Biography of Theodore Schmitt
Houston County, MN Biographies

Theodore Schmitt, for many years an enterprising and successful farmer of Caledonia township, now living in Caledonia village, was born in Dubuque, Iowa. April 10, 1852. He was only an infant when his parents came with their family to Houston county. Those were pioneer days and they had privations to endure, but game was plentiful, and it was but a short time after their arrival here when the father, in going after the cows on Badger Creek, found a deer which had fallen into a hole and was unable to get out. The next day he yoked up his cattle and, taking his rifle and a stout rope, went to the spot. There he shot the deer, hauled it out of the hole, which was twenty-five feet deep, with the rope and carried it home. Young Theodore, who now remembers but few of those early events, as he grew up attended school in Badger Valley and assisted his parents, upon him, as he was the eldest child, falling the larger share of responsibility. At the age of thirty years he started in for himself, locating on a farm of 120 acres, forty acres of which were then mostly wild land, and there were neither buildings, fences nor shade trees. His early operations were conducted in a primitive manner but were none the less effective. He grabbed the land and cultivated it with the aid of oxen, built the frame house which is still standing, and planted Norway spruce and ither trees in his yard as a wind shield and for shade purposes. He also erected good barns and other outbuildings, until he had a well developed farm with modern equipment. He kept a good grade of stock, and became a shareholder in the creamery and the Farmers' elevator. As one of the substantial citizens of his township, Mr. Schmitt was called upon to take part in the affairs of local government and has held office as town treasurer and assessor, also as a member of the school board. He and his family are members of St. Peter's Catholic church. Mr. Schmitt married Louisa Wagner, who was born near New Hampton, in Chickasaw county, Iowa, daughter of Nicholas Wagner, now deceased, whose last days were spent at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Schmitt. The latter have had nine children, one of whom, Elizabeth, is now deceased. Those living are: Mary and Louisa, teachers in the parochial school; Barbara, wife of John King, of Caledonia; Anna, wife of Frank Clark of Galesburg, Ill.; Adela, Bernice, Edward and Paul. In the spring of 1919 Mr. Schmitt sold his farm which he had built up by so many years of hard work, and this fall has moved to the village of Caledonia, where he will make his future home.

The History of Houston County, Minnesota
Edited by: Franklyn Curtis-Wedge.
H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co.
Winona, Minn. 1919


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