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Fayette County, Iowa
Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa
Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of
Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County
Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago
C. Theo Schmid
C THEO SCHMID is engaged in the manufacture of harness in Elgin, where he has won for himself an enviable reputation as a straightforward business man and leading citizen. He was born in Eriswyl, Canton Berne, Switzerland, November 15, 1843, and is the seventh in a family of eight children whose parents, Frederick and Lisette (Mauerhofer) Schmid, were also natives of Switzerland, where they spent their entire lives. His father engaged in various pursuits but made farming his principal occupation. Of their family four are yet living. Two came to the United States some ten years prior to the emigration of our subject, and F. W. Schmid is now a farmer of Clayton County, Iowa.
Our subject received good school advantages, acquiring an academic education and before attaining to his majority he sailed for America in 1864, reaching his destination after three weeks. This was a long voyage on the steamer. Coming to this county the same year, he served an apprenticeship of two years in the harness shop of C. F. Weck, of Clermont, and then worked a year for his employer as a journeyman. On the 20th of May, 1867, he was joined in wedlock with Miss Mary Brien, a native of Liverpool, England, who in her girlhood came with her mother to the United States and settled in Clayton County, Iowa. Six children graced their union, namely: G. Edwin, J. Clement, Fannie L., F. Max, who was drowned in the Turkey River at the age of ten years; M. Winnifred and M. Verona.
In 1867 Mr. Schmid became a resident of Elgin where he has since made his home. He bought a small stock of materials and embarked in the harness-making business for himself, but a constantly increasing trade has forced him to enlarge his stock correspondingly until his store might well belong to a much larger place. He owns the two-story brick building in which he does business, and is also interest in the Elgin (Iowa) Canning Company, of which he is now one of the directors. Whatever success he has met with in life, and this is not a little, is due to his own efforts, and he has won the commendation implied by the term, self-made man. In connection with his other business interests he represents the Hartford and Springfield, Mass., insurance companies and the Home Insurance Company, of New York. He has taken quite an active part in political affairs in support of the Democratic party, and has been a member of the School Board of Elgin fifteen years and Justice of the Peace for more than twelve years, both of which positions he still holds. He has also been Notary Public for ten years, and his long continued service in these offices indicates his faithfulness and fidelity to duty. Socially Mr. Schmid is a Knight Templar Mason, a member of the United Workman Society, and also of the Legion of Honor. He has made many warm friends while residing in this community and secured the respect of all with whom business or pleasure have brought him in contract."
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