Eight-year-old Buddy Schumacher left home with two or three older neighborhood boys on the morning of July 24, 1925. He was never seen alive again.
One of the boys he was with that day was Arnold Yunk, a 10-year-old boy who lived next door. I wasn’t able to find much information about Arno (the name by which he went) before I was able to have Buddy’s story published in the book, “Murder in Wauwatosa: The Mysterious Death of Buddy Schumacher.”
Since the book published a little less than two years ago, I’ve been piecing together more information on the story. People who have read the book will send me an email to tell me they had relatives who knew somebody connected to the story or that they recall hearing people talk about what they think might have happened to little Buddy and who might have committed the heinous act.
It was such an email that cam in recently that got me looking into Arno Yunk and his family. A relative emailed me asking if I knew anything else about the boy. With his help, and with more information available to me now than I had when the book was written, I have been able to get a slightly better picture of who Arno was and what became of him. Here is some of what I’ve gathered:
According to this relative, his grandmother said the Yunk family of that time was a rather “rambunctious” bunch. Frank X. Yunk and his wife, Theresa, had six children: Erwin, Florella, Clarence, Roman, Arno and Arlene, from oldest to youngest, all born between 1903 and 1916. In 1931, at the age of 22, Roman Yunk robbed the Brookfield State Bank in Waukesha with two other young men and was sentenced to 20-30 years in prison. Roman was living on North Main Street (Harwood Avenue today) a few blocks from his family. He served time at the penitentiary at Waupun. But his sentenced was commuted in 1937 by Gov. Philip La Follette, and he was freed. Roman was living at the old Hotel Irvington/Harwood Manor Rooming House at 7335 Harwood Ave., in 1940.
At the time of Buddy’s murder, the Yunks lived at 197 Alice Street, one house north of the Schumacher family. Later on, that address became 1323 Alice Street, when Wauwatosa’s house numbering system changed. The Yunks and Schumachers were next-door neighbors for years and years, although Buddy’s parents moved out of the house soon after he died. Buddy’s two uncles, Edwin and Robert, and Edwin’s wife, Ann, continued to reside next to the Yunks for at least the next 15 years as the 1940 Census says. The 1940 Census had not been released to the public when I wrote the book.
A lady who knew Buddy, grew up around the corner from the Yunks and Schumachers, and eventually moved into the house one property north of the Yunks, told me she thought that Arno had gone to prison at some point. His relative said he didn’t think that was the case and thought this lady might have had Arno confused with Roman.
Arno only stayed in school through ninth grade. By 1940, he was a 24-year-old man, who lived in Milwaukee at 1722A 35th Street, between Lisbon to the north and Walnut to the south. The couple had a 2-year-old daughter, Carolyn. The 1940 Census listed Arno’s occupation as a truck driver for the Works Progress Administration, the couple spent $15 per moth on rent and Arno made $684 in 1939.
Arnold F. Yunk died on January 23, 1975 in Milwaukee at the age of 60.