Frederick L. Schmersahl

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Frederick L. Schmersahl
11th Mayor of Hoboken
In office
April 1871 – April 1873
Preceded by Hazen Kimball
Succeeded by Peter McGavisk
Personal details
Born 1826
Bremen, Germany
Spouse(s) Ellen C. (1829-1884)
Residence Hoboken, New Jersey

Frederick L. Schmersahl (January 1825 - about 1905) was a German-American merchant and politician who served two terms as the eleventh Mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey from 1871-1873.[1]


Schmersahl was born in January 1825 in Bremen, Germany. He migrated from Germany to New Jersey in 1845. By 1900 he was living in Weehawken, New Jersey.[2]

He was a partner, along with Louis Wittpenn, in a liquor and wine wholesale business in New York City.[3] He served on the Hoboken City Council in 1866.[4] Schmersahl was rejected by the Hoboken Democratic convention as a candidate for mayor in 1871, but was reported to run independently.[5] He was elected as a Republican in 1871. He raised money for the relief of victims of the Great Chicago Fire.[6] He was re-elected as the candidate of both parties in 1872.[7] Schmersahl ran as an independent candidate in 1873 and was defeated by Democrat Peter McGavisk.[8]

In 1889 he took out an advertisement for a wife and met Clara Theinhardt. She was 30 and he was 63. He made a formal marriage proposal and she accepted. He backed out of the engagement and she sued for breach of promise for $10,000. They settled for an undisclosed amount before trial.[9][10]


  1. ^ Winfield, Charles (1874). History of the County of Hudson, New Jersey: from its earliest settlement to the present time. New York, NY: Kennard & Hay Stationery M'fg and Print. Co. p. 319. 
  2. ^ 1880 and 1900 US census for New Jersey
  3. ^ "The Charge Against the Mayor of Hoboken". The New York Times. November 23, 1871. Retrieved January 11, 2011. 
  4. ^ Costa, Isaac (1866). Gopsill's Jersey City and Hoboken directory for the year ending 30th April, 1867. Gopsill. p. 428. Retrieved January 11, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Hoboken Democratic Convention - Nominations for City Officers". The New York Times. April 5, 1971. Retrieved January 11, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Letter from Mayor F. L. Schmersahl to Hoboken City Council, Oct. 10, 1871 re the Chicago fire & setting up a victims benefit fund.". October 10, 1871. Retrieved 2015-02-17. When as the sad news has been spread over the Country, that, a large portion of the great City of the West, the City of Chicago, has been visited by one of the most terrible conflagrations on record 
  7. ^ "Jersey City and Hoboken elections". New York Times. April 10, 1872. Retrieved January 11, 2011. In Hoboken Mayor Schmersahl was the candidate of both parties for re-election and had no opposition. He ran last year on the Republican ticket, but was this year first nominated by the Democrats and afterward by the Republicans, who claim him as his candidate. ... 
  8. ^ "New-Jersey Elections; Returns for Jersey City, Hoboken, New-Brunswick and other Towns". The New York Times. April 10, 1873. Retrieved January 11, 2011. 
  9. ^ "The Widow's Lament. Suing An Unwilling Widower for Breach of Promise". New York Times. April 8, 1888. Retrieved 2015-02-17. Frederick L. Schmersahl is a wholesale liquor dealer living in Hoboken. Clara Theinhardt of 143 West Forty-third-street, this city, has sued him in the Supreme Court for a breach of promise of marriage, laying the damages at $10,000. ... 
  10. ^ "Money Heals a Lacerated Heart". New York Times. February 24, 1889. Retrieved 2015-02-17. Ex-Mayor Fredrick Schmersahl of Hoboken advertised for a wife some time ago, and among the responses received was one from Mrs. Clara Theinhardt.