Meet a Westside Pioneer!
Roberta Schneider

What kind of career have you had?
I was a clerk in the credit department and customer service at Sears; also an electronics assembler at Ampex. I retired from Kaman Instrumentation as a production planner. In the 1960s, my husband and I owned a full-service gas station called the Frontier on Colorado Avenue (across from the Cotton Club).

Roberta with Grandma Stringham and husband Ted (the house on Pine Street was later moved to the Ramona area to make way for I-25).
Courtesy of Roberta Schneider

Can you tell us about your marriage?

I married Edward L. Schneider (Ted) on March 16, 1946. My husband died in 2008.

Did you have children?
I have a son, Larry and three daughters, Karen, Vicki Lee & Terri.

Ten grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Any of your family members still here?
Yes, four children, one brother and one sister and eight of my 10 grandchildren.

Can you tell us about your grandparents/parents?
My parents were Rae and Maude Renck. My dad was originally from Missouri and my mom's folks, Grant and Ellen (Plummer) Stringham, came from Kansas. Rae's dad, George Austin Renck worked the railroad in St. Louis, Missouri. Rae's mother, Julia Althouse, died in childbirth. Rae and his brother, Herbert, homesteaded in Rush. They owned a grocery/service station called Hall Station. The Stringhams moved to Rush from Kansas and my parents met in Rush.
       My parents moved to the Colorado Springs Westside from Rush in 1939 so the children still at home could be in better schools. They raised 10 children. My dad worked for the Colorado Springs Street Department starting in 1939. He also worked at Loetscher's Grocery in the 500 block of West Colorado for awhile. My mother worked as a secretary for Don & Cecil at the Hillton's Creamery downtown also known as at the Colorado Springs Produce Co.

During World War II, Roberta (center) poses with family members, including Uncle Herbert (tallest, with hat), her brothers (soldiers home on leave wearing caps – Paul (left) and Austin), her mother Maude (far left) and father Rae (between Roberta and Paul).
Courtesy of Roberta Schneider
What are your best memories of growing up on the Westside?

Mostly not worrying about being safe at all places and times. We knew all of the neighbors. Very few of us locked our doors. My friends and I hiked up to Seven Falls, Garden of the Gods, Manitou Incline and various other places. We didn’t take any money with us. A thermos of water and a sack lunch was all we had with us. The down payment on our home was finishing the shingles on the steep pitched roof. It was formerly a carriage house. I still live there.

Sewing, and I also paint landscapes. Ted and I used to go fishing and camping.

What is gone from the Westside now that you wish had stayed?
The grocery stores and drugstores at 15th Street and Colorado Avenue, and Mrs. Dearing’s Creamery.

What has stayed that you wish had gone?
Corporate owned convenience stores, rather than the “Mom and Pop” owned businesses.

How about the way things have changed? Too many people and no grocery or drugstores close by.

Overall, is the Westside better or worse than when you were a kid here?
The only thing I can think of is the growth. I used to know everybody.

The Frontier service station crew with Ted at right in 1960. At far right in background is the Antlers Hotel, a few years before its demolition.
Courtesy of Roberta Schneider
“Meet a Westside Pioneer” interviews people who have lived all (or nearly all) their lives on the Colorado Springs Westside. If you meet that criteria (or know someone who does), please give us a call at 471-6776.

Roberta and Ted (foreground) with chidren (from left) Larry, Vicki Lee, Terri and Karen in 1976.
Westside Pioneer photo