By David R. Schleper
Herman Frederick Schroeder was born in Hemsloh, Hanover, Germany, July 26, 1854. His father, Frederick, died when he was six years of age and the death of his mother, Margaret Sandman Schroeder, left him an orphan at the age of eleven.
In 1870 he came from Hanover to America and settled at Belle Plaine. He was married there in 1875 to Marie Reinke and they came to Shakopee the same year, this city having been their home since.
Immediately after coming to Shakopee Mr. Schroeder, in company with his brother, opened a brickyard which developed into the present Schroeder Brick and Lime Manufacturing Company, one of the leading and most prosperous business enterprises of the city and which is known throughout the northwest. Herman purchased his brother’s interest in 1896 and continued the business.
The brick yard was located north of Bluff Avenue between Market and Minnesota Street. The bricks were from near the Minnesota River, near Huber Park. Many of the early buildings in Shakopee were made from these bricks.
According to Dan Meyer, “The brick yard was awesome. It was my jungle gym and playground as a kid. We used to play on the brick walls for hours, and we used to climb down inside the old brick kiln. It was the part they used to fire up the bricks. It was kind of scary at the top looking down. The old brick yard was right over the hill in my backyard.”
So you can see it, or just look at many of the buildings in old Shakopee. Most of them were built from Schroeder’s brick!
(Some information from Shakopee Argus, Vol. 61, No. 16, p. 1, 3 Mar 1922; Little Sketches of Big Folks Minnesota 1907: An alphabetical list of representative men of Minnesota, with biographical sketches, R. L. Polk & Co. Publishers, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Duluth, 190, p. 353; Documenting Minnesota’s Nineteenth-Century Masonry Ruins, Two Pines Resource Group, LLC, December 2013.)