MILF L. SCHMIDT. The successful general farmer who is located on section 27, Gillespie Township, is the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. He has lived on his farm in the above-mentioned township for the past three years, and he also owns a fine farm of two hundred and thirty-one acres, most of which is well improved and well stocked; it also has very good farm buildings. He formerly owned and lived on another farm in this township.
Mr. Schmidt came to this county in 1869, and has ever since lived in Gillespie Township, having improved the property which he has owned to a very great degree. Twenty years ago our subject was a poor, laboring man. He was born in the Province of Hanover, Germany, April 18, 1853. He grew up and was educated in his native country and prides himself that he comes from a good long-lived race of people. His father was born and reared in Hanover, where he operated a small farm, and there lived until the fall of the year 1890, when he came to the United States and at once to Illinois, joining his sons in their home. The father is now seventy-nine years of age, having nearly reached that age when he crossed the ocean. He is still hale and hearty and anticipates with great pleasure the return voyage in a few months. He likes the new country, but feels that he is too far advanced in life to learn the language and ways of the land. He is a member of the Lutheran Church and all his life has been characterized by a simplicity of action, justness of purpose and the greatest kindness of heart. Our subject's mother was a Hanover lady, her maiden name being Hannah Meyer. She lived all her life in her native province, where she died in 1871, being at the time three score years of age. She also was a member of the Lutheran Church. She was the mother of six children, of whom our subject is the fourth in order of birth; two sons and one daughter are still living. Our subject and two brothers, Mona G. and Henry H., came to this country, the former of whom now lives in Sheridan County, Neb., at Hayes Springs, where he is a farmer; the latter died after his arrival in this country. His decease took place in Gillespie Township and county.
Our subject was the first of his family to leave the Fatherland. He took passage from Bremen on the steamer "Bremen," leaving the harbor May 26, 1869. After his landing in New York City he came on immediately to this county and township. Mr. Schmidt was soon afterward married in this place to Miss Joanna D. Heien, who was born in Hanover, Germany, April 4, 1851, being only a few months old when her parents, William and Doratere (Schoeling) Heien, came to this country, leaving Bremen in the latter part of the year 1851, and landing in New Orleans. In coming North they ascended the Mississippi River to Alton, where they lived for some time and then came on to Macoupin County, where they settled in Gillespie Township. The father procured one hundred and sixty acres, upon which he made many improvements, and upon which both parents died, being comparatively young people at the time of their deaths. The mother died five years after coming to this country and the father some years later. Like most of their countrymen, they were members of the Lutheran Church.
Mrs. Schmidt, the wife of our subject, is the second of five children and the only one now living of the children born to her mother, the father having had other children by another marriage. Mrs. Schmidt was reared and educated in this country. She is the mother of seven children, two of whom died at an early age, namely: William and Jessie. Her living children are: Anna, Dora T., Fritz M., Wickie L. and Minnie, all of whom are living at home. Mr. and Mrs. Schmidt and the members of their family are attendants upon and members of the Lutheran Church. Mr. Schmidt is a Democrat in politics and a member of the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association.