Lena (Sommers) Schildmeier, who has contributed largely to the general uplift of the community in which she lives, was born on September 21, 1871, in Kahl, Germany and is the daughter of George and Lena (Schutterly) Sommers, both natives of the German town of Kahl. George Sommers was born on July 4, 1849, and was the son of Jacob and Elizabeth Sommers, who remained in their native land until death. Jacob Sommer was engaged in the transfer business, which he followed for many years, dying at an advanced age. He was the father of three children, all of whom are deceased with the exception of George, the father of Lena (Sommers) Schildmeier.
George Sommers was reared and educated in his native country, and was also married there. He assisted his father in the transfer business as well as in his farming interests, being quite content with this arrangement until him marriage, at which time he became an independent factor in the business world. At the age of twenty-one this native son of Germany pledged his protection to Lena Schutterly, daughter of Andrew and Lena Schutterly, and to them have been born nine children, whose names follow: Lena, Anna, Christina, George, Elizabeth, Emma (deceased), Ida, Marie and Charles. Lena Schutterly was also a native of Kahl, Germany, and her birth occurred on May 17, 1850. Her parents were life-long residents of that country. She was the youngest of three children born to her parents, Andrew, Anna and Lena. In April, 1880, George Sommers, his wife and children immigrated to America, proceeding direct to Indianapolis, Indiana, after their arrival in New York City. They soon found it expedient to locate on the farm of Mr. Wagner in Warren township, Marion county, where they remained for a period of three years, following which the removed to North Cumberland, Indiana, their resident in that place covering a period of four years. Their next experience was the investment in sixty acres of land in Buck Creek township, Hancock county, Indiana, which property became their home for about twelve years. The next year was spent in Indianapolis, Indiana, but at the end of that time they returned to agricultural pursuits on sixty-one and one-half acres of land in Sugar Creek township, of this county, and this has since continued to be their home. The family are members of the German Evangelical church and active in its support.
Lena Sommers was reared until eight years of age on the banks of the River Rhine and then removed with her parents to this county, finishing her education in the schools of Marion and Hancock counties, Indiana. On April 12, 1894, she was united in marriage to Anton F. Schildmeier, son of Christian and Mary (Waller) Schildmeier, and of this union one child was born, Marie M., who on November 7, 1915, married John A. Rosener, and they reside at the home of her mother. Anton F. Schildmeier was born on March 17, 1853, in Sugar Creek township, on his father's farm. His father came to America in 1836, as a boy of eleven years, receiving his education in the land of his adoption. His death occurred on April 14, 1910, his wife having preceded him in death in 1861. They were the parents of nine children.
Anton F. Schildmeier spent his childhood on the home farm and received his education in the German school, under the instruction of Rev. J. G. Kunz. At the age of twenty-three he was married to Anna Catherine Weber, daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Weber, and to their union were born four children, two of whom died in infancy. The surviving children are Walter, and Lulu, who married William Spilker. Anna Catherine (Weber) Schildmeier died in 1893, and one year later Anton F. Schildmeier was married the second time.
After her marriage, Lena (Sommers) Schildmeier and her husband took up their residence on the Schildmeier homestead, continuing here ever since. On March 14, 1915, she had the great misfortune to lose her protector and companion. Anton F. Schildmeier was an exceptional man in many particulars and left a large circle of friends to mourn their loss. He was an expert farmer and breeder of Percheron horses and a large landholder as well, owning one and seventy-three acres in this county and one hundred and six in Jennings county, Indiana. He was a member of the German Evangelical church, of New Palestine, Indiana, as is also his wife. Politically, he was a stanch Democrat and loyal citizen.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Page 960-962.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI October 15, 2001.
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