Transcribed by Pamela Wagler from: Biographical Review of Des Moines County, Iowa: Containing Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of Many of the Prominent Citizens of To-day and Also of the Past, Hobart Publishing Company, Chicago, 1905.


The name of Adolph Schrei, who is now serving the city of Burlington as justice of the peace, is well known throughout the county. He has a business record of which to be proud, and a war record full of bravery and gallantry. He is the son of Frederick and Amelia (Althof) Schrei, and was born in Germany, Dec. 16, 1839. He remained in his native place till he was about fifteen years old, where he received his education. His father brought him to America in an old-time sailing vessel, coming by way of New Orleans. In those days navigation was very much slower than in these modern days, and they were about fifty-two days on the ocean. After reaching New Orleans, May 10, 1855, they came by boat to Burlington, and enjoyed the delightful trip on the Mississippi River very much. Mr. Schrei's oldest son, who was a miller by trade, had come to Burlington in 1848 and so for a time they all lived together.

Our subject at once obtained work on a farm, which occupation he followed till Aug. 1, 1862, when he enlisted in Company E., Twenty-fifth Iowa Infantry, at Burlington, being mustered into service at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, Sept. 27, 1862. He was third brigadier of the first division, fifteenth army corps, and served in this throughout the war. He took part in the following battles: two at Vicksburg, with Sherman; Arkansas Post, Jan. 11, 1863; Vicksburg Campaign; Chattanooga; Lookout Mountain; Mission Ridge; Ringgold, Ga. He then went to Alabama, and was through eastern Tennessee. May 1, 1864, he started on the Atlanta campaign – battle of Resaca; Dallas, Ga.; Atlanta, July 22 to July 28; southwest of Atlanta, Jonesboro, Ga. He marched from Atlanta to Savannah, Ga., and to Bentonville, N. C., in March, 1865.

He was also in several skirmishes, but was never wounded. He was with Sherman on his march to the sea, being also one of the ragged boys, or Sherman's "bummers," as they were called, that helped to make up the grand review in Washington. At one time a rebel pointed a gun at him about fifteen feet distant, shooting at his head, just missing his right cheek. After an honorable discharge on June 15, 1865, in Davenport, Iowa, Mr. Schrei returned to Burlington, and secured a position in the flouring mill of the late James Putnam, with whom he remained till spring, when he accepted a situation as clerk in the wholesale boot and shoe store of the late Honorable A. G. Adams. After being with Mr. Adams for ten years he opened up a retail grocery, where he was very unfortunate, losing by this venture all the means he had. His services were so satisfactory to Mr. Adams that he at once took Mr. Schrei back into his wholesale store, where he remained for the next two years, when the firm quit business. The following two years he was employed in the basket company as watchman, and also traveled for them for some ten months. In 1904 he was elected as justice of the peace, which office he is still filling with much dignity.

Nov. 16, 1865, he was married to Miss Caroline Sleimmeier, daughter of Frederick and Louisa (Pendle) Sleimmeier. They are the parents of seven children: Edward, of San Francisco, Cal.; William, of St. Joseph, Mo.; Louisa, the wife of Taylor Cooksler; Millie, now Mrs. Louis Dewein, of Springville, Ill.; Emma, married John W. Miller, of Claytonville, Ill.; Lillie, the wife of Henry Lowe, of Burlington, Iowa; and Clara, who became the wife of Ollie Sauerwine, a farmer of Des Moines county.

May 4, 1885, Mrs. Schrei was called to her final reward, and on Sept. 4, 1887, Mr. Schrei was united in marriage with Miss Mary D. Wells, a daughter of William and Malissa (Wheton) Wells, by whom he has two sons, both at home. Harry and Jesse. The latter is in the city schools. Mr. Schrei is a Republican, and cast his first vote for Lincoln on his second term of office. He was brought up in the German Lutheran church. As an honorable and public-spirited man none stands higher than does Mr. Schrei, and the respect due him is tendered alike by young and old, rich and poor.

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