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Schecker, Charles 1826 - 1906


Posted By: Reid R. Johnson (email)
Date: 5/10/2017 at 21:05:00

Elkader Register, Thur., 18 Oct. 1906.

Saturday morning, Oct. 13th, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. A. C. Nehls, occurred the death of Charles Schecker, one of the most widely known men in Clayton county. Mr. Schecker had been in failing health for the past year but it was not until last winter that he was compelled to give up the active work as surveyor which had made him widely known throughout the county. A complication of diseases due to heart trouble were the cause of death. For several months he has suffered severely. The old gentleman did not give up the fight until his strength was gone and even then he was reluctant to admit defeat. It had been his ambition to live until Oct. 12th as on that day he would be the oldest Schecker in several hundred years. He survived it one day.

Chas. Schecker was born Jan. 2d, 1826, at Juergensdorf, near Stavenhagen, Mecklenberg-Schwerin, Germany. He was brought up to the occupation of overseer on a large farm. He was married in 1849 to Frederika Blanchaine. In 1850 he served three months in the Schleswig-Holstein war. He emigrated to America in 1851 and came at once to the German Colony which flourished at that time at Communia, and remained with it until its dissolution in 1852. He then rented a farm in Boardman township and followed that occupation for some years. In 1862 he enlisted for the War of the Rebellion of Co. D, 27th Iowa Volunteers and was discharged in 1865, holding the rank of Sergeant. Mrs. Schecker died in March, 1868, and he was married a second time; to Mrs. Magdalena Schnepf. His second wife died Oct. 16, 1900, and in November of that year Mr. Schecker came to Elkader to make his home. He was the father of six children by his first marriage, three of whom are living. They are Mrs. Aug. Nehls, of this city; Charles, of Colorado, and William, of Spokane, Wash. C. Schnepf, of East Elkport, is a step-son.

Since returning from the war Mr. Schecher has led an active life, serving the public in various capacities. His official record as compiled by himself is as follows:

Served as postmaster in Elkport from 1865-1869.
Served 1870 to 1874 inclusive, Deputy County Surveyor under S. L. Peck and E. Hurd.
Served 1875 grainbuyer for A. C. Tiede Co., East Elkport, Iowa.
Served 1876-1880 inclusive, County Surveyor.
Served 1881-1884 inclusive, County Recorder.
Served 1885-1905 inclusive, Deputy County Surveyor under A. C. Hagensick, A. Burlingame, and Surveyor under my own responsibility. (In total 31 years surveyor in Clayton county, Iowa.) And since several years the oldest in actual service in the State of Iowa.
!880 and 1890 Census enumerator in Volga township.
Served twice as state enumerator in Volga township.
Served seven times as assessor in Volga township.
Served 1866 to 1905 Notary Public.

It was as a surveyor that Mr. Schecker was best known to the people of Clayton county and the excellent likeness shown herewith depicts him in his working costume, a familiar sight to many. He held the record of being the oldest surveyor in active service in the state of Iowa, and there was no weather too severe or difficulties to overcome too great for the old gentleman, until his illness began last winter. Many a younger man who undertook to follow his pace across the hills of Clayton county found to his sorrow that Mr. Schecker seemed endowed with tireless energy. He was always cheery of disposition and many of us have missed the kindly face since the beginning of his illness.

Mr. Schecker was a voluminous reader and a man of considerable literary ability, but few knew of this fact as he was adverse to seeking notoriety. He was a contributor to several papers and some of his writings have been published in Germany bringing forth much favorable comment which was a great pleasure to him in his last years. He retained a strong affection for his birthplace and maintained considerable correspondence with relatives there.

A trait of the character of Mr. Schecker showing his exactness and care in attending to matters, is shown by the fact that he had written farewell letters to his German relatives, all ready for mailing, and with instructions to add the date and particulars of his death and burial.

He was a member of the Turn Verein and Boardman Post G.A.R. Services were held at the home and at the Congregational church, Rev. A. S. Hock and Rev. F. Leonhardt officiating. The old soldiers to the number of 31 escorted the body of their comrade and performed the last ceremony of consigning it to the grave with the honors due him. Veterans were here from Guttenberg, Elkport, Volga and other towns of the county. The pall bearers were the following veterans: Hugh Acord, Wm. Koehn, George Fleming and David Lighty, of Elk township; J. H. Ni_ter, of Garnavillo, and Jacob Amling, of Elkport.

Of the veterans present Hugh Acord, Geo. Fleming and John Anderegg belonged to the same company as Mr. Schecker; John Everall and several others belonged to the 27th Iowa but served in different companies.

(Note: A picture accompanied this obituary in the paper but did not reproduce well enough to be included here.)


Clayton Obituaries maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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