Bruno’s Buggies

If Bruno and Hulda Schade [pronounced Shaw-dee] were still alive today, Bruno might be bringing his wife a cake that says, “Happy 135th Birthday” on it.  However, after reading today’s post, you might think that Bruno may also be saying to Hulda, “How about we get the old buggy out of the garage and go for a ride?”

Hulda Fischer was born on October 24, 1872 and baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  She was baptized on the 355th anniversary of the Reformation a week later.  It makes me wonder if she was baptized as part of a special Reformation service at church on that day (if there was one).  Here is her baptism record found in the Trinity church books.

Hulda Fischer baptism record Trinity
Hulda Fischer baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg

Hulda’s parents were Friedrich Albert and Emma Maria (Palisch) Fischer.  We do not have a photo of Albert, but a photo was taken of the Fischer family which includes both Hulda, her mother, and several siblings.  Friedrich Albert had died in 1881 when Hulda was 9 years old.

Albert Fischer family
Emma Maria Fischer family

Emma Maria is in the middle of the front row, and Hulda, along with Bruno, are in the back row.  Hulda is the second woman from the left.  Her husband, Bruno, is the second man from the left.  I also cannot resist showing this photo of Emma Maria wearing a pretty spectacular hat.  I wish this picture was in color.

Emma Palisch Fischer

Bruno Schade was the son of Friedrich August and Elisabeth (Brandt) Schade.  He was born on April 7, 1872 and baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  Here is his baptismal record from that church.

Bruno Schade baptism record Immanuel
Bruno Schade baptism record – Immanuel, Altenburg

Bruno’s father died when he was just four years old.  So both Bruno and Hulda grew up in similar situations where during their childhood they were raised by a widow mother.  Here is a photo of Bruno’s mother.

Elisabeth Brandt Schade
Elisabeth Schade

When Bruno was just 19 years old, we find him listed in a city directory for St. Louis and working as a blacksmith.  As you can see, there were quite a few Schades living in St. Louis.

Bruno Schade 1891 directory St. Louis
Bruno Schade – 1891 city directory – St. Louis, MO

This photograph of a young Bruno might have been taken before he got married.  At this time in his life, he had no mustache.  He is holding some tools of the blacksmith trade.

Bruno Schade early
Bruno Schade

On November 20, 1898, Bruno and Hulda were united in holy matrimony at Trinity Lutheran Church.  Here is their marriage license.

Schade Fischer marriage license

We also have this wedding photo of Bruno and Hulda.

Bruno & Hulda Schade 1898
Schade/Fischer wedding

I find it interesting that neither Bruno nor Hulda are looking directly at the camera, and they are not looking in the same direction.

It is not often that you find a photograph where the bride and groom and the wedding party are having fun at a wedding reception, but in this case we do.  This photo was apparently taken at someone’s residence.

Bruno Schade Wedding party 1898

Hulda is sitting on someone’s lap, and it is not Bruno.  In fact, even though someone has identified Bruno as being in the front passenger seat, I don’t think that is him……no mustache.  My suspicion is that this is a bunch of people clowning around, pretending to steal the bride, and Bruno is a spectator somewhere else.  I especially find the horn contraption on the front car fascinating.  I also find it puzzling that the steering wheels of the two automobiles are on different sides.  Maybe someone could enlighten me on how that was the case.

In the 1900 and 1910 censuses, Bruno is described as being a blacksmith.  Then in the 1920 census, he is called a wagon maker.  It is my understanding that Bruno, even though he may have been described as a blacksmith, may have specialized in working with wagons, which meant he also worked with wood.  His shop and home were located across the street from where the Altenburg Public School is now located.  Right next to Bruno’s shop was the Wachter blacksmith shop, and I understand that Paul Wachter worked mostly with metal.  Here is an old photo showing that portion of Altenburg which included both the Wachter and Schade shops.

Bruno Schade & blacksmith
Main Street – Altenburg

The white house was the Schade home, and his shop was said to be beyond it, with the Wachter shop beyond that.  A fire in 1952 destroyed both the Schade and Wachter shops.  Here is a photo I took today showing this location as you see it now.

Main Street Altenburg APS

This photo is looking west.  The above photo was looking east.  Altenburg Public School is on the right.  The Wachter and Schade shops were across the road from the school.

Bruno and Hulda had four children, one of which was stillborn.  In a later photo of members of the Schade family, we see Bruno and Hulda standing in front of a car with their daughter, Frances, and son, Theodore.

Bruno Schade family
Bruno Schade family

Their older daughter, Hildegard, was probably married by the time this photo was taken.

Bruno died in 1958; Hulda died in 1959.  Both of them died in or near St. Louis, but they are buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.

Bruno and Hulda Schade gravestone Trinity
Bruno and Hulda Schade gravestone – Trinity

It seems to me that Bruno was always surrounded by conveyances with four wheels.  He was a maker of wagons, and later he or Hulda are pictured near automobiles.  I would say he liked his “buggies”, either with horses or without.


4 thoughts on “Bruno’s Buggies

  1. Regarding the position of the steering wheel:

    “Before the 1908 launch of the Ford Motor Company’s Model T, virtually every car in the United States placed the steering wheel on the right. In fact, Ford only made the change to make it easier for people entering on the passenger side to avoid oncoming traffic.

    “Until this, though, long after a law was passed in 1792 mandating that vehicles – horse buggies and the like – must travel along the right-side of the road, it was widely accepted that steering should take place on the right. Evidence of this can still be seen today, in fact, in Amish communities, where horse buggies are steered in this manner.

    “When mass production of American cars began in the late 19th Century, it was widely viewed that right-hand steering was the preferred method, since it had evidently worked out just fine for the journeymen of yesteryear.

    “However, by the turn of the century, motor companies began looking for innovative new ways to sell their latest product. Cadillac introduced the first lever-operated headlights, while the Marmon Motor Company is believed to have pioneered the use of a rear-view mirror at the 1911 Indianapolis 500. And so it was that Ford introduced left-hand steering in 1908.

    “Because it was later seen that left-hand steering was conducive to safer driving (since it was easier for the driver to judge his or her proximity to oncoming traffic), this new way of steering became virtually standardised by the mid-1910s.”

    Excerpted from a March 13, 2013, article, “Fact: American Steering Wheels Haven’t Always Been On The Left.”


  2. The two automobiles shown in the photo just don’t look like any automobiles available in 1898. They look more like automobiles from 1908 or later especially with the sides having fitted doors and the right car with its curved front and rear fenders.


    1. You are indeed correct. I wasn’t thinking about the date of the cars. I did, however, give the photo a good, hard look because I thought the bride looked different than the one in the wedding photo. I guess I have to be careful about my sources. I was relying on the description of the photo given by someone else. Thanks for your input on this photo and on the steering wheels. I learned something today. I always love that. Now I am wondering whose wedding is pictured in this photo.


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