George Herman Schroeder: Aviation Mechanic and Stove Designer (52 Ancestors #35)

Theoretically, my great-grandfather should be easy to research.  All of the information out there is fairly recent and should be easy to obtain, but I find I still have gaps in my research that I just can’t fill.  I’m kicking myself now for not asking my grandma about her parents while she was still living.

George Herman Schroeder was born on September 21, 1896 in Benton Township, Ottawa County, Ohio.1,4,6,9,10  His parents were Frederick and Louise Reisenberg Schroeder.1  In 1900 and 1910, George lived with his mother in Ohio.2,3  His father had died before 1900.1,2

George Herman Schroeder with his mother, Louise Reisenberg Schroeder.

George Herman Schroeder with his mother, Louise (Reisenberg) Schroeder.

I couldn’t find him in 1920.  I had thought this was because he was away at school or something, until I found his World War I information.  George enlisted in the United States Navy Reserve Forces on June 4, 1918.  He went to the Naval Training Station Great Lakes in Illinois and was there until November 11, 1918.  He then served as Landsman for Machinist’s Mate (Aviation) for 160 days and became Machinist’s Mate, Second Class (Aviation).  He was honorably discharged on September 30, 1921.4  I’m guessing I can’t find him on the 1920 Census because he was on base.

George Herman Schroeder

George Herman Schroeder, circa 1918.

George Herman Schroeder, circa 1918.

George Herman Schroeder, circa 1918.

george herman schroeder5

George Herman Schroeder, circa 1918.

I also don’t know when or where George married Louise Marie Von Allmen.  Their first child was born in 1927, and they were living in Jefferson County, Kentucky in 1930.5  I’m guessing they married in 1926.  My search area for a marriage record is Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois.  It may take a while to find one.

George and Louise (Von Allmen) Schroeder

George and Louise (Von Allmen) Schroeder

After he was discharged from the Navy, George worked for Hart Manufacturing Company in Louisville, Kentucky.  He was first a foreman of the stove and range department and eventually a pattern maker for that department.5,6,7,8

George died on January 3, 1979.9,10


  1.  “Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003,” database with images, FamilySearch( : accessed 26 August 2015), George Herman Schroeder, 21 Sep 1896; citing Birth, Benton Twp., Ottawa, Ohio, reference vol 2 p 245 n 382, county courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 475,917.
  2. 1900 United States Federal Census., 2009. Web. 06 Jan. 2015. Benton, Ottawa, Ohio. p.12B. Family #250, lines 94-98.
  3. 1910 United States Federal Census., 2009. Web. 06 Jan. 2015. Toledo, Lucas, Ohio. p.9A. Family #209, lines 15-20.
  4. Ohio Soldiers in WWI, 1917-1918 (database on-line).  Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc., 2005.  Original Data:  The Official Roster of Ohio Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the World War, 1917-1918.  Columbus, OH, USA:  The F.J. Heer Printing Col, 1926.  Accessed 07 March 2011.
  5. 1930 United States Federal Census., 2009. Web. 06 Jan. 2015. Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky. p.11A. Family #244, lines 5-7.
  6. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.  Original Data:  United States, Selective Service System. Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Fourth Registration. Records of the Selective Service System, Record Group Number 147. National Archives and Records Administration.  Accessed 07 March 2011.
  7. 1940 United States Federal Census., 2009. Web. 06 Jan. 2015. Lafayette, Floyd, Indiana. p.1B. Family #9, lines 41-45.
  8. “About Vulcan – Company Overview.” Vulcan Equipment, n.d. Web. 2 Sept. 2015.
  9. Social Security Death Index (database on-line).  Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc., 2010.  Original Data:  Social Security Administration.  Social Security Death Index, Master File.  Social Security Administration.  Accessed 20 April 2011.
  10. “George H. Schroeder (1896 – 1979) – Find A Grave Memorial.” Douser, 31 Jan. 2010. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. Find A Grave Memorial # 47380124.

Dolores Schroeder: A Servant’s Heart (52 Ancestors #04)

Dolores Louise Schroeder, circa 1949.

Dolores Louise Schroeder, circa 1949.

Dolores was my grandmother.  I was born the day after her 52nd birthday.  We both love daffodils and cooking, although, my love of those things is probably because of how much time I spent with her.  My cousins, siblings, and I spent every spare moment at her house.  At Christmas, I helped her bake Springerles and German Sour Cream Twists.  I still bake those every year.  I’m like her in many ways, but I aspire to be more like her.

Dolores Louise Schroeder was born on March 3, 1931 in Toledo, Ohio to parents George Herman and Louise Marie (Von Allmen) Schroeder.1,5  The Schroeders moved to Indiana when Dolores was about seven.  They lived in Lafayette in Floyd County, Indiana and joined Atkins Chapel United Methodist Church.1

Dolores graduated from Indiana Central College with a bachelor’s degree in education, and she received her master’s degree at Indiana University Southeast.  She taught at S. Ellen Jones school from 1954 to 1955.2  In 1955, she was forced to resign.  She would never tell me what happened.  The account I had from my grandpa, Sanford “Bud” Wiseheart, is as follows:

She was teachin’ over at S. Ellen Jones and Peder Espeseth was the principal over there.2,3  Well, he called her in the office one day and said, ‘Miss Schroeder, I’d like for you to resign.’  And she said, ‘Well, Mr. Espeseth, what in the world about?’  And he said, ‘You didn’t seek my counsel and that’s one of the rules in the school system.  Teachers always have to seek the principal’s counsel.’  She never could figure out what was provoking him and she went to see Willie Wilson, superintendent.  He said, ‘Miss Schroeder, unfortunately, in the school system, if you do not resign and he presses it and they fire you, then you can’t teach anywhere in the state of Indiana.  But if you do resign, you are free to go anywhere else in the state and teach.’  She said it hurt her terribly, but she went ahead and resigned to please Espeseth.  So she went back up to where she’d been goin’ to college and got on up there.

Dolores taught in Indianapolis from 1956 to 1958.4  By the summer of 1958, she had gone on some dates with Bud.  That story is also best told from his point of view:

Dolores and I had took in some things together.  We went to James Whitcomb Riley home and things like that.  Finally it came to July one night, I was goin’ home from her house.  We walked out to the car together and she said that it’s gettin’ to that time of the year when she has to let them know at Indianapolis whether she was goin’ to teach that year or not and she’d have to sign a contract.  And I said, ‘Well, I don’t know what to tell you, but,’ I said, ‘if you want to stay down here,’ I said, ‘I’ll sign a contract with you.’  And she said, ‘It sounds good to me.’  I guess that’s a crazy way of proposin’ to somebody.

Dolores Louise Schroeder and Sanford William Wiseheart were married on August 2, 1958 at Atkins Chapel United Methodist Church in Floyd Knobs, Indiana by Reverend Earl W. Reed.  5,6,7Dolores and Bud had four sons and ten grandchildren.9  She devoted her life to her family, her church, and helping others.

Dolores was the treasurer of Atkins Chapel for twenty years.  She was a Sunday school teacher and she was in charge of Vacation Bible School, a program to provide meals for those in need, and the church’s Harvest Homecoming booth.  She was also involved in the church’s quilting group, which made quilts for Home of the Innocents and St. Elizabeth’s Maternity Center; Helping Hands ministry, which paid rent and utility bills for people who couldn’t afford it; women’s missions; fundraising for charities; and other outreach, such as visiting the sick.  In 2006, Dolores received the Gold Leaf Award from Community Foundation for outstanding volunteer service.8,9

Dolores Louise Wiseheart died of leukemia on Sunday, September 10, 2006 at her home in New Albany, Indiana.9

Dolores Louise (Schroeder) Wiseheart, June 2006.  Photo taken by Keith Williams for The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY).

Dolores Louise (Schroeder) Wiseheart, June 2006 at Atkins Chapel United Methodist Church. Photo taken by Keith Williams for The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY).

I wonder if she really didn’t know why Mr. Espeseth wanted her to resign, or if she just didn’t want to say.  I never heard her say a bad word about anyone in her entire life.  Just a few weeks ago, I was down at my grandparents’ house with my dad and my uncles.  We were going through paperwork and came across some of her school records.  This prompted my uncle to tell us what he knew about what had happened with Grandma and Mr. Espeseth.  Dolores had been in charge of a school play and had allowed African American children to be in it (this was during integration).  Mr. Espeseth was upset that she hadn’t consulted him about it and asked her to resign.  I’ve always been proud of my grandma, but hearing this story makes me tremendously proud of her for doing the right thing.


1.  1940 U.S. Federal Census, Lafayette, Floyd County, Indiana, p.1B, FamilySearch

2.  Caron’s New Albany-Jeffersonville (Floyd-Clark Counties, Ind.) City Directory, Vol. 40, 1955, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

3.  New Albany Tribune, 9 Oct 1963, p.1, c.6, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

4.  Polk’s Indianapolis (Marion County, Ind.) City Directory, Vol. 47, 1957, InternetArchive

5.  Floyd County, Indiana Marriages, Vol. 55, p.244, Floyd County Clerk’s Office

6.  New Albany Tribune, Sun 24 Aug 1958, p.6, c.1, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

7.  New Albany Ledger & Tribune, Sun 2 Aug 1998, p.B2, c.3, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

8.  The Courier-Journal (Louisville), Sat 24 Jun 2006, p.B3, c.2

9.  New Albany Tribune, Tues 12 Sep 2006, p. A3, c.3