Paul Drueke, Richard Drueke, Laura Gould, Marilyn Hamill, and Lynne Wilson contributed to this family history.
Index Germany Map Grand Rapids Map Kassel to Tiffin, 1834 Passport Notebook Two Regimental Bandleaders Census Descendants Home Page
John Adam Born in 1795
Kassel, 1795-1820. John Adam Schickell was born in July 1795 in Kassel, which is 32 miles east northeast of Frankfurt. At that time, Kassel was in the Main-Kreis region in the far northwest corner of the Kingdom of Bavaria. In 1866, as a result of the Treaty of Prague, Kassel became part of what is now the Kinzig-Main-Kreis region in the far south of Hesse. Kassel is a small village that is now part of the town of Biebergemund.
In 1795, Karl Theodor reigned as Prince-Elector and Duke of Bavaria. Upon his death in 1799, Maximilian IV became Prince-Elector of Bavaria. In 1805, Bavaria became a kingdom, and Elector Maximilian IV became King Maximilian I. Upon Maximilian's death in 1825, his son became King Ludwig I.
John Adam was a music teacher.
Maria Eva Born in 1800
Kassel, 1800-1820. Maria Eva Schumm was born in 1800 in Kassel, which is 32 miles east northeast of Frankfurt. At that time, Kassel was in the Main-Kreis region in the far northwest corner of the Kingdom of Bavaria. In 1866, as a result of the Treaty of Prague, Kassel became part of what is now the Kinzig-Main-Kreis region in the far south of Hesse. Kassel is a small village that is now part of the town of Biebergemund.
In 1800, Maximilian IV was Prince-Elector of Bavaria. In 1805, Bavaria became a kingdom, and Elector Maximilian IV became King Maximilian I. Upon Maximilian's death in 1825, his son became King Ludwig I.
John Adam and Maria Eva Marry in 1820, Have 10 Children
Kassel, 1820-1834. John Adam and Maria Eva made their home in Kassel. John Adam worked as a music teacher.
On December 14, 1820, John Adam and Maria Eva's first child, Veronica, was born.
On September 14, 1822, John Adam and Maria Eva's second child, Anna Appolonia was born, she but died after six months.
In 1824, John Adam and Maria Eva's third child, John Andonius was born, but he died after 14 months.
On May 15, 1826, John Adam and Maria Eva's fourth child, John Nepomuk, was born in 1826, but died sometime before 1834. Saint John Nepomuk is the patron saint of the church in Kassel.
On May 3, 1828, John Adam and Maria Eva's fifth child, Mary Augusta, was born.
On October 6, 1830, John Adam and Maria Eva's sixth child, Amalia, was born.
On January 17, 1833, John Adam and Maria Eva's seventh child, Peter Crescenz, was born.
John Adam obtained a passport dated August 8, 1834, that gave him and his family permission to emigrate from Bavaria to North America. It was issued by the Police of the Kingdom at the Royal Bavarian State Court at Orb, which is five miles northeast of Kassel. The pass describes John Adam as 5 foot 7, black hair, black beard, high forehead, pointed nose, rounded chin, long face. On the back was a visa issued August 13, 1834, by the Royal Bavarian Government of the County of the Lower Main at Wurzburg, which is 55 miles southeast of Kassel. The King of Bavaria was Ludwig I, who reigned from 1825 to 1848.
Tiffin, 1834-1853. In 1834, John Adam and Eva Maria and their family immigrated to America and settled in Tiffin, Ohio. The U.S. flag had 24 stars, the most recent one being for Missouri. The President was Andrew Jackson.
The Schickell family came to America on the sailing ship Johannes. There were six of them: John Adam, 39, and Mary Eva, 34, and their four children Veronica, 13, Maria Augusta 6, Amalia, 4, and Peter, 1. The family took their horse and wagon to Bremen, where the horse was sold. The wagon, with all their belongings, including musical instruments, was taken aboard ship. The voyage from Bremen to Baltimore lasted 62 days. They arrived in Baltimore on November 29, 1834
The German Maritime Museum has provided information about the ship as well as the picture shown here. The picture is a water color painted by Jacob Boettger in 1835, the year after the Schickell's voyage. The ship was a fully-rigged deep water sailing ship built in the Bosse ship yard No. 41 in Burg, Germany. The ship carried 135 tons. It was 90 feet long and 28 feet wide. It drew 16 feet. It was owned by Huhlenkampff Brothers, Bremen, and launched May 29, 1828. Its captain from 1831 to 1839 was Hermann Senkstake.
A fully-rigged ship has fore, main, and mizzen masts, each with four square sails. The lowest sails are called foresail, mainsail, and crossjack (the Johannes has a spanker instead of the square crossjack on its mizzenmast). The next row are called topsails. The next are called topgallant sails. The next are called royal sails. There are three jibs: staysail, inner jib, and outer jib.
The ship Johannes arrived in Baltimore on November 29, 1834, with 142 passengers. The Schickells stayed with a Jewish family in Baltimore that had emigrated a year earlier from Gelnhausen, about five miles west of Kassel. After 80 days in Baltimore, the Schickells set off for Tiffin in Seneca County, Ohio, via Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Canton, Ohio. They stayed in Pittsburgh 14 days.
They bought 40 acres of land about six miles outside Tiffin and leased another 40 acres. After a year and a half, they traded the land for a house in town belonging to a Doctor Kressbach. John Adam Schickell opened a music school here. Eventually, he was making $100 a month from the school.
St. Mary's Catholic Church had been founded in Tiffin in 1831. The church building was completed in 1833.
On April 13, 1835, John Adam and Maria Eva's eighth child, Maria Appolonia, was born.
In 1837, John Adam and Maria Eva's ninth child, Francis Xavier, was born in Tiffin but died shortly thereafter.
On September 23, 1839, John Adam and Maria Eva's tenth child, Joseph, was born.
According to an 1886 history of Seneca County (page 507),
a music school was opened at Tiffin by J. A. Schickell November 6, 1840. Since that year the teaching of music has become a part and parcel of a firstclass education, and the citizens leave nothing undone to foster the music teachers' enterprise.
In 1841, a spur of The Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad reached Tiffin from Sandusky, a city in northern Ohio on Lake Erie.
From January to June in 1842, Charles Dickens took a tour of the United States as far west as St. Louis, including a two-hour stopover in Tiffin on the way back. He was only 30 years old but already a highly successful author. He brought his wife Kate, her maid, and his Bostonian secretary George W. Putnam. On April 23, on their way back from St. Louis, the party stopped for lunch in Tiffin. That day they were headed north from Upper Sandusky to Sandusky on Lake Erie, a distance of about 60 miles. Before lunch, they traveled the 22 miles from Upper Sandudky to Tiffin by private stage coach. They arrrived in Tiffin at noon for lunch at a hotel. After they dined, they were driven triumphantly all about town on the way to the railroad station. At 2:00 p.m., they boarded a train on the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad and traveled the 37 miles from Tiffin to Sandusky. They arrived in Sandusky that evening and the next morning left on a steamboat for Buffalo. They arrived at Buffalo the following morning and took a train to Niagara Falls.
Our stage-coach ride across Ohio ended at Tiffin, a small town which we reached about noon, from whence was a railroad to Sandusky City on Lake Erie. The good landlord at Tiffin, finding who were his guests, did his best to please, and also to let the entire town know that "Dickens was at his hotel." And when we left the house for the depot he had a large kind of open wagon on springs, with seats very high, on which Mr. and Mrs. Dickens were perched. I think the driver was instructed to pass through all the principal streets of the place before he reached the railroad station, for we went at a slow pace and were a long time going; and the people awaited us in groups, as if by appointment, at the street-corners and at the windows and doors of the houses; and if the inhabitants of Tiffin, Ohio, did not on that occasion see “Boz” and his wife, it certainly was not the fault of that good landlord or of his carriage-driver.
The Seneca Sentinal of Wednesday, December 10, 1975, claims that Dickens had lunch at the Holt House on the southeast corner of Adams and Sandusky.
In September 1842, John Adam opened a German Inn at the Washington Hotel in Tiffin "to provide for the pleasure of the public by means of prompt and courteous service with the most select foods and drinks."
The 1880 History of Seneca County by William Lang mentions on page 419 John Adam Schickell's role in orgainizing a German society in Tiffin:
The "Deutsche Leseverein," that used to meet at Adam Schickel's, on East Market Street, was the pioneer German association in Tiffin, and continued for several years until religious discussions broke it up.
On May 5, 1846, John Adam and Maria Eva's daughter Augusta Maria Veronica, 25, married Lewis Martin in Tiffin. They were married by Rev. Joseph McNamee, pastor of St. Mary's Church in Tiffin from 1839 to 1847. Father M. Howard replaced Father McNamee late in the fall of 1847.
On September 11, 1847, John Adam and Maria Eva's daughter Mary Augusta, 19, married John Schmitt, 27, in Tiffin. Their first child, Mary Appolonia Schmitt, was born in Tiffin on August 10, 1849. She eventually went by the name Abbie Smith.
In 1851, the Schmitts moved from Tiffin to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Their second child, Creszens Joseph Schmitt, was born in Grand Rapids on March 21, 1852. He eventually went by the name Cris J. Smith. Their third child, Rosa Wilhelmina Schmitt, was born in Grand Rapids on October 6, 1854.
On March 29, 1853, John Adam and Maria Eva's daughter Mary Amalia (Emily), 22, married Charles F. Boos, 23, a musician. According to the 1897 Souvenir Book for the 75th anniversary of Tiffin, Prof. C. F. Boos emigrated from Theningen, Germany, in 1849, where he had been a musician in an infantry regiment for five years. In the United States, he traveled for a year with Paul's theatrical troupe and then settled in Tiffin. He was a regimental band leader with the 55th Ohio Infantry in the Civil war. After the war, he returned to Tiffin and organized the Boos Silver Cornet Band, the name of which later was changed to the Boos Reed band. In 1887, the band was merged with the Harmonia Band and became known as the Will Boos Sixth Regiment band, being the Regimental Band of the Uniformed Knights of Pythias. Will Boos, son of Charles and Mary Amalia Schickell Boos, was the director of this band for three years. The K, of P. began during the Civil War, in the hope that it might do much to heal the wounds and allay the hatred of civil conflict. In 1897, Prof. C. F. Boos operated a musical instrument store which had been at 34 Market Street in Tiffin for the past 15 years.
Sometime between 1855 and 1857, John Adam and Maria Eva's daughter Veronica Martin and her family moved from Tiffin, Ohio, to Grand Rapids. Veronica's husband Lewis was a grocer and then a dry goods merchant in Grand Rapids.
On August 3, 1858, John Adam and Maria Eva's daughter Mary Appolonia, 21, married Francis Boxheimer, 29, at St. Mary's Church. In 1865, Francis became the owner of the Bridge Street House, a hotel on the east side of the Grand River at 131-33 East Bridge Street. It was on the north side of what is now Michigan Street, between what was then Kent (Bond) Avenue and Monroe Avenue.
John Adam and Maria Eva's sons, Peter and Joseph both served as a regimental band leaders in the Civil War.
On June 10, 1861, Joseph, 21, enlisted for three years in the U. S. Army at Grand Rapids, Michigan, as a 2nd Class Musician in the Michigan 3rd Infantry Regiment. Joseph was promoted to 1st Class Musician on September 1, 1961.
On July 17, 1862, Congress passed a law that ordered the mustering out of regimental bands. The bill was approved by the President and announced in the War Department's General Order 91 of July 29, 1862. Joseph was discharged at Harrison's Landing, on the James River, south of Richmond, Virginia, on August 13, 1862, having completed 14 months of service.
On September 7, 1861, Peter, 27, enlisted for three years in the U. S. Army at Cincinnati, Ohio, as a Musician in the Ohio 10th Infantry Regiment.
When Congress passed a law that ordered the mustering out of regimental bands, Peter was discharged as a 1st Class Musician at Nashville, Tennessee, on September 10, 1862, having completed 12 months of service.
On December 30, 1863, Joseph, 24, again enlisted in the U. S. Army as a Private in Company B of the 1st Michigan Regiment, Engineers and Mechanics. His occupation was given as carpenter. His physical description was grey eyes, brown hair, light complexion, and 5'5" tall.
On March 1, 1864, Joseph was placed on detail to regimental headquarters to play in the Band. On May 1, he was made leader of the Regimental Band. He was promoted to Artificer on November 1, 1964, and Sergeant on April 5, 1865.
Joseph was discharged at Nashville, Tennessee, on September 22, 1865, having completed 20 months of service.
In 1866, Bavaria, Hesse, and other German states sided with Austria in the Austro-Prussian War. Prussia won the war. In the Treaty of Prague on August 23, 1866, Prussia acquired Hesse, and Hesse acquired three small border districts from Bavaria. One district was Orb, which included Kassel, the Schickells' home town.
In 1869, John Adam and Maria Eva's granddaughter Abbie (Mary Appolonia Schmitt, daughter of John and Mary Augusta Schickell Smith and sister of Cris J. Smith) died at home at age 20. Funeral services were held at at St. Mary’s Church.
In the 1870 census, Mary Augusta's son Cris Smith, 18, was listed as a photographer. In the 1872 Grand Rapids directory, at 20, he was listed a musician. In the 1873 and 1874 directories, he was listed as a clerk at the grocery store of his uncle Peter Schickell on Front Street. His uncle Peter also was a musician. In the 1875 directory, Cris again was listed as a musician. He continued to work as a musician for the rest of his career.
In 1872, John Adam and Maria Eva's daughter, Mary Augusta Schickell Schmitt, married Frederick W. Cordes, and he moved into the house at 44 Gold. He was born in 1834, the son of Anton Cordes and Maria Platte. He had been a grocer, but was listed as a laborer in the 1873-75 directories. He was the brother of John and William Cordes, who were with Mary Augusta's husband John at the Mathenias Creek gold mine in El Dorado County in 1850. His wife Adelaide had died in 1869 at age 26. Mary Augusta and Frederick were divorced in 1876. Frederick died in 1891 and was buried with his first wife Adelaide at St. Andrew's Cemetery.
On August 11, 1875, John Adam and Maria Eva's daughter Veronica Schickell Martin died at age 54.
John Adam Widowed at age 83
John Adam was widowed upon the death of his wife Maria Eva in 1878. They had been married for 58 years.
Grandson Louis F. Boos won the first prize at the Michigan State Band Tournaments of 1878 and 1879.
The Schickells were living with their son Peter at 29 West Broadway Street ( 429 Broadway Avenue NW after 1912). This is where Peter and his family were living in the 1879 and 1880 directories and the 1880 census.
Maria Eva Dies in 1878 at Age 78
Maria Eva Schumm Schickell died September 23, 1878. She was survived by her husband John Adam, her son Peter Schickell and her daughters Mary Augusta Schickell Schmitt and Mary Appolonia Schickell Boxheimer. She was buried at St. Andrew's Cemetery.
John Adam Dies in 1879 at Age 83
John Adam Schickel died on May 10, 1879. He was 83. He was survived by his son Peter Schickell and his daughters Mary Augusta Schickell Schmitt and Mary Appolonia Schickell Boxheimer. He was buried next to his wife Eva in St. Andrew's Cemetery.
Daily Democrat, May 11, 1879
Daily Eagle, May 12, 1879
John Adam and Maria Eva: 10 children, 26 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren
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