Told by Irvin Schoen
My grandfather, John Schoen and his wife, as well as my mother's parents, John and Katherine Ernst, were all born in Germany and later moved to Pittsford. The Schoen's lived on Mendon Center Road next to Irv Hopkins and the Ernst's moved to Mendon Center Road in what is now Norm Schutt's home – the last house before the Thruway. All of my grandparents were farmers in general farms with a few cows, potatoes, corn and other vegetables. They were also Lutherans. I was however too young to ever know any of my grandparents.
My father, John Schoen, married Lena Ernst and both of them were born in their parents' homes on Mendon Center Road. Once they were married they lived on Mendon Center Road in a home beyond the Ernsts. My father started out as a general farmer with potatoes, corn and other vegetables, but later had a coal business on Schoen Place. Here he sold cabbage, potatoes, farm machinery, and coal from Pennsylvania. Schoen Place, earlier known as Schoen's Alley, is named after my family.
My parents belonged to the Lutheran church where my mother belonged to various organizations. My father was a Mason and one of the original firemen in Pittsford. I remember him going to the Burtsel Hotel fire and the Pittsford School house fire in 1916.
I was born on Mendon Center Road. We moved to the village in 1895 into a house on North Main Street between the canal and the railroad track. This was for the convenience of my father's business.
I went to Pittsford High School and had fourteen in my class of 1909. My classmates included Lowell Palmer, Edith Geare, Florence Taylor, Laura Battams and Carrie Stebbins. We had a lot of girls in the school and they were smart; but the boys were dumb! The principal was Theodore Zornow and he taught Math; which was my favorite subject.
John and Jacob Schoen were from the town of Onolscheim in the German state of Wurttemberg. This is in the southwestern part of Germany not far from France and Switzerland. John (the ancestor of the Mendon Center Road Schoens) was born in 1823, and while in Germany married Catherine Herrman, born in 1834. It appears that the first two of their eleven children were born in Germany.
In 1858, John with his wife and two children, his brother Jacob and sister Catherine with her husband, Michael Cramer, all came to the US apparently leaving through the port of Hamburg. Jacob (the ancestor of the Mile Square Road Schoens) was born in 1830. Catherine Schoen was born in 1833. They all settled in Henrietta.
In 1863, John bought the 80 acre farm at 355 Mendon Center Road in Pittsford. This became known in Pittsford as the "Schoen Homestead." Later, John bought the adjoining farm at 417 Mendon Center Road presently occupied by Ken and Douglas Schoen. John died in 1894 and his wife in 1915. At that time, the home farm came into the ownership of William Miller who had married one of John's daughters. John's son, George came into possession of the adjoining farm where the Schoens' live today.
Jacob stayed in Henrietta and married Anna Barbara Gucker who had been born in Pittsford in 1840. They had five children: Rose (1863-1888) Frederick (1865-1935), George (1871-1948), Bertha (1874-1914) and Earl (1884-1885).
By 1870, Jacob had acquired a 50 acre farm at what is now 4572 East Henrietta Road, about ½ mile south of Erie Station Road (east side of road). He later bought 29½ acres a short distance to the west (but not connected to his farm). The old house and barn are still standing though surrounded by new houses.
Jacob Schoen died in 1902 and was buried in the Pine Hill Cemetery in Rush. His youngest child, Earl, had been buried there in 1885 and his wife, Anna, was buried there in 1889. All of Jacob's children except George M. Schoen (see below) are buried in Pine Hill. Also buried here are Jacob's sister, Catherine (1833-1911), her husband, Michael Cramer (1833-1920), and six of their children who are: Rose (1859-1892), Margaret (1860-19--), Elizabeth (1865-19-- widow of Nelson Ives), Julia (no dates widow of ____Nonengard), Emma (1873-1892), and William (1875-1933).
George Martin Schoen married Louise Hinderland also of Henrietta. She lived on a farm about a mile south of the Jacob Schoen farm. She was born in 1877. It seems likely that both their children, Ivan Arlo and Everett N. were born in Henrietta (1900 & 1907).
Around 1908, George W. bought the main part of the Harrison Olney farm on Mile Square Road. His brother, Frederick probably stayed on the Henrietta farm. The Olney Farm lay part in Pittsford and part in Mendon and was about 90 acres. This farm had been established by Joseph Olney in 1823 and was a real showplace in the late 1800s. Two drawings of the buildings appear in the Monroe Co. History of 1877. George and his sons carried on a general farming and dairy operation there.