WILLIAM SCHMIDT


Nature has been very bountiful in her gifts to California, and her citizens here have opened excellent business opportunities through the development of the natural resources of the state. The discovery of gold first attracted people in large numbers to this portion of the country, and it was not long after that the work of farming and stock-raising was begun and has been carried forward continuously since, so that California furnishes a large amount of the farm products in the western states. It is of this great department oflabor that Mr. Schmidt is a representative. He resides near Tracy, California, where he is engaged in the cultivation of over two thousand acres of land devoted to the raising of grain. He came to California in 1880 and for a short time resided in San Francisco, after which he removed to Contra Costa county, and in 1887 came to San Joaquin county.

Mr. Schmidt is numbered among the native sons of Germany, his birth having occurred in the fatherland on the 25th of August, 1853. He was reared to man's estate in his native country and acquired a fair education in the German tongue, supplemented by many valuable lessons gained from practical experience, reading and observation in later life. Viewed from a financial standpoint his business career may be said to be a very successful one. When a young man he served for three years in the German army, and in the year 1880 he determined to try his fortune in America, hoping that he might have opportunity to enjoy some of the advantages which the new world was said to furnish. The same year he arrived in California, where he has made his home continuously since. He removed from San Francisco to Contra Costa county, where he resided continuously until 1880, when he came to San Joaquin county and located on Roberts Island. There he resided until 1891, in which year he removed to his present home. The land which he farms is owned by the McLaughlin Company. In addition to this Mr. Schmidt owns six hundred and forty acres of land devoted to general farming in Stanislaus county, and is also interested as a partner with John C. Droge of Tracy, California, in a tract of land containing nearly two thousand acres. Much of this is located in Stanislaus county.

On the 6th of June, 1880, Mr. Schmidt was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Stumpf, a native of Germany, and they have four children: William J., Amelia K., Henry L. and Edward A. P. The family holds membership in the German Lutheran church at Tracy, California, and Mr. Schmidt is now serving as church treasurer. In politics he is a Republican, but frequently votes without regard to party ties, considering only the capability of candidate. Socially he is connected with Sumner Lodge, I. O. O. F., at Tracy and also with the encampment there. Whatever tends to improve his district and elevate the state receives his endorsement and many times his his active co-operation. He is among the representative and prosperous German-American citizens, and he feels that he made no mistake in leaving his native country for America that he might enjoy its broader business opportunities. He is now interested in valuable land holdings and is also the owner of property which has come to him as the reward of his persistency of purpose and capable business management.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine


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