Casper Schlick: 1st Schlick to Immigrate to America

Casper Schlick settled in America in 1852. He began the family line in America, in Illinois and in DuPage County. At the age of thirty-two he traveled on the sailing ship the Bessel from the port of Bremen, Germany to New York’s Castle Island on 19 May 1852. He was accompanied by his wife “Margaretha Wendinger” who was 32. They traveled together aboard the ship.

Casper was from Bavaria from a town called Eckersbach. Eckersbach is 225 miles southwest of Berlin and northwest of the City of Bamburg.

One property deed document shows Casper owning property in 1858 near Bloomingdale, Illinois in Bloomingdale Township. Bloomingdale happens to be the town where a branch of the Armbrust family had settled when they emigrated from Ohio to Illinois. Casper’s son Joseph Schlick would later marry Mary Armbrust (1 October 1878). Mary or Mary Anne was the daughter of Martin Armbrust.

Casper and his wife married. I am still researching their marriage record and date. In a review of Casper’s Probate File from the Kane County Clerk’s Office we find the following information recorded on the “Proof of Heirship” document dated 26 October 1897: “ the following children were born of the marriage: Joseph Schlick and Maria Schlick now the wife of G. M. Schneider [G or George was the Blacksmith for Burlington]. Also 4 (four) other children who died in infancy and whose names, with the exception of George Schlick affiant [i.e. Joseph Schlick] does not remember“.

Casper and his wife settled in the town of Danby, Illinois. Danby is today known as the Village of Glen Ellyn. Casper was a farmer. He also worked as a laborer for the Chicago and Northwestern Railway. The Schlick’s purchased property along the rail line in Danby. The property today is used as an athletic practice field by the Glenbard West High School near Lake Ellyn.

1874 Map showing Casper Schlick’s property along the railroad line in Propect Park Illinois. The name of the town had several name changes previously called Danby it is now known as Glen Ellyn, Illinois in Milton Township DuPage County.

Casper’s name appears in the Civil War Draft Registration Rolls dated June 1860. Casper is now forty-four years old. He is listed as a “laborer”.

Casper’s name appears on the 1865 Illinois Agricultural and Manufacturers Census roll as living in Danby in Milton Township in DuPage County Illinois.

Casper appears next in the public record with his family on the 1870 U.S. Census for Danby Illinois (Glen Ellyn) recorded on 27 June 1870. His surname is spelled “Slite” and was challenging to find on the Census due to the varient spelling. When searching for your ancestors it is good to keep a list of all of the various spellings the name could be recorded as on records. When I intially was working with Census records (1987) they were all on microfilm rolls and there were no computer logarithms nor was there the Internet or Ancestry to search for varients of names outside of a soundex code developed by the U.S. Census Bureau during the Great Depression.

On the 1870 Census Casper is listed as being 51 years or age. His wife Margaret is 49. There are two other people in their houshold their children: Joseph 14 and Maria age 8. They own $1,500 worth of real estate. The family personal wealth is listed as $1,711. Casper is working as a “RR track hand”. Their property and the Schlick name appears on the 1874 DuPage County Atlas.

St Michaels Catholic Church in Wheaton Illinois. Photo: DuPage County Historical Museum photo collection image number

In 1879 Casper joined a group of fourteen other families within the Wheaton area to get together and start a new church for Catholics in Wheaton. The church was begun in 1879. Four lots in Wheaton were purchased for $250 on the area within Willow Avenue, West Street, and Wheaton Avenue on the south west side of Wheaton. Construction on the basement was completed and the construction was halted for several years. Casper Schlick is shown as donating $600 for the establishment of the new church on a ledger kept by Earl Sauer, the Treasurer of the Church. Casper would become one of the first Trustees for St. Michaels Church of Wheaton. The new building was finally completed and dedicated in 1882.

St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church in Wheaton Milton Township DuPage County Illinois in 1888 shown in a “bird’s eye” view engraving. The church is shown on the east corner of West Street a block or so south of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad tracks. (Source: DuPage County Illinois Historical Museum, Wheaton Park District, Wheaton Illinois).

When he died and upon the reading of his Will (dated and signed on 2 July 1891) it was revealed: “. . . I [Casper Schlick] second, bequest to the Catholic Church of St. Michael at Wheaton, DuPage Co., Illinois the sum of $150 one hundred and fifty dollars with the condition that a Requiem High Mass be annualled celebrated for the repose of my soul in said Catholic Church at Wheaton Illinois“. Caspers faith was important and a central part of his and other German immigrants settling in DuPage County of their faith and social lives.

The 1880 U.S. Cenus for Danby lists the following: Casper is now 61. Margaret is 60. They had a border a laborer George Fiedler living with them in their household. Casper lists is occupation as the of a laborer. The Census date now frozen in time was 3 June 1880.

Casper’s wife would die on 26 March 1887. Margaret died at the age of 77. She is buried along with Casper at the St. Michael’s Catholic Church Cemetery located in Wheaton Illinois Milton Township in DuPage County Illinois.

In reviewing Casper’s Death Certificate from the Kane County Illinois Clerk we find he died at the age of 75 on the 13 August 1895 from complications dealing with his heart. We also learn that he was born in 1819. Casper’s name is spelled with a “K” for Kasper on the Certificate. I have also seen his first name spelled “CaspAr” on Census and other records.

Downers Grove (Illinois) Reporter newspaper 23 August 1895. Casper Schlick Obituary.

The Wheaton Illinoian newspaper on Friday, 24 August1895 reported the following information concerning Casper: “Casper Schlick, and old resident of this township, died at the home of his son in Hampshire [sic Burlington] on Monday [20 August 1895] and the remains were brought here for interment Wednesday [22 August 1895], the funeral being from the Catholic church [St Michael’s Church in Wheaton]”.

Casper Schlick spent the last eight years of his life in Burlington, Illinois Burlington Township in Kane County. Casper first spend time at the home of his daughter Maria Schneider up to a few months prior to his death. He then lived with his son Joseph Schlick and daughter in-law Mary Ann ( Nee Armbrust) Schlick in their home on Main and Water Streets in downtown Burlington Illinois in Burlington Township of Kane County. His son Joseph had owned a farm strattling the northwest corner of Burlington Township and the southwest portion of Hampshire Township. I will write more on the Schlicks of Burlington and of Winfield Township in future blog postings.

Grave of Casper Schlick. St. Michaels Cemetery Wheaton Illinois Milton Township DuPage County Illinois

One item that will need further investigation is the discrepancy of Casper’s acutal death date. Per one newspaper account it is reported as 20th of August 1895. Another account records his death as the 11th of August. An account written by a relative (Loretta Hermann the daughter of Joseph L. Schlick, Jr.) provides a date of 13 August 1895. The Kane County Death Certificate lists the date of 12 August 1895. His headstone has the date of 2 October 1895. I will have to investigate further why this may have occurred. For the current blog posting I am going by the Death Certificate date of 12 August 1895.

Casper is remembered as ” a kind noble-hearted old gentleman and was most highly respected by all who knew him” (See the Biographical Record of Kane County Illinois, 1898). I do not own any photographs of Casper Schlick.

About Schlick Daleiden Families - DuPage and Kane Counties of Illinois

Kevin Davis is a retired Public Library Director. He is a Board member of the Winfield (IL) Historical Society. Davis has over 35 years experience working in public libraries. He is deeply interested in local Chicagoland, Dupage, and Kane County History. Davis earned a BA in History and an MA in Library Science from Dominican University. He is a volunteer researcher for the St. James Farm Forest Preserve part of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County in Illinois. His work includes extensive writing and research on the McCormick family line who were former owners of St. James Farm. He is an avid family historian / genealogist and has done extensive research on the Schlicks and Daleidens of DuPage and Kane County Illinois.
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