One of the honored early settlers of Ford County, now resides on section 20, Rogers Township, where he is engaged in general farming. He was born in Germany, April 19, 1826, and is a son of Frederick and Elizabeth (Colb) Waldschmidt, both of whom spent their entire lives in the Fatherland. Our subject acquired his education in Germany, where he attended the public schools for eight years. He then worked in a copper mine for a time, after which he emigrated to the New World in 1850. He crossed the Atlantic in a sailing-vessel from Antwerp and after a voyage of twenty-eight days landed in New York in June. He then went to Pennsylvania, where he spent the first summer working on a railroad. During the three succeeding years of his life he was employed in a brickyard in New York, and in 1854, he emigrated Westward. He first located on the Fox River in Kendall County, Ill., and was employed in a stone quarry for several years. He then became a partner in a firm and engaged in the manufacture of brick, near Bristol, for two years. On the expiration of that period, he returned to the stone quarry, where he again worked four years, after which he engaged in farming near Dwight for three years. This was his first experience as an agriculturist.

In 1864, Mr. Waldschmidt came to Ford Country, and first purchased eighty acres of raw prairie land, constituting a part of his present fine farm. He broke it, fenced it and transformed the wild tract into rich and fertile fields. He now owns and operates one hundred and sixty acres, upon which may be found good buildings, and all the improvements and accessories of a model farm.

Mr. Waldschmidt was married in Ottawa, La Salle County, Ill., in 1856, to Miss Caroline Decker, a native of Germany, and a daughter of Jacob Decker, one of the early settlers of La Salle County. Unto them have been born ten children: Eliza, wife of John Kerstine, a resident of Wright County, Iowa; William, who is married and follows farming in Cedar County, Neb.; Matilda at home; Caroline, wife of Joseph Reising, who lives in Bloomington, Ill.; Minnie, wife of Clio Smith, a resident of Michigan; Fred, who aids in the operation of the home farm; Louisa at home; Emma, who is attending Normal School in Bloomington; Anna at home; and John, who is yet in school.

Mr. Waldschmidt cast his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln and has supported each Presidential nominee of the Republican party since that time. He takes an active interest in the success of his party but has never been office-seeker. His residence in Ford County covers a period of twenty-eight years, and throughout the community he is regarded as a highly esteemed citizen. His emigration to America he need never regret, for here he has met with prosperity, has secured a good home and met with many pleasant friends.

Extracted 14 Dec 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Record of Ford County, Illinois, published in 1892, pages 192-193.

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