GILCHRIST AND SCHULER
Researched and Transcribed by
GILCHRIST H. M.
H. M. Gilchrist
built and owned the Jennie Gilchrist.
“H. M. Gilchrist
was a man of great industry and push, with pleasant looks and manners, and with
such good coal only one and half-miles from the river he soon had the big end of
the lucrative steamboat trade.
In order to handle
his growing business he had the handsome little steamer “Jennie Gilchrist” built
at the LeClaire yard.
Taylor Williams had
put in a railroad from the river up to their mines that served both, and Mr.
Gilchrist provided and operated the steamer that did the towing for both the
Gilchrist and the Williams mines.”
“I stated that the
“Jennie Gilchrist” was a very pretty boat and very popular. This is true,
and well she might be both, for she was named for Mr. Gilchrist’s only daughter,
now Mrs. Charles Shuler of Davenport. A Raft’s Pilot’s Log by Capt. Walter
Blair 1929 Arthur H. Clark Company.
Cemetery Co., Davenport, Iowa, Record of Internments for 1900:
||Place of Birth
||H. N. (M) Gilchrist
|Date of Death
||Cause of Death
||Date of Internment
||Place of Internment
||Lot Book Page
||Name of Undertaker
|1900 June 6
||1900 June 8
||Lot 118 7 119 Sec 13
As shown below, the
head stone reads that Mr. Hugh M. Gilchrist was born on April 2, 1831 in
Scotland and died at Gilchrist Mercer County, Illinois on May 25, 1896.
However no obit could be found in the Davenport papers to clarify the date of
GILCHRIST JOHN W
John Gilchrist, the
son of the owner H. M. Gilchrist, was a passenger on the Jennie Gilchrist when
she lost a cam rod and hit the bridge.
Davenport Democrat, Wednesday Evening, September 13, 1922, page 1.
Acute Illness Ends Life of J. W. Gilchrist, Pioneer Coal and Lumber Merchant
John W. Gilchrist,
president of the Alden Coal Co., and known throughout the United States for his
activities in the coal and lumber industry, died Tuesday afternoon at 5:30
o’clock at the family home, 1206 East River Street. Death was caused by
acute illness from which Mr. Gilchrist had been suffering for the past two
weeks. Altho he had not been in good health for the past two years, Mr.
Gilchrist had attended to his extensive business interests as usual and members
of his family were hopeful of a complete recovery until a fortnight ago when he
became seriously ill.
Drs. McCarthy and
Kornder of Davenport were in attendance in the last illness and about a week
ago, Dr. R. T. Woodyatt and Dr. Holmes, specialists, were summoned from Chicago.
Expert medical services were of no avail, however, and death came peacefully
last yesterday afternoon.
Born in Scotland.
A native of
Scotland but a resident of Davenport since a lad of 14, John W. Gilchrist, was
one of the city’s most highly honored and respected citizens. He was born
in Wanlockhead, Scotland, Sept.28, 1857. Ever since coming to this country
he had been identified with the coal and lumber business. His father, H.
M. Gilchrist, who preceded him in the coal and lumber business, was a man of
means, who left Caledonia, Scotland, in 1871 and shortly after landing, in
America, located in Rapids City, Id. The town of Gilchrist in Mercer
County Ill. was laid out by him and received his name, becoming a place of
considerable importance in the coal industry. Several towns throughout the
country bear the family name, having either been laid out by J. W. Gilchrist or
received their impetus thru the coal industry furthered by him.
Mr. Gilchrist was
married in 1877, Sept. 6, in Rock Island to Miss Caroline Schaechter (Shuler),
and to them were born nine children, two of whom preceded their father in death.
They are Mrs. John Ploehm who died in 1914 and John W. Gilchrist, Jr., who died
in 1918. Mrs. Gilchrist passed away in August 1917. The children who
survive are Hugh, Mrs. C. H. Crowe of Davenport, Archibald of Farrington, Ill.,
Charles of Davenport and the Misses Jean, Caroline and Helen at Home. One
sister, Mrs. Charles Shuler of Davenport also survives.
Mr. Gilchrist was
one of the oldest, if not the oldest, coal operators in the state of Illinois.
His business interests extended throughout the entire United States, but were
particularly heavy in Illinois and Iowa, where he was looked upon as a pioneer
in the coal and lumber industry. For almost 20 years he has served as a
director in the First National bank and the Davenport Savings bank. He was
a member of the First Presbyterian church and fraternally was affiliated with
the Masonic lodge of Monroe, Ia.
will be held Thursday afternoon at 2:30 from the home, 1206 East River Street.
Rev L.R. Coffman of the First Presbyterian church will officiate and burial will
be made in Oakdale cemetery.
~~~ *** ~~~
Daily Times, Wednesday, September 13, 1922, page 1.
J. W. GILCHRIST DIES FOLLOWING A LONG ILLNESS.
Prominent Coal and Lumber Man Is Summoned At His Home
J. W. Gilchrist,
prominent for years in the lumber and coal business, died at his residence in
Davenport, 1206 East River Street. At 6:30 o’clock yesterday afternoon following
an illness which covered a period of two years. While he had been ailing
for a long time, his illness did not take a serious turn until two weeks ago
when Drs. Woodyatt and Bayard Holmes of Chicago were called into consultation
with the local physicians who attended him, Drs. D. J. McCarthy and L. H. Korder.
He had seemed somewhat improved for the past few days and death came suddenly.
Mr. Gilchrist was in his sixty-fifth year. Almost up to the time of his
death he maintained an active interest in his numerous business affiliations, a
business which had ramifications in every state in the union.
A pioneer coal
operator in the state of Illinois, Mr. Gilchrist received his start in the coal
and lumber industry with his father, the late H. M Gilchrist, who came to
America from Scotland in 1871 accompanied by his son, J. W. Gilchrist and his
daughter, now Mrs. Charles Shuler. Mr. Gilchrist was first interested in
an anthracitic coal mine in Pennsylvania and later came to Rapids City, Ill.
At least three towns have been named after Mr. Gilchrist, senior, although one
in Mercer County, Illinois, a mining center for a time was moved later.
learned the coal and lumber business when but youth in Scotland. His
father realized the importance of a complete confidence and trust in his son and
instructed him in all the rudiments of the business. By this early
training he was able to carry on the work so ably begun by his father and his
business grew and grew until he had interests in every state of the union.
After residing in Monroe, Jasper County, Iowa for some time, Mr. Gilchrist came
to Davenport in 1899 where he had since lived.
He was born in
Wanlockhead, Scotland, on September 22, 1857, and came to America when 14 years
of age. His marriage to Miss Caroline Schaechter took place in Rock Island on
September 4, 1877. To this union nine children were born, seven of whom
survive. Mrs. Gilchrist preceded her husband in death in August 1917, and
one daughter, Mrs. John Ploehn died in 1914, and one son, John W. Gilchrist,
Jr., died in January, 1918.
Gilchrist had been a director of the First National bank and the Davenport
Savings bank for a period of over 20 years. He was president of the Alden
Coal Co. of Davenport at the time of his death. The decedent was a member
of the First Presbyterian church here, and he held membership in the Masonic
lodge of Monroe, Ia. He was probably the oldest coal operator in the state
of Illinois, and had been in the business continuously since 1872.
Keen and sound in
his business judgments and a believer in the square deal in his relations with
his fellow men, Mr. Gilchrist brought to his American business enterprises many
variable traits characteristic of his Scotch ancestry.
He leaves to mourn
his loss his sister, Mrs. Charles Shuler of Davenport: three sons, Arch
Gilchrist, of Farmington, Ill., Hugh and Charles of Davenport; four daughters,
Mrs. C. H. Crowe, Jean, Caroline and Helen Gilchrist, all of Davenport.
services will be held tomorrow afternoon at 2:30 o’clock at the late residence,
when Dr. L. M. Coffman, pastor of the First Presbyterian church will officiate.
Interment will be in Oakdale cemetery.
~~~ *** ~~~
Davenport Democrat and Leader, Thursday Evening, September 14, 1922, page 13.
The Gilchrist Funeral.
The funeral of J.
W. Gilchrist was held at 2:30 this afternoon at the residence, 1206 East River
street, where Dr. LeRoy Coffman officiated. Burial was made in Oakdale
At the services
held at the home, a male trio consisting of Rollo Rilling, Watler Voss and Harry
Maher, accompanied at the piano by Kenneth Bailey, sang hymns.
bearers were E. B. Hayward, A. F. Dawson, John F. Dow, Charles L. Fassnacht,
Thomas R. Martin, P. H. Donnelly, C. F. Alden and Smith Blackman.
were A. M. Pinkerton, George T. Baker, Carl Richter, Otto Hill, Homer H. Harris,
C. D. Hayward, W. J. Spencer and J. L. Green.
SHULER JANE RENION GILCHRIST
Renion Gilchrist Shuler was the daughter of H. M. Gilchrist who named the Jennie
Gilchrist after her.
Davenport Democrat and Leader, Wednesday Evening, October 10, 1934, page 9.
Renion Gilchrist Shuler, 75, 1516 East River drive, prominent Davenporter, died
very suddenly at the home of her son-in-law and daughter, Dr. and Mrs. P. A.
Bendixen, 204 Prospect terrace, at 10:30 a.m., today. She had just
completed a telephone call during her morning visit when she suffered a stroke
of apoplexy, collapsed, and died. Altho she had been in ill health for
some time, death was sudden.
Born on June
10, 1859, in Wanlockhead, Scotland, she came to America with her father, the
late H. M. Gilchrist, first settling in Pennsylvania. The family later
came to Rapids City, Ill. She was married in Rock Island on Oct. 25, 1877,
to Charles Shuler, former (unreadable). The couple made their home in
Rapids City until 1885, when they moved to Gilchrist, Ill. A mining town named
after her father, residing there until 1898, when they came to Davenport.
Mr. and Mrs. Shuler observed their golden wedding anniversary in 1927.
was of Presbyterian faith.
besides her husband, are three sons, Hugh M. and John D., Des Moines, and
Charles, Davenport: three daughters, Mrs. William Rendleman and Mrs. P. A.
Bendixen, both of Davenport, and Mrs. J. Reed, Lane, St. Louis; and eight
The body was
taken to Hill & Fredericks mortuary. Funeral arrangements will be made
~~~ *** ~~~
Daily Times, Wednesday, October 10, 1934, page 1.
Mrs. Chas. Shuler, Sr., Dies Suddenly While Phoning Friend; Apoplexy Is Cause
Shuler, Sr., 1516 East River Drive, prominent Davenport woman, died suddenly at
10:30 a.m. today at the home of her daughter and son-in-law, Dr. and Mrs. P. A.
Bendixen, 204 Prospect Terrace. Death was due to a stroke of apoplexy,
Mrs. Shuler being stricken while talking over the phone to a friend. She
was 75 years old.
although in failing health for some time, was in good spirits when she arrived
at the Bendixen home and her death was entirely unexpected.
The body was
removed to the Hill & Fredericks mortuary pending funeral arrangements.
Her son, Charles Shuler, jr., is at present on a hunting trip in Canada and had
not been located today.
Mrs. Shuler, who
was a daughter of the late H. M. Gilchrist, had been a resident of Davenport for
35 years. Her husband, Charles Shuler, Sr. is a former Davenport banker
and for many years has been prominent here.
Born in Scotland
June 10, 1859, she came to this country when seven years of age. She
resided at Dunsmore, Pa., and for a short time in Rapids City, Ill. Her
marriage to Mr. Shuler took place on Oct. 25, 1877 in Rock Island. Mr. and
Mrs. Shuler observed their golden wedding anniversary in 1927. Her maiden
name was Gilchrist.
After her marriage
she resided for some years at Rapids City, Ill. And Gilchrist, Ill., a mining
town named after her father. In 1899, Mr. and Mrs. Shuler came to
Davenport, where they had since made their home.
her husband are six children, Mrs. William H. Rendleman, Mrs. P. A. Bendixen,
Mrs. J. Reed Lane, Charles Shuler, jr. and Hugh and John Shuler. Eight
grandchildren also survive.
Her daughter, Mrs.
Lane, formerly of Davenport, who is now a resident of St. Louis, arrived here
last evening for a visit.
~~~ *** ~~~
Davenport Democrat and Leader, Thursday Evening, October 11, 1934, page 11.
HOLD FUNERAL FOR MRS. CHAS. SHULER FRIDAY, 2:30 P.M.
for Mrs. Charles Shuler Sr., 1516 River Drive, who died suddenly Wednesday at
10:30 a.m. while making a morning call at the home of her son-in-law and
daughter, Dr. and Mrs. P. A. Bendixen, 201 Prospect terrace, will be held at
2:30 p.m. Friday at Hill & Fredericks chapel. Burial will be in Oakdale
The Rev. Edward
Williams, pastor of the Broadway Presbyterian church, Rock Island, will
Jr., who has been on a hunting trip in Canada, was located, and will arrive here
~~~ *** ~~~
Davenport Democrat and Leader, Friday Evening, October 12, 1934, page
FRIENDS PAY LAST TRIBUTE AT RITES FOR MRS. SHULER
for Mrs. Jane Renton Gilchrist Shuler, 75, wife of Charles Shuler, prominent
Davenport business man, who died suddenly, Wednesday morning while making a
morning call at the home of her son-in-law and daughter, Dr. and Mrs. P. A.
Bendixen, 204 Prospect terrace, were held at 2:30 p.m. today at Hill &
Fredericks chapel. Burial was in Oakdale cemetery.
The Rev. Edward
Williams, pastor of the Broadway Presbyterian church, Rock Island, officiated.
The chapel and mortuary were more than filled to capacity.
Bearers were three
sons, John, Hugh, and Charles Shuler, Davenport, and three sons-in-law, Dr.
William Rendleman, Dr. P. A. Bendixen and J. Reed Lane.
SHULER CHARLES SR.
Charles Shuler married H. M. Gilchrist’s only daughter, Jane. He was
mentioned in the articles helping with some of the recovery effort.
Davenport Democrat and Leader, Friday Evening, May 28, 1948 page 1.
Charles Shuler, One of Last Who Helped Build Davenport To Commercial Center,
Shuler, 92, coal mines operator, lumberman, banker and one of the last remaining
business leaders from the group who built Davenport from a small city to an
important commercial center in the years between 1900 and the 1929 depression,
died at the home of his son-in-law and daughter, Dr. and Mrs. W. H. Rendleman,
1516 East River street, at *:30 p.m. Thursday following an illness of about 10
The body was
removed to the Hill & Frederick mortuary where funeral services will be held in
the mortuary chapel at 3 p.m. Saturday. Internment in Oakdale cemetery
will be private.
While he had
not been active in civic or business affairs for about a score of years, Mr.
Shuler is remembered by older residents of the community as one of the able,
hard working, and public spirited Davenports of his period of active life.
His kindly nature and democratic manner made him the friend of all.
BORN IN ILLINOIS.
Charles Shuler was
born in Rock Island on April 5, 1856, being the son of David and Mary Schaechter,
the name being changed to Shuler. While he was still an infant the family
moved to Rapids City, Ill., where he received his early education.
As a boy he worked
in the saw mills at Rock Island and later in the coal mines at Rapids City.
He developed an interest in mining and worked in mines there until he moved to
Gilchrist, Ill., about 1885.
He was married to
Miss Jane Renton Gilchrist in Rock Island on Oct. 25, 1877. She was a
member of the family owning coal mines at Gilchrist, and a few years later he
went there to manage those properties. His wife died in 1934.
In 1896 the Shulers
moved to Davenport, and Mr. Shuler was engaged for a time in selling the output
of the Gilchrist mines and at the same time spending some time there supervising
HAD MANY INTERESTS.
He found time, too,
to take an interest in other business activities. He became a director of
the old Davenport Savings Bank, and later president and chairman of the board of
the Iowa National Bank. When that bank merged with the American Savings
Bank & Trust Co. he was a member of the board until its closing. He was
also president of the Federal Surety Co. and interested in many local business
He was active in
the Chamber of Commerce, and was chairman of the building committees for both
the Lend-A-Hand club building and the Hotel Blackhawk. During World War I
he headed several Liberty Loan drives.
In addition to his
activities as a coal operator and banker, he became interested in a number of
Surviving are two
daughters, Mrs. W. H. Rendleman, with whom he made his home, and Mrs. J. Reed
Lane, Corona DelMar, Calif., three sons, Hugh M. and John D. Shuler, both of Des
Moines and Charles Shuler Jr., of Davenport; 10 grandchildren and 13
great-grandchildren. Another daughter, Mrs. Elspeth
Bendixen, died in
1944. Mr. Shuler was himself the oldest and last surviving of five
children of his parents.
~~~ *** ~~~
Daily Times, Friday, ay 28, 1948, page 1.
Chas. Shuler, Former Banker, Civic and Business Leader, Dies at 92; Funeral
One-Time Head of Old Iowa National Succumbs to Short Illness
Charles Shuler, 92,
retired banker and lumber and coal mining executive of prominence, died at 8:30
p.m. Thursday at the home of his daughter Mrs. William H. Rendleman, 1516 East
River street. Death followed an illness of about 10 days.
will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday in the chapel of Hill & Fredericks mortuary
where the body was taken. Burial in Oakdale cemetery will be private.
Mr. Shuler was
one of the few remaining Davenporters who occupied a prominent position in the
city’s history during the period prior to the business depression that began in
Coming to Davenport
in 1896 from Gilchrist Ill., where he operated the Empire Coal Co. mines, he
assumed a leading position in the community’s business life which he held for
many years. For a time he was a director of the old Davenport Savings
Bank, and in June, 1911, became president of the former Iowa National bank.
Later he took the chairmanship of the board, which position he held when the
Iowa National bank was merged with the former American Commercial & Savings
bank. He remained a member of the board of the merged institution until it
Born April 5,
1856, in Rock Island, he moved with his family to Rapids when a young boy.
His parents were David and Mary Schaechter, who came here from Germany.
The family name was later changed to Shuler.
He received his
education in the schools of Rapids City, and as a young man worked in the coal
mines there, since depleted, and in a saw mill in Rock Island.
Oct. 25, 1877, he
married Jane Renton Gilchrist, who came to this country from Scotland with her
family at the age of seven. Mr. Shuler continued to work in the mines at
Rapids City for a time after his marriage, but moved with his wife and family in
1885 to Gilchrist, Ill., where he managed the mines of the Empire Coal Co.,
Gilchrist family holdings. Mrs. Shuler died in 1934.
After moving to
Davenport he headed an organization selling coal produced by the mines at
divided his time between here and the mines. He found time also to engage
in Lumber interests, and gradually worked into the banking field.
Marked always by a
genial and affable nature, he made friends readily, and displayed a keen and
vigorous interest in the city’s development. He was active in the chamber
of commerce, and took a prominent part in many commercial activities, including
the presidency for a number of years of the former Federal
Surety Co. Many other local ventures also claimed his attention.
During the First
World War his sense of civic responsibility was manifested by his chairmanship
of Liberty Loans drives. It was shown also, by the fact the he served as
chairman of the building committees when the Lend-A-Hand club building and Hotel
Blackhawk were erected.
retirement he was a member of the Davenport Outing Club, County club and Arsenal
golf club. He had no particular hobbies, devoting his time to his business
interests and his family.
two daughters, Mrs. Rendleman, with whom he made his home, and Mrs. Reed Lane,
Del Mar, Calif.; three sons, Hugh M. and John D., both of Des Moines, and
Charles Shuler, Jr., Davenport; 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
A daughter, Mrs. P. A. Bendixen, widow of the late Dr. P. A. Bendixen died in
~~~ *** ~~~
Davenport and Leader, Sunday Morning, May 30, 1948, page 8.
RITES ARE HELD FOR CHAS. SHULER
In a chapel filled
with mourners and banked with floral offerings, services were held Saturday
afternoon for Charles Shuler, 92 year-old retired banker and civic leader.
The Rev. James R.
Uhlinger, pastor of St. John’s Methodist church, officiated at the services,
held at 3 p.m. in the Hill & Fredericks chapel.
Pointing out that
Mr. Shuler’s 92 years spanned virtually the entire history of Davenport, the
that his “vitality and aggressive interest in the business world reflected the
constructive progress and growth which the city has enjoyed.”
discharged important responsibilities in his business life, he never forgot or
neglected his family and a wide circle of friends among all classes, “he said.
Bearers were Hugh
Shuler, John Shuler, Summer Macomber, Charles Shuler, Jr., Charles Bendixen and
Dr. Hugh Rendleman. Private burial services were held in Oakdale cemetery.
Davenport Democrat and Leader Company, Thursday Evening, November 4, 1926, page
“The Account in the
Democrat goes on to give the thrilling experiences of several of the survivors
among whom were John Schuecler (Shuler), who is still living. Mr. Schueler
is the brother of John (Charles) Shuler, of Davenport. He is now living in
Des Moines. At the time of the crash he was collecting fares in the little
cabin. He climbed out over the transom and swam to the Illinois shore in
1910 Census State of Iowa Polk County
City of Des Moines
State of Iowa Polk County Des Moines City 1st Ward
The 1925 census
lists the parents of John Shuler as father David Shuler and mother Mary Horce or
Home. Charles Shuler’s obit states his parents are David and Mary.
This proves that this John Shuler is the brother of Charles and was the clerk on
the Jennie Gilchrist.
Polk Des Moines
City Directory for 1933 lists John Shuler and wife Alice’s home address as 547
Records, page 718, state that John Shuler died in 1937 and is buried in the