N. Schneider, St. Johns Place near southwest corner of 7th Ave., Brooklyn, NY, 2010
This plaque was embedded in the sidewalk by the firm of N. Schneider, possibly at the time of the original construction of the widewalk. The business was listed in Brooklyn city directories between the dates 1891 to 1912.N. Schneider was founded by an immigrant from Germany, Napoleon Schneider (1844-1928). According to a passport application filed in August 1911 he was born 3 May 1844, in Herbstein, Hesse, Germany. The application also states that he emigrated 26 March 1880 from Antwerp, Belgium, and that he became a naturalized U. S. citizen 28 June 1888.
He seems to have lived initially in New York (Manhattan). He is recorded in the US Census of 1880 living at 216 (rear) Spring Street. With him are his wife, Elizabeth, and two sons, Theodore age 6 and John age 2. All are recorded as born Prussia. These two sons, Theodore Schneider (1874-1933) and John J. Schneider (1878-1915) were principle members of N. Schneider, which was at times called N. Schneider & Sons. Sidewalk plaques with this form are found, for instance, at 121 Lincoln Place and 354 12th Street in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn.
By the time of the 1900 US Census the family had moved to Brooklyn. Napoleon lived at 144 21st Street with his son John, and Theodore lived next door at 142 21st Street. All three described their occupation as "cement work."
When John Schneider died is 1915 the following appeared in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 25 August 1915, pg. 3, "John J. Schneider, 38 years of age, died at his home, 251 Eighty-first street, last night. When six years of age he was brought to Brooklyn from Germany, thirty-two years ago, and his father, Nathaniel, established himself in the artificial stone business. Subsequently it became the firm of N. Schneider's Sons Co. Theodore, a brother, and the deceased composed the firm, although their father is still living. Mrs. Agnes C. Johnson Schneider, the wife of John J., survives him. The funeral will be held on Friday, leaving his late residence, 251 Eighty-first at 9:30 o'clock and proceeding to the Church of Our Lady of Angels, Fourth avenue and Seventy-fourth street, where a requiem mass will be said. The interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery."
In 1928 Napoleon Schneider died, and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 20 August 1928, pg. 16, ran "Schneider - On Aug. 18, 1928, Napoleon Schneider, beloved father of Theodore and grandfather of Theodore and John. Funeral from his residence, 8120 Colonial rd., Brooklyn, Wednesday 9:30 a.m.; thence to St. Anselm's Church, 83d st., and 4th ave., where a solemn requiem mass will be offered at10 a.m. Interment Holy Cross Cemetery."
The New York Times, 22 December 1933, pg. 21, had a much more extended notice for Theodore: "Theodore Schneider, retired cement contractor and a director of the Home Title Insurance Company, died on Wednesday at his home, 8.120 Colonial Road, Brooklyn, of heart disease after an illness of more than four years. Mr. Schneider was 59 years old. Born in Essen, Germany, Mr. Schneider had lived in New York City for fifty-three years. He was engaged for many years in the cement contracting business in business in Brooklyn with his father, the late Napoleon Schneider, and his brother, the late John Schneider. Their firm, N. Schneider & Sons, Inc., did much paving and other work in Brooklyn and Long Island. He retired from business twenty years ago. A widow, the former Miss Rosanna Bloeth, survives. A requiem mass will be celebrated at St. Anselm's Roman Catholic Church, Fourth Avenue and Eighty-third Street, Brooklyn, at 11 A. M. tomorrow. Burial will take place in Holy Cross Cemetery, Brooklyn."
Find-A-Grave entries exist for all three Schneiders, and include a photo of the imposing Schneider monument in Holy Cross Cemetery, Brooklyn.
Copyright © 2021 Walter Grutchfield