It was a gloomy day in 1852 when Peter Schwall, a poor German boy, embarked at a port in
his native land for a long voyage to the great Republic beyond the seas. He was in the blush of youth,
however, being only twenty-six years old, when everything looked bright and good, so with a manly
heart and light pocketbook he faced the problem of conquering the world. Eventually he landed at
New Orleans, but remained there only a short time before pushing on to Cincinnati, Ohio, then a kind
of Mecca for immigrants of German nationality. He tried his had at gardening and met with sufficient
success to justify his marrying, shortly after which event he came with his wife, Mary, to Shelbyville.
At first he accepted any job that offered, but after a few months of desultory undertakings, finally
rented a small place and engaged in farming. He changed to various localities as a renter until he succeeded in getting together enough money to buy a few acres of his own, and on this little farm in Shelby township he remained until his wife's death in 1899, since which time he has made his home with
his son. His children are as follows: Henry; Peter, a resident of Kokomo; Catherine, wife of
Jasper Collins, of Howard county; Lena, wife of Christ Noling, of Indianapolis;
of Vincent Lanworling, of Indianapolis; Barbara, wife of
Steve Shin, of Logansport, Indiana; Margaret, a resident of Brandywine township, and Elizabeth, wife of James Ryan, of Richmond, Indiana.
Henry Schwall, eldest of the children, was born at Shelbyville, May 26, 1856, and as soon as he
was old enough assisted his father in farm work. This continued until a little after the completion of
his twentieth year, when he was married on October 21, 1876, to Catherine Adams. She was
born in Germany April 2, 1854, and came to America when a baby, with her parents,
Jacob and Elizabeth Adams, well known farming people of Shelby county. After his marriage Mr. Schwall
began farming for himself as a renter in different localities. By hard work and economy he managed
to save up enough money to buy the present cozy little farm of seventy-one acres in Brandywine
township, on which he makes his home. It is a part of the old Goodrich farm and comprises as fertile and productive a soil as is found in that part of the county. After coming into possession Mr.
Schwall made improvements from time to time, which added greatly to the attractiveness and value
of his place. Within the last year he erected a fine new barn, with all the modern conveniences for
stock and grain, as well as ornamental in architecture. He is what is called a general farmer, raising
all the cereal crops adapted to this latitude, and keeping as much stock of good quality as is justified
by the size of his farm. He is also interested in stock raising. He is recognized among the younger
generation of farmers as one of the most successful and progressive, is quite popular among his
neighbors and altogether a worthy citizen in every respect. He and his wife are members of the Ger-
man Evangelical church at Shelbyville, but the children are mostly affiliated with the Methodist Epis-
Mary, the oldest daughter, born October 31, 1877, is the wife of William Barger
of Brandywine township, and has four children, Harold G., born January 3, 1903; Lydia C.,
Edgar and Morris William. Margaret, Mr. Schwall's second daughter, born January 28,
1881, is the wife of Henry Young, of Indianapolis. They occupy a residence of their own, 1125
Oxford street. Anna, born October 30, 1883, and William Henry, born October 13, 1886,
are both at home.
Chadwick's History of Shelby County, Indiana, by Edward H. Chadwick, B.A., assisted by well
known local talent, B.F. Bowen & Co, Publishers: Indianapolis, IN, 1909, pgs 520-521.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming for Stephen P. Meier