|Birth: ||Dec. 17, 1921|
Coahuila de Zaragoza, Mexico
|Death: ||Feb. 4, 1993|
James R. Schmidt was born in Mexico to Alfred James Schmidt who was an enigma. We think he was born somewhere in Kurhessen, Germany but he left there to fight for the U.S. Army in WWI and fled the violence there for Mexico where he met and married my grandmother who was from a Shefard family from Spanish, Robles y Garcia, etc. on her mother's side and an Irish family on her father's side. The family had been in New Orleans,Louisiana until Napoleon obtained it and some had gone to Mexico while other remained. Deciding to flee the unrest in Mexico, they crossed into Texas with three Mexican families all of whom became successful entrepreneurs. From there, Alfred can be seen in the 1930 Census managing a newspaper in New Braunfels and he vanishes only to reemerge in Israel supplying weapons and ammunition to the Jewish settlers and then he is to be found in Michigan at rest. I do not know much about him at all. I have heard that he was born in Ontario, Canada. He would have been my grandfather.
Making their way to New Orleans, my uncle was born in Houston, Texas in 1925 and there were no more children of that marriage.
Arriving in New Orleans, my grandfather was able to pay someone $50 each in gold for birth registrations for the oldest son and his wife. Presumably they remained in Louisiana until 1930 at which time they returned to Texas and Alfred vanishes after the Census.
My grandmother had a job in New Orleans accompanying silent films on a piano which she did until the advent of Talking Pictures. On opening night, the films would sometimes have an orchestra to accompany them and sometimes the stars would be there as well. She met many of them.
In the 1930s, Alfred was gone.
My grandmother tested for a civil service job in New Orleans and went back to Texas with her two sons. They proved to be a handful and an officer at Fort Sam Houston where she was based got them admitted into Texas Military Institute. My father thrived there but his younger brother did not.
After TMI graduation, my father went looking for his father and located him in Michigan but he did not stay there long, he went back to Germany. Dad married his first wife, a Miss Beauchamp and my sister was stillborn. Her name was Sandra Lee Schmidt and she is buried in Michigan.
Dad and his brother were drafted into WWII where they served as MPs in the U.S. Army. They served as interrogators of German officers taken as prisoners of war. My uncle was present for the Nuremberg War trails as a guard and as an interpreter. After the war, Dad became a police officer and married twice. I am the oldest child of the third marriage. There was a younger brother and a younger sister.
Dad worked for the State of Texas for many years and retired to the house in Elgin where he died in his sleep.
I miss his mariachi songs --he sang for numerous weddings, cincaneras and for all occasions. I miss his tremendous knowledge of Mexican culture, the love and respect of which he passed on to me.
I still miss my papi after all of these years and I hope it is always the 1930s and early 1940s for him there because he was at his happiest when he was at TMI and during the Fiesta and the Battle of the Flowers events there. He and his brother would always be there for those events and I like to think he will always be at TMI with his friends and happy again.
Helen McEntire Schmidt Collins (1924 - 2011)*
Elgin City Cemetery
Created by: Angelita
Record added: Jun 21, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 38614123
Missing you so much. I love you.|
Added: Nov. 14, 2014
Much love and respect.May your memory always be a blessing for Israel.You are loved.|
Added: Mar. 9, 2014