OTTO B. SCHMIDT, who is a substantial farmer living on section 9, Eldorado township, was born in Jackson county, Iowa, April 26, 1875. He is a son of Gustave Adolph Otto and Sophia (Pagel) Schmidt, both natives of Germany. Gustave Schmidt who was familiarly known as Otto Schmidt, was born March 12, 1829, and died May 24, 1905. His wife, who was born in 1844, now lives in Preston, Iowa. They were parents of twelve children, of whom nine are living, namely: Frank W., of Kensett, Iowa; August P., of Preston, Iowa; Minnie, wife of Charles Pinch, of Ellsworth, Minnesota; Otto B., of this sketch; George M., of Davenport, Iowa; Augusta, wife of P. S. King, of Preston, Iowa; Charlotte, wife of Dr. S. B. Tony, of Mandan, South Dakota; Lulu, at home; and Hugo, of Davenport, Iowa. Otto Schmidt, Sr., came to the United States in 1854, landing in New York August 6th. He remained in New York state working at his trade for three years and in 1857 he came to Iowa, locating in Jackson county, where he married and continued to carry on his trade of blacksmith. He located at what was known as Van Buren Center, and here he carried on a farm besides following his trade. This was his home until his death although for several years he was president of the German Savings Bank of Preston, Iowa. He was one of the enterprising and influential citizens among the pioneers of Jackson county.
Otto B. Schmidt lived on the home farm and attended school at Preston, there receiving a common school education; later he attended the Normal School at Valparaiso, Indiana, for one year. At the age of seventeen years he began teaching in Van Buren township, Jackson county, and thus spent three years; he then worked on a farm until his marriage, and in the spring of 1898 he moved to the farm he now occupies, which comprises one hundred and sixty acres, given to his wife by her father. Mr. Schmidt set to work to clear out the land, and erect new buildings where needed. He now has a fine place, in good condition and having modern conveniences. He deals extensively in stock, buying and selling horses, cattle and hogs, and he has been very successful in every enterprise undertaken by him. He also owns fifty-seven acres in Eldorado township.
Mr. Schmidt is accounted one of the representative farmers and business men of the community, and is actively interested in public affairs and enterprises. He is a stockholder in the Van Home Savings Bank and the Van Home Mercantile Company. He is treasurer of the township school board, and served two years as township clerk. He was reared in the German Lutheran faith. In politics he is a Republican.
December 29, 1897, Mr. Schmidt married Julia M. Rammelsberg, born in Shellsburg, Iowa, December 5, 1875, daughter of Hugo and Bertha (Hauschild) Rammelsberg. Hugo Rammelsberg, Mrs. Otto B. Schmidt's father, was born in Germany, September 17, 1827. He came to the United States in 1847, landing at New Orleans where he remained until 1849 and then went to Yazoo City, Mississippi, where he stayed until 1854, when he came to Iowa. Here he entered a large tract of land in Fremont township, at one time owning two sections of land there. June 11, 1857, he married Emilie Toedter, a native of Germany, who died on April 15, 1863. There were four children by this marriage, two of whom are living. February 29, 1864, Mr. Rammelsberg married Bertha Hauschild, who was born in Germany May 25, 1845, and who survives him. She lives at Shellsburg, Iowa. By this marriage there were nine children, and four daughters are now living. Mr. Rammelsberg was a member of the German Lutheran church. In politics he was a Democrat. He died February 21, 1897.
Mr. Schmidt and his wife had two children, Waldo, born April 23, 1900, who died December 1, 1908, and Helen D., born November 19, 1907.