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Below is a family biography included in History of Union County, Iowa published by S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., in 1908.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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An excellent farm of four hundred and sixty acres situated on section 26, New Hope township, pays tribute to the care and cultivation of Herman Schwanz, who in his progressive methods of farming and stock-raising is meeting with a prosperity that numbers him among the men of affluence in Union county. His farm is pleasantly and conveniently located within two miles of Lorimor and throughout his entire life he has resided in this part of the state, being a native of Union county, his birth having occurred in Afton, March 9, 1859. As the name indicates, he is of German lineage.

His father, Louis Schwanz, came to the new world as a young man in 1856 and settled at Afton, casting in his lot with the pioneer residents of this part of the state. Soon afterward he returned to his native land and was there married to Miss Augusta Sours, who was born in the fatherland. In 1858 he brought his wife to the new world, establishing his home in Afton, where he continued to reside until 1861. He then offered his services to the country in defense of the Union, joining Company H, of the Twenty-ninth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, with which he served until he laid down his life on the altar of his adopted country, being killed in battle at Helena, Arkansas, July 4, 1863. His wife had passed away in the previous August.

Herman Schwanz was the elder of two children, his sister Louise being now the wife of James Moore, of Jones township, this county. He was less than four years of age when left an orphan by the death of his father. In this county he was reared upon the farm of his uncle, Fred Schwanz, and the public schools afforded him his educational privileges. After arriving at years of maturity he went west to Montana in 1882 and worked there on a ranch for a time but subsequently returned to Union county. He had previously purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land where he resides and after his return he located upon this farm, taking up the work of further improving the property and bringing the soil under a high state of cultivation.

As a companion and helpmate for life’s journey he chose Cora B. White, whom he wedded April 10, 1884. She was born in Jones township, this county, a daughter of I. K. White, one of the prominent early farmers of Jones township, and a sister of E. E. White who is mentioned elsewhere in this volume. Mrs. Schwanz successfully engaged in teaching prior to her marriage. The young couple began their domestic life upon the farm which he had previously purchased and as the years passed he extended his boundaries by additional purchases until he now has a valuable and extensive property. He added to and remodeled the house, has erected barns, fenced the fields, has set out considerable fruit and also has a fine grove of maples on his place and many beautiful evergreen trees. An orchard of his own planting is in bearing and he annually harvests from the fields rich crops of corn and other cereals. He is equally well known as a stock raiser and feeder, keeping high grade stock which he fattens for the market, selling a large number of cattle and hogs each year.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Schwanz have been born five children: Arthur I., born April 24, 1886, now assists in carrying on the home farm; Florence G., who was born November 24, 1887, and died of tumor at the base of the brain, February 24, 1907, was an unusually bright and attractive young lady, who had attended Simpson College, Indianola, Iowa, for two years and was beloved by all who knew her; Elizabeth B., born September 19, 1890, is now a senior of the Lorimor high school; and Harriet W., born August 13, 1896, and Alice Constance, born September 26, 1898, are attending the graded schools of Lorimor.

Mr. and Mrs. Schwanz and children are members of the Lorimor Methodist Episcopal church and Mr. Schwanz belongs to the Modern Woodmen Camp, and his wife is connected with the Royal Neighbors. He votes with the republican party but the honors and emoluments of office have had no attraction for him, as he has ever preferred to give his undivided attention to his home and business affairs. Year by year he has worked on in his farming operations, and his diligence and perseverance have brought to him a gratifying measure of success, so that he is now numbered among the substantial agriculturists of Union county.

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This family biography is one of 247 biographies included in The History of Union County, Iowa published in 1908.  For the complete description, click here: Union County, Iowa History and Genealogy

View additional Union County, Iowa family biographies: Union County, Iowa Biographies

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