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Henry W. Schroeder has been in active business as a merchant at Chase for a quarter of a century, and now had the largest general store in that part of Rice County. His distinction rests not solely upon his business success, but also upon an active and public spirited performance of many public duties.
Mr. Schroeder was born in Germany, February 1, 1872, but had lived in Kansas since he was seven years of age. His father, Fred Schroeder, born in Germany in 1848, brought his family to the United States in 1879, and first located at Great Bend, Kansas, but in 1880 moved to Ellinwood, where he died in 1902. He followed various lines of employment and for the last eight years of his life was city marshal of Ellinwood. He was a republican and a member of the Lutheran Church. His widow, Mary, who was born in Germany in 1844, still lives at Ellinwood. Henry W. was the oldest of their children. William is a tinner by trade and lives at Claflin, Kansas; Fred is a hardware merchant at Kiowa, Kansas; Maggie is the wife of Dr. E. Smith, a physician and surgeon at Oakland, California; Ella is a trained nurse at Cripple Creek, Colorado; Edward is employed in a store at Ellinwood.
Henry W. Schroeder secured his early education in the public schools of Kansas, chiefly at Ellinwood. When about seventeen years of age he left school to become self supporting, and while employed in a local hardware store learned the tinsmith trade. He followed that trade at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for several years, but in 1892 came to Chase and with a modest capital embarked in a hardware and tinware business. The community had followed his career with a great deal of interest and had witnessed him gradually reach a position of independence and of notable success. He kept his business growing and had gradually enlarged it until it is now a general merchandise store, the chief mercantile establishment in the town. He owned the buildings as well as the stocks. His main store, situated on Main street, had a floor space of 3,120 square feet, and he owned another store building just south of this with 2,000 square feet of floor space, while a warehouse furnishes storage for his immense stock with 1,152 square feet. To build up such an enterprise is indeed a notable undertaking and is evidence of Mr. Schroeder’s exceptional business qualifications. He also owned a good home in Chase.
His part in public affairs had been in rendering good service to his home community. He was formerly clerk of Lincoln Township and treasurer, was clerk of the school board four years, for several terms was on the town council and is at the present time city treasurer and again clerk of Lincoln Township. Politically he is a republican and is a member of the German Lutheran Church.
At Ellinwood, Kansas, in 1894, soon after he had established himself in business at Chase, Mr. Schroeder married Miss Mary Linke, daughter of Bernard and Henrietta (Heller) Linke. Her mother is living at Chase and her father is now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Schroeder have four children: Annetta, a graduate of the local high school and of the Hutchinson Business College, still at home; Fred J., a member of the sophomore class of the local high school; Wilber, in the fourth grade of the public schools, and Robert, a student in the second grade.