Thomas F. Schroeder, one of the highly respected and very substantial citizens of Bunker Hill, Macoupin County, was born April 7, 1841, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and is a son of the late Francis Arnold and Dorothy (Schuerhoff) Schroeder.
The father of our subject was born February 8, 1806, in Westphalia, Germany, and died in February, 1882, at the home of his son, in Virden, Illinois, aged 76 years. His wife, also a native of Germany, born in 1811, died at Bloomington, Illinois, aged 66 years. They had a family of 14 children, the four survivors being Mrs. Josephine Schuerhoff, of Pierce City, Missouri; Thomas F., of this sketch; Frank J., a survivor and pensioner of the Civil War, now a resident of Philadelphia; and Mrs. Justine Schaeffer, of Oklahoma Territory.
Francis Arnold Schroeder came first to America at the age of 28 years and bought a farm of 200 acres, near St. Charles, Missouri. Two years later he was recalled to Germany to settle his father's estate, and then married. Upon his return to the United States, he purchased a farm in Mercer County, Ohio, but later removed to New York City and still later to Philadelphia, where he was engaged in business when the Civil War broke out. In July, 1861, he offered his services to his adopted country, enlisting in Company D, 2nd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, under Captain Saddler, and was transferred to the Army of the Potomac, where he saw hard and continuous service, participating in all the battles from Bull Run to Appomattox Court House, and was honorably discharged in July, 1865, having established a record for great bravery. he returned to Philadelphia and became a member of our subject's family. In the years of his residence in Missouri he was a Democrat, but he later became a Republican. Both as Mason and Odd Fellow, he lived up to every requirement of those organizations.
Our subject obtained an excellent common school education in Philadelphia, at the age of 14 years beginning to work at the blacksmith's trade. On August 4, 1862, he enlisted for service in the Civil War, entering Company H, 5th Reg. Pennsylvania Vol. Cav., under Captain Bailey, which was placed in Gen. Phil. H. Sheridan's corps. This statement is sufficient to students of the history of that time, to indicate the kind of life Mr. Schroeder and his comrades led through the years until he was honorably discharged on May 19, 1865, including as it did Bull Run, Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Spottsylvania, Wilderness, Cold Harbor, and all the operations around Richmond. His last picket duty was on the night of April 2, 1865, on the Newmarket road in the vicinity of Richmond. With a noble record Mr. Schroeder returned to his work after the war and within 10 days was quietly occupying his old position, just as if he had not been risking his life almost every hour during the preceding three years. Working at blacksmithing and the butchering business, at Bloomington, Illinois, at Anderson and Logansport, Indiana, he was busily employed until the great railroad strike threw him out of employment. In 1867 he engaged in the painting business at Virden and continued to work in that line until 1902, when he retired to Bunker Hill, where he has a comfortable home and many friends.
Mr. Schroeder was married in 1869 to Helen C. Cahill, who was born in Oneida County, New York. Of the four children born to them, a son and daughter, Agnes and Frank, are deceased, while two daughters are living, namely: Mrs. Katherine Anderson of Bunker Hill, who has two children - Helena and Thomas W.; and Marie, who lives at home. Mr. Schroeder belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic and the Modern Woodmen of America. Politically he is a Republican, and while living at Virden was a member of the Board of Education.