As published in the "Commemorative Biographical Record of Prominent and Representative Men of Racine and Kenosha Counties, Wisconsin containing Biographical Sketches of Business and Professional Men and Many of the Early Settled Families", The J. H. Beers & Co., Chicago, 1906.
Transcribed by Michelle Laycock
Leonard Schlegel is well known as a business man in Racine, Wis., where he is engaged in the real estate, insurance and money-loaning business. He resides in a pleasant home at No. 1502 North Wisconsin street.
Mr. Schlegel was born in Canton St. Gall, Switzerland, April 10, 1842, a son of Christian and Margaret (Spreiter) Schlegel. The grandfather, Ulrich Schlegel was also a native of Switzerland, was a farmer by occupation and died in advanced age. Both he and his son belonged to the Swiss militia. Leonard Schlegel's parents were both born in Switzerland, and the father was a farmer. He came to America in 1853, locating at Racine, where for a time he followed various pursuits, working in a stone quarry and on railroad construction, but later he farmed in Caledonia township, Racine county, and died there in 1868, aged sixty-two years. His wife died February 2, 1896, aged seventy-seven years. Both belonged to the Reformed Church. Mrs. Schlegel was a daughter of Leonard Spreiter, who was born in Switzerland and died aged seventy-one years. He was twice married, the mother of our subject being by his first union, and two daughters and a son being born to his second. For thirty-one years he was a school teacher, but he spent his last years as a farmer.
The children of Christian and Margaret Schlegel were three sons and three daughters, the survivors being: Leonard, of Racine; Henry, of Racine; and Barbara, widow of Fred Foetsch, of Racine.
Leonard Schlegel was eleven years of age when he accompanied his parents to America and is able to recall the voyage. He grew to manhood in Racine and was educated in the public schools and then learned shoemaking, which he followed for twelve years. Then he embarked in an insurance and real estate business, in which he has met with gratifying success, and in 1897 he was appointed a notary public, which office he still holds.
Mr. Schlegel was married Sept. 20, 1869, to Miss Alvina D. Riebling, daughter of Heinrich and Anna (Krull) Riebling, and they have had ten children, six sons and four daughters, viz.: John, who died aged seventeen years and eight weeks; Daniel, who died aged twenty-five years and eight months; Leonard, who died aged nine months; Alvina, who married Charles Heure, lives in Racine, and has three children, Rilindis, Helena and Charles; Leonard (2); Lydia, who married John Krueger of Racine; Renata; Clara; Walter, and Lawrence. The parents of this family belong to the Lutheran Church.
Politically Mr. Schlegel is a Republican. He is a man of ample fortune, owning his fine home on Wisconsin street and other real estate and business property in Racine, and held in very high esteem in the business world at Racine. He is a steadfast and prominent member of St. John's Lutheran Church, having been continuously treasurer of that organization for the past thirty years.
Heinrich Riebling, father of Mrs. Schlegel, was a teacher in Holstein, and came to America in 1852, settling in Milwaukee, where he taught a German school. There he died in 1871 aged seventy-four years. He was married three times, and the mother of Mrs. Schlegel had passed away many years previously. Mrs. Schlegel was only four years old when her parents brought her to America, having been born in 1847, in Holstein, Germany, and she grew to womanhood and was married at Milwaukee. She was one of a family of four sons and five daughters, the three survivors being: John, of Pittsburg; Mrs. Schlegel, and Augusta, wife of Fred Mesenbring of Barnum, Minnesota.