Wednesday Wanderings: From Germany to Dekalb County, Indiana

According to a biographical sketch in the History of Dekalb County, Indiana published in 1914 by B.F. Bowen & Co., John Mathias Shoudel was known as a leader in the agricultural circles in DeKalb County, Indiana. He was born in Bavaria (Germany) in 1814 and was the son of Johannes (John) Franz Schaudel and Magdalena Schmitt. He married Magdalena Miller, who was from the same area and was the daughter of Johannes (John) Miller and Mary Trapp. He learned the trade of a weaver and also farmed. He came to the United States in 1854, eventually ending up in Chicago for a couple of years, working on the Chicago docks. His family came in 1855 and they moved to DeKalb County in 1857, where he joined four other men and together they bought forty acres of land located in Section 15 of Smithfield Township. They divided the land between them, eight acres each –

1918 Land Records from Smithfield Township

Eventually John was able to buy more land until at the time of his death he owned two hundred acres of land.

John was one of fourteen founding members of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Waterloo in 1880. According to the church’s website, he died while the church was still under construction, but his wife donated an acre of land for the cemetery. John is buried near the center of the cemetery.

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