Mason County News
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Schmidt Family Celebrates 100th Reunion
Wednesday, July 9, 2008 • Posted July 9, 2008

The descendants of Frederick and Katherine Schmidt celebrated the 100th reunion of the Schmidt Family, June 7, 2008. The reunion was held at the Schmidt Home Place, currently the home of Bonnie Schmidt, the great-grand-daughter and Jim Bob Smith the great, great, grandson of Frederick and Katherine. Jim Bob’s daughters, Steeley and Sterling, are the 7th generation to live on the Home Place Schmidt Ranch.

The reunion was hosted by all of the Schmidt families. Over 100 people gathered at the “Camphouse” on the Llano River. Guests enjoyed a delicious fish fry cooked by the famous Schmidt fishermen. Head cooks included Jerry Dutton, Gary Schmidt, Del Roy Reichenau, Dayton Reichenau, and Pat Ziriax. All enjoyed story telling, swimming, and sharing old family pictures.

A table was provided for each of the original eight descendants; each family brought memorabilia and pictures to decorate their table. Several meetings were held at Kirby and Katherine Groves to plan the reunion. A member of each of the eight families attended the planning meetings. Members of the planning committee were Sara Banta, Bonnie Schmidt, Arleene Arhelger Gammill, Patsy Ziriax, Joan Kettner, Joan Kettner Lindley, T.J. Schmidt, Jan Schmidt Dutton, Anita Schmidt Lofton, and Mary Schmidt.

Frederick and Katherine had twelve children, four died at a young age and are buried at the Schmidt Cemetery on the Home Place along with their parents. Children of Frederick and Katherine were:

I. Anna Schmidt married Adolph Reichenau. Their children included Edward, Alvin, Ernest, Oscar, Emma, Benno, Frieda, and Olga.

II. Karl Schmidt died at the age of 12 while herding a bull on the mountain range.

III. Marie Schmidt died of blood poison.

IV. Philip Schmidt married Emelia Vater. Their children included August, Meta, Emma, and Walter.

V. William Schmidt married Meta Kott. Their children were Lee Roy, Verena, and Clinton, who died of infantile paralysis at the age of 14.

VI. Mathilda Schmidt married Richard Arhelger. Their children included Amanda and Alvin.

VII. Louise Katherine Schmidt married Charles Kettner. Their children included Ruby, Francis, and Mary.

VIII. Susanne Schmidt died at the age of 4.

IX. Frederick William married Ella Hofmann. Their children were Robert, Carl, Marie, and Frederick Roy.

X. Emma Schmidt died of diphtheria at the age of 15.

XI. Henry Carl Schmidt married Katherine Keller. Their children were Harold, Werner, and Kelly.

XII. Lena Schmidt married Edd Keller. Their children were Victor, Chester, and Paul.

Of all of the first cousins, Kelly Schmidt and Amanda Arhelger Zesch are the only ones still living. Kelly and his family were at the reunion to share many memories with the family. Marguerite, spouse of first cousin, Chester Keller, also attended the reunion.

The tradition of the Schmidt reunions actually began as “Grandma Schmidt’s” birthday. The first “reunion” was the original family gathering together to surprise Grandma Schmidt. Mary Kettner Kothmann and Olga Reichenau Zesch remembered that first surprise party was 1908. At one point in time, the gathering was on the third Sunday of the month of June, which was ruled out since this was one of the dates in which the traveling minister would be at church. That same Sunday was usually Father’s Day and is sure to have had some bearing in the changing of dates. It was thereby changed to the first Sunday of the month of June.

Records of the Schmidt Family Reunions have been kept since 1946, thanks to Amanda Arhelger Zesch.

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