Abe Schneider enjoys friends and relatives
Osgood resident to celebrate 99 years

Cindy DiFazio, Staff Writer

In Osgood, as in most of rural America, people are proud of the many generations of their families who still call Osgood home. Our roots run deep.

Abe Schneider, who will celebrate his 99th birthday on April 15, first put his roots into Ripley County soil in 1921 at age 13. Schneider’s father, a Russian Jew, had emigrated to Osgood, via Cincinnati and North Vernon in the first decade of the 1900’s and set up a harness business.

The elder Schneider came to America because of persecution in his native Russia. Abe explained, “When you lived there, they’d draft you into the service for three years.” His dad went into the armed services and served out his time, where Abe said his father was mistreated because he was Jewish. “That’s why he came to America,” Abe continued.

Mr. Schneider came to the states alone because he needed to make some money in order to send for his wife and three sons, Abe, Ralph and Simon. His wife’s sister and her husband lived in Cincinnati, so that’s where Schneider began his search for the American dream. Soon after, he learned that there was a need for men who knew the harnessing business in southeastern Indiana. He rode the rails to North Vernon and then on to Osgood where he established his family-owned business in 1917.

Four years later, in 1921, Schneider was finally able to send for his family in Novogrod Volinsk, Russia. They had not been able to cross the ocean because of World War I. Their arrival marked the beginning of the generations of Schneiders who continue to live, thrive and contribute to this community.

Abe says that he started in the junk business at age 20. It began as a side interest to the harness shop. He also ran Abe Schneider’s Shoe Store, in a building where Osgood Primary Care is now located, for 18-20 years.

Abe is the last surviving member of the original Schneider family who came to America more than eight decades ago. His brother, Ralph, tragically died in a car wreck at age 21. Simon, passed away in 1999 at age 88.

Schneider and his wife, Myrtle, raised four children in Osgood - Sherrill, Marcia, Kathie and Ralph. Myrtle passed away November 5, 2004 just one day after her 94th birthday.

Now there are eight grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and two (so far) great-great-grandchildren to carry the name far into the 21st century.

The family enjoyed a grand celebration Easter Sunday to mark Abe’s 99th birthday. Family members wouldn’t miss it, coming from as far away as Canada and California. Asked what he enjoys doing these days, Abe replied, “As long as you can get around, you enjoy it.”

Abe Schneider holds his birthday greeting from President George Bush. His father migrated to America from Russia and was able to bring his family, including Abe, to America in 1921.