Contributed by Val***I do not have any other information, nor am I a Schweer relative.
From the Joliet Hearld Newspaper
105-year-old tax collector dies after decades in Crete area job
CRETE TOWNSHIP — Since the position of township tax collector was created here in 1933, the only name associated with it has been Schweer.
That ended Wednesday as Emma Clara Schweer, Crete Township tax collector, known to have been the oldest elected official in Illinois and likely the country, died at St. James Hospital and Health Centers in Chicago Heights. She was 105.
She held the post for more than three decades. She was appointed in 1965 after the death of her husband, appliance store owner Arthur F. Schweer, who had held the same office since 1933, the first year Crete Township was able to elect a tax collector.
As tax collector, she was responsible for typing tax bills, collecting real estate and personal property taxes, and taking the tax revenue to the Will County treasurer's office in Joliet. The county took over tax collection in the township in the 1970s, making the township collector post a nonpaying, ceremonial office.
Schweer once said she worried people would not vote for her if they knew how old she was, but her fears were unfounded. She was easily elected to her 17th term in April.
Mary Ann Gearhart, Crete Township supervisor, didn't see Schweer very often. But when she did, she was dressed to the nines, Gearhart said.
"When we were sworn in after the April election, Emma came to the ceremony," Gearhart said. "She was a little late. She had noticed that her purse didn't match her shoes, and she wasn't going anywhere like that."
Schweer might have liked to downplay her age, but Gearhart said the longtime tax collector was honored when the national media took notice in April. Tom Brokaw was supposed to come down in May to interview her, but he canceled when he got sidetracked by coverage of Tropical Storm Allison.
Still, Gearhart said, Schweer's story made it into the Enquirer and the Star. Will County Clerk Jan Gould said Schweer could have been in other magazines as well.
Gould said she would see Schweer from time to time at Republican gatherings in the eastern part of the county. She, too, said Schweer paid a lot of attention to her appearance.
"She looked like she just stepped out of Vogue," Gould said. "She was an institution out there. A very lovely lady."
Dorothy Drost has been with the county treasurer's office for about 30 years and remembers when Schweer would come in with the township tax books. She, too, commented on Schweer's always-fastidious appearance and added that Schweer always had her books in order.
"She was a very nice person and well thought of in the office," Drost said.
Former flight trainer
Schweer — born April 28, 1896, in Ocheyedan, Iowa — moved to Crete in 1905. She was a graduate of Trinity Lutheran School and Miles Business College. She did office work for an insurance company and a railroad.
She later earned a pilots license and trained men to be pilots in World War II at a small airport she owned with her husband.
Schweer, like her late husband, had a keen interest in flying. At times, her husband would fly into Joliet Municipal Airport from Crete to drop off his tax books.
In the 1940s, Schweer was a member of the Amelia Earhart Flying Club, a national organization of female pilots. She also was heavily involved with the Crete Historical Society and a lifetime member of the Republican Party.
"I would always see her come in to vote," Gearhart said. "Recently, she needed a little help and would get an absentee ballot. But she was driving up until not so long ago."
Schweer called herself "a dyed-in-the-wool Republican," but not even the Crete Township Democratic Committee was willing to challenge the incumbent. The last time Schweer was opposed was about 12 years ago.
Gearhart said they will report the vacancy to Joe Battaglia, Crete Township Republican chairman, who will then select Schweer's successor.
Survivors include several great-nieces and great-nephews. She was preceded in death by one brother and two sisters.
Visitation will be 2 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Hirsch Funeral Home, the Spinlder-Koelling Chapel, 507 Exchange St., Crete. A funeral service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 448 Cass St., Crete. Interment will be at Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, Crete.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, 448 Cass St., Crete, or St. James Hospice House, 1423 Chicago Road, Chicago Heights.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS contributed to this story. Nick Reiher, assistant city editor at The Herald News, can be reached at (815) 729-6050 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.