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Below is a family biography included in The History of Maries County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Robert L. Schenker, ex-county judge of Maries County, and a merchant and extensive stock-dealer of Vienna, was born in 1840 in Saxony, now the Kingdom of Prussia, Germany. He is a son of Gustavus and Bertha (Buechel) Schenker, also natives of Germany. Gustavus Schenker was a cooper by trade, and immigrated to the United States in 1846, locating in St. Louis. He died October 3, 1873, in Vienna, while on a visit to his son, Robert L. The mother of our subject is still living, and resides in St. Louis. They had three children, viz.: Alvin, a merchant in Omaha, Neb.; Robert L., and Sophia, who married Mr. Linder, of St. Louis. Robert L. Schenker was only six years old when his parents came to America. He received his education in the public schools of St. Louis, and at the age of thirteen was employed as a clerk in a dry goods store, where he worked four years, and the following six years clerked at Kingston Mines, Ill. In 1863 he went to Memphis, Tenn., where he clerked four years and a half, after which he returned to St. Louis and was employed in the same capacity for Barr, Duncan & Co. until October, 1869, when they sent him to Vienna to take charge of a store for them. The company dissolved partnership in 1870, and in September of that year Mr. Schenker went into business for himself, purchasing a small stock of goods on credit for six weeks, and discounting his bills before the time expired. He then enlarged his stock, which has increased from time to time, until now he has a first-class stock of general merchandise, the largest in the county. His store room is 56x20 feet, and his warehouse has a capacity of 3,000 bushels of wheat. He buys grain and stock, and also deals extensively in railroad ties. He owns 1,000 acres of land in Maries County, and is doing a large and lucrative business. In 1865 he married Caroline Dierker, who was born in St. Louis, February 24, 1842, and their children are Pauline, wife of D. Rainey, editor of the Vienna Gazette; Adelaide, wife of John D. Crosier, of Portland, Oregon; Robert H., Gertrude, Leonidus, Bertha and Mabel. In 1878 Mr. Schenker was elected judge of the First District of Maries County, in which position he served two years. In 1884 he was elected county treasurer of Maries County on the Democratic ticket, and was re-elected in 1884, serving his constituents with ability and credit. Mr. Schenker is one of the most substantial business men, financially, in Maries County, having accumulated his property through economy and close application to work at hand. He is universally esteemed by all who know him, and is active in all enterprises calculated to benefit and promote the interests of the community. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, which he entered at Kingston Mines, Ill., in 1861, and is also a Knight Templar of Lebanon Commandery. Mrs. Schenker is a member of the Roman Catholic Church.

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This family biography is one of 37 biographies included in The History of Maries County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Maries County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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