Henry Schurmann, President of the Hanover Star Milling Company at Germantown, is of German parentage, his father, Peter, and his mother, Annie (BELLMANN) Schurmann, having both been born in the province of Westphalia about 1819. The day of their marriage, and a few hours after that event had been solemnized, they took passage on a sailing-vessel for America, and landing in this country in November of 1846, came direct to Illinois and settled upon a partly improved farm situated in Looking Glass Township, Clinton County. There the husband and father died in 1849 during the cholera epidemic, a victim of that dreaded disease. While a resident of Germany he had served in the Prussian army and was a non-commissioned officer.

After the death of Peter SCHURMANN his widow was again married, becoming the wife of Christopher SCHWAKE, and that union resulted in the birth of four children, of whom the only survivor is Bernard, a resident of St. Louis, Mo. After the death of Mr. Schwake his widow married Henry HARRENBURG. Her death occurred in the fall of 1872. She was a devoted member of the Catholic Church, as was also our subject's father. Henry is the only child born of his mother's first marriage, and he is a native of Looking Glass Township, his birth having there occurred November 12, 1847. He grew to manhood in Clinton County and was a student in the public and parochial schools, also for a time attended Jones' Commercial College in St. Louis, and the schools at St. Maurice, Ind.

In the mill then owned by Lampen & Kleinekorte, now the property of the Hanover Star Milling Company, Mr. Schurmann served an apprenticeship under Patrick HOSEY. In 1868 he was called home from school to take charge of this mill and assumed the management of the concern for Mr. KLEINEKORTE, who had become sole owner. In May, 1869, the mill was rented to Usselmann & Sprehe, and our subject was retained as manager. In the fall of the same year the enterprise was sold to Usselmann, Schurmann & Co. (Mr. SPREHE being the Co.), and under that title the firm conducted business until the death of the senior partner in 1878, when his interest was purchased by the other partners. The firm of Sprehe & Schurmann continued until the death of the former, in December, 1880, since which time our subject has been the sole owner.

The plant known as the Hanover Star Mills was built in 1859 by Lampen, Kleinekorte & Niemyer, all now deceased. Originally a sawmill plant, it was afterward a four-run burr mill, with a capacity of one hundred barrels in twenty-four hours. In 1881 Mr. Schurmann changed it to a roller mill, with a capacity of three hundred barrels, and expects very soon to increase its capacity to five hundred barrels. The building is five stories in height and is equipped with the latest machinery. It is exclusively a flouring mill, the best brands being manufactured. The favorite brands are "Schurmann’s Patent" and "Hanover Star," but there are others manufactured, including the "Perfection," "Sunbeam," "Tea Rose," Township "Tip Top" and "Kaskaskia." The goods are principally shipped to Boston and other parts of New England, but shipments are also made to Mobile, Ala., Baltimore, Md.; New York, N.Y., Liverpool, England, and Belfast, Ireland, and they expect soon to do nothing but an export business. Steady employment is given to twelve men, and for the past two years not an employee has been discharged. There are also about twelve coopers employed, the company manufacturing all its own barrels.

In 1885 Mr. Schurmann organized a stock company, styled the Hanover Star Milling Company. The officers are: Henry Schurmann, President; Edward SCHURMANN, Secretary; and G. GESENHUES, Treasurer. The Directors are: Henry and Edward Schurmann, G. Gesenhues, A. B. MICHELS and Ferdinand NORDMANN. One fifth of the stock is owned by our subject. In addition to this enterprise he is also interested in the Germantown Creamery and owns the Bartelso Creamery, the latter having already been established on a sound financial basis.

On the 8th of February, 1870, Mr. Schurmann was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth, daughter of Franz ALBERS, further reference to whom will be found in the biographical sketch of F. H. ALBERS. Mrs. Schurmann was born in Germantown Township, Clinton County, in December of 1853, and received a good education in the public schools of the home locality and the Sisters’ School at Breese. Their union has resulted in the birth of nine children, of whom the following are living: Annie, a graduate of the Ursuline Convent at St. Louis; J. Henry, a finely educated young man, who is now in the creamery business with his father; Edward, a graduate of Jones’ Commercial College of St. Louis; August, Carrie, Paula and Cecilia, who are conducting their studies in the home schools. Elizabeth and Leo are deceased.

In their religious, connections Mr. and Mrs. Schurmann are identified with the Catholic Church. In politics he is a Democrat, and has for years been quite active in local affairs. In 1873 he was elected County Clerk and occupied that position for nine years. From 1886 until 1890 he served as County Treasurer, and for three years, beginning with 1890, was President of the village. For two terms he officiated as President of the Carlyle City Council, and also served as a member of the School Board at that place.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Clinton, Washington, Marion and Jefferson Counties, Illinois, 1894, Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

Submitted by: Connie Albers

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