White Brick School Finniwig Studios KebIrish Gazette Ariadne Threads Guild

Volume 10, Issue 3

August 1, 2007


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John Frederick Schmidt, Sr.

River Park

Starting Your Family Tree

Family Favorites - Zucchini Muffins

Photos of the Past

John Frederick

Schmidt, Sr.


John was born to Michael and Barbara Schmidt on October 13, 1827 in Crailsheim, Wurttemberg, Germany. He was one of eight children.

John arrived in America in 1848 and came to Columbus, Ohio by canal and stagecoach. His first job was with Sullivan at a sawmill in Franklinton and he hewed log sills. He helped erect Baumanís Brewery. And while working on the Brewery he met his future wife, Catherine Wilhelmina Euler. They married December 6, 1853.

He helped erect

Trinity Lutheran church and also sang tenor in the choir.

Then he worked at the Julius J. Wood Starth Co. for over five years and part time later building large wood vatsólarge as two or three roomsóround, built with hoops. He also worked on the construction of the State House.

Frederick and Wilhelmina had twelve children and three of them died in infancy.

During the Civil War, it is said he sold a team of horses for $400 to buy his way out of the Army. The next day the war ended. He viewed President Lincolnís body when the funeral train passed through Columbus in 1865.

Years of Malaria followed and Henry brought water in jugs on horseback to the

families. Wilhelmina made asafoetida pills and put them in coffee and fired potatoes for the fever.

They raised hogs, chickens and geese and had three or four horses. Each year they would butcher eight or nine hogs. They kept a barrel of lard in the cellar and also a barrel of sauerkraut and pickles. They even made their own molasses.

John died on March 14, 1902 and was buried at the Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio.

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River Park

Extending from Greenlawn to Logan Street and from the St. Joseph River to the Grand Trunk Railroad tracks in South Bend, Indiana, River Park was once an independent town.

The history began on Nov. 18, 1830 when Daniel Cripe entered a claim at the Fort Wayne land office for the tract of land that is now River Park.

The first developers of River Park as a suburban area were B.F. Dunn and Albert J. Horne, who bought 118 acres from Joseph Warden and L. Lippan.

Warden was president of the South Bend Woolen Co. while Lippman owned a slaughterhouse on the bank of the St. Joseph River.

The farmers had complained for years about the slaughterhouse, which was a terrible source of odor but unfortunately Lippman refused to close his place down.

Both men were loath to sell to Dunn and Horne until finally a high enough price was set and Warden and Lippman could not turn it down.

Dunn and Horne went swiftly ahead with their plans for platting the land. The first plat was legally acknowledged April 7, 1892, marking the real beginning of River Park.

Much of the land was still held in farms for several years.

But by 1900 the area had grown considerably in population and some of the residents decided that incorporation would be a good idea.

The question was hotly debated until 22 people voted for incorporation and 11 against in an election held Dec 28, 1900.


From 1900 to 1910, the town of River Park enjoyed considerable growth with residential areas gradually taking the place of farms.

The town was lit by gas. The lamplighter was Edward Moritz, who was also the constable (and the entire police force). He lived in a house at the corner of 12th (now 30th) and Vine streets.

From that house he also operated the Home Phone exchange with the help of his wife Kitty. She was the telephone operator with some help from neighborhood girls.

By 1910 the total population had climbed to 1,560, and problems began to surface. The old River Park School, which had been inherited from Penn Township when River Park was incorporated, was bursting at the seams with an enrollment of 436.

Almost the entire tax rate (on a total assessed valuation of $420,000) was being used to operate the school system.

The water system was another source of community concern. It was woefully inadequate for the needs of the town.

It was apparent to most River Park residents that annexation by one of its larger neighbors, South Bend or Mishawaka, was the answer to many of its problems. In August, 1910, the question was brought to the South Bend Common Council which evinced no particular interest.

Several Mishawaka officials were then invited to address a River Park meeting. On Aug. 19, the town board ordered an election for Sep. 10 on the question, ďShall River Park be annexed to South Bend or Mishawaka?Ē

Before the River Park residents had a chance to vote on the issue, however, Mishawaka took matters into its own hands. On Aug. 22, the Mishawaka Common Council passed legislation extending its boundaries to include River Park.

The news was most unwelcome to many River Park residents who felt that Mishawaka had been to high-handed. A remonstrance was quickly filed, leaving Mishawaka in no doubt as to the feelings involved. The Mishawaka Common Council speedily dropped the action.

Debate continued in all three towns, South Bend, River Park, and Mishawaka, and in the November elections of 1910 the issue was resolved when both South Bend and River Park residents voted to merge.

In March 1911 the River Park town government ceased to operate, and River Parkís brief existence as an independent town was over.

It was a while before the needed improvements came to be. The gas lights stayed up until 1923. The River Park School was used until 1923 as well and remained standing until well into the 1940ís.

But by 1930 the area had grown and changed a good deal. Nuner School, completed in 1923, was thriving as an elementary and junior high school.

Potawatomi Park was a busy place with a shelter house. Also, River Park soon had its own fire station (1927), post office (1926), branch library (1921), and theater (1927).

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Starting Your Family Tree
Interested in following your family tree? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

First, decide what kind of family tree you would like to do. Are you only interested in direct ancestors? Do you want to include cousins and those that are related by marriage? Do you want to include anyone with a tie to the family?

How much information do you want to include? Birth, marriage, and death dates? Do you want to expand and include divorce dates, when and where they lived and worked?

One of the best tools to have is a program on your computer to keep track of your information. Files are nice, but after a while it is hard to keep track of the relationships between the people.

We use Family Tree Maker on our computer. We also keep a file on each person. When we put the information in the computer there is a reference to the location of the file and the number of the file. Then if we would like to look at the original source, we know where to locate it.

Family Tree Maker in addition to the standard birth, marriage and death dates, also has space for

divorce dates and places, medical information, address and a data section. This data section is very versatile, where you can add your own fact, date and comments. There is also a section for notes.

Now get started on your information. Start with yourself and add all the information you know (donít forget to list yourself as a source). Talk to your relatives. In addition to taking notes, use a tape recorder. This sometimes makes it more relaxing as you can learn much from casual conversation.

Start with older relatives. When I first started with our family tree back in the 1970ís, I didnít think about talking to my great aunts and grandparents about their past. Later I wished they were still around because there was so much I would have liked to talk about. Donít miss the chance. Listen to their stories and write them down while you can.

Only plan on doing direct ancestors, but have information on other people (whether you know if they are relatives or not)? Donít discard this information. Put it in a file for possible use later. At a later date you may wish to expand your family tree and you will already have

 all this information. Is there a name you donít know if they are related? At a later date you may find the connection to this person.

Looking at a census, newspaper or business article, or going to the cemetery? Look at others in the articles, neighbors or others in the same household in the census, and gravesites near the one you are interested in. You may find they are also related.

Another good source of information is to have a web page. These are often free with your internet service. Put some information about your family tree on the web page. We get email from people that have seen our web page or newsletter and wanted to share information. And donít get discouraged in you send them information and donít get any in return. This happens often, but it is all about sharing.


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Family Favorites

Zucchini Muffins


1 beaten egg

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. Vanilla

1/2 tsp. Soda

2 Tbs. Brown sugar

1/4 cup oil

1 cup grated zucchini

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 cup whole wheat flour

chopped nuts

1/2 cup white flour

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. Baking powder

1 Tbs. Butter

Mix egg, oil and vanilla, and add sugar, zucchini, wheat flour, white flour, cinnamon, baking powder, soda and salt. Put in muffin tins. Mix 1 Tbs. Butter, 2 Tbs. Brown sugar and a few chopped nuts and divide to top muffins. Bake in 350ļF oven for 20 minutes


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Photos of the Past

Henry Waldemar Keb

B. Aug 18, 1902 South Bend, IN

D. Nov 24, 1977 Honolulu, HI

Henry was the eighth of eleven children of Andrew Keb and Eva Barbara Goldstein.



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Keb/Irish Gazette
 Nancy (Keb) Tubbs
19500 Co Rd 14
Bristol, IN 46507-9405

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