Frances Marie Schmidt, age 100, was born near Ft. Morgan, Colorado on November 16, 1918 to Hugh and Mary Jamison.
In March of 1928 the family moved to a ranch south of Merriman, Nebraska. Fran attended schools near the ranch through the 9th grade. Fran enjoyed growing up in the Sand Hills. Impromptu rodeo, baseball games and horseback rides to the Snake River on Sundays for a swim were part of the recreation, as well as barn and house dances, card parties and visiting the neighbors.
Frances graduated from Gordon High School in 1936 after completing the “Normal Training” which qualified her to start teaching at the age of 17. She attended college in Chadron to keep her certificate. She taught in a number of rural schools in Cherry and Sheridan Counties.
Frances married Fred Schmidt on May 27 of 1943. Their wedding was a small family service at the Jamison home. It was during the war and they had saved up gas stamps and spent several days honeymooning in the Black Hills.
Together they farmed and raised cows and fed cattle on the farm north of Gordon. Here their four children were born; Linda in 1945, Eileen in 1946, Tom in 1947 and Randy in 1950. They enjoyed showing livestock at county and state fairs. They drilled one of the early irrigation wells and put up Harvestor silos to begin feeding and fattening cattle. They became interested in Charolais cattle and built up a herd, resulting in annual bull sales beginning in 1988.
In 1987 they moved to the home east of Gordon that Fran’s folks had bought in 1938. Fred and Fran were both actively involved in the farm until his death in 1990. When the Bayonne school, where she had taught years before, was closed, she bought the school bell, which started a 30 year hobby of collecting large church, school and ranch bells. Nearly 40 are mounted in her yard. Fran enjoyed working in the yard and garden. She always had a project going. She also enjoyed playing cards in several card clubs.
Frances was baptized in the Presbyterian Church in Ft. Morgan and joined the Church in Gordon in 1942. Frances was an active member of the Presbyterian Womens’ Association where she served as service chairman for many years. She was also a member of the Mount Pleasant Extension Club, Sheridan County Extension Board, Cowbelles/Nebraska Cattlewomen and the National and Nebraska Charolais Associations.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Fred Schmidt, son Tom Schmidt, grandson Shawn Schwope, brothers Clark Jamison and Floyd Jamison, sisters Florence Jensen and Donna Paul and sons-in-law Chuck Oakley and Mike Schwope.
She is survived by her children Linda Schwope, Eileen Oakley, and Randy Schmidt, and six grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren.
Funeral Services were held Monday July 29, 2019, 10:00 AM at the First Presbyterian Church in Gordon. Burial was held in the Gordon Cemetery. A memorial has been established and donations may be sent in care of Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home, PO Box 366, Gordon, NE 69343.