Mary Z. Gray Collection

The Schroeder Family at Home

Mary Z. Gray's maternal relatives, the Schroeder family, pose on the steps of their home at 524 Ninth Street SE in the early 20th century. The young girl standing in a ruffled dress in the front row is Mary's mother Edwinetta.

"301 East Capitol" devotes a whole chapter to the Schroeders and their neighborhood. Starting in 1840, her great-great-grandfather immigrated from Hanover (Germany) and joined the U.S. Marine Band. His only child, Mary's great-grandfather, followed suit in 1857. He married and had 12 children, many of whom were also musicians. From page 168: "He formed Schroeder's Orchestra in 1878" and for 40 years "[infused] the city with the sounds of music—band music, ballroom music, chamber music, wedding music, funeral music, ragtime music, whatever the occasion called for ..."

From the interview with: