Weldon Mersiovsky sent me an email earlier this year and asked me if I could help a woman named Carol Watson find a patent issued to her grandfather. I agreed to take on the task and contacted Carol Watson. She told me that het grandfather was August Schkade and that he was born on September 22 in 1854. She also told me her grandfather was a miller and a ginner and thought that his patent was for a cotton gin.
I was able to find patent number 399,441 for a stamper attachment for a cotton gin issued to August Schkade on March 12, 1889. I emailed the patent to Anne Nash who is Carol Watson’s daughter, and asked if they had any stories about August Schkade that they would like to share with me. I told them that I would like to write about August and his patent on my blog. The following story was dictated to Anne Nash by Carol Watson and sent to me:
“My grandfather August Schkade was born in Weigersdorf, Prussia, Germany September 22, 1854. At age 18, he wanted to visit his brother Heinrich Schkade in Lincoln, Texas. He persuaded the German officials to let him come and he promised he would visit his brother for a year, and then return to Germany and enter the German military. He did not return to Germany, but remained in Texas. My grandparents August Schlkade and Maria Theresia Dube were married on April 12, 1880. They planned to give a Wendish hymnal, a small book, to Anna Mattijetz Ploss for her confirmation. My grandfather died on December 22, 1892 (of pneumonia?) so he was unable to give the book/hymnal to Anna but my grandmother did. At the death of Anna, her daughter Margaret, and her daughter-in-law Ellen, gave the book to my mother, Selma Schkade Fisher. After my mother’s death I found the book, and gave it to the Texas Wendish Heritage Museum.
My mother had told me a story that a farmer was sick, probably with pneumonia, and every night different farmers took turns staying with him. When it was my grandfather’s time, there was a teenage boy in the house. There was no fire and the boy was cold. My grandfather gave him his overcoat, he caught a cold that perhaps went into pneumonia and he died.
And of course you know about the cotton packer.”
Carol Watson’s mother was Selma Martha Schkade who was born in Texas (probably Manheim in Lee County) in Januaray 1887. Selma’s parents were August Freidrich Schkade and Maria Theresia Dube. Maria was born on December 22, 1862 and died on November 3, 1902. August and Maria were married in Serbin, Texas on April 12, 1880. They were blessed with 6 children. Emil August was born on August 20, 1880; Lydia Elizabeth was born on Novmber 28, 1881; Friedrich E. was born in August 1885; Selma Martha was born in January 1887; Mary T. was born in July 1889; and Bertha L. was born in March 1891 (some of this information was found in the 1900 US Census from Dime Box, Texas).
While Carol Watson and I are not related, we are connected. Anna Mattijetz Ploss was my great aunt. Her brother John Herman Mattijetz was my grandfather. While I probably met Aunt Annie, as my mother called her on more than one occassion, I have no memories of her. I do remember my mother talking very fondly of Aunt Annie. I also recently found out that she had 2 major strokes when I was a young boy that left her incapacitated.
Below is a link to August Schkade’s cotton stamper patent.