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Schmidt, John D. 1838-1908


Posted By: Wilma J. Vande Berg - volunteer (email)
Date: 11/1/2014 at 14:03:41

Obituary and Biographical Sketch.

Alton Democrat of April 18, 1908

J. D. Schmidt of Alton lost his life as a result of burns in a prairie fire this week. Monday he and his sons Bernard and Arthur went to a small hayfield owned by Mr. Schmidt in North Alton to burn an old stack. The boys were on the windward side of the stack and Mr. Schmidt over toward the other side of the field. The wind took the flames into the tall grass and the fire quickly spread.

Mr. Schmidt tried to save a hay-rake that stood in a patch of weeds. The flames swept up back of him and his coat caught fire. The breeze fanned it into a flame, Mr. Schmidt endeavored to tear it from his body and also started to run toward the river. The smoke obscured him from his sons but they were called by a young girl who saw his predicament. When they got to his side he was badly burned and it was with much labor that the flames were extinguished by rolling him and beating them out. His back was a solid mass of painful burns. His hands and arms were skinless and badly cooked. His beard was gone and his face scorched till it swelled frightfully. He was carried to his home in a state of shock and two doctors were called They did what they could and Wednesday it was announced that he had survived the shock and had a chance for recovery. Thursday he took a turn for the worse owing to congestion of the internal organs—due to inaction of the burned tissue—and in spite of all that
three doctors could do he died at three o'clock in the afternoon.

The funeral will be held this Saturday afternoon from St. Mary's catholic church. Mr. Schmidt was an lton pioneer. As such we are un able to do him justice this week and hence defer a biographical sketch till next week.

Alton Democrat of April 25, 1908

The funeral of J . D, Schmidt was held Saturday afternoon of last week at one o'clock. It was one of the largest in Alton's history-deceased being one of the town's pioneers and a man much respected in the community.

Mr. Schmidt was born on the twenty second day of March 1838. He was born in Helferskirchen Nassau Germany, He came to the United States in 1867 and located at Milwaukee where he remained for several years. He moved from there to Dubuque where he resided until 1882. At Springbrook Iowa on January fourteenth 1873 he was married to Miss Clara Hullerman. Children born to them who survive to mourn with the widowed mother are Benard of Alton, Mrs. Mike Brenoun of Granville, Mrs. Andrew Fleischer of Chicago, Miss Ida and Edward and Arthur of Alton. Deceased was well known over this part of Iowa—having taken charge of the Dubuque house in Alton upon his arrival here and having operated same for eight years.

Mr. Schmidt was a shrewd business man. He early saw the possibilities of this country and invested his money in land. He formerly owned a fine farm southeast of Alton and the writer has the word of one tenant who worked the farm for many years that a better landlord than Mr. Schmidt no man could wish. In recent years Mr. Schmidt had invested considerable money in South Dakota lands about Dell Rapids and in North Dakota lands about Litchville, In addition to looking after his own land interests he had the oversight of farm properties belonging to Dr. Smith of Des Moines.

Deceased was a man of many excellent qualities and had a host of friends and to the best of our knowledge and belief no enemies. He and his estimable wife toiled together for their mutual interests and have raised a family of young men and young women of whom any one might well feel proud. Mr. Schmidt had attained to a ripe old age but was hale and strong and to all appearances might have lived from ten to twenty years longer had it not been for the sad accident which ended his life, Mr. Schmidt was a Christian man and in spite of the severe ordeal through which he passed his last hours were peaceful ones and he entered the valley of the shadow surrounded by a loving family and loving friends, To many of the old citizens of Alton his death was as the death of a brother and by all who knew him for his kind ly disposition and ready wit and cheery laugh he will be sadly missed. There were present at the funeral from a distance Mrs. Hullerman and son Ed from Perry Iowa, Mrs. John Schmidt and Mrs. John Capesius from Dell Rapids South Dakota, brothers of deceased Peter and Adam and Chris from Dubuque, Dr, F . J . Smith and Miss Carrie Bohuenkamp from Des Moines, Mrs. Nic Kilburg and son Mike from LeMars. Mrs Andrew Fleischer from Chicago arrived barely in time for her father's funeral.

(Found on ancestry.com (work done by others) John D. Schmidt born 22 March 1838 Germany died 16 Apr 1908 Alton IA. He married Frederike Cullerman 1848. Children listed were - Elizabeth 1879, Clara 1881, Ida 1883, Edward 1885, Benjamin 1887, Edward 1887, and Arthur 1888.)


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