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Biographical Appendix



John Schwab, proprietor of the Ironton Manufacturing Company, was born in Siselan, Canton Berne, Switzerland, March 25, 1845, and is a son of John and Anna Schwab, both native of Switzerland.  They took passage at Havre for the United States in 1852, and landed at New Orleans after a voyage of fifty-two days.  They then came up the Mississippi River, landing in Cape Girardeau County, where they remained for three years, the father engaged in farming.  Mr. Schwab then took a trip up the Mississippi, to St. Paul, but, not liking the city, came back and moved to Pilot Knob in 1856, when he worked in the mines until the breaking out of the late war.  He then enlisted in the Home Guards, and served in that capacity six months.  He was in the battle of Pilot Knob, was captain of the company, and lieutenant of the Home Guards.  He is still living, and resides on a farm near Pilot Knob.  The mother died July 4, 1880.  They were the parents of nine children, five of whom are now living: John, Frederick, August, William and Louis.  The eldest child now living, John Schwab, was in his seventh year on arriving in America.  He received a limited education in the common schools of America, and is self-educated in the English language.  He remained with his parents until twenty-one years of age, but previous to this, at the age of sixteen, he entered the Pilot Knob Iron Company’s service as a clerk, where he remained until he was thirty years of age.  In 1865 he married Miss Louisa Ranft, a native of England, of German descent, by whom he has ten children, seven now living: William, Louisa, Mary, John, Benjamin, Clara and August. At the age of thirty, Mr. Schwab went to Graniteville, where he entered into the mercantile business for himself.  This carried on for five years, and then leased the St. Louis Ore and Steel Company’s store, which he operated for three years and three months, keeping both stores going until the lease ran out.  In 1882 he came to Ironton and engaged in the milling business, which he has continued ever since.  The mill is owned by a stock company, and is run under a full roller process, with a capacity of seventy-five barrels every twenty-four hours.  They shop to all points south, and do a good business. Mrs. Schwab is a member of the Lutheran Church.