Great Grandmother Spooner Hits The Bottle .......
About 5 years into my quest to learn all I could about the 3 generations of the Joseph F. Knapp family, 1832-1952, I started to think more and more about my own family history, especially during the 19th century of which I really knew very little of, only what I recall hearing about as a child. I have known since then that the name Spooner was not the original birth name of my semi- celebrity of the 1920's -1950's maternal grandfather John J. Spooner 1886-1963, but not too much more other than the snippets my mother told me when it seemed I was the only one of her three children who asked those kind of questions....... I guess unbeknownst to me then, that the family history detective was in the cards so to speak.
Utilizing the ever growing resources of the internet and it's ability to people search and find information that has been buried for decades, combining it with my interest and broadened skills of digging for information gleamed from years of poking around into the Knapp's family history, I am presenting here what I have found in the last two years about a side of my own family that holds as least as much fascination for me as do the Knapps. I am well aware from answering e mails that many website readers assume because of the depth of my Knapp research, that they must be part of my family. As I have stated several times before, they are not! My connection to them and the underlying reason I pursued studying them and the history of my home town was stated early on in 2001 in two short essays titled "What If....." and "All In The Family " (clicking on the titles will take you directly to those essays)
Seeing that my own surname, which was initially a just a stage name starting in 1976 and then changed legally in 1979 I make this observation : I have been known as Ken Spooner longer than I was as Ken Joseph which was my birth name! With that in mind these pages that follow will present what I have learned about the Spooners in the past several years. The decision to add this info at this time was sparked by an acquisition in July of 2007 of Spooner history that was made possible only by internet technology. It also gave me the title for this section..... With that said may I introduce my Great Grandmother Amelia Spooner who fortunately has hit the bottle again! (K.S. July 26, 2007)
Amelia F. Schaub Schlagel Spooner 1855 - 1928
I believe this was furniture polish, what the significance of the Indian wearing two feathers & buckskins is , I do not know...... But I have a clue........ I do know that the census of 1930 states that my Great Grandfather Fred H. Spooner was a manufacturer of furniture polish.
107 Proof & No You Can't Drink It
No Doubt What It's Purpose Is ..... It's Boot Polish or Preservative. The bottom of the bottle is marked A. S. & Co. Registered July 1900 ....... One Hundred & Seven Years Ago This Month
I first became aware of the Spooner name being tied to the manufacture of polishes, when I obtained the death certificate of one Frederick Howard Spooner 1862 - 1935 . Among the details on Fred's death certificate of which there are many, it states that his occupation was "manufacturer of Auto Polish" From there I worked backwards. In the 1930 census he lists his occupation as a "manufacturer of furniture polish" It was at that time I started to look for anything I could find on Spooner polish.
So with that Said and Shown ..... Shall we let the Genealogy out of the bottle ?
So So Subtle!
Before there was Spooner, there was Schlagel and before Schlagel there was
of Allegeheny City ( now part of Pittsburgh ) Pennsylvania.
Amelia F. Spooner (my mothers namesake) was born Amelia F. Schaub (I believe the F stood for Florence) on April 16, 1855 to John and Sarah Schaub. John Schaub was a master carpenter, born about 1824 in Saxweiner or Sachsen Weimar region of what is known today as central Germany. It appears on the early 19th century maps between Frankfurt & Dresden . Germany as we know it, did not exist until the later half of the 19th century. John's wife Sarah Heckerdorn , was born in 1831 in the Alsace-Lorraine region of France, which borders on Germany and Switzerland.
In the 1870 US census, the members of 15 year old Amelia's family living in Allegheney City are : her father John age 46, mother Sarah age 39, brothers and sisters Theodore age 16, Sophia age 13, Lena age 8, Otto age 6, Adolph age 3, and last but not least baby John under 1 year . In 1870 Theodore was listed as an apprentice carpenter. In 1880 he is a "carpenter" still in Allegehny City and married to a Josephine age 22 with two children Emma 2 and Theodore 3 months.
RE THE 1860 CENSUS : Theodore who was born in 1853 and Amelia and her sister Sophia all were born in Pennsylvania prior to the Civil War. Their ages would of varied over the 5 year war and they would of been between 6 - 11 during it. The John Schaub family does not seem to be listed in the 1860 census. However there is a woman named Sarah Schaub of the right age listed as living with a William Schaub family in Scranton PA. There are many Schaubs all through Pennsylvania at this time and the war may of separated the John Schaub family, But I cannot imagine Sarah living apart from her young children. But then again those were different days.
On March 7, 1871 Amelia Schaub marries 18 year old George Wesley Schlagel a month shy of her 16th birthday. George was born in 1852 in the Hesse Darmstadt region of what is now Germany
GEORGE WESLEY SCHLAGEL 1852 - 19 --
Photo circa 1880's
On September 11, 1872 little George Schlagel enters the world for a very brief time. He dies at a little over three months old on January 4, 1873. He was the first of the 9 children Amelia will have with George between 1872 and 1886. Ten months after George dies, Amelia Sophia Schlagel is born on October 28, 1873. Followed by George W. Schlagel Jr. Nov 18, 1875, This time they added the middle name. Then Charles Henry Schlagel April 11, 1878. By now the Schlagels are living in the town of Wooster, Ohio. Actually all the children with the possible exception of baby George are shown as being born in Ohio. The 1880 Census shows an additional child Charlotte May Schlagel born on May 8th a month before the census taker came calling on the Schlagels at 161 South Market St. in Wooster. George's occupation is as the proprietor of a "Fancy Store" which sold fine clothing accessories and notions.
On April 5, 1882 Lyda Adala Schlagel joins in with her 4 brothers and sisters tipping the balance in favor of the lady Schlagels 3 -2 , but Santa comes early on December 18th, 1883 when Earl Wesley Schlagel arrives. Not to be shown up however Florence E. Schlagel arrives on June 7th 1884 to even it up again. And then completing the Schlagel clan is none other than my very own Grandpa, John "Jack" born on June 21, 1886.
Sometime between then and 1889, the Schlagels moved from Wooster to Toledo, Ohio. A business directory dated 1889-91 shows George operating two restaurants both near the riverfont. His first location is at 214 Knapp St. (of all places) followed by a second location at 713 Prouty Av. George Jr. who is now 15 or 16 also lists his address as Prouty Ave. Amelia & George will divorce around this time. The fact that they did, indicates they must of had some substantial income or some overwhelming reasons, as divorces where usually reserved just for the wealthy at this time. George is remarried by 1890 to a widow named Ida Roberts.
On June 24, 1893 three days after my grandpa turned seven years old, his 38 year old mother would marry again. The groom was Fred Howard Spooner age 30. Over the course of time my grandfather and his 15 year old brother Charles, would take the surname of Spooner. I do not know if the surviving sisters Charlotte aka "Lottie", Lyda and Florence did likewise. And then on August 23, 1895 at 8 AM Fred Byron Spooner was born to Amelia and Fred. Byron is the middle name of Fred's father Calvin B. Spooner who was originally from Maine.
The US Census Records for 1890 were about 98 % destroyed by fire and the Schaubs and Schlagels were some of the millions of its victims. So I do not know which of Amelia Schaub's sisters were married or perhaps did not survive at this point. I do know that her daughter Amelia Sophia dies on November 8, 1888 just 11 days past her 15th birthday. Then Amelia Sophia's little brother and my Grandpa's big brother Earl dies on November 18th 1894 a month shy of turning 11. Here is what is left of the Schagel / Spooner family of 19th Street Toledo Ohio as it appeared in the 1900 Census taken June 1st.
Fred H age 37, Amelia 45, Florence 16, John "Jack" almost 15, Fred B almost 5
Fred Spooner is listed as a salesman of Paper? Charlie , Lottie and Lyda have all left the Spooner nest . Charlie became a piano player in both brothels and vaudeville theatres. He married late in life to a "sporting woman" also named Amelia and then died shortly after in 1918, perhaps in the flu epidemic. His widow Mrs. Charles H. Spooner aka Mollie would move in temporarily with my newlywed grandparents and stay forever until she died in 1964. Lottie who was my mother's favorite aunt, would marry a George Keller and have at least one child Ruth who I am not sure ever married. I also do not know if Lyda or Florence married. Lyda passed away in 1948 and Florence followed in 1950. Lottie lived well into her mid 80's passing away around 1965.
On July 18, 1900 just about a month after the 1900 census was taken, Frederick Byron Spooner died tragically. He was a month shy of his 5th Birthday. The Spooner home was located at 192 19th Street just a few blocks away from where he drowned in the Maumee River aka Miami of The Lake. Both are Chippewa Indian names and that could be the connection to the Indian embossed on the bottle of Spooner's Gloss ?? ....... The Legend Lives On From The Chippewa On Down To The Big Lake They Call Gitchee Gumee .... Gordon Lightfoot
Fred Byron Spooner was the only direct blood relative I know of actually born with the Spooner name. His drowning may of held some of the reasons for the rapid breakup of the family. Not long after, my grandfather Jack ran away from home and never returned. He wound up in New York City and enlisted in the Marine Corp at the age of 15 telling them he was older.
NEW LEATHERNECK JOHN JACK SPOONER 1901
THE NEW CENTURY
Hard Times? In the 1900 census George W and Ida Schlagel are living with her parents and George has an occupation as a watchmaker. His son George W Jr is married to a woman named Lena who has two sons by a previous marriage. His occupation is illegible. He is listed in the family bible as passing away at age 43 on March 14, 1919
BACK TO PITTSBURGH & THE SCHAUBS
In 1900 Amelia's widowed father John Schaub 78 and her widowed brother Theodore 50 were living with her younger brother Ottos' family. They are all still in Allegeheny City which is now incorporated into Pittsburgh. Theodore Jr who is now 20, is there too but daughter Emma's whereabouts are unknown. Otto Schaub is piano tuner, a trade he kept for life beyond his 63 years when I last saw him listed in the 1930 census. His wife is named Katherine and in 1900 they have two young children Walter and Estelle. Also in 1900 Adolph Schaub who would be 33 if he is still alive has vanished.
Theodore Sr. has remarried a woman named Emma McConnell and moved west to California. He put down his hammer and is shown as saloon keeper in 1910 in El Dorado. His son Theodore Jr stays in Pennsylvania and is married to Elizabeth, they also have two children Katherine & Norbert. Jr's occupations vary from Clerk & Steel Co Mgr but he does not do carpentry. In the 1930 census both Theo Jr and Norbert are in the insurance biz.
On The Memoranda Page Of The Spooner Family Bible There Is This Sole Entry : Fred Spooner Left Home June 10, 1906
Also in 1906 my Grandfather Jack who left the Marines for the the first time in 1904 married a woman named Hannah. I never knew this until I reread his address book with many celebrity and other famous folks address' like Barbara Stanwyck, Joseph Cotten, Raymond Massey, Jackie Gleason & Ben Finney in it. I had not seen that book since I was a kid. Hannah and John are also listed as living in NYC in the 1910 census with his occupation as a waiter. I believe he was at the Waldorf during this time. Waiting on people like Diamond Jim Brady and Harry K Thaw. Hannah was a German immigrant and is 21 in 1910. She passes away in June of 1918 possibly in the flu epidemic.
In July of 1907 Fred H. Spooner may be the Fred Spooner who was a passenger in a huge Pierce Arrow $6500.00 65 HP touring car? It was entered in the Glidden Tour, passing through Toledo. The Glidden Tour was one of America's earliest and longest running rally / races. The Fred Spooner listed, was the was the only one who walked away from the crash of the Otis car.
IN THE 1910 CENSUS AMELIA SPOONER, AGE 55 IS LISTED AS LIVING ON WALNUT STREET IN TOLEDO CITY. SHE DOES HAVE A GENTLEMAN BOARDER NAMED JOHN HOUCK LIVING THERE . IN THE 1920 CENSUS SHE IS LISTED AS LIVING IN A BOARDING HOUSE IN SPRINGFIELD, OHIO. SHE WOULD PASS AWAY AT AGE 73 ON JAN 8, 1928. I BELIEVE SHE TRAVELED TO NEW YORK BEFORE THAT OR PERHAPS HER SON JACK'S NEW FAMILY ( HE REMARRIES TO ANNA OLSEN LOGAN ) VISITED HER IN OHIO TO LET HER MEET THE NEWEST AMELIA SPOONER, HER GRANDAUGHTER & MY MOTHER....... WHO WAS BORN ON SEPT 22, 1919
ANNA, JACK & AMELIA SPOONER CENTRAL PARK NYC 1920
POSTSCRIPT : A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME
There are no confirmed whereabouts of Fred H. Spooner from 1906 until 1930 when he iturns up in Toledo , (did he ever leave?) remarried to a woman who goes by the name of Rose M. Spooner. Using Roses mother's name Caroline Shinevar who seems to stay a sporty single gal from New Orleans forever and is listed as living with Rose in the 20's & 30's I was able to locate Rose in Toledo in the 1920 census where she is listed as Margaret R. Miller and married to a Wesley Miller, who is a furniture polish manufacturer. On Fred's death certificate of Sept 2, 1935 she is listed as just Margaret Spooner. Fred is listed as being 73 years 6 months and 6 days old. He is still listed being occupied in the manufacture of Auto Polish. He was under the care of Doctor John Stamm from July 4, 1935 until Sept 2nd. Principal cause of death was Chirossis of the liver complicated by Dropsey.
"HERE'S LOOKING FOR YOU KID!"
I ponder if Fred fathered any other children between 1906 - 1930 when he was off the radar screen ???? He was only 44 in 1906, so it is certainly a possibility. Whether he did or not I am certain that there is a descendant or two of the Schaubs, Schlagels or an unknown to me surname of the daughters of Amelia F. Spooner, who I have let out of the bottles here specifically in the hopes that we may connect while we can. I found the bottles by the way, far from the madding crowd in Toledo, Ohio ....... away down under in Australia!
And that my friends is my Amelia Spooner story ...... Believe It or Not!
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