WEYE G. SCHMIDT, a farmer and stock-raiser living on section 24, Gillespie Township, is numbered among the early settlers of the county, dating his residence from 1851. He is of German birth, having been born in old Friesland, in the province of Hanover, in 1831. His parents were farming people of that locality, where they spent their entire lives. The father, Carl Schmidt, died about the age of fifty years and three months, and his wife, whose maiden name was Weptke Weyne, was only thirty-six years of age at the time of her death. In their family are five children, four sons and a daughter, all of whom are yet living and are residents of this country.
Our subject, the second in order of birth, was the first to brave the dangers of an ocean voyage. He left the land of hi nativity on the 17th of September, 1851, sailing from Bremen and landing at New Orleans after a long voyage of eight weeks and two days. Eleven days more elapsed and he then arrived in Alton, Ill., where he made his home until the following spring, when he came to Macoupin County. A short time afterward, Mr. Schmidt led to the marriage altar Miss Antke Schoen, who was born in the same locality as her husband. Her parents lived and died in the province of Hanover, were farming people, and in religious belief were Lutherans. Accompanied by a younger sister, Mrs. Schmidt crossed the Atlantic in 1853, coming by way of New Orleans & Alton route to Macoupin County, Ill., where two fo her brothers had located some time previous. With them she remained until her marriage, when she took her place as mistress of her husband's home. They lived for a time upon a farm in Gillespie Township, and in 1861 removed to their present home on section 24, where a highly cultivated tract of land, comprising one hundred and sixty acres, pays a golden tribute to the care of the owner. Nearly all of the improvements seen thereon are the work of Mr. Schmidt's hands, and his success in life is due entirely to his own efforts and the able assistance of her with whom he has now traveled life's journey for more than a third of a century. Mr. Schmidt is numbered among the leading and influential citizens of his township, who has ever born his part in the upbuilding and advancement of the community's interests. As every true American citizen should do, he exercises his right of franchise, and in political sentiment is a Democrat. Both he and his wife are members of the Lutheran Church of Gillespie.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Schmidt have been born five children, and the family circle yet remains unbroken. Charles who married Wetka Moermann is now engaged in the grocery business in Gillespie; Benjamin, who was joined in wedlock with Gretka Mennan, carried on the grocery trade in Venice, Ill.; John, a resident farmer of Gillespie Township, wedded Atke Schmidt; Fred is engaged in farming in connection with his brother John; and Jessie, who completes this family, is at home. The Schmidt household is noted for its hospitality and it is one of the worthy German families in this part of the county. In 1883 the father returned to Germany, where he spent some weeks in visiting boyhood scenes and in renewing old acquaintances. He has, however, no desire to again live in that country, having found a pleasant home in America, where his business career has been blessed with prosperity, he being now the owner of four hundred acres of land.