WEERT SCHMIDT, who is engaged in general farming and stock-raising on section 22, Gillespie Township, is one of the thrifty German farmers of the county. He was born in Friesland, in the province of Hanover, on the 10th of March, 1834, and is one of a large family of children. The parents spent their entire lives in Hanover, where the father died at the age of fifty years, the mother's death occurring at the age of forty years. Both were members of the Lutheran Church.
In the usual manner of farmer lads, the subject of this sketch spent the days of his boyhood and youth, and his education was acquired in the public schools. When he had attained to years of maturity he was untied in marriage with Tretke Milf, who was born on the 10th of April, 1838. Her parents, natives of Hanover, came to America in early life, and spent their last days in Macoupin County, dying when well advanced in years. They too were members of the Lutheran Church. Mr. and Mrs. Schmidt began their domestic life in the Fatherland, and after the birth of their eldest child, a daughter, they sailed for America, taking passage on a steamer, which left the port of Bremen April 7, 1851. At length they safely arrived in New York, and from there came at once to Illinois, settling in Macoupin County, where they worked in the families of rich farmers until they had acquired enough to purchase a small tract of land. Little by little they added to their savings until they had enough to buy a few acres in Gillespie township. Together they worked on, and as the result of their industry, enterprise and perseverance, acquired a comfortable property. Mr. Schmidt now owns two hundred acres of valuable land, which is divided into rich and fertile fields. The farm is well supplied with necessary buildings, including a good residence and barns and is well stocked.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Schmidt have been born eleven children, of whom two are now deceased - Meta and Milf. Those who still survive are: Weptka, wife of Frank Weyen, a resident farmer of Gillespie Township; Anna, wife of John Sattagass, a resident farmer of Honey Point Township; Ettie, wife of John Schmidt, who is living on a farm in Gillespie Township; Ella, wife of Tace Weyen, and agriculturist of Cahokia township; Charles, Milf, Merta and Jessie, all at home. The mother of this family was called to her final rest on the 25th of October, 1885, and her death was mourned by many friends. She was a member of the Lutheran Church, and was held in high regard by all who know her. Mr. Schmidt is also of the same religious faith, and he exercises his right of franchise in support of the Democratic party, with which his sons also affiliate. He may truly be called a self-made man, for his fortune was carved out by himself, and his success is the result of his own efforts.