The unofficial Mayor and First Lady of Rowlett would have been celebrating their 95th birthdays this week had they remained with us. But, Vernon Schrade passed to his reward on December 12, 2015 and Lorene followed on August 16, 2016. They were married for 69 years.
Vernon was the son of Gottlob and Martha Bryant Schrade. Lorene was the daughter of Ed and Eula Stovall Schrade.
Vernon’s dad was six years of age when he, along with his parents, left Germany’s port city of Bremen and headed for Texas in 1883. They were at sea for twenty-four days before docking at Galveston, Texas. They then boarded a steam locomotive and traveled to Dallas on the Houston-Texas-Central Railroad.
After a few days in Dallas the family moved north of town to the Grauwyler farm at Letot and raised cotton. The Letot community, which is now part of Dallas, was located near present day Lombardy Lane and Harry Hines Boulevard.
The family then moved to Swiss Avenue near the intersection of Stone and Elm Streets where they operated an inn or boarding house from 1884 until 1892. The guest stayed on the first floor and the family lived on the second floor of this wood frame building which adjoined the Mayers Garden Saloon and Hotel. They rented the inn for $50 a month. A stone cutter, Mr. Bearhart, boarded with them in 1890. He was a stonecutter for the old Dallas County Courthouse. The Schrade boys, Gottlob, George, Jr. and Jacob “Jake” attended school nearby where they were taught both English and German. Gottlob only attended through the third grade.
The Schrade family then moved to the Chesia Community, which is now part of Southeast Rowlett.
There is a great resemblance in the early life of both families. Both families were involved in farming and also the cotton ginning business. Gottlob Schrade had a gin in the Cheisa area and later in the Dalrock area. The Coyle family had a gin near downtown Rowlett. Both the Dalrock (now part of Rowlett) and downtown Rowlett gins still remain. The house where Lorene grew up also remains and now under care of the City of Rowlett.
There is no question that Vernon and Lorene attended school together. There was no high school at Rowlett, but they both attended the Garland High School where Vernon was class president and Lorene and her twin sister Florene were in the band.
What is not widely known is that the Rowlett Grange was very active in those days. Almost everyone in the area, including my grandparents, Oscar and Beatrice Pelton Merritt, were members of the Rowlett Grange. Lorene served as Secretary and Vernon served as Treasurer of the organization. It appears that their romance continued to blossom during this time and the Grange even took out an ad in the local paper announcing their marriage. The add reads, in part:
“The Rowlett Grange takes pleasure in announcing this marriage due to their loyal co-operation in farm and community organization work. Miss Coyle is active in the position of secretary and Mr. Schrade is treasurer of the Grange.”
Another news article (in part): They were married at the Grace Methodist Church in Dallas, Tuesday, June 4, 1946 at 7:00 pm by the Rev. Russell of the Rowlett Methodist Church in the presence of immediate families of the couple. Mr. And Mrs. Jimmy McEntee were the only attendants. They left for a wedding trip to Austin, San Antonio and Brownwood, and on return will be at home east of Rowlett where their home is already furnished.
Venron and Lorene Coyle Schrade lived a full life. Raised a wonderful family and left a legacy that will remain for many generations yet to come. This little article is but a small summary of their life. It would take a full book just to summarize their many contributions.
Please join me in wishing a Happy 95th birthday to both Vernon and Lorene Schrade. Additional Rowlett information can be found here.