Burial register ID: 1130
Surname: SCHMIDT
First name: JOHN
Middle names:
Gender: Male
Age: 25 Years
Cause of death: Unknown
Burial type:
Date of death: 09-Nov-1873
Date of burial: 09-Nov-1873

Block: 21
Plot: 16

Bio contributor: Barbara McGann

John Schmidt (1848-1873)

John (or Johannes) Schmidt was born in Germany in 1848. He was a resident of Dunedin for five years. He was a baker and his shop and abode were in George Street, Dunedin. He married Magdalena Kippenberger in May, 1873 in Krull’s Family Hotel. The marriage was witnessed by Victoria Krull and Katharina Kippenberger. Magdalena may have worked as a domestic in the hotel. She was 20 years old and John was 25.

Six months later John Schmidt’s bakery caught fire. Tragically, he died from injuries sustained while he was trying to save Magdalena, who was also injured but survived and married again. Several buildings were destroyed in the fire, which was believed to have originated in John’s bakery. John’s building is reported as being insured for £40.

Otago Daily Times, 31 October 1873:

‘The fire which occurred in George Street early yesterday morning, was the main topic of interest and discussion in the town during the day. The general impression appeared to be that the fire broke out in the back portion of Mr Schmidt’s bakery, but this was not confirmed by Mr Schmidt himself, who declares that he first observed the glare through a partition dividing his shop from that of Mr Durie. His bedroom was quickly filled with smoke, and in consequence of his wife being stupefied, he had very great difficulty in removing her, both being severely burnt over the face and feet when escaping. Mr O’Donnel, one of the proprietors of the European Hotel, was also roused by the glare and commenced to play on the fire with a small hose. About 10 minutes elapsed, and the locality was brilliantly lighted up, before the fire bell gave the alarm. When the Fire Brigade arrived on the scene, several of the buildings were enveloped with flames, and past saving.’

Illustrated New Zealand Herald, November 1873:

‘We regret to have to state that Mr Schmidt was burnt severely about the feet and head, he having to go three times through the flames to save Mrs Schmidt, who was so stupefied by the smoke and by fright as to be unable to move, she also getting burnt about the face and shoulders. Dr Sorley, who is attending them, reports that although their wounds are not extensive, they are unusually severe and deep, and that a considerable time will elapse before a cure can be effected.’

Otago Police Gazette, 29 November 1873:

‘An inquest was held… [at] the hospital, Dunedin by T.M Hocken, Esquire, Coroner on the body of John Schmidt, a baker aged 25, who died there on the day previous from the effects of burns received on the 30th… while rescuing his wife from his house in George Street, which was on fire. Verdict – Accidental death.’

There are 1 Interments in this grave:

Surname First names Age Date of death Date of burial
SCHMIDT JOHN 25 Years 09-Nov-1873 09-Nov-1873