Mennonite Library and Archives
C. B. Schmidt Etchings
The etchings displayed on this page come from Die Deutschen Ansiedlungen in Süd West Kansas auf den Ländereien der Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Eisenbahngesellschaft [The German Settlements in South West Kansas on the Lands of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company]. The 48 page booklet was published in Topeka in May 1878. No publisher is given on the title page, but presumably the Santa Fe Railroad provided the money. The booklet was printed by the "Westlichen Publikations Gesellschaft" in Halstead, Kansas (owned by David Goerz) on its "steam book press." No author is given on the title page or with the introduction, but C. B. Schmidt's name appears at the bottom of page 48 as the "German general agent" of the Santa Fe.
These etchings are less well known than those from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper but they also form part of the classic visual imagery of the 1870s Mennonite settlement in Kansas.
An incomplete and rather sloppy translation of the booklet by Cornelius Krahn appears in Mennonite Life, April 1970 (vol. 25, no. 2), pp. 51-58. Some of the etchings are reproduced on pp. 65-79 of that issue.
In the Mid-Year 1974 issue of Mennonite Life (vol. 29, no. 1-2) is an article by David G. Rempel, "C. B. Schmidt, Historian: Facts and Fiction" (pp. 33-37). Rempel is sharply critical of this and others of Schmidt's writings.
The etchings below were scanned from a copy of the booklet in the Mennonite Library and Archives. If time permits, we hope to transcribe the text of the booklet and add it here.
p. 8: farm of elder Wilhelm Ewert
p. 8: Brudertal settlement
p. 10: The east half of the village of Gnadenau seen from the church
p. 12: The church at Gnadenau
p. 12: Windmill at Gnadenau
p. 13: Farm of elder Peter Eckert [Marion County near Hillsboro]
p. 13: Weidefeld settlement [Marion County near Hillsboro]
p. 14: Plan and bird's eye view of the village of Hochfeld
p. 14: In one copy of Die Deutschen Ansiedlungen. . . in the MLA is a copy of the Hochfeld etching annotated by H. R. Voth. His text is as follows:
Ansicht des Dorfes Hochfeld und Umgebung in
Alexanderwohl. Einem Negative entnommen
wohl nach einer Zeichnung etwa im Jahr 1875 1876
gemacht wurde. Das Dorf wurde im Herbst 1874 an-
gesiedelt. Es ist auf Sekt. 20, Townsh. 20 Range 1 östl.
Erklarung. 1. Gedachtes Schulhaus 2. Jacob Schmidts * 3.
David Voths * 4. Korn. Richerts + 5. Peter Schmidts jun. 6. P.
Schmidts sen. 7. Cornelius Voths (unsere Eltern) 8. P. Unruhs
9. Abr. Reimers 10. H. Bullers (große) 11. Ditto (kleine) 12. Rev. H. Ban-
mans 13. Joh. Banmans 14. Jac. Krausen (die Reihe sollte
1 Meile weiter westl. sein) 15. Jac. Pankratz 16. Rev. H. Goertz 17. Rev.
Corn. Wedel Die Ansicht ist vom Osten.
*Schwestern +Bruder meiner Mutter H. R. Voth
p. 15: Farm of Abraham Reimer [Hochfeld?]
p. 18: Village of Goldschar near Newton
p. 18: House of Abraham Sudermann in Butler County
p. 19: Farm of Dietrich Claassen in Butler County
p. 23: Farm of elder Valentine Krehbiel [northwest of Halstead]
p. 25: Farm of Heinrich and Jakob Regier [Hoffnungsau]
p. 26: Franzthaler settlement [Hoffnungsau]
p. 28: Farm of elder Dietrich Gaeddert
p. 29: Arkansas River near Sterling
p. 30: Arkansas valley near Great Bend
p. 31: Walnut River valley
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