Friederika Mathilda Yaeger was born on 15 November 1875 at home at the corner of Sylvester and Big Bend Roads, Webster Groves, and baptized on 14 May 1876 at St. John’s Evangelical Church, Mehlville. Like many of German descent, she used her middle name, Mathilda, so in life, she reversed the order of her baptismal name. Friends knew her as Tillie.

Tillie would have attended school between 1881 and 1893. Public schools began in Webster Groves in October 1868. In 1869, William H. Gore sold the newly formed school board a lot just south of Lockwood Avenue between Gray and Gore Avenues. The school built here was then known as the Webster School and offered eight years of elementary, as well as two years of high school education. This was the only public school in Webster until 1901 when the school district expanded. The Webster School later became Bristol Elementary School. Tillie was the first of four generations of our family to attend Bristol School and Webster schools.

Because two years of high school were offered, Tillie may have had that much education, but probably no more. Like her contemporaries, she walked to school, just over a mile northwest of the Yaegers’ house.

A school contemporary described her as follows: “Tillie [Yaeger], one thing I remember about her, she did not have the money to buy expensive clothes, but she could look the neatest and nicest in what she did have, and while she was older than I was, I know she was complimented more than anyone else in her class for the way she dressed.” She must have learned competent sewing skills from her mother Caroline.

Mathilda Yaeger Schulz
Mathilda Yaeger Schulz
Photo in the collection of Carol Whitton
Used with permission

On 25 December 1895 at St. Lucas Evangelical Church, Sappington, Mathilda F. Yaeger married Henry M. Schulz, son of Johann Lorenz Schulz and Maria Jahn. They made their first home in Henry’s new house, purchased from Tillie’s father’s subdivision, then at 236 E. Big Bend Road, only two houses from Tillie’s parents. Their first child, Edna, was born there in 1897.

In 1909, Henry and Tillie Schulz needed a larger house closer to his work. With a three-year mortgage of $3000 at eight percent interest, they purchased a new house at 60 Marshall Place in Webster, just around the corner from Henry Schulz’s Feed Company at the corner of South Gore and Marshall Place. Their second daughter, Harriet, was born in this house in 1911.

Tillie was a homemaker, raising daughters Edna and Harriet Schulz. She saw Edna become a young woman of nineteen and passed along cooking skills to her. But Harriet was only four when Tillie was diagnosed with cancer.

On 29 March 1916, Mathilda Yaeger Schulz, age forty, died at home of liver cancer. The funeral took place at the Webster Groves Presbyterian Church. Arrangements were made by Parker and Company in Webster, with burial the next day in the Schulz plot at Oak Hill Cemetery, Kirkwood.

Written by Carol Whitton
April 2017
© 2017, St. Louis Genealogical Society

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Last Modified: 26-Oct-2018 11:56