Among the up to date and well to do farmers of Center township is Dirk Schmidt, who Was born in Aurich, Germany,
on the 19th of May, 1851, a son of Jergen and Sika (Dirk) Schmidt, who were also natives of the fatherland. The
father, who devoted his time to farming, passed away in Germany in 1880, but the mother came to the United States
with her family and located in Sterling, Illinois, where she died about 1910. To their union were born eight children,
of whom the two oldest died in Germany, the others being: Hans, a resident of Stocking township, this county; Dirk;
Charles, who is living in Kansas; John, a resident of Gates county, Nebraska; Anna, who is living in Illinois;
and Aaron, of Saunders county.
Dirk Schmidt devoted much of his time during his boyhood to attending the common schools and after putting aside
his textbooks worked on a farm in Germany until 1872, in which year he emigrated to the United States and located
at Sterling, Illinois, where he worked as a farm hand for eight years. At the end of that time he had saved sufficient
money to enable him to buy eighty acres of land, which he operated until 1887, when he came to Saunders county,
Nebraska, and located three and a half miles southwest of Wahoo. For some time he operated rented land but later
bought a part of his present home place on section 36, Center township, which he has brought to a high state of
development, erecting excellent buildings and planting a grove and orchard. The farm now comprises five hundred
and sixty acres and there are two, sets of improvements upon it. He also holds title to one hundred and sixty acres
in George county, Nebraska; two hundred and twenty acres in Buffalo county, Nebraska; one hundred and sixty acres
in Spink county, South Dakota; and ten acres of excellent hay land near Memphis, this county. His success is due
entirely to his own efforts, and the prosperity which he has gained is evidence of his enterprise and the wise
management of his affairs. He devotes his time to general farming, finding that more profitable than specializing
in the raising of either grain or stock.
Mr. Schmidt was married in Illinois in 1879 to Miss Gesha F. Speckmann, who was also born in Aurich, Germany. They
have become the parents of fourteen children: Anna, the wife of Emil Thompson, of Memphis; Lena, the wife of John
Schwartz, of Yutan; John, who is living near Ithaca; Mary, who married Lewis Schwartz and resides near Yutan; Katie,
the wife of Will Schwartz, a resident of South Dakota; Hannah, who is the wife of Henry Ohn and resides in the
vicinity of Yutan; Delilah, deceased; Harry, Ernest, Maggie, Fritz and Sana, all at home; and John and Hannah,
both of whom died in infancy.
In 1878 Mr. Schmidt made a visit to Germany and greatly enjoyed seeing old friends again. He casts his ballot in
support of the men and measures of the democratic party, whose policies he believes are best adapted to securing
permanent prosperity. He and his family belong to the Lutheran church at Ithaca, and be heartily cooperates in
all movements seeking the moral progress of his community. He also supports the projects calculated to further
the advancement of his county along material lines and is recognized as a public spirited citizen. He is not only
highly respected by all who come in contact with him but is held in warm personal esteem by those who have been
intimately associated with him.
Past and Present Saunders County, Nebraska
A Record of Settlement, Organization,
Progress and Achievement
Charles Perky Supervising Editor
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Saunders County, NE
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