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Katharina Straeser Schmitt Children – Sts. Peter & Paul Cemetery, Edwards, Kansas – Pt. 2




In 1879, a group of settlers came to Edwards County and settled about 10 miles north of Kinsley. Katharina Straeser Schmitt, a widow, came to America with two brothers, one sister, and her four children.


Before Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church was built, the families would travel to Windthorst to attend Mass. They would go down one day, stay with friends in the area, attend services, and return home. This is how Nicholas Schmitt Sr., the oldest child of Katharina, met and married his wife.


Nicholas was born in 1856 in Germany. Anna Seimer was born in 1865 in Cincinnati, Ohio. They two were married at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Windthorst on January 17, 1884. Their home was located 1 mile east and ¾ quarter miles north of Sts. Peter & Paul. They were blessed with 11 children. Before a Catholic school was built, Anna taught school in their home.

Katharina’s two daughters, Barbara and Mary were also born in Germany in 1858 and 1863 respectively. Neither married. Barbara passed away in 1915. Mary worked at St. Francis Hospital in Wichita. She died in 1944.


John Schmitt was the third child and second son of Katharina. He was born in 1861and was 18 years old when the family came to America. On January 11, 1886, he married Josephine Birsinger. Josephine was born in Alsace-Lorraine, France in 1870. She emigrated with her family in 1885 and settled in Hodgeman County. John and Josephine were the parents of nine children.


Joseph died on November 28, 1939 and is buried in Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery. Josephine passed away on May 2, 1962. She is buried alongside Joseph. Eight of their nine children and many grandchildren are buried there.

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