Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Civic Ancestors

Close up of Old Town Sherwood Shoe Maker Gustave Hanke.Are you new to Sherwood? Then welcome. Let us introduce you to one of your ancestors. You've probably never met him before. You've never seen this face in the family album that you study when you're with your kinfolk on holidays. Even so. Take a moment and gaze into the face. As long as you live in Sherwood, this is one of your ancestors. One of your "civic" ancestors. During his lifetime, many young people saw him as their grampa. I wonder what "grampa" would say to you if you pranced into his place of business on the corner of Main and Rail Road and flaunted yourself as shamelessly as you do now, here in the 21st Century.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

So who is he and what was his place of business?

Lilly Morgen said...

"He would say, "Mind your manners!"

Anonymous said...

"Please, kind sir, can you tell me your name and what is this establishment?"

JayCee said...

His name was Gustave Hanke and he was every child's favorite cobbler (shoe repairman). He had a thick old world accent and a home brew medicine for every cough and sniffle. His slight stature may very easily be the result of malnourishment he survived in his youth. Back in Germany, if the cobbler's apprentice didn't work fast enough, neither did he eat.

Lilly Morgen said...

Some people endeared themselves to people in the community by calling they "Aunt." Grandpa Hanke was the only man in the community who was called "Grandpa" by everyone thus endearing himself to everyone in Sherwood. He had 12 kids!(So no wonder he was "Grandpa!!") He loved his milk cow, as he would always close up the shop to go home to milk his cow by timing his walk on the railroad tracks to be ahead of the train. He lived where Archer Glenn Grade School is today. He saw many decades of Sherwood's development. He came in 1890 and was still repairing shoes well into the 1930s and the depression. People were poor and would leave their pitiful shoes outside his shop He would repair them and leave them outside the shop and not charge a cent. His nephew became a big baseball hero. We don't know much about the baseball hero though. Does anyone else out there know?

Anonymous said...

'Round about 1891, Gustave Hanke ran the livery stable which was located where Clancy's is today (1st and Washington.)He was an apprenticed Cobbler in Germany. When he got enough tools and a place to work, he became a Cobbler for 54 years. He also was active on the City Council and worked as a farm laborer.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if a shoemaker like that still exist

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