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Schmidt, Caroline Buller (1871-1962)

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Mennonite Weekly Review obituary: 1961 Mar 9 p. 7

Birth date: 1871 Feb 24
Death date: 1962 Feb 7

text of obituary:

90th Birthday Observed By South Dakota Pioneer


Freeman, S. D. — Mrs. Caroline Schmidt, pioneer settler of the Dolton community, was honored on her 90th birthday anniversary Friday, Feb. 24, when her children arranged for a supper in Pioneer Hall at Freeman College to which all of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nephews and nieces and some friends were invited. After the supper a program was given, featuring songs, music, poetry, family history, a solo by Grandmother Schmidt, and a talk by Rev. Schellenberg. A total of 155 people were present.

Mrs. Schmidt was born in Russia in 1871 and came to America in 1874 with her parents, Heinrich and Helena Unruh Buller. The family first settled near Washington, Iowa, where they lived for four years, and then came to South Dakota by covered wagons, settling northwest of what is now the town of Dolton.

Lived on Farm 77 Years

Mrs. Schmidt lived on the home farm for 77 years. She was married to Jacob J. Schmidt in 1888 and they were permitted to live together for more than 64 years. He died in 1952. The children are Peter, Sam, Abe, Erwin, Herbert, Susie (Mrs. Peter Deckert), Emma (Mrs. Tobias Koehn), and Esther (Mrs. Jake Schartner). A daughter Nettie, Mrs. Abe Buller, is deceased. There are 27 living grandchildren and 43 great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Schmidt enjoys life in the Salem Home for Aged in Freeman, where she has resided since 1956. She enjoys Sunday in the homes of one of her children as they take her “out” on Sundays, enabling her to attend church services.

Visitors coming from a distance for the birthday observance were Mr. and Mrs. Ben Schultz and Mr. and Mrs. Albert Boese of Yankton, Mr. and Mrs. Ben Boese, Mr. and Mrs. Mark Boese and Kathryn Ratzlaff of Sioux Falls, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Becker, Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Boese, Mr. and Mrs. John DeRoos and Mr. and Mrs. Herman Schultz from the Avon-Springfield community, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Unruh of Elkton, Mr. and Mrs. Duane Haar from Sioux City, Missionary Lillian Zerbe and Ferdinand Zerbe from Montana.

Grandchildren not able to be present were Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Schmidt and Orville Schmidt of Henderson, Neb., Mr. and Mrs. Victor Koehn of Oneida, Tenn., Ruth Koehn of Pierrre, Mr. and Mrs. Don Jaquess and Mr. and Mrs. Lester Vogt of Upland, Calif., Mr. and Mrs. Don Preheim of Buhler, Kan., and Allan Schmidt, doing Pax work in Germany.

Mennonite Weekly Review obituary: 1962 Mar 1 p. 8

text of obituary:


Caroline Buller Schmidt, the youngest of 12 children, was born Feb. 24, 1871, to Heinrich and Helena Unruh Buller in Karlswalde, Russia. In 1874, the year of the great Mennonite migration, she with her parents came to America, spending the first winter in Kansas. The family then moved to Washington, Iowa. After spending four years in Iowa, they moved by horse-drawn covered wagons and settled on the prairie one and one-half miles southwest of Dolton, S. D. Seventy-seven years of her life were spent on this farm, experiencing and enduring the hardships so common to our Mennonite pioneer settlers. She lost her mother at the early age of 14 years.

April 18, 1886, upon the confession of faith in Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour from sin, and unto life eternal, she was baptized by the Elder Fredrich [sic Friedrich] Schartner and received into the membership of the Mennonite church.

April 13, 1888, she was united in Holy wedlock to Jacob J. Schmidt, son of Deacon Johann and Elizabeth Schartner Schmidt. Together they enjoyed the blessings of God for 64 years and six months. To this union were born six sons and four daughters.

Excepting an eye cataract operation, she as a whole enjoyed good health. In April 1957, three and one-half years after the departure of her husband, she, by her own choice left her home place to reside in the Salem Mennonite Home for the Aged in Freeman, S. D.

Oct. 7, 1961, she fell in her room and broke a hip. She was then taken to the Freeman Community Hospital, where she remained until her death. Other complications contributed to her death.

Mother reached the ripe age of 91 years, less 17 days, exceeding that of all other family members, except her father and oldest brother Andrew, who both reached the age of 92 years.

She was preceded in death by her husband, one son Fred who died in infancy; one daughter, Nettie (Mrs. Abram F. Buller); one daughter-in-law, Lena Berg Schmidt; two granddaughters, and four great-grandchildren.

She leaves to mourn her departure, five sons, Peter, Sam, Abe, Herbert and Edwin; three daughters, Susie (Mrs. Peter B. Deckert), Emma (Mrs. Tobias J. Koehn), and Esther (Mrs. Jake Schartner), all of the Freeman vicinity; five daughters-in-law, 3 sons-in-law, 27 grandchildren, 43 great-grandchildren, one brother-in-law, one sister-in-law and a host of relatives and friends.

At 2:10 a.m., Feb 7, 1962, she was gloriously transferred to the Home not made with hands. The most beautiful picture left by mother is her conscious sunset of life in Christ Jesus.

Funeral services were held on Saturday, Feb. 10. Rev. Edward Duerksen spoke in the funeral chapel. Services in the Silver Lake M. B. Church followed, with Rev. John Reimer and Rev. Menno Schellenberg officiating. She was laid to rest in the Schartner Mennonite Cemetery.

Among those from a distance who attended the funeal were: Mr. and Mrs. Don Preheim and Lurline, Burrton, Kan.; Clifford Schmidt and Miriam Wiebe, Newton, Kan.; Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Schmidt and family, Henderson, Neb.; Orville Schmidt, Chicago, Ill.; Mr. and Mrs. Duane Haar and family, Sioux City, Iowa; Mr. and Mrs. Willis Johnson, Laurel, Neb., and Mr. and Mrs. Tobias Richert, Glendive, Mont.

Note: GRANDMA #71579 Karolina Buller

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