John A Schott


JOHN A. SCHOTT, retired capitalist, residing at Leechburg, Armstrong county, Pa. was born in Hessen-Cassel, Germany, July 4, 1851, son of Adam and Catherine (Rohrbach) Schott.

Adam Schott and wife were born also in Germany, and had two children, John A. and Peter, when they embarked for America in 1856. The voyage was made in an old sailing vessel that required fifty days to make the passage. After landing in the United States the German family proceeded to Armstrong county, Pa., and located at Brady's Bend, where the father worked for a time as a coal miner, and also in the Brady's Bend iron and steel mill, but later purchased forty acres of land and developed an excellent farm. In Germany, Adam Schott had enjoyed educational advantages that made him an authority on many matters among his neighbors in Armstrong county, and his advice was often asked and his judgment consulted. Being a fine penman, he did much writing of public papers as well as for private correspondence. He became associated with the Republican party and served as school director, supervisor and assessor in Brady's Bend township. His death occurred in 1892, at the age of sixty-seven years, his wife surviving him but two years. They were active members of the German Lutheran Church, in which he had been choir leader for over twenty-five years. Their children were five in number, namely: John A.; Peter, living at Brady's Bend; Henry J., living at New Kingstown, Pa.; Elizabeth, wife of William Story; and William, living at East Brady.

John A. Schott was five years old when the family came to America and his first experience in the public schools was very trying on account of his knowing only the German language. In those days little provision had been made in the public schools to favor the instruction of foreign born children and it was sometimes very difficult for these to make much headway during the short seasons in which they were able to attend. Mr. Schott was an ambitious boy and supplemented the public instruction which he received with attendance at a night school, where he was taught privately. When only ten years old he was sent to work in the coal mines, and for some years his time was spent either in driving mules or digging coal. It was a hard and cheerless life, but it seemed necessary at that time and he survived. In 1871 he decided to learn a trade, and made arrangements with Nicholas Keener, a butcher at Armstrong Run by which he should work for him at a salary of eight dollars a month and in the meanwhile be taught the butcher business. He remained with Mr. Keener for eleven months and then bought the business, his father entering into partnership with him, and three months later they took up their residence on the farm above alluded to. They prospered, operating two meat wagons, and eight years later Mr. Schott was able to buy his father's interest and continued in the butcher business until 1892. Meantime he had also been interested in oil, doing some drilling, owned a few wells and for a while dealt in oil. In 1892 he came to Leechburg and bought out John Copeland conducting his business here continuously until July 1906. Mr. Schott is a stockholder in both of the Leechburg banks, also in the Apollo Lime and Ballast Company, and in Zanesville and Middletown, Ohio. Politically he is a Republican, but has never cared to hold office, business claiming the larger part of his attention. While living at Brady's Bend he united with the Odd Fellows. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

On Jan. 1, 1877, Mr. Schott was married to Elvira Williams, daughter of James L. Williams, and ten children have been born to them, as follows: Maude, who died Sept.. 21, 1892; aged fourteen years, seven months; Clara Katherine, who is the wife of Homer N. Carey; Mary Emma, who is the wife of Charles M. Carey; Anna Laurree, who is stenographer in a Pittsburgh business house; Margaret M., who is the wife of Barton J. Jackson; John Arthur; Frederick William; Henry Albert, who is a member of the 11th United States Cavalry, now stationed at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, a regiment that has seen considerable service during the late trouble along the United States border; John Milton at home; and Pauline, who died in 1898, at the age of sixteen months.

Lewis Williams, grandfather of Mrs. John A. Schott, was born in South Wales and spent his life there. He had two sons, John and James L., both of whom emigrated to America, the former of whom settled in Maryland.

James L. Williams, son of Lewis Williams and father of Mrs. John A Schott, was born at Breckon, Breckonshire, South Wales, Oct. 10, 1819. He set sail from Liverpool for America in 1848, and after reaching the United States went to Clinton, Ohio, and in 1851 settled at Brady's Bend, Armstrong Co., Pa. There he engaged in farming and also acquired a fine farm to which he devoted his attention for some years. He died at Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1896. His wife, Jane Davis, was born in Blaenavon, Monmouthshire, South Wales, Feb. 19, 1822. In 1849, in company with her intended husband's brother and wife, Mr. and Mrs. John Williams, she took passage on a vessel leaving Liverpool for New York. She never forgot the hardships of that long voyage of six weeks, but was safely landed at New York, whence she ascended the river to Troy, and from there made her way to Clinton, Ohio, by way of the Erie canal to Buffalo, again by boat to Cleveland, and once more by canal to Clinton, which she reached May 31, 1849. She was welcomed by Mr. Williams, to whom she came to be married, and their wedding took place June 22, 1849. She survives and resides at Pittsburgh, well preserved in mind and body. Her reminiscences are very interesting. To Mr. James L. Williams and wife the following children were born: Mary A., who died young; Mary E., who married Thomas Hodge; Margaret A., married to William Davis, Jr.; Sarah J., who married George A. Lentz and (second) Robert Whitefield; Elvira, who married John A. Schott; Ruth, who died in infancy; William J., who is a resident and business man of Pittsburgh; and Annie Laurie, who is the wife of William Leonard.

Source: Pages 585-587, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed January 1999 by Connie Mateer for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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