Mathias Schneider, a prominent business man of Seneca, Kans., is a native of Germany. He was born August 21, 1839, a son of Peter and Anna Mariah (Meier) Schneider. The father was a farmer in a small way in his native land, and in 1845, when Mathias was six years old, the family immigrated to America, locating in Waukesha county, Wisconsin. That section of the country was, then on the extreme frontier, and the Schneider family settled in the heart of the wilderness, as that part of Wisconsin was heavily timbered. Here the father bought land from the government, built a log cabin and cleared a small portion of ground, and engaged in farming, in a small way. Mathias Schneider was reared among these surroundings, and received his early education in such schools as the country afforded, at that time. The school year consisted of about three months, and he had to walk a long distance to attend that. He remained at home until he was twenty-three years old, and on April 9, 1864, married Elizabeth Birkhauser, a daughter of Adolph and Gertrude Birkhauser, natives of Germany, and early settlers in Wisconsin, where they spent their lives. To Mr. and Mrs. Schneider were born eight children: Peter, a farmer in Nemaha county, Kansas; Annie M., married Henry Stallbaumer; Jennie J., married Henry Koelzer; Lizzie N., married J. P. Koelzer, Seneca, Kans.; Carl M., farmer, Nemaha county, and Gertrude married Peter Schmitt, Seneca, Kans. Following his marriage, Mr. Schneider farmed rented land in Wisconsin until 1870, when he decided to go farther west, when he and his family, which consisted of his wife and two small children, drove from Wisconsin to Richardson county, Nebraska. Here he bought a farm of 340 acres, near Salem, and engaged in general farming and stock raising. He gradually turned his attention to feeding cattle for market. He was very successful in this venture, and became one of the extensive cattle feeders of that section, and added to his land until be owned 580 acres. October 28, 1879, Mrs. Schneider died, and shortly afterwards, Mr. Schneider rented his Nebraska farm and came to Kansas, purchasing 80 acres of land near St. Benedict, Nemaha county, where he resided until 1892, when he sold his farm near Benedict, and, having previously sold his Nebraska property, bought a farm near Seneca, Kans., where he has since been engaged in feeding cattle quite extensively, averaging about two car loads a year. Besides his farming interests, Mr. Schneider is interested in a number of other business enterprises. He is president of the J. P. Koelzer Lumber Company, of Seneca; he was one of the organizers of the State Savings Bank of Seneca, and is now president of that institution, and is also a heavy investor in various stocks and bonds of an industrial nature. He is a man who has a keen insight into present day financial affairs. Politically he is a Democrat and has consistently supported the policy of that party, although he has never aspired to hold political office. He was one of the organizers of the Seneca and St. Benedict Fire Insurance Company, and served as its first president. This is one of the substantial insurance companies of the country, and carries over a million dollars worth of insurance at the present time. He is a communicant of the Catholic church, and has contributed liberally to the cause of religion.Pages 171-172 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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