Biography - GEORGE A. SCHMID
Standing in the front ranks of LaSalle county's successful business men is George A. Schmid, of Streator. By well-directed energy and strict adherence to well-established financial methods he has won an enviable reputation for acumen and ability, while at the same time he bears an unimpeachable name in regard to integrity and square dealing.
The birth of Mr. Schmid took place near Beyreuth, Bavaria, Germany, August 23, 1856. His parents were John and Eva M. (Insbruker) Schmid, who passed their entire lives in the kingdom of Bavaria. The father visited America, and was very favorably impressed with the people and country, but circumstances prevented his settling here, as he frequently remarked that he would like to do, and his liking for America and her institutions was necessarily an influential factor in the decision of our subject a few years later.
In the common and high schools of his native land George A. Schmid obtained an excellent education, and when a youth of fifteen he commenced serving an apprenticeship to the cabinet and carpenter's trades. Before he had quite finished the three years of his engagement his father purchased his time of his employer, and not long afterward the young man sailed for America. Arriving in New York city, he remained there for a year, working as a carpenter, and then went to a small town in Pennsylvania, where he found employment. Subsequently he was given a position in the carpenter's department of the car construction shops at Irwin, Pennsylvania, and in 1879 he came to Streator, where he worked for the Chicago, Pekin & Southwestern Railroad in their car-repairing shops.
For three years Mr. Schmid worked for the firm of Sipe & Miller, contractors and builders of this place, at the end of that time buying an interest in the business. He continued with his old associates as a partner until 1894, when he became the sole proprietor, buying out the others' interest. He deals in lumber, lime and cement, and carries on a large and finely equipped planing-mill and sash, door and blind factory. A specialty is made of material for the fine interior work of stores, banks and churches; and all kinds of moldings and finished lumber is furnished the trade. Many of the splendid churches and public buildings, as well as some of the best residences of Streator and neighboring towns, have been constructed under the contract of Mr. Schmid, who employs from thirty to forty skilled workmen to carry out his plans. Of this number twenty-three are on his pay rolls winter and summer, the whole year round, and frequently in the busy season this force is strongly augmented. It might be- mentioned that Mr. Schmid built St. Anthony's Catholic church in Streator, and completed the interior work as well as the rest of the structure, and the substantial church at Budd, Livingston county; St. Mary's church at Pontiac, Illinois; St. Thomas' church at Philo; St. Mary's church at El Paso, this state; and convents and sisters' homes at Eagle and Campus, Illinois, and the Spaulding Lyceum at Streator.
From its inception until the present time Mr. Schmid has been actively connected with the Streator German Building & Loan Association, and is now its vice president. Fraternally he is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and belongs to the Catholic Order of Foresters. He has served the city as alderman for four years.
In 1882 Mr. Schmid and Miss Lucy C. Wachter, a native of Illinois, were united in marriage. They have become the parents of three daughters, - Theresa, Lucy and Eva, - all now attending school. The family belong to St. Anthony's Catholic church, and are respected and held in high regard by a large circle of acquaintances.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 260-261.