In a historical work dedicated to Southern Illinois, Edwards county holds a number of important men who could not well be omitted from mention in its pages. Among them, West Salem citizens must be represented, and Gideon Schwarzlose takes prominent place among the leading men of his town. He has been cashier of the West Salem Bank since its organization in 1888, and in addition is prominently connected with various other industrial and financial concerns in West Salem which have done much in the passing years for the development and upbuilding of the town.

Gideon Schwarzlose was born on January 28, 1864, on a farm one mile south of West Salem, and is the son of William and Mary Elizabeth (Hesse) Schwarzlose, both natives of Germany. The father was born in his native land in 1826 and emigrated to America in 1853. He settled on a farm in Edwards county near West Salem, and became one of the well-to-do farmers of his section. He had a fine farm of three hundred acres, which he divided among his children, retaining one hundred acres for himself, which portion he sold a few years before his death. They were the parents of six children, namely: William, living in Edwards county; Henry, a resident of Los Angeles, California; Mrs. Mary Koehler, of Evansville, Indiana; Elizabeth, married L. B. Henry, and lives in West Salem; Gideon; Mrs. Annie Markham of West Salem.

Gideon Schwarzlose received his early education in the country schools of his community and later attended the Northwestern College at Naperville. He began teaching school when he had finished his studies and spent four years among the district schools of Edwards county. In 1888, when the West Salem Bank was organized, Mr. Schwarzlose was appointed to the position of cashier, which he has filled creditably from then to the present time. The bank is a sturdy and altogether reliable institution with a financial responsibility of $160,000, and is the oldest institution of its kind in Edwards county. It has deposits of $115,000, and is regarded with favor by all who have had occasion to do business with it since its organization.

Mr. Schwarzlose is further identified with various prominent industries of West Salem, and is proprietor of the Clover Valley Creamery, which he purchased in 1902 at a valuation of $2,000; the creamery burned in 1908, but he rebuilt at once a more modern plant, making an investment of about $4,000. The creamery does an annual business of $25,000. Mr. Schwarzlose is a stockholder and vice president of the West Salem Hollow Brick and Tile Company, with a capital of $50,000. He has a farm of 144 acres near West Salem, which he operates to good advantage, and is on the whole one of the busiest men to be found in the county. He is a member of the Evangelical Association, and is a staunch Republican. He has been a trustee for five years, and in 1893 served as president of the village board.

In 1893 Mr. Schwarzlose married Miss Calla Cook of Jackson, Ohio, the daughter of John F. Cook of that place. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Schwarzlose, Frederick W., Esther M., Ruth E., Paul F., and Mary I., who died at the age of one year and nine months.

Extracted 11 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 History of Southern Illinois, by George W. Smith, volume 3, pages 1641-1642.

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