Early Work & Life in Schenectady

The Winkler’s immigrated to Schenectady, NY in the late 1800s. The following is a compilation of city, church, and census records as well as family stories.

In 1884 Hubert Winkler was the first of the family to immigrate to America. Hubert lived at 419 Mumford Street. His occupation is listed as carpenter.(1) According to family stories he worked on the first wooden refrigerator cabinet made by General Electric. Hubert worked in building 72 at GE and also part-time at Proctors Theatre. (2) In his later years Hubert is listed as a bartender.(1) Family stories indicate this was at the Nicolaus Hotel.

Hubert married Anna M. Dietenmeier, a German immigrant, on January 12, 1886, at St. Joseph's Church, Schenectady. (3) Hubert then became a US citizen in 1890.(2) Hubert and Anna had seven children:
1. John William was born in June 1886 and died one month later. 

2. Frederick C. was born in 1887. Frederick (Fritz) was born in an apartment above Nicolaus Bar. He also worked at GE and was the first stage manager at Proctor’s Theater. Click here to read the story as reported by Proctors. 

3. Joseph J. was born in 1889. Joseph worked at GE.

4. Justus H. was born 1891. Justus worked at GE.

5. Hubert F. was born in 1896. He died in 1918 at the age the of 22.

6. John H. was born in 1900. He was a machinist.

7. A. Victoria was born in 1903.
John Winkler, Hubert’s younger brother, immigrated to the US in 1893.(4) He lived at 558 Liberty Street. He lived there until 1894 when his address changed to 110 Lafayette Street. Up to 1911 his occupation is listed as a moulder. 

John married Anna Kehner, from Albany. They were married in Albany in June 1897.(3) 

In 1895 Hubert is listed as owning a saloon at 101 South Ferry, The Corner (the current location of Slicks Tavern). According to the deed transactions for the property, it is stated that Mr. Staudenmeier sold the building to John Winkler on October 10, 1898. Also according to the transactions, John Winkler then sold the property to Jacob C. Baurle on that very same day. What the story is surrounding that transaction is still a mystery.(2)

The Corner

Above is The Corner, circa 1896 and Slick's Tavern, 2009.  The Corner photo is courtesy of Tom Frame.
There is a ten year gap in the directories so we fast forward to 1906. John is listed as owning a bar at One Villa Road.(1) Maps of that time show this was the location of the Villa Hotel. Lore has it as the longest length bar in Schenectady. The current location of this is the North West corner of Weaver Street and Broadway.
John A Winkler, John’s son, held a job at a saloon, no doubt his father’s on Villa Street. This was before he joined the US Navy. After the navy, he worked at the General Electric Company.
1915 - State Street, Schenectady - Looking west
John Winkler opened the Winkler Café. It was located at 456 State Street. This is the west side of State Street between Jay and Clinton Streets. This is the current site of the Hampton Inn.
Photos courtesy of Tom Winkler


1. Schenectady Directories  Click to view
2. Information provided by Chris Winkler (Bush)
3. St Joseph's Church Records
4. US census data  Click to view.