John R. Schnurlein, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of John R. Schnurlein


My great-grandfather, George Schnurlein, was born in New Straussburg, Germany, in 1841. He came to the United States in approximately 1850 and settled with relatives near Crete, Illinois. George became a farmer and also a traveling blacksmith. He moved to what was long called the Schnurlein Farm between Lowell and Crown Point where he and my great-grandmother (Maria) raised four children.

My grandfather, William Schnurleln and my grandmother (Ida Schwuchow) moved to an adjacent farm where they raised three children. William was a member of the Center Township Advisory Board. He and my great uncles all enjoyed hunting, fishing and trapping. They supplemented their farm income and food supply in this manner. My grandfather and father both told me of many enjoyable days spent along the old Kankakee River at the family camp near Schneider. Some of my own most pleasant childhood memories are of similar pursuits near Lake Dale Carlia, only a mile from the farm and one of Indiana's first man-made lakes. Before the dam was put in in 1928, my grandfather used to farm the land. My father recalls having some of his traps covered and lost as the water filled the new lake.

My father, Roger Schnurlein, graduated from C.P.H.S. in 1922 and Purdue in 1926 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He served as a Crown Point volunteer fireman, City Councilman, president and district governor of Kiwanis, and is an Indiana Real Estate Broker, having earlier owned his own plumbing and heating business. He and my mother (Estelle Stolberg from Lowell) were married in 1927. They were Worthy Matron and Patron of the Eastern Star Lodge in C.P. in 1941. Dad is a past master of Lake Lodge #157 F. & A. M. of Crown Point and I also belong to this Lodge.

I graduated from Crown Point H.S. in 1948 and received a marketing degree from Indiana University in 1952, the same year I married the former Joan Merrill from Indianapolis. Her family was originally from Frankfort, where her grandfather was president of the Clinton Co. Bank. Her father, Fred, is an Indianapolis C.P.A. Fred and Joan's mother (Ruth) live on the north side of Indianapolis as do her brother Tom and sister Judy, now Mrs. Max Williams. Joan attended Indiana University two years and we both are licensed Indiana Real Estate salesmen, having studied at Purdue and Indiana. We have two children, Mrs. Kurt Frey (Ruth) and David, presently a junior at Purdue University. Kurt, originally from Lansing, Illinois, is a graduate of Valparaiso University. Ruthie attended Vincennes University. We've lived in Porter County 20 years. We owned and managed Schnurlein's Hardware in Kouts for six years, then served as sales promotion and credit manager for Heinold Elevator Company, Inc. for another six years. I've been Director of Marketing at Northern Indiana Bank and Trust Company since 1968. I've been active in the Kouts and Valparaiso Chambers of Commerce, The Porter County United Way, N/W Regional Planning Commission, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Advisory Commission, Indiana Bankers Association and currently I'm serving as a Valparaiso City Councilman-At-Large.

It was my pleasure to serve as publicity chairman for the Kouts Centennial Celebration in 1965 and also chairman for the Northern Indiana Bank Centennial in 1973 and 1974. Written reports on both events are in the public library. I've also enjoyed serving as Treasurer of the American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County and have had the pleasant opportunity of meeting with many Porter County citizens and groups, young and old, who are interested in our Porter County and N/W Indiana heritage. I close this family history with the thought with which I opened many of these meetings. The U.S.A. is indeed a very young nation. My son has witnessed 10% of its history, I've seen 23%, my father 36%. The Schnurlein family has been here for 63%. On behalf of our five generations, Happy Birthday, America . . . You've given us a lot of opportunity. We pray that these opportunities continue for another 200 years!

Source: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County. 1976. A Biographical History of Porter County, Indiana. Valparaiso, Indiana: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County, Inc. 180 p.
Page(s) in Source: 156-157

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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