Today’s main character was mentioned in a previous blog that was written about his brothers titled, Two of a Kind….Later a Full House. Those brothers were a set of twins born on September 17th. What was not said in that post was that this set of twins had an older brother who was also born on September 17th. That son will be highlighted in today’s post.
Joseph Gustav Schmidt was born on September 17, 1869, the son of Jacob and Wilhelmine (Schmidt) Schmidt. Yes, Joseph was the product of a Schmidt/Schmidt marriage. That couple’s story was written back in 2016, the first year of this blog, in the post, Schmidt nee Schmidt. Joseph was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Below is an image of his baptism record.
Joseph is found in the 1870 census, but I see some problems with this entry. The boy named Joseph in this entry was 3 years old. The way I have it figured, the 3 year-old would have been his brother Adolph. The boy named Paul would more likely be Joseph. His mother looks like William on this form, but she is at least identified as being a female.
Next, we find Joseph in the 1880 census. Joseph was 10 years old, and his father was a farmer. Joseph’s twin brothers, Emanuel and Arthur, would be born in 1882 (on September 17th…Joseph’s 13th birthday). Perhaps, Joseph would have been bummed when he now had two other brothers to take attention away from his birthday.
Next, we need to look at Joseph’s first wife. Her name was Sarah Matilda Richter, who was born on September 26, 1873. She was the daughter of Ehregott and Elizabeth (Hartung) Richter. Matilda was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Her baptism record is pictured below.
Matilda is found in the 1880 census when she was 6 years old and called Tillie in this entry. Her father was a farmer.
Joseph Schmidt married Matilda Richter on April 7, 1896. Although the church record for this wedding is contained in the Trinity, Altenburg books, I suspect that this marriage occurred in the church/school building in Wittenberg.
The German Family Tree lists 7 children born to Joseph and Matilda. The 1900 census shows this couple with 2 sons. Above Joseph’s household, you will see that of his father (his mother had died in 1894). Below his household is that of his older brother, Martin Schmidt.
The 1910 census shows a larger Schmidt household. There were 5 children and one boarder by the name of Alfred Lorenz.
Matilda Schmidt died in 1913 at the age of 40. Her death certificate says the cause of death was peritonitis.
Matilda Schmidt was buried in the St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery in Wittenberg.
The year 1915 became a memorable year in the Schmidt family. All 3 of the Schmidt sons with the birthday of September 17th got married that year. The Schmidt twins would get married on the same day, September 19, 1915, two days after their birthday. One of the twins, Arthur Schmidt, married Lina Darnstaedt. However, several months earlier, on June 13, 1915, Joseph Schmidt married Sarah Darnstaedt, who happened to be the sister of Lina.
Sarah Darnstaedt was born on January 23, 1891, the daughter of Gottfried and Amalia Darnstaedt. Sarah was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church. Below is an image of her baptism record.
Sarah is found in the 1900 census at the age of 8. Please note her younger sister, Lina, listed right below Sarah.
In 1910, Sarah was not living with her parents. She was a servant living in the Wilhelm Doering household.
That leads us up to the Schmidt/Darnstaedt marriage in 1915 (the first one). Let’s take a look at the church marriage record. These two were married at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wittenberg.
The witnesses for this wedding were Arthur Schmidt and Lina Darnstaedt, who would get married in September of that year. This begs the question about whether Lina and Arthur were a “couple” when this wedding took place or whether this is when they got to know one another better. We have this wedding photo of Joseph and Sarah.
The German Family Tree lists 8 children born to Joseph and Sarah. The 1920 census shows a household made up of children from each of Joseph’s marriages.
Next, we find the Schmidt household in the 1930 census. They still had quite the houseful.
Joseph Schmidt died in 1932 at the age of 62. Cancer of the kidney is given as the cause of his death on his death certificate.
Sarah is found in the 1940 census. She and her youngest daughters were living in a neighborhood of church workers, Rev. Adolph Vogel, along with Teacher Fiehler and Teacher Krahn. Not only that, one of her neighbors was another widow, Bertha Schmidt, who just so happened to be my grandmother and not related to Sarah Schmidt.
Sarah Schmidt died in 1972 at the age of 81. Both Joseph and Sarah Schmidt are buried in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.
The story about the twin Schmidt’s getting married, living under the same roof, and ending up with a “Full House” of Schmidt’s is pretty amazing. I think you can also say that Joseph, between his two wives, came up with a “Full House” of their own.