FIVE GENERATIONS OF
THE STUART SCHLICHTEMEIER FAMILY HISTORY
Collected by Stuart and LaVera Schlichtemeier and
Edited and Submitted by Sue Schlichtemeier
The recorded Schlichtemeier family history begins at the turn of the 18th Century in Germany with Kasper Schlichtemeier. He married his neighbor girl, Marie Meyer, and they made their home in Buer Province, Hanover, Germany.
Kasper and Marie Schlichtemeier became parents of eight children:
1. Clara, the oldest, was twice widowed and had at least one son.
2. Frederick, known as Fred, worked for a farmer named Bauer, and was killed in a runaway horse and team accident on that farm.
3. Marie (Mary) was the first to come to America, finally convincing her parents to let her make the trip with a girlfriend. She married Claus Bredehoft after coming to Ohio, and eventually settled near Otoe, Nebraska.
4. Franz Heinrich, known as Frank, was possibly the last of the siblings to come to America, marrying Catherine Elsabein Furstenau, and raising a family near Crete, Nebraska.
5. William Frederick, known sometimes as Billy, left his home in Germany November 1, 1855, at the age of 17, with a large wooden trunk that still bears the date.
6. Wilhelmine came to America at the age of 20. She married Christian Zabel and settled near Johnson, Nebraska.
7. Elsa married and stayed in Germany to help take care of their parents.
8. Henry, the youngest, also stayed in Germany, helping Elsa take care of their parents, who died a week apart, both at the age of 63.
WILLIAM FREDERICK SCHLICHTEMEIER (BILLY)
William Frederick lived in Ohio for four years, then he and Mary convinced their younger sister Wilhelmine to come to America, and they made preparations to move to Nebraska via steamboat (probably down the Ohio River to the Mississippi and to the Missouri.) Billy moved to Nebraska City, from whence he made numerous trips to Ft. Kearney with a freight wagon. He then married Minnie S. Rughe, also of Nebraska City, and they moved to a farm just south of the Cass-Otoe County line.
Four years later, in 1867, William Frederick, Minnie and their one-year old son Louie moved to the farm 4-1/2 miles northeast of Nehawka, where they lived for 39 years before building a house in Nehawka.
There was a log house on the farm, which they had purchased from Mr. Barnes. William plowed up the forty acres south of the present home with oxen the first summer. Oak trees were cut, hewn out, and used as cattle feeders. Many trees were set out, including a fruit orchard and the white pines which continued to be a landmark over the years.
The new home was built in 1874, the lumber being hauled from Nebraska City. To move out of the log home into the spacious new frame home was a grand event!
William Frederick and Minnie had seven children, the oldest born on the Otoe County farm, the next three in the log home, and the last three in the new house:
1. Christopher Frederick Louie (1866-1890)
2. William Theodore (1868-1936J
3. Minerva Jane (1870-1937)
4. Frederick Frank (1872-1960) -
5. Cora Alice (1877-1878)
6. Frederick Omer (1879-1946)
7. Emma Della (1889-1890)
William and Minnie were members of the Lutheran Church, services being held at the Heebner Schoolhouse. In 1878, they joined the Methodist Episcopal Church at Mt. Pleasant. Rev. Tibbitts was their first pastor. William was a Sunday School teacher, and also played the organ and led hymns at weekly prayer meetings.
Church camp meetings were held in the well-cared-for blue grass timber north of the house. Every summer visitors from east and west would come to see William and Minnie's campgrounds, get a 10-gallon can of water' and renew acquaintances.
William routinely drove the District Superintendent or local ministers
wherever they needed to go. Fur robes, coats, heated soapstones and jugs of hot water were packed into the buggy in hopes of keeping the ministers warm on their long trips to Murdock, Nebraska City, Weeping Water, Plattsmouth or other destinations. William's team was very spirited, and he was said to have used rope lines so he would have better control. There were few horse teams in this part of the country in those times. .
In addition, many of the streams had to be forded, as there were no bridges. William had a team that would swim the streams; but once, as he and Minnie were crossing the Weeping Water Creek at Nehawka, the current was so strong that it washed Minnie and their baby out of the spring wagon and into the water. He finally was able to pull them back into the wagon. They turned around and went to Lawson Sheldon's place, where the baby was put in a tub of warm water, wrapped in blankets, and fared none the worse from the accident.
FREDERICK OMER SCHLICHTEMEIER (OMER)
Every fall, William drove the cattle from his four places to the home place for fall and winter feeding-- with a herd sire in each bunch. Mr. Walter Wiseman of Weeping Water said it was one of the most colorful events of the year, as there were "bull fights" and the timbers would just be filled with dust.
Once, when Omer was a little boy, they lost him in all that cattle drive commotion. His mother came hunting for him-- certain that the cattle had trampled him down into the dirt and dust. After a long and frantic search, someone walked up the hill west, and there, sitting an top of the corn crib was little Omer-- safe and sound-- having fun watching it all. Walter said that Omer was always a smart child.
Educating their children was very important to William and Minnie. Two were sent to the Methodist School in York, and three to Nebraska Wesleyan in Lincoln. Frederick Omer, known as Omer, attended the rural school and the Academy at Nebraska Wesleyan. In addition, he attended both Wesleyan and the State Agricultural College.
Omer farmed the home place, and married Lena Elizabeth Johnson, from Genoa, Nebraska, in 1914. She was a graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan, as well as the University of Chicago. Omer and Lena had three sons:
1. Robert Johnson (Born January 10, 1916)
2. Ellis Omer (Born March 6, 1918)
3. Stuart Taylor (Born February 28, 1920)
Lena wrote about early Cooperative Extension efforts in Cass County, remembering the first County Agent, LeRoy Snipes, coming in 1918. She recalled that her husband Omer had wanted to have his cows tested for TB, and that one day Mr. Snipes had come to talk with him about it. Soon they came to the house to see if she would take the children and drive the team and carriage. She was a bit afraid, never having driven the team. But, although many of the farmers were busy in the field with their horse-drawn equipment, they signed a document about TB testing. The men then visited the various farms, testing for TB. After a while, the report of a few reactors arrived, and later all cattle were checked.
She also recalled one occasion when Mr. Snipes wanted to have a big gathering at a farm house. They had it at Chauncey Sheupp's home, complete with Coleman lanterns. There was a large crowd, as it had been well-advertised. The people were eager to meet Mr. Snipes and the new Home Agent, Ida Wilkens Berger. Mrs. Berger drove in with guests, and in her carefulness, hit a beehive and knocked it off a stump. It was soon righted, and after some buzzing and a good laugh, they were all introduced to their new Home Agent. She began her work in Cass County teaching about sewing, making dress forms, mending, making hats, and canning.
STUART TAYLOR SCHLICHTEMEIER
Stuart Taylor, the youngest of Omer and Lena's children, graduated from Lincoln School of Commerce; worked for International Harvester in Grand Island; moved to Casper, Wyoming, to work for Standard Oil; enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps; and returned to attend Nebraska Wesleyan University. After his father's death in 1946, he came home to the farm,
In 1947, he married LaVera Yvaughn Conn, originally from Bennet, Nebraska. She was teaching Vocational Homemaking at Nehawka High School. A year after their marriage, they moved to the Wessel farm, less than a mile away from the Schlichtemeier home place, where they continue to reside.
Over the years, Stuart and LaVera have managed a farming operation
and have been involved in many community activities.
They have three children:
1. Sue Evelyn (Born May 30, 1950)
2. Don Stuart (Born October 23, 1952)
3. Lori Beth (Born February 4, 1956)
Sue lives in William Theodore Schlichtemeier's home 3 miles northeast of Nehawka, purchased from Will's daughter Pearl and her husband Senn Waddell in 1983. She is a Mental Health Consultant in Lincoln.
Don and his wife Bonnie (Cramer) live with their daughter Ashley Dawn (born January 3, 1985) just west of Stuart and LaVera, where Don continues the family farming operation.
Lori and her husband Jerry Dworak reside in Cincinnati, Ohio, where they are expecting their first child in May 1987. Lori is an Advertising Copywriter and Jerry is Assistant Vice President of Ohio National Insurance.
The Schlichtemeier Family has lived in Cass County for 120 years; and Robert's middle son Tom and his wife Terri currently reside on the old
home place 4 1/2 miles northeast of Nehawka. Their kindergarten son Tony is the fifth generation to live there.