German Grammar Primer

Artifact Name: German Grammar Primer

Creator/Manufacturer: Concordia Publishing House (St Louis, Missouri)

Location: Home of Marge Schmidt, Emmetsburg, Iowa

Material(s): Paper

Photographer: Josiah William Schmidt

Provenance: William Henry Schmidt (1912-1982)Lula Maxine (Christensen) Schmidt (1918-2008) → Kent William Schmidt → Josiah William Schmidt → Marjorie Ann “Marge” (Jergens) Schmidt

Time Period: 1899

DESCRIPTION: This Schreiblesefibel (German grammar primer) was published by Concordia Publishing House in 1899 and gifted to William Henry “Bill” Schmidt of West Bend, Iowa, probably by the pastor of the local German Lutheran Church. The state government of Iowa issued the Babel Proclamation in May of 1918, putting an end to German language instruction in Iowa due to World War 1. Bill lost most of his German language knowledge, but held onto the grammar book. After he died, his widow, Lula, kept the book, and eventually passed it on to her grandson, Kent Schmidt. Kent passed it on to his son, Josiah Schmidt, who preserved it digitally by photographing each page. The book is currently held by Marge (Jergens) Schmidt in Emmetsburg, Iowa, for safe-keeping.

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