Archive Record

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Catalog Number 2015.030.001
Object Name Recording
Scope & Content Oral history interview of Barbara Holtz (nee Schnell) and Bob Schnell.

Interviewed by Sandy Denninger coordinator for the Schuette-Biermann Farmhouse Museum and Cliff Schultz, members of the Elk Grove Historical Society on October 20, 2008 at 10:50 A.M. The interview was conducted at the School House Museum 355 Biesterfield Road in Elk Grove. Interview length 112 m 2 sec. Collection includes audio recording, transcript, and digital image.

Digital image: 2015.030.003
Collection Elk Grove Historical Museum

0:00:00There is a brief summary of their ancestors in Elk Grove and then a description of the aunts and uncles that Barb & Bob grew up with and where they lived.

00:05:00They discuss Shayne's Ballroom, their memories of it and approximately when it burned down. Bob spoke of his father buying a house on Higgins Road and moving it to Algonquin Road around 1947.

00:10:50They recount when their father moved the family to the converted tavern at Algonquin and Arlington Heights Road and that previously it was an auto showroom. Bob talks about his father becoming an agent for a Rheingold Beer distributorship after prohibition was repealed during theDepression times.

00:15:35Bob shares the extent of his father's beer distributor business in the area
and the type of tavern/family bar they ran. Bob talks about the small farm that his father had adjoining this property the grandkids, nieces and nephews would be there in the summer ranvegatable roadside stand selling produce in the 1960s.

00:20:14They talk about their birth and their siblings, where they were bornand begin describing the old Schnell homestead they lived in on Landmeier Road.

00:25:23They talk about Ben Ibeling that worked for their father and attended the Lutheran School in Arlington Heights and finish describing their home on Landmeier Road. They talk about neighbors and friends that they grew up with on the farm before moving to Algonquin Road. They talk about Box Elder School and their teachers, Julius Breitenfeld and Alex Tudyman.

00:30:14They continue talking about Box Elder School and then after they moved attending Forest View School (District 59) near the northeast corner of Algonquin and Arlington Heights Road. Then a longer discussion was held trying to identify students ina Box Elder School photo.

00:37:15They talk of their father attending the St. John Church (German school) Bensenville located right next to the church instead of Box Elder.They compare the differences between Box Elder School and the newer Forest View School building. Barbara remembers the sleigh ride that George Scharringhausen would take the school children on throughthe forest preserve and house (houses) that George lived in.

00:42:37Barbara talks about found memories at Box Elder and then the difficult transition when they attended Forest View. Barbara won a spelling bee competition at Forest View School. Bob recalls his experience with thespelling bee as well.

00:47:45 End of First CD

00:00:00Barbara tells a story about losing part of a tooth on a ride to school. Then talks about her high school and recent 50 year class reunion.She remembers reciting a Kipling poem at the rural grade school graduation.

00:05:17Bob gets his first car when he was fifteen. He was driving tractors when he was seven. He describes the difficulty getting a car in 1946 just after the war and getting his license. Bob then describes when his father bought him a brand new car. in 1949.

00:10:28Bob talks about working for his dad and incidents when he was attending Arlington High School.

00:15:05They continue recounting memories of school and class photos.

00:20:14Barb talks about her employment after high school in Chicago.

00:25:01They talk about their parents and the decision about moving the houseon Higgins Road to the Algonquin Road location. They talk about having slot machines in the tavern in the early 1940s and an anecdote about a possible police raid.

00:30:07Barb and Bob share stories about their lives growing up duringWorld War II, collecting scrap metal and holding "Round Up Sales"Bob shares other anecdotes about questionable activities.

00:35:33They talk about Paerl Harbor, President Roosevelt and those that served in the war. Then after the war Bob served in the army during the Korean War times in Austria. Barb talks about her life after her marriage and where they lived.

00:42:45End of second CD

00:00:00They talk about the homes that were moved to Oakton Street. Barb recounts a funny story about an incident at the bowling alley. They talk about Chick Hodlmair buying up properties and the consolidation of the one room/rural schools

00:05:28They describe where the original Schnell farm was located, the sale of,and burning down of the farmhouse and the barn by the fire department and also the property where Barb and her family and Bob and his family lived on land between Oakton and Landmeier Road.

00:10:15 They talk about their family relatives and where they lived along Oakton Avenue. They talk some about their mom and dad.

00:15:36Bob talks about returning from his military service and the difference in Austrian beer and American beer. They talk about their own families and children and where they live. A couple lived right in Elk Grove and went to school here. They recall the Elk Grove volunteer fire department.
Source Elk Grove Historical Museum