Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category


September 8, 2019


About a year ago this rather unique photo popped up on eBay and came to my attention. While the ball field itself looks like it could have been our rural township, the house in the background and the small pergola were very much out of the ordinary for Schaumburg Township in the 1910s.

To confirm my feelings about the photo, I ran it past LaVonne Presley. She was born and raised in the township and was familiar with the farmhouses of the area. She agreed that this was not Schaumburg Township but had no clue where the grounds were.

There were definitely Schaumburg Township baseball teams, as indicated by this photo in the library’s collection. Our photo was probably taken about ten to fifteen years later than the photo at the top, judging by the style of clothing worn. Plus, the Schaumburg Township players wore uniforms instead of the white shirts and black knickers that are seen in the earlier photo.

To deepen the mystery, Johnny Kunzer, one of the blog readers, recently passed on another picture that was clearly taken at the same spot.

The handwriting is the same, the sequencing number on the photos is two digits off and that pergola and house look mighty familiar. Additionally, it says “Schaumburg Hall & Park” and the people are dressed in the same fashion. The information on the back of the photo said that it was taken in 1915.

I did a bit of internet searching but, with little time, decided to throw the question to a museum list serve. Within hours I received a response from a list member who said it appeared that this was the present day Schaumburg Supper Club in Randolph, WI. She sent a couple of other photos, one of which was from an article in the Fond Du Lac Reporter from August 22, 1973. It looked darned close but some of the elements were changed.

The beautiful glassed-in porch was gone and it appeared to have some type of addition on the right side of the building. Because the cupola cannot be seen in the 1915 photo, it was impossible to tell if that was an original architectural element that survived until 1973 or if it had been added somewhere along the way.

I then took a chance and called the Schaumburg Supper Club. Luckily, the very nice, very interested owner, Candy Palmiteer, answered the phone. While she was not sure about the pictures, she mentioned that the building had, indeed, been altered at some point and a glassed-in porch had been removed.

She also told me that the building was originally built by a man named John Schaumburg and his wife Mary. From Google Satellite, I was able to see that the building is currently on a lake. She confirmed that the lake was called Lake Emily and was named for one of the daughters of a man named Hamilton Stevens.

With a little more to go on, I looked into John and Mary Schaumburg and found quite an interesting story. By fleshing out some of the details in the Fond Du Lac article, I discovered in the 1870 census that John and Mary were born in 1812 and 1813 respectively. The article said they left Germany shortly after they were married–probably somewhere around 1832–and came to the United States, settling in New York’s Mohawk Valley.

Conversely, the 1850, 1860 and 1870 census–as well as John’s death certificate–all state that both John and Mary were born in New York. Without further research into Germany or New York church records, it is difficult to determine which location is correct.

To make things a little more interesting, the article further states that, “receiving an annual sum of money from his parents, young Schaumburg started a grocery store which quickly prospered into a large business. His wealth increased even more when he received a bequest of $60,000 from his mother upon her death about 1836.”

He and Mary must have used the money to begin buying acreage in Dodge County, Wisconsin. The Bureau of Land Management’s Land Patent database states that John and Maryann (as she is listed) both purchased 80 acres in 1848. As mentioned in the newspaper article, they eventually purchased 1800 acres on the shores of Lake Emily that had been surveyed by Hamilton Stevens (!) who also named nearby Lake Sarah and Lake Maria for his other daughters. In the 1850 census, as well as the years 1860 and 1870, John is listed as a “hotel keeper” so they must have built a rudimentary establishment when they arrived.

(In fact, in an article that was written by Beverly Connor and is hanging on the wall in the Supper Club, it states that the home “became a stop over for Indian agents, travelers and fur trappers, besides the settlers and local Indians.)

In 1852 they began construction of their large, two-story white house that was purportedly “designed after his ancestral Von Schaumburg castle built in Germany in 1030.” The house was fashionably furnished both inside and out according to the article. It is astounding to imagine that the house that we see above was built 15 years before Laura Ingalls Wilder lived in the Little House in the Big Woods in Pepin, Wisconsin.

According to the Fond Du Lac article, the Schaumburgs had a daughter who married an Englishman named Winship and “they too lived at Schaumburg Hall.” The 1850 census, in fact, lists only George Winship as a farmer on the Schaumburg property. It states that he was born in New York. We might surmise then, that Winship came to Wisconsin with the Schaumburgs to help them with their property.

The 1870 census confirms that the Winships were indeed living with the Schaumburghs (as the name is listed in the census.) George and Jessie were listed, along with their children Stephanie, John, Imogene, Desdemona, Thomas and Margaret.

The problem is that Jessie’s birthplace is listed as Scotland. In doing a bit of research on Family, her death certificate in Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths states that her parents were Alexander Fyfe and Margaret Caird. In fact, Jessie’s tombstone in Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, lists her maiden name of Fyfe as well as her married name of Winship. Clearly there was some type of relationship between the Schaumburgs and the Winships, but it was not parental.

After living in Schaumburg Hall for 35 years, as the article states, John and Mary sold their property and moved to Chicago with the Winships. Two years after the 1870 census–and after the sale of the property–Mary died on June 29, 1872 and was buried in Graceland cemetery in Chicago. John survived her by almost 16 years and died on June 14, 1888. He, too, is buried in Graceland Cemetery. George and Jessie Winship died in 1891 and 1916, respectively, and are both buried at Graceland too.

The Hall, meanwhile, went through a variety of owners, including Dr. Frank Gunther, a dentist from Chicago, who purchased it for a summer home in 1913. He, then, was the owner when the above photos were taken of “Schaumburg Hall!” He kept the establishment until 1930 and sold it to Mr. and Mrs. Louis Zoeller until his death in 1964.

After sitting vacant for four years, Bob and Marge Palmiteer bought the mansion in 1968 and converted it into the restaurant it is today. They, in turn, sold it to their son David and his wife Candy who run it today. They are often asked whether they are somehow connected to Schaumburg, Illinois and they have to say “no.” Conversely, we here in Schaumburg Township, despite the strong German farm period, never had a resident with the last name of “Schaumburg!”

In a recent visit to the Supper Club, it is clear that the beauty of the building and the setting are still very much present in this off-the-beaten-path spot in Wisconsin. Touches of the original building still exist. The cupola on top, the dark walnut trim inside that was hauled by oxcart from Green Bay, the front staircase, and the bucolic front lawn and circular driveway that reach out to County A are all in place.

The Palmiteers, in fact, have the historic lawn photo on the walls of the club. It states that the photo was taken in 1922, which seems possible, given the large hats that the ladies are wearing.

It is safe to say that the only connection that Schaumburg Hall in Randolph, WI and Schaumburg Township share is their common roots in Schaumburg-Lippe Germany. But, boy, did those roots stretch a long ways!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

My thanks to the Palmiteers for their valuable input into this story.

Photo credits:

  • Credit extended to Fond Du Lac Reporter for the exterior photo of Schaumburg Hall with the caption.
  • Credit extended to the Palmiteer family for interior color photos of Schaumburg Hall.


February 15, 2015

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the February 2015 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

sledding hill

February is usually the month that can be the cruelest as far as snow and cold weather goes.  But although I’m growing old and worry about slippery steps and icy parking lots, I still love winter.  I try not to tell too many people about this since they think I’m a bit crazy.

Why would I love cold, slush and below zero temperatures?  I believe it’s the wonderful memories I have of winter when I was growing up in Chicago.  We had the opportunity to go sledding every day after school and ice skating on weekends. Crack the whip was the kids and my favorite game to play on the ice.  We didn’t have warming houses at all the ponds that I skated on.  Some parks always had a nice warm field house to warm yourself in when your feet felt like, well like nothing, because you couldn’t feel them at all.  Walking to the ice skating pond was ok but walking back home was when you’d try to ask mom for a dime to take the bus home.  Most times she would ask me to walk home or just not go skating if it was that cold.

Whenever it snowed, and it did a lot when I was a girl, I loved how it looked and how quiet it was outside in a snowstorm. Fresh snow would always sparkle at night under the street lights.  I don’t ever remember having snow days back then so that wasn’t one of the reasons that I loved winter.  Snow ball fights, snow forts and snowmen are some of the other reasons I loved it.

When I had my own children, I loved to go out and pull them on the sled.  Of course I was the reindeer and I had sleigh bells that I hung from my neck.  It was fun and my neighbors thought I was crazy.

I hope you have a chance to enjoy this winter.  The Hoffman Estates Park District has outdoor ice skating at South Ridge Park, Highpoint Park and Evergreen Park.  When the flag is green, it’s a go for skating.  The red flag means the ice is not thick enough to walk or skate on. You can go sledding at Pine Park and don’t forget the Cook County Forest Preserve tails that offer more winter recreation opportunities.  Winter in Hoffman Estates can be a lot of fun.  Over the years the Park District has added so many beautiful parks to our village. Go to to locate them on their map.  Get outdoors and enjoy the winter season.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian


February 17, 2013

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the February 2013 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

The year is 1961.  Hoffman Estates is a young village.  It’s only been 10 years since the first residents moved in.  One of those early residents was Bill Pichler, he moved here with his family in 1961, residing in the Highlands on Pierce Rd.  He began coaching Little League Baseball for the Hoffman Estates Athletic Assoc.  At the end of the season, while the boys were playing a little football in his backyard, he began to dream of starting a youth football program.  After doing some research, he discovered Pop Warner Football and the Chicago Jr. Suburban Football League.  He approached the H.E.A.A. with a request to sponsor a youth football program.  With their approval in hand, details were worked out for fields and budgets and applications were completed.  The new team would be for boys 11 – 13, under 115 pounds and it would be called the “Hoffman Raiders”.Hoffmancommandoes1965

In the fall of 1962 more than 100 boys tried out for the team.  33 were selected for that first Raiders team.  They went on to become league champions that first year.  They finished second in 1963. In 1964 the Hoffman Commandos, for boys 9 – 11 under 100 pounds, was formed.

The year is 1965.  It would be a year to remember. The Raiders and Commandos finished their seasons undefeated.  According to Coach Pichler, “no other teams had ever won both divisions in the same year.  Pop Warner Football International named Brian McGlory of the Commandos to the All American team selected from all over the country. A few years later Bob Dolan, a Raider, was also selected as an All American”.

In October, the teams were invited to play in the Milk Bowl in Daytona Beach, Florida.  Excitement spread across the community after Mayor Roy Jenkins declared November Hoffman Football Month, the biggest challenge was raising the $4000 to send the teams to Florida over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Moms sold fudge & brownies, the kids sold booster stickers and the Dads were selling tickets to the invitational dance (more than 100 attended)Hoffman Estates Raiders

All the hard work paid off, the teams would be off to Daytona Beach.  Coached by Bill Pichler and assistant coaches Bob Jones and Louis Dalitto, both teams beat the Daytona Bulldogs.  The fans at home were able to hear the play by play calls at Fairview School where a special direct line was set up along with amplifiers for the radio broadcast from Daytona Beach.  The final scores were the Hoffman Raiders 21 – Daytona Bulldogs 0, the Hoffman Commandos 13- Daytona Bulldogs 7.  Hundreds of fans greeted the returning champs at O’Hara Airport; a police escort took the triumphant teams through the village and past village hall.pop warner football 2

The young men, now much older, have never forgotten that very special year of 1965. Coach Pichler never forgot it either.  Although he moved away to California in 1971 to pursue a very successful business career, he always remembered that year and those boys.  Early this year he contacted Doug Schultz, Community Relations Coordinator, asking for help in returning several letters and pictures he’d saved from three of the Raiders, Mike Osterman, John Clausen and Tom Whitney. Doug asked if I could help and I located Mike but haven’t found the other two. Coach Pichler said “I look back upon my football days in Hoffman as some of the happiest in my life.  I would so appreciate your help in returning these mementos back to the boys who gave me such a gift.”  Family or friends in the area may still be able to locate them for me.  Let me know. I’d be so happy to find them, so would Coach Pichler.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian