Schoen, Carl Friedrich

Also Known As Schoen, Carl Friedrich
Also Known As Schoen, Charles

    Depending upon the source, he is often called either Charles or Carl; the anglicized spelling of his surname (without the umlaut) became Schoen, and it is this spelling that was most commonly used by his children and their descendants. His gravestone, though, reads Carl Friedrick Schoen.

Birth Name Schön, Carl Friedrich
Gramps ID I1469
Gender male
Age at Death 79 years, 5 months, 3 days


Event Date Place Description
Sources Notes
Birth 1810-06-01 Preuβen  
Immigration 1844-09-09 New York, USA  
1a 1b 2a
Census 1850 Ixonia, Jefferson Cty, Wisconsin, USA  
Census 1855 Ixonia, Jefferson Cty, Wisconsin, USA  
Census 1860 Ixonia, Jefferson Cty, Wisconsin, USA  
Census 1870 Ixonia, Jefferson Cty, Wisconsin, USA  
Census 1880 Ixonia, Jefferson Cty, Wisconsin, USA  
Death 1889-11-04 Ixonia, Jefferson Cty, Wisconsin, USA  
Burial   Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery, Lebanon, Dodge Cty, Wisconsin, USA  


    Family of Schoen, Carl Friedrich and Kretke, Charlotte Louise [F0426]
Married Wife Kretke, Charlotte Louise [I1470] ( * 1808-05-25 + 1899-02-17 )
Name Birth Date Death Date
Schoen, Wilhelmina [I3450]1834
Schoen, Augusta D. [I0183]1836-04-061913-10-09
Schoen, Charles F. Sr. [I1471]1841-08-041932-07-11
Schoen, John [I1472]1844-09-091919-05-01
Schoen, Marie [I3933]1847-06-301858-02-26



Carl and Charlotte Schoen Family

Very little is currently known of Carl and Charlotte Schoen prior to their arrival in Wisconsin, and particularly prior to their immigration to America. Carl Friedrich Schoen (originally spelled Schön) was born 1st Jun 1810 somewhere in the German-held Kingdom of Prussia, and as a young man married Charlotte Louise Kretke (born 25th May 1808, also in Prussia) sometime around 1834 or 1835. It is not currently known how many children they had in the first several years of their marriage, but we know they had at least three: daughter Wilhelmina (born around May 1834), daughter Augusta Louise Dorothea (born 6th Apr 1836) and son Carl Friedrich (born 4th Aug 1841). At his death in 1932, the obituary published for son Carl (then called Charles) mentioned that he was born in "Oackendorf, Germany," and on the US and Wisconsin census records his parents had each identified their birthplace as Prussia or, on later records, Germany. I believe the obituary was mis-typed, and the family likely came from the Lackendorf jurisdiction of Elbing, East Prussia - a city now known as Elbląg on the northern coast of modern-day Poland.

The obituaries for both daughter Augusta and son Charles (Carl) indicate that the family came to America in 1843. Their youngest brother, Johann (later called John - born 9th Sep 1844), is not believed to have been born in Prussia, but the reported birthplace for him is not consistent in the census records, given as Prussia, Germany, New York state, and once even as "at sea." This seemed an unlikely tale until a conversation with one of John's living descendants brought up a potential ship name - "Philip" or "Phillip." Further research provided a ship's passenger manifest for the ship Mary Phillips, which arrived at the Port of New York on 9th Sep 1844, the day given as son John's birthday. Whether he was born on that very day of arrival or near enough that the family decided to celebrate that day as his birthday is unknown, but the tale of his birth at sea on the voyage to America has been passed down orally within his family for generations, and has the ring of veracity to it.

The family is said to have resided in the area of Buffalo, Erie Cty, New York for several years before moving to Wisconsin and settling in the area east of Watertown, Jefferson Cty, Wisconsin sometime in 1849. It is not known if they came to this portion of Wisconsin because of family or friends, but it seems quite possible, as a very large portion of the German-speaking population of 19th-century Wisconsin were recent immigrants from Prussia. Many of the churches and schools in the area held services and classes solely in German, and many of the churches' early record books were kept in the Prussian dialect (notably different from standard hochdeutsch German). Wisconsin was not far from its early pioneer days, and many of its towns and cities were in their infancy as farming and basic industries developed. It is not known how the elder Carl Schoen made his livelihood in their first years in America, but by 1849 he was farming in the area that would become the township of Ixonia, Jefferson Cty, Wisconsin.

Accompanying them for certain were their youngest three children: Augusta, Charles, and John. The first and only mention of Wilhelmina found in the research so far has been the passenger manifest for the ship on which they journeyed. Whether she remained in the Buffalo area, having married as a young woman there, or possibly accompanied the rest of the family to Wisconsin and has simply not been found yet, or even whether she failed to survive the journey, is not known at this time. The obituary for father Carl in 1889 mentions only three children - Augusta, Charles, and John - as survivors.

Some time after the family's immigration, their youngest child, daughter Mary, was born. Thus far in the research Mary has been mentioned by name only in the 1850 US Census listing for the household in Ixonia (given as three years younger than John, and born in Wisconsin), and was likely counted amongst the family members in the 1855 Wisconsin State Census. Mary was not listed with the other family members in the 1860 US Census, and would have been too young to be married or working elsewhere. She was also not mentioned amongst the surviving siblings in her father's obituary in 1889, suggesting that she had also preceded him in death - and most likely had died between 1855 and 1860.

By 1867, Carl and Charlotte had sold their farmland (on what is now County Road CW in Ixonia) to their youngest son John and his wife, Wilhelmine (Brandt). Several years prior, their daughter Augusta had married the Prussian-born Carl Stargard, a bachelor farmer who had come to America in 1856. Middle son Charles had ventured down to La Porte, La Porte Cty, Indiana, to enlist in the Union Army, serving in the 5th Indiana Infantry during the Civil War; after returning, he married Louise Backhaus, a daughter of a local pioneer family (also with Prussian or German origins) and settled in Ixonia to farm. By the time Carl had sold their farm and retired, he and Charlotte had eight grandchildren - four boys and four girls, at this point all from their eldest two children.

The Schoen family was Lutheran, as were a large portion of the other Prussian and German families around them. In the summer of 1877 they were among the founding members of the newly-formed church and school that would come to be called Cross Lutheran Church in Ixonia. This church remained a central part of the lives of the Schoens for generations, with two of Charles' sons (William and Charles Jr.) and all of John's grandchildren being confirmed there. The other families of the congregation played a large part in the lives of the Schoen family, as many of them shared a similar heritage and livelihood.

Carl died in early November 1889 at the age of seventy-nine, with eighteen surviving grandchildren and at least eight great-grandchildren. The land for the cemetery at Cross Lutheran would not be purchased and plotted for burials until 1891, so Carl was buried at Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in nearby Lebanon, Dodge Cty, Wisconsin. Charlotte died in 1899, at the age of ninety, and was one of the early interments in the parish cemetery.

The Schoen family farm came to be known as one of a handful of "century farms" in the area, held by Carl and then by one of his descendants for four generations. After great-grandson Clarence Schoen died in 1981, without marrying and without children, the farm passed to his younger sister Ruth (Schoen) Grulke. She sold the family farm in 1989, the first time in 140 years that the farm was held by someone outside of the Schoen family.

The graves for Carl and Charlotte have matching headstones - traditional marble slabs bearing the lower inscription "Christus ist mein Leben, Sterben is mein Gewinn" which translates "Christ is my life, to die is my gain." This verse is from an anonymously-penned German poem that was popularized by a Bach cantata, and is frequently found on headstones of 19th-century German immigrants throughout the US. While Carl is buried in Lebanon, Charlotte's plot lies in Cross Lutheran Cemetery in Ixonia, only several feet away from her daughter Augusta (Schoen) Stargard, and only a few rows away from Augusta's youngest son Carl. Also only a few rows from Charlotte are youngest son John, all three of his sons, and all of his grandchildren but the youngest (granddaughter Ruth (Schoen) Grulke). Well over a dozen members of the Schoen family are laid to rest there at Cross Lutheran, spanning four generations.


[Article "Family Farm History of Schoen Farm," from Heritage of Ixonia, Vol. 2, p124.]

Carl and Charlotte Schoen, natives of Germany, came to America in 1844. A son, Johann, was born on the ship while crossing the Atlantic Ocean. They lived in New York before coming to the Ixonia area to settle in Section 2 on what is now County CW, in the year 1849. Johann and Wilhelmina bought the farm in 1867. They had three children: Herman, Frank, and William. William and his first wife, Henrietta (Duddeck) Schoen, purchased the farm. They had three children: Albert, Adela and Sadie. His first wife died and William married Minna (Wein) Schoen, and they had two children: Clarence and Ruth. Ruth married Harvey Grulke and lived in Watertown. They had one daughter, Eileen. Clarence purchased the farm from his father, on which he continued to live until his death. His sister, Ruth, sold the farm to Tom Reiss in May, 1989. Prior to this transaction, the farm was in the Schoen family for 140 years.


[Obituary for "Charles Schoen," from the Wisconsin Free Press, 9 Nov 1889.]

[headline] Death of Charles Schoen

Charles Schoen, an old and well-known resident of Ixonia, died of old age on Monday, having reached the age of 79 years and five months. He was born in Germany, and came to this vicinity forty-two years ago, settling upon the farm which he occupied at the time of his death. His wife and three children - John, Charles, and Mrs. Augusta Stergert [sic] survive. Mrs. Schoen, a venerable lady of 82, two weeks ago broke a leg, and so was unable to follow to the grave the remains of her life-long companion. The funeral was held on Thursday, and was attended by very many of the old friends and neighbors of the deceased.


    1. Schoen, Carl Friedrich
      1. Kretke, Charlotte Louise [I1470]
        1. Schoen, Wilhelmina [I3450]
        2. Schoen, Augusta D. [I0183]
        3. Schoen, Charles F. Sr. [I1471]
        4. Schoen, John [I1472]
        5. Schoen, Marie [I3933]

Source References

  1. Oconomowoc Enterprise (Wisconsin) [S0063]
      • Date: 1913-10-13
      • Confidence: High
      • Date: 1932-07-15
      • Confidence: High
  2. Immigrant Ship Transcribers Guild ( Passenger manifest for ship _Mary Phillips_ [S0237]
      • Page: Vol. 5
      • Confidence: High
      • Citation:

  3. US Census of 1850 [S0046]
      • Date: 1850
      • Citation:

        "United States Census, 1850," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 December 2014), Charles Schane in household of Frederick Schane, Ixonia, Jefferson, Wisconsin, United States; citing family 1225, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

        Event Year: 1850
        Event Place: Ixonia, Jefferson, Wisconsin, United States
        Frederick Schane M 40 Germany
        Charlotte Schane F 41 Germany
        Augusta Schane F 16 Germany
        Charles Schane M 14 Germany
        John Schane M 9 Germany
        Mary Schane F 6 Wisconsin

  4. Wisconsin State Census of 1855 [S0092]
      • Date: 1855
      • Citation:

        "Wisconsin, State Census, 1855," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 18 Jun 2014), Charles Schön, Ixonia, Jefferson, Wisconsin; citing line 17, Historical Society, Madison; FHL microfilm 1032687.

  5. US Census of 1860 [S0044]
      • Date: 1860
      • Citation:

        "United States Census, 1860," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 December 2014), Charles Schoen, Ixonia, Jefferson, Wisconsin, United States; from "1860 U.S. Federal Census - Population,"; citing p. 100, household ID 717, NARA microfilm publication M653, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.; FHL microfilm 805,413.

        Event Year: 1860
        Event Place: Ixonia, Jefferson, Wisconsin, United States
        Charles Schoen M 46 Prussia
        Charlotte Schoen F 47 Prussia
        John Schoen M 16 Prussia
        Charles Schoen M 14 Prussia
        Henry Knop M 26 Prussia

  6. US Census of 1870 [S0020]
      • Date: 1870
      • Citation:

        "United States Census, 1870," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 18 Jun 2014), Wisconsin > Jefferson > Ixonia > image 17 of 48; citing NARA microfilm publication M593.

        Event Year: 1870
        Event Place: Ixonia, Jefferson, Wisconsin, United States
        Carl Schoen M 60 Prussia
        Charlotte Schoen F 62 Prussia
        August Zumach M 25 Prussia

  7. US Census of 1880 [S0045]
      • Date: 1880
      • Citation:

        "United States Census, 1880," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 December 2014), Carl Schuane, Ixonia, Jefferson, Wisconsin, United States, 167; citing sheet 84C, film number 1430, NARA microfilm publication T9, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.; FHL microfilm 1,255,430.

        Event Year: 1880
        Event Place: Ixonia, Jefferson, Wisconsin, United States
        Carl Schuane Self M 70 Germany
        Charlotte Schuane Wife F 72 Germany

  8. Wisconsin Free Press [S0220]
      • Date: 1889-11-09
      • Confidence: High