Category Archives: Schmiling Family

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:

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:

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!/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:   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.

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 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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