Forgotten Chicagoans: Bernhard Schuenemann

Atop the building at 1400 W. Chestnut Street in Noble Square reads B. SCHUENEMAN.

Bernhard Schuenemann (misspelled on the building with one N) was born September 17, 1826 in what was once known as the province of Westphalia in Prussia. By the mid-1850s, he had moved to the US with his wife Maria Katharina. Between around 1850 through 1870, like all good Catholics, they had 9 children together (5 girls and 4 boys).

Although the current building is listed as built in 1879, Schueneman had a grocery here as early as 1872. Back when he occupied the space, the address was known as 92 Cornell Street. The street number was changed in 1909 and was later renamed Chestnut. They certainly attended St. Boniface Church across the street, founded in 1862 (currently fighting off demolition efforts).

Bernhard died in 1893. His wife died 13 years later. They are buried at St. Boniface Cemetery in Uptown. Every floor of the building has been renovated as beautiful condominiums, which can be seen in photographs here and in this video.

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