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John Schaber

Male 1838 - 1909  (70 years)

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  • Name John Schaber 
    Gender Male 
    Born 12 July 1838  Wurttemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Cause of Death angina pectoris due to calcoreona degeneration of coronary arteries (heart failure)  [1
    Immigration 1871  New York, New York, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • this is a guess
    Occupation Framer, Molder 
    Cemetery Riverside Cemetery  [1
    Events April 1871 - arrived in the United States.

    May 24, 1873 - naturalized in at the Cuyahoga/Ohio Probate Court in Cleveland, Ohio

    Sept. 27, 1876 - granted United States citizenship 
    Death Notice Death notice, April 26, 1909, Cleveland Plain Dealer
    SCHABER, John, beloved husband of Elizabeth Schaber, at his residence, 2191 E. 71st St., Saturday, April 24. Funeral from late residence, Thursday, April 27, at 2 p.m. Friends invited. Burial private.

    The Marion Weekly Star, Marion, Ohio
    May 1, 1909, p. 1
    Death of a Man Whose Whole Life Is Tragedy
    Schaber Is Well Known in This City and Has Relatives Here--Serves Eleven Years in German Prison for Crime of Which He Is Innocent. Dies of a Broken Heart.
    Word has been received by relatives in this city announcing the death of John Schaber, which occured at his home in Cleveland Saturday. Mr. Schaber was a cousin of Mrs. John W. Thompson, of Blaine avenue and Mrs. John Meinhart, of the Boulevard. He was well known in this city where he has frequently visited. The Cleveland Leader gives the following account of his life and death:
    The tale of a man with a yellow passport, whose one object was to remove the disgrace of a criminal conviction, is laid bare in the life of John Schaber, manufacturer, who died at his home, No. 2191 east Seventy-First street, Saturday.
    Schaber was wealthy and respected. Appaently he had all that conduces to happiness. But in reality, his life was a tragedy--so much so that two years ago he attempted suicide. He failed in his effort. Physicians say his death, Saturday, was due to natural causes. Those who knew him intimately declare he died of a broken heart.
    The sorrow which continually preyed upon John Schaber dates its beginning half a century back in Germany. Schaber then a young man of twenty-two years was unjustly convicted of murder. He was condemned to death, but this sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment. And Schaber, convicted on evidence, a majority of which was later admitted to be perjured, went to prison, where he served eleven years. The he was pardoned and came to America.
    For a few years he followed his trade of cabinet making in Chicago, and then settled in Cleveland. he began manufacturing picture frames. His business increased rapidly and he amassed a fortune.
    Schaber then had the means to reopen his case and clear his name. He spent thousands of dollars flooding all of Germany with the printed history of his conviction. Public opinion was in his favor. The attorney who had s??red his conviction, risen to the high post of chief justice of the court of appeals, resigned following a bitter denunciation by the German press, and a few months later died in a madhouse. He was the one man who might have cleared Schaber’s name.
    Then came another misfortune. The factory caught fire and burned to the ground. The loss was more than $100,000. Schaber gazed at the ruins silently. Then he went home and locked himself in his room and shot himself twice. The first bullet he fired into his head. Then he fired a second shot into his breast. For weeks he hovered between life and death, but finally recovered.
    Broken in health and spirit he began to rebuild his business. For two years he labored, and then the end which he had attempted to hasten came of its own accord. 
    Residence(s) 1873: Center, on the NW corner of Merwin
    1874-5: 105 Oregon, Ohio
    1876-1878: Brooklyn village, Ohio
    1880: Pearl St, Cleveland, Ohio
    1900: 108 Lawrence Ct, Cleveland, Ohio? 
    Died 24 April 1909  Cleveland, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Buried 27 April 1909  Cleveland, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Headstones Submit Headstone Photo Submit Headstone Photo 
    Person ID I409  Lisa's Genealogy
    Last Modified 9 January 2016 

    Father Christ Schaber,   b. Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother Megia,   b. Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F5142  Family Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family/Spouse Elizabeth Heckman,   b. 31 December 1848, Hessen, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 August 1928, Cleveland Heights, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years) 
    Married 6 January 1874  Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    • need actual record
     1. Anna Schaber,   b. 1874,   d. 11 September 1896, Cleveland, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 22 years)
     2. Johnnie Schaber,   b. September 1875,   d. 13 February 1883, Cleveland, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 7 years)
     3. William C. Schaber,   b. 7 February 1878, Cleveland, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 May 1950, Medina, Medina Co., Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years)
    +4. Alma S. Schaber,   b. 24 January 1884, Brooklyn Village, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 May 1974, Shaker Heights, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 90 years)
    Family ID F181  Family Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsDied - 24 April 1909 - Cleveland, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 27 April 1909 - Cleveland, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend Address Cemetery Farm Town Parish City County/Shire State/Province Country Region Not Set

  • Notes 
    • Had a brother who had a son named Charles. Charles Schaber lived in Bucyrus, Ohio in 1913.

      His cousin was Mary A. Schaber (b. 1863-10May-1922, Meigs Co. Ohio) who married John Minehart (b. 1864) in 6 Aug 1885, New Bloomington, Ohio. Moved to Michigan after the wedding.

      Co-owner of Schaber, Reinthal & Co. The company was owned by John Scahber, Solomon Reinthal, Isaac Reinthal and Manuel Halle. They manufactured Molding and picture frames. Located at 265 to 305 Spring, Cleveland, Ohio

      Co-owner of Schaber & Trapp, manufacturers of gilt and walnut mouldings. The company was located on 19 & 21 Columbus (1873), 47 Union (1874-5), 33 Union (1876), and 33 & 35 Spring (1878). Owned with Frederick Jacob Trapp.

      The Washington Post
      March 1, 1907, p. 9
      Owner of Burned Factory Said He Was Too Old to Begin Anew
      Cleveland, Ohio, Feb. 28--Five working men in the top story of the John Schaber Picture Molding factory narrowly escaped death by suffocation to-night when the building was partly destroyed by fire. The damage amounted to $60,000.
      Schaber, owner of the factory, collapsed at the fire, and after he had been taken home, shot himself with a revolver beneath his heart and in his head. While conscious momentarily he said he was too old to begin anew. He will probably die.

      Fort Wayne News
      March 1, 1907, p. 1
      CLEVELAND, March 1--Utter discouragement at the persistence of the ill-fortune which has marked his career is the explanation given by John Schaber for his attempt last night to kill himself, following the burning of his picture molding factory here, with $125,000 loss and but a fraction of that sum insurnace.
      For forty years Schaber has been trying to clear his name of a murder charge on which he was convicted in his native town in Germany. Attacked on a lonely road near his home, Schaber had a desparate fight one night with five unknown assailants, and a few hours later one of the quintet was found dead. His four companions accused Schaber, who was convicted and sentenced to the guillotine. On the day set for his execution his sentence was commuted by the kaiser to life imprisonment, and eleven years later he was released on condition that he leave Germany forever.
      Coming to Cleveland penniless, he built up a fortune of $500,000. During his whole business life he has been spending large sums in the effort to prove himself innocent of murder and to gain permission to return home. he accuses a man said to be now in Urbana of committing the crime of which he was convicted and is said to have offered to pay royally for a confession.
      He regarded the fire as a climax to his troubles and, determining to die, fired one bullet through his head and one into his chest. His condition is critical.

      Plain Dealer, April 28, 1909
      Second Generation of John Schaber, Murder Stained at His Decease, Will Bring New Legal Question to German Courts.
      Can a dead man, who in his lifetime was convicted of murder, be legally exonerated of guild? Can his innocence be legally established?
      This is the question which William C. Schaber, son of John Schaber, will test in the courts of Germany.
      The elder Schaber was buried yesterday afternoon, his life’s book closed, yet written therin, unjustly to the last he declared a conviction of murder.
      “It is odd,” said a friend of the family yesterday, “how the circumstances of a day, quite accidental in their character and beyond control, will bind and hold fast the thought of a lifetime.
      “John Schaber one evening, fifty years ago, stops to rest at an inn in Germany. It is dark when he leaves. Continuing his walk home throuh the Wuertemberg forest, suddenly he is set upon by five men. He defends himself, and the next morning is found, wounded and bleeding, by the roadside.
      “A few days later one of the assailants also is discovered lying the forest--but he is dead.
      “Schaber is arrested, convicted of murder, serves eleven years in a Stuttgart prison, is pardoned and then comes to America.
      “Suppose John Schaber, not stopping at the inn that evening fifty years ago, had reached home before nightfall. The entire course of his life would have been changed. Death would have found him at last, even as it did in America, but in Wuertemberg, an even, stolid German.
      “But in the United States John Schaber caught the spirit of the American grit which brings success. His days were large in affairs. Prosperity gave him a thousand things to think of, a thousands things to do.
      “Surely the man would have ordinarily buried the remembrance of a bitter past in the success of a happy present. But, no, one thought above all others was uppermost in Schaber’s mind, the recollection of that night in the forest of Wuertember, his conviction of the murder of Friedrich Foell, the years spent in the Stuttgart prision--and his innocence.
      “John Schaber is dead now. He spent a fortune to vindicate his name, yet today he lies dead--unvindicated. Proof of his innocence must now be made by his son. It is the heritage of a father to his child.”
      William S. Schaber, the son, told friends yesterday that he would do his best to clear his father’s name.

      Plain Dealer, April 20, 1913, p. 1A
      Real Slayer, Mysterios Letter Says, Admits Crime Fastened on Another.
      Rich Clevelander’s Labor of Lifetime Rewarded After Death.
      Family of John Schaber Takes Up His Work for Vindication After He Had Served Eleven Bitter Years and Devoted Life After Pardon to Clearing His Name--Prosecutor Becomes Chief Justice and Uses Power to Prevent Vindication.
      If information received here by Mrs. Elizabeth and William Schaber, widow and son, and Mrs. Albert Mayer, daughter of John Schaber, late picture frame and molding manufacturer, who died four years ago this month, proves authentic, there has been established the innocdence of Schaber of a crime for which he served eleven years in a German prison.
      The family is making every effort to verify the information that has come from the old country. Letters which have just reached the Schabers tell of a confession made by the real murderer on his deathbed.
      The tale of John Schaber’s sufferings; of his long and desparate efforts to clear his name of the stigma placed upon it by a German court, reads much like fiction.
      Its denouement differs from the stage tragedy or the one told in novels in that the principal character is in his grave, his life’s greatest ambition unsatisfied, never to know of the news for which he longed and waited through all the troubled years.
      John Schaber’s fight to establish his innocence of the charge of murder is known internationally. The fight was one lasting nearly a half century. Schaber died a natural death, but his failure to obtain vindication years ago had such an effect on him that he attempted to end his life.
      Jurist Dies Insane.
      The jurist who convicted him of murder and prevented vindication of his name died in an insane asylum as the result of tremendous sentiment that once was worked up in Germany over the case.
      Schaber’s family and friend always have believed in his innocence, but never could completely establish it.
      If he had been proved guilty, instead of being convicted solely on circumstantial evidence, they would have believed that in that midnight affair fifty years ago Schaber, in fighting himself free from an attacking party, must have unwittingly inflicted fatal injuries upon Friedrich Foell, whose dead body was found the next day.
      But now comes the news which seems to set at rest any doubt. The aged widow and loving daughter out at their home, 2176 E. 83d-st, believe it is true.
      From Heilbronn comes information that April 8 a carpenter named Weber on his deathbed and unable to carry with him the double burden of guilt, confessed that he had committed the crime for which John Schaber spent years of his young manhood in prison.
      The confession was made to the minister of the church to which Weber belonged, and whom the dying man summoned when his end drew near. The confession accomplished that for which an innocent man fought so long and so tirelessly--it cleared John Schaber’s name, but it came four years too late.
      May Appeal to Bryan.
      Relatives plan to appeal to William J. Bryan, secretary of state, or to the American minister at Berlin, for aid in having the information verified. The son, living on R. F. D. No. 6, Medina, O., may even go to Germany to aid in substantiating the story.
      The relatives want the facts fully proved, in order that, armed with truth beyond dispute, they may take up the work which their father laid down only at his death, and publish broadcast the fact of his innocnece and his unjust sufferings.
      News of the confession of Weber came from Heilbronn in a private letter addressed to “Mr. Schaber, Cleveland, O.,” and obviously intended for William Schaber, the son. It came from a source which leads the relatives to have absolute confidence in the information given. It remains now but to secure an official vindication.
      Schaber lived in Unterheinriet, Wuertemburg, Germany. While returning from an excursion to Helbronn he stoppe at Hoppenbach and at an inn there happened upon a party of six young men. Three of them were acquainted with Schaber and bore him ill will. The three others were strangers to him.
      The story of how Schaber left the inn alone; how, in the darkness he was followed and set upon by five of the party of six; how he fought his way free from them and continued on his way, has been told.
      The next day Friedrich Foell, one of the party, was found dead in the vicinity of the scene of the night attack. Schaber was convicted of murder. A death sentence was commuted to life improsonment and eleven years after he entered prison Schaber was pardoned.
      Those events happend in 1859. Schaber then was but a young man, early in his twenties. He was past 30 when he was released. All along he had protested innocence, even after a cruel inquistion on the part of the proseutor resulted in his being forced to say things which were twisted into a reported confession. He left his native land, fled from the torments to which he had been subjected and came to America.
      A grim determination to be in a position to stike back at his prosecutors, added to natural ambition and capacity, helped him in his resolve to become rich. He located first in Chicago but later came here and made a fortune in the manufacturing business.
      Never forsaking his eary intentions, when he had become a wealthy man, Schaber started a campaign to prove to the world his innocence. All efforts to induce the tribunal which sentenced him to give him an official vindication failed.
      Prosecutor Bucher, who conducted the case against him, then raised to the office of chief justice, resisted his every effort and sought to prevent any recognition of his claims.
      Schaber spent many thousands of dollars in publishing his claims of innocence and in spreading the truth about the quarrel near Hoppenbach. A fortune was spent in printing and circulating pamphlets and even small bound volumes ot this end, but although it turned public sentiment in his favor, he never received the desired official vindication. Both in America, where his story was known, and in Germany his pamphlets werer distributed far and wide.
      Schaber ruturned from a trip to Germany, almost heartbroken at the futility of his efforts. He never really ceaqsed trying to clear his name, buth kept up the fight to the day of his death, which occurred April 26, 1909.
      Mrs. Mayer, the daughter, last week was granted a divorce from Albert L. Mayer. She was given custody of their daughter, Elizabeth Dorothy Schaber, 3, who under the terms of John Schaber’s will, si to be the beneficiary of his $400,000estate if no other grandchildren are born.

  • Sources 
    1. [S1633] .

    2. [S106] .

    3. [S366] Family

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