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Ford County Historical Society
Dodge City, Kansas

Heinie F. Schmidt

HEINIE F. SCHMIDT, present postmaster of Dodge City, has been active far beyond the average capacity or inclination in those duties that are closely connected with the public welfare, and for a man still under forty has achieved much that may properly have record in such a work as this.

Mr. Schmidt has spent all his life in Dodge City, where he was born January 4, 1882. In a few brief years he acquired his education in the city schools. He was only a boy when he found a position in a local grocery store as a clerk. He moved from that job to a hardware store and remained in it in a clerical capacity for seven years.

He has always been in politics and he exchanged a business career for one in public office. He was first elected register of deeds in 1908, succeeding George Stumph. He filled the office two terms, four years, and both times was nominated by petition and in the primaries. On leaving office he resumed his previous connection with business affairs until his appointment as postmaster on December 29, 1914, as successor of James A. Arment. In the post office Mr. Schmidt has helped in the increase of facilities and service of the local office, has witnessed an addition to the rural carriers force and also of two clerks to the office force and on November 4, 1916, he and his assistants moved to a new office building.

Perhaps his chief distinction in Ford County is as a worker and leader in that new forte in rural life, known as social center work. This movement has received his complete enthusiasm and interest and study. Mr. Schmidt has organized social centers through the rural districts of Ford County and has witnessed the establishment of twenty-six successful societies in the sixty-four districts of the county. All of these are doing a splendid work in the way of educational improvement, literary entertainments, and fulfilling many other purposes and projects of real community life. He is an authority on the subject of this work and has spoken before the Gray, Finney and Hamilton County Teachers Association, and those counties likewise have taken up the work with good results. Mr. Schmidt has done this work in his home county chiefly within the last four years. The local county superintendents and the teachers of the county have given the societies their active support and inspiration, and in the aggregate the record of the social centers is a most inspiring one.

Mr. Schmidt was for six years chairman of the Democratic County Central Committee and by virtue of that office was also a member of both the congressional and state committees. He is a member of the Commercial and Rotary clubs of Dodge City, belongs to the Lutheran Church and is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Loyal Order of Moose. Mr. Schmidt is unmarried.

He is a son of an old timer in Southwestern Kansas, Adam Schmidt. His father was born in Bavaria, and was brought to the United States at the age of nine years. His parents located in St. Louis and both of them died the same week, leaving Adam with a brother and three sisters as orphans. He was third of the five children, the others being: Martin of Gillham, Missouri; Mrs. Kate Schadd, of St. Louis; and two other married sisters, one living at Louisville, Kentucky, and the other at Farina, Illinois.

Adam Schmidt while growing up at St. Louis learned the trade of blacksmith. He worked at it until he was twenty years of age and then enlisted in the Union army in Company B of the Second Missouri Light Artillery. With this regiment he was in the campaign through Southwestern Missouri and Northern Arkansas under General Siegel, participating in the battle of Pea Ridge, and later was with Grant at Vicksburg. He saw three years and nine months of active service, was never wounded or captured, and did his duty as a good and faithful soldier and always in the ranks as a private.

After his discharge from the army he sought the adventure and excitement of the West and began following the cattle trail. Working at his trade as blacksmith, he started in at Abilene, Kansas, later at Hays City, Ellsworth, and came to Dodge City in 1874. In Dodge City he opened the second blacksmith shop, and continued to ply his trade as a substantial and industrious mechanic until almost his death. He passed away at the age of seventy years May 1, 1911.

Adam Schmidt was a good citizen, as his service in the Union army testifies beyond all disparagement. He was public spirited in matters of community welfare and was always a republican and voted for that party until 1896, when he followed the fortunes of the newly risen silver tongued orator of the Platte, William J. Bryan. He twice voted for Lincoln for president, and helped fire a salute for Mr. Lincoln when the Illinois statesman spoke at St. Louis in 1860. He was a faithful member of the Lutheran Church and never joined a secret order.

Adam Schmidt married Elizabeth Berg. She was born in Columbus, Ohio, and her father, Frederick Berg, came to this country from Hamburg, Germany. Mrs. Adam Schmidt is still living in Dodge City, which has been her home since 1879, when she came here a young woman with her father, who established the first bakery and confectionery shop in the town. Both her parents are buried at Dodge City. Adam Schmidt and wife had three children, Heinie F., Louis and Elma. Louis is now foreman of the Dodge City Light, Water and Ice Company. The daughter Elma is assistant cashier of the State Bank of Dodge City.


Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.


Transcribed by Tom & Carolyn Ward, Columbus, KS

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