Schumacher, first wife of Akron's cereal king Ferdinand Schumacher,
was a leader in the temperance crusade of 1874 but she focused most
of her benevolent work in groups associated with the German population
of the city.
was born in Bevern, Germany, in 1823. She was engaged to her cousin
Ferdinand Schumacher prior to his immigration to America. After he was
settled in Cleveland, she followed him to America in 1851 and they were
married soon after. In 1852, the couple settled in Akron. He focused
on building his cereal business, which through mergers became Quaker
were committed prohibitionists. She, particularly, played a role in
the early days of the women's temperance crusade of 1874. She signed
the call for a rally at the First Methodist Episcopal Church that started
the Akron's temperance crusade of 1874. That crusade was marked by small
groups of women "visiting" Akron bars and saloon and praying
in the streets in an attempt to close down the liquor traffic in the
city. She also served as a delegate to the state temperance convention
of 1874. In addition, she was a member of the Ladies Cemetery Association.
Her obituary in
the Beacon Journal emphasized that Schumacher had been involved
in a range of benevolent organizations, especially those involving the
German population. In the post Civil War period, Akron had a sizeable
German population with many civic organizations. During the immediate
post-Civil War years, the Schumacher house became a center for those
Her activism was
cut short by disease, however. By 1882, Schumacher had withdrawn from
most of her civic activities. She had a severe case of rheumatism and
no amount of hot springs, travel or medicines relieved the pain, the
Beacon Journal reported. During this time also, after a disasterous
fire at the Akron mill, her husband lost control of his cereal manufacturing
business and much of his wealth.
died on June 1, 1893, she was survived by her husband and two sons.
Her other five children had died in youth.