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An honored citizen of Peru is he of whom this sketch is penned. For forty-two years he has been a resident of this flourishing town, which bore little resemblance to its present proud pre-eminence when he first beheld it, a straggling hamlet. He may justly feel that he has borne his share in the making of the place, for many of the substantial public and private buildings here stand as monuments to his skill and excellent workmanship, and Peru is proud to acknowledge the debt she owes him.

The paternal grandfather of our subject was George Adam Schweickert, a farmer of Baden, Germany, where he resided until his death, at the age of seventy-six years. He had five daughters and two sons, and one of the sons was Jacob, the father of Vincent Schweickert. He was born in the last year of the eighteenth century, and plied his trade as a bleacher of cloth for some years, later engaging in agriculture and giving a part of his time to the raising of silk-worms. He died in 1871, and was survived but two years by his devoted wife, Philopena, who was seventy-three at the time of her death. She was one of the four children of August Lindenmeyer, who lived in the village of Kerrlach, Baden, and who fought in one of the wars of Germany with Austria. He was eighty-four years old at the time of his demise, in 1835. But three of the ten children of Jacob and Philopena Schweickert are living. Regina is the wife of Emanuel Schermotty, of Wiesenthal Baden, Germany, and Francis Xavier resides in the same town.

A native of the German village just mentioned, Vincent Schweickert was born August 24, 1831. After completing his common-school education he worked in a sugar refinery until 1850, when he turned his attention to mastering the brick and stone mason's trade. In 1853 he sailed for the United States, the land of promise, and for the next three years he made his home in Reading, Pennsylvania. Since then he has dwelt in Peru, and until he was obliged to retire on account of advancing years and the rheumatism, he kept busily employed as a builder and contractor. Perfect confidence was placed in his integrity and capability, and his customers invariably recommended his work.

On the 15th of May, 1855, Mr. Schweickert married Mary Wellner, who was born in Bavaria, Germany. Her parents were Michael and Barbara (Busch) Wellner. She and her first husband came to America and settled in Pennsylvania. Here our subject and wife were married and in 1856 came to Peru, where they have lived for thirty years in their comfortable home, which was erected by him in 1869. They are members of the Catholic church, and in his political faith Mr. Schweickert is independent.

Seven sons and two daughters blessed the marriage of this worthy couple, and of this number two, Jacob and Edward, are deceased. Charles A. married Theresa Domas, who died, leaving four children - Charles, Mary, Lizzie and Anton. Subsequently he married Theresa Beckmann, by whom he had six children, but only one survives. Mary, who became the wife of Peter Weyand, had six children - Bernard, Peter, Vincent, Charles, Francis Xavier, and one who is deceased. Henry E. wedded Lizzie Ellerbrock, and their children are Vincent, Peter Philip Muria, Henry Charles Anton Alexander, Mary Francisca, Hildegard and Mary Beatrice. Jacob married Helena Morschauser and their surviving children are named Helena, Bertram, Frank and Margaret. Lizzie became the wife of Frank Ellerbrock, and their three children are Lizzie, William and Peter. Bertram and wife, whose maiden name was Mary Brinkmann, have two sons, Ewald Vincent Frank and Lawrence Henry Thomas. Francis Xavier married Mary Weyand, and their only child is called Martha. Thus it may be seen that many children and grandchildren of our subject and wife are left to cheer their declining days, and on numerous festal occasions they assemble to spend a happy day or evening together.

Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 383-394.

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