Attribution: Diane & Peter Schumacher, Ernie Schumacher, Eleanor Ryan
Location: 1328 E. Rawson Avenue Oak Creek, WI
Oak Creek was originally part of Potawatomi land and became United States territory in the 1830’s as a result of a treaty with the Indian tribe. In 1840, the US government offered the territory for sale. Several sections along Rawson Avenue were purchased by land speculator Martin Otis Walker. In 1845, German immigrant Jacob Morbacher purchased 40 acres for a farmstead on Rawson Avenue.
By 1859, the Morbachers, homesick for Germany, sold the property to Wendelin and Magdalena Bautz, immigrants from southern Germany. Wendelin and Magdalena paid off the loan used to purchase the property by selling wheat to the Union Army during the Civil War. The Bautz’s had 12 children. In 1866, the youngest daughter, Magdalena, married William Schumacher, the “boy next door”.
In 1878 William purchased the Bautz farm from his father-in-law Wendelin and combined it with his half of the Joseph Schumacher homestead just to the west. William and Magdalena had 12 children. The family expanded the operation to include a pickle factory. The Schumacher family continued to operate the farm until the 1950’s. The property was purchased by Milwaukee County in the late 1960’s when Martha, the last of William and Magdalena’s children, passed away. The property is now the site of Gastrau’s Golf Center and the Runway Dog Park.