Hannah (Pierce) Schoonmaker

Hannah Burgess (Pierce) Schoonmaker

Hannah Burgess Pierce was born on 23 Feb 1834 in Athens, Greene, New York. Hannah, the second youngest child of Dr. Eli and Sarah (Burgess) Pierce, was educated by private tutor in the Hazelcot Mansion, Whitley County, Indiana.

On 26 October 1860 Hannah married John N. Schoonmaker in Hazel Cot, Whitley County, Indiana. The Rev. Stephen H. Battin performed the ceremony. Rev. Battin was rector of Trinity Protestant Episcopal Church on the south-east corner Berry and Harrison, Fort Wayne, Indiana. John, the son of Henry Schoonmaker and Charity Von Hosen, was born in 1824 in Coxsackie, Greene, New York, but was raised in the Town of Athens. John Schoonmaker’s paternal ancestors were from Holland, and settled in New York in 1640. His maternal Von Hosen ancestors were also from Holland and emigrated to the State of New York in 1620, in Columbia County, on the Hudson, and bought a tract of land two square miles, the patent of which was issued by Queen Anne. The old City of Hudson now stands about in the center of the same land.

John spent five years of his early life firefighting on the Hudson between Hudson and New York. He learned the mason trade with his father, and followed the business until coming to Milwaukee in 1857, and purchasing the property where he now lives. From 1857-1897 John carried on a stone quarry and lime kiln business with his Isaac Van Schaik under the firm name Van Schaick & Co. Later Isaac sold out and Nicolas, John’s brother joined the firm and was known as Schoonmaker’s quarry. See more about the Schoonmaker Quarry.

John was also an extensive gardener. He built a large lake on the quarry property which he used to irrigate his garden. Mr. Schoonmaker was Chariman of the Board in 1870, and one of the building committee when the Milwaukee courthouse was built. [1]

Hannah and John had six children. Two died young. Their only surviving son assisted with the quarry business for a while but when his father died he moved took up the street car business (see below).

The children of Hannah and John are:

  • Sarah Schoonmaker, we presume was named after her grandmother, was born in 1861 in Wauwatosa. She died in 1862 at the age of 1
  • Harry Ogden Grant Schoonmaker was born 4 July 1863. (see below)
  • Sarah Maude “Kit” Schoonmaker was born on 13 September 1865. She died on 1 May 1941 at the age of 75 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was buried at the Wauwatosa Cemetery.
  • Mary Elizabeth “Lil” Schoonmaker was born on 2 May 1868 in Wauwatosa. She was a nurse. She died on 3 Mar 1944 at the age of 75. She also was buried at the Wauwatosa Cemetery
  • Eli Schoonmaker was born on 2 May 1868 in Wauwatosa. He died in Dec 1868
  • Charlotte Rowe “Tot” Schoonmaker was born on 18 Aug 1872 in Wauwatosa. She was a secretary for a prominent Milwaukee lawyer. She died on 18 Dec 1949 at the age of 77. She was buried at the Wauwatosa Cemetery.

John N. Schoonmaker died at his home on 12 Jan 1897 at the age of 73. Hannah died on 13 Feb 1908 at the age of 73. Tombstone photos can be seen in the gallery section of the site.

[1] History of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, The Western Historical Company, Chicago; A.T. Andreas Proprietor, 1881, pg. 1641

[2]Milwaukee Sentinel, (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), 30 August 1892, col G.

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