Saturday, August 04, 2012

Cornelius and Frank Schnaitter, Tailors in Sandusky

Born in Bavaria, Germany in 1830, Cornelius Schnaitter settled in Sandusky in 1849, after living briefly with his family in Canada. During the Civil War, Cornelius Schnaitter served as a musician with the Fourth Michigan Infantry. Following the war, Cornelius Schnaitter and Anton Buderus were in the merchant tailor business in Sandusky, Ohio for twenty six years. Mr. Schnaitter was associated with a military group in Sandusky known as the Jaeger Company, as well as the Jaeger Band, an early Sandusky band comprised mainly of German immigrants. Hewson Peeke wrote in his 1916 edition of A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio, about Cornelius Schnaitter, “there were few functions in Sandusky during the early days at which his services were not in demand for musical entertainment.” Cornelius Schnaitter died in 1919. He and his wife, the former Susanna Krantz, were the parents of five children, Frank, Antoinette, Cornelius, Sarah, and Hattie.

 Frank Schnaitter followed in his father’s footsteps. The Frank Schnaitter Tailoring Company was located in the 100 block of Columbus Avenue in Sandusky in the early part of the twentieth century. Pictured below are two men at Schnaitter’s shop in 1915.

Dozens of bolts of fabric are on the tables, and on the walls are hung pictures of stylish men’s suits and vests. The dressing room is made from a curtain hung on a rod, next to the glass front cabinets. A vintage telephone can be seen in the back of the room, close to the U.S. flag.

In the picture below, taken by J. A. Hawkins of Mansfield, you can see the reflection of the West House in the windows of Schnaitter’s Merchant Tailors. It appears that the Sandusky Lake Ice Company may have also had offices at the shop in the 100 block of Columbus Avenue in downtown Sandusky.

Frank Schnaitter died in an ice boating accident on February 13, 1928. He was survived by three daughters, and a son, his wife having died in 1922. Frank Schnaitter’s son, Edward Cornelius Schnaitter, married Winnifred Harriet Platt, the daughter of former Sandusky photographer Clayton W. Platt. Edward and Winnifred Schnaitter’s daughter, Allene Schnaitter became a librarian. She was a college librarian in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Director of the Washington State University Library, before she retired to Santa Fe, Mexico.

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