Featured Bottler: G. W. Schlegel - Chandler, Oklahoma Territory

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Posted: September 1, 2013


Chandler is a city in Lincoln County, Oklahoma, United States.  The population was 2,842 at the 2000 census.  It is the county seat of Lincoln County and is part of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area.  Chandler is located east of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on U.S. Route 66 and Interstate 44, and north of Shawnee, Oklahoma on State Highway 18.

Chandler was named after Judge George Chandler, a member of Congress and commissioner of the general land office in Washington, D.C.  Chandler was opened by a land run on September 28, 1891.  The town had been planned to be opened on September 22 (the date of the Land Run of 1891), but the site survey had not been completed.  The Chandler Post Office had opened September 21, the day before the  planned run.  When Oklahoma county A (Lincoln County) was organized, Chandler became the county seat.  On May 30, 1897, a tornado destroyed most of the fledgling town and killed 14 residents...

Chandler is one of the many cities along the famous U.S. Route 66 and contains a number of attractions to devotees of "The Mother Road."  These include The Route 66 Interpretive Center, The Oklahoma Law Enforcement Museum and Hall of Fame, The Lincoln County Museum of Pioneer History, several Route 66-themed murals, the newly restored old cottage-style Phillips 66 gas station, and one of the last remaining painted barns adverting Meramec Caverns west of town.  U.S. Route 66 brought a significant amount of commercial business to Chandler - due to travelers crossing the state and the country; however when the Turner Turnpike (Interstate 44) was built, much of this business died out.

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One of the first settlers of Oklahoma after its official opening to the world in general, and numbered among the foremost citizens of Guthrie, G. W. Schlegel then became one of the founders of Chandler, even assisting in surveying and laying out the town.  He represented the first ward in the council, and was president or mayor of the place for two years, making a trustworthy public official, as he always had before, in the numerous positions he had occupied.

Schlegel was born near Wiemer, in Saxony, Germany.  He came from an old family in that region, and from the time of the Reformation the Schlegels had been adherents of the Lutheran Church.  His father, John Frederick Schlegel, served in the German Army, and mastered the trade of wagon-making before he came to America.  In 1851 he made the voyage across the Atlantic, accompanied by his family, and for several years he worked at his vocation in Wapakoneta, Ohio.  Later he settled upon a farm in Lima, Ohio, fortunately making an investment in 80 acres of land situated in the oil fields.  From eight oil wells upon his farm he obtained a good income, and for some time he was retired.  His wife (G. W.'s mother) died in Kansas while visiting.  She was the former Emma Krumhultz.

George W. Schlegel, born July 14, 1845, was seven years old when he left his native land, and with his two sisters he was reared to maturity in Ohio.  At 15 he commenced learning the business of a machinist in Cincinnati railroad shops, but in 1864, when the Union cause appeared to be in extreme peril, the young man volunteered for three years in the 34th Ohio Infantry.  At the end of four months he received an honorable discharge and returned home, where he took charge of the farm.

Later, having completed his trade, he came to the West and superintended the moving of machinery from Burlington, Coffee County, to Greenwood County, Kansas.  At the end of six months, during which time he operated a saw and grist mill, he took the machinery to Fredonia, and carried on the business there for a year.  From 1871 to 1878 he was a merchant of Fredonia.  He was appointed Under Sheriff of Wilson County by Governor St. John to fill a vacancy and continued to serve in that capacity for two years.  Afterward he was employed as a detective and for some time prior to the opening of Oklahoma he was manager of the Gold-Dust Hotel.

Having been appointed a deputy U.S. marshal, G. W. Schlegel came to Guthrie on the first train, and for four years continued to act as an officer, two years being first assistant to the chief of police of Guthrie.  During those unsettled days he had plenty to do and made numerable arrests.  In the meantime he located a claim, but lost it to a contestant, and yet was successful in keeping some Guthrie lots which he had claimed.

Schlegel joined the surveying corps at Chandler, September 8, 1891, and assisted in the task of laying out the town and located some lots for himself, after which he was employed in building until he entered into partnership with N. F. Cheadle of Guthrie.  Under his supervision the Cheadle & Schlegel block, 25 by 140 feet in dimensions, was constructed, and other buildings and residences of Chandler were built by him.  The firm had the local agency for the Pabst and Ferd Heim Brewing Companies, and also manufactured soda and mineral waters in which an extensive trade had been built up.  The large cold storage plant had a capacity of two carloads and shipments were continually taken from Chandler to different local points.

Mr. Schlegel had succeeded in building up a large business and was connected with a number of home enterprises.  In the bank of Chandler, he was one of the board of directors, and while he was connected with the council of the city he was influential in securing the water works of Chandler, going to the legislature and doing some effective lobbying, for the bill was passed.

In the Odd Fellows Order he belonged to Lodge #9.  With the Encampment, he was past grand patriarch of the Grand Encampment of Oklahoma.  He was also connected with the Daughters of Rebecca Lodge.  Politically he was a Republican and while a delegate to the Congressional Convention he assisted in nominated D. T. Flynn.

The first marriage of Mr. Schlegel took place in Fredonia, Kansas to Miss M. A. Lippy.  She was born in Illinois and died in Kansas.  They had two children.  Later he married Mrs. Mary E. Herr of Purcell.

The accompanying photo illustrates OT0006, one of G. W. Schlegel's two known Hutchinson variants.  Image courtesy of American Bottle Auctions.