Maria Kathryn Schmidt was born 2 August 1848 in Neu-Messer and died 2 August 1889. Her parent may have been Heinrich Schmidt, born about 1866, and her mother Katrina Scheibel.
Maria had a known sister, Katherine Marie Schmidt born 2 April 1893 in Neu-Messer and died 1957 in Billings, Yellowstone, Montana. Katherine Schmidt married Jacob Lehr who was also from Neu-Messer, born 1885 and died 1971 in Billings, Yellowstone,Montana. Katherine and Jacob immigrated separately, approximately 1913-1914.
Maria K. Schmidt married Friedrich Benzel in Kolb, Russia. Fred was born 14 June 1885 in Kolb and died 3 November 1973 in Hardin, Big Horn, Montana. Maria and Fred immigrated in 1912 aboard the “Brundenburg.” Fred and Maria are buried in Fairview Cemetery, Hardin, Big Horn, Montana.
Family lore states that the Benzel-Schmidt family members were shot and killed at the local Kolb school among other local prominent citizens in about 1920. A Schmidt family owned and operated the local flour mill; perhaps our Schmidt’s were part of this family group.
Submitted by Dee Hert