Lee County Biography


Among the men of Lee county who have by their own energy, enterprise and rightly directed ambition established themselves in positions of prominence in agricultural circles of the community is numbered Henry Schnell, who during the many years of his residence here has worked his way upward from poverty to prosperity, his success being indicated in his ownership of one of the finest farms in this locality. Mr. Schnell was born in Germany, April 16, 1866, and is a son of John A. and Margaret Schnell, also natives of that country, where both passed away.

Henry Schnell remained in Germany until he was seventeen years of age and then came to America, settling almost immediately in Franklin Grove, Lee county, Illinois. He was at that time fifty three dollars in debt, but he soon discharged this obligation out of his wages as a monthly laborer. He continued as a farm hand for seven years and then rented a place in Reynolds township, operating this for eleven years. Following this he purchased land on section 20, Ashton township, and upon this property has since resided. The farm comprises one hundred and twenty acres and is well improved in every particular, being provided with substantial barns and outbuildings and all the accessories of a model agricultural property. In addition to general farming Mr. Schnell makes a specialty of raising and feeding stock and he has built up a large business along this line.

On the 7th of December, 1891, Mr. Schnell was united in marriage to Miss Mollie Griese, who was born in Reynolds township, this county, a daughter of J.A. and Catharine Griese, natives of Germany. They came to America at an early date and settled in Lee county, where the mother died and where the father still resides. Mr. and Mrs. Schnell have become the parents of a daughter, Dora, who was born April 14, 1893. The parents are members of the Lutheran church and are well known as people of exemplary character. The success which Mr. Schnell today enjoys has been acquired through his own efforts and it places him among the men of prominence and worth in his locality.

Transcribed by Karen Holt - 1914 History of Lee County Illinois Vol 2 by Frank E. Stevens.


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