52 Ancestors: #1 Carl Johann SCHULTZ (1873 – 1967)

Although this is Week 4 of the actual 52 Ancestors Challenge, I’m only getting started now.  At this point in my own genealogical research I doubt I have investigated enough people to discuss 52 ancestors in a year, anyway, so I will be participating however often I can.  I also intend to use this blog challenge as a way to help me organize my research and create more specific research tasks for each person I talk about.

From "A 20th Century History of Berrien County, Michigan"

From “A 20th Century History of Berrien County, Michigan”

Carl Johann SCHULTZ

When I first began conducting genealogical research of my own, I chose to start with my mother’s side of the family as my paternal grandfather had done his own extensive research on his side of the family in the last several years (he hit some brick walls in Norway that I hope to be able to break through eventually but that is a discussion for another day).  The person I wound up finding the most complete information for is Carl Johann SCHULTZ, my 2nd great grandfather.

Carl was born on August 11, 1873 to Claus Henry and Anna Margarette (HOLCK/HOLCH) Schultz in New Buffalo, Berrien County, Michigan.  He spent the first part of his life in Berrien County, where according to A Twentieth Century History of Berrien County, Michigan he graduated from high school in 1888 and then attended the Marion Normal College in Marion, Indiana (now Indiana Wesleyan University) for two years.1  I haven’t found any records yet so I do not know when he attended or what degree (if any) he earned, so these are things on my research to do list.

On October 15, 1896 he married Julia Augusta “Gussie” Tanner in New Buffalo. Carl’s father Claus was the Justice of the Peace who signed their marriage application:2

Affidavit for Marriage License: Carl Schultz and Gussie Tanner

Affidavit for Marriage License: Carl Schultz and Gussie Tanner

At the time of their marriage, Gussie was a teacher and Carl was a florist, most likely working for his father.  Their first child, Harold Bertrand Schultz (my great grandfather) was born in 1899.  In the 1900 census Carl was living next door to his parents and employed as a farm laborer.  Over the next ten years they had several more children in Michigan: Bernice in 1901, Paul in 1905, and Eleanor in 1908.

Carl was very active in the public affairs of Berrien County, serving as county supervisor from 1900 to 1903;3 deputy county clerk from 1902 – 1904; city assessor for St. Joseph from January to October 1905; and then taking over as county treasurer in October 1905 when the incumbent died unexpectedly.4  He was reelected as county treasurer in 1906 and at the time was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Royal Arch Masons.5

Sometime between 1908 and 1910 Carl and his family moved from New Buffalo to Bedford County, Virginia.  He does not have an occupation listed in the 1910 census but the majority of his neighbors were farmers or farm laborers so I think it is likely he was doing agricultural work of some kind.  His third son, Carl Johann Schultz Jr., was born there in November 1910.

By 1913 they had moved north to Coldspring, Cattaraugus County, New York, presumably to be near Gussie’s mother Lina.  Gussie’s father, Albert West Tanner, died in 1888 and in 1911 her mother remarried a man from New York named William Russell Case.  Both families are living in Cattaraugus County in the 1915 New York State census, although not in the same town, and Carl’s occupation is again listed as farming.  Carl’s two youngest children were both born in New York: Virginia in 1913 and Norman in 1917.

The family didn’t stay put there, however, and by 1920 they had moved to Hayfield Township, Crawford County, Pennsylvania.  While it lists Carl’s occupation as farmer and mentions his inclusion on the farm schedule for that year’s census, I have not been able to locate that schedule and it seems unlikely that it exists anymore.6

In 1930 we find Carl, Gussie, and their younger children on the other side of the country in Los Angeles, California where Carl is a landscape gardener for a high school in LA (the census doesn’t specify how many or which ones).  By 1940 the family had moved to a different house but were still living in Los Angeles and Carl was still a landscape gardener, this time listed as working for the Board of Education generally.

By 1949, after all of their children had grown and left the nest, Carl and Gussie moved to Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington, presumably after Carl retired.  They lived there for the rest of their lives; Gussie died on March 15, 1957 and Carl died ten years later on August 29, 1967:7

Obituary for Carl Schultz

Obituary for Carl Schultz

His obituary contains several inaccuracies: he was born in New Buffalo, not St. Joseph; I know they didn’t move to Tacoma until after 1940 because they were still in Los Angeles in the 1940 census so 1938 may be a typo for 1948; and his son Harold B. is listed as “Howard B.”

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Research To Do List – Carl Johann Schultz:

  • Do oral history interview with my grandfather
  • Research Carl’s children aside from my direct ancestor
  • See if any records for Marion Normal College exist
  • Ask relatives if they have any photos of Carl and/or Gussie
  • Analyze FAN network to see if various moves were with friends or neighbors
  • See if there are any records for any of the fraternal organizations he was a member of

  1. Oliver W. Coolidge, A Twentieth Century History of Berrien County, Michigan (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), 897. 

  2. “Michigan, County Marriages, 1820-1935,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VN2W-PNX : accessed 28 Jan 2014), Carl J Schultz and Gussie Tanner, 1896. 

  3. Coolidge, 227 

  4. Coolidge, 897 

  5. Coolidge, 898 

  6. Kimberly Powell, “Agricultural Schedules of the U.S. Census,” About.com Genealogy, accessed 28 January 2014, http://genealogy.about.com/od/us_census/a/agricultural-census.htm 

  7. “Carl J. Schultz,” Tacoma News Tribune, 29 August 1967, p. 26 

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