Theodore Schmitt passed away August 17, 1920, after having been a resident of Toledo for forty years, during
which time he had advanced to prominence in connection with the general insurance, real estate and loan business.
Other enterprises, too, profited by his cooperation and sound judgment and in public affairs, too, he played well
his part. He was born in Bavaria, Germany, January 11, 1856, and was the only son in a family of four children,
whose parents were John Adam and Elizabeth (Krebs) Schmitt. The father followed the occupation of farming in Bavaria,
where he and his wife spent their lives and there Theodore Schmitt was reared on the home farm, while his education
was acquired in the parochial schools. He met the nation's requirement as to military service when he was twenty
years of age, spending two years in the army and winning promotion to the rank of sergeant.
Feeling his labors would be less hampered in America, the land of opportunity, he bade adieu to family, friends
and fatherland in the latter part of 1879 and reached Baltimore, Maryland, on the last day of that year or on the
opening day of the new year. Re did not tarry on the Atlantic coast, however, but made his way at once to Toledo,
Ohio, and for a few months was employed at peddling bills, advertising a fever and ague medicine manufactured by
Dr McCormick of this city. During this period he was gaining considerable knowledge of the American ianguage and
customs and when a half year had passed he turned his attention to the life insurance business, becoming a successful
solicitor. For a. number of years his entire attention was devoted to insurance, the scope of his activities, however,
extended to include not only life but also fire insurance. He likewise established a real estate department. He
represented the London Assurance, the Teutonia of Dayton, Ohio, the Aetna Life Insurance Company of Hartford, Connecticut,
and the Germania Company of New York and prospering in his efforts, was soon at the head of a business of large
and substantial proportions, having many clients both in tne insurance branch and in the real estate branch of
his business. In 1886 he organized the Eagle Brewing Company of Toledo, which was later incorporated as the Schmitt
Brewing Company, with Mr. Schmitt as the principal stockholder. He was identified with the undertaking until 1902,
when he sold out to the Huebner Brewing Company. In 1888 he organized and incorporated the Mutual Savings Association,
one of the soundest institutions of the kind in northwestern Ohio, and for an extended period was the secretary
and general manager, the success of the enterprise being attributable in large measure to his efforts. Mr. Schmitt
was also one of the builders of the Toledo, Port Clinton & Lakeside Railway, extending from Toledo to Marblehead
and Sandusky and served as president and general nianager thereof until he sold out to an eastern syndicate in
1912. Whatever he undertook he carried forward to successful completion. He never stopped short of his objective
and at all times realized the fact that when one avenue of advancement seemed closed he could carve out other paths
whereby to reach the desired goal.
On the 26th of April, 1881, was celebrated the marriage of Theodore. Schmitt and Josephine M. La Point of Maumee,
Ohio, who was born and reared in Maumee, a daughter of Joseph and Lavina (Bourdeau) La Point, both representatives
of old French families, who settled in the Maumee valley more than a century ago. Her father was a soldier of the
Civil war. Mrs., Schmitt lived in Maumee until her marriage, when she became a resident of Toledo and here passed
away February 24, 1912, at the age of fifty two years. Mr. and Mrs. Schmitt had one daughter and five sons: Theodore, Jr., who is connected with the Mutual Savings Association of Toledo as secretary;
Gertrude M., wife of Frank W. Showel, one of the directors of the Mutual Savings Association; Rudolph J., who is
connected with the real estate and insurance department of the Theodore Schmitt Company; Alfred H., who devotes
his life to agricultural pursuits; J. A., who is connected with' the Paragon Refining Company of Toledo; and Walter
E., who completed his education in the University of Michigan and is now with the Theo. Schmitt Company.
Mr. Schmitt was always interested in public affairs and displayed his devotion to the geeral good by. hearty support
of many measures, looking to the benefit and upbuilding of the city. He voted with the democratic party and was
elected on that ticket to the city council, serving from 1892 until 1894. He was a member of Toledo Lodge, No.
53, B. P. O. E., the National Union and the Catholic Knights of America. He had membership in St. Mary's Catholic
church and in the Toledo Club and he also belonged to the Maumee Yacht Club. In the later years of his life he
largely spent the winter seasons in Miami, Florida, where he had extensive property holdings and, the summer months
were passed in Toledo and in part in northern Michigan, where he went to enjoy fishing and outdoor life. He also.
traveled extensively, making many trips to Europe, visiting his native land and other countries of the old world.
The opportunities denied him in his youth were thus enjoyed in his later years, as the result of his business capability
and his judicious, investments. His business interests constantly broadened in scope and importance and his success
enabled him to enjoy many of those things which men covet, while the course of life, which he pursued gained for
him the respect and goodwill Of all with whom he was associated.
Toledo and Lucas County, Ohio
BY: John M. Killits, A.M., LL.D.
S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago and Toledo
Lucas County, Ohio Biographies
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