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Submitted: 3/8/09 • Approved: 3/8/09 • Last Updated: 8/12/15 • R2989-G0-S3
FROM First Baptist Church: 1890-1990
Wilhelm Schmidt was born in Glasgow, Germany, in 1854. He married Wilhelmina Birkholz at Scoenow, Germany, in 1879. Wilhelmina was born near Mandelkow, Germany, in 1855. In 1882, they immigrated to the United States, along with their two small children, and settled near Dunlap, Illinois. They came to South Dakota, and settled on a farm northeast of Avon. In 1915, they retired and moved to Avon. Wilhelmina was baptized there also in 1871 by Rev. Wiehler. They transferred their memberships to the Avon Baptist Church in 1902, and continued as faithful, pioneer members of the church until their deaths. Wilhelm died in 1934, and Wilhelmina died in 1940. Wilhelmina was a member of the Ladies' Missionary Society for thirty-eight years, having served as treasurer of this organization for seven years. Wilhelmina was known for her knowledge of and ability to quote Scriptures. The Schmidts celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1929. As part of the celebration, they were surprised with a meeting in the church, with many relatives and friends in attendance. They were presented with fifty dollars in gold coins by the church, and a program was held in their honor. The pioneer life took its toll of many people because of hard work, lack of sanitary facilities, and rudimentary medical treatment; it was unusual for a couple to live long enough to celebrate their gold anniversary. The Schmidts were permitted to journey together for a little over fifty-five years.
William Schmidt was the chairman of Giedd School when, in 1910, a commemorative booklet was given to each student by teacher Kathyrn Hebner. That year, Marie Schmidt was listed as the first student, as well as Emma, Adolph, Lydia, and Laura Hebner. Seven years later, those families were united when Marie's sister, Rosa, married Alex, the half-brother of Emma, Adolph, Lydia, and Laura.
In the Avon Clarion, 1969, there was an article about the 50th anniversary of Weidenbach's grocery store in Avon. One paragraph mentioned a parttime job that Wilhelm had:
The food store also handled and dressed poultry for many years and had to grind all their coffee. "A grand ole gentleman named William Schmidt would grind several hundred pounds for our Saturday run," noted the grocery merchant.
Contributed on 3/8/09 by hubner1
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Record #: 2989