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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Rev. Arthur Peter Schwab

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 131-132 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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The Rev. Arthur Peter Schwab, for more than two years pastor of the Trinity Lutheran church of Herkimer, was born at Glencoe Mills, Columbia county, New York, on the 26th of December, 1867. He is the son of John Schwab, who was born in Bavaria, on the 4th of July, 1842, and came to America as a young man. On shipboard, on the long voyage across the Atlantic, he was married to a young lady from Hesse, and shortly after their arrival in this country the young couple took up their residence in Glencoe Mills. John Schwab was a carriage maker by trade and was engaged in that line of manufacture in Chatham for ten years and subsequently he moved to Rochester, where he continued in the carriage manufacturing business for forty years. He died in Rochester, on November 15, 1896. His widow makes her home with a married daughter, Mrs. Anna E. McCannon of Rochester. She is now eighty years old, her birth having occurred on March 15, 1844.

Arthur Peter Schwab obtained a common school education in the public schools of Rochester, following which he went to work in the optical instrument business as an apprentice and was connected with the Bausch & Lomb Optical Company of Rochester for fifteen consecutive years. He left the optical instrument business to become associated with the John Hancock Insurance Company, a life insurance concern. During the fourteen years he was associated with this firm he was superintendent at Rochester and at Cincinnati, Ohio. The two years following this Mr. Schwab traveled for the Massachusetts Accident Company, opening up new territory for them, after which he was induced to accept a similar position with the New York Casualty Company. During the year he remained in their employ he opened up the Ilion, Herkimer and Mohawk district for them.

At the age of forty-seven, when many men are beginning to think of curtailing their activities and spending more time in personal enjoyment of life, Mr. Schwab determined to enter upon a new profession, one very different from the work in which he had hitherto been engaged. He began his preparation for the ministry by entering Hartwick Seminary on the 11th of September, 1914, and spent two full years studying there. At Lockport, New York, on October 6, 1916, he was ordained a minister of the gospel and accepted as his first pastorate the St. John's Lutheran church at Ancram, New York. Two years later he was called to the Lutheran church of the Holy Comforter in New York city, where he remained for nearly two years. On the 18th of December, 1921, he accepted a call to the Trinity Lutheran church of Herkimer, of which he has since been the pastor. In this capacity he has, of course, had a vital interest in all branches of the church's work and, moreover, has made his influence felt for good throughout the community.

A great sorrow came to Mr. Schwab when on the 23d of December, 1923, his wife passed away. During the two years she had resided in the village Mrs. Schwab had been active in the welfare of its residents, and was of great assistance to her husband in his church work. She was director of Trinity choir and took part in the work of all the church societies, where her loss is deeply felt. Mrs. Schwab died just a week before the completion of the new parsonage, in whose erection she had taken a keen interest. Her personal supervision had been given to all the details of the building and she had selected the wall paper for the various rooms and decided on the details of interior finish in the house she had hoped to make her home. Mrs. Schwab's maiden name was Elizabeth Helen Clark and she was born in Mannsville, Jefferson county, New York, on July 2, 1875, the youngest of a family of six children. The only surviving member of that family today is Fred Clark of Norwich, Connecticut, who is interested in a large textile mill at Taftsville, Vermont. Mr. and Mrs. Schwab were married on December 15, 1915, at Rochester, and throughout the eight years of her married life Mrs. Schwab was her husband's constant companion and ever faithful assistant.

By an earlier marriage Mr. Schwab is the father of two children: A son, Arthur Henry Schwab, born in Rochester, is married to Miss Clara Steelsmith, and they are the parents of two children, Linden H. and Clara Steelsmith; a daughter Miss Edna E. Schwab, also a native of Rochester, is a stenographer in the employ of the Syracuse Supply Company. The mother of these two children was Catherine E. Trebert before her marriage, on August 28, 1891. She was born in Rochester on August 2, 1867, and died there on February 22, 1912.

Mr. Schwab is a republican in his political affiliations. He has always been wide reader and has looked to literature for much of his recreation as well as information. Also he enjoys traveling and likes nothing better in the way of a vacation than a trip to some interesting or picturesque place.

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