SEARCHING FOR THE TROYKE BLACKSMITH SHOP, PART 1

“Blacksmith and Wagon Shop For Sale or Rent on easy terms.  Also good house with one acre of land and all kinds of fruit.  Splendid location for German family owing to the death of blacksmith at Schaumburg Center, Cook County, Illinois.  For particulars apply to H. E. Quindel, Real Estate Agent.”

This tidbit appeared in the October 11, 1912 issue of the DuPage County Register.  It was curious for two reasons.  Most familiar with Schaumburg Township history know of the Nerge blacksmith shop that was on the southwest corner of the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Road—where the clock tower now stands.  That particular blacksmith shop existed into the 1920s.  The Troyke Blacksmith Shop in Roselle was well known, so whose was this?  Very curious.

After doing a bit more research, another article appeared on November 5, 1909 under the Schaumburg banner of the same paper that states:   “Albion Minnrich has rented Troyke’s shop and expects to continue the blacksmith trade.  Good work at reasonable prices; horseshoeing 20 and 40 cents.  H. R. Troyke has moved to his farm 3 miles north.  He hopes by out-door work to escape the severe attacks of rheumatism to which he has been subject in the blacksmith shop.”

So there was a Troyke blacksmith shop in Schaumburg too.  This answered the initial question but who was Albion Minnrich?  And who died—Albion Minnrich or H.R. Troyke?  And where was this blacksmith shop?

It was easy enough to contact Larry Nerge, master genealogist of Schaumburg Township, and have him confirm that Herman Troyke died in 1949.  He suggested that it might be a good idea to check the 1910 census and look for someone who might have been listed as a blacksmith in the township.  The next day he responded with an email that said, “I searched the 1910 Schaumburg Federal Census (20 pages) and identified Albin Nimmerich born abt. 1888 in Germany and immigrated 1907. He was living as a boarder with the August Sunderlage family.  Albin was listed as a blacksmith working in a shop of his own accord.”

This was interesting.  August Sunderlage was a cousin to Herman Troyke’s wife, Mina (Meyer) Troyke.  Thus, it makes sense that Mr. Nimmerich would have rented Herman’s shop.  Another article from the May 27, 1910 DuPage County Register mentions Mr. Nimmerich’s brother, Otto, arriving on May 20 to help in the blacksmith shop.Albin Nimmrich

Unfortunately for Otto, it appears Albin was, indeed, the blacksmith who passed away as I was able to find him in the St. Peter’s burial records.    He was born February 22, 1887 and he died May 16, 1911.  There is even a tombstone for him at the back of their cemetery.  Notice the correct spelling.  Obviously, the census takers and the newspaper did not record the correct spellings.

It appears his brother Otto must have continued in the blacksmithing business because this picture of him below appeared in the book, Hanover Harvesters.  He is the gentleman to the far left.  This solved part of the puzzle.Otto Nimmrich

But, then, the mystery widened when I talked to Hoffman Estates historian, Pat Barch who shared this photo with me from Roger Meyer who was a nephew of the Troykes.  It is a beautiful photo of Herman Troyke standing in the doorway of his shop with its sign advertising the services of blacksmithing and horse shoeing.  Again, where was this shop?Troyke blacksmith shop

Tune in for Part 2 of the Troyke Blacksmith Shop mystery.  It will be continued next week.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

The photo of Otto Nimmrich from Hanover Harvesters is used, courtesy of the Streamwood Historical Society. 

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