Jacob Schmitz Interview, ca. 1977
Download Jacob Schmitz Interview Transcript (224 KB)
German Americans; Germany--Emigration and immigration; United States--Emigration and immigration; Blacksmiths--Minnesota; Frontier and pioneer life--Minnesota; American bison; Rural schools--Minnesota; Smallpox; Smallpox--Vaccination; Blizzards--Minnesota; Farm life--Minnesota; World records; Publicity
Jacob Schmitz was 81 years old and was from Wheaton, Minnesota.
In this interview, Jake discusses the first Schmitz moving to the Wheaton area in 1876. He also discusses his father's journey from Germany to the United States. He talks about his father's work as a blacksmith and his father moving to homestead in the Traverse County area. He discusses the conditions and life his father had homesteading in the area. He talks about his parents collecting buffalo bones to sell.
In the second part of the interview, he talks about his father helping to start a school in the area. He discusses the smallpox epidemic in the area during his father's life, and the neighbor who had his own method of smallpox vaccination. He talks about the blizzard of 1880. He then talks about his own experiences farming in the area. He talks about his family (he and his wife had 20 children) and about how one of his children made a record for the largest baby born at 16 pounds and 24 1/2 inches long. He talks about the newspaper publicity of the story of his son being the largest baby.
West Central Minnesota Historical Research Center (WCMHRC)
Schmitz, Jacob, "Jacob Schmitz Interview, ca. 1977" (1977). Reminiscing in West Central Minnesota (KMRS Feature). 82.