JOHN S. SCHMIDT, a well known and highly respected citizen of Staunton, Illinois, was born September 10, 1850, in Hanover, Germany, and is a son of Christopher and Dora (Maschendorf) Schmidt, both of whom were natives of Germany.
Christopher Schmidt was engaged as a sheep herder on a large estate in Hanover, and died in Germany, aged 65 years. He was the father of six children, three of whom died young, and the others were Henry, who died in Hanover, Germany, January 15, 1904; Alar, a resident of Ohio, who came to America in 1869; and John S., of this sketch.
John S. Schmidt came alone to America in 1867. He had attended the schools of his native neighborhood until he was 13 years of age, and then began herding sheep, which was his father's occupation. This work did not bring large enough returns to satisfy the ambitious youth, and after four years he succeeded in securing passage from Bremen to New York, and from the latter city proceeded immediately to Staunton. This city has been his home ever since, where Mr. Schmidt has accumulated a competency, has become prominent in public life, serving as alderman, and has surrounded himself with many warm friends. Until 1871 he worked by the year at farm work and then began work in the coal mines. This at first had such a bad effect on his health, that he engaged in teaming, an occupation he followed for seven years, and then returned to mining and is now connected with what is known as No. 6, which is owned by The Consolidated Company.
In 1874 Mr. Schmidt was united in marriage with Wilhelmina Heinemeyer, who was born May 30, 1853, in Braunswic, and came to America in March, 1872. Mr. Schmidt has been a Republican ever since he was naturalized. From boyhood, he has been a member of the German Lutheran Church.