Christopher Schultz descendant: Jeremiah Schultz

Christopher Schultz

Figure of Christopher Schultz in our permanent Schwenkfelder immigration gallery on the ground floor

This fall the Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center will feature an exhibit about the life and legacy of Christopher Schultz. Christopher Schultz came as an orphan at age 16 to America, and played various significant roles in maintaining the Schwenkfelders cultural identity in America. The exhibit not only shares information about Christopher Schultz’ life but the lives of his descendants.

Jeremiah Schultz Wheelchair

Jeremiah Schultz's chair

One of Christopher Schultz’s descendants was Jeremiah Schultz. Christopher Schultz was his great-great grandfather. Jeremiah, known as Jerry, was born in 1857 and remained single throughout his life. Due to complications from polio in his early life he was unable to fully use his legs. The wheelchair he used is part of our collection and will be temporarily on view as part of the Christopher Schultz exhibit. Jerry Schultz lived for about 80 years and served as a school teacher and according to various sources enjoyed weaving textiles for various friends and family members. His brother Wesley Schultz was the local Justice of the Peace in the Hereford area and played a significant role in collecting information for the Schwenkfelder Genealogical Record.

Sentiments about Jerry’s life are echoed in the poem What He Took by Millen Brand in Local Lives: Poems About the Pennsylvania Dutch.

“…He lay down with his chest against the rail and propelled himself by his strong hands. He wore gloves and went faster than a man could walk. He would go sometimes as far as ten miles, and could get up a hard hill. But that is all past now, his days of traveling are past. Though kept, the chariot of those years weathers now on the porch. He sits with twilight behind his head, and as he talks, his voice is muffled by his untended beard…” (Brand 1975, 49)

The wheelchair Jerry used is part of our collection and will be temporarily on view as part of the Christopher Schultz exhibit. Christopher Schultz, first floor art gallery, opens August 21, 2011 and runs through February 19, 2012.

-Richard Kriebel

Brand, Millen. Local Lives: Poems about the Pennsylvania Dutch New York: Clarkson N Potter, Inc. 1975. Pgs. 49-50.

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About schwenkfelder

We are a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and interpreting the history of the Schwenkfelders and the history of southeastern Pennsylvania and the Perkiomen Region. The Heritage Center offers educational programming and tours, exhibits, workshops, and events throughout the year. Our blog is maintained by museum educator, Rebecca Lawrence, SLHC staff and guest bloggers.
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