Ellen (Steele) Schekoske (1874 - 1928)



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Ancient Faces has taken it upon itself to inform readers Ellen was an only child. Ellen was the fifth born child with another 6 children to follow. John Kluck was not a relationship he was her second husband after her first husband passed away.

Ellen (Steele) Schekoske Biography & Family History

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in Lowood, QLD Australia


on in Maryborough, QLD Australia

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Last Known Residence

The Rockley, Flats Road, in Chelmsford, South Burnett County, QLD Australia

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Father: George Steele
Parent: Mary-Ann Steele Nee Gardner
Siblings: William Edmund Steele, Richard Steele, Henry Steele, Hannah Steele, Emma Steele, Fanny Steele, Caroline Steele, Elizabeth Steele, Alfred Steele, and Lillian Steele

Partner: Xavier Schekoske
Children with Xavier: William Valentine Steele, Eva Ellen Schekoske, Mary Schekoske, Nicholas Andrew Schekoske, and Albert Valentine Schekoske

Husband: Xavier Schekoske


Attended Glamorgan Vale State School


Land Owner


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Church of England



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1874 - In the year that Ellen (Steele) Schekoske was born, on May 20th, Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis were approved for a patent for "blue jeans with copper rivets". They charged $13.50 per dozen jeans. Although the term "jeans" was first used in 1795 - in Italy - using rivets to reinforce stress points in jeans such as pockets and the bottom of the fly was an original idea..

1877 - Ellen was only 3 years old when on January 8th, the Battle of Wolf Mountain occurred in southern Montana Territory. Crazy Horse, Two Moon, and their warriors fought the United States Cavalry. The battle was a tactical draw and by May, Crazy Horse and his followers had surrendered at Camp Robinson.

1911 - At the age of 37 years old, Ellen was alive when Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole, along with four fellow Norwegian explorers. After hearing that Peary had beaten him to the North Pole, Amundsen decided to tackle the South Pole. On December 14th, he succeeded.

1913 - She was 39 years old when Woodrow Wilson became the 28th President of the United States in March. Previously the Governor of New Jersey and President of Princeton University, he was the first Southerner to serve as President since Zachary Taylor, over 60 years previous. A Democrat, he led the U.S. during World War I and championed the League of Nations.

1928 - In the year of Ellen (Steele) Schekoske's passing, aviatrix Amelia Earhart, age 31, became the first woman to fly solo across North America and back in August. In June, she had been part of a 3 man crew that flew the Atlantic Ocean but since she had no instrument training, she couldn't fly the plane - she kept the flight log. The North American flight became one of her many "firsts" as a female pilot.

Ellen (Steele) Schekoske Family Tree

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This obit of Ellen (Steele) Schekoske is updated by the community. Edit this biography to contribute to her obituary. Include details such as cemetery, burial, newspaper obituary and grave or marker inscription if available.

Ellen (Steele) Schekoske, mother to 5 children, died on January 21, 1928 in Maryborough, QLD Australia at age 54. No cause of death has been entered for Ellen. Ellen was born on January 15, 1874 in Lowood, QLD Australia. She was born to George Steele and Mary-Ann Steele Nee Gardner, with siblings William, Richard, Henry, Hannah, Emma, Fanny, Caroline, Elizabeth, Alfred, and Lillian. Ellen's partner was Xavier Schekoske. and they gave birth to William Valentine Steele, Eva Ellen Schekoske, Mary Schekoske, Nicholas Andrew Schekoske, and Albert Valentine Schekoske. She also married Xavier Schekoske. We know that Ellen (Steele) Schekoske had been residing in The Rockley, Flats Road, in Chelmsford, South Burnett County, QLD Australia.

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I have put this document together to highlight the life of my GREAT GRAND AUNT; someone I would have liked to have met. Ellen endured despite all of life’s adversities from surviving the death of her oldest son-William Valentine Steele to that of her first husband Xavier Schekoske before her time. This is her story:
Ellen Steele was born on the 15th January 1874 in the Lowood area. Her parents are George and Mary-Ann (nee Gardner) Steele. Her father had taken up selection in the Glamorgan Vale area and acquired 160 acres. This is known to be 420 Glamorganvale /Lowood Road. Ellen attended the local Glamorganvale State School in 1886.
At the age of 17 on the 2-10-1891 Ellen gave birth to her first child-William Edmund Steele. The father is unknown. The child dies 18 days later in the Lennon Lane area of North Ipswich. Her sister Mrs Hannah Goldie Simpson supports Ellen. On the 7-2-1894 at the Women’s Refuge and Infant Home, Turbot Street, Brisbane, Ellen gave birth to her second child-William Edward Steele-who survives to become William Valentine Steele. The father is also unknown. Ellen’s life as a young unmarried mother could have easily been one of shame and retribution from within her inner family and society at large, but Ellen’s immediate family embraced and supported her as she is back at Glamorgan Vale where she meets and marries Xavier Schekoske in 1898.
Together they have 4 children:
- Eva Ellen Schekoske on the 3-11-1898
- Mary Schekoske on the 6-1-1901
- Nicholas Schekoske on the 23-4-1902
- Albert Schekoske on the 1-10-1903
Xavier informally adopts Ellen’s first son as William takes his stepfather’s name of Schekoske when enrolled at school. They also live on the farm of Xavier’s father (Valentine Schekoske) for a short while before taking up selection in 1903 in the newly opened area of Wondai. Both Xavier and Ellen have become selectors in this thriving community. Ellen’s Agricultural Farm is 3567 and Xavier’s is 3030. On a cadastral map they are Portion 315V & Portion 412V.

Tragedy hits in 1906 when Xavier suddenly and without warning becomes gravely ill and passes away leaving a vulnerable Ellen to care for 5 young children whilst continuing to maintain the selections. On the 3-5-1907 Ellen sells Xavier’s property to Henry Wecker for £120-just under $24,000 in today’s money.
In 1908 a 34-Year-old Ellen marries again to a 21 Year old John Kluck on Ellen’s property “The Rockley”. This property is actually 154 Flats Road, Chelmsford 4606 with the original barn still in place. Together they have 3 children:
- Arthur John Kluck on the 18-4-1909
- Walter George Kluck on the 23-11-1910
- Lillian Kluck in 1912.
Ellen’s life was a difficult one but she evolved into becoming a successful landholder with her two agricultural farms despite the crippling drought of 1902. Ellen could have easily become despondent and self-recriminating but she didn’t. She is a true Australian battler and deserves praise and recognition. However, Ellen did have difficulties coming to terms with the death of her beloved son William as his name appears on the Wondai Census for 1919 and 1925 but the evidence contradicts this.
In 1923 Ellen secures an additional 10 years on the lease of her properties. She owned Portion 315V and Portion 312V. However this enterprising woman with true determination and persistence passes away in the Maryborough Hospital on the 21st January 1928. I am proud to have told her story, as I know it.
Jan 24, 2015 · Reply
Ellen was the 5th child born to George and Mary-Ann Steele of Glamorgan Vale. Ellen attended the local State School. In 1891 Ellen gave birth to a boy in North Ipswich who subsequently died 18 days later. In 1894 on the 7th of February Ellen gave birth to a William Edward Steele at the Women's Refuge and Infants Home in Brisbane. Ellen's status was classified as refugee. The father of either child was not known. Ellen's immediate family-(i.e. her parents,siblings etc) embraced her despite the stigma attached to ex-nuptial births. This is evident as Ellen is back at Glamorgan Vale where she meets and marries Xavier Schekoske in 1898. Together they have an additional 4 children and decide in 1901 to move to the Wondai area to take up selection of land. Xavier is take ownership of portion 412V on Greenview Road Wondai with Ellen taking ownership of portion 315V (160 acres) on Flats Road Chelmsford Mondure. Ellen and Xavier send all their children to the Mondure North Provisional School a distance of about 3k's. In 1906 Xavier unexpectedly passes away leaving a 34 year old Ellen on her own with 5 children. In 1908 Ellen meets and marries a 21 year old John Kluck and together they have 3 children. They continue to farm the land--a total of 320 acres until her death on the 21st January 1928. Her husband John sells both properties by June of that year.
Dec 05, 2014 · Reply

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