Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Jacob E Schwerin--What Else is Known?

Earlier, I posted about my sister-in-law's third great grandfather, Jacob Schwerin, who seems to have magically appeared as an adult.  So what else do we know about Jacob?

Looking for Jacob Schwerins in South Carolina, I found reference to a Jacob E Schwerin who suddenly appears beginning in the late 1870s in Wedgefield, a village in Sumter County just west of Sumter proper.
Appointments of U. S. Postmasters; Sumter County, SC; Jacob Schwerin

A Jacob E Schwerin was appointed to be a U.S. Postmaster for Wedgefield on August 6, 1878; in 1879, J.E. Schwerin, a Wedgefield storekeeper, had that store burned down.

Anderson Intelligencer, January 23, 1879
There was also a J.E. Schwerin in Sumter who in 1878 was involved actions that led to his "political arrests."  There was mention of his arrest in several newspapers across the country, but there never seemed to be any follow-up or resolution mentioned in newspapers at the time.

In 1880, J.E. Schwerin was listed as being in general merchandise in Wedgefield.
Charleston, South Carolina, City Directory, 1880
I have no proof that the Jacob E Schwerin who was living in Wedgefield was connected in any way to the Jacob I'm trying to trace--and I also have no proof about who the Wedgefield Jacob's parents were.

In the 1880 census, there is a Jacob E Schwerin in South Carolina--although I'm also not confident that this is either the Jacob I'm looking for or the Jacob who had been living in Wedgefield.  However, there is no mention of anyone with a name resembling Jacob Schwerin in Sumter County (or Wedgefield in particular) in the 1880 census.
1880 United States Census; Greenville, SC; Jacob Schwerin (line 44)
The 1880 census had Jacob E. Schwerin boarding in Greenville, South Carolina (about 150 miles from Sumter), where he is a machine agent.  While this may be the same Jacob as had lived in Wedgefield, there is no solid proof.

By 1900, Jacob was living in Baltimore with his wife and two children:
1900 United States Census; Baltimore, MD; Schwerin Family (lines 83-86)
J.E. "Shwerin" was a traveling salesman, while his wife Amelia and daughter Nellie were salesladies at a dry goods store.  Monie was still "at school."

Five years later Nettie had married Joseph Goldstein (my sister-in-law's future 2nd great grandparents).  When Jacob, Amelia, Nettie and Joseph were walking in downtown Baltimore, Jacob was involved in a hit-and-run with a horse and buggy; Joseph ran after the horse's rider and caught him. 
Baltimore Sun, July 31 1905
But Jacob never emotionally recovered from the accident.
Baltimore Sun, October 1905
Less than 3 months later, Jacob (here erroneously recorded as "J C Schwerin") killed himself with a gas jet in a Baltimore hotel.  (Side note:  I pass by Howard & Franklin Streets in Baltimore several times a week.)

A Charlotte newspaper reveals more of what plagued Jacob during those three months and what drove him to commit suicide--"fear of being run down on the street by a phanton (sic) carriage."
Charlotte (NC) News; November 9, 1905
But none of these documents, while interesting, have any reference to Jacob's parents.  I'm waiting for a document to come in the mail which I hope will solve this mystery.  And I have other documents that do point to Julius and Caroline being Jacob's parents.  I'll post those as soon as the document (Julius' will) arrives in the mail.  Continued here.

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