's History of Decatur County.  It is about the patriarch of the Schroeder family in Decatur County and it is very informative to the genealogist and historian.

The student interested in the history of Decatur County does not have to carry his investigations far into its annals before learning that John Henry Schroeder has long been one of its most active citizens, in both its mercantile and agricultural interests, and that his labors have been a potent force in advancing the interests of this locality. Mr. Schroeder has lived a useful and honorable life, a life characterized by perseverance and well defined purpose and he has established a character as a man who measures up to the type of the good American citizen. To him there also belongs the distinction of being the oldest resident of Decatur County.  John Henry Schroeder, who lives on a farm adjoining the town of Enochsburg, Salt Creek Township, was born in Germany, November 19, 1822, the son of Frank and Mary Elizabeth Schroeder who came to America two years after their son had located here. When John H. Schroeder was about fourteen years of age, in 1836, enthused by the wonderful stories of the great possibilities in the United States for a young man of ambition and energy, he came to this country, locating first at Cincinnati, where he engaged in common labor. He also worked in a store for five years. In 1841 he went to Louisville, Kentucky, where, for five years, he was employed in a store, and in 1846 went to Missouri, and clerked in a store at Lottsport. Two years later he returned to Louisville and after a residence there of one year came to Decatur County in 1849, locating in Enochsburg, where he established a store, which he operated with considerable success for about eight years. It was at a period antedating the advent of railroads in this section of the state and it was necessary to bring his stock of goods from Cincinnati. On one occasion when he was sending a wagon load of dressed hogs to the Cincinnati market and while crossing a stream near Harrison, the ice broke and the valuable team of horses which he was driving was drowned. When he discontinued his store at Enochsburg, Mr. Schroeder located on the farm where he now lives and which comprises two hundred and seven acres of valuable land. He has resided there for about forty years and has worked a wonderful transformation in the condition of the place. At the time he moved upon it there were no improvements of any kind and it was necessary for him to cut timber in order to erect his buildings. He since then has done strenuous labor, but despite his hard luck he is now, at the advanced age of ninety-three years, remarkably well preserved, both physically and mentally. He has always taken a keen interest in local affairs and has lent his aid to the advancement of all worthy propositions and to the raising of the standard of living. While living in Enochsburg he served two years as trustee of the township, and one term as appraiser and was in other ways prominent in the affairs of his neighborhood. During the Mexican War, Mr. Schroeder assisted in organizing a company for service and also helped to organize a military company during the Civil War.

On February 8, 1849, Mr. Schroeder was married to Elizabeth Tuka, who was born in Germany on September 8, 1828, and who passed away in March, 1894. She came to America, locating in Louisville when fourteen years of age and her marriage to Mr. Schroeder occurred at Enochsburg. To Mr. and Mrs. Schroeder were born the following children: Henry H., Henry, deceased; Everhard Henry, October 9, 1832, who died in 1905; John G., November 17, 1854, who lives three miles south of Greensburg and who is married and has four sons. John, Edward, Frank and Gregory : John Ambrosius, deceased; Herman Henry, October 24, 1858, was married, July 13, 1897, to Rosa Sandrock; Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Northorst, of New Albany, is the mother of three children, Joseph, Rosa and Henry; Louisa Zizilia, December, 1862; Mrs. Annie Frances Thea, of Posey county, who has seven children, Rosa, Elizabeth, Joseph, Clara, Frances, Julia and Anthony ; Rosa Clara Wessels died in Louisville, Kentucky, on November 23, 1899. at the age of thirty-two years, leaving four children, Lizzie, Bennie, Edward and Rosa. John Henry Schroeder also has four great-grandchildren, namely : Joseph and Leonard, sons of his grandson, John ; and Richard and Paul, sons of Joseph Northorst.

Mr. Schroeder has been a life-long adherent of the principles of the Democratic party, having cast his first Presidential vote for Henry Clay and has voted for every Democratic presidential candidate since. His religious affiliation is with the Enochsburg Catholic church, of which he is a liberal supporter.

As the oldest resident of Decatur County, J. H. Schroeder has seen his county develop from a sparsely settled community to its present prosperous condition, and has performed a very important part in helping to bring about the advanced standing of the locality. Though now in the evening of life, he is still hale and hearty and enjoys life with the zest of a far younger man. His long residence in this section has given him a great number of friends, by whom he is held in the highest esteem for his many commendable traits of character.
History of Decatur County by Lewis Harding pages 882-884

John Gregory Schroeder and Elizabeth Pulsing Schroeder with sons John, Edward, Frank and Gregory.

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