Saturday, January 15, 2005

Schilling, N. - bio

Schilling, Nicholas T.
b.11/28/1845; d.9/20/1919.
USA, 1st Maryland Cavalry Regiment
(Potomac Home Brigade), Co.K; Private.

Cedar Bayou Masonic Cemetery; Baytown, TX.

Though born in Bavaria, Germany, Nicholas came to the United States while still quite young in years. He shows up in the 1860 Maryland census in Allegany County (267, Dist.7).

Eighteen-year old Nicholas enlisted in the Union Army on 3/31/1864 [i] and served until his discharge on 6/28/1865 [ii] as a Private in Co.K of the USA,
1st Maryland Cavalry Regiment (Potomac Home Brigade). [iii] Nicholas’ company, Co.K of 1st Maryland, saw its share of combat in the latter half of 1864, being actively involved in the battles of Kernstown (7/1864), Winchester (9/1864), Fisher’s Hill (9/1864) and Cedar Creek (10/1864). [iv]

Following his discharge from the Union Army, Nicholas went on to the Chicago Medical College to pursue a medical degree. Two years after his graduation in 1872,[v] he moved to Cedar Bayou [vi] in Chambers County, Texas, worked in a brick factory for a short time and then set up practice as a physician.

Records of the Cedar Bayou Masonic Lodge show that Nicholas became a Master Mason on 12/15/1877 and that he “served as secretary and treasurer of the lodge for many years.” [vii]

Somewhere in the course of events, Linna E. Gaillard (b.11/4/1848; d.3/13/1922), a school teacher at Barbers Hill, won Nicholas’ heart and they wed in 1883. [viii] They had three children, two of whom survived to their adult years – John G. (b.1884; d.1/4/1954) and Annie (b.1/18/1887; d.2/8/1966). Neither John or Annie ever married. John served in World War 1 and became a physician like his father. [ix] A third child was either born to them dead or died shortly after birth on 7/20/1890.

Nicholas was blind in one eye and wore a black eye patch. At what point in life he lost part of his sight - whether related to his military service or not - I don't know.

Nicholas was well-respected and liked in the community, no doubt in part because of his bold sense of humor and his being a caring physician - skills he blended together.
“. . . he had a sense of humor. This is pointed out by his method of discouraging children from climbing the stairs from his office to the second floor. He placed a skeleton on the floor at the head of the stairs and would have a big laugh when the children would come crying down to their parents.” [x]
Nicholas died in his home in September 1919. Nearly fifty years after his death, his restored medical office and its contents were moved Anahuac, Texas, on Bolivar Avenue near the intersection of Bolivar and Cummings Street. [xi] A historical was then placed at this location by the Chambers County Historical Commission, the text of which reads:
“Nicholas T. Schilling, born in Bavaria on Nov. 28, 1845, came as a small child with his parents to the United States. He served in the Civil War (1861-65) as a youthful volunteer in the Maryland Cavalry. In 1872, he received his M.D. degree from the Chicago Medical college. When he came to Cedar Bayou (20 mi. SW) in 1874 he worked in a brick factory, earning funds to set up practice, and revealed his skill by treating an accident victim on the job. His first office was a lean-to behind a mercantile store. In 1883 he married Linna E. Gaillard (d. 1922). For some years he practiced from the family residence, then in 1890 built this office nearby, arranging it in ideal order for his treatments, library, and copious records. Besides his general practice, he fitted eyeglasses and performed dentistry. He traveled far and wide to call on patients, and often accepted his fees in the form of vegetables, fruit, livestock, and farm labor. His son John grew up to assist in the practice and later became a physician in Houston. Dr. N. T. Schilling died in 1919. His daughter Annie kept the office intact until she died in 1966. Then structure and contents, donated to Chambers County, came here by barge to be preserved as a museum.”
Nicholas, his wife Linnie, his daughter Annie and their infant child, are buried in the Cedar Bayou Masonic Cemetery in Baytown, Texas. [xii] There is no indication of his military service on his gravestone.

i. The company of his service was organized in February through April 1864 in Frederick and Baltimore, Maryland.


iii. However, the 1890 Veteran’s Census mistakenly records Nicholas as having served in "2nd" Maryland Cavalry.

iv. For a brief history of this unit, see:

v. This college is now known today as Northwestern University Medical School.

vi. For a brief history of Cedar Bayou, TX, see:

vii. Flavia Fleischman, Old River Country: A History of West Chambers County (Biography Press, 1976), 299.

viii. A fine photograph of them both together can be seen in a glass display case of the 2nd floor of the Chambers County courthouse in Anahuac, TX. This same photo is also on display in the Baytown Historical Museum.

ix. Ibid., 299-300. A photograph of John G. Schilling is found on p.300.

x. Ibid, 299.