Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. I, p. 368
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
William Schmidt, who follows farming on section 15, Farmer township, Rice county, is one of the best-known and most highly esteemed agriculturists in this portion of the state. Broad-minded, enterprising, progressive and popular, the circle of his friends is extensive. He has resided in this locality since 1878, - covering the period of the greater part of the development and upbuilding of the county.
A native of Wisconsin, William Schmidt was born in Fond du Lac county, April 2, 1855, and, as the name indicates, is of German parentage. His father, who was born in Germany, is an expert mechanic and has been in the railroad employ for forty-five years as foreman. He is now living in Topeka, Kansas. He came to the United States after his marriage to Chistena Stier, who was also born, reared and educated in the fatherland. One of their children died at sea while they were en voyage to the new world. Locating in Wisconsin, the father there worked at the trade of cabinet-making for a time and continued his residence in the Badger state until 1880, when he removed to Topeka. Unto him and his wife were born four sons and three daughters, of whom four are yet living: William, of this review; Mrs America Steimauf, of Topeka; Mrs Emma Rominger, who is also living in the same city; and Charles, also a farmer in Farmer township. The father is a Republican in his political affiliations and both he and his wife are Methodists in their religious faith. In that belief they have also reared their children. People of the highest respectability, they enjoy the confidence and trust of all who know them. In the county of his nativity William Schmidt was reared, and the public schools of the neighborhood afforded him good educational privileges, which he improved, becoming a well-informed man. In early life he was employed as salesman in a drug store for a number of years, and afterward carried on business along that line on his own account. In 1876 he became proprietor of a drug store in Chicago, Illinois, which he conducted for some time, and in 1878 he came to Rice county, where he secured one hundred and sixty acres of wild land, from which he began the development of a home. Here he has since lived, and by his industry and good management has become the owner of a valuable farm. He now has eight hundred acres of rich land in Rice county, and his home is an attractive residence standing on a natural building site and surrounded by a beautiful grove. Upon the place is an excellent orchard of five acres, a large barn, a granary, windmill, good feed lots, pastures and all modern improvements and accessories which constitute a model farm of the twentieth century. In addition to his farm he has other business interests, being a stockholder and the vice-president of the Bushton State Bank, and is widely recognized as one of the substantial citizens of the county.
In Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin, in 1878, Mr Schmidt was married to Miss Lizzie Bastian, who was born in Germany but was reared and educated in Wisconsin. She is a daughter of Henry Bastian, now deceased, and by her marriage she had become the mother of four children: Lydia, now the wife of A Cramm, of Farmer township, Rice county; Emily M; Ida J; and Esther Alice. In his political views Mr Schmidt is a Republican and takes an active interest in the growth of the party, doing all in his power to insure its success. He has been honored with local office, serving as township trustee and assessor for fourteen years. He has been a delegate to the county, congressional and state conventions and is recognized as one of the leading workers of the party in Rice county. As a citizen he is in touch with all progressive and reform movements. The cause of temperance, education and morality finds in him a friend, and he has done much to promote the material interests of the county, so that he may justly be regarded as one of the representative and valued citizens of his community.