Michael (Schmitt)(Schmidt) Smith Family Page

Pioneer Sketches

Michael (Schmitt) (Schmidt) Smith Family

Compiled by William L. (Bill) Smith

This page includes sketches I have compiled from my family history research for my own use. I am posting them on the Internet in the interest of sharing this information with interested parties. If you appear to be directly related, based on the information in the the sketches, or have comments to share with me about these sketches, I would be happy to hear from you. I do not do research for others, nor am I particularly interested in speculative relationships or unrelated surname discussions. There are many other worthy sites for these activities. I hope you enjoy reading some of these interesting stories.
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The information in this sketch is largely based on information compiled for the family by LVene SMITH THOMAS (sister of Delbert Leverne SMITH), Coon Rapids, Carroll Co, IA, in 1991. The surname changes shown through the years are based on her research.

December 2002 Timeline of Michael Smith family, children and grandchildren

Michael SMITH was born 16 May 1829 at Nambsheim, County Haut Rhin, District of Colmar, France. Colmar, the capital of Haut Rhis, first became a free imperial city in 1226; it was formally annexed to France in 1681 and to Germany in 1871 and again to France in 1919 after World War I. In World War II it was taken by the Germans on 17 Jun 1940 and retaken by the French on 2 Feb 1945. Haut-Rhin, department of France, was formed after the Revolution in 1790 from the Southern portion of Alsace and incorporated in 1878 with the German Empire.

Michael was the son of Joseph and Beatrix Fad SCHMITT. Joseph was age 27 years and Beatrix was age 24 years. Evidently the family did not remain long in this area as no record of their marriage or other children have been found. Perhaps they came to the United States soon after Michael's birth as Joseph requested a copy of his son's birth certificate in Sep 1829.


Michael's first wife was Magdaline (Lena) HARBRECHT, born in Germany. To this marriage were born three children

i. Julian/Julia, born 29 Sep 1857, in Hampton, Rock Island County, Illinois (she married Charles OEHRLEIN).
ii. Mary, born 31 Jul 1858, in Hampton, Rock Island County, Illinois (she married Adam Mohr).
iii. Michael, born in 1862, and died in his early twenties of black small pox on a farm south of Grand Island, IA.

Michael served in the Civil War in Company E., 2nd Regiment, Iowa Cavalry beginning 5 Sep 1861 until discharge 31 Oct 1864. He served under Captain James P. Metcalf. He was a private until 1 Aug 1862 when he was appointed Farrier. He was also listed as "Blacksmith" during 1863. He served at Fort Pickering, TN. His description was given as being 5' 8" tall, light complexion, with gray eyes, brown hair and that he could read and write the English language.

Michael (Schmitt)(Schmidt) Smith

Michael's wife, Magdalina, died in Sep 1864. Michael was discharged from the armed forces 31 Oct 1864, at the expiration of his term of 3 years and 1 month.

Michael's second marriage was to Nellie Margaret SODERSTROM, 30 Dec 1869, at Hampton, Rock Island Co, IL. Nellie Margaret was the daughter of Pehr/Peter Andersson and Margreta (Rolin) SODERSTROM, in Sweden, about 1846. She was described as being 5 feet, 4 inches tall, of light complexion, with blue eyes and black hair. She was of Lutheran faith. She could read English but coult not write it.

Nellie Margaret Soderstrom Smith

Michael and Margaret's first two children were born in Moline, Illinois. They then must have moved across the Mississippi River to Clinton County sometime after this because their next five children were born in Clinton County:

i. William (Bill) Emanuel (Schmidt) SMITH (b. 22 May, 1869, Moline, IL; d. 8 Oct 1939, Coon Rapids, IA) married 11 May 1904 (Coon Rapids, Carroll Co, IA) Ellen (Ella) Rebecca PRESTON BALLARD SMITH (b. 1 Apr 1880, Deer Lodge, MT; d. 28 Jun 1923, Carroll, IA).


William (Bill) Smith, as young man
probably about 1890

Ella with son, Grant Ballard
probably 1903

ii. Johannah Magdalina (Lena) (Schmidt) SMITH (b. 19 Dec 1870, Moline, IL; d. 1 Aug 1948, Scranton, IA) married 25 Oct 1904 Herbert Casuis BROWN (b. 19 Nov 1873, Malta, DeKalb Co, IL; d. 21 Dec 1933, Carroll, IA) - no children

iii. John Joseph (Schmidt) SMITH (b. 31 Jul 1872, Grand Mound, IA; d. 8 Nov 1953, Genoa, NE) married 22 Aug 1900 Roxanna Mae FOOTE (b. 4 May 1880, Mercer Co, IL; d. 2 May 1952, Columbia, NE). Three children: 1) Lee Arnold SMITH (1900-1963) married Laura Alice PRICE (1903-1981), 2) Lyman Francis SMITH (1903-1981) married Anna Ester SWANSON (1904-1977), and 3) Beulah Emma SMITH (1907- ) first married Edward Henry LEE, second married Dale GILBERT, third married Osmond W. DODGE.

iv. Elizabeth Barber (Lizzie) (Schmidt) SMITH (b. 15 Mar 1874, Grand Mound, IA; d. 2 Feb 1939, Genoa, NE) first married 2 Mar 1893 Henry OLDENBURG (he left her - walked away and went to Kansas - divorces), second married 15 Dec 1895 William CEDER. Elizabeth had five children: 1) Clyde OLDENBURG (1893-1968), 2) Nellie Viola CEDER (1898-1956) married Emil SWANSON (1893-1968), 3) Benjamin Earl CEDER (1900-1963) married Ethel____, 4) William Lester CEDER (1904-1965) married Iva Elizabeth CLOSE (1907-1985), 5) Ida Mae CEDER (1912- ) first married Joe Warner, second married Paul MAAG ( -1970).

v. Benjamin Mickle (Schmidt) SMITH (b. 11 Dec 1876, Grand Mound, IA; 20 Jul 1911, Walsten Sanitarium, Des Moines, IA - age 35, of complications from operation for kidney stones, buried Violet Hill Cemetery, Perry, IA) married 17 Jul 1900 Lousetta (Lettie) STEVENS (?) (b. 1873, Dallas Co, IA). Two children: 1) Frank L. SMITH (1901- ), 2) Cordie SMITH (1905- ).

vi. Dortha Elsieana (Elsie) (Schmidt) SMITH (b. 24 Jan 1880, Grand Mound, IA; d. 8 Aug 1957, St. Edward, NE) married 24 Sep 1901, Albion, NE, Charles GRAPES (b. 1 Apr 1879, Manito, Greene Co, IL; 29 Nov 1956, St. Edward, NE). Eight children: 1) Cordelia Marie (Cordie) GRAPES (1903- ) first married Robert JOHN (divorced), second married Henry (Hank) BOER, 2) Gilbert Montier GRAPES (1907- ) married Vivian Mae BARNICA (1911- ), 3) William Michael GRAPES (1909- ) married Helen Kathryn MCNEFF (1909- ), 4) Iva Lena GRAPES (1911- ) married Harold Shirley BURK (1921- ), 5) Charles Ivan GRAPES (1913- ) marriedTina Bell ELLISON (1919- ), 6) Lawrence Edward GRAPES (1914-1982) married Kathryn GRIEBEL (1920-1982), 7) Floyd Eldon GRAPES (1916- ) married Hazel Lucille BARNICA (1917- ), 8) Dorothy Elsieana GRAPES (1920- ) married Fred OWSTON.

After 1880, the family moved to Greene County where Robert was born.

vii. Robert Critenton (Schmidt) SMITH (b. 21 Sep 1883, Green Co, IA) married Louvina Mae DURBIN (b. 27 Jun 1890; 4 Jan 1919 - age 19 years; buried in Coon Rapids Cemetery, Coon Rapids, Carroll Co, IA.

They then moved to Guthrie County where where Grant was born.

viii. Grant Millington (Schmidt) SMITH (1884-1885).

Grant was six months old in the 1885 census when the family lived in Coon Rapids, IA, but he died sometime later in the year (information Lvene obtained from Lena Brown, she couldn't remember where he was buried). She did tell Lvene that the family then moved to a place south of Carrollton.

Michael went to Nebraska in 1886 where he lived for 8 years before he entered Nebraska's Soldiers and Sailors Home at Grand Island, NE, because of old age, rheumatism, and general breaking down. Margaret evidently lived south of Carrollton until she moved to Nebraska, in 1898, when she asked for admission into Nebraska's Soldiers and Sailors Home at Grand Island, NE. Records show she was a resident of NE for only 5 months. A Dr. Hawk from Carroll, IA, in Dec 1897, had stated she had weak lungs, general weakness, her age and unable to earn a living. Margaret (Maggie) Smith entered the Home 27 Mar 1900 (age 53). She died 18 Sep 1901 of blood poisoning.

Michael entered the Home at Grand Island on 10 Dec 1894 (age 65). He died 16 Apr 1902 at age 73 years. During the 8 years he was at the home, he was employed in various positions and for over two years was "the faithful mail carrier" of the Home.

Michael and Maggie were both buried in the Home Cemetery, Grand Island, Hall County, NE (she lot 135, he lot 148).

This page created 15 May 1998. Last updated 26 Aug 2003, by William L. (Bill) Smith.