John Manke is an active former Bay View resident who is involved in numerous neighborhood organizations, including the Bay View Historical Society, the Humboldt Park Fourth of July Association and the Shore Shore Farmers Market. He believes Bay View has a fine tradition in its past that we do not want to lose in the future.
Fred Schumacher was born in an area close to Stettin, Germany. He came to America and settled and raised a family in Janesville, Wisconsin. His first wife died. He then went to St. Louis, Missouri to join the U. S. Army to fight in the American Civil War. After the Civil War, he came to Bay View and married a widow named Johanna. She had several children and together they had more children. He worked in the blast furnace of the Bay View Rolling Mill. When the Village of Bay View was incorporated in 1879, he was one of the people to sign the incorporation papers.
When the U.S. Census of 1880 came out, he was listed as not being able to read or write English. During the Civil War, he was said to have personally delivered some papers to President Abraham Lincoln. He lived well into his 80's before he passed away. He used to walk in the neighborhood with his white beard and cane and talk with neighbors. His garden was well kept up and he enjoyed working with plants. He most likely had many good stories to tell about his past. Most of the people that knew him are now also deceased. He lived a good life and worked hard at the Rolling Mill when he was younger. It must have been horrible to work in a blast furnace during the summer months.
His son, Otto Schumacher, was on the church board at St. Lucas Evangelical Lutheran Church. He also had a grocery store that is still standing at 2549 S. Logan Avenue. In later years he became the second person to operate Woodlawn Cemetery for St. Lucas Church. Before 1925, he gave up the grocery business and went into insurance, real estate and notary public work. He had two children with Alma (Denzin) Schumacher. Helen Schumacher Manke and Ruth chumacher Arnet were the two children. In 1941, he died. He was buried next to his father and wife. His mother, Johanna Schumacher was buried in Forest Home Cemetery in a single grave site. When he was alive, he used to like to go bowling at St. Lucas School Bowling Lanes and to play cards in the back room of Niemann's Funeral Parlor. I never got to see the man, but he got to see me when I was born the same year in which he died. My mother, Helen Schumacher married my dad, Harry Manke many years ago. Both of my parents are now buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.
I thought that it might be of interest to people, that my great-grandfather lived in Bay View before it became a village. In August of 1882, he filed a complaint against the village board because water had gotten into his basement right after they built a new alley near his house. The building inspector rejected his claim because his cistern was too close to his house and that could have caused the water problem.
During the lifetime of the Village of Bay View, they only lost two cases brought against the village. One case involved building a railroad trestle to connect east Bay View with west Bay View. The village wanted the railroad to pay the entire cost of building the trestle, but the railroad fought this in court. The end result was that Bay View and the railroad each had to pay half of the cost of building a railroad trestle on E. Russell Avenue.
The other case that the village lost was an attempt to use the Iron Well as a water source for the village water supply. The State of Wisconsin stated that this was an insufficient amount of water to supply the entire village and thus Bay View was forced to merge with the City of Milwaukee in order to get indoor plumbing and sewers in Bay View. Too many outhouses could cause a possible outbreak of typhoid or cholera in the village. This fear and the desire to get electricity in the village were major factors in the merger of the area into Milwaukee. When Bay View joined Milwaukee, the City of Milwaukee gained a large industrial base. The people of Bay View never forgot that they were once a village, and even today people say that they live in Bay View. When mail is addressed to Bay View, it almost always comes to zip code 53207 in Milwaukee. At one time Bay View had its own Post Office in the village.
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