A&W Root Beer served at the car window

Great Grandpa Schieble’s family came from Germany

In a document I received from my mother, I see that my great, great, grandfather Nicolas Scheible was born in Baden, Germany in 1830 and my great, great grandmother was born in Hipen, Germany in 1841. They had five children: Martin (1865), Mary and Michael (twins born in 1869 – Mary died at birth), George and Joseph. George and Joseph were born after the 1870 census. All of their children were born in Chicago, Illinois. Michael was my great grandfather.

Michael Scheible Married Agnes Reiling

Great Grandma Agnes (Reiling) Scheible and wonderful Great Grandpa Michael Scheible.

Little is known about Agnes (Reiling) Schieble. She was born December 15, 1872 and died of bone cancer when she was 62 on May 7, 1934. Therefore, she was gone well before I was born. My mom would have been five years old when her grandmother died. My great grandparents had four children: a son and three daughters. Their eldest daughter, Mabel, was a sweet aunt to my mom. I remember how tiny she was. She had some great stories about her and her husband Charlie Zons. More on that in a future chapter.

I think Mabel, (mom called her Aunt Mayme), was mom’s favorite because she rescued mom from Grandma Katherine’s apartment to protect mom from a bad situation. Michael and Agnes also had a son named Fred who died in 1954. I don’t remember him. Their next daughter was Josephine. Aunt Josephine appears to have lived a difficult life, with multiple marriages, drinking, smoking and a death caused by liver cancer. Their final baby was Katherine, was born in 1904. She was my grandmother. She was a lot like her sister Josephine when it came to husbands and lifestyle.

Mom’s cousin Fred wrote mom with some of his memories about great grandpa Michael and great grandma Agnes. He said, “I have a vague recollection of Grandma Agnes. She was very small and sickly. Her legs were deformed, bowing and backward. In pictures I have of her she appears to be no more than 4 feet six inches. I was six when she died.”

Great Grandpa Michael Scheible – Soap and Security

Sometimes a person’s life is a blessing to others. Great Grandpa Michael seems to be one of those people. Mom’s cousin Fred wrote, “He was ‘Mr. Nice Guy’, everyone in the Kauffman family liked him including me. (Fred had married a Kauffman.) I was always glad to see him. Grandpa worked for the Kirk Soap Company that was located on North Avenue and the Chicago River. He worked in the factory for many years and later as one of their security guards.”

An image of the Kirk Soap company. Automation!

Fred goes on to say, “He was also artistic. When he came to our house, he would draw a picture for me, people, animals; in retrospect, I think he missed his calling.” This was echoed by something my mother told me in her letter. But there was something else besides his career. He showed love to his granddaughter, my mother, in a special way.

A&W Black Cows

This leads to a boyhood memory. When I was a boy, Dad and Mom would take us to the Naperville A&W for an ice-cold root beer in a chilled mug. The car hop would come to the car, take dad’s order, and return with a tray that hung on the car window holding the amazing root beer. We also often had root beer floats at home. A Root Beer Float is also known as a “black cow” or “brown cow.” The float is made with vanilla ice cream and root beer or other flavors like orange soda. A&W Restaurants are well known for their root beer floats.

Like Grandpa Like Grandson

Some treats are passed down from one generation to the next. In my mom’s letter to me she had something special to say about Grandpa Michael Scheible. If she had not written this, I would not have known that my enjoyment of root beer floats as a child was probably driven by my mom’s appreciation for this hot summer frosty treat from her loving grandfather. I also appreciate a deeper memory mom had of great grandpa. It had to do with how he responded to those who sinned against him. His theology was right.

My mother, Shirley May (Kramer) Winquist and her grandfather Michael.

        “Grandpa Scheible was all that Fred wrote about and then some. He was a gentle gentleman. He loved “black cows.” And would come over often with a half-gallon of root beer and pint of vanilla ice cream. What a great treat.

        He came to our one room often, most likely because my mother was his baby.

        He always said –  no matter what anyone did to him – cut him off in traffic, push him out of line or whatever. ‘Let them alone, they will stand in front of God someday, just like me.

Michael Scheible – “Let them alone, they will stand in front of God someday, just like me.

        He loved to get up early – real early on Monday morning with a long stick and walk to the beach. As he walked over the sand, he would find so many treasures. Gold rings, watches and money. He was such fun to be around, and loved to draw pictures for me. My greatest regret is that I didn’t save one of them. And he had painted me so many beautiful pictures.”

The Scheible Family in 1953

When I was about two years old and my brother was one, a picture was taken of the family with Great Grandfather Michael positioned in the middle. My brother Russell, Dad, Mom, and I are in the picture. My mother’s mom, two aunts and uncle are present as well. I’m thankful that mom took the time to not only give us the picture, but to identify each person in a key she provided. Those images are shown here.

The next image identifies the people of the Scheible clan.
Many of the people in this chapter are in this picture from my mother.

The Scheible-Kramer-Winquist Family Tree

As I researched this chapter, the family tree started to come to life. Using information from mom, I was able to put together what I believe is an accurate view of the family tree from Michael and Agnes Scheible down to my two brothers and one sister.

Great Grandpa Scheible and Great Grandma Scheible FAMILY TREE

What I am Learning About Names

Sometimes a person gets their name from a relative who came before them. I strongly suspect that my Grandma Katherine received her name because that was Great Grandpa Scheible’s mother’s name. I know that my father’s middle names were William and Lynn. I received the Lynn portion for my middle name, and Russell was the William. My wife Cindie’s middle name is Lynn, so we passed that middle name on to Matthew and Elisabeth. I didn’t know this growing up, but my father’s biological father was Claude Lynn Lauer.  Therefore, I received my grandfather’s middle name. The name didn’t end there. Our grandson Henry is Henry Lynn Schultz. So Henry, your great, great grandfather was a Lynn too.

Photo courtesy of Elisabeth Lynn Schultz (Winquist)

The Next Chapter

I have so many memories flooding through my mind. In the next chapter I plan to tell a story about Uncle Charlie and Aunt Mabel Zons. The story is set in the time of the Prohibition. There is a whisky-making still and some dangerous gangsters in the story. Yes, we have an exciting family history!

Aunt Mabel was small, but she survived the gangster incident. Uncle Charlie got an earful.