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Fayette County, Iowa
Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa
Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of
Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County
Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago
Ben Schori, an extensive stock and grain dealer of Elgin, Iowa, has been a resident of the county since 1853, covering a period of thirty-eight consecutive years. He is a native of Canton Berne, Switzerland, where his birth occurred July 6, 1841. His parents, Ben and Anna (Baumgartner) Schori, were also natives of the same canton, where his mother died, leaving two children - our subject, who was then two years old; and Nicholas, who died in Elgin, leaving a family. After her death Mr. Schori again married, and in 1847 he came to the United States, working for two years in Ohio, after which he sent for his wife. About 1849 our subject and his brother, accompanied with an uncle, crossed the Atlantic to America, spending one year in Peoria, Ill., after which they joined their father in Ohio. In the spring of 1853 the family removed to Clayton County, Iowa, and in the fall of the same year moved across to Pleasant Valley Township. That was the winter of the deep snow and Ben would haul wood for miles rather than cut the young timber from his brush land as he supposed in a few years timber would be an object of value. On one occasion they shoveled snow all day trying to make a road to the timber, but at night had to shovel a place to turn their team around in and returned home without fuel. To freeze hands, feet, ears and noses was not an uncommon feature or experience in pioneer life. In later years the father removed to Elgin, where for some time he carried on a store and kept a meat market. His death occurred in that place at the age of sixty years, he leaving a family by his second wife, of whom two daughters yet survive.
Our subject had little opportunity for securing an education. In fact he did not even attend the district schools, and when married did not know his letters. On the 1st of September, 1864, he was joined in wedlock with Elizabeth Bowder, who was born in Switzerland, and when a young lady came with her parents to the United States. Unto them were born eight children, four sons and four daughters - Emma, Albert, Ernest, George, Ida, Clara, Holda, and Elmer B.
For three years after his marriage Mr. Schori lived upon a rented farm and then took charge of his father's butcher shop. He removed to Elgin about 1870, and after carrying on a shop for some four years began dealing in stock, which pursuit he has made his chief business since. He is recognized as the leading dealer in the county and also does a large business as a grain dealer, having two warehouses in Elgin, and has charge of one in Clermont. He owns five hundred acres of land in this and Clayton County which yield to him a good income. Such has been his success in business that he is now numbered among the substantial citizens of Fayette County and one of its self-made men. Politically he is a Democrat and is a worthy citizen who takes a commendable interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of the county.
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