A Baby Flies

In 1925, a seven month old baby flew through the air.  No, she didn’t have wings.  She wasn’t in a plane.  She flew through the air because a tornado tore her away from her mother’s arms and she went flying.  Thankfully, this little child survived.  Today was the birthday of that baby’s mother.

Julia Knoll was born on March 21, 1890 and baptized in the Friedenberg church.  Her parents were Andrew and Amalia (Ochs) Knoll.  In 1913, Julia married Elmer Schaupert at Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown, Missouri.  Then on August 30, 1924, their daughter, Dorothy Schaupert was born.  It was seven months after she was born that the devastating Tri-State Tornado ripped through Perry County.

Here is a map showing the land which was owned by Elmer Schaupert in 1915.  The land just to the north of them was the Claus Stueve property that was mentioned in a previous post about the same tornado titled, Kaempfe Tragedy….and a Tornado Too.  In that article I attributed the wrong piece of property to Claus Stueve.

Schaupert land 1915

This land was located north of Frohna, Missouri.  The St. Louis Post Dispatch wrote in an article that appeared in their March 20, 1925 edition:

All morning, before the tornado, it had rained. The day was dark and gloomy. The air was heavy. There was no wind. Then the drizzle increased. The heavens seemed to open, pouring down a flood. The day grew black…

Then the air was filled with 10,000 things. Boards, poles, cans, garments, stoves, whole sides of the little frame houses, in some cases the houses themselves, were picked up and smashed to earth. And living beings, too. A baby was blown from its mother’s arms. A cow, picked up by the wind, was hurled into the village restaurant

That mother who had her baby blown from her arms was Julia Schaupert, and the baby was Dorothy.  The baby was found in a nearby field later.  I know that Dorothy survived because she was my Aunt Dorothy, and I attended her funeral just a few years ago.  In 1942, Dorothy married my father’s brother, Rudy Schmidt.

Schmidt Schaupert marriage license
Schmidt/Schaupert marriage license

Julia Schaupert died in 1940, two years before Dorothy and Rudy were married.  She died at Lutheran Hospital in St. Louis.  Here is her death certificate.

Julia Schaupert death certificate
Julia Schaupert death certificate

My Aunt Dorothy died just a few years ago.  She was the last of my Schmidt aunts and uncles to die.  Here is a photo of many of those aunts and uncles taken back in 1988.

Schmidt aunts and uncles

Dorothy is kneeling in the front with the red blouse.  This photo has special interest to me because it shows the house that I live in now.  It once belonged to my Uncle Herb (standing on the far right).

I am so thankful that the flying baby survived.  She was indeed a special part of my family and always full of laughter.


2 thoughts on “A Baby Flies

  1. So great to see this picture!! Herb Schmidt was my husband’s uncle and he holds a very special place in our hearts!


  2. Thank you for sharing that wonderful story. Dorothy was our Mother’s (Geraldine Bergman Weibrecht’s) First Cousin but they were like sisters because they both were an only child. We Always called her Aunt Dorothy. She was a remarkable woman and as you mentioned had a contagious laugh. We miss her greatly. Thanks again, Warren.


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