William Edward Frank SCHMIDT was born 2 Apr, 1877 in Volksdorf, Grimmen, Germany. He died 19 May, 1918 in Genoa, Dekalb, Illinois.
The Genoa Republican-Journal, Genoa, Illinois, May 24, 1918, Vol XIII, No 31, Front Page -- Death Takes Sufferer -- Wm. Schmidt, Jr. Passed Away -- Sunday, May 19, After Long Illness -- William Edward Frank Schmidt was born April 2, 1877, Volksdorf, Grimmen County, Germany. He came to this country with his parents at the age of five years. He attended the Genoa Luthern school and joined the Luthern church by confirmation. On August 1, 1900, he was married to Miss Lizzie Maschke. Three children were born to them, Leona, Wm. and Aneta. Besides his wife and children he leaves to mourn, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Schmidt, Sr., two brothers, three sisters and numerous other relatives. The deceased was taken ill last fall and passed away at his home in this city on Sunday, May 19, at the age of 41 years, 2 months and 17 days. Funeral services were held at the Luthern church Wednesday afternoon, Rev. Molthan officiating. Interment took place in Genoa cemetery.
Genoa Republican-Journal, Genoa, Illinois, July 26, 1918, Volume XII, No. 40 Front Page, Genoa, Illinois Public Library -- GENOA GIRL'S AWFUL DEATH -- Leona Schmidt Dies Sunday Morning as Result of Burning. -- A CAN OF KEROSENE EXPLODES -- Clothing saturated and burns from victim's body - The Mother suffers from mental agony -- Leona, the 16-year-old daughter of Mrs. Lizzie Schmidt, was horribly burned at her home in this city at 6:30 Saturday evening of last week and died at the Ovitz Hospital at three o'clock Sunday morning. The accident was caused by attempting to start a fire in the kitchen stove with kerosene. The five-gallon can of oil exploded, throwing the burning liquid over the girl's clothing and in an instant she was a pillar of flames, practically all the clothing being burned from the body before the flames were extinguished. The girl was taken to the Ovitz Hospital, only a half block from the scene of the accident, and everything possible done to alleviate her sufferings, but examination proved that there was no chance for recovery, there not being a spot on the body that was not seared. No one will ever know the minute details of the tragedy, but it is known that the girl tried to start or hasten the fire, in preparation of the evening meal, by pouring kerosene onto the kindling in the stove. The girl's mother was in another part of the house at the time and George Kusber, a border, was on the front porch. Their first warning of the tragedy was the explosion, and this was heard by neighbors as well. That the explosion was terrific was evidenced by the fact that the bottom was blown out of the can. This fact would also indicate that the can was only partly filled, the formation of gas in the can telling the story. Leona rushed out the back door and her mother desperate efforts to help her, being herself badly burned about the arms and face in so doing. Mr. Kusber grabbed some rugs and these finally smothered the flames as the victim lay on the lawn in the back yard. She was taken to the hospital at once. The burns on Mrs. Schmidt's arms at any other time would have caused great physical suffering, but they were as nothing as compared with the mental anguish, and it was some time before anyone present realized that she had been burned. The entire back part of the house was a mass of flames almost in an instant after the explosion, and the best efforts of the fire company were required to prevent the spread of the fire. The interior of the kitchen was reduced to charcoal; the dining room and pantry did not fare much better. Most of the furniture was taken from the house, although it is damaged to a great extent by water. In her hour of trial, Mrs. Schmidt has the deepest sympathy of the Genoa people. Only a few weeks ago she buried her husband and being compelled to work away from home to support herself and family, she was turning the care of the house over to the daughter who met such a tragic death. There are two younger children, a boy and a girl. The little home has just been paid for with insurance money collected after Mr. Schmidt's death, and with her family of bright children about her, Mrs. Schmidt could see the silver lining in the distance, when these children make her future years, ones of happiness and contentment. Leona was one of Genoa's most attractive young ladies and would have blossomed into beautiful womanhood. This year she would have entered the second year of high school where she was a favorite with her class mates. Funeral services were held at the Lutheran Evangelical church, on Tuesday, afternoon at two o'clock, Rev. Molthan officiating. Interment took place in Genoa cemetery. Leona Herminie Kunigunde Schmidt was born in Genoa May 26, 1902. She attended the Lutheran school and was confirmed April 16, 1916. Later she attended the public school and had completed her freshman year.