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Yuma County Pioneer Photographs:

John W. and Mary Smith, sons Elmer Smith and John Upton Smith, grandsons Oscar J. Schmitz, Winfred J. Schmitz, Happyville

In 1850 Shelby County, Missouri, Augustus J. Smith is 35, Mary Jane 36, with John W. 14, Margarett E. 9, and Mary E. 7.

J. W. Smith married Mary J. Duncan February 23, 1860 in Shelby County, Missouri.

In 1880 Otoe County, Nebraska, John W. is 44, Mary 38, with Lenora 16, Austin 15, William 14, John 12, Permillia 10, Lydia 8, Albert 6, adn Elmer eidht months.

John W.  and Mary were in Red Willow County, Nebraska in 1910, living with son Elmer and Viola.

Per one Ancestry tree,  John William Smith died in Eckley, Colorado about 1923.  He must be the John W. Smith 84, born in Missouri, with Mary J. 77, Kentucky, in 1920 Eckley.  The tree said Mary Jane (Duncan) Smith died 1927 in either Eckley or Culbertson, Nebraska

Thanks to the Real family

Lenora Smith Schmitz, mother Mary Jane Duncan Smith, Philomena Schmitz Hesterwerth, Francis and Alice Hesterwerth

John and Mary Smith's daughter Lenora married Joseph Schmitz.

In 1900 Red Willow County, Nebraska, Joseph Schmitz, born Oct 1853 in Wisconsin, married 19 years to Lenora Sept 1863 Missouri.  Philomena Nov 1881 - a school teacher, Oscar June 1883, Winfred Dec 1888, Carl April 1891, Rose June 1893, Leo June 1886, and Claude April 1898 were all born in Nebraska.

1900 McCook "The district No. 8 literary was reorganized Wednesday evening , with Roy Jacobs to preside ; Oscar Schmitz , vice ; George Smith secretary ; Charles Wasson , treasurer ; Fay Jacobs, editor ; Philomena  Schmitz , chairman of the program committee , and John Whittaker, sergeant-at-arms. The attendance was large ; the surprises in the program were prominent features of interest and enjoyment."

From McCook Tribune, September 26, 1918

The funeral services of the late Joseph A. Schmitz of Driftwood precinct, were held in St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Saturday morning, at ten o'clock, Rev. Father A.H. Kunz, O.M.I., officiating at the sol requiem high mass.  The church was crowded with a congregation of relative and friends of the lamented and esteemed departed, who was a man of high character and held in highest regard by a numerous circle, formed and endeared to him during the 32 years of his residence here.

The bereaved wife and children are objects of the tenderest sympathy and consideration in their loss and sorrow.

Joseph A. Schmitz was born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, October 29, 1852.  Moved with his parents to Otoe County, Nebraska, in 1876.  He was married in Otoe County to Miss Lenora Smith in 1881.  He moved to Red Willow County in 1886, purchasing the old G.B. Nettleton farm on the Driftwood Creek, where he resided until his death, September 18, 1918, one o'clock.  Ten children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Schmitz, of which nine are living, all of them being present at the funeral and burial of their worthy father.

Two brothers and a sister of the departed were at the funeral, Mr. N.J. Schmitz, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Schmitz, and Mrs. Joseph Durr, all of Nebraska city.  Besides other relatives, Mrs. Thomas Real of Edgar, and Mrs. Schmitz's parents, Mrs. and Mrs. Smith of Otis, Colorado.  The floral offerings from the Woodmen, of which deceased was a member, and of individuals, etc., were very profuse and beautiful.  Interment followed the service in St. Patrick's church, burial being made in Calvary cemetery of this parish.


Philomena A. Schmitz  1881-1969  married John H. Hesterwerth in 1901, buried in Calvary Cemetery, McCook.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Burdette "Bert" Hesterwerth, 89, died Oct. 2, 2001, in Colorado Springs, Colo. He was born Sept. 20, 1912, in Red Willow County to John and Philemona (Schmitz) Hesterwerth. He attended school in McCook and graduated from McCook High School in 1931. On Aug. 14, 1938, he married Roberta Winters of Bartley.He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Francis, John and Bernard; three sisters, Loretta, Helen and Marie Thompson.Survivors include his wife, Roberta; two sons, Larry B. Hesterwerth and Michael A. Hesterwerth; one daughter, Jonne Johnstone; and six grandchildren.Services were at Pauline Chapel with burial at Evergreen Cemetery.


Nash-Schmitz. Miss Alice Nash and Mr. Leo Schmitz were married Wednesday, January 31, in St. Patrick’s church. Miss Genevieve McAdams and Mr. Ray Donnelly acting as bridesmaid and groomsman. The bride is the daughter of Mrs. Elizabeth Nash, and has lived here for the past twelve years, and has been employed in the telegraph office here for a couple of years. The groom is a son of Mr. And Mrs. A.J. Schmitz who live south of town. He is a graduate of the McCook high school in the class of 1914. He is at presenting traveling for a Chicago Grocery firm, and makes his headquarters here. They left Wednesday evening for a trip to Omaha and other points east, where they will visit for a month. The Republican joins their many friends in wishing them a happy and prosperous future. Friday 2 February 1917


Note:  Their marriage was witnessed by, Mary Schmitz and Nickolas J. Schmitz.  

1912 Happyville items "Elmer Smith is running his header in the harvest fields in Nebraska, nowdays."

Elmer proved up two quarters in 22 and 27, 1S 46W in 1918,and John U another 280 acres in 23, 24 and 26m 1S 46W  in 1918.

1919 Eckley " "Elmer Smith and son, Ray, are working on the telephone line into Vernon."

So Oscar and Winfred's uncle and grandparents were in Eckley.  In 1910 Red Willow County next to his parents are John N, 63, widowed and his daughter Alma 20, then Albert 34, his wife Lela M 34, and their four kids.

In 1920 Eckley, on the same page as John and Mary, is Elmer Smith, manager of the telephone company, 37, Nebraska, with Viola 33 Iowa, Ray J. 17 Bertha L. 11, Clara M. 8 - these three born in Nebraska, then Harvey P. seven months, Colorado. 

In 1923 Bertha Smith and   Otis Sherrill graduated from the eighth grade at Eckley.

January 1924 Brownsville items "Mrs. Loren Connerley and children are visiting at the home of her brother Elmer Smith near Hughes."
September 1925 - Yuma "Mrs. Elmer Smith came up from Eckley Monday to visit at the home of her sister Mrs. John E. Wilson in this city."

Bertha Smith married O.P. Sherril June 16, 1929, recorded in Yuma County.

Elmer - the town marshal - and Viola are in Eckley precinct in 1930, with Clara M. 18 and Harry" P. 10.

In 1940 Eckley Elmer, the city clerk, 59, and Viola are alone.

July 1943 "Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Smith will leave soon for Denver where they will live with Otis Sherrill and daughters."
November 1, 1951
March 6, 1952 July 1, 1943 "Funeral services for Mrs. Bertha L. Sherrill, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Smith of Eckley and a asister of Mrs. Russell Parrish of Yuma, who died last Thursday in a denver hospital after an illness of almost two years, were held Monday afternoon."

December 9, 1943
January 8, 1948

September 26, 1957

January 11, 1951
March 6, 1952
March 16, 1961
March 23, 1961
October 13, 1966


Harvey Paul Smith -1919 - 1988 is buried in Yuma # 55431757


In 1940 Denver, Ray J . Smith 27, born in Nebraska, is a teller at a tramway, with Wetah M. 28, Illinois.  They have Ranita J. eleven months, and Wetah's brother Robert D. Flinn, 22 born in Missouri is with them.

Ray J. Smith 1902-1996 # 104690424  and Wetah M. Smith 1901-1973 # 104690469 are buried in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Wetah's parents James R. Flinn   and Louise   are in Morgan County, Colorado in 1930 and 1940, running a cream station.

James 1877-1945 # 70355458  and Louise 1882-1946 are buried in Brush, Colorado # 70355514


In 1920 Happyville precinct, Otis P. Sherrill is 13 born in Kansas, with Harry V 43 and Margarett A. 35, Mary R. 14, and Ira W. 10.
Otis, an accountant,  and Bertha are newly married in 1930 Denver.

In 1940 Denver Otis 33 and Bertha 31 have Marjorie 10 and two-month-old Carole.

In 1949 Wichita Kansas, Otis is a manager for Ralston Purina, married to Mildred J., living at 310 N. Dellrose.

In 1956 Denver, Otis is still a manager for Ralston Purina, with Mildred living at 2688 Elm.

Otis P. Sherrill was probated in Jefferson County in 1961

"Committal Services Will be held at a later date at Crown Hill Cemetery in Denver, Colorado

Mildred Jane (McLeod) Dimitroff was born on November 1, 1921 in Denver, Colorado to parents Smart and Bernice (Trevithick) McLeod. She was raised in Denver and graduated from North High in Denver in 1940. Right after graduation she worked at the Munitions Plant in Denver. Millie married Otis P. Sherrill. In 1956, Millie went to work at the United Bank of Denver. She started out working as a teller and retired from the bank as a Trust Administrator in the Trust Department. Otis died in 1961. Millie married A.Z. (Dimi) Dimitroff in 1966. Millie retired from the bank when she was 62. Dimi died in 2001. Millie moved to Pisgah in May 2002 to be close to her daughter. "


In 1900 Red Willow County, John Smith born Dec 1868 in Missouri, is married to Alta M. 23, with Clifton B. 2.

In 1910 Red Willow County, John and Alta have Clifton 12 and Eva M. 1.

John is a section hand on the railroad in 1930, with Alta living at 605 South Buffalo in Yuma, with Clarence 18 born in Colorado.

John U. 71 and Alta M. 63 are in Longmont Colorado in 1940, no occupation.

John Upton Smith 1868-1950  # 35151419 and Alta May Smith 1877-1947 are buried in Colorado Springs.

Clifton Bradford Smith registered with an Eckley address, born July 1, 1897 at Culbertson, Nebraska, working for father John U. Smith of Eckley.

Clifton is a bank cashier in Cass County, Nebraska in 1930, married to May F.  both 32 born in Nebraska,  with Elaine 8 Kansas and Robert L. 3 Nebraska.

They're in Los Angeles in 1940, living with Mae's parents James and Alice Loughridge.  Helen Elaine is 18, Robert Lee 13, and Marilyn Lou 4.

Clifton died October 19, 1974 in Santa Clara County, California.



Oscar was the teacher in 1903 in District No. 8, Red Willow County "The school house has been newly papered and painted.   Literary every Friday evening."


One tree said Oscar John Schmitz married Lena Bohling Sept 4, 1908 in McCook.

In 1909 Oscar was the Driftwood precinct, Red Willow County,  Democratic committeeman.

In 1910 Red Willow County, Joseph A. Sr. is 56, Lelora M. 46, J .Winfred 21, Carl M. 19, Rose O. 16, Leo J. 13 , Claude W. 12, Joseph A. Jr. 5, and Lenora M. 3.

In 1910 Red Willow County, Oscar J. is 26, Lena M. 21, with May L. five months old.

1910 - "Eckley Chat" - "Mr. Schmitz, of McCook, was a homeseeker this week."

1913 "Winfred Schmitz returned Monday afternoon from a visit at his home in McCook, Nebraska.  He was accompanied by his mother, Mrs. J.A. Schmitz, who went out with him to his homestead nine miles west of Vernon. Mrs. Schmitz expects to return to McCook tomorrow."

1915 "O.J. Schmitz' little boy was badly burned last Friday, by a fire which the children lighted in the grass.  At latest report the little fellow was getting along as well as could be expected."

Oscar and Winfred were both signers of a notice forbidding trespassing.  Other signatories were Edgar Funk, C.S. Rutherford, J.U Smith, W.B. Woodward, E. Halstead, and William Fruin.

Oscar proved up   two quarters in 25 and 26, 1S 46W, Winfred two in 25, both in 1917. (although Winfred was to make final proof in 1914, per an official newspaper notice)

Oscar's witnesses were Allen A. Higgins, Fay Wheeler, Frank Beech, and Owen Critchfield.

Winfred's witnesses were George E. Schofield, Frank S. Beach, Owen Critchfield, and John U. Smith, all of Vernon.


Oscar John Schmitz was a Yuma County registrant in 1918.

In 1920 Oscar (retired)  and Lena are in Otoe County, Nebraska, with May L. 10, Lucille H. 8 and Martin J. 7, both born in Colorado.

In 1930 Perkins County, Nebraska, Oscar is 46, married but no spouse, working at a restaurant.  He's living with sister Lenora M. Johnson and her husband Earl A. and their son.

In 1930 Lena is still in Otoe County, divorced, a maid in a hotel, with Lucile and Martin, and a 43 -year-old lodger Charles Bogen. married but no spouse. Lena is alone in 1940 Otoe County, a rooming house keeper.

Mae is a student nurse at St. Joseph's Hospital in Denver in 1930.

Martin is a welder in Chicago in 1940, 26, married to Kathryn, 36. One tree said she was Kathryn Mottashed.

Lucile is a teacher in 1940 Otoe County, rooming with a family.

Mae is a nurse in 1940 Detroit, living with another nurse.

Oscar's wife moved to Nebraska City and raised her children there.  Martin moved to Chicago and did not tell his children that he had relatives in Nebraska.  It is believed that Oscar and his wife did divorce.  He had another special lady friend who did show up at his funeral and she sat in the back of the church.  As we walked out my mother stopped and asked her her name and if she was a friend of Oscar's and she said yes, so my mother invited her to the dinner.  For some reason I think her name was Alice.  I remember Oscar as being gruff, but he lived with his mom in McCook and my grandmother, his sister, lived a block up the street so I went there often to see her mother.  His daughter Mae was a special niece to Aunt Rose who did not have children so she would show me pictures of Mae and her husband and son.  My mother did keep in contact with Lucille.  The Schmitz brothers were tall, large framed men.  My grandmother referred to them as her "wild" brothers.

Lena M. Schmitz 1886-1958 is buried in Holy Trinity, Otoe County # 57619129.


In 1920 Winfred is back in Red Willow County, with widowed mother Lenora.  Claude 21, Joseph 15, and Lenora 12 are with them.

"Winnie" and Mable 35, both first married about 1915, are in Red Willow County in 1930, and two schoolteachers are boarding with them.

Winfred and Mable are in Walden, Colorado in 1940, where he is a laborer at a log mill.

In 1956 they're in an apartment on Osage Street in Denver.

Winfred James Schmitz, 1888-1957 is buried in Littleton # 84215853, with wife Mabel Mae (Maguire) 1895-1983.

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