Yuma County, Colorado

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Yuma County Pioneer Photographs:

John H. Gerstenschlager

Melchior Gerstenschlage and son John immigrated 1842, and another son Henry in 1860, settling in St. Clair County.  Another son Balthasar born 1819 immigrated with Christina, and had Anna and John born in St. Clair County, according to one Ancestry tree.  Another web posting says the name means "Barley Thresher."

The 1902 ownership map of Perry County shows a Julius Gerstenschlager owning 80 acres about 5 miles wnw of Pinckneybille.

John homesteaded in section 23, 5N 46W, proving up in 1913.  This is about two miles southwest of Wages.

He might be the John H. Gerstenschlager in 1880 Perry County, Illinois, 5, born in Illinois, with John and Elizabeth.  Emma is 10, Ida 8, and Lizzie 3.

That matches the 1870 Perry County listing of John Gerstenschlager, 24, with Elizabeth 23, both born Prussia, and four-month-old Emma.

In 1900 Perry County John H. is 26, newly married to Mary 18  Mary said she and her parents were born in Illinois.

In 1910 Yuma County John and Mary have Aaron P. 8, Raymond 6, Viola 4, and Rose thirteen-months.  Rose was born in Colorado, all the others in Illinois.

Mrs. George Joslin, who lived a few miles east of Wages, wrote to her sister in Iowa : 

   Holyoke, Colo.  Jan. 10, 1912


 Guthenslagerís baby died yesterday, he went to town to get medicine for it and it died while he was gone so he brought a coffin out today.  It will be buried tomorrow.  (The baby will.) 

John was $11.41 delinquent in taxes on his quarter in 1914.

A possible person in 1920 Decatur, Macon County, Illinois is John Gerstenschlager, 47, born Illinois, with father born Indiana and mother Germany - he's a laborer in a iron works, and the listing says he's married, but no other members with him.

The Decatur Herald of January 1928 had a listing of public  sales, including "Jan,. 31 - J.H. Gerstenschlager, Emery, Ill."   That has to be the Yuma County one.

In 1920 East St. Louis is a Jacob Gerstenschlager, 41 or 44 Illinois, married to Emma 44.  He's a railroad inspector.  He died in 1935, and the death records said he was buried in Pinckneyville.  His father was  Henry.  The 1880 census of Perry County has Henry 24 and Katy 20 with only one child, Jacob 1.  So this is not a brother of our Yuma County  one.

Oakland Tribune, December 26, 1924.  "Salt Lake City , Fireman J.H. Gerstenschlager was killed and two other trainmen injured today when a freight train on the Marysville branch of the D&RGW railroad jumped the tracks."  This is one of the three John Gerstenschlagers - this one born in Ohio, lived in Utah 1910-1920.  The second lived in Port Huron Michigan, and the Yuma County one the third.



Name: Mary N Wulff
Age: 36
Birthplace: Illinois
Home in 1920: Dolton, Cook, Illinois
Spouse's Name: Herman F Wulff wwI switchman cb&q b 11/22/1882
Father's Birthplace: Scotland
Mother's Birthplace: England
Name Age
Herman F Wulff 37
Mary N Wulff 36
Cletus G Wulff daughter 11 Colorado
Raymond A Wulff 16
Viola M Wulff 14

1920 Omaha directory - switchman for cb&Q

1925 Council Bluffs Herman F and Mary A. - both 42, have Raymond A. 21, Viola 19, and Cletus 12 (the age of Cledus doesn't match the 1920 census, but does the 1930 census)

1930 Chicago Herman and Mary WUFF both 47, 33 at first marriage (doesn't sound possible with the ages of the kids,  but does if they said 33 was their current marriage).  They have Cletus 17 Colorado - doesn't match the 1920.  She's a clerk in a tobacco store, and Herman is a flagman for a railroad.

1940 Chicago Herman, a railroad watchman,  and Mary are in Chicago, with divorced daughter Viola McMullin 34, a stenographer, and five lodgers.

1956 "Switchmen ...Herman Wulff of Bartlett presented last month with Silver Passes."  - may be too young for our Herman....

Switchmen F. W. Riley of Bensenville
and Herman Wulff of Bartlett were
presented last month with Silver Passes.

1965 Milwaukee Road (railroad) Magazine "Retired Switchman Herman Wulff, who lives in Tucson, Ariz., bulletined that he had recently been in Lancaster, Calif., and found Retired Trainmaster Johnny Malvin and wife well."

My name is Sue Becker Heidenblut My grandmother was Ida Gerstenschlager Becker (Apr 11, 1894- July 1965), She married Ed Becker on Aug 26, 1915 in Pinckneyville. They had 3 children, Opal who died as a child, Floyd (9-15-1919 - 3-2-2004) and Harold (2-7-1925- 9-29-2005).  Floyd and Harold both lived in Illinois, Knox county, Floyd in Gilson and Harold in Knoxville. Harold was my father, married Vera Baxter in 1943 in Idaho while in Army Air Corps. I have one brother, David who lives in Knoxville Il. Floyd had one daughter Cindy. I would appreciate any information about the parents and grandparents of my grandmother.

Emma Gerstenschlager Schmidt

Also in  1900 Perry County born February 1876 is Emma C. Schmidt, married to Charles. born August 1866 in Germany, immigrating in 1881.  They have Johnna September 1892 Illinois  (this must be Hannah) , Frieda M. September 1894, Andrew G. January 1896, and Theodore J. October 1897.

On the same page as John Gerstenschlager  in 1910 Yuma County  is Emma  Schmidt, 40 born in Illinois, married nineteen years to Charlie Schmidt  This is John's sister, per one family tree. They have Freda C. A. 16, Theodore G. W. 12, Ludwig C A. 9, Otto A. C. 7, Henrietta C. L . 6, and Adela S.W. 4.  All the kids were born in Illinois.

The 1920 Kiowa County census has a listing for a Charlie SMITH, 54 Germany, with Anna 49 Germany.  They have Otto 16 Illinois, Henrietta P. 15 Illinois, Adelia M. 13 Illinois, and Elsie H. 8 Colorado,.

On the next line is Andrew ScmidtH, 24, Illinois.

1922 Kiowa County Colorado "Charles Schmidt has been having some wheat threshed by Ben Wright and as he has finished there his machine has been moved to R. J. Philpy's place and he is doing some threshing from Mr. Philpy."

1924 Haswell Herald (Kiowa County) "Mrs. McCormick and Mrs. Fray of Holyoke are here visiting their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Schmidt."

In 1930 Yuma County Charley and Emma E.  are living alone.


Almost certainly she's the Della Schmidt age 18, who married William Gray, age 22, in Haswell on August 4, 1923.

In 1930  Yuma County, on the same census page as her parents, and married sisters Hannah and Elsie, are

William O. Gray 29 Oregon, Della M. 24, Albert J. 3, Betty R. twenty months, and Doris M. two months. All kids born in Colorado

In 1940 Carbon County, Wyoming William and Della have Jason 13, Betty 11, Doria 10, Floyd 8, and Leona 6.  All kids born in Colorado,.  William is a livestock dealer.

Possible :  Della Marie Schirmer - spouse Benjamin, in the Oregon Death Index born 1905, dying December 30, 1999. in Josephine Oregon.  SSDI has birth of September 30, 1905 and a social security number indicating Wyoming.



Buel Floyd Eckman, 21 and Freda Schmidt, 17 married by C.W. Saderburg Nov 8, 1911 in Holyoke

See the Eckman page for more information on Buel and Freda.


In 1910 Hannah is certainly the Hannah Smith working in the John Y. Eckman home.  It was a few miles away.

In 1920 Yuma County Hannah is married to the widowed Sheridan O'Neal, (his first wife Sarah died October 1911 in Indiana) living just a few miles south of Wages, and Sheridan has a lot of ranch land..    They have Theodore, 17 and Glenn 12., both born in Indiana.

In 1930 Sheridan 54 and Hanna 37 are still in Weld Precinct.  Nadine N. is 3, and Glenn 22 are with them.  Ted has married Grace (I knew them personally - my mother is even listed in their household in 1940)  

In 1940 Hannah O'Neal is in Weld precinct, born 1893 in Illinois, widowed, a housekeeper for the widowed Frank N. Salvador, 71 and his youngest Percy 25 and Mary Fern 22.  Naomi N. is 13.


In 1930  Yuma County - same page as the Schmidts - Thomas L. McCormick 33 is married to Henrietta C. 26 Illinois.  They have Norma J. 6 and Lewis D. 3.

In 1940, still in Weld precinct, they have Norma 15, Louis 14, John T. 8 and Larry L. 2.

Holyoke Enterprise, Holyoke, CO, 8 Oct 1992

Henrietta McCormick of Holyoke was born March 8, 1904 to Charlie and Emma (Gerstenschlager) Schmidt of Pinkneyville, Illinois. She died Tuesday, October 6, 1992 at Melissa Memorial Hospital in Holyoke at the age of 88.

Henrietta moved from Illinois to southern Colorado with her family at a very early age. The family then moved to Yuma County where she grew up.

On December 22, 1923 she was united in marriage to Lester McCormick at Wray. They lived and farmed in the Wages community until 1952 when they moved to Holyoke. There were four children born to this union.

After moving to Holyoke, Henrietta worked in the school food service for 18 years.

When she retired, she spent a great amount of time doing quilts, which was her favorite pastime. She belonged to the Crafty Quilters club.

Henrietta was a member of First United Methodist Church of Holyoke and had been a resident of Prairie Vista Care Center in Holyoke since April 4, 1989.

She was preceded in death by her husband Lester and son Larry.

Survivors include daughter Norma Jean Houston of Holyoke; sons Dean McCormick and wife Lola of Northglenn and J.T. McCormick and wife Darlene of Peoria, Arizona; two brothers; two sisters; eight grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren.

A memorial service was held at First United Methodist Church of Holyoke on Friday, October 9, 1992. Interment was in Holyoke Memorial Park.
VIcki, Do you know if Henrietta's mother was a daughter to Julius Gerstenschlager? He was the son of Johanne and Eva Juenger Gerstenschlager. Julius stayed in the Pickney area while his father moved to MI with the rest of his family. My grandfather, Joseph, only saw his brother Julius once. If anyone can help, I would greatly appreciate any information. Thank you

kaymay1 on the Ancestry message board.


In 1930 Jamestown North Dakota Theo 30, and Marion 28 have Theo 3. and Alex two-months.

In 1940 Theodore G. Schmidt, 40 is in Scottsbluff, manager of a clothing store.  He said in 1935 he was in Jamestown, North Dakota.  He's married to Marion 38 and they have Theodore 13, Alexander 10, and William 5.  Marion and the boys were all born in North Dakota,

In 1959 Theo, still with Marion, is managing a J. C. Penney store in  Ogden Utah.


Arthenia Margaret Parker was born June 18, 1902 in Wapello, Iowa to Lewis and Ada E. LYNCH Parker.  In 1910 Wapello County Iowa, Lewis and A.L. have Artie, 8, among their eight kids.  In 1930 Lewis and Ada are living in Pueblo Colorado with son Joe.

Ludwig C. Schmidt married Arthenia M. Parker February 22, 1922 in Colorado.

In 1930 Yuma Ludwig 29 and Arthenia M. 27 have Ralph H. 7, Robert P. 4, and Margie L. ten-months.

In 1940 Yuma County Ludwig C. 39 is married to Artie M. 37, born Iowa.  They have Ralph H. 17, Robert P. 14, and Margie L. 10 - all born in Colorado

Holyoke Enterprise, Holyoke, CO, 3 Feb 1994

Ludwig "Ludie" Schmidt of Holyoke was born on October 21, 1900 at Pickneyville, IL, the son of Charles and Emma Gerstenschlager Schmidt. He passed away on Thursday, January 27, 1994 at Melissa Memorial Hospital at the age of 93.

When he was 9 years old, he moved to Colorado with his family to a homestead in the Wages Community. He attended school at Wages.

It was while he was living at Eads that he met Arthenia Parker. They were married at the Wages Church on February 22, 1922. They built their home and continued to live near Wages until 1961 when they retired and moved their house to Holyoke.

Arthenia passed away on March 15, 1973. Ludie continued to make his home in Holyoke.

A favorite pastime of his, in his later years, was playing golf.

Ludie was a member of the Wages Methodist Church for 40 years and the Holyoke Methodist Church for 30 years.

He was preceded in death by his parents, daughter Margie, sisters Freda Eckman, Hannah O'Neil and Henrietta McCormick and brothers Ted Schmidt and Otto Schmidt.

Survivors include sons Ralph Schmidt and wife Gwen of Oak Lawn, IL, Robert Schmidt and wife Dorothy of Englewood and Dennis Schmidt and wife Velma of Princeville, IL; brother Andrew Schmidt of Denver; sisters Della Schirmer of McKinleyville, CA and Elsie Stoermer of Holyoke; 11 grandchildren; 27 great grandchildren; and 14 great great grandchildren.

Services were held Monday, January 31, 1994 at the United Methodist Church in Holyoke with Rev. Jack Pedotto officiating. Burial followed in Holyoke Memorial Park.


Otto Schmidt married Mabel Lynch November 15, 1922 in Colorado.

On the same page in 1940  is Otto A., 37, married to Mabel 35 Missouri.  They have Otto Z 16, Clifford 13, L Charles 8, Wilbur L 4.

Holyoke Enterprise, Holyoke, CO, 23 Nov 2000

Otto Tillman Schmidt was born in Haswell on December 9, 1923 to Otto A. and Mabel (Lynch) Schmidt. He passed away November 12, 2000 in Burlington. Since he was named after his father, he was known as "Junior" to his family.

Junior attended school in Holyoke and graduated from Phillips County High School in 1943. He entered the Army Air Corps August 11, 1943 and received his basic training at Buckley Field. After completing basic training, he went to Kingman, Arizona to attend gunnery school. He took further training in Salt Lake City, Utah and Dyersburg, Tennessee before going overseas in May of 1944. Otto completed 26 missions over enemy territory and received the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Presidential Citation and two battle stars to the E.T.A. ribbon. Upon return to the United States, he was sent to armament school and was made an instructor upon graduation. He was honorably discharged in November of 1945.

Junior was united in marriage to Gwendolyn Larsen from October 25, 1944 until 1961 when they divorced. Born to this union were two sons, Jerry Otto and Gordon Lewis.

Junior farmed for a few years and then built grain elevators in Western Kansas until 1959. He was involved in home construction and remodeling in the Brighton area for the next five years.

Junior moved to Burlington in 1964 and continued in the construction business. On April 8, 1966, Otto married Thelma Funk and welcomed her three sons Ron, Gerry and Chuck into his family.

Junior became a contract hauler for the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News in 1980. After 14 years of driving up and down the interstate with his faithful sidekick Zip, he quit so he could work with Jerry and Gordon until his retirement.

Family was very important to Junior and he always looked forward to family dinners and activities. He especially enjoyed the annual Schmidt Rendezvous when he, Gordon, Jerry and their sons and sons-in-law would meet the rest of the Schmidt "guys" in Meeker for fishing and reminiscing. He kept up with all the grandkids activities - he was as proud of swimming trophies and state football championship hats as the kids were and bragged about the talented artists his grandsons had become. He was a very devoted husband to Thelma, never complaining as he cared for her during her long battle with crippling arthritis.

Junior was a very special person who always looked past a person's faults and always saw the good in everyone. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Junior was preceded in death by his parents, wife Thelma, step-son Ron Parrish and grandson Zachary Schmidt.

Junior leaves to mourn his passing sons Jerry and wife Judy Schmidt of Brighton and Gordon and wife Kay Schmidt of Burlington; step-sons Charles Parrish of Burlington and Gerry Parrish of Bird City, Kansas; five grandchildren and 13 step-grandchildren; six great-grandchildren, 18 step-great-grandchildren; brothers Cliff and wife Dottie of Cashmere, Washington, Chuck and wife Minnie of Haxtun, Bill and wife Carol of Holyoke; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

Funeral services were held Saturday, November 18 at Hendricks-Love Funeral Chapel in Burlington with Rev. Merlene Barner officiating. Burial was in the Grandview Cemetery, Wray.



On the next page in 1940  is Andrew 44, married to Lucille 35 Kansas.  They have Lee 14, Gladys 13, and Lois 9.


In 1930 Weld precinct an Elsie H. 18 is married to Herman O  Stoermer, 34 born in Germany. .  With them is brother Otto E. Storemer 29  (on the same census page are parents and two married sisters.)

Elsie Marie Stoermer went home to heaven on August 10, 2009. She was born Elsie Marie Hildegard Schmidt on April 5, 1911 in Illinois. Elsie was the youngest of nine children. She married Herman Stoermer and lived in the Holyoke area. Elsie will be remembered for her cinnamon rolls and delicious pies. Although shy, she always had a smile for everyone. Above all else, Elsie enjoyed spending time with her family. She will be greatly missed.  Elsie is survived by her sons, Emil and David, daughter-in-law, Marlene, granddaughters Taanjia (Terry) Enke, Shana (Brian) Park, Shalyn (Del) Dunlap, Shannon (Rich) Park and great granddaughters, Shelbylynne Enke and Cambria Park. She was preceded in death by her husband, Herman and her daughter, Louise.  A funeral service will be held at 9:30am, Friday, August 14, 2009 at Allnutt Drake Chapel in Fort Collins followed by a reception in the Allnutt Reception Center. Interment will be held at 2:00pm, Friday at the Holyoke Cemetery.

This page is maintained by M.D. Monk.