Pfeiffer & Schwartzel Family History


WhiskeyBox FactoryRecipes

Arrival In America


The Schwartzel family arrived in New York on May 22, 1854, from Wiesbaden, Germany then traveled on to New Albany, Indiana where they settled. It is unknown what brought them to New Albany although at that time, Louisville was a very important commercial community with a large German population. The Schwartzel family came to New Albany, Indiana, probably shortly after arriving in New York. It appears that they arrived in New Albany by 1856. Joseph was listed under various spellings in those early years. The old records are all hand written and hard to read and possibly several spellings were used over the years. It’s unknown when the spelling changed from the original as shown on the travel pass out of Germany, which was listed as Schwaerzel, to today’s spelling as Schwartzel.

 New Albany City Directories [1]

            1856-57           Swetzel, Joseph shoe mkr h State between L. Elm and Oak w side

            1859               Schwetzel, Joseph shoemaker, W side State bt Elm & Oak

            1860               Shwirzel, Joseph boots & shoes, 129 State

            1863-64          Schwarzel, Joseph shoemaker, 129 State

                                 Schwarzel, Adam clk Recorder’s Office r sw State, bwt Elm and Oak

           1873-74           Schwartzel, Joseph, boots and shoes ret; 133 State, r same

                                 Schwartzel, J.A., whol and ret druggist, Main nw cor Bank, bds 133 State

                                 Schwartzel, Charles, clk Adams Ex. Co. bus 133 State

1860 New Albany Census

            Recorded June 11, 1860

                                                            Age     Sex     Occupation    Value of  Fed Estate        In School

            Joseph Schwarzel                      48       M        Cordwainer[2]              110

            Elizabeth                                  39       F         

            Adam (Joseph Adam)                 11       M                                                                     X

            Charlotta                                   8       F                                                                      X

            Charles                                     6        M                                                                     X

1870 New Albany Census

            Joseph Schwartzel              -  age 59 Shoemaker - boots and shoes

            Elizabeth                           -  age 49 Keeps house

            Joseph A.                          -  age 21 Apprenticed to a druggist

            Carlottia                            -  age 18 At home

            Charles                              -  age 17 Clerk in County Records Office

When Joseph arrived in New Albany, he resumed his trade as a shoemaker. Joseph and Elizabeth lived above their shoe store at 188 State Street, between Elm and Oak streets in New Albany and were members of St. Mary's Church.

About the soling of shoes with Gutta Percha[3]

After the shoe has been so prepared as if a leather sole were to go no it, and the lower or inner sole, upon which the gutta percha sole is to be pasted, has been thoroughly rasped, one besmears the leather with a heated solution and lets dry. Afterwards the gutta percha sole is warmed before a fire, while put on a board until it has become entirely soft, at the same time warm the part of the shoe, which has been smeared with the solution, until this has become sticky, then quickly press the sole firmly on all sides and press it so long until it has become entirely cold.”

                             SHOE LATHE[4]


Joseph died in 1876, at the age of 65, three weeks after he fell from a streetcar in Louisville where he suffered a serious cut on the head. He recovered from the accident but then suffered a stroke from which he never recovered. Both Joseph and Elizabeth are buried at the Fairview Cemetery, which is the city cemetery for New Albany, originally called the Northern Burying Ground. It is unknown why they were buried there rather than the Catholic cemetery, Holy Trinity Cemetery, possibly Elizabeth was not a Catholic.

                        Fairview Cemetery, New Albany, Indiana

                        Schwartzel Plot

                               Joseph Schwartzel             1811-1876

                                Elizabeth S. Schwartzel     1821-1872

         Edward Collins                  1880-1943   

         Baby J. Collins, 4 Days Old 1875

Joseph purchased the burial lot on November 18, 1872. His son, Charles is listed on the deed from the City of New Albany as the Recorder, Floyd Co.

Joseph's oldest son (Joseph) Adam married Mary Anna Day, April 11, 1874 at Holy Trinity Church. Adam was a wholesale and retail druggist of the corner on Main Street and the northwest corner of Bank Street. In 1876, Adam moved to Philadelphia to try to get a soda water concession at the Centennial Exhibition. Later that year, they came back to New Albany. In 1877, Adam was listed in the City Directory as a grocer on East Market between 10th and 11th streets. The 1878 City Directory did not list Adam and it is believed that he left town. Adam and Mary moved to Vincennes, Indiana and he became a physician sometime after leaving New Albany. Adam and Mary had four children, Laura, Elizabeth, Grace and Walter. Adam apparently divorced Mary Day and married Belle Harrell in 1901. He later married his third wife, Lucinda. At some point Adam changed the spelling of Schwartzel to Swartzel.         

Joseph's daughter Carlottia "Lottie" married John Collins at St. Mary's Church in 1874. She had three children,  J. Collins who died as an infant, Lizzie and Edward John. “Charlotte died at the family residence, on State Street, at 8:15 p.m., July 13, (1880), age 29 years.”[5] She died three days after son, Edward was born. Her funeral was at Holy Trinity Church. At the Fairview Cemetery where Joseph and Elizabeth are buried, there are graves for a Baby J. Collins, 4 days old, 1875 and Edward C. Collins 1880 - 1943. John Collins later married Maria Isabella Conner. He died in January of 1912 , his funeral was at Holy Trinity church and buried at Holy Trinity Cemetery.

Joseph's youngest son, Charles, in 1870, at the age of 17 was listed as a clerk in the County Recorders Office. Later he became a clerk for Adams Express Company. Charles married Margaret Gerard at Holy Trinity Church on April 24, 1877. At that time, Charles was still working at the Adams Express Company, but later that year, Charles became the Floyd County Recorder, and served as recorder for one term, possibly about eight years. He also became an insurance agent and probably through his work as an insurance agent met Mr. W. R. Heath. In 1886, Charles went to work for Mr. Heath at his box and basket company. During his years as the county recorder and probably afterwards, Charles purchased a lot of land in and around New Albany. It is believed that much of the land was bought as people failed to pay back taxes.

Since Charles had been acquiring property for some time, he was in the position in 1897 to start buying stock in the Heath-Morris Company. By 1898, Charles and his wife were major stockholders in the company.

In 1897, Charles became president of the box company and in 1902, Charles bought out the remaining shareholders. The box company continued to operate as the Heath - Morris Company until July 1, 1907 when its name was changed to the New Albany Box & Basket Company. At one time, the box company was one of the largest of its kind in the mid-west. Besides being president of the box company, Charles also became a Director of the Mutual Trust & Deposit Company of New Albany and was well respected in the community.

Charles and Margaret had three children, Anna B., Joseph Charles, and Francis J. They lived at 1103 East Main Street in New Albany where Charles died of heart trouble in 1932.

            [1]  Beth Day Nolan, related to the Schwartzels via Joseph Adam who married Mary A. Day, provide the information from the New Albany City Directories.

            [2]  A Cordwainer is a worker in cordovan leather, shoemaker

            [3]  Joseph Schwartzel probably wrote this description of shoe repair. 

            [4]  Shoe Lathe obtained from John Schwartzel when he moved from Lexington Road. The shoe lathe probably was used by Joseph Schwartzel who was a shoemaker in New Albany.

            [5]  DLS 7/14/1880 page 4 column per Beth Nolan