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.
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.
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.
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.