Pictorial and Genealogical Record
of Greene County, Missouri

Together with Bibliographies of Prominent Men of Other Portions of the State, Both Living and Dead


JOHN SCHMOOK. Mr. Schmook is one of the respected citizens of Springfield, Mo., not only on account of his having been the promoter of all useful enterprises, but from the manly and honorable course which has marked his career through life. He is the son of Michael and Fredricka (Zinner) Schmook, and was born in Berlin, Prussia, August 29, 1825. He received the education of the public schools and learned of his father the cabinet-maker's trade, at which he served as an apprentice four years. From April 1, 1846, to April 1, 1849, he served in the Prussian army in the engineer corps. In the month of September, 1850, he crossed the Atlantic and landed at New York, in which city he remained for a year and a half. From there he came West and first stopped at Iowa City, where he worked at his trade until 1856, and then visited New Orleans. Later he visited Leavenworth, Kansas City and St. Joe, but not liking the business outlook in these places, he returned to Iowa City and made his home there until 1859, when he came to Springfield in the latter part of April and worked at his trade for Ebert Hursh & Co., furniture dealers and manufacturers. In September of the same year he engaged in the furniture business for himself and followed it in connection with the carpenter business until 1865. During this time he was also a contractor and erected many buildings. In 1863, besides his other enterprises he engaged in the lumber business and built and operated a planing mill, also a small grist mill. Withdrawing from his other enterprises gradually Mr. Schmook devoted his attention to his grist mill, and greatly increased his business. In 1879 he formed a stock company and built the Queen City Flouring Mill, which has next to the largest capacity of any mill in the city. In 1882 he sold out his interest in the milling business and built the Central Hotel, which he still owns. In 1886 he built a steam flouring mill at Ozark, Christian County, Mo., and this he sold in 1891. In the spring of the following year Mr. Schmook bought valuable lead and zinc mines at Aurora, Lawrence County, Mo., which he has developed and which are now being worked with success, producing more valuable mineral ore than any mines in Aurora and yielding handsome returns. From time to time Mr. Schmook has invested in Springfield real estate and now owns valuable business properties, upon which be has erected substantial buildings. In political views Mr. Schmook is a Republican, but in city affairs he votes for the man irrespective of party. On September 1, l865, he was married to Miss Anna M. Kerber, and they have six living children: Paul, John, Otto, Harry B., Frederick and Carrie A. Mr. Schmook is a believer in education and gave all his older children college educations. The younger ones will receive the same. His son Paul was educated in St. Louis, and is now in business in San Francisco, Cal. John was educated in the Military Academy at Highland Park, Ill., and is a practicing lawyer at Elreno, Oklahoma. Otto was educated at the Kemper Military College, Boonville, Mo., and is now superintendent of his father's mines at Aurora, Mo. The remaining children are being educated at Springfield. Mr. Schmook has always been a public-spirited man and contributed liberally of his means to assist the educational institutions of Springfield, and has given freely to the different churches. He is in favor of progress and has never refused to aid any good enterprise that he thought would benefit Springfield. Always modest and unassuming he has pursued a quiet and steady course and by his different enterprises has been of valuable, practical benefit to Springfield, as his efforts gave employment to others and added to the material wealth of the town. It is such men as these actual workers who practically build the towns and cities of the United States. Of Mr. Schmook it can be truly said lie is a self-made man. Commencing the battle of life in a strange country where he spoke a foreign language, he has, by dint of thrift and industry surmounted every obstacle, and is today one of the substantial and much-esteemed citizens of the city. He passed through the entire period of the Civil War in Springfield, and has a fund of amusing anecdotes of those days. He was a member of the Home Guards during that eventful period and assisted in the defense of Springfield against the Confederate General Marmaduke. Mr. Schmook is a man who has always valued his good name and today takes pleasure in feeling that lie has won the respect of his neighbors and fellow citizens by his course in life.

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