Schmidt Family Photos – Johnson Collection

I wanted to display a few new photos of the Schmidt family that I was sent by Kay Johnson Rhyner.  I have many photos of this branch of my family, yet each new photo is a revelation to me.  Each one shows me a new side of these people whom I have come to know and love across the chasm of so many years.

The first is a beautiful portrait of Edwin Schmidt (1888 – 1972) and Olga Hanson (1891-1990), my great-grandparents, taken on their wedding day, 6 Sept 1911.  They were married in the town of Rib Mountain in Marathon County, Wisconsin, but the portrait was more likely taken in Wausau, Wisconsin.

Hanson / Schmidt Wedding, 1912

Hanson / Schmidt Wedding, 1911

Another photo taken that same day shows Olga and her sister Mabel Hanson (1897 – 1992).  This large-format photo was printed on curved glass as was the style of that time.  It is notoriously difficult to get a good 2D photo of such prints.

Olga and Mabel Hanson, 1911

Olga and Mabel Hanson, 1911

The next photo shows Edwin and Olga years later in a sleigh that used to sit behind their house.  In the days before the automobile was widely-used, the Schmidts used to take the sleigh across the Wisconsin River from Rothschild, Wisconsin to the Town of Fleith, Wisconsin where Olga’s family lived on the side of Rib Mountain.


Edwin and Olga, c1939

The last photo is a lovely “Four Generation” picture which shows my great-great grandmother Ottelia Zierke (1869 – 1945) with her son Edwin Schmidt, his daughter Mabel Ottelia Schmidt (1912 – 1986) and Mabel’s oldest daughter Kay Johnson (b 1939).  You can see Ottelia is missing the tip of her right middle finger, a feature noticeable in several photos I have of her.  Ottelia was a healer, and I’ll write a blog about that at some point soon.


Ottelia Zierke, Edwin Schmidt, Mabel Schmidt, Kay Johnson, 23 Jun 1939.


About cthomas1967

Seeking to bring my ancestors out of the shadows of history and into the light. I have always been interested in history, and at a few different times I tried to do a family tree, but wasn't able to do it with the technology that was available then. On a business trip I visited the World War I Museum in Kansas City, MO and it was a very impressive establishment. While I was there I remember thinking, "Didn't my great-grandfather father fight in World War I? And wasn't his brother killed alongside him in some famous battle? I wonder if I can find out where he died." That's what started it all. View all posts by cthomas1967

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