Obit: Schultz, Hermena (1852 - 1930)

Contact: Crystal Wendt

Surnames: Schultz, Klann, Housley, Schiller, Sonnetag, Sheehy, Taube, Schroeber, Bornholt

----Source: Neillsville Press (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) Dec. 4, 1930

Schultz, Hermena (*10 Feb. 1852 - 2* Dec. 1930) * Could be off


Victim Had Prayer Book In Hand When Found

Down near the west end of Seventh street the black skeleton of a little frame house is all that remains of Mrs. Hermena Schultz’ home and Hermena, the likeable and friendly little old lady who lived alone in preference to bothering her children or relatives with her presence, is gone burned to death.

Sometime about 4 a.m. Tuesday a fire started in the small residence and before it was discovered and help arrived the flames had charred and destroyed the structure and with it the life of its sole occupant. Neighbors and firemen who joined in the fight to quench the fire had a premonition that Mrs. Schultz was lost. No one had seen her. They fought desperately, but the wall of heat held them back. As soon as the flames had been subdued men entered the smoking ruins and found the scorched body of the victim, lying face down in the northeast corner of the kitchen. Near her right hand lay the blackened, burned prayer book she evidently had grabbed it her last frantic moments before losing consciousness. Beneath her body lay the metal mountings of town pocketbooks from which the leather had been burned and not far away was the key to one of the doors. A half dollar was all that remained of the purses’ contents.

What occurred previous to the fire and how the fire started probably will never be known. Some of the firemen were of the opinion that she got up to start a fire and an explosion followed when she poured kerosene into the kitchen stove. Nobody, however, could be found who had seen a kerosene can in the debris. Others considered the possibility that she had fainted and fallen with a lamp while there were a few who advances the opinion that she had met with foul play. It is said that as she had lived alone for years that someone many have thought she had money in her home and went there to rob her, and after being discovered by Mrs. Schultz covered up his tracks by murder and arson Dr. H. W. Housley, coroner, reported that in his opinion death was due to accidental burning. According to firemen, all doors of the house were locked when they tried to enter and it was necessary to break them down. Wm. F. Schiller undertaker, was called to take charge of the body.

The fire was first seen by Frank Sonnentag, who lives nearby and he gave the alarm to summon the fire department. Jas. Sheehy, who lives across the street also phoned in an alarm. The flames had got such a start, however, that the interior and rear of the house were destroyed before they would be put out.

Mrs. Wm. Schultz, whose maiden name was Klann, was 78 years old Feb. 10. She came to this country from Germany with her husband and one child over 50 years ago. For a short period they lived in Chicago and then moved to a farm near Sydney where she lived for 40 years. Eight years ago she moved to Neillsville and although repeatedly asked by her children to make her home with them she insisted she would rather lived alone. Her husband died about 30 years ago and one son was frozen to death in the town of Grant while walking to the home of a brother one stormy night 13 years ago. She is survived by two sons and two daughters, Paul and Hermnian, residents of Washburn and Mrs. Amelia Taube and Mrs. Elsie Schroeder, both of Oshkosh. Five children have died.

Although not a member of the Reformed church, Mrs. Schultz often went there to worship. She was a familiar figure on the streets of the city as she made frequent trips to town to attend her shopping and was a cheerful and friendly disposition, enjoying the brief chats with friends whom she met.

The funeral will be held from the Reformed Church Thursday afternoon at 1:30 p.m., Rev. E. H. Vornholt officiating, with burial in the Neillsville Cemetery. Mrs. Taube and Mrs. Schroeder came from Oshkosh to attend the rites.

Six grandchildren will be pallbearers: Alfred and Hallie Schultz, sons of Paul, Harvey and Archie, sons of Herman, Alfred and Taube and Alfred Schroeder.



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