THE PFINGSTEN PHOTOS: ALBUM #2

Last week we saw the first online photo album of amateur, turn-of-the-twentieth-century, local guy, Fred Pfingsten. His intent was, with his camera, to take photos of his family and farm. The catalyst for the purchase could very well have been his wedding to Emma Rohlwing that took place on September 3, 1903.

Multiple photos were taken by Mr. Pfingsten on his wedding day. This is a continuation of those photos. The earlier blog post can be seen here.

The largest tent at the Pfingsten/Rohlwing wedding. (Photo credit to the Pfingsten family)

It seems this photo, likely taken by Fred Pfingsten near dusk, illuminates the interior, upper structure of the tent. The size of the tent is quite large and probably allowed for a wooden floor to be placed inside for the dancing and merrymaking that would follow. Notice the American flag that is hoisted on one of the poles of the tent. The dining, “Welcome” tent is likely to the right and a young girl stands in front of the tent. The trees in the background almost block the Pfingsten house that is barely visible by its roof line and chimney at the back of the photo.

The two tents at the Pfingsten/Rohlwing wedding. (Photo credit to the Pfingsten family)

Taken from more of a distance, with this photo Fred went beyond one of the farm fence lines and out into the field to capture a longer shot of the location of the wedding festivities. The large tent is to the left, and the dining “Welcome” tent is to the right. The Pfingsten house is in the background. We can just make out the chimney on the left side of the house.

Raising their steins to drink to the newly married couple. (Photo credit to the Pfingsten family)

This group of men, raising their steins to the young couple, don’t appear to be too happy. However, given the fact that holding a smile for an extended period while Fred staged the photo, it is not too surprising that most them look somber. Anyone’s mouth would likely relax from a smile into repose.

To a man, the partygoers are dressed in suits and hats. Even the young boy in front has on a wide-brimmed hat that he wears with his white shirt. One man has a watch chain on his vest and another holds a cigar. Some, as is the fashion today, have beards, while others are clean shaven.

It seems that the beer is dark in color and that they hired someone from the outside to dispense it. The gentleman in the upper left, who is wearing an apron, appears to be the “bartender.” There is a more blurred gentleman in an apron standing to the left of him who probably worked with him.

More curiously is the sign, tent or wagon that has the letters F. S W A. In doing some research, the only company that comes close is T.F. Swan of Elgin whose business, in an 1883 edition of Elgin Daily News, is listed as a type of dry goods store. Maybe by 1903 he had expanded into the line of canvas and tents?

Fred and Emma (Rohlwing) Pfingsten, sitting in the middle, are surrounded by their wedding party. [Photo credit to the Pfingsten family]

This photo of the wedding party was, also, likely arranged by Fred, before he took his place in a chair next to his bride and allowed someone else to “take” the photo. Four bridesmaids, four groomsmen and two flower girls make up the group.

Unfortunately, the wedding party is unidentified though, it is somewhat easy to recognize that two of the women and one of the girls have the same eyes as Emma. The ladies, second from the left and second from the right in the back row, and the young girl to the right of Fred are quite probably Emma’s sisters. She had a large number of siblings who she would have likely included in her wedding.

Fred had only sisters who survived to adulthood so the men standing around him were either cousins or friends. It is interesting to note that both Fred and Emma were the oldest children in their families, though other family members married before them.

Wedding attendees. [Photo credit to the Pfingsten family]

This is another one of the glass plate negative photos produced by the Conant students. We can’t be sure that the photo was taken at the Rohlwing/Pfingsten wedding but it seems somewhat likely based on the fact that the women’s dresses resemble, quite strongly, the dresses on the ladies in the photo above.

The young girls are in their white, Sunday best and the location appears to be the Pfingsten farm, judging by the trees in the background.

What makes this photo so unique and wonderful for its time is the casual posing of two of the couples who have definitely had a good day. Most other photos of the day were often staged in a photographer’s studio. Fred’s informal, unpretentious camera caught these marvelous moments right on his family’s farm. What a treasure.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

THE PFINGSTEN PHOTOS: ALBUM #1

Some time in the late 1800s or early 1900s, this young boy who was born in Schaumburg Township, would grow up and indulge himself by purchasing a camera. His name was Fred Pfingsten and his intent was to take photos of his family and farm. The catalyst for the purchase could, very well, have been his wedding to Emma Rohlwing that took place on September 3, 1903.

He most likely developed his photos on dry glass plate negatives. Oregon State University says “dry plate glass negatives were in common use between the 1880s and the late 1920s.” [Oregonstate.edu]

Imagine, though, the forethought that Mr. Pfingsten must have given to the purchase, considering that he “likely needed considerable chemical and technical knowledge, specialized darkroom materials and equipment, and a dedicated work space to develop [his] plates and print photographs.” [Texas State University]

Where in a farmhouse would Mr. Pfingsten have developed his photos? Chances are it was the basement, where he would have also been without electricity and heat. Even in remote Schaumburg Township where there was little ambient light, the basement was probably his first choice. Regardless of where he worked, it couldn’t have been an easy task to bring himself up to speed on the developing process.

While the library owns some of the Pfingsten photos outright, there are others that we were allowed to scan, compliments of the Pfingsten family. In addition, others were developed from some of the original glass plate negatives in 2012-2013 by students in the Conant High School Photography Club that was overseen by Linda Patino-Goergen.

These glass plate negatives were donated to Doug Flett of St. Peter Lutheran Church by Rev. Michael Pfingsten, a descendant of Fred Pfingsten. It was Mr. Flett’s diligence that caused him to seek out Conant High School. After the Photography Club finished their work with the negatives, they were then given to the library as the permanent repository.

Multiple photos were taken on the Pfingsten’s wedding day, which was a Thursday. In those days, most large weddings in the area took place on Thursdays. One of the reasons may have been that families did not want to interfere with church services that were held on the weekend.

Fred and Emma (Rohlwing) Pfingsten stand behind two of their flower girls outside of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Schaumburg. Reverend Gustaf Mueller stands on the right of Mr. Pfingsten. (Photo credit to the Pfingsten family)

While we can’t be one hundred percent sure that Mr. Pfingsten and his camera took these clearer photos, the fact that the above photo has a typed description at the bottom is a good indication that he did. It is likely Mr. Pfingsten staged the photos that he was a part of and then someone else, with his instructions, took the picture. This photo was taken outside of St. Peter Lutheran Church. Reverend Gustaf Mueller stands to the right of Mr. Pfingsten. He served as pastor of St. Peter’s from 1883 to 1905.

Horses and wagon that likely brought the newly married couple to the Pfingsten farm after the wedding. (Photo credit to the Schaumburg Township District Library)

This photo, taken on the Pfingsten farm (the barn, with its double cupolas, is distinctive) could have been taken either before the wedding or as the festivities began. It is most likely the former, based on three reasons. If Mr. Pfingsten was setting up the camera he would have had more time to do so before the wedding than after. Also, it would have been easier to gather the men and boys together in the wagon on the way to the church, rather than after they arrived back at the farm for the merrymaking. And, thirdly, the aprons on the men look crisp and snowy white. It is difficult to imagine that that pristine condition would have continued through the day and night of celebrating.

The “Welcome” tent at the reception on the Pfingsten farm. (Photo credit to the Pfingsten family)

This photo is one of those developed from the glass plate negatives that were donated to the library by the Pfingsten family. It is a virtual guarantee that Mr. Pfingsten took the photo himself, given the somewhat blurred image.

Through details gathered by the Conant students, family members stated that this was likely taken the day after the wedding. To a certain extent, we might dispute this fact, given the more stylish nature of the ladies’ dresses. It is difficult to imagine they would be cleaning up in such dressy dresses.

If it’s not the day after, it is possible it is the morning of the wedding. In either case, it must have been early in the morning given the tidy nature of the women’s clothing. We also have to assume that most of the people in the photo are part of the immediate Pfingsten family who were on the premises for the wedding or members of the Rohlwing family who came over to help.

The “Welcome” tent at the reception on the Pfingsten farm. (Photo credit to the Pfingsten family)

This is another photo taken outside of the Welcome tent at the wedding. It, too, has a typed description below the photo. With the blurred gentleman on the left, Fred Pfingsten likely took the photo.

It is unique in that we can see that this is one of the dining tents on the premises. Both men and women are sitting elbow to elbow around the table that is wide enough to accommodate two chairs at either end. Others are waiting to take their place, including young ladies who wore their best white dresses. These girls still wore their dresses at or slightly below their knees as it was not considered unseemly to show their legs. The men and boys all wore suits, with many of them also sporting hats.

The corner of another tent is in the upper right corner. Next week, we will see that tent as well as more photos of this famous wedding in Schaumburg Township.

And, thus begins a look at the photos planned, staged and developed by a man who clearly was interested in photography as a hobby. We are fortunate, as it is a look at every day occurrences in a Schaumburg Township world that is far removed from ours.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

AN 1848 LETTER FROM FRED BARTELS TO GERMANY (PART 1)

Those of us in 2022 can’t begin to imagine what Schaumburg Township was like in the 1840s. Thanks, though, to an 1848 letter that Johann Friedrich Bartels wrote to his relatives in Germany, we have an idea of his family’s trip here, what he encountered along the way and what the township looked like when he arrived.

Fred, as his name was shortened to in the U.S., was born August 20, 1809 in Schaumburg, Germany to his parents, Johann Friedrich and Anna Maria Sophia (Richmann) Bartels. He later married Engel Maria Sophia Reese on February 9, 1840 in Rodenberg Germany.

They had four children who were born in Germany: Johann Friedrich (1840), Engel Sophia (1842), Conrad (1844) and Christoph (1846). Five additional children were born here in Schaumburg Township: Heinrich (1849), William (1851), Johann Wilhelm (1854), Johann (1856) and Heinrich Christoph (1859). Seven of the nine children lived to adulthood.

These photos are of various Bartels siblings and their spouses, and were posted by LonnaBeth on the findagrave page of Christoph Bartels. Six of their sons lived to adulthood as well as their only daughter. Unfortunately, we do not have a photo of Mr. Bartels and his wife.

The letter from Fred Bartels was dated April 28, 1848 and was written to Fred’s sister, Marie Sophie and her husband, Johann Friedrich Christoph Wilkening of Soldorf, Apelern Parish in Grafschaft, Schaumburg, Niedersachsen, Germany. It came to the attention of the Volkening Heritage Farm at Spring Valley after it was published on March 30, 1991 in an unidentified German newspaper.

The letter and translation was eventually republished in the November 2005, No. 40 issue of LANDSMANN, a special interest newsletter dedicated to promoting the genealogy and history of the German-speaking immigrants who settled in Crete and Washington Townships in Will County, IL.

Staff at the Volkening Heritage Farm at Spring Valley enlisted the services of Friedemann Stuebing of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Northern Illinois University in transcribing the letter. The translation is as follows:

“Finally–a letter from America!” is what you will, I’m sure, exclaim when you receive these lines. Because I’m hoping you haven’t completely forgotten us, even though seas and continents separate us. Be assured that we also think of you quite often, and that we cross the seas in spirit and place ourselves in your midst.

Let me begin with telling you the joyful news that we have been–the Lord be praised–doing all right since our separation from you and have been healthy and well until today, and that we like our new home beyond expectations.

We hope with all of our heart that all of you, including our relatives whom we left behind in Germany, are well and that no mishap burdened you since our departure.

You will certainly be curious to hear about our new fatherland. Our journey from Bremerhaven to New York took 6 weeks, and even though it was accompanied by some troubles, we enjoyed ourselves quite a bit during the trip and made it through much easier than we thought. We continuously comforted ourselves with the thought that the few–will focus on, and that we shall yield a rich replacement for all the unpleasant things we experienced–since we sailed to the land of freedom, blessing and good fortune–and to the country, where quite a few of our German brothers found a new, happy home, to the country in which we should forget the grind and the slavery which we suffered in the House of Service called Germany.

And these our hopes have–thanks to God–not deceived us; no, they have definitely surpassed, and we have every reason to exclaim: “It is good to be here!” Let us build huts here!”

From New York we took the steam boat up to Albany, from there the train to Buffalo, then a steamboat to Chicago and from there a wagon to our destiny–the place of our destination, 24 English miles away from Chicago. As soon as our German acquaintances heard that we had arrived in Chicago, they came up with their carts to pick us up.

Chicago : S. H. Burhans & J. Van Vechten, 1861

I and my whole family immediately moved in with our German friends, the Boegers, where we found friendly accommodations. After only a few days here, I realized that this country had great advantages over Germany, because I realized that people who would have been considered without means in Germany were able to have large farms here in a few years.

[Johann Heinrich Boeger and his wife, Catharine Sophia, nee Redeker and their daughter, Hanna Sophia Caroline, came to Schaumburg Township in 1845, a few years before the Bartels. You can see them listed on the 1861 map above under the name “Boyer.” The Bartels’ property is adjacent to the Boeger’s.]

Indeed, real estate is so cheap and incomes are so good that people without any wealth can purchase a piece of land, and–as long as they have any drive to put in the work–can secure an income for themselves and their children to be free of worries within a short period of time. A servant in Germany who does not have money originally will remain a servant for the rest of his life, and his children after him will likewise be slaves.

But here, where a minion earns 100 dollars or 133 Thaler (19th century German currency) per year, it is easy to buy 40 to 80 Morgens of land which are available for 40 to 80 dollars, and therefore becomes his own master and makes his children happy.

[In his analysis of the letter, Howard Piepenbrink, in the November 2005 issue of his newsletter, LANDSMANN, states, “Though a Morgen of land is less than an acre (varying in size from .6 to .9 acres), Herr Bartels’ reference to numbers 40 and 80 (which are standard acreage subdivisions in the U.S. public land-survey system) suggest that he was equating Morgens to acres. Historically and theoretically, a Morgen (which also means “morning”) was a measure or acre of land that one man and an ox could plow in one morning; this would naturally vary according to the soil, topography, etc., of the region in question.”]

If it is this great for poor people, you can easily imagine how much better it must be for people who have some money. Because they can purchase ready-to-use places here and can set up everything in the finest way. Real estate is available in an enormous abundance; in fact, according to a recent calculation it turns out that, if every German moved to America, each family could still get 28 acres of land.

[It is interesting to consider that, even in 1848, there were “ready-to-use places” in and around Schaumburg Township. We often assume that the area was pristine, untilled and, largely, uninhabited. This appears to be erroneous.]

You can barely imagine the quality of the soil. There are also differences here in this country; some regions are more fertile than others. But completely infertile land like the Heide [heath] areas in Germany cannot be found anywhere in America. Of course, I can mainly speak about this area only, since I have the most experience about it.

Even though I heard repeatedly that the soil in this region [of Illinois] is not even the best by far in America, I must say that I am so very content with it that I can’t wish it to be better. The ground here is neither mountainous nor flat, but instead lies in smooth waves so that it has sufficient drainage and is adequately dry.

The A. Longos Farm looking east across Roselle Road, south of the Weathersfield Way intersection. Kingsport Street is south of the gas line in the center of the picture.  Ca. 1978. Photo credit to LaVonne (Thies) Presley.

[This is an example of how Schaumburg Township looked pre-development. The roll of the land that Mr. Bartels described is obvious.]

In its natural state, the land is overgrown with nourishing grasses and other feed-herbs, generously feeding the livestock. Every now and then one comes across wooded areas with different types of oaks, walnut and linden trees and the so-called sugar wood [hard maples.] Farms are situated such that everybody lives on his own land, surrounded by his own land, not like the way it is in Germany where one has to travel for hours to get to a Morgen field or two.

If the land is still in its natural state, it is first tilled in the months of May, June or July. Two teams of horses or two to three yoke of oxen can pull a plow well enough to break up 10 to 12 inches every time. With horses, it is possible to break up two acres per day, half an acre with oxen.

[By the time we spoke to our oral historians and read various family histories, oxen were not used on area farms. Instead, the farmers used pairs of large draft horses like the ones shown below on the William Thies farm on Wiese Road.

Bob and Barney hitched to a wagon. Photo credit to LaVonne (Thies) Presley.

The land that is plowed early is planted with Turkish wheat or seeded with oats; the land that has been broken up late is cultivated with wheat and yields magnificent harvests. If the ground has been cultivated with Turkish wheat, it is harrowed under the next year, without prior plowing. In general, all the land is plowed only once, and after Turkish wheat or potatoes the soil is not broken up at all, but the ground is only harrowed.

Thank goodness, dealing with fertilizer is much less a problem here than it is at home; we have no larger trouble than just getting rid of all the fertilizer from the barns. If you could only pick it up, we would not only be pleased to give it to you, we would even thank you for it.

[According to the Schaumburg Township Historical Society’s Yellow Card File, Mr. Bartels purchased 160 acres in Section 27 from the government on September 27, 1847. By 1861, when the above map was published, he no longer owned his original parcels but had bought property in Section 23 near his good friend, Mr. Boeger. This property was located near today’s juncture of Plum Grove and Schaumburg Roads. Below is the original land purchase from the Bureau of Land Management’s Land Patent database.

This rings true as we find in Schaumburg Township Land Patents prepared by Bonnie Cernosek. There it states that Mr. Bartels purchased property in Section 27 on the 1847 date which is listed as the Illinois Patent Date. Notice, though, that the date on the patent itself is dated May 1, 1849. There appears to be a lag time between the purchase date and the bill of sale date. This incident pops up frequently.]

Next week we will read further descriptions of Mr. Bartels’ farm, the church that he helped found and life in Schaumburg Township.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

JOHANN AND SOPHIE BOEGER AND THEIR HOUSE

When their ship, the Louise, reached the shores of New York City on July 5, 1845, only half of the journey had begun for Johann Heinrich and Sophia Dorothea (Redeker) Boeger and their daughter, Hanna Sophia “Caroline,” who was only six months old at the time.

In Heidi Kerans’ book In The Valley of the Springs, she states that, from New York City, the small family made their way to the Erie Canal and then on to Illinois, “arriving in Chicago in the early fall of 1845.”

Beginning on September 8, 1845, according to Schaumburg Township Land Patents compiled by Bonnie Cernosek, Johann purchased from the federal government, two parcels of land in Schaumburg Township, followed by another on February 2, 1846, three more on September 6, 1846 and one final parcel on June 1, 1848. All seven parcels were in sections 22 and 23 of the township.

Johann is listed as John Boyer on this 1861 plat map. Note that he is the owner of 283 acres.

After their initial purchase, the Boegers, according to Heidi, “purchased a yoke of oxen and rode to Sarah’s Grove. The trip from Germany to Schaumburg had taken five months… The family tale that has been passed down through the generations is that Johann and Sophie’s first home was a dugout that was built into a side of a hill on their property.” Keep in mind that winter was approaching and shelter was necessary and immediate.

Following that rudimentary shelter, Sandy Meo, longtime volunteer at the Heritage Farm, recalls that Herman Redeker, great grandson of Johann, told her that the Boegers eventually built a log cabin.

Around this time, in 1847, the Boegers lost their daughter, Caroline, who had come from Germany with them. She was three years old and is buried in St. Peter Lutheran Cemetery. A second son, Johann Heinrich, was born in 1848 and died a young man of 24. Herman was born on Christmas Day, 1850 and lived on the property until his death in 1926. Auguste was born in 1859, married Christoph Fasse and lived a long life, dying in 1945.

The young family must have continued to live in the log cabin for a number of years. It was assumed at one time that the house that now serves as the Heritage Farmhouse was eventually built by the Boegers around 1850. Through diligent research, Spring Valley has now determined that this house was actually built by F. Bartels who lived adjacent to the Boegers on what is, today, the southeast corner of the intersection of Schaumburg and Plum Grove Roads.

Some time between 1850 and 1860, Johann built his own frame farmhouse. Heidi mentions in her book that “it became a showplace of the township” and, in a Daily Herald article from July 26, 1974, it is called the “grand dame of the 1850s.” According to Heidi, it even “had a cistern that furnished rain water for washing.”

There is one photo of the house that exists and there is another partial view that staff at Spring Valley believe to be the house. The latter is in this panoramic picture of the farm that was taken sometime in the 1880s. Unfortunately, as distinctive as the barn is in the photo, the house is considerably less so, as it is hidden in the trees.

Panoramic photo of the Boeger farm. Credit to Spring Valley and the Heritage Farm.

If you look closely through the trees on the right, you can see what the Spring Valley staff assume to be is the house. One has to imagine that Johann must have told the photographer to focus on capturing the barn, which was built in 1881, according to In The Valley Of The Springs. Given the style of the photo and the windmill that was added to the top of the barn, it is quite probable that the photo was taken shortly after the impressive barn was built and the windmill was added. The house, by this time, might have been secondary in Johann’s eyes.

We can see a closeup of the house if we scan a bit more diligently. You can see it here, in this photo.

Right half of the panoramic photo of the Boeger house. Credit to Spring Valley and the Heritage Farm.

Adolph Link, who moved his family to the property in 1932, appears to have also been captivated by the panoramic view, as he painted this painting that hangs in the kitchen of the farmhouse at Spring Valley. It is a strong likeness of the photo and, unfortunately, additional details of the house are not incorporated. It is also interesting to consider that the house was in place the entire time he lived on or near the Redeker property, until his death in 1971.

Adolph Link painting of the Boeger farm. Photo credit to Spring Valley and the Heritage Farm.

The only other photo is from the July 26, 1974 story that ran in the Daily Herald. The 100-year-old house had, by this time, seen its better days. In fact, the kitchen was torn off by strong winds in the July 2, 1933 tornado that struck the southern part of the township, and appeared to leave only the main structure of the house intact.

Boeger house in 1974. Photo credit to the Daily Herald.

In an article from the May 21, 1976 issue of the Daily Herald, it mentions that the house was eventually dismantled that year and donated to the Arlington Heights Park District. They hoped to rebuild it as “typical farm house” for a Prairie Farm and Garden Park that they envisioned. Unfortunately, that plan never came to fruition and the house timbers no longer exist.

Little did Johann and Sophie realize that their long journey from Germany to the wilds of Schaumburg Township in 1845 would yield a park that is, today, so enjoyed by local residents and all who visit. Even now, because of the 1880’s living Heritage Farm that exists on their property, we get a glimpse of what it must have been like to work on their farm. Take a walk around and put yourself back in time. You’ll be glad you did.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org.

My thanks to volunteer Sandy Meo, and Monique Inglot and Dave Brooks of Spring Valley, for their assistance in creating this blog post. It could not have been done without their knowledge, files and photos.

THE WITHAEGER FAMILY FARM OF SCHAUMBURG TOWNSHIP

In May 2021, I was contacted by the German Emigration Center in Bremerhaven, Germany. This museum opened in 2005 and is mostly dedicated to those who emigrated from Germany to the United States. Each visitor, walking through the museum, is assigned an emigrant who they follow on their journey from Germany to the home they made in America.

Simone Blaschko, the director of the museum, did some of her university studies in Schaumburg Township where she became familiar with a number of our German farm families. Her work largely revolved around some of the founding families of St. Peter Lutheran Church, but she was also aware of the story of the Withaeger family. Particularly intriguing, was the story of Christine Wilhelmine (Gieseke) Withaeger.

The museum did some research on Christine Wilhelmine and contacted the library. We were able to touch base with her great, great grandson, William Haberkamp, who, fortunately, had photos and additional information on the family. As a result, Christine Wilhelmina (Gieseke) Withaeger will now be one of the emigrants assigned to a visitor. This is her story.

Wilhelmine Withaeger with three of her four children

Schaumburg Township had only 480 residents living in its 36 square miles when it was formed in 1850. By 1852 the number had gone up by two when Friederich Wilhelm and Christine Wilhelmina (Gieseke) Withaeger arrived from Hessen, Germany.

Wilhelm was born in 1820 and Wilhelmine in 1825. According to Wilhelmine’s March 8, 1912 obituary in the Cook County Herald, the couple was married in 1850 and came to this country two years later. Wilhelmine was pregnant at the time and it could not have been an easy voyage for her. It is probable that when they arrived, the living conditions in Schaumburg Township were rudimentary at best.

Despite a difficult situation, Wilhelmine gave birth to a son, Charles or Karl, on November 20, 1852. In Charles’ obituary in the November 12, 1937 edition of the Cook County Herald, it states that he lived on his family’s farm all of his life. We have to suppose, then, that Wilhelm, his father, purchased the farm soon after he and Wilhelmine arrived.

In this snapshot of an 1861 Cook County plat map by S. H. Burhans & J. Van Vechten, the earliest map that is available, we can see Mr. Withaeger’s name underneath Section 10. He is listed as W. Withagen and he owned 160 acres.

Five years after the birth of Charles, their first daughter, Sophia, was born on May 11, 1857. She was followed by Wilhelmine on January 28, 1860 and by Augusta on April 24, 1864.

Unfortunately, a little over three years later, on July 12, 1867, Wilhelm passed away at the age of 46. Wilhelmine was 41 years old and was left to manage a farm with a son who was 14 and daughters who were 10, 7 and 3 years of age. It was a monumental task.

1935 area topographical map

Because subsequent plat maps show that the farm never grew larger than the 160 acres, we know that she was still working with the original farm. Judging by this topographic map from 1935, we know the farm most likely had many tillable acres given the fact that it was a higher elevation and had roll the way it does today.

We have to suppose that Wilhelmine either employed a hired hand to assist in the farming, or some of her relatives in the area helped out. Thanks to Larry Nerge who has done a great deal of genealogical research of the German farm families in Schaumburg Township, we know that a sister and a brother made the voyage to America as well. Louise Winkelhake, her sister, was married to Christoph Winkelhake and they owned a farm at Plum Grove and Higgins Road which was not far away.

The Withaeger farm. Credit to the Withaeger family.

Wilhelmine’s son, Charles, grew up fast and inherited the task of raising livestock and farming the land. It would also not be too much of a stretch to think that Wilhelmine participated in much of the farming until Charles could fully take over. The photo above was probably taken in the 1890s or around the turn of the century and is clearly dominated by the magnificent windmill that is erected on a platform on top of the barn.

I asked Jonathan Kuester, the current Director of the Wagner Farm in Glenview and former Farm Operations Coordinator at the Volkening Heritage Farm in Schaumburg, for his thoughts on the photo. These are some of his observations:

First off, the windmill. I can’t make out the lettering on the tail but, from the shape, I am 90% sure this is a Halladay Standard made by the U.S. Wind, Engine and Pump Co. It would have been made in South Elgin or Batavia and is almost identical to the one Johan Boeger had on his barn that stood where Volkening now is. [It was Batavia and you can read a bit more about the company here.] This is a 32 foot power mill and would have been used to run a line shaft to power equipment. Very cool!

Other things that stand out are the 5 gallon steel milk cans. These date the picture to the early 1900s, I would say. This is not far from one of the milk stations that was at Golf and Higgins Roads… [Mr. Kuester is referring to Nebel’s Corners that was on the northwest corner of Higgins and Roselle Roads. You can read more about it here.]

I do see what looks to be two, large, well-finished cattle in the yard behind the man and woman. This is exactly what we would expect from a Schaumburg farm, pre-World War I. All our research at Volkening suggests that the local farmers held onto their old, dual-purpose stock well after their neighbors had switched to more productive breeds. The big break [came] with the war when milk and beef prices skyrocket[ed] and labor, especially, German labor, was short. This is when the farm made the choice to either continue with dairy and get Holsteins or move to more productive beef breeds like Hereford or Angus.

I also noticed the large conical straw stack in the background to the left of the big barn. This was likely made with a threshing machine so we can place the time of year as mid-summer. The near horse looks like it is wearing a fly net so this would also indicate summer.

There are also fruit trees in the foreground but I don’t see any apples on them that I would expect so my guess is that they are cherry trees that have already been picked. The fruit trees in Schaumburg [Township] usually indicate that the house is nearby so I would guess the picture is taken from the perspective of the back of the house.

This is the George and Marie Biester “bank barn.” (Credit to Bob and Audrey Biester)

There is also a gutter visible on the far side of the big barn. My guess is that this is the bank side of the barn and has the large doors leading to the threshing floor. [This information from Wikipedia on “Bank Barns” describes what Mr. Kuester is referring to: A bank barn or banked barn is a style of barn noted for its accessibility, at ground level, on two separate levels. Often built into the side of a hill, or bank, both the upper and the lower floors area could be accessed from ground level, one area at the top of the hill and the other at the bottom.]

The long low building [to the right] is likely a machine shed, although it could also be a hog house.  My guess is machine shed though.  The two story section is peculiar. It does not match any typical farm building that I know of.  My one guess is that this has something to do with the windmill.  [Johan] Boeger built a two story machine shed with the same adjacency to his barn and windmill.  This is the equipment shed that is still on the [Volkening Heritage Farm] site. 

The downstairs portion [of the Volkening Heritage Farm building] is just equipment storage but the second floor was built with a grain tight floor and what Pete [former Farm Program Coordinator at the Volkening Heritage Farm] and I supposed were grain bins at one time.  We always thought that he (Boeger) used his windmill to grind grain and that this building was associated with the milling process somehow. The building in the picture may have a similar use or association with the windmill.

All and all, this is a pretty put together farm so I would say she [Wilhelmine] did pretty good for herself.

The farm looks prosperous and well tended. The barn is a thing of beauty and appears to be in good shape. It was most likely painted red and stood out as visitors rode up the lane from what is now Roselle Road. Wilhelmine and Charles could, indeed, be proud of what they had accomplished since the death of Wilhelm in 1867.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

My thanks to the following for their assistance with this blog post:

William Haberkamp, who generously answered my call and brought the family photos to the library so they could be scanned and examined. They are a wonderful addition to our collection and our area’s history. We wouldn’t have been able to help the German Emigration Center without them!

Jonathan Kuester who was fascinated with the farm photo and poured out multiple details that I would have never seen. Every photo deserves the attention he gave this one. It is expertise like this that opens up our local history world.

THE WITHAEGER FAMILY OF SCHAUMBURG TOWNSHIP

In May 2021, I was contacted by the German Emigration Center in Bremerhaven, Germany. This museum opened in 2005 and is mostly dedicated to those who emigrated from Germany to the United States. Each visitor, walking through the museum, is assigned an emigrant who they follow on their journey from Germany to the home they made in America.

Simone Blaschko, the director of the museum, did some of her university studies in Schaumburg Township where she became familiar with a number of our German farm families. Her work largely revolved around some of the founding families of St. Peter Lutheran Church, but she was also aware of the story of the Withaeger family. Particularly intriguing to her, was the story of Christine Wilhelmine (Gieseke) Withaeger.

The museum did some research on Christine Wilhelmine and contacted the library. We were able to touch base with her great, great grandson, William Haberkamp, who, fortunately, had photos and additional information on the family. As a result, Christine Wilhelmine (Gieseke) Withaeger will now be one of the emigrants assigned to a visitor at the museum. This is her story.

Wilhelmine Withaeger with three of her four children

Schaumburg Township had only 480 residents living in its 36 square miles when it was formed in 1850. By 1852 the number had gone up by two when Friederich Wilhelm and Christine Wilhelmine (Gieseke) Withaeger arrived from Hessen, Germany.

Wilhelm was born in 1820 and Wilhelmine in 1825. According to Wilhelmine’s March 8, 1912 obituary in the Cook County Herald, the couple was married in 1850 and came to this country two years later. Wilhelmine was pregnant at the time and it could not have been an easy voyage for her. It is probable that when they arrived, the living conditions in Schaumburg Township were rudimentary at best.

Despite a difficult situation, Wilhelmine gave birth to a son, Charles or Karl, on November 20, 1852. In Charles’ obituary in the November 12, 1937 edition of the Cook County Herald, it states that he lived on his family’s farm all of his life. We have to suppose, then, that Wilhelm, his father, purchased the farm soon after he and Wilhelmine arrived.

In this snapshot of an 1861 Cook County plat map by S. H. Burhans & J. Van Vechten, the earliest map that is available, we can see Mr. Withaeger’s name underneath Section 10. He is listed as W. Withagen and he owned 160 acres.

Five years after the birth of Charles, their first daughter, Sophia, was born on May 11, 1857. She was followed by Wilhelmine on January 28, 1860 and by Augusta on April 24, 1864.

Unfortunately, a little over three years later, on July 12, 1867, Wilhelm passed away at the age of 46. Wilhelmine was 41 and was left to manage a farm with a son who was 14 and daughters who were 10, 7 and 3 years of age. It was a monumental task.

Charles and Bertha (Hinze) Withaeger

On July 2, 1880, at the age of 27, Charles married Bertha Hinze at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Schaumburg. It is presumed he was doing most of the farm work and, in fact, by the time L.M. Snyder published his Snyder’s Real Estate Map of Cook County in 1890, the property was listed in his name. Wilhelmine, too, continued to live on the farm with the couple and called it home.

William and Sophia (Withaeger) Schumacher

Sophia and Wilhelmine, his two younger sisters, were also married by the time the map was published. Sophia married William Schumacher in 1877 and moved to Chicago. Wilhelmine married Frederick Redeker, a local man, in 1883 and, unfortunately, died six years later. She is buried in the cemetery at St. Peter Lutheran Church. Her death must have been an added burden for Wilhelmine and the family.

Frederick and Wilhelmine (Withaeger) Redeker

A year after the 1890 map was published, Wilhelmine’s youngest daughter, Augusta, married Fredrick Seelig and moved to Chicago like her older sister Sophie. It is interesting to note that, prior to their marriage, Fredrick was first married to Ida Schumacher who was a sister to William Schumacher–Sophia’s husband.

Fredrick and Augusta (Withaeger) Seelig
The Withaeger family in the apple orchard

Around September 1908 or 1909 this picture was most likely taken in the apple orchard at the Charles and Bertha Withaeger farm. It appears to have been a Sunday in September or October, judging by the fact that all of the family were in dress clothing and the apples were ripe. If you look closely, some of them are holding apples and it appears that Wilhelmine has just taken a bite.

The people in the front row on the ground, from left to right, are: Fredrick Seelig, William Schumacher, Alvine or Ida Withaeger, Alvine or Ida Withaeger, unidentified. The second row, from left to right, in chairs, are: unidentified, Wilhelmine Withaeger. The third row, from left to right is: William Withaeger, Sophia Schumacher, unidentified, Bertha Withaeger, Augusta Seelig, Alma Withaeger?, Charles Withaeger.

The Withaeger family near the family’s house

On the same day, the group had this picture taken near the house. The daughters of Charles and Bertha Withaeger are posing in the front row with a cake, a pie and coffee. Two of the gentlemen appear to have some type of liquor in their glasses and William Schumacher even appears to have a bottle with a corkscrew in it. Additionally, William Withaeger and Fredrick Seelig are posed with their guns.

Two or three years later, in the photo at the top of this blog post, Wilhelmine posed with her remaining children in what appears to be the orchard. Sophie, Charles and Augusta surround her. Wilhelmine clearly looks a bit older than the photos taken in 1908 or 1909.

Wilhelmine with her children and their spouses.

Another photo was taken of Wilhelmine with her children and their spouses on the same day. The first row from left to right is: Sophia Schumacher, Wilhelmine, Augusta Seelig and Bertha Withaeger. The second row from left to right is: William Schumacher, Fredrick Seelig and Charles Withaeger.

Fortunately these two photos were taken because, not too long afterwards, on January 19, 1912, Wilhelmine fell and broke her leg. Within a month, she died on February 22 at the age of 86 in her home. According to her obituary she had been in very good health until the fall. She left her three children, ten grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Bertha and Charles had five children, Sophia and William Schumacher had three children and Augusta and Fred had two children.

Wilhelmine was buried beside Wilhelm in St. Peter Lutheran Church Cemetery in Schaumburg Township after spending 45 years apart. Note that her tombstone has her name spelled with an “a.” We elected to spell it with an “e” because that is the spelling the early church records in Germany used. Both spellings were often used here in the United States.

Her son, Charles, and his wife, Bertha, continued to manage the farm until their deaths. They both died at home, with Bertha passing away first, in 1932, and Charles, five years later, in 1937. Both are buried in the Withaeger plot near Wilhelm and Wilhelmine.

Their two youngest children, Alma and Herman, never married but lived on the farm until well into the 1960s when it was sold for development. The Withaeger land is approximately where Village In The Park apartments are located. The final plat for those buildings was issued in 1970 according to the Village of Schaumburg 1998 Community Profile. When Alma and Herman passed away, they were buried in the family plot near their parents and grandparents.

Wilhelmine was the juggernaut who held the Withaeger property and family together for 60 years after her arrival in the United States from Germany. The farm remained in the family for 40 more years after her death. The example she set, with her guidance and strong will, did not let Wilhelm or her children down.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

Next week we will track the Withaeger farm in more detail.

My thanks to the following for their assistance with this blog post:

William Haberkamp, who generously answered my call and brought the family photos to the library so they could be scanned and examined. They are a wonderful addition to our collection and our area’s history. We wouldn’t be able to help the German Emigration Center without his assistance and his family’s photographs!

Larry Nerge for his genealogical expertise and the multiple family trees he has done of the Schaumburg Township farm families. And his willingness to share!

THE WINKELHAKE FAMILY FARM: THE OLDEST IN SCHAUMBURG TOWNSHIP

For years the small farm on the southeast corner of Higgins and Plum Grove Road seemed to persevere in spite of the growth around it. If you lived or worked in Schaumburg Township from 1980 to 2000 during the height of office development, you couldn’t help but notice the fields, the barns and the white farmhouse that stood out on busy Higgins Road.

This was the Winkelhake property, purchased in 1848 by Christof Winkelhake, two years before the township itself was established in 1850. Through sheer dint of will and passion, the Winkelhakes managed to maintain their agricultural independence for 150 years, despite all of the development that surrounded their farm.

Christof Winkelhake and his wife, Louise Marie, emigrated here from Germany around 1845, eventually purchasing 80 acres from the government as a land patent in 1848. The property was obtained in two different parcels a little over a week apart on March 1 and 10, according to the Bureau of Land Management’s General Land Office Records.

With their seven children–two of whom were born in Germany and the rest in Schaumburg Township–the Winkelhakes worked their farm, year in and year out. According to an article in the Chicago Tribune from July 27, 1999, Christof had “accumulated 240 acres by the time of the Civil War.”

The 1861 map above shows the Winkelhake property, 160 acres at the time, stretched laterally across Higgins Road. Note that Plum Grove Road came down from the north, through Horace “H.P.” Williams’ property, and ended at Higgins Road. It would be years before this gravel road extended south through the heart of the Winkelhake property.

All of the plat maps from 1861 to 1947 depict Plum Grove as a straight line, moving north/south through the Township. It isn’t until the 1947 map that we see Plum Grove take the slight jog that remains there today. It is my presumption that when it was finally paved it was necessary to go around, rather than through, the farmplace of the Winkelhake farm–hence the curve.

After establishing the farm for future generations, Christof died in 1897 at the age of 82. Both he and his wife, who had died ten years before him, are buried at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church Cemetery. Below is their grave marker with its unique, ornamental finial on top.

The farm passed on to his son, Henry Winkelhake who was born in 1847 and was one of the first to be baptized within the St. Peter Lutheran Church congregation that formed in the same year. When he died in 1907, his two sons, Henry Jr. and Herman, farmed two different parcels, as can be seen on the 1926 plat map below. (Note Plum Grove’s straight, due south direction.) According to this map, Herman was farming the original property and Henry was farming the property that had been acquired on the west side of Plum Grove.

After their deaths, Herman’s sons, Louis and Herman, took over the farming, continuing to milk cows and grow corn, grain and soybeans. They sold off parcels here and there, particularly the portion that had been farmed by Henry on the west side of Plum Grove Road. That was sold to Arthur and Dorothy Hammerstein as their second farm.

When Arthur Hammerstein died in 1955, his wife sold their two farms on Roselle Road and Plum Grove Road. Eventually Palatine Township High School District acquired a portion of the Plum Grove Road farm that they would later use as the grounds for Conant High School, the first high school in the township. Before that was built the school district rented the 38 acres back to the Winkelhakes to farm in 1959. It is quite interesting that the school district was calling it the Hammerstein school site.

After working the farm for many years, Louis left and moved to Milwaukee. Herman continued to live in the white farmhouse, persevering season after season until his son Ron came back to help around 1987. Herman was bound and determined not to sell the property and, in fact, never did. He lived there until the day he died in 1995.

In the photo below, you can see how embedded the Winkelhakes were in Schaumburg Township and St. Peter Lutheran Church. Most of this row consists of the Winkelhakes we’ve been talking about, except for Herman, who was the last to farm. He is buried at St. Peter’s but is not part of this family plot.

By 1997, it was apparent to Herman’s survivors that it was time to sell the beloved farm that had been in the family for 150 years. Over the course of a few years, the family farm became the Morningside subdivision (which is on the homeplace), Bank of America and Sunrise of Schaumburg, an assisted living facility, to name a few.

Do you suppose some of these tall trees that line Plum Grove Road and border Higgins, are leftovers from the oldest family farm in Schaumburg Township? If they are, it’s sure nice to know there are remnants of the farm that still survive.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

This blog posting was written with the assistance of the following:

  • Schaumburg Review, April 3, 1997
  • Chicago Tribune, July 27, 1999
  • A Winkelhake Time Capsule Or a Rainy Spring Day with Ron and Anne Winkelhake by Linda Valentine
  • Larry Nerge, Genealogist

 

 

OUR OLD HOUSE: A VISIT TO THE SUNDERLAGE FARMHOUSE

Stop by for an open house of the Sunderlage Farmhouse in Hoffman Estates! Visitors will have an opportunity to see the house’s interior and learn about its history.

When:  Saturday, July 18, 2021. 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Where: 1775 Vista Lane, Hoffman Estates

Who:  Hoffman Estates Historic Sites Commission

What: This free event will examine the history of the 1856 farmhouse, including the layout of its rooms, floors, staircase and basement. The smokehouse, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places for its mid-19th century Greek Revival style, will also be open.

Don’t forget to bring your lawn chairs to enjoy an outdoor performance by the Kishwaukee Ramblers!

For more information, call 847-781-2606.

FARMERS OF 1918 SCHAUMBURG TOWNSHIP, I-R

In 1918, Prairie Farmer Publishing Company in Chicago put out a book called Prairie Farmer’s Directory of DuPage and Northern Cook Counties, Illinois. Woodrow Wilson was president, Frank Lowden was governor of Illinois and this was before World War I.

The book had sections on the farmers, the breeders of various chickens, hogs and cows, and businesses that served the farmers of the area. It even has small sections on those who owned silos, tractors and automobiles.

Below is a list of the farmers, from I-R, of Schaumburg Township. While making the list, a few things mentioned below jumped out as interesting and/or unusual.

  • Ode D. Jennings was a gentleman farmer of the township. He was also a slot machine magnet who worked his way up from a poor childhood in Kentucky. He purchased his 250 acre farm in 1918–the same year this book was published. This made him one of the largest landowners in the township. After he died in 1953, his wife sold the farm to Alfred Campanelli who developed it into the Weathersfield subdivsion. The house, barn and other buildings are still being used today on Civic Drive in Schaumburg.
  • It is also interesting to note that Mr. Jennings stated that he had been a resident of Cook County since 1900. The 1900 census contradicts this statement and states that he was living in Pigeon, IN in 1900. This was about 30 miles from the Kentucky state line. He did not appear in the census in Chicago until 1910.
  • Those who were tenants in the list had seldom been in the county more than a few years–unless it was a father/son tenancy. It seems to have been a fluid housing/farming situation at the time.
  • The oldest resident–by a long shot–in this list is Maria Kublank. She had been a resident and early citizen of Cook County since 1843. She was born on September 30, 1843, the daughter of Johann and Catherine (Greve) Sunderlage, in Plum Grove, Illinois, according to the Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947. This was before the townships were even named and before the government land was even sold to the early settlers. The Sunderlage family purchased an original land patent and, even though the Kublank family did not, they were still very early residents. You can read more about William and Mary Kublank here.
  • Herman and Emil Lichthardt are clearly father and son. It appears that Herman either sold or ceded the 180 acre farm in Section 27 to his son Emil, but kept 8 acres for himself. Did Herman build a second house on the property for himself?
  • Two gentlemen in this listing appear to have been wealthy landowners who could afford to lease out portions of their property: Walter Swain and Herman Boeger. Swain leased 174 acres to Henry Krumwiede in Section 21, and 90 acres that he co-owned with John Fenz to Alfred Nebel in Section 22. Walter was the grandson of Ernst and Catherine Schween who were original land patent purchasers in Schaumburg Township. They bought property on both sides of Schaumburg Road, just west of Roselle Road. Consequently, when Walter–who had changed his last name to Swain–was leasing it out in 1918, it had been in the family for over 70 years.
  • Herman Boeger owned 203 acres in Section 23 that he leased to Herman Moeller, and 160 acres in Section 34 that he leased to Emil and Walter Haberstick. At the time, Mr. Boeger lived in Section 23, where Spring Valley is today. His property that was leased to Mr. Haberstick, at the very south end of the township, must have been purchased at a later time for investment purposes. His father, Johann Boeger, was an original land patent purchaser of the Section 23 property, thus keeping it in the family for over 70 years.
  • The Postal Addresses in these lists are in Palatine, Roselle, Itasca, Ontarioville or Elgin–all established towns at the time. It appears that Sections 1-16, 20-24 and 27 were assigned to the Palatine post office. Sections 17, 18, 19 and part of 20 and 30 were assigned to the Elgin post office. Those in Sections 22, 23, 26-29 and 31-35 were assigned to the Roselle post office. Part of 24 and all of 25 and 36 used Itasca. Some of those in Sections 30 and 31 used the Ontariorville postal address. It is most interesting that the far southeastern portion of the township used Itasca when one would think that they would also be part of the Roselle boundaries. You can see the various sections on the map below, taking in how the post office divisions would have been made.

Jahn, Frederich (Wife Caroline Eades) (Children Tillie, William, Arthur at home; Esther and Edwin not at home.) Postal address is Route 3, Palatine. Owns 150 acres in Section 9. Resident of the county since 1888.

Japp, John (Children Henry and William) Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Owns 80 acres in Section 35. Resident of the county since 1866.

Japp, William A. (Wife Freda Langer) (Children Edna and Leona) “Maplewood Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Owns 112 acres in Section 27. Resident of the county since 1886.

Jennings, Ode D. (Wife Jenett H. Isle) “Jennings Stock Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Owns 250 acres in Section 20. Resident of the county since 1900.

Jorns, Henry (Wife Louise Biesterfild/Biesterfeld) (Children Lydia, Louis, Edwin, Elnora) “Spring Hill Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Owns 80 acres in Section 33. Resident of the county since 1886.

Kastning, Herman F. (Wife Ardna Springinsguth) (Children Harvey) “Square Deal Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Owns 160 acres in Section 34. Resident of the county since 1892.

Kastning, John (Wife Minnie Thies) (Children Herman, Martha, Alwena, Louis, Hermena) “Silver Leaf Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Owns 200 acres in Section 24. Resident of the county since 1863.

Kastning, Louis F. (Wife Emma Behrens) (Children Paul, Lidia, George, Alfreda, Marie) Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Owns 95 acres in Section 14. Resident of the county since 1879.

Kastning, William H. (Wife Emma Hattendorf) (Children Albert, Hellen, Warner, Margaret. Lorena is written in pencil next to the others.) “Kastning Homestead”. Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Owns 154 acres in Section 14 & 15. Resident of the county since 1882.

Klink, William (Wife Anna Krenz) (Children Gertrude G.) Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Tenant of 169 acres in Section 11 that is owned by William Freise. Resident of the county since 1914.

Knake, Carl (Wife Annie Plote) (Children Jennie, Edward, Charlie H., Annie, Herman, Henry, Alma, Amanda) “Elder Dell Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 2, Palatine. Owns 40 acres in Section 9. Resident of the county since 1869.

Krumwiede, Henry F. (Wife Elizabeth M. Haberstich) (Children William and Clara) Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Tenant of 174 acres in Section 21 that is owned by Walter Swain. Resident of the county since 1915.

Kruse, Henry J. (Wife Elise Sercander) (Children Ernest, Anna, Martin) “Sunnyside Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Itasca. Owns 40 acres in Section 24. Resident of the township since 1882.

Kruse, Louis F. (Wife Emma Beisner) (Children Edwin and Louis Jr.) Postal address is Route 1, Itasca. Tenant of 140 acres in Section 25 that is owned by Henry Fasse. Resident of the township since 1886.

Kublank, Mrs Maria (Children Mathilda, Rosa, William F. and Edward at home; Herman and Emma not at home.) Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Owns 114 1/2 acres in Section 11. Resident of the county since 1843.

Lange, Edward “Poplar Grove Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Itasca. Owns 75 acres in Section 36. Resident of the county since 1866.

Lemke, Fred A. (Wife Mary Bartells) (Children Waldo and Victor) “Pleasant Knoll Farm”. Postal address is Route 2, Palatine. Owns 147 acres in Section 9. Resident of the county since 1915.

Lichthardt, August (Wife Clara Fasse) (Children Erna, August Jr., Beata, Adelia, Malinda, Henrietta) “Maple Bud Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 5, Elgin. Owns 160 acres in Section 18. Resident of the county since 1882.

Lichthardt, Edward (Wife Elnora Hitzmann) (Children Elmer and Clarence) “Elder Knoll Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 5, Elgin. Owns 180 acres in Section 19. Resident of the county since 1888.

Lichthardt, Emil F. (Wife Hermine Freise) “Pleasant Hill Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Owns 180 acres in Section 27. Resident of the county since 1894.

Lichthardt, Herman (Wife Anna Becker) (Children Alma and Emil not at home.) Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Owns 8 acres in Section 27. Resident of the county since 1870.

Lichthardt, William (Wife Martha Kruse) (Children Wilbur and Harvey) “Woodlawn Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 6, Elgin. Owns 151 acres in Section 30. Resident of the county since 1888.

Linnenkohl, Fredrick (Wife Alrena Weise) (Children Ella, Irma, Priscilla and Milda at home; Fredrick Jr. and Harvey not at home.) “Poplar View Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 2, Palatine. Owns 100 acres in Section 15. Resident of the county since 1908.

Lohse, William (Wife Louisa Baumgarten) (Children William H., Herman, Henry, Edward) “Valley View Farm”. Postal address is Route 5, Elgin. Tenant of 160 acres in Section 17 owned by Fred Volkening. Resident of the county since 1884.

Luerssen, Henry F. (Wife Alma K. Wente) (Children Leonard C.) “Linden Grove Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Tenant of 100 acres in Section 24 owned by Louis Wilkening. Resident of the county since 1887.

Mess, Otto (Wife Amelia Quindel) (Children Wilmer, Elsie, Harold) “Meadow Dale Stock Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Owns 128 acres in Section 13. Resident of the county since 1886

Meyer, Ben (Wife Marie Quindel) “Walnut Grove Farm”. Postal address is Route 2, Palatine. Owns 180 acres in Sections 8 & 9. Resident of the county since 1890.

Moeller, Herman (Wife Hullena Hamann) (Brother Fred Moeller) Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Tenant of 203 acres in Section 23 owned by Herman Boeger. Resident of the county since 1892.

Moeller, William (Wife Alwena Kasting/Kastning) (Children Minnie) Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Tenant of 100 acres in Section 23 owned by Henry Moeller. Resident of the county since 1893.

Nebel, Albert W. (Wife of Martha Popp) (Children Ralph) Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Tenant of 90 acres in Section 22 owned by John Fenz and W. Swain. Resident of the county since 1890.

Nebel, Fred (Wife Mary Scherringhausen/Scharringhausen) (Children Albert, Alma, George, Fred, Edwin, Leonard, Raymond, Alwin) “Four Corner D Farm”. Route 2, Palatine. Owns 55 1/2 acres in Section 15. Tenant of 15 acres in Section 15 owned by W.H. Kastning. Resident of the county since 1867.

Nerge, Henry F. (Wife Engel Lichthardt) (Children Louis, Martin, Clara, Walter J.) “Meadow View Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Tenant of 170 acres in Section 35 owned by Walter J. Resident of the county since 1862.

Nerge, Louis F. (Wife Ida Idecker) Postal address is Route 1, Itasca. Owns 170 acres in Section 36. Resident of the county since 1885.

Nerge, Walter J. “The Meadow View Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Owns 170 acres in Section 35. Resident of the county since 1894.

Panzer, Ferdinand (Sophia Fasse) (Children Alma, Emma) Postal address is Route 1, Itasca. Owns 82 acres in Section 25. Resident of the county since 1888.

Petersohn, Albert (Children Alvina Pauling) Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Tenant of 140 acres in Section 26 owned by Henry Lichthardt. Resident of the county since 1917.

Petersohn Brothers Charles and Albert. Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Tenant of 140 acres in Section 26 owned by Henry Lichthardt. Resident of the county since 1917.

Pfingsten, Fred W. (Wife Emma Rohlwing) (Children Elmer, Esther, Edwin, Emil) “Pfingsten Homestead”. Postal address is Route 1, Itasca. Owns 160 acres in Section 25. Resident of the county since 1880.

Quindel, Charles (Children Sophia, Millie, Mary, Henry C., Alwena) “Quindel Stock Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Owns 200 acres in Section 11. Resident of the county since 1868.

Quindel, Henry C. (Children Martha) “Prairie View Stock Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Owns 160 acres in Section 13. Resident of the county since 1886.

Rodewald, Henry G. (Wife Emma Mueller) (Children Alma) Postal address is Route 1, Itasca. Tenant of 80 acres in Section 25 owned by Herman H. Fasse. Resident of the county since 1890.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

Additional lists will follow in the upcoming weeks.

FARMERS OF 1918 SCHAUMBURG TOWNSHIP, A-H

In 1918, Prairie Farmer Publishing Company in Chicago put out a book called Prairie Farmer’s Directory of DuPage and Northern Cook Counties, Illinois. Woodrow Wilson was president, Frank Lowden was governor of Illinois and this was before World War I.

The book had sections on the farmers, the breeders of various chickens, hogs and cows, and businesses that served the farmers of the area. It even has small sections on those who owned silos, tractors and automobiles.

Below is a list of the farmers, from A-H, of Schaumburg Township. While making the list a few things jumped out as interesting and/or unusual.

  • The average number of acres that most of the farmers owned was right around 160.
  • Farm acreage ranged from 10.5 to 243 acres.
  • The number of tenant farmers was surprising. Of the 53 farms listed here, 16 were run by tenants. That means 30% did not own their own farms. Some of the tenants were clearly family members, which was most likely a father/son arrangement.
  • The names of the farms were not typically used by most of the farmers. When I asked LaVonne Presley about the farm owned by her grandmother, she said that she knew about the name because of the book, but it was seldom referred to as such.
  • The earliest resident of Schaumburg Township in this list was John Homeyer. The date listed for him was 1847. According to the St. Peter Lutheran Church records, John Homeyer was born November 19, 1847. He was most likely baptized by Pastor Francis Hoffman, the first pastor of St. Peter’s, in the very year the church was founded. He died in 1939 which was more than 20 years after this book was published.

This plat map is from Thrift Press and is dated 1926. It is the closest map in age to the 1918 Prairie Farmer’s Directory. You can get an idea of the section numbers of the township and where the farmers lived. In many instances, you can see the names on the map.

Bartels, Arthur H. (Wife Alma Hitzmann) (Children Lorena) “Apple Blossom Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Owns 160 acres in Section 16. Resident of county since 1892.

Bartels, Herman H. (Wife Caroline Lichthardt) (Children William H., Henry F., Emma, Emil, Alfred, Irvin) “Valley Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Owns 243 acres in Section 31. Residence of county since 1871.

Beisner, Henry (Wife Beata Mensching) (Children Anne, Elroy) “Shady Knoll Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Owns 140 acres in Section 32. Residence of county since 1874.

Bell, Austin (Wife Florence Hastings) (Children Florence C.) “Stratford Farms”. Postal address is Stratford Farms, Roselle. Tenant and Manager of 197 acres in Section 27 that is owned by E.F. Meyer. Lived in county since 1917.

Bentrott, Henry “Orchard Grove Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Owns 80 acres in Section 17-16. Resident of county since 1863.

Bierman, John W. (Wife Alvina Schuneman) (Children Harvey, Wilbert). Postal address Route 2, Palatine. Owns 80 acres in Section 12 of Hanover Township. Owns 40 acres in Section 36 of Hanover Township. Owns 40 acres in Section 36 of Schaumburg Township. Resident of county since 1882.

Blomberg, Ernest J. (Wife Martha Meyer) (Children William, Alma, Emma, Ernest, Minnie, Ida, Arthur) “Pine Lawn Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Ontarioville. Owns 110 acres in Section 30. Resident of county since 1902.

Bohne, Fred (Wife Marie Hoecker) (Children Henry, Fred) “Ash Grove Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Owns 167 acres in Section 24. Resident of county since 1859.

Botterman, Fred W. (Wife Matilda Nerge) (Children Ernest, Alfred, Albert at home; Hattie, Irvin, Malinda, Sadie not at home) Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Owns 10 1/2 acres in Section 22. Resident of county since 1911.

Botterman, Herman C. (Wife Annie Katz) (Children Selma, Annie, Meta, Herman, Edna, Viola, Alvin) Postal address is Itasca. Owns 91 1/4 acres in Section 24. Resident of county since 1863.

Brackmann, Henry (Wife Laura Huenerberg) (Children Mildred) Postal address Route 1, Roselle. Tenant of 82 acres in Section 34 that is owned by Henry Huenerberg. Resident of county since 1905.

Busche, Frank (Wife Clara Kruse) (Children Henry, Willie, Albert, Leonard) Postal address is Route 5, Elgin. Owns 160 acres in Section 20. Resident of county since 1887.

Busche, Herman C. (Hulda Freise) (Children Minnie, Ella, Edna, Harvey) “Sunnyside Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Owns 160 acres in Section 27. Resident of county since 1879.

Cleveland, Fred (Wife Anna Welkisch) (Children Fred, Harold, Nina) Postal address is Route 5, Elgin. Owns 158 acres in Section 18. Resident of county since 1918.

Cwiefel, John (Wife Babetta Veeser) (Children John, Fred, Albert, Paulina, Henry) Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Tenant of 160 acres in Section 11 that is owned by Louis Freese. Resident of county since 1917.

Dammerman, Edward (Wife Minnie Beckman) (Children Henry, Meta) “Edgewood Farm”. Postal address is Route 2, Palatine. Owns 160 acres in Section 8. Resident of county since 1868.

Dohl, William (Wife Minnie Hasemann) (Children Elmer, Malinda) “Wooddale Dairy Farm”. Postal addres is Route 1, Roselle. Owns 110 acres in Section 33. Tenant of 52 acres in Section 33 that is owned by August Hasemann. Resident of county since 1883.

Eineke, Herman W (Wife Martha S. Wilharm) (Children Edna M., Elsie E.) “Linden View Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 2, Palatine. Owns 43 acres in Section 3. Resident of county since 1887.

Eineke, Louis W. Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Tenant of 80 acres in Section 21 that is owned by Mrs. Mary Meineke. Resident of county since 1895.

Eineke, William (Wife Martha Wagner) (Children Esther, Arthur) Postal address is Ontarioville. Tenant of 200 acres in Section 31 that is owned by C.H. Fischer. Resident of county since 1913.

Engelking, John (Wife Anna Hartman) (Children Fred, Edwin, Tillie, Henry, Ernestine, George, Loretta, Phillip, Laura) “Pleasant Valley Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Owns 160 acres in Section 28. Resident of county since 1866.

Fasse, Henry E. (Wife Clara Gieseke) (Children Wilbert, Evelyn, Raymond, Adeline) Postal address is Route 2, Palatine. Owns 116 3/4 acres in Section 3. Resident of county since 1878.

Fasse, Herman H. (Wife Martha Gieseke) (Children Herman J., Edna, Marvin, Lorena) “Maple Lane Stock Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Itasca. Owns 120 acres in Sections 24-25. Resident of county since 1883.

Foege, Henry (Wife Amanda Tonne) (Children Hilda, Alfred, Hurbert) “Elder Leaf Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Itasca. Owns 80 acres in Section 36. Resident of county since 1878.

Fraas, John (Sister Annie Fraas) “The Pines”. Postal address is Route 1 Roselle. Tenant of 90 acres in Section 33 that is owned by Christ Fraas. Resident of county since 1890.

Freise, Alfred J. (Wife Martha Kastning) (Children Harvey, Raymond) Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Owns 160 acres in Section 13 . Tenant of 40 acres in Section 13 that is owned by H.W. Freise. Resident of county since 1892.

Freise, Henry J. (Wife Christine Kirchoff/Kirchhoff) (Children Sophie, Henry, William at home; George, Pauline and Laura not at home.) “Pleasant View Farm” Postal address is Route 2, Palatine. Owns 160 acres in Section 10. Resident of county since 1884.

Freise, William H. (Wife Alma Lichthardt) (Children Arnold) “Clover Valley Stock Farm” Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Owns 170 acres in Section 12. Resident of county since 1889.

Gathman, Henry O. (Wife Emma Beirmann) Postal address is Route 1, Itasca. Tenant of 80 acres in Section 36 that is owned by Henry Gathman Sr. Resident of county since 1883.

Gathman, Louis (Wife Emma Scharringhausen) (Children Ida, Amanda, Viola, William, Martha, Albert, Arthur, Carrie, Edward) Postal address is Route 1, Itasca. Owns 80 acres in Section 36. Resident of county since 1865.

Gehrls, John (Wife Diana Bortmann) (Children Martha, Arnold, Herman, Minnie, Elsie, Theodore, Lydia) “Cosy Corner Farm” Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Owns 59 acres in Section 32. Resident of county since 1886.

Geistfeld, August (Wife Carrie Hattendorf) (Children Alma, Arthur, Laura, Martha, Bertha, Alfred, Herman, Walter, Elsie) Postal address is Route 1 Palatine. Owns 80 acres in Section 16. Resident of county since 1906.

Gerken, Ben (Wife Rosea Schmidt) Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Tenant of 80 acres in Section 26 that is owned by Fred Pfingsten. Resident of county since 1875.

Gieseke, John (Wife Ella Meyer) (Children Fred W., Clara, John H., Emily, Emil, Herman, Louis C., Alma, Arthur, Edwin, William J.) “Village View Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Owns 164 1/2 acres in Section 15. Resident of county since 1857.

Greve, August (Children Edwin G.) Postal address is Route 2 Palatine. Owns 215 acres in Section 8. Resident of county since 1863.

Greve, William (Wife Dina Behrens) (Children Edna) “Spring Creek Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 2, Palatine. Owns 153 acres in Section 7. Resident of county since 1882.

Haberstick Bros., Emil and Walter (Wife Mary Kieper) (Children Howard) Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Tenant of 160 acres in Section 34 that is owned by Herman Boeger. Resident of county since 1896.

Hansen, Victor (Wife Annie Dell) (Children Pearl, Florence, Harold, Ruby, Violet and Earl) Postal address is Route 2, Palatine. Tenant of 204 acres in Section 7 that is owned by Edward Lake. Resident of county since 1918.

Harke, Henry (Wife Emma Bartling) (Children Fred, Annie, Louis, Henry, Elsie) Postal address is Route 1, Itasca. Owns 85 acres in Section 36. Resident of county since 1870.

Hartmann, Fred (Wife Lena Kruse) (Children Meta, Henry, Albert, Minnie, Hilda, Arthur, Emil) “Clear View Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Owns 160 acres in Section 29. Resident of county since 1870.

Hasemann, August (Wife Mary Nerge) (Children Mary, Emma, Minnie) Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Owns 15 acres in Section 33. Resident of county since 1853.

Hattendorf, August (Wife Emma Clausing) (Children Alvin, Alfred, Herbert, Edna) “Mile Long Stock Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Owns 160 acres in Section 16. Resident of county since 1883.

Hattendorf, Fred (Wife Minnie Haemker) (Children Arthur, Emily, Fred Jr., Hermine, Martha, Ella at home; Herman, Louis, Emil not at home) “Locust Hill Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Owns 150 acres in Section 21. Resident of county since 1856.

Hattendorf, Herman W. (Wife Lydia Swain) (Children Harold) Postal address is Route 1, Palatine. Tenant of 120 acres of Section 16 that is owned by H. Troyke. Resident of county since 1897.

Hattendorf, William (Wife Caroline Leiseberg) (Children William C. Emma, Alweria, Martha, Henry A., John, Martin) “Locust Lawn Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Palatine. Owns 200 acres in Section 23. Resident of county since 1853.

Heide, Frederick (Wife Emma Steinmeyer) (Children Otta F., Louis F., Laura, Emilie) “Ever Green Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 2, Palatine. Owns 120 acres in Section 9. Resident of county since 1878.

Heim, Ernest G. (Wife Augusta Dahms) (Children Andrew, Ernest, William, Gertrude, Adelia, Rosie, Nellie) “Clover Meadow Stock Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Owns 140 acres in Section 32. Resident of county since 1903.

Heine, Fred W. (Wife Ida Vette) (Children Elmer) Postal address is Route 5, Elgin. Owns 93 acres and is tenant of 93 acres that is owned by Mrs. A. Heine. (Section number is not given) Resident of county since 1896.

Heine, Herman F. (Wife Emma Heine) (Children Harvey, Alice, Edwin) “Orchard View Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 5, Elgin. Owns 160 acres in Section 18. Resident of county since 1883.

Homeyer, John (Wife Caroline Baumman) (Children Sophia, Meme, Emma, John H. Henry, Emil) “Maple Wood Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Owns 158 acres in Section 34. Resident of county since 1847.

Homeyer, John H. (Wife Martha Geistfeld) “Maple Wood Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 1, Roselle. Tenant of 158 acres in Section 34 that is owned by John Homeyer. Resident of county since 1885.

Hoth, William (Wife Sophia Biermann) (Children Clarence, Willie, Raymond, Harvey, Frank, Carlton) Postal address is Route 5, Elgin. Tenant of 160 acres in Section 19 owned by Mrs. S. Lichthardt. Resident of county since 1912.

Huenerberg, William F. (Wife Anna Sporleder) (Children Raymond W., Elsie M.) “Maple Drive Dairy Farm”. Postal address is Route 2, Palatine. Owns 196 acres in Section 10. Resident of county since 1870.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

Additional lists will follow in the upcoming weeks.