Henry M. Schumm, 1907 Colorado Homesteader

Last week I wrote about Henry M. Schumm (1861-1941), who moved from the Willshire area to Cheyenne County, Colorado, in the early 1900s. Henry M. Schumm homesteaded 160 acres in that eastern Colorado county and lived there for about 15-20 years.

It appears that Henry M. spent more time in Colorado than his wife Wilhelmina and children did. Wilhelmina and some of their children were enumerated in Willshire Township in January 1920 and then a month later with Henry in Colorado. Henry and Wilhelmina moved back to Willshire Township sometime before 1930.

I was able to piece together a small timeline of Henry’s time in Colorado and wrote about that last week. But I still had questions. Why did Henry M. decide to leave Ohio and homestead in Colorado? I asked Henry’s granddaughter about this but she said her father did not talk about it much, only mentioning that Henry was gone some of the time.

In the meantime learned some general information about homesteading during that time period.

Approximately 75 percent of the settlers in northeastern Colorado filed homestead claims after 1900. The activity peaked in 1910. The new settlers on the eastern plains soon emphasized wheat and cattle grazing and sugar beets.

How did homesteading work? President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act in 1862, giving citizens up to 160 acres of public land, provided they lived on it, improved it, and paid a small registration fee. The process encouraged the settlement and development of American land by American citizens.

Colorado and other western states promoted settlement and agricultural opportunities through homesteading by advertising in newspapers around 1907-08, the same time Henry M. Schumm decided to homestead there. He may very well have read about western homesteading in a newspaper.

Homesteading would not have been easy, but the opportunity for free land, the challenges of the frontier, and health concerns could have been among the reasons Henry M. Schumm decided to homestead in Colorado. Homesteading is no longer used and Alaska was the last state to offer it.

Under the Homestead Act a person could claim 160 acres, file on it, and if he built a home, lived there, and cultivated the land for five years, he could “prove up” his claim and obtain a government patent to it. It would have been a real challenge and a lot of hard work. The homesteader started from scratch, with nothing but his land. The land did not come with a house and homesteaders often lived in tents until they could build a home or some sort of a structure. This may have been the reason Henry M. Schumm’s family traveled to and from Colorado frequently. There were probably more creature comforts back in Willshire Township.       

Railroad travel opened to Colorado in the 1870s and contributed to the settlement of eastern Colorado. I wonder if the Schumms traveled to and from Colorado by rail? I cannot imagine driving back and forth by car. It is also interesting to note that Henry’s son Emil Schumm worked for the railroad in Colorado.

On 23 February 1907 Henry M. Schumm entered a Homestead contract in Cheyenne County, with five years to establish claim of his land. Eight years later, in 1915, Henry M. Schumm was issued a Serial Land patent in Cheyenne County, Colorado, serial no. COH0004271, signed by President Woodrow Wilson.

A portion of Henry’s land patent: …a Certificate of the Register of the Land Office at Hugo, Colorado, has been deposited in the General Land Office…pursuant to the Act of Congress of May 20, 1862, “To Secure Homesteads to Actual Settlers on the Public Domain,” and the acts supplemental thereto, the claim of Henry M. Schumm has been established and duly consummated, in conformity to law, for the northwest quarter of Section eight in Township fifteen south of Range forty-three west of the Sixth Principal Meridian, Colorado, containing one hundred sixty acres…Patent Number 489568, 9 September 1915. [1]

Henry M. Schumm 1915 Colorado land patent.

Below is an old photo from this family. Although the photo is unidentified, I suspect it is a photo of Henry M. Schumm, his wife Wilhelmina, and a some of their children. Their son Emanuel Schumm (1892-1973) is standing on the right. It looks like they could have been in Colorado. It sure doesn’t look like Van Wert County.  

Emanuel Schumm, far right, possibly with his parents and siblings.

I have other photos of Emanuel that appear were taken out west. Was he visiting family in Colorado or just traveling? His brother Emil Schumm also lived in Colorado for the remainder of his life. He could have been visiting him.

I still have not found Henry M. Schumm in the 1910 census. He was not enumerated in Willshire Township with the rest of his family. He was likely living on his 160 acres in Colorado at the time, homesteading, perhaps living in a tent or makeshift cabin. Perhaps the census taker missed him. Perhaps he was not enumerated at all in 1910. 

I will keep looking…

[1] “Henry M. Schumm Homesteading, Mining, Ranching, Logging,” Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, Homestead Patent, Serial No.COH0004271, 1915; TheLandPatents.com,  https://thelandpatents.com/owners/483990 , viewed 15 Dec 2021.

Tombstone Tuesday-Obelisk Grave Marker

Obelisk shaped tombstones are commonly seen in cemeteries. They are found in various sizes and some are quite large.

Obelisk, Greenlawn Cemetery, Wapakoneta, Ohio.

An obelisk is a narrow, four-sided monument with a pyramidal shape at the top. Obelisks have been used as grave markers since the mid-1800s and are one of the most popular types of cemetery memorials. An obelisk can be used in a relatively small space and one obelisk is sometimes used for several graves or it may be the central monument of a family plot.  

Obelisk, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Ohio.

Obelisks, Union Cemetery, Darke County, Ohio.

Obelisks originated in Ancient Egypt about 2600 BC, but some other ancient cultures also built them. Ancient obelisks could symbolize a god, an important astronomical event, or commemorate the achievements of an important person. Ancient Egyptians embellished all four sides of the obelisk with hieroglyphs, engraved inscriptions, portraits, or other symbols. They were made of a single slab of granite and capped with real gold to reflect the sun. Shaped like a ray of sunshine, obelisks were often a symbol of the Egyptian the sun god Ra, who had the power of creation, and the monument seemed to follow the sun’s movement across the sky. They were usually erected in pairs and placed in front of a temple.

Today, obelisks symbolize greatness and majesty.

Obelisk, Union Cemetery, Darke County, Ohio.

Some gravestone obelisks are quite tall. One of the tallest is 150 feet high, erected in 1897 for Dr. Thomas W. Evans and located in Woodlands Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

A 117-foot obelisk monument marks the tomb of Abraham Lincoln, his wife Mary, and three of their sons in Springfield, Illinois. I visited this site in 2011.

Obelisk at Abraham Lincoln’s tombs, Springfield, Illinois. (2011 by Karen)

Although not a grave marker, the 555-foot Washington Monument in Washington DC is an example of a modern obelisk and was completed in 1884.

Obelisk, Woodland Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio.

Some ancient Egyptian obelisks were moved out of Egypt and were erected in other parts of the world. One was moved to Central Park, New York City, in 1880 and others were moved to London, Paris, and Italy.

Schumm Family Enumerated Twice in 1920

As I was researching this week’s Tombstone Tuesday, Agnes Schumm (1888-1921), I noticed that Agnes’ father Henry M. Schumm was not enumerated with the family in Willshire Township in 1910 or in 1920. Henry did not die until 1941, so just where was he in 1910 and 1920?

I am still working to find Henry in 1910 but I have the 1920 enumeration figured out.

In 1920 Agnes Schumm was enumerated with her mother Wilhelmina (Hoppe) Schumm, five of her siblings (Alma, Emanuel, Clara, Alfred, and Oswald), and her grandmother (Abalonia Freese), on the family farm in Willshire Township. [1]

Family members missing in the 1920 Willshire enumeration are the father Henry M. Schumm and his children Emil and Edna Schumm. Did the census taker miss those three family members in Willshire Township or were they living somewhere else?

As it turns out, Henry M. Schumm was enumerated in the 1920 census. He was enumerated with his wife Wilhelmina and three of their children (Clara, Alfred, Oswald) in Cheyenne, Colorado.

How interesting! Henry M. Schumm’s wife Wilhelmina and their children Clara, Alfred, and Oswald were all enumerated twice in the 1920 census.

How did that happen?

The 1920 census was taken in Willshire Township on 7 January 1920. The Schumm household, as enumerated in 1920: Wilhelmina H Schumm, 59, IN, head; Agnes, 31, OH, daughter; Alma, 30, OH, daughter; Emanuel, 28, OH, son; Clara, 21, OH, daughter; Alfred, 19, OH, son; Oswald, 17, OH, son; and Abalonia Freese, 83, Germany, widow, who was Wilhelmina Schumm’s mother. [1]

1920 US Census, Willshire Township, Wilhelmina Schumm.

The 1920 census was taken in Cheyenne Wells, Cheyenne, Colorado, a little over a month later, on 12-13 February 1920. Wilhelmina, Clara, Alfred, and Oswald probably left Ohio and went to Colorado between 7 January and 12 February, the dates the two enumerations were taken.

The Henry M. Schumm family as enumerated in Cheyenne, Colorado, in 1920: Henry M Schumm, 58, OH, head; Wilhelmina H, 59, IN, wife; Clara Schumm, 20, OH, daughter; Alfred Schumm, 18, OH, son; Oswald Schumm, 16, OH, son. Henry was a farmer and owned house with a mortgage. [2] 

1920 US Census, Cheyenne, CO, Henry M Schumm.

This also explains why Agnes Schumm’s 1921 obituary appeared in a Colorado newspaper, reprinted from the Willshire Herald. Some members of the Henry M. Schumm family were living in Cheyenne Wells, Colorado.

From Newspapers.com I constructed a timeline of Henry M. Schumm’s movements to and from Colorado in the early 1900s. Henry had planned the move and moved there several years before.

On 23 February 1907 Henry M. Schumm entered a Homestead contract in Cheyenne County, with five years to establish claim of his land. Information concerning his final proof to establish that claim appeared seven years later in a 1914 Colorado newspaper. [3]

The following newspaper entries indicate the Henry M. Schumm family resided in Colorado as early as 1913.

1913: Agnes Schumm spent Sunday with Anna Tuxhorn. (Eastern Colorado Times, Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, 1 Aug 1913, p.8.)

1914: H.M. Schumm came in with his witnesses to make proof on his homestead, last Monday, and while here left us a big wheel on subscription for which he has our thanks. (Eastern Colorado Times, Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, 26 Feb 1914, p.5.)

1914-15: Henry M. Schumm, Cheyenne County farmer, received second prize at the county fair for a 6-inch bundle of field corn. (Eastern Colorado Times, Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, 1 Oct 1914, p.1.) In 1915 he received recognition at the county fair for his Durham and Macaroni Wheat. (Eastern Colorado Times, Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, 30 Sep 1915, p.1.)

1916: Henry M. Schumm ran for Justice of the Peace in Cheyenne Wells’ Precinct no.2, running as a Democrat. His PO address, residence, and place of business was Cheyenne Wells, Colorado. (Eastern Colorado Times, Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, 2 Nov 1916, p.6.)

1917: Emil F. Schumm, of Schumm Ohio son of H.M. Schumm of this place is one of the operators at the depot here. He came this week. (Eastern Colorado Times, Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, 8 Nov 1917, p.5.)

1919: Roll of Honor–The following parties have renewed their subscriptions to the Record since our last issue:…H.M. Schumm, Aug 1. (Eastern Colorado Times, Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, 13 Nov 1919, p.1.)

1921: Agnes Schumm’s obituary was reprinted from the Willshire Herald. (Eastern Colorado Times, Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, 3 Mar, 1921, p.1.)

1921: Henry M. Schumm’s son Emil married Louise Stock in Colorado Springs, Colorado. [4] Emil had moved to Colorado about 1917 and lived in Colorado Springs.

1921: Emil Schumm came down from Colorado Springs on Saturday night in answer to a telegram stating that his father H.M. Schumm, was quite ill. (Eastern Colorado Times, Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, 15 Dec 1921, p.5.)

1922: W.H. Schumm arrived here on Thursday of last week from his home at Schumm, Ohio, for a short visit with his father, H.M. Schumm, of this city. (Eastern Colorado Times, Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, 8 Jun 1922, p.1.)

That was the last clipping I found about the Henry M. Schumm family in Colorado. Perhaps things did not work out in Colorado or maybe the family decided to move back to the Schumm area to be near family.

By 1930 Henry M. Schumm (68) and his wife Wilhelmina (69) were back in Van Wert County, just the two of them living in Willshire Township. [5]

Henry M. Schumm’s wife Wilhelmina (Hoppe) died 19 November 1937.

In 1940 widower Henry M. Schumm lived with his children Alma and Oswald. [6]

Henry M. Schumm died 1 February 1941.

Interesting that the Schumm family went back and forth between Ohio and Colorado quite a bit. That would be quite a drive today and even more time consuming and challenging in the early 1900s. Perhaps they took a train to and from?

Henry’s mother-in-law, widow Abalonia Freese, lived near or with her daughter Wilhelmina Schumm in Willshire Township. Wilhelmina was Abalonia’s only surviving child, which is probably why Wilhelmina and the children made several trips between Willshire and Colorado before Abalonia died in 1923.     

However, I still have research problems with this family. I cannot account for every family member in every census. And that drives me nuts. 

Where were Emil and Edna Schumm in 1920?

I do not know where Edna was in 1920 but one Emil Schumm lived and worked for the railroad in Sharon Springs, Wallace, Kansas. Age 26, born in Ohio, father born in Ohio, and mother born in Indiana are consistent with Emil’s family history. Newspaper items above indicate Emil worked for a depot in Colorado. [7]

Then there is the issue of the 1910 census in Willshire Township, where, yet again, Henry M. Schumm is not enumerated with his family. The family in 1910, living in Willshire Township: Minnie [Wilhelmina] Schumm, 50, head; Edna, 22, daughter; [unreadable], 20, daughter; Emanuel, 18, son; Emil, 17, son; Edna, 15, daughter; Clara, 12, daughter; Alfred, 10, son; and Oswald, 8, son. [8]

Unfortunately, I have not found Henry M. Schumm in 1910 yet, but I am still looking.

This 1910 enumeration raises other questions: Edna is listed twice, with different ages; I am not sure who the first Edna is, age 22. Daughter Agnes would have been 22 but it appears that she was living in Logansport, Indiana. Was Agnes enumerated twice in 1910? The census dates: Logansport on 22 April 1910 and Willshire on 28 April 1910. I guess I have to consider all options. And who is the 20-year-old daughter whose name I cannot read? It appears the name begins with an A, relationship is Daughter, but sex is male. Daughter Alma Abalonia would have been about 20. Could it be her? Very confusing.

Nevertheless, finding several people who were enumerated twice in a census is pretty exciting for someone who enjoys finding unusual and interesting bits of information. 

[1] 1920 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 146, p.3A, dwelling & family 48, Wilhelmina H Schumm; Ancestry.com, viewed 6 Dec 2021.

[2] 1920 U.S. Census, Cheyenne Wells, Cheyenne, Colorado, ED 56, p.7B, dwelling 84, house 89, Henry M Schumm; Ancestry.com, viewed 6 Dec 2021.

[3] Notice for Publication, Eastern Colorado Times, Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, 29 Jan 1914, p.8, Newspapers.com, viewed 8 Dec 2021. [Details: Department of the Interior U.S. Land Office at Hugo, Colorado, 15 January 1914, Notice given that Henry M. Schumm of Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, made Homestead entry no.04271 on 23 February 1907 for the NW ¼ Section 8 township 15 S range 43 W, sixth principal meridian. He made final five-year proof to establish claim of this land before the Cheyenne County Court on 23 February 1914.]

[4] Colorado, County Marriage Records & State Index, 1862-2006, Emil Schumm & Louise Stock, 28 Sep 1921; database, Ancestry.com, viewed 8 Dec 2021.

[5] 1930 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 24, p.5B, dwelling 105, family 108, Henry M. Schumm; Ancestry.com, viewed 6 Dec 2021.

[6] 1940 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 81-28, p.5A, house visited 88, H M Schumm; Ancestry.com, viewed 6 Dec 2021.

[7] 1920 U.S. Census, Sharon Springs, Wallace, Kansas, ED 243, p.9A, dwelling & family 195, Emil Schuman; Ancestry.com, viewed 9 Dec 2021.

[8] 1910 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 114, p.2A, dwelling & family 37, Minnie Schumm; Ancestry.com, viewed 8 Dec 2021.

Tombstone Tuesday-Agnes Schumm

Agnes Schumm, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Agnes Schumm, located in row 10 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Agnes Schumm
1888-1921

“Agnes” Wilhelmine Barbara Schumm was born 17 April 1888, the first child born to George Martin “Henry” III and Henrietta Wilhelmine “Minnie” Hoppe. Agnes was baptized at Zion Schumm on 29 April 1888 with Barbara Schumm, Mrs. Wilhelmine Seemeyer, Mrs. A. [Abalonia] Freese, and Frederick Schumm Jr. serving as her sponsors.

Agnes Schumm, enumerated with her family in 1900: Henry M Schumm, 39; Wilhelmina H, 40; Agnes, 12; Alma, 10 Emanuel, 9; Emil, 6; Edna, 4; Clara, 3; Alfred, 2 months; Henry Freese, 63, father-in-law; Abolonia, 61, mother-in-law. [1] Abalonia Freese was Wilhelmina (Hoppe) Schumm’s mother and Henry Freese was Wilhelmina’s step-father.

In 1910 Agnes, 21, worked as a servant in the Logansport, Indiana, household of Maurice Winfield Sr and Jr. The Winfields were employed in law and real estate, respectively. [2]

By 1920 Agnes had returned to the family farm near Schumm and was living with her mother, grandmother, and several siblings: Wilhelmina H Schumm, 59; Agnes, 31; Alma, 30; Emanuel, 28; Clara, 21; Alfred, 19; Oswald, 17; and Abalonia Freese, 83, widow. [3] Abalonia was Wilhelmina’s mother and her husband Henry Freese had died in 1902.  

Agnes Schumm died following surgery at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on 1 February 1921. She was 32 years, 9 months, and 14 days old. Agnes was buried on the 5th.

Obituary of Agnes Schumm
Miss Agnes Schumm, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H.M. Schumm, of Schumm, Ohio, was born April 17, 1888, and died at the Lutheran hospital in Fort Wayne, Ind. February 1, 1821, aged 32 years, 9 months, and 15 days. She leaves to mourn her early demise her parents, an aged grandmother, four brothers; and three sisters-Alma, Emanual, Emil, Edna, Alfred and Oswald, together with a host of relatives and friends, who expressed their love and esteem in the sending of a myriad of beautiful flowers. All were present at the funeral except Emil, who is in a hospital at Colorado Springs, Colo.

At the time of her demise she was secretary of the Schumm local of the American Luther League. She was a member of Evangelical Lutheran church from which the funeral services were held on Saturday February 5, 1921, with interment in the Lutheran cemetery, Rev. R.O. Bienert conducting.–Willshire, (Ohio) Herald. [4]

Agnes Schumm never married. She had the following siblings:
Alma Apollonia Schumm (1889-1972)
“Emanuel” Henry John Schumm (1892-1973), married Edna Scaer
Emil Fredrick Schumm (1893-1960), married Louise Stock
Edna Alwine Magdalena Schumm (1895-1990)
Clara Anna Maria Schumm (1898-1984)
Alfred Oswald Ferdinand Schumm, Rev. (1900-1981), married Irma S. Wambsganss
Oswald Hugo Otto Schumm (1802-1987) 

[1] 1900 U. S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 97, dwelling 183, family 196, p.9, Henry M Schumm; Ancestry.com, viewed 6 Dec 2021.

[2] 1910 U.S. Census, Logansport Ward 4, Cass, Indiana, ED 29, p.8B, dwelling 204, family 232, Maurice Winfield II; Ancestry.com, viewed 6 Dec 2021.

[3] 1920 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 146, p.3A, dwelling & family 48, Wilhelmina H Schumm; Ancestry.com, viewed 6 Dec 2021.

[4] Agnes Schumm obituary, Eastern Colorado Times, Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, 3 Mar, 1921, p.1, Newspapers.com, viewed 6 Dec 2021).

A Laundry Day Photo

This photo of a couple of my ancestors came to mind after reading a recent article about laundering bedding.

Emily (Bryan) Reid & Pearl (Reid) Brewster

The article told about the nasty bugs and germs that could live in your bedding if you don’t wash them regularly. It recommended laundering sheets and pillowcases at least every two weeks, the schedule I thankfully adhere to, the schedule passed down in my family. Good thing because I don’t like the idea of cozying up with bugs and germs at night. The article suggested the 1-2 week laundry schedule to the small percentage who wash their sheets and pillowcases seasonally or yearly. OK then…   

Enough about people’s laundry habits, but the article made me think of the above old photo and the fact that laundry day has come a long way.

In the photo is my great-great-grandmother Emily Ellen (Bryan) Reid (1856-1940) and her daughter, who was also my great-grandmother, Pearl Selina (Reid) Brewster (1880-1962). I do not know when the photo was taken or who is who in the photo. That type of clothing wringer dates to the 1890s and early 1900s but the women’s clothing looks more recent than that. Both Emily and Pearl would have been adults and perhaps Pearl’s daughter, also my grandmother, Gertrude (Brewster) Miller (1896-1973) is in the photo, too.

There are several other people in the photo. Maybe the woman on the left is washing and the woman on the right is rinsing, using the tub with the wringer? Or was this something more than an ordinary wash day? Perhaps there was something else going on. A family or community project? Bleaching or dying fabric?

And why take a photo of women doing laundry? Did someone get a new camera? Or did the women get a new household gadget? The wringers? Too many unanswered questions…

The women were using a very old-fashioned laundry method, laundry tubs, one of them wooden, and wringers. Although I do not see a washboard in the photo, they probably had a washboard similar to this:

Washboard and tub.

These basic items eventually evolved into wringer washing machines. I vaguely remember that my Grandma Miller had a wringer washer, located in what they called the utility room. I once had a cute pink toy wringer washer. The little wringers and the agitator moved with little cranks. It was a fun little toy.

There is an old nursery rhyme that goes, wash on Monday, iron on Tuesday, bake on Wednesday, brew on Thursday, churn on Friday, men on Saturday, meeting on Sunday.

Growing up, one of my household chores was ironing. It wasn’t really a bad job. I would set up the ironing board in front of the TV, which made the task go quicker. Grandma Miller ironed in front of the TV, too. If I didn’t finish all the ironing I would dampen the remaining items, roll them up, put them in a plastic bag, and put the bag in the refrigerator. Clothes actually seemed easier to iron after marinating in the refrigerator overnight.

Gertrude (Brewster) Miller ironing.

I have heard that some people used to iron their sheets, probably before the days of permanent-press fabric. That seems like a whole lot of extra work and we never did that. But sheets probably look very nice if they are ironed and a hot iron would certainly kill the little bugs and germs.  

When I grew up we didn’t always have a washing machine but we did have a dryer. My mom would stop at the laundromat in Willshire after work on Mondays and would bring the wet clothes home and dry them in the dryer. Eventually we got washing machine.

Now, in my dryer I use six dryer balls instead of using fabric softener. Invariably a couple of the balls fall out of the dryer when I take the clothes out. They bounce and go rolling down the floor and I think that a dog would really enjoy chasing the balls on laundry day. Instead, I chase after the balls myself.

Thinking of that old nursery rhyme, I wonder about Thursday’s chore…