Interesting Things

By Ray L. Bellande

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Schmidt Family

The progenitors of the 19th Century Schmidt family at Ocean Springs were Ernst Charles Schmidt (1852-1886), called Charles Ernest Schmidt, and Laura Coyle (1857-1931).  Charles E. Schmidt of German ancestry came to Ocean Springs from New Orleans, his birthplace, in the 1870s.  He was the son of Ernst Schmidt (1827-1873), a German immigrant from Baden, and Euphemie or Euphrosine Schoser (1828-1870+), also a native of Baden, Germany.  Ernst Schmidt made his livelihood at New Orleans as the proprietor of a bar room while Charles was a store clerk.  Their other children were: Louisia Schmidt (1858-1870+) and Marie Schmidt (1861-1870+).(1870 Louisiana  Federal Census, M593R519, p. 402)

In October 1874, Charles E. Schmidt married Laura Coyle, the daughter of Menorcan immigrant, Francisco Coyle (1813-1891), and Magdalene Ougatte Pons (1813-1904).  At Ocean Springs, they reared six children:  Euphemia Magdalena S. Beyer (1876-1955+), Francis Ernest “Frank” Schmidt (1877-1954), Theodore Charles Schmidt (1879-1962), Louis Victor Schmidt (1880-1953), Magdalene Schmidt Joachim (1882-1971), and Emilia Dolores Schmidt (1884-1884).(Lepre, 1991, p. 303)

Charles Ernest Schmidt was called "Handsome Charlie".  He owned the White House (1877-1911), a bar and rooming house, located on Robinson Avenue just south of the L&N Depot.  In November 1879, Mr. Schmidt opened a retail family grocery store on Washington Avenue.  The next year, he built a home adjacent to the store.  It had gaslights like the store building.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, April 23, 1880, p. 3)

In 1883, C.E. Schmidt was an unsuccessful candidate for Clerk of Court.  Unfortunately in 1886, Charles E. Schmidt met his untimely death at the age of thirty-four. His corporal remains were interred in the Bellande Cemetery.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, June 15, 1883, p. 3)

 

Widow Schmidt

In January 1894, widow Laura Coyle Schmidt sold her property on Washington Avenue know as the Cowan Store to George Rupple.  She moved across Old Fort Bayou to her new home.  In June 1895, Mr. Laura Coyle Schmidt, married Michael J. Brady (1838-1919), a local farmer.  He was a native of New York of Irish immigrant parents.  They had a daughter, Mary Agnes Brady (1896-1974), who married Oscar M. Mitchell (1893-1964).(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, January 12, 1894, p. 3)

Mrs. Laura Coyle Schmidt Brady passed on October 17, 1931.  Her corporal remains were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery on Old Fort Bayou. 

 

Euphemia Magdalena Schmidt Beyer

Euphemia M. “Effie” Schmidt (1876-1955+) was born at Ocean Springs on February 11, 1876.  In September 1894, she married Vincent Louis Beyer (1874-1940), a native of Texas and the son of Charles David Beyer (1842-1898) and Veronica Knecht (1848-1918).  Charles D. Beyer was born at New York of Dutch parents while Veronica K. Beyer was a native of Louisiana and French parentage.  Mr. Beyer was a career military man who attained the rank of General.  He was a Civil War veteran and in 1880 he was a Captain in the US Army stationed at Fort Bayard in the New Mexico Territory.  In addition to Vincent L. Beyer, their other children were: Charles Theodore Beyer (1867-1880+), Edward Matthew Beyer (1869-1880+), Harry Hood Beyer (1871-1880+), George Purlington Beyer (1876-1880+), Albert Cecil Beyer (1878-1880+), and Percy Hoxie Beyer (1880-1900+). 

General Charles D. Beyer, expired at San Luis de Potosi, Mexico in September 1898.  His wife applied for her Civil War pension while residing at New Orleans in November 1898.  Mrs. Veronica K. Beyer passed on January 9, 1918 at New Orleans.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, September 23, 1898, p. 3)

 

Vincent L. Beyer

For the majority of his life, Vincent L. Beyer made his livelihood as a nurseryman or farm manger.  Prior to marrying Effife Schmidt at Ocean Springs in 1894, he was active here as a charter member of the Ocean Springs Hook and Ladder Company, a volunteer fire department.  His brother H.H. Beyer was its first president.(Ellison, 1991, p. 41)

 Before 1900, the Beyers relocated to Plaquemine Parish, Louisiana.  By 1910, they had returned to Ocean Springs as Mr. Beyer was hired by Hernando Deveaux Money (1869-1936) to manage his Rose-Money Farm, north of Ocean Springs.  Immediately, Mr. Beyer commenced improvements.  He supervised the thinning out the pecan orchard, grafted better variety pecans to poor bearing trees, and experimented with growing Sea Island Cotton.  In August 1910, he planted five acres of cotton.(Lepre, 1991, p. 303, The Ocean Springs News, April 23, 1910 and August 20, 1910)

Vincent L. Beyer and Effie Schmidt were the parents of twelve children: Carlos Beyer (1895-1915), Frank Beyer (1897-1985), Ben Beyer (1899-1920+), Eula Beyer (1902-1920+), Lydia E. Beyer (1907-1920+), Doris M. Beyer (1907-1920+), Mary Alice Beyer (1911-1920+), Mabel Beyer (1912-1920+), Jessie Beyer (1913-1920+), Vincent L. Beyer (1914-1987), Laurie Beyer (1916-1920+), and Shirley Beyer (1918-1920+).

Wiggins

Circa 1911, Vincent L. Beyer and family relocated to Wiggins, Mississippi where he was manager of the Mississippi Farms Company, an enterprise of the Finkbine Lumber Company.  At the Coast Fair in Gulfport in October 1911, Mr. Beyer exhibited nine varieties of forage such as hay, grasses, kaffir corn, etc. and of root crops such as potatoes, peanuts, and rutabagas, etc.  In addition, there was a display of nursery stock, cattle, hogs, and sheep.  Beyer also related that a canning factory to produce catsup, pickles, sweet potatoes, and sauerkraut was planned for Wiggins.  Recently, a group of investors from Kansas had acquired 1100 acres of land from the Mississippi Farm Company for $25 per acre.  They planned to improve it in the near future.(The Daily Herald,October 26, 1911, p. 1)

By 1918, V.L. Beyer was manager of the Beyer-Campbell Nursery at Wiggins.  In February 1918, he donated 150 camphor trees to the Home Consolidated School at Big Level and demonstrated fruit tree grafting and spraying to the students involved in agriculture.(The Daily Herald, February 19, 1918, p. 2)

By 1920, the V.L. Beyer family had returned to Ocean Springs.

Sarasota

In 1921, Vincent L. Beyer and family left Ocean Springs and relocated to Sarasota, Florida.  Here he was the general manager of a farm.  Mr. Beyer expired at Sarasota, Florida on July 2, 1940.  He was the last of the seven Beyer brothers who were former residents of Bay St. Louis and Ocean Springs.  No further information.(The Jackson County Times, July 6, 1940, p. 4)

Francis E. Schmidt

Francis E. “Frank” Schmidt (1877-1954) was born at Ocean Springs on October 6, 1877.  He married Antoinette Emma Johnson (1870-1956) of Algiers, Louisiana.  Her father was a Danish sea captain, Frederick Oliver Johnson (Jenson) (1851-1938), and mother, Henrietta Hedman (1855-1922).  In 1910, Mr. Johnson operated a grocery store on Washington Avenue.  Mrs. Schmidt's sister was Carrie Ann Johnson (1886-1968) who was married to Joseph B. Garrard (1871-1915) and Alexander Fleet Everhart (1881-1957).  Mrs. Everhart was in the hardware business, raised citrus, and dealt in real estate at Ocean Springs.(Lepre, 1991, p. 303)

Schmidt bakery

In 1900, young Frank E. Schmidt worked as an oysterman and resided with his aging mother and stepfather, Michael Brady, north of Old Fort Bayou.  In January 1901, he took a lease from the F.J. Lundy Company on the Illing bakery property located at 78-80 Washington Avenue, recently the site of Le Croissant, also a bakery.  Mr. Schmidt called his business the City Bakery.  In later years, it was called the Premium Bakery.  

Frank E. Schmidt bought the Illing Bakery Lot from H.F. Russell (1858-1940) in December 1903.  Here for the next thirty-five years he and Harry Hill (1896-1968) baked fresh bread, cakes, rolls, pies, and cookies.  In the early years deliveries were made twice daily using a horse drawn bread wagon with the product selling for a nickel a loaf. JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 27, pp. 417-418)           

Bakery buildings and home

At the time of the Schmidt purchase of the Illing bakery lot, there was a two-story, 1750 square-foot, wood frame building on Washington Avenue.  This structure was probably utilized as a residence upstairs and sales room on the lower floor.  The bakery house, which housed the coal-fired, oven was to the rear of the house.  A small stable lie just south of the bakery house.(1904 Sanborn Map, “Ocean Springs”, p. 2) 

The Frank Schmidt's started their family in 1902, with the birth of their first son, Frank Oliver Schmidt (1902-1975).  Two additional sons followed, Charles Ernest Schmidt (1904-1988), and Harry Johnson Schmidt (1905-1997).  With this growing family, Schmidt had the impetus to tear down his residence and build a larger one.  He also built a bakery sales shop separate from his residence.  The only building on the Schmidt property to survive into the 21stCentury was the old sales shop at 504 Washington Avenue.  In recent years, Le Croissant, a small bakery, under the proprietorship of Parisian native, Christian Fraisse (b. 1943), occupied the old Schmidt sales shop.  This historic structure was demolished on April 2, 2004 by the First Baptist Church of Ocean Springs and is now planted in sod.  C’est dommage! 

Between 1904 and 1909, F.E. Schmidt erected a two-story, wood frame structure with a living area of 1600 square-feet.  It was located about twenty feet east of Washington Avenue and had an upper and lower gallery.(1909 Sanborn Map, “Ocean Springs”, p.  2)   

Frank E. Schmidt sold his bakery to Harry S. Hill (1896-1968), his former employee, in December 1938, and retired to No. 45 Jackson Avenue on the northwest corner of Jackson and Cleveland.  Here the Schmidts watched the progress of their sons who were very successful in their career endeavors.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 71, p. 626)

In late March 1947, a butane gas stove blew up in the former Schmidt home, which was owned by H.V. Hayden (1904-1969), the son of H.H. Hayden (1881-1954), at this time.  Mrs. Aline Sylvester was the occupant of the eight-room structure.  The subsequent fire from the exploding stove destroyed the roof and second story.  The downstairs suffered considerable water damage.  The East End Fire Company of Biloxi assisted the local volunteer fire fighters in attacking the conflagration.  Later the derelict structure was demolished.(The Jackson County Times, March 19, 1947, p. 1)

 

45 Jackson Avenue

In January 1934, the Heirs of Laura C. Schmidt Brady conveyed the old Charles E. Schmidt (1852-1886) family home at 45 Jackson Avenue to Frank E. Schmidt.  This post mid-19th Century cottage is situated at present day 505 Jackson Avenue and now in the possession of Patrick Mitchell, the great grandson of Laura C. Schmidt Brady (1857-1931).  It apparently once belonged to Pauline Ryan Bellman (1815-1899), the spouse of Charles F.N. Bellman (1806-1868), a German immigrant from Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.  They were the progenitors of the large Bellman family of Ocean Springs and Biloxi. 

C.E. “Uncle Ernie” Schmidt (1904-1988), in his Ocean Springs French Beachhead (1972) states that:

 

It is known that the Widow Bellman took in a few pupils at the old house still standing at the northwest corner of Jackson and Cleveland.  One of her pupils, Laura Coyle, remembered years later that Mrs. Bellman excused the class so they could go to the railroad to see the first official train go through.  That happened on October 29, 1870.(p. 67)

Frank Schmidt served Ocean Springs as Ward One alderman (1915-1922 and 1925-1930) and Mayor from 1935-1938.  He ran unsuccessfully for the Jackson County Beat Four Supervisors post in 1929, seeking the seat vacated by the death of James K. Lemon (1870-1929).  He lost to Alfred P. “Fred” Moran (1897-1967).

After an illness of several months, Frank E. Schmidt died at Mobile, Alabama on May 26, 1954.  He was a Roman Catholic practicing his religion at the St. Alphonsus Church.  Mr. Schmidt was a Knight of Columbus and member of the Holy Name Society.  He was interred in the Schmidt Family plot at the Evergreen Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, May 26, 1954, p. 1)

 

F.E. Schmidt children

Frank Oliver Schmidt (1902-1975) was the first native son to practice medicine at Ocean Springs.  He married Helen Richard (1905-1959), a native of Plaquemine, Louisiana. She was the daughter of Dr. John A. Richard and Irene Pope.  They had two children: Frank Ernest Schmidt, who married Sidonie de la Houssaye Evans and Mary Jane Schmidt who married Donald Kopal.  Like his father, Frank E. Schmidt became a physician.  He practices medicine as a thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon in New Orleans.  Mrs. Donald Kopal resides at New Canaan, Connecticut with her family.  Dr. Frank O. Schmidt died on February 25, 1975.  He is interred in the Schmidt family burial plot at Evergreen Cemetery.

After Helen Richard Schmidt died in 1959, Dr. F.O. Schmidt married Maria Rosario Crowe Bailey (1920-2001).  Rose Schmidt was a native of Lansdowne, Pennsylvania.  She had two children by a prior marriage: Jonathan A. Bailey of Charlotte, North Carolina and Robyn Cawthon of Albany, Georgia.  Rose Schmidt expired at Ocean Springs on January 25, 2001.(The Sun Herald ,January 26, 2001, p. A-9)

Charles Ernest “Uncle Ernie” Schmidt (1904-1988) was a mechanical engineer who invented the hydrolevel and other technical devices.  He also wrote the only comprehensive history of Ocean Springs, Ocean Springs French Beachhead, which he published in 1972.  Ernest Schmidt was active in local politics.  In 1947, he entered the political arena at Ocean Springs and was elected alderman-at-large for one term.  He often battled Beat Four County Supervisor A.P. "Fred" Moran (1897-1967) over the best utility of the Ocean Springs Inner Harbor.  In the spring of 1948, Schmidt resigned in a furor from his position as Secretary of the Commission for Sea Food Development.  He was an outspoken advocate for industrial development in Jackson County and wanted the harbor developed for commercial fishermen.  Supervisor Moran favored the inlet as a haven for pleasure craft and recreational sailors. Like his father, Schmidt was also elected mayor of Ocean Springs. Ernest Schmidt expired on January 14, 1988.  His corporal remains were buried in the Evergreen Cemetery.(The Ocean Springs Record, January 21, 1988, p. 1)

Harry Johnson Schmidt (1905-1997) like his elder brother, Frank Oliver Schmidt (1902-1975), was also a physician.  Dr. Schmidt practiced internal medicine at Convent, Louisiana and Biloxi for decades.  On May 25, 1935, at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, he married Margaret Mary Heath (1908-1983), the daughter of Maurice Heath.  Their children were: Dr. Harry J. Schmidt II (1936-2013) m. Ann Baltar (1937-2012), Dr. Robert J. Schmidt (1937-2000), and Dr. Richard C. Schmidt.  Dr. Harry J. Schmidt died at Biloxi on August 31, 1997.  His corporal remains were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery on Old Fort Bayou.(The Daily Herald, May 11, 1935, p. 5 and The Sun Herald, September 3, 1997, p. E-2)

Charles Theodore Schmidt

Charles T. Schmidt (1879-1962) was born at Ocean Springs on March 11, 1879.  He married Myrtle Cunningham (1893-1986), a native of Texas.  They were the parents of five children: Charline Schmidt Matinolich (1909-1989) married Andrew K. Martinolich (1898-1989); Coyle T. Schmidt (1911-1986) married Georgia Favre (1914-1998); Alton L. Schmidt (1913-1987); Laurine Schmidt Cuevas (1915-1980) married C.E. Cuevas; and Dr. Frank L. Schmidt.(Lepre, 1991, p. 303)

In 1920, Charles T. Schmidt was a resident of Mississippi City where he owned a grocery store.  He later joined the Illinois Central Railroad as a conductor and was employed here until retirement age.  Mr. Schmidt was a Roman Catholic and worshipped at Our Lady of the Gulf in Bay St. Louis.  He was a member of the Order of Railway Conductors and the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen.(1930 Federal Census-Harrison County, Mississippi, T626R1146, p. 3A and .(The Daily Herald, October 27, 1962, p. 2)

In 1942, Charles T. Schmidt relocated to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.  He expired here on October 27, 1962. Myrtle C. Schmidt died in October 1986, at Pass Christian, Mississippi.  C.T. Schmidt’s corporal remains were interred in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Bay St. Louis.(The Daily Herald, October 27, 1962, p. 2)

Louis Victor Schmidt

Louis V. Schmidt (1880-1953) was born at Ocean Springs on July 7, 1880.  In 1889, he joined the Gulf & Ship Island Railroad firing a steam shovel.  Before his twentieth birthday, Schmidt had been promoted to engineer.  He retired from the Gulf & Ship Island Railroad division of the Illinois Central Railroad in January 1953, after fifty-three years of continuous service.(The Daily Herald, October 26, 1953, p. 7)

Circa 1907, Louis V. Schmidt had married Jesse M. Jordan (1883-1953+), a widow from Brookhaven, Mississippi.  By 1910, the Schmidt family was residing in Columbia, Marion County, Mississippi with their two children, Doris Schmidt Chapin (1907-1989) and Louis C. Schmidt (1909-1980).(1910 Marion County, Mississippi Federal Census, T624-R751, p. 252)

By 1920, Louis V. Schmidt had relocated to Gulfport, Mississippi.  He remained with the railroad as an engineer.  The Schmidts had another child, Dorothy Schmidt Herbert (1913-1993).(1920 Harrison County, Mississippi Federal Census,  T625-R876, p. 259)

Louis V. Schmidt expired at Sarasota, Florida in late October 1953.  He had been visiting with his sister, Mrs. Vincent L. Beyer.  His corporal remains were sent to Gulfport for burial in the Evergreen Cemetery.(The Gulf Coast Times, October 29, 1953, p. 1 and The Daily Herald, October 26, 1953, p. 7)

Magdalene Schmidt Joachim

Magdalene Schmidt (1882-1971), called Lena, was born at Ocean Springs on March 10, 1882.  She married Benjamin Franklin Joachim II (1882-1970), the son of B.F. Joachim (1847-1925) and Rosa M. Bokenfohr (1861-1934).  Their children were: Mark Oscar Joachim (1904-1955), B.F. Joachim III (1908-1974), and Mary Frances Joachim Milner (1916-1987).  Mrs. Joachim died on February 18, 1971.  Her corporal remains were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery at Ocean Springs.

Emilia Dolores Schmidt (1884-1884).

Emilia Dolores Schmidt was born at Ocean Springs on September 3, 1884.  She expired in her infancy after her baptism at St. Alphonsus on September 24, 1884.  Emelia’s remains lie at rest in the Bellande Cemetery on Dewey Avenue.(Lepre, 1991, p. 303 )

 

REFERENCES:          

Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Volume I, (Catholic Diocese of Biloxi:  Biloxi-1991), p. 303)

Journals

The Daily Herald“Prospectors Buy Lands of Miss. Farms Company”, October 26, 1911.

The Daily Herald“Louis Schmidt Final Rites Tuesday Morning”, October 26, 1953.

The Daily Herald"Former Mayor Ocean Springs Dies In Mobile", May 26, 1954.

The Daily Herald“Stone County”, February 18, 1918.

The Daily Herald“Ocean Springs”, May 11, 1935

The Gulf Coast Times"Louis V. Schmidt dies suddenly at Pensacola", October 29, 1953.

The Jackson County Times“Vincent Beyer”, July 6, 1940.

The Jackson County Times“Fire Destroys 2nd Floor of Hayden Building Tuesday”, March 29, 1947.

The Ocean Springs News“Local News”, April 23, 1910.

The Ocean Springs News“Local News”, August 20, 1910.

The Ocean Springs News“Local News”, July 1, 1911.

The Ocean Springs News“Carlos Beyer”, December 16, 1915.

The Sun Herald, "Harry J. Schmidt Jr,", April 24, 2013, p. A4.