M. Theresa Schulte


MISS M. THERESA SCHULTE is one of the most accomplished teachers of Kittanning, where her rare mental gifts and attainments, and thorough intellectual training, are highly appreciated.

Miss Schulte is of distinguished German ancestry. Henry Schulte, great-great-grandfather, owned eight hundred acres of land in Blesnohl, on the river Wenne, three miles from Kreis (township)Meschede, Regierungsbezirk (county seat) Arnsberg, Prussia. This estate was left to his eldest son, Michael, her great-grandfather, as was the law and custom of the land; his several other sons and daughters having become Benedictine monks and nuns, and being appointed superiors and superioresses in their various cloisters.

Michael Schulte married a Miss Kersting, and seven children were the issue of the union, of whom only three survived, Miss Schulte's grandfather, John Everhardt, being the youngest child of the family; his two sisters had also entered the Benedictine Convent with their aunts. Upon Napoleon's invasion of Germany these monks and nuns were obliged to leave their cloisters, and they took with them such articles of devotion, etc., as would be necessary to them in their life in the world. Among these was an iron used in the making of the altar bread. This same is now in the possession of Mr. Schulte's sister (an aunt of Miss Schulte), Mrs. Josephine Stratman, of Detroit, Mich. It bears the inscription I.H.S. and the date 1730 on the one side, and the Roman characters MDCCXXX on the opposite side. Mrs. Stratmann also has a crucifix which evidently came from one of these monasteries or convents, for it has been in the Schulte family for generations, and was the property of the daughter of each succeeding generation until it was presented to John Everhardt Schulte by his mother (his sisters, as said before, having entered the convent). He, in turn, presented it to his daughter Josephine, on the eve of her departure for this country.

John Everhardt Schulte was a boniteur for the German government, which position he held up to the time of his death. He received his early education from his mother's brother, as did also the other children of the family, for owing to the state of affairs resultant to Napoleon's invasion of Germany, school and similar institutions were closed and the children at that time were dependent for their education upon their parents and the priests, who, having no home, wandered from place to place. Notwithstanding all the disadvantages with which he had to contend---for he was only twelve years old at the time of the invasion, he became conversant with all the topics of the day, was a ready writer and a fluent talker. He is described as being a man of calm and rather reserved manner. He married Florentina Vornweg, of Calle, a member of a fine old German Catholic family, the several members of which were highly esteemed for their learning, etc., and much revered for their true Christian character. Her mother belonged to the good old family Stuernberg. There were eight children born to John Everhardt and Florentina (Vornweg) Schulte, four daughters and four sons, the second youngest of whom, Charles, is the father of M. Theresa Schulte. As John Everhardt died intestate his estate was sold, and a village with its manufacturing and mining interests now occupies the site of the old homestead with its adjoining lands.

Charles Schulte came to this country in 1857, when a youth of seventeen years, with his sister, previously mentioned, and her husband and a cousin, Miss Amanda Molitor. The latter became a Sister of Charity of Mother Seton's order, and has been a member of that religious community for the last fifty-five years. She is known in religion as Sr. M. Francis and is now enjoying a well deserved rest at St. Vincent's Hospital, West Brighton, Staten Island, N.Y. She rendered valuable aid at the time of the smallpox epidemic in New York City, when she received honorable mention therefor.

Charles Schulte attended a select school in Detroit, where he gave special attention to the study of English, French and Latin, until he entered the dry goods business there, living in Detroit ten years. He married Miss Theresa Wenks (Wiengs), of Oberberg, on the river Ruhr, in Prussia, who had also come to this country with her parents when a child of but twelve years, and was then living near Saginaw. After their marriage they remained about two years in Detroit, moving in 1867 to East Saginaw, where the family has since resided and is well known and highly respected. Mrs. Schulte's parents were both orphans of prominent and wealthy family. Her father, Anthony Wenks (Wiengs), was born in Wallen. His mother died when he was but an infant and left him to the care of a brother by marriage, who took possession of the home. His mother having been an only child, the estate was rightfully hers and should in turn have fallen to her son. The old Hof is still standing and bears the family name. Anthony Wenks had been married twice. His son, Charles, Mrs. Schulte's half-brother was treasurer of the city of Saginaw about thirty-five years ago. The second wife of Anthony Wenks, Josephine Gierse (grandmother of Miss M. Theresa Schulte), was also an orphan, her mother having died when she and her brother Albert were ten and twelve years old, respectively. Their mother was of noble birth and an only daughter, and the children were left in the care of her brother, with whom they made their home and who took possession of her share of the estate. Albert Gierse never married.

M. Theresa Schulte was born in Saginaw, Mich. She attended St. Mary's Academy at that place, which was at that time conducted by the Sisters of Province of St. Mary of the Woods, in Vigo county, Ind., and later entered the East Saginaw High School, from which institution she graduated with honors. Miss Schulte has specialized in German and English later studying French and continuing work in music. She also attended the East Saginaw training school for teachers, and after spending the required time in that institution received an appointment as teacher of German and English in the primary and grammar grades of the East Saginaw Public Schools. This position she held until failing health compelled her to seek a change of scene and climate, which she found among the hills of Pennsylvania, in Kittanning. There, she is now continuing her professional duties in the home of Dr. C.J. Jessop, where she has been tutoring his daughter for the past eleven years. Miss Schulte has had exceptional educational opportunities, of which she has taken full advantage. Her gift for languages-she has studied four-she undoubtedly inherited from her father.

Source: pages 654-656, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed September 1998 by P. Godesky for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

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