A few months ago I was seeking information about the old brick building that once stood by the railroad tracks at the north end of Schumm. The building, unknown to most today, generated a lot of interest and I appreciate those of you who wrote with information about it, helping to piece together its history.
From Tom Reichard, via his mother Betty, I learned that the building was used as a general store by Betty’s grandfather George Weinman. Betty’s dad Carl Weinman also ran a huckster wagon from there.
Hoping to learn some additional information, I decided to ask another person about the brick building. Someone who also would likely remember the building and who was probably even inside it. Someone who was born in Schumm over 100 years ago.
So yesterday I called and talked to Karl Schumm. At 101 years young, Karl is doing quite well and also has a very good memory.
Karl was born in Schumm in 1913, the son of Gustavus Jacob and Dorathea Elizabeth (Bienz) Schumm. He was born in a house near where the old brick building once stood, the second house south of the railroad tracks on the west side of Schumm Road.
Karl did not know when the brick building was built but said that when he was a young boy his father owned the building and ran a general store in it. The store was situated in its north half and Schumm’s post office was also run out of their store at that time. The south side of the building was used for storage.
Karl said the train used to stop there and drop off the mail and supplies for the general store.
Karl recalls getting all the crackers he wanted from a barrel in his father’s store. He said he really enjoyed the crackers, although they were usually stale. He did not recall the store having any candy.
Karl said there was a community well at the store and people would go there to get their water. He also recalls that their family had two mules and he thought the mules may have pulled a huckster wagon.
His father Gustavas sold the store in about 1916 or 1917 to George Weinman. He does not recall when the building was razed, but it appears it was destroyed after 1929, since Betty (Weinman) Reichard remembers it.
Karl’s family moved from Schumm in 1923, when Karl was about ten years old. They moved a few miles north, near to route 224. Karl was confirmed at St. Thomas in 1927, in the last German-speaking confirmation class.
As the attendees of last year’s Schumm reunion saw and heard, Karl still remembers German. He sang his confirmation hymn in German for all his Schumm relatives at the reunion. Karl even spoke some German to me on the phone yesterday. I have no idea what he said.
I had a nice visit with Karl on the phone. I asked him how he liked this cold weather. He said he did not and questioned the whole idea of global warming.
Yes, Karl is pretty sharp at 101!
I will post additional information about this old Schumm building as I discover it.