Edward Schuricht – Busch Wagon Maker

Johann Wilhelm Edward Schuricht was born on either June 10th or June 11th in 1857. Today and tomorrow, the 10th and 11th, I will be on the road and attending a wedding. I will publish this on the 10th and will not be able to write a new story on the 11th, so I might as well tell the story of a man who was born on either of those days.

Edward was born in St. Louis where the Schuricht’s, who were part of the Gesellschaft, decided to remain after getting to that city in 1839. His parents were Johann Traugott and Maria (Tirmenstein) Schuricht, both of whom were passengers on the Stephanite ships. I found this photo of Edward’s father.

Johann Traugott was aboard the Copernicus and Maria aboard the Olbers. Those two were married in St. Louis in 1846 and began having a family of 8 children. Edward was child #6. His baptism record in the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Louis says he was born on June 10, 1857.

Edward Schuricht baptism record – Trinity, St. Louis, MO

Edward is found in his first census in 1860 at the age of 3. His father was a dry goods merchant.

1860 census – St. Louis, MO

Next, we find this Schuricht family in the 1870 census. Edward did not have an occupation yet, but his older brother, Gustav, was working at a flour mill. Johann Traugott’s brother, Fuerchtegott Schuricht, who had also married a Tirmenstein, ran the Saxony Mills in St. Louis. His story was told in the post, Saxony Mills.

1870 census – St. Louis, MO

One more census entry had Edward as a single man. That one was taken in 1880. At the age of 23, Edward was a carriage maker.

1880 census – St. Louis, MO

Now, we will switch our attention to the woman who would become Edward’s bride. Her name was Agatha Reitz, who was born on April 19, 1862. I do not know her father’s first name, but her mother’s name was Louise, whose maiden name was Pfund. That information can be found on Agatha’s later death certificate. That document also states that Agatha was born in Collinsville, Illinois, which is just across the river from St. Louis. The first census in which I found Agatha was the one taken in 1880, and by that time the Reitz household was living in St. Louis. Before this census, her father had died, so we cannot determine his first name from this entry either. Agatha was 18 years old in 1880.

1880 census – St. Louis, MO

On October 12, 1882, Edward Schuricht married Agatha Reitz at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in St. Louis. A book that we have that includes what marriages took place at Holy Cross shows this record of the Schuricht/Reitz wedding.

Schuricht/Reitz marriage record – Holy Cross, St. Louis, MO

Edward and Agatha had 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls. When the 1900 census was taken, we find this Schuricht household. Edward was still called a carriage maker. Their son, Otto, was called a pressman for a printer, and Wm. G. Reitz, Agatha’s brother, who was a printer, was living with him.

1900 census – St. Louis, MO

Probably sometime after the above census, a photograph was taken of some of Edward’s siblings along with his mother. Edward is standing in the back on the right with the mustache.

Maria Schuricht family

Next, we find Edward’s family in the 1910 census. Edward’s job description is shown as a carriage builder for a buggy company.

1910 census – St. Louis, MO

The Schuricht household is found in the 1920 census. This time Edward was called a wagon maker for a wagon factory.

1920 census – St. Louis, MO

I find the 1930 census entry for the Schuricht family quite interesting. It says Edward, at the age of 72, was a wagon maker for the Busch wagon shop.

1930 census – St. Louis, MO

This piqued my interest because the Anheuser Busch Brewery has become famous for its Budweiser beer wagon being pulled by a team of 6 Clydesdale horses. That got me researching. First, I discovered that in 1930, Prohibition was still in effect. During that time, Anheuser Busch wisely diversified in order to survive. One thing they did was produce a non-alcoholic beer called Bevo. Later, they became involved in selling ice cream and fountain sodas. During that time, they also sold some of the ingredients necessary for people to brew their own beer. Even though brewing beer was illegal, selling the products necessary for brewing was not.

I found a photo of a Anheuser Busch beer wagon that was likely made prior to the popularization of the motor vehicle.

When Prohibition came to an end in 1933, August Busch, Sr. was given 6 Clydesdale horses by two of his sons to celebrate. That gift began the tradition of the Budweiser beer wagon pulled by Clydesdales, which continues to this day.

The last census in which Edward and Agatha Schuricht are found is the 1940 census. I find it amazing that Edward, at the age of 82, was still working as a wood worker at a brewery (likely the Busch brewery). I cannot help but think that Edward may have been involved in making some of the famous Budweiser beer wagons.

1940 census – St. Louis, MO

Edward Schuricht died in 1944 at the age of 87. I was unable to find his death certificate. Agatha Schuricht died in 1947 at the age of 84. Her death certificate says she died at the Lutheran Hospital.

Agatha Schuricht death certificate

Edward and Agatha Schuricht are each buried in the Concordia Lutheran Cemetery in St. Louis. On his gravestone, it says Edward was born on June 11th.

I admit that I am a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, and I know not all of our readers are. I can tell you that an event happens every year in St. Louis involving the Budweiser Clydesdales. It happens during the Cardinals’ home opener. The video below shows the latest entry by these horses pulling the Budweiser beer wagon into Busch Stadium. It often brings tears to the eyes of avid Cardinals fans. Wouldn’t it be great if we knew for sure that Edward Schuricht was part of this long-standing tradition.

One thought on “Edward Schuricht – Busch Wagon Maker

  1. Agatha’s father was Heinrich Reitz of Merlau in Hessen according to his Trinity St. Louis marriage record to Louise Pfund. Agatha’s brother, Louis Christlieb Reitz, married Marie Catherine Louise Kalbfleisch (from another Merlau family), whose distant Kalbflesich cousins were associated with the New York Group of the Gesellschaft. Agatha’s brother, William Gottlieb Reitz, married Emma Marie Bretscher, who had 3 grandparents who sailed with the Stephanite ships: Sophie Henrietta Rosine Fritzsche, Carl Eduard Roschke, & Justine Jahn.


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