Hamilton County Pinoeers - the Schneiders

Sunday, October 21, 2007 - by John Wilson

Frederick Phillip Schneider was among the many European immigrants who made their way to Market Street in Chattanooga during the 1850s. The Schneiders were downtown merchants for several decades, and Fred Schneider was a well-known newspaper reporter for over half a century.

Frederick Schneider was born at Rheinbischofsheim in Baden, Germany, on Nov. 2, 1823. His father, Friedrich Schneider, was born in 1791 and lived until 1864. He married Anna Maria Hogel in 1817. His grandparents were Johann Friedrich and Maria Salomena Weik Schneider, and his great-grandparents were Hans Daniel and Maria Barbara Klein Schneider. The great-great-grandparents were Hans Jakob and Catharine Schneider. Hans Jakob Schneider lived from 1667 to 1747. All of these families lived at Rheinbischofsheim. Hans Daniel Schneider and Johann Friedrich Schneider were weavers, while Friedrich Johann Schneider was a joiner cabinetmaker.

Frederick Schneider married Maria Hockenettle, who was from France and was born about 1827. Frederick Schneider made his way to New Orleans in 1848 and on to Chattanooga in 1851. An expert cabinetmaker, he also was a photographer. His gallery was over the Patten and Payne book store.

The Schneiders lived on the side of Cameron Hill on Early Street at the corner of West Ninth. They lived next to the Samuel Geismars, and Mrs. Geismar was also from Baden.

When Frederick Schneider died of heart trouble in March 1900, the funeral was at the home of his daughter, Mary Noll, at 322 E. 8th Street. He was described as “an old and respected citizen.” He was “a cabinetmaker by trade, but for a number of years has not done anything.”

The Schneider children were Mary, Frederick Charles, Amelia, Louis C. and Walter W. Amelia married Augustus J. Nolty in 1880, and they moved to Memphis. Walter moved to South Bend, Ind.

In 1873, Mary married Adam Noll, who built the three-story brick Noll Building at 707 Market St. He was originally from Hesse, Germany. When there was a rampaging fire in downtown Chatanooga on Nov. 10, 1871, the sturdy new Noll Building helped stop the spread of the blaze. Louis Schneider joined the Noll firm and took it over after Adam Noll died at a young age. Louis Schneider converted the grocery to a hide and leather store. Later, he was in the insurance business. The towering Hamilton National Bank building was erected next to the Noll Building. The Noll Building was torn down in
the mid-1960s.

Louis Schneider married Alice Dean, who was born in Cleveland, Tenn. Her father, Homer L. Dean, was from Massachusetts and her mother, Maria Richardson, from New York state. The wedding of Louis Schneider and Alice Dean was held at Ogden, Utah, at the home of her uncle, William Richardson.

The Louis Schneiders first lived on the side of Cameron Hill at Sixth and Cedar. They later resided on Missionary Ridge at a house known as the Gables. While they were there, it was “one of the most hospitable homes in the neighborhood.” Then they moved nearer the city in the old Crow house at 2809 McCallie Ave. in Park Place. Alice Dean Schneider joined the Kosmos Club the year after it was organized. She was active with the Chattanooga Woman's Club prior to its merger with the Kosmos Club. She was
also involved with the PTA and YWCA and supervised school gardens during World War I. The Louis Schneiders celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in October 1940. Louis Schneider died in 1945 and Alice Dean Schneider in 1953.

Frederick Charles Schneider as a youth had sold newspapers to soldiers of both armies during the Civil War. He became a contractor, joining with W.S. Adams in Adams and Schneider. He married Addie Nolan at the old Trinity Church in Atlanta on Oct. 5, 1880. She had been born in 1859 in Hillsboro, Ark. Her parents, Thomas Florence Nolan and Julia Bussy, were from prominent Merriwether County, Ga., families. Thomas F. Nolan was a physician who was in the medical department under Gen. Stonewall Jackson.

The Fred C. Schneiders first occupied a cottage on Oak Street, then he built a home nearby at 626 Houston. Fred C. Schneider died in 1924, but Addie lived until she was 88 in 1948. She was the second oldest member of St. Paul's Episcopal and had been a charter member of the Gen. A.P. Stewart Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Fred C. Schneider had been working on a project at Holly Springs, Miss., in 1882 when a son, Carl Emerson Schneider, was born. He became an electrical contractor and in 1952 was honored by the Electrical League of Chattanooga for over 50 years of service. Carl E. Schneider was on the city board of electrical examiners for many years and was also a member of the state electrical examining board. He worked the last 20 years of his life for Corley Mfg. Company. His brother, Thomas Nolan Schneider, moved to St. Petersburg, Fla., and a sister, Helen (Mrs. Ben Head), to Atlanta. Thomas Nolan Schneider married Fannie Wilder. Julian Mortimer Schneider, son of Frederick C. and Addie Schneider, lived from 1888 to 1911.

Another brother, Frederick Charles “Fred” Schneider, attended the Duval School and First District School before finishing at Baylor School in 1918. While waiting to be called for military service, he got a job as a cub reporter with the Chattanooga Times. He soon moved to the Chattanooga News and remained with it until it folded. After a stint with the short-lived Chattanooga Tribune, he went back with the Times. Known for his cigars and thick glasses, he had innumerable contacts in the business world and for years was a special guest of the Chrysler Corporation each season when it introduced the new models. He covered the Rotary Club for so many years that he finally was made an honorary member.

Fred Schneider married Alice Moore Wilson in 1923. He died of a heart attack in 1968 at the age of 71. Alice was a secretary for the state highway department, then she retired to raise her prize African violets. She died in 1971. A son, Guy Harry, is an architect in Atlanta. He married Shirley Dunn. Their children are Deborah Jeanne, Alice Elizabeth and Andrew Guy Schneider.

Another son of Fred and Alice Schneider is Frederick Charles “Fritz,” who worked in
heavy equipment and retired at Cape Coral, Fla. Fritz married Betty Louise Strange, and they had still another Frederick Charles Schneider as well as a daughter, Connie Lynn.

Guy Harry and Shirley Schneider went to Rheinbischofsheim, Germany, in 1995, and found Schneider cousins who were researching the family history. They were shown an ancient Schneider house that is still occupied.

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