Shelby County’s Sweethearts – Schwieter
Hurley and Charlette Schwieter both grew up in Shelby County near Shelbina.
When country school students came to Shelbina, that’s when Hurley and Charlette got acquainted with each other. Hurley said he remembers during the annual basketball tournament he was sitting in a car with some friends and Charlette came out the door.
“I had a previous girlfriend but we broke up so I was looking for a girlfriend, a companion I could have fun with. I liked the friendship of a young lady,” said Hurley.
Hurley said he remembers telling one of his friends in the car he would like to go out with Charlette.
“One of my friends in the car with me, jumped out, and ran up to her and told her. She said, If he wants to go out then he will have to ask me himself,” said Hurley.
Hurley remembers it was on a Monday and he said he didn’t ask her until later that week.
“I got the courage up to ask her. I caught her while she was going to the bus and asked if she would consider going out Friday night and that was our first date,” said Hurley.
Charlette and Hurley went to a movie in Shelbina.
Hurley said, “On my way home after our date, I said to myself, ‘I believe that’s the girl I am going to marry.’
Hurley remembers asking Charlette to marry him and going to get a ring and giving it to her at Shelbina Lake.
On the misty Sunday of October 11, 1959, the couple united in marriage at the Shelbina First Baptist Church. The reception was held at Charlette’s mother’s house. The couple went south to Osage Beach for their honeymoon.
Hurley talked about when they first got married, they didn’t have much money.
“Charlette made all the arrangements for where we lived. Her Grandma was alone so we lived with her. We lived there for almost two years and then we moved. We bought a farm in 1965 right across the road (south of Shelbyville),” said Hurley.
Charlette was secretary of her school, Gem City Business College, for almost a year. Hurley said he never went to college.
He worked at a grocery store. His goal was to work up to manager but that didn’t work out. He ended up farming part-time.
Hurley admitted things weren’t always easy and he confessed he loved playing pool.
“My pool playing was like drinking alcohol. I just couldn’t quit. I was out on the roof of our house and I was praying and asking God if I needed to quit then I needed his help.
“It was harder on my wife when we were first married. I wanted to be number one in Shelbina. That’s how God began to show me that he would do whatever is necessary and sometimes it’s a little hard,” said Hurley.
In 1969 things got pretty desperate but through prayer and Bible study group they ended up with a business.
“With no crops and no income. Charlette went to work. She more or less lifted us out. I did what I had to. I married one of the best women the country,” said Hurley.
In 1971, Hurley started building Smedley hog houses. For his 20 years in business he and his oldest son Rodney built between five to six thousand houses. Hurley sold them in seven states.
“Once I knew God was in charge of giving me this business, I told the Lord if as long he was in charge of my business I would give him 15 percent off of each building and if someone asked me how I got started I would tell them it was you,” said Hurley.
The first house Hurley sold was for $125. The last one was $385.
Charlette raised a family and worked as a lawyer’s secretary and for the City of Shelbina as City Clerk for 16 years. She currently works as Jerry Lillard’s secretary in Shelbina.
They have three sons, nine grandkids and seven great-grandchildren.
The couple enjoy camping together. They usually take a little trip together to Texas.
Charlette loves to cook meals and have family and friends over.
Hurley emphasized that “She is a great cook.”
Hurley and Charlette currently live south of Shelbyville.