Henry C. Schroeder
The permanent progress of any state depends largely upon its farming community, not only because of the development of the natural resources but because the agriculturist always establishes a home, thus laying the foundation of the social and educational as well as the civil advancement. Henry C. Schroeder, of Schleswig, had been prominently identified with the farming and political development of Crawford county for a quarter of a century.
He was born in Germany on the 15th of October, 1854, a son of Emanuel and Ann M. (Muder) Schroeder, who emigrated to the United States in 1870. They first located in Cook county, Illinois, and after residing there for a short time removed to Crawford county, Iowa, where they passed away, the father on the 4th of March, 1889, and the mother on the 1st of March, 1907. Of the four children born to them the son Henry C. is the only one now surviving, the daughter and second child, Anna E., having passed away, while the two youngest died in infancy.
Henry C. Schroeder remained in the fatherland until he had passed his fifteenth year, when he took passage for the United States. He remained with his parents in Cook county, Illinois, until 1878, when he went to Ida county, Iowa, where he worked as a farm hand for two years and then rented eighty acres in Crawford county, which he cultivated for one year and then bought it. He was an energetic, ambitious young man, possessing that determined persistence which invariably wins success in any undertaking, and he shortly added to this another eighty acres. He was married soon afterward and then began cultivating his wife's farm, which consisted of two hundred acres, in addition to his own.
He engaged in general farming and stock-raising until 1884, at which time he began making a specialty of buying and feeding stock for the market and so sold his two eighty-acre tracts and operated his two hundred acre farm. He is a man who quickly recognizes an opportunity which the less sagacious would ignore and as a result he wins where others lose, not only because of his unusual foresight, which reveals possibilities, but because he dominates conditions. He is today acknowledged as one of the affluent citizens of the county, owning almost eleven hundred acres of farming land, all of which is well improved and under a high state of cultivation. In the fall of 1910 he retired to Schleswig, where he owns a comfortable home and is enjoying the ease and relaxation from business responsibilities which his comfortable competence assures him.
Mr. Schroeder was united in marriage on the 27th of January, 1882, to Mrs. Minna Zabel, who was an only child of Sigismund and Augusta (Weckwerth) Brietang.
Four children were born unto Mr. and Mrs. Schroeder but only three attained maturity, Annie, the eldest, dying at the age of five years. The three surviving are as follows: Hulda, the wife of William Reinking, of Ida county, Iowa; Clara, who became the wife of Carl Jessen, of Crawford county; and Henry H., also a resident of this county.
The faith of the family is that of the Lutheran denomination, with which organization they are identified by membership. Ever since acquiring the full rights of citizenship, Mr. Schroeder has supported the candidates and principles of the democratic party, as he considers that its policy is best adapted to protect the interests of the majority. He has always actively participated in all political issues and has been awarded some of the best offices not only of the township but the county. His party first elected him to the position of school director, he was later made treasurer of the board and was then made township assessor; at the expiration of his term he was elected township clerk, after which he served on the board of county supervisors and has but recently retired from the state legislature. In each and all of these positions, from the lowest to the highest, he has conscientiously discharged his duties and has received the approval of all. As the years of his residence in Crawford county have increased it has but served to strengthen the esteem and respect which is accorded him, binding him more closely to his fellowmen.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.