Fred B. Schmidt and Matilda Wedel are my great grandparents. Obituaries and other family records list their marriage as 1895 but, according to the Barton County, Kansas, courthouse records, they were married 30 December 1896 by the Justice of the Peace in Great Bend, Kansas.
This picture is their wedding portrait.
Both Fred and Matilda's families were of Russian Mennonite background. Their families left the Ukraine area of Russia during the great Mennonite migration of the late 1870's. Fred was born in 1874 in Karlswalde, Russia to Benjamin Schmidt and Catharina Siebert. His family immigrated to North America in 1875. Matilda was born in Kansas in 1878 to David Wedel and Justina Decker who immigrated in 1874. They both grew up in the Pawnee Rock area of Barton County.
The cattle and furniture were moved by rail to Greensburg. They all lived in the granary while a house was being built and moved into the new house just before harvest. After they moved to Kiowa County, they had two more daughters.
They were a typical farm family for the era. They raised wheat, corn, barley, oats, potatoes, hogs, chickens, ducks, geese and cattle. They planted big gardens and had their own milk, cream, butter and eggs. They also butchered their own hogs. Butchering days were always exciting. Neighbors would help each other butcher and it was a big day for everyone.
The Fred B. Schmidt Farm in Kiowa County.
Fred and Matilda lived the remainder of their lives in the Greensburg, Kiowa County area of Kansas. In the 1930's, Fred encouraged his family to start a Benjamin and Catharina Schmidt reunion. It is still an annual event in Greensburg.
Matilda died in 1944 and Fred in 1955. They are both buried in Dundee Valley Cemetery, Dundee, Kansas.
Ancestry.com. Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1945 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2006. Original data: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1800-1882. Micropublication M425. RG036. Rolls # 1-108. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
Dundee Valley Cemetery (Barton County, Kansas; section 16, township 20S, range 14W). Grave markers.
Hiebert, Clarence, compiler. Brothers in Deed to Brothers in Need. Newton, Kansas: Faith and Life Press, 1974.
Kansas. Barton County. "Marriage Records." Records Dept., Barton County Courthouse, Great Bend, Kansas.
Schmidt, Pearl and Grace Unruh. "Family of Fred B. Schmidt." Personal memories. Copy in possession of author.