Alphonse Schneider was born Dec. 24, 1922.
He was the seventh of 11 children born to Mathew and Rosa Schneider, which included six boys and five girls.
Alphonse grew up in the small town of Silica and even as a young child would work in his father’s cheese factories, as well as his father’s hardware store located right next door to the family home. The name of the hardware store was Silica Hardware and it was ironically opened in 1922, the same year that Alphonse was born.
Silica Hardware catered to the farm community, often times the same farmers from which Alphonse would pick up milk to make cheese. It was common practice for Mathew to have the farmers buy goods like dynamite, coal, and many other products for their farms and Mathew would just take the amount they owed off their milk check.
Then the Great Depression came along. It was a horrible time for the American farmer as the Depression hit them as hard as anyone. It also impacted Silica Hardware tremendously since Mathew had extended credit to many of the farmers; much of it was never repaid. It was such a difficult time for Mathew, he unfortunately fell into alcoholism and it eventually prematurely took his life in 1944.
(Please see the June 25 issue of the Tri-County News for more on this story.)
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