she was honored by the mayor of St. Louis for her work with the effort to secure a Junior College and gained international media attention when she led the women of her PTA, armed with baseball bats, and took back the neighborhood park from a gang of hoodlums. The ladies continued to patrol the park until the summer recreation program was reopened, the badly damaged park was restored to it’s original beauty and an adult education program was opened at Roe School. She also took part in an effort to rehabilitate members of the gang and saw many return to school. Helen was also an active scouter, serving as a Den Mother and Pack Treasurer in the Boy Scouts, and was a Brownie Leader for several years.

Preferring to raise her children in a small town, she moved her family back to Decorah after her divorce. She worked for many years as office manager of a medical clinic and then had a day care center in her home for several years. She was an active member of United Methodist Church and a charter member and active participant in the Decorah Community Theater. Deeply patriotic, she enjoyed her affiliation with the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) and became Regent of Hannah Lee Chapter; she also held offices in the American Legion Auxiliary. In 1992, she was again recognized for her work in a school expansion program and her efforts as a fund raiser for a new high school auditorium.

After her retirement in 1987, she continues to keep busy with countless volunteer activities, many of which involve children. She also enjoys visiting her children and grandchildren in Arizona, Colorado, and Minnesota.

Schmidt, William and Mabel (Schultz)

(Christine Bodensteiner)

William Schmidt, son of August and Louise (Herbolt) Schmidt, was born 26 Apr 1890 near Wadena, IA. He was a farmer and did general trucking.

On 30 Jun 1917 Bill married Mabel Ann Schultz at the Lutheran Parsonage in Castalia. Mabel, daughter of Henry, Sr. and Alvina (Warnholz) Schultz, was born 13 Oct 1897 in Allamakee Co., IA. Mabel attended the rural schools in Bloomfield Twp.

Bill and Mabel farmed during the early years of their marriage. Bill milked cows and bottled the milk to deliver to the residents of Castalia. Bill also had a gas and oil delivery truck. He worked for the Postal Department by hauling mail from the Post Office to the train where the mail bag was put on a hook and caught by the speeding train as it passed through Castalia.

Mabel and Bill were the telephone operators for the Pleasant Ridge Telephone Company for 37 years.

The children of Bill and Mabel were Cleora and Hervey. Cleora (b. 29 Aug 1918) married Phillip Wander 22 Mar 1943. They farmed. They lived on the farm that belonged to the Campbell’s who were the first settlers in Winneshiek Co. Phillip and Cleora were the parents of Cletus, Craig and Christine. Cleora died 9 Aug 1980.

Hervey (b. 23 Oct 1921) served in the U.S. Navy in World War II. He was killed 30 Apr 1968 in Bloomfield, IA as a result of a 85 foot fall from a faulty painting scaffold on the city water tower. Hervey’s children were: Sandra Bistler (Waterloo, IA); Hervey Cliff Schmidt, Jr.; Steven Schmidt and 2 step-sons Roger and Jerry Barnholz.

William Schmidt died 17 Jun 1962. Mabel died 12 Jun 1988. Both are buried in Pleasant View Cemetery, Castalia.

Schmitt, John E. and Rita (Kuhn)

(Rita M. Schmitt)

Bio Photo

Rita and John Schmitt 1983

John Edward Schmitt was born 9 Feb 1921, the son of Peter T and Mary (Blong) Schmitt on a farm north of St. Lucas, IA. The farm was located in Sec. 29, Washington Twp, Winneshiek Co. John was the second of eight children and attended St. Luke’s Catholic Church and school in St. Lucas.

On 26 Oct 1943 John married Rita Marie Kuhn of Calmar. She was the daughter of Albert and Barbara (Shindelar) Kuhn. Rita was the second of seven children. She attended St. Aloysius Catholic Church and school in Calmar.

John and Rita farmed one mile southwest of Ft. Atkinson, IA for 43 years until they retired to Ft. Atkinson and bought a home across the corner from the St. John Nepomucene Catholic Church. The farm was in Sec. 17, Washington Twp., Winneshiek Co, where their son Carl and his family now farm.

John was active in community work. He was on the Farm Bureau Board of Directors and secretary for 20 years, the Farmers Cooperative Board, the St. John’s School Board and joined his wife in St. John’s choir. Rita has been a member of St. John's choir since she and John were married and is presently the choir director and part-time organist. Rita was also a CCD teacher for 20 years and past president of the church guild. John and Rita were the parents of nine children. John died on 24 Jun 1987 as a result of cancer and is buried in the St. John’s Cemetery. Rita presently has 28 grandchildren and enjoys making rosaries for the missions.

John and Rita’s children are: David Peter married Margaret Beckman. They have two sons,


Partial OCR transcription, some sensitive personal information such as birth dates of people that maybe living is not included.

See the associated scan to compare with the published information.

Please, contact the County Coordinator to submit additions or corrections.

Winneshiek IAGenWeb Home

Copyright statement

Please read the IAGenWeb Terms, Conditions & Disclaimer
~all of which applies to the Winneshiek Co. website. ~
this page was last updated on Monday, 29 March 2021