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Project Pioneer: Schmidt/Schmitt Family Merges Into Other Families

Some local residents may not realize that their ancestry leads back to the Schmidt-Schmitt family.

Actually, those bearing the names of Stackle, Grass, Pfaff, Ritter, Operle, and others are among those who stem from this family.

The Stackle name first appears on September 28, 1875, when Maria Anna Schmitt was married to Charles Stoeckle at Zell. They had 13 children.

Of those 13, several daughters married into other families with local names. Helen Cecelia Stackle, born in 1877 at Zell and died in 1969 with burial in Valle Spring Cemetery, was married to Andrew W. Operle on April 20, 1898, in Ste. Genevieve. He died in 1934.

Maria Elisabeth Stackle was born in 1880 at Weingarten and died 1984 with burial in Valle Spring. She was married in 1900, to Lawrence Ritter, who died in 1931.

Maria Sophia Stackle was married first to William Musgraves and later married Frank Fischer in 1945, in Blessed Sacrament Church, St. Louis.

Sons in this family were: Joseph Charles Stackle who was married to Catharine Operle; John Henry Stackle who was married to Marie Weber, and Andrew J. Stackle who was married to Mary Helen Burgert.

Maria Sophia Schmitt was born in 1853 in Zell and was married to Xavier Grass, who died in 1933 in Zell.

Cecelia Schmitt was born in 1863 in Zell and she married Francis Pfaff in 1883 in Zell.

As the years pass, this Schmitt family reaches into the Roth, Flieg, Naeger, Armbruster, Bahr, Beyatte, Bauman, Smith and Armbruster families among many other local families.

Project Pioneer research shows that four different Schmidt/Schmitt families are recorded here, and to this date, the connection among them — if any — is not known.

The second family begins with Lorenz Schmidt, who was married to Maria Anna Kraenzle on July 3, 1787. Their fifth child, Bertholomew Schmidt, was born in 1804 in Windschlag, Offenberg, Germany. He married Maria Eva Hoog. Most of their children were born in Ste. Genevieve, then Zell.

Of these, Marie Ursula Schmidt, who was born in 1845 in Ste. Genevieve, was married to William Otte in 1865.

The Ottes settled in the French Village/Lawrenceton area and had 10 children. The oldest, Mary Ann Otte, was married to George Anton Figge who died in 1904 in Zell.

The third Schmidt family dates back to Johann Franz Francis Figge who was married to Marie Theresia Schmidt in 1807. Marie was born in 1789 in Eppe Waldeck  Franksberg, Kessel Hessen, Germany, and she died on September 9, 1872.

Their 10th child, Anthony Anton Figge was married to Barbara Guethle in 1857. They had eight children, and the last three of them were born in this area. They are Joseph Figge, born in 1870; John Henry Anton Figge, born in 1873; and Laurence Sebastian Figge, born in 1877; all in Zell. Joseph married Caecilia Grass at Bloomsdale in 1898, John Henry Anton married Elisabeth Martha Stuppy in 1897 in Zell, and Laurence Sebastian married Elizabeth Hoog in 1897 at Zell.

The fourth Schmitt family begins with Johann Schmitt, who was married to Elisabeth Bohnert. Their seven children were born between 1815 and 1832 in Germany. However, the youngest, Benard Schmitt was married to Theresia Doll in 1852 in Ste. Genevieve. Benard and Theresia had eight children. Their fourth, Gustav Schmitt, was married to Mary Ann Bauer in 1885. They had one child, Anna Caroline Schmitt who was born in 1895. Benard, then married Sophie (last name unknown) and they had four more children.

Anyone who recognizes any of these as one of their ancestors is urged to gather their ancestry information and submit it to Ste. Genevieve Project Pioneer for inclusion in the Schmidt book this year. Visit for more information, or bring ancestry files to the next Project Pioneer meeting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 13, in the Ste. Genevieve Library meeting room.

(Information in a release from Project Pioneer.)

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