As told by Irvin Schoen
My grandfather, John Schoen and his wife, as well as my mother's parents,
John and Katherine Ernst, were all born in Germany and later moved
to Pittsford. The Schoens lived on Mendon Center Road next to Irv Hopkins
and the Ernsts
moved to Mendon Center Road in what is now Norm Schutt’s home – the
last house before the Thruway. All of my grandparents were farmers
on general farms with a few cows, potatoes, corn and other vegetables.
They also were
Lutherans. I was too young, however, to ever get to know any of my
My father, John Schoen, married Lena Ernst and both of them were born
in their parents’ homes on Mendon Center Road. When they were married
they lived on Mendon Center Road in a home beyond the Ernsts. My
father started out as a general farmer with potatoes, corn and other vegetables,
but later had a coal business on Schoen Place. Here he sold cabbage,
farm machinery, and coal from Pennsylvania. Schoen Place, earlier
known as Schoen's Alley, is named after my family.
My parents belonged to the Lutheran church where my mother belonged to
various organizations. My father was a Mason and one of the original firemen
in Pittsford. I remember him going to the Burtsel Hotel fire and the Pittsford
School house fire in 1916.
I was born on Mendon Center Road. We moved to the village in 1895
into a house on North Main Street between the canal and the railroad
This was for the convenience of my father’s business.
I went to Pittsford High School and had fourteen in my class of 1909.
My classmates included Lowell Palmer, Edith Geare, Florence Taylor, Laura
Battams and Carrie Stebbins. We had a lot of girls in the school and they
were smart; but the boys were dumb! The principal was Theodore Zornow and
he taught Math; which was my favorite subject.
John and Jacob Schoen were from the town of Onolscheim in the German state
of Wurttemberg. This is in the southwestern part of Germany not far from
France and Switzerland. John (the ancestor of the Mendon Center Road Schoens)
was born in 1823, and while in Germany married Catherine Herrman, born
in 1834. It appears that the first two of their eleven children were born
In 1858, John with his wife and two children, brother Jacob and sister
Catherine with her husband, Michael Cramer, all came to the US apparently
leaving through the port of Hamburg. Jacob (the ancestor of the Mile Square
Road Schoens) was born in 1830. Catherine Schoen was born in 1833. They
all settled in Henrietta.
In 1863, John bought the 80 acre farm at 355 Mendon Center Road in Pittsford.
This became known in Pittsford as the "Schoen Homestead." Later,
John bought the adjoining farm at 417 Mendon Center Road presently occupied
by Ken and Douglas Schoen. John died in 1894 and his wife in 1915. At that
time, the home farm came into the ownership of William Miller who had married
one of John’s daughters. John’s son, George came into possession
of the adjoining farm where the Schoens live today.
Jacob stayed in Henrietta and married Anna Barbara Gucker who had been
born in Pittsford in 1840. They had five children: Rose (1863-1888)
Frederick (1865-1935), George (1871-1948), Bertha (1874-1914) and
By 1870, Jacob had acquired a 50 acre farm at what is now 4572 East Henrietta
Road, about ½ mile south of Erie Station Road (east side of road).
He later bought 29½ acres a short distance to the west (but not
connected to his farm.) The old house and barn are still standing though
surrounded by new houses.
Jacob Schoen died in 1902 and was buried in the Pine Hill Cemetery in
Rush. His youngest child, Earl, had been buried there in 1885 and
his wife, Anna, was buried there in 1889. All of Jacob’s children
except George M. Schoen (see below) are buried in Pine Hill. Also
buried here are Jacob’s
sister, Catherine, (1833-1911), her husband, Michael Cramer,(1833-1920)
and six of their children who are: Rose (1859-1892), Margaret (1860-19--),
Elizabeth (1865-19-- widow of Nelson Ives), Julia (no dates - widow
of ____Nonengard), Emma (1873-1892) and William (1875-1933).
George Martin Schoen married Louise Hinderland also of Henrietta. She
lived on a farm about a mile south of the Jacob Schoen farm. She was born
in 1877. It seems likely that both their children, Ivan Arlo and Everett
N. were born in Henrietta (1900 & 1907).
Around 1908, George W. bought the main part of the Harrison Olney farm
on Mile Square Road. His brother, Frederick probably stayed on the Henrietta
farm. The Olney Farm lay part in Pittsford and part in Mendon and was about
90 acres. This farm had been established by Joseph Olney in 1823 and was
a real showplace in the late 1800s. Two drawings of the buildings appear
in the Monroe Co. History of 1877. George and his sons carried on a general
farming and dairy operation there.