Category Archives: Schmiling Family

Schmiling Family History and Memories from newspaper and family stories

From Ahnapee Record Thursday, May 25, 1893

Mrs. Chas. Schrailing

“Maria, widow of Chas. Schmiling, died last Thursday, May 18, 1893, at the home of her son, Albert Schmiling, in the town of Ahnapee. Mrs. Schmiling was one of the pioneer settlers of Ahnapee; she was held in high esteem by neighbors and friends. She had been an invalid for a number of years, her disease becoming more complicated this spring and developing into dropsy from which she died.

Mrs. Schmiling’s maiden name was Maria Westphal. She was born in Zarpen, Pomerania, June 4, 1814. In 1835, she was married to Charles Schmiling, who died in Ahnapee town in 1885. Nine children were born to them, four of whom are still living. Henry Schmiling, of this city, Albert Schmiling and Mrs. Chas Damas of Ahnapee town and Mrs. Chas Noll, of Waterford. She came with her husband to America in 1857, and settled in the town of Ahnapee where she had ever since resided.

The funeral took place last Saturday from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in this city. Rev. F. J. Eppling officiating, and was numerously attended. Among those present at the funeral from abroad, was Mrs. Chas Noll, daughter of the deceased, of Waterford, Wis.”

Also, on the same page as the above:

“A band of gypsies have gone into camp near Albert Schmiling farm on the north river road. There are about fifteen people in the band and they are a motley looking set. They have about a dozen horses and mules with them. Fortune telling is an important factor in their business and through it they add many dollars, it is said, to their store of cash. The camp is visited quite extensively, though principally by those only who are curious to see how the wondering homeless people live and work.”

Albert and Johanna

I know nothing of Albert’s early life. I assume he was a typical farm boy of his time with a minimum of education and plenty of chores around the farm. His older brother, Henry, served in the Civil War but Albert would have been too young.

The earliest I can recall anything that was said about Albert was that he fell hook, line and sinker for his cousin Johanna. This according to Minnie. She said she understood Albert had gone out with other girls. Johanna, or Hanna, for short, came over with her parents, Gotlieb and Caroline Grunewald, in 1872, from the Kolberg area of Prussia. (There are also other spellings of Grunewald.) She was eighteen at the time. Johanna’s mother was Albert’s right aunt, or his father’s sister. Hanna was about three years younger than Albert.

I’m almost positive Albert knew of his cousin before he met her. There must have been some letters going to Germany as well as some from there to here.

Albert and Hanna were married June 20, 1874, two years after she came here. They had seven children who lived to adulthood.

*Hanna’s parents settled on a farm near Kolberg, Door County.

Albert must have started dairy farming on a larger scale than his father, Charles.
He had a fairly large dairy barn built. The basement area could hold about a dozen cows
and a pen for young stock. It had a mow overhead. The basement part was about thirty
by thirty plus a 30 f t . mow and thrash floor at ground level about 60 f . i n all by 30
f t . wide. Part of t h i s barn still stood until 1939. The ground level part, or north end, was torn down i n 1917 to make way for the new barn built by Herman. The rest was
torn down to make room for the present machine shed and granary, again by Herman.
Before the Civil War, wheat and peas were major crops in Wisconsin. When the western
lands opened up the land here got to be too expensive for such crops, so dairying was
pushed. At first, cows were only milked during the summer months. The cheese factories
closed down as colder weather came and pasture was gone. Albert held a check too long,
according to Herman, and, the owner of the cheese factory had taken the money out of the checking account. Albert had to see him personally to get his money.
Women used to make butter at home from what ever milk they could get in winter. They
tried to get enough extra to sell in town to help pay for groceries.
According to Herman Welter, who owned the present Elbert Schmiling place, Albert had
a very commanding voice. He could be at the far corner of the farm and still shout instructions to his sons, Carl and Hugo, as they worked near the buildings.
About 1888, Albert built the brick house on the home farm, now owned by Clarence and
Anna Mae Alexander. Herman Schmeling remembers him saying many times about how all the things that could fit into a pocket, like door hinges, locks and nails were the most
expensive items to buy.
Ed Paape’s father was the carpenter who started the house. The Paape’s l i v e d just
north of the Hilton’s, or, present day, Stoller farm. I remember Ed as being somewhat
older than my father, Herman, but I don’t know his father’s name. Paape had much of the framing up when a big wind storm blew the entire thing down. He became disgusted as he looked over the mess and told Albert he was too busy to clean up the wreckage and start over. After some delay, Paape managed to get another carpenter to take over.
During the great fire of 1871, also called Peshtigo Fire, my brother Walter, recalls
hearing that the fire truck in the area during thrashing season, and, the men in the
area, and, I assume, this included Charles and Albert, helped move a thrashing machine to Lake Michigan so it wouldn’t be burned. Thrashing machines were scarce items, and,
thrashing by hand didn’t appeal to the area men. I don’t think any fire struck the home
farm, Walter said the Kolberg area, in Door County, had quite a bit of damage and the
area was just starting to green up the next year when Johanna and her parents arrived.
At the 100th anniversary of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, in Algoma, the son of a —
former pastor was preaching the sermon. He was recalling some of the things his father
told him about the Algoma area. He mentioned how the fire of 1871 raced toward the church on gale force winds. The men did all they could to beat back the fire in the area of the church but the wind was very strong and at last when it seemed hopeless, the pastor had everyone kneel down to pray and, shortly thereafter, the wind switched. The fire moved in a different direction and the church was spaired. Incidentally, Charles was a charter member of St. Paul’s.
When Albert died in the accident with the train, Hanna had what might be termed a
nervous breakdown. She was unable to function as either a mother, or manager of a farm. Carl and Hugo were already married and on their respective farms. That left Minnie, Martha, Herman, Elsie and Hulda at home. If my figures are right, Hanna was 49, Carl was about 29, Herman 19 and Hulda 9. Charlie Krause was appointed overseer, or guardian, of the ones at home. (Charlie Krause was the father of August and Martin Krause and lived in what I remember as the Martin Krause farm, near present Elbert Schmiling place.) Hanna’s sister-in-law, Ida Meister Grunwald, took Hanna to her farm home i n the Kolberg area. I don’t know how; she accomplished it, but, I understand she worked Hanna from dawn to dusk, never giving her time to think about herself, (source, Bertha Heuer, daughter of Gothilf and Ida). Ida was also a widow at the time. I don’t know anything about Ida, but, I recall Herman saying Hanna had only one brother, Gothilf. He was a hunch back as the result of a bad fall as a baby. He had red hair and a number of his children have red hair.
Charlie Krause used to try and come in on a daily basis to see that things ran
smoothly. I don’t know how long this went on, but it must have been for at least a
year. Hanna did return , but she never recovered completely. She seemed like a
frightened woman, afraid of any change. Herman, and, I guess, the rest of her children,
had a hard job convincing her to s e l l the farm to Herman. I don’t know how the farm
was operated during this time but Hanna must have had a widow’s share of the farm if
she didn’t own it all herself. There were things Herman wanted to do and improvements
he wanted to make. He especially wanted to build a new barn. It took from 1903, when
Albert died, until 1917 before Hanna sold the farm to Herman, with a bond of support.
What I remember mostly about Hanna was that she was an invalid . We had to bring
her to the table i n a wheel chair. She was bedridden f o r the last year of her l i f e.
She died on the Easter weekend of March 27, 1937. She and Albert are buried on the
Evergreen Cemetery, on Hy. 54, west of Algoma.
I remember Bertha Gruendeman, Hanna’s sister , living with us. Bertha was blind,
having had an operation f o r cataracts that wasn’t successful. The two old ladies used
to sit in the front room and talk for hours. They talked about things that happened
yesterday, last year, and, a l l the way back to their girlhood in Prussia. Bertha was
married before she came here and did not come with her parents like Hanna did. I remember her saying the year they got here was a very early spring. It got so warm a
few of the farmers planted grain the last week’ of February. Most farmers wouldn’t take
such a chance. As it turned,out, the early birds got the worm. It turned rather nasty
after that, never too cold, but, with some snow and later rains. Spring planting got to
be late. There was a dry spell and grain didn’t do well. The farmers who planted early
had a good crop.
These are recollections from my brothers, Walter and Reuben, and some from what I
remember. Living with a grandmother in your home brings in quite a number of older
relatives. They are bound to speak of things gone by and little people have big ears,
There may be errors in this history, but, it is the best of my recollections. I welcome
any comments, additions, or recollections from any family member to help make this a more complete history.

Lloyd Schmeling
March 13, 1984
Note: The Carl Schmiling I refer to, as a reference source, should not he confused with
Charles, who sometimes signed his name Carl, especially on the warranty deed conveying the farm, to Albert, Charles, or Chas., also called Carl, was born i n 1811, i n Prussia. The Carl I refer to for reference was my oldest uncle born in 1875, and, the one I went to for information right after my father’s funeral.

Ole Engebretsen Viste 1869-1936

Ole Viste

Ole Viste

Viste Family about 1921

OLE ENGEBRETSEN VISTE When Ole Engebretsen Viste was born on October 22, 1869, in Viste, Oppland, Norway, his father, Engebret, was 51 and his mother, Ragnhild Knudsdatter Windingstad was 45. He arrived in the United States on June 15, 1882 at the age of 12.

He married Emma Olson on June 6, 1900, in Forestville, Wisconsin.

Marriage of Ole Viste to Emma Olson on 6 June 1900

He became a naturalized citizen of the United States on September 7th, 1910 at the age of 40.

Ole Viste naturalization 7 Sept 1910

Ole and Emma had 7 children in 19 years. His daughter Olive Viste would become the direct ancestor of our family.

Ole and Emma Viste's children

He died on April 1, 1936, in Forestville, Wisconsin, at the age of 66, and
was buried in Door County, Wisconsin.

http://genealogytrails.com/wis/door/history/history1917_chapter47.htm This link tells about the history of Doorbanks, WI and the Norwegian community early settlers.

Ole Viste death 4.10.1936 Door Co. Adv.

10 April 1936 The Door County Advocate

 

Grave marker for Ole Viste

Schmeling Family History compiled by Elbert E. Schmiling

Family tree from records of Elbert Schmiling

From the Family Tree records of Elbert Schmiling

How wonderful that Elbert Schmiling wrote a family history that begins with the story of Charles Karl Schmeling and his wife Dorothea Maria Westphal.

This is a link to Elbert’s narrative account about Charles and Dorothea:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1x6acY9RDXa_er9aoqSrVTLuxylKBNQwX/view?usp=sharing

 

Below is a preview of the history written by Elbert Schmiling dated April 1, 1984

We start our family history in the German Country of Prussia. Hinter Pommern, in or near the village of Treptow. What we call Germany did not come into existence until after our Civil War. The Province of Pomerania was divided into three parts: Fore Pommern, Mitte Pommern and Hinter Pommern. Hinter Pommern was closest to the Polish border. (Pomerania is the present spelling.)

Since WWII, all of Pomerania is part of Poland and all German people had to leave this area. They were restricted as to what they could carry out in both money and goods as they left.

Our great grandparents, Charles and Dorthea Schmeling owned a small farm in or near the village of Treptow. Charles was a rather unsettled person. The family had to move on the average of every two years because Charles traded the place for a different one. The last two years in Germany were the worst for the family as they had to move six times. This must have been too much for Dorthea. After the sixth time, she demanded they sell out and go to America. (This according to Carl Schmiling.)

This is not as sudden as it seems, as they had correspondence with relatives and former neighbors who were in America. Two names (given by Minnie Detjen) were Schieser and Buege. There were also companies making a business of getting immigrants to the U.S.

As close as I can tell, Charles and Dorthea came over in 1857, which would make them in their mid-forties. They had five children at the time. Henry, Hanna (perhaps Johanna), Caroline, Alvina, and our grandfather, Albert. Albert was about five or six at the time and the youngest. I believe I have all of them named in order of their ages as Minnie recalls them. (In a note from the Krueger family book, Brown County Library, they stated that the fare across the ocean was about $20.00 per person. Their ancestors came from Niederhagen, Pommern, in Prussia, about the same time.)

The family passed over a great deal of very good farm land on their way from the east coast of America. They did not have the money to buy developed land (according to Carl). Their destination was the village of Ahnapee, as Algoma was then called. Ahnapee is an Indian name and means Wolf River.

…section omitted…

Charles homesickness for the old country would not cease. (This according to Herman Schmeling.) Charles offered his oldest son, Henry, a pair of cooper toed boots if he would go back to Prussia with him. This must have been a tempting offer, as Herman assured me, copper toed boots were the rage of the young men and boys of that day. Despite all this, Charles laid claim to what must have been about 80 acres, 1 mile north of Ahnapee, on the river road.

 

Charles Karl Schmeling 1811-1885

Family tree from records of Elbert Schmiling.jpg

How wonderful that Elbert Schmiling wrote a family history that begins with the story of Charles Karl Schmeling and his wife Dorothea Maria Westphal.

This is a link to Elbert’s narrative account about Charles and Dorothea:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1x6acY9RDXa_er9aoqSrVTLuxylKBNQwX/view?usp=sharing

I have also done research on Ancestry to piece together documents and supporting facts. Here is what I found:

When Charles Karl Schmeling was born on April 9, 1811, in Greifenberg, Bavaria, Germany, his father, August, was -31 and his mother, Marie, was -29.

Charles married Dorothea Maria Westphal in 1835 when he was only 24 years old.

In 1857, Charles and his family emigrated to the United States. They sailed on a ship called Rinehard and left from a port in Bremen, Germany and arrived at Ellis Island.

Together Charles and Dorothea had five children in 15 years. The child who is a direct ancestor and 3rd great grandfather to my grandson is Albert Schmiling 1851-1903.

Charles died on October 19, 1885, in Algoma, Wisconsin, at the age of 74, and was buried there in Saint Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery.  This is a link to Find a Grave:

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/65031289/charles-schmeling

Lyle Schmiling

When Lyle Schmiling was born on March 1, 1938, in Wisconsin, his father, Elbert, was 26 and his mother, Olive, was 22.  He had one brother (Lee Schmiling) and one sister (Joann Emma Schmiling Wiesner).

He married Beverly Maedke on October 4, 1958. They have four children. Their daughters are Jill Rae Schmiling born in 1959, Shelly Jo born in 1962, and Terri Lynn born in 1965.  His son, Steven was born in 1969.

Lyle passed away unexpectedly on June 21, 2016.  His obituary may be found at http://www.schinderle.com/obituaries/Lyle-Schmiling/#!/Obituary

 

 

 

Elbert Emil Schmiling- EJ’s great Grandfather

When Elbert Emil Schmiling was born on January 29, 1912, in Algoma, Wisconsin, his father, Carl Schmiling, was 36 and his mother, Alma Runke, was 30.

He married Olive Viste on August 22, 1936. They had three children during their marriage.

His wife Olive passed away on January 1, 2002, in Algoma, Wisconsin, at the age of 86. They had been married 65 years. He died just a little more than a month later, on February 5, 2002, in his hometown, at the age of 90, and was buried there.

The following is written my Joann Schmiling Wiesner:

“My father, Elbert Schmiling, for a very short time, managed a hardware store in Forestville. Primarily he was a teacher in Rio Creek and middle school principal in Kewaunee, and he could be called a ‘gentleman farmer’ as he lived on 40 acres and harvested some crops, sometimes raised pigs, chickens and sheep. He often rented pasture to other farmers who needed pastureland for their heifers.And when the young cows broke through the fence, Dad was never home; therefore, my Mom, brothers and I chased them back to the pasture….just an aside!!

ElbertSchmiling 2a.jpgElbertSchmiling 2ElbertSchmilingFamily 1bElbert Schmiling and Olive Viste.jpgElbert Schmiling home - Algoma WI 1.jpgElbert Emil Schmiling from 22 Oct 1973 Manitowoc Herald Times.pngElbert GravestoneElbertSchmilingElbertSchmilingNews.jpg.jpg

 

Alma Runke Schmiling 1881-1962

Over the course of 21 years, Alma Runke and her husband Carl Schmiling, had 10 children.  Alma and Carl were direct ancestors of my son-in-law and were his Great Grandparents.  The photo of Carl below is from a family collection of my son-in-law.

Carl Schmiling

Alma was born in Wisconsin in 1881 to Heinrich “Henry” Runke, Sr. (sometimes spelled Ruhnke) who was of Prussian birth and Wilhelmina “Minnie” Bruemmer.  Alma’s father is recorded as being a pioneer in the raising of alfalfa crops and helped to develop agriculture in Northeast Wisconsin.

Henry and Wilhelmina Minnie Bruemmer

Alma’s birth and death dates are available from several sources including this “Find a Grave” website link: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=92203025&ref=acom   She was born on 20 July 1881 and died at the age of 81 on 13 December 1962. She is buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Algoma, Kewaunee County, Wisconsin.

Alma was only 18 years old at the time of her marriage to 24 year old Carl Schmiling on 20 February 1900.  They were married at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Their first child, Beatrice Schmiling, was born only 7 months after the marriage when Alma was a mere 19 years old. In the 1900 census (the year of the marriage and Beatrice’s birth) Carl and Alma were living with Carl’s parents and family.  In this census, Alma is listed as daughter-in-law to the head of the household, Albert Schmiling.  At that same time, 4 of Carl’s siblings were also a part of the household. Carl was employed as a farm laborer on his parent’s farm.

Alma had three sons and seven daughters with her husband, Carl Schmiling between 1900 and 1922. Yes, a span of 22 years from the oldest to the youngest of the children.

By the time of the 1910 census, Alma was 28 years old and Carl was 34 and they now lived in their own household (Although, I do not know at what point during those 10 years that the move to their own household had occurred).  Now, they had their own home to live in and in the 10 years of marriage they already had 5 children.

It was interesting to me that even though Alma’s marriage to Carl Schmiling would eventually end in divorce, they are still laid to rest together under a single headstone at Evergreen Cemetery in Algoma, Kewaunee County, Wisconsin. Alma was 45 years old at the time of the divorce in 1926.

divorce granted

The next photograph shows a later property dispute in 9 Nov. 1939:

Alma and Carl Schmiling court hearing from 9 Nov. 1939 Green Bay Press.JPG

As a young girl, Alma was one of 16 children in the Runke family!  I have been able to do hours of research into the lives of each of her siblings and have collected various family photographs and life stories.  https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/10440983/person/6964013470/facts

In the 1920 and 1930 census the name Schmiling has now become Schmeling without explanation. I do not know the reason for this spelling change, but it is interesting to note that Carl’s obituary states his name as Carl Schmeling.  In the 1940 census (after the divorce) Alma is now living with son Gordon and also lists her name as Alma Schmeling.

death of Carl Schmiling 18 Jan 1969 Green Bay Press

One of the “finds” I made on Ancestry was this message board https://www.ancestrylibrary.com/boards/surnames.ruhnke/44.1.1.2.1.2.1.2/mb.ashx It describes Alma’s father’s relationship to his daughters, “The Ruhnke daughters were quite outspoken. They resented that their father only sent sons to college, and they bristled under his very strict discipline.”  Make sure to visit the message thread!

The photographs below are from the family collections of my son-in-law.

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