Minnie Schenning

Minnie SchenningBy Diane Giles

Minnie Schenning was a member of the Kenosha County Equal Suffrage League and was a delegate to the state convention in 1915. She also was the township chairman for the league that year for Silver Lake.

Wilhelmina C. Nichols was born March 25,1866, in Dundee, Cook County, Illinois, to German parents Fredrick and Chrystal (Bateman) Nickels.

Minnie married William Schenning on Aug. 30, 1887, in Racine, Wisconsin.

William’s father, Fredrick W. Schenning, bought a farm and brought his family to Salem, Wisconsin, in 1866, when William was nine years old.

He and his brothers, Frederick H. and Albert, worked the farm with their father.

William and his brother Frederick platted the town site of Silver Lake which consists of part of the old Schenning farm.

William and Minnie had five children: Emma, Frederick, Otto, Martin and Hubert.

William and his father worked the farm together until his Frederick Schenning’s death on December 21, 1902.

Less than three months later, on March 4, 1903, William, too, was dead at the age of 45, and Minnie was a widow.

That is when Minnie found out the hard truth about woman’s life without women’s rights.

Following William’s death, the estate was divided between William’s two brothers and William’s heirs.

By 1916, Minnie purchased Albert’s interests in the farm and she and her sons then owned 204 acres of the original, larger homestead.

Minnie died March 29, 1936, at age 70, and is buried in Salem Mound Cemetery.