Monday, July 22, 2013

Schotls in Rockville

 



I wrote about Great Uncle Michael Schotl and his wife Elizabeth Hoffman Schotl in an earlier blog.  In July of 2013, Shan and I traveled to Stearns County to  gather information about their lives in Rockville Township and their farm on Pleasant Lake.
 
In 1921, Michael and Elizabeth sold their Washington County farm and bought a large farm in Stearns County.  In the 1925  Farmer's Plat Book above, we found a  farm  in Rockville Township consisting of 248 acres in Section 2 along the NW shore of Pleasant Lake.  A 40 acre farm in the NE corner of this section was owned  by G. and J. Hoffman, who we think are Elizabeth's brothers George and Joseph.

In the 1930 Federal Census Michael and Elizabeth are living on a farm in Rockville Township with 10 of their 15 children.  The farmhouse may be the old Cooper-Searle House.

In 1933, Michael Schotl died after dancing with his wife at Harry Hanson's Pavilion near Rockville.  He was only 56.  In his obituary it states that he owned 640 acres.  We didn't know where the additional land was located until we found The Farmer's Directory of Stearns County for 1931.  Michael and Elizabeth are listed in Rockville Township as owning 288 acres in Section 2, but also owning 40 in Section 35 and 320 acres in Section 36 of St. Joseph Township--the adjacent township to the north.  We also found Elizabeth's brothers George and Joseph owning an additional 120 acres in St. Joseph's Township. 
 
 
After his death, Michael Schotl's wife, Elizabeth, inherited the farm.  She continued farming with the help of some of her children.  Other children,  many of whom were already employed in the granite industry, resided in St. Cloud or nearby communities. A few of the girls moved on to California.
 
In 1940, The Village of Pleasant Lake was comprised of three families: the Elizabeth Schotl's, John and LaVerne Saatzen's, (he was a granite cutter) and Donald and Fannie Hague. (Donald was a night club manager)
 
Today Pleasant Lake is a neighborhood of the city of Rockville in Stearns County, Minnesota. The population was 504 at the 2000 census.  On 1 June 2002, the city of Pleasant Lake and Rockville Township were merged into the city of Rockville.
 
 
During their time in Rockville both Michael and Elizabeth were active members of the parish of Mary of the Immaculate Conception
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 







 
























Both Michael and Elizabeth are buried in the church's cemetery so we went into the village of Rockville to look for their headstones.  As we drove around looking for the cemetery we came upon the Rockville School.  We so impressed we had to find out more about it.  

 
 
 
 
 

As we stood admiring the school we met two men who were setting up for a celebration called "Rock-Fest" on the school grounds.  It is a  yearly celebration featuring a town tour, parade, softball tournament, milking contest, music and much more.  We asked for directions to the cemetery and were told to take Chestnut Street across Broadway.
 
 
 
 
We drove into the well-maintained grounds of Calvary Cemetery which holds an impressive display of monuments of local granite.  We spotted the Schotl markers almost immediately.  Sons Michael J., Paul,  Frank, John and Anton M. are buried close by. 
 
At the base of the Michael and Elizabeth marker is an inscription in German which translates:   "What you are now, I also have been and you also will become.  Leave me rest in peace.  Amen  Please pray for us."