Martin Schlick Visits the West in 1910?

[Note: This post was updated on 17 February 2023] One of my distant relatives Robert “Bob” Schlick relayed a story to me regarding his Grandfather Martin Schlick. Bob heard that Martin Schlick moved “out west” during his lifetime. Perhaps to purchase farmland.

Martin Schlick was Casper Schlick’s brother. Casper and Martin Schlick’s father was Joseph Schlick of Burlington Illinois.

Martin Schlick. This is a close up photo taken from a Photo of the children of Joseph Schlick of Burlington, Illinois. Circa early 1900s.

Martin Schlick was born on 16 January 1883. He was perhaps the most influential person in the life of my Great Grandfather Casper Schlick. They were, what I would call, “farming buddies” as they both worked together for some time on two farmsteads. First in Burlington and then on Mack Road in Winfield Township DuPage County. Martin will have a separate post on this blog in the near future.

I began to research and dig into Bob Schlick’s story, relayed to him by his family. I looked through the material I have on hand. One item providing clues to this story was a newspaper item in the “Burlington News” section of the Hampshire (Illinois) Register newspaper. I have been transcribing any Schneider or Schlick family news from this newspaper. Here is an item from the Register:

***** 15 October 1909. The Schlick brothers, who have been carrying on their father’s farm, will quit farming and have an auction sale next Tuesday. Casper will move to the farm which he purchased in Wheaton [Mack Road Farm in Winfield Township]. While Martin expects to go west in the spring. Louis Sester will move to the Schlick farm in the spring [1910].

Bob Schlick also informed me that the location Martin moved to was “Billings Montana”. Now that I had the name of at a city and state I thought why not search the 1910 U.S. Census for Billings Montana to see if a Martin Schlick was listed.

I pulled up and searched FamilySearch online. I entered Martin Schlick and the city of Billings Montana into the search boxes. At the top of the results for this search was a listing for a “Martin Schlick” in the 1910 U.S. Census for the City of Billings Montana. Martin’s age listed on the Census is “27“. This age matches his year for his date of birth year listed in his “Find a Grave” entry (June 16, 1883). He is “single“. He lists his occupation as “farmer“. He is listed as being born in “Illinois“. Both of his parents were born in “Illinois“. Martin is renting a room at a rooming house on Minnesota Ave in downtown Billings Montana.

Billings Montana Circa 1900s. The downtown area is seen from the bell tower of the old Yellowstone County Courthouse, looking southwest. To the right in the background is what was then the “new” YMCA building. (Source:

The 1910 Census lists other people living in the home where Martin is renting a room: A.V. Blaksley a 46 year old divorced male listed as the “head” of the household. A.V. is living with his two sons (Paul Blaksley, a 27 year old widower married for two years; Boyd Blaksley age 17, and Mary Blaksley A.V.’s 21 year old single daughter). Another boarder (“roomer”) living in the same household is a 27 year old man named Anthony McMullen. Anthony was born in Minnesota and the son of Irish immigrants.

1910 U.S. Census for Billings Montana. Martin Schlick is shown as a “roomer” living on Minnesota Ave in Billings. He is a single 27 year old young man.

After checking the Billings Montana Census report, I double checked the U.S. Census for Burlington Burlington Township in Kane County Illinois. To my surprise Martin is also listed on the U.S. Census on April 30, 1910 for Burlington.

I do not know if Martin knew any of the people with whom he was living with while in Billings. I also do not know how long he stayed. It is unknown why he left his family in Burlington, Illinois. Perhaps he was seeking a new life and looking to purchase some farmland? Perhaps it was for a year or two? So many unanswered questions in this inquiry. The 1910 Census for Billings Montana was taken by the Census Enumerator on the 3rd of May 1910.

I had never encountered an individual or relative mentioned on two Censuses in the same Census year. Perhaps his mother or father mentioned that Martin was living with them at their Main and Water Street home? Perhaps Martin was there living in Burlington with his parents on the April 30 1910 date? Then, he left for Billings Montana? Who knows at this point in time what had happened.

[*= Following was added to this blog on 17 February 2023] To see if any land was purchased by a Martin Schlick I had a member of the Yellowstone Genealogy Forum & Billings Public Library check the Yellowstone County land transactions grantee indexes for Martin Schlick for the years 1907 thru 1928. They emailed me back with the reply “Sorry to say I found nothing” in terms of a Martin Schlick purchasing property in the Yellowstone County Billings Montana area. The staff member also checked the State of Montana Records for homestead land filings and this search also found no Martin Schlick applying to purchase land in Montana.

Martin would eventually marry Margaret Weberpal in 1912. The marrage date is just two years after 1910.

A wedding photo of Martin and Margaret (Weberpal) Schlick. They lived and worked on the Schlick farm northwest of Burlington. It was here that their twins Lucy and Lucille were born in 1914. They later moved to a farm on the east side of Mack Road east of Winfield Road. They farmed at this location for several years then purchased a farm in West Chicago Winfield Township Dupage County Illinois. Their West Chicago property was on Geneva Road (Washington Street) near what eventually became the General Mills Plant. The plant would be shuttered in 2015.

Martin’s obituary provides further details about his life. The obituary (below in italics) was published in the West Chicago (Illinois) Press 27 July 1967 :

Martin Schlick Died July 19 [sic] at Age 84

Martin Schlick, 84, of W. Washington street, died July 18 [sic] at Delnor hospital. Funeral Mass was said at 10 a.m. Friday, July 21, at St. Mary’s church. Interment was in Calvary cemetery.

Norris & Son [132 Fremont St. West Chicago, Illinois],handled arrangements.

Mr. Schlick is survived by seven children: Mrs. Lucille Scholes, Miss Lucy Schlick, and Harold, Clarence, and Ralph Schlick, all of West Chicago; Mrs. Bernice Joerg of Geneva, Mrs. Florence Kindy of Battle Creek, Mich., a brother Casper Schlick of West Chicago, and two sisters, Mrs. Emma Umlenstock [sic, Umbdenstock] of Sycamore and Mrs. Rose Weberpal of Hampshire, Ill., 19 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Mr. Schlick was born in Burlington, Illinois, June [sic] 16, 1883, and had been a resident of West Chicago for 50 years.

The Schlick Family of West Chicago, Illinois is shown on the 1950 U.S. Census.

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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