Submitted by Virginia Simms Toney
This article describes the 50th Anniversary celebration of Fred and Elisabeth (Reuter/Riter) Schunhoff. They were German immigrants who were married in Wheeling in 1856 and moved to Illinois in 1861.
Elizabeth was the daughter of Johannes Reuter and Maria Catharina Geisler. Johannes was born abt 1807 in Staufenberg, Germany and died Aug 16, 1881 in Wheeling, Ohio Co., West Virginia. He married Maria on May 5, 1833 in Kerchberg, Staufenberg, Germany. Maria, born July 2, 1809, was the daughter of Johanne Geisler and Anna Hemertin. Maria (Mary) died Feb 28, 1886 in Silver Hill, Wetzel Co., West Virginia and is buried there in Riter Cemetery.
The pleasant country home of Mr. & Mrs. Fred Schunhoff in Sternberg Settlement was the scene of a happy festal gathering on Thursday afternoon, July 5th that being the 50th or golden anniversary of the marriage of Mr. & Mrs. Schunhoff and also the 74th anniversary of his birthday. The sons and daughters of Mr. & Mrs. Schunhoff were not willing that an event so auspicious in the lives of their aged parents as the golden anniversary of their wedding should pass without proper observance and they went quietly to work to prepare a surprise for them by arranging to have the children, grand-children and other relatives and neighboring families gather together on the anniversary day and do honor to the venerable couple, who have gone along life's pathway together for the long period of fifty years.
Two o'clock Thursday afternoon was the hour set for the guests to come together and that hour found a goodly company assembled at the Schunhoff home. They were Rev C. J. Spreckelmeyer, G. H. Meyer, August Misselhorn, Aug. Dauer, Henry Breithaupt, Frank Schunhoff, F. J. Schunhoff, Philip Eggemeyer, Fred Busse, C. D. Wittenborn, David Sternberg, Barney Hapke, Diedrick Krumwiede, Chas. Breithaupt, Rob. Sternberg, Mrs. Frank Landman, Mrs. Amos Hapke, and Mrs. Henry Klingman, all accompanied by the members of their famileis. It was a large company but it was a jolly and good natured crowd, each one happy in the thought that they had given the "old Folks" a most delightful surprise which had made them happy. They were very pleased with this evidence of the love and esteem of their descendants and friends and none assembled there that day were more genuinely happy than were the aged couple in whose honor the company had come together.
The hours of the afternoon were spent in a most pleasant way. Rev. C. J. Spreckelmyer read the 23rd Psalm and also delivered a short and very appropriate address. One of the interesting features of the afternoon was the christening of four grand-children of Mr. and Mrs. Schunhoff. They were Frederick Edison, born Feb. 14th 1900, August Roscoe, born Jan. 12, 1902 and William Franklin born Feb. 29, 1904, all sons of Mr. & Mrs. Aug. Misselhorn of Sparta, and Gladys, born Jan. 4, 1906, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Dauer, of Baldwin. The Baptismal ceremony was performed by Rev. Spreckelmyer. Thus was this happy occasion an unusual one in that it commemorated the 74th birthday birthday of Mr. Schunhoff the 50th anniversary of the marriage of himself and wife, and the Christening of four of their descendants, and there is no doubt that when the youngest of the family become old they will often refer back with commendable pleasure to this happy day. In the closing hours of the afternoon a splendid and bountiful supper was served, supplemental with ice cream and other refreshments.
Mr. Schunhoff was born in Hanover, Germany, July 5th 1832 and he came to this country in 1852. Mrs. Shunhoff was born in Hesse, Darmstadt, Germany, Feb. 28th 1833 and came to this country in 1851. They were married in Wheeling, W.Va. July 5th, 1856. They came to Ill. in 1861 and for many years they resided in Sternberg Settlement, where they are in every way worthy of the high esteem in which they are held. By industry and frugality in his early years, and by good management and good judgment in his farming operations, Mr. Schunhoff accumulated a competence which enables him to live in ease and comfort in these later years of his life. And all along he has had the assistance of his good and faithful wife, and together now they are enjoying the winter of life in happy contentment. Their surviving children are Mrs. Aug. Misselhorn of Sparta; Mrs. Aug. Dauer of Baldwin; Mrs. Henry Breithaupt, Frank Schunhoff, and Fred J. Schunhoff who live in the vicinity of the home place.
Mr. & Mrs. Schunhoff indeed have been spared to attain the ripe old age, that it has been given to them to enjoy 50 years of happy married life, and that their children have grown to be useful men and women, respected by all in the communities in which they live.