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Anna Mary Schweich Schmitz
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Birth: Jan. 31, 1900
New Trier
Dakota County
Minnesota, USA
Death: Oct. 26, 1986
Great Falls
Cascade County
Montana, USA

"I was born on the farm in Minnesota on January 31, 1900. I lived there until I was a teenager, and my father and mother had died, when I enrolled in Boarding School at St. Benedict's Academy in St. Joseph, Minnesota. Then it was to Kemper's Business College in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

My first job was with Hudson Manufacturing Co in Minneapolis. When WWI came along, I took the Civil Service Test and went to Washington DC. After a year in DC and at the close of the war, I wanted to try living in New York City. There I worked for the US Savings Bond Division until it folded. After that I traveled to Boston, Massachusetts, but didn't like it, so decided to try Chicago. Here I worked for Fidelity Investments.

On a vacation home to Hastings, I met Joe Schmitz. I had known his sister Marie, and their mother was in the restaurant business in Hastings. It was here that the love bug bit. I decided to leave Chicago and work in Minneapolis in order to be closer to Joe. He was working as an Oil Inspector for the State of Minnesota in St Paul, but lived at home. We married within a few months and set up housekeeping on 6th St in Hastings.

Joe's father was homesteading in Montana. We followed in February 1922. We now had Pauline, age two, and Joe Jr, three months. We lived with Grandpa and Grandma Schmitz and Joe helped farm. When summer came, we moved to Lambert. In a year or so the twins, Barbara and Betty arrived. We had our own place and Joe worked at Liudall Grocery when Grandpa didn't need him. Then the Yale Oil Co came to Lambert and Joe was appointed the Bulk Agent. In 1934, Joe still with Yale Oil, we moved to Billings, Montana. By this time we had seven children.

Through the granting of credit to the famers of Lambert and their inability to pay, Joe was held liable for the credit he extended and the oil company demanded the payment. We lost our Chrysler and also the job. Those were the depression years and no jobs were available anywhere. Joe tried selling shoelaces, polish and such, but Joe wasn't the traveling kind - he got into more trouble, and it didn't pay. And so again, he was fired.

Joe then got a job with General Mills in Fairfield, Montana as a grain buyer. We picked up and moved to Great Falls, since there was no place in Fairfield and there was no high school. Pauline graduated from St Mary's in Great Falls. After graduation, we moved to Fairfield in 1938. Joe Jr rode the bus to Choteau High - 20 miles - until he found work for his room and board at Chuck's Café, washing dishes for his food and cleaning Jackson's Barber Shop for his lodging. The three girls, Barbara, Bettye and Beverlee, worked for their room and board in Great Falls, in order to go to high school.

These were hardship times in Fairfield. Joe got involved with a married woman, and he was in a brawl with her husband and ended up in jail in Choteau. Through this he lost his job as grain buyer and we were really in dire straits. We got evicted from our house, with nowhere to go. Through the goodness of a Mrs Genger who rented us one and a half rooms, we had a roof over our heads. We were down and out - no chance of a job there, no money, no credit! A neighbor who was on welfare would slip us flour and lard once in a while, and once for three days we only ate popcorn.

Finally, we had to resort to welfare rations - not for long, through the efforts of Father Treacy, Joe was given an appointment in Glacier Park supervising a WPA project at a salary of $1800 a year. We thought we had the world by the tail. It was only the beginning of the end, however. Joe never returned to his family after that. It was in 1940 while in Glacier Park he met wife number two. She was a school teacher from Minneapolis who worked in the park during the summer.

We were still living in Fairfield where I obtained seasonal work weighing sugar beets. One lunch hour, Joe Jr came with a truck and moved us to Choteau. We had no means of support, only what the girls and I were able to earn. Barbara worked in a drug store for 25 cents an hour; Bettye at the telephone office for 50 cents. I used to sit with sick people, and even with the dead, to make a few dollars.

Joe Jr graduated in 1941 and enlisted in the Air Force. Barbara, Bettye, and Beverlee graduated in 1942. That fall I took over a boarding house in Great Falls. I had 20 some boarders and rented rooms, as we had a four-bedroom flat. This turned out to be quite a hassle, so I made application at the 34th Air Force Sub Depot for a job and got one, and went to work in January 1943, giving up the boarders, but keeping a few roomers. I continued working for the US Air Force and retired April 30, 1972.

My closing message to my son and daughters is to thank you all for your loyalty and support when the road ahead was rough. I'll borrow a phrase from a favorite song of mine: "You Decorated My Life."

-Excerpts From "My Life, My Loves by Ann Schmitz, 1982".

Children of Anna and Joseph Schmitz:

Pauline M Schmitz Staiger (1920–2011)
Joseph Charles Schmitz (1922–1986)
Barbara Jane Schmitz Hunt (1923 – 2007)
Bettye Jeanne Schmitz Klaue (1923 – 1993)
Beverlee Ann Schmitz Mulligan (1927 – )
Mary Kay Schmitz Tufteland (1928 – )
Patricia Schmitz Hruska (1929 – )
Jacqueline Schmitz Strain Flint (1934 – )
Family links: 
  Frederick N. W. Schweich (1867 - 1913)
  Maria Siebenaler Schweich (1867 - 1912)
  Joseph Sebastian Schmitz (1896 - 1968)
  Pauline Marie Schmitz Staiger (1920 - 2011)*
  Bettye Jeanne Schmitz Klaue (1923 - 1993)*
  Barbara Jane Schmitz Hunt (1923 - 2007)*
  Catherine Mary Schweich Schwartz (1890 - 1970)*
  Peter P Schweich (1892 - 1968)*
  Mary Katherine Schweich Landsberger Denn (1894 - 1969)*
  Susan M Schweich Knoll (1897 - 1971)*
  Anna Mary Schweich Schmitz (1900 - 1986)
  Josephine Mary Schweich Crosby (1903 - 1998)*
  Frank Joseph Schweich (1905 - 1973)*
*Calculated relationship
"She Decorated Our Lives"
Mount Olivet Cemetery
Great Falls
Cascade County
Montana, USA
Plot: Section C, Lot 1405, Grave 1
Created by: montana
Record added: Jun 02, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 111695885
Anna Mary <i>Schweich</i> Schmitz
Added by: montana
Anna Mary <i>Schweich</i> Schmitz
Added by: Chuck Watson
Anna Mary <i>Schweich</i> Schmitz
Cemetery Photo
Added by: G L O R Y B E ~ Gotta Lotta Our Relatives...
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 Added: Nov. 16, 2013

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