THE FIRST FLIGHT
The girls would play in the local park every day with their nurse watching over them. This continued for about a year without incident until, when the children’s nurse least expected it, Aurelia arrived on the scene with Gorman A. Worth, a broker who had been a friend of the family’s, and the two kidnapped the girls. For weeks she eluded the detectives her husband sent to track her down, being dubbed the “Flying Woman” by the Daily People New York newspaper. Day after day news came back — she was in New Jersey, no, she was in Connecticut, and then Pennsylvania. She managed to continue the run through six different states for several weeks.
Finally, two months after her disappearance, the detectives finally caught up with her in New Jersey. As she and Gorman were walking near the boarding house where she was staying, a procession of legal authorities approached her. The intimidating group including the sheriff, his assistant constable, the chief of police, the two detectives who had been tracking her, and Emil’s lawyers, advanced towards her to make the arrest. But Aurelia was not going to go quietly. She drew a pistol and attempted to shoot the officers. Failing in the attempt, she quickly realized defeat and allowed them to take her into custody. The children were returned to their ailing father who was now recuperating at the home of his brother, Rudolph Schaefer, at 9 East 94th Street. While custody was pending, Aurelia kidnapped them once again and fled the country to Canada beyond the family's reach.
Rudolph Schaefer, the younger brother of Emil and owner of 9 East 4th Street, was the vice president of F & M Schaefer Brewing Company at the time of the scandal. Their father, Maximillian Schaefer and his brother, Frederick started the brewing company in 1842, just four years after they immigrated to America from Germany. It became one of the largest brewing companies in the United States. For a period of time, Emil was the president of the company, but several years of failing health compelled him to retire. Finally, he passed away in March of 1905, just two years after the scandal began.
In 1912, Rudolph bought complete control of the company’s properties and rose to the office of president. During prohibition the company switched to brewing “near beer” in order to remain in operation. Later, Rudolph’s sons succeeded him when he passed away in 1923. F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company purchased other breweries over the years until it was purchased in 1981 by Stroh Brewery Company and finally in 1999 Stroh was bought by Pabst Brewing Company which continues selling Schaefer beer today.
The townhome at 9 East 94th Street still retains much of the beauty from a time when the president of the Schaeffer brewery owned it. When standing within the walls of this building of scandal, refuge, and success, one can still imagine Rudolph and Emil Schaefer talking of the family business, the kidnapping of Eleanor and Frieda, and the “flying woman.”
Contact us to learn more about the history of 9 East 94th Street and the scandal which continued after the passing of Emil Schaefer.
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