This blog results from the trip that Shan and I made to the memorial service for Aunt Patricia Schanno Schotl on September 14th, 2013. We had planned to meet with Pat sometime in October to learn more of her history and continue filling out the Schanno family tree. Unfortunately, before we could meet again, she passed on and left a void for all who knew and loved her. We wanted to share in the remembrance and celebration of this woman so we decided to make the trip and attend the service.
As stated in the Memoriam blog I had just renewed a contact with Pat that had been lost many years before. I knew a little about her but less about her children and their lives. I remember meeting Sandi, her oldest daughter, and the two older boys Craig and David. Jean and Dianne, the two youngest girls and Rob, the youngest son, were all born after I left St. Paul. I wondered if I would recognize anyone at the service and what kind of reception we would receive, based on the fact their father, my uncle, Herbert James Schotl, had not been there for them for most of their growing up years. After the separation and divorce from Pat, he remarried and had little or nothing to do with his children. He died December 31 of 1997 and was buried in Fort Snelling Military Cemetery.
We had little opportunity to meet or talk to anyone before the service with the exception of Pat's brother Dell Schanno and his wife Janet. They live in Wirt, Minnesota and had made the 4 hour trip to St. Paul in the morning and planned to return after the service was over.
Janet had her own story to tell as a couple of months before she had become disoriented while picking blue berries and spent the night in the woods with the whole county looking for her.
We introduced ourselves after the service to Jean and her brother David. I don't think it registered at the time that we were first cousins. We did talk to some of the women from Aunt Pat's apartment building and met two ladies, the Benton sisters, who were related to Pat, and grew up on Western Avenue just off Front Street. While we wished we could have met more of the family, we were happy we went and paid our respects.
St. Paul is about a four hour trip from Mount Horeb, so when we make the trek we usually try to combine a number of visits with genealogy research. We had been in contact with a Mr. Charlie Deutsch through the Burgenland Bunch site and had been wanting to meet and talk to him about some of my relatives and their neighbors who were from Northern Burgenland. These people emigrated to the Midwest from a small area surrounding the town of Monchhof. They came as farmers and tradesmen. Some bought farms while many took up residence in St. Paul's Rice Street Neighborhood and nearby "Frogtown".
Map is from the Burgenland Bunch site
Shan had sent Charlie some family names we were researching and he told her he would do some checking. He agreed to meet with us on that Friday and we set the time and place at the Barnes and Nobles on Snelling Avenue. After swapping some St. Paul stories and learning about each other, he brought out his lap-top. Most of the records we were interested in he personally entered into a spread-sheet from the Saint Bernard Church and School records. "The Church of Saint Bernard's Baptism, Marriage, and Death records have been digitized for the years from 1890 - 1940. The Grade School records have been digitized for the years 1890 - 1955." He encourages a contact and his information is available here.
As it turned out on Sunday morning, we had some time before heading down to Onalaska to visit with my sister Kayleen and Larry White, her husband. We made a quick visit to Calvary Cemetery on Front Street in St. Paul. My Grandfather Frank Schotl, his son Lawrence, and my Great Aunt's husband John Handler Jr. are all buried there. We had never visited their graves. Shan had obtained a cemetery map from the office so we knew where to look. Calvary is a huge cemetery located on Front Street, West of Dale Street, serving St. Paul's Catholic community with over 100,00 burials.
We were able to clean off the stones and take the marker photos.
After our time in the cemetery, and as we headed out of town, we drove down Front Street through the Rice Street area. We wanted to see if we could locate the building or buildings that are in photos we have of Herb and Len Schotl.
The photo on the left was taken ca. 1945. As we drove up Geranium to Rice Street we realized we had found the same spot. The photo on the right was taken Sept. 2013. The building across the street, behind the men, is now the DeLisle Co. Realty. The building now on the left is used by The International School of Excellence, a Hmong School which is located in what was formerly a Saint Bernard's School building. Saint Bernard's Grade School closed in 2009 and the High School closed in 2010.
The photo on the left was taken ca. 1945 from behind the bar on the corner. The photo on the right was taken Sept. 2013 from about the same spot. The distinctive black lines can be seen on the brick on both photos.
The last photo is of the back of the bar, again ca. 1945 with both Herb and Len Schotl and unknown 3rd person. The place matching photo is again from September, 2013. Note the vents, grated window and electrical connections look very much the same. We are hoping Charlie can help ID some of the other men in the older photos.
Shan took a couple of other photos in the Rice Street Neighborhood.
|"Old" Firehouse 22, at the corner of Front and Matilda|
My father and mother lived briefly at 1001 Matilda Street. Old Fire Engine House 22 was located down the block at the corner of Front and Matilda. After Dad was employed by the St. Paul Fire Department he spoke with fondness of being able to renew his acquaintance at that location. In his job as Superintendent of Apparatus, he was in charge of keeping the equipment and vehicles in good running order and frequently did testing at that station.
Originally built in 1887, this was a single-bay, two-story house. It first housed Supply Hose Number 5. On October 8, 1912, Hose 5 was replaced by Engine 22. A 1940 report stated that it had been "completely rebuilt and modernized into a bungalow-type station with sleeping quarters in the rear." In 1958, the new [present] station was built at Front and Marion, housing Engine 22 and Ladder 3. The old fire house building still stands and is used for storage by Viking Sign Supplies.
|corner of Front St. and N. Albemarle|
Shan also took a photo of an interesting brick building a few blocks down Front Street on the corner of North Albemarle. It was a corner grocery as the beginning of the name is visible at the top of the structure. It was nice to see the old sign painted on the side so nicely preserved. I hope we can find out more of the store's history. The building now serves as a residence.
As a very nice conclusion to this blog, I am pleased to say that Pat's daughter Jean called and we talked for quite a while putting together some of the family puzzle . She appears as happy as I am to have found a new cousin. She knows very little about her Father's side of the family and seems interested in learning about him. Also later in the
week there was an email contact from Jessica Good Anderson, a daughter of Pat's daughter Dianne. She also is interested in working on her family tree. I told her I would help as I could.