Alice Young Dau-Schmidt

Honored by:Her children Phyllis Dunlap, Ross Dau Schmidt, Glenn Dau Schmidt, and Esther deLashmutt
Brick location:F:23  map

The family of Vern and Alice Dau Schmidt would like to honor Alice Dau Schmidt by placing a brick in the Carrie Chapman Plaza of Heroines.

Alice was born August 23, 1905, and was raised on a farm near Traer, Iowa. Alice attended Iowa State University from 1924-1927, graduating in Home Economics Education. Alice worked for her room and board and spending money while she attended college. Alice met Vern Dau Schmidt, who graduated from ISU in 1926 in Agriculture Economics and who was an outstanding Cyclone wrestler. He lost in the finals to the Gold Medal winner in the 1928 Olympic tryouts.

Vern and Alice were married August 22, 1928. Vern farmed in Grundy, Tama and Black Hawk counties, and Alice was by his side helping. She became a homemaker and eventually a mother in 1930 with daughter Esther; 1933, son Glenn; 1937, son Ross; and in 1940 daughter Phyllis.

Alice was active in the Tama County Homemakers, a 4-H committee of woman for 16 years, and a 4-H judge at many a fair. She helped her four children, who were very active in 4-H, and taught them many important skills for life. Vern and Alice settled in and were active members of the Amity United Presbyterian Church. Alice sang in the choir, taught Sunday school and was a youth fellowship leader. Both Vern and Alice served their church and their Lord.

Alice’s hands were never idle. Alice lost her mother when she was eleven years old. With two younger sisters and one younger brother, Alice learned early on how to work and take on the responsibilities of the family. She learned to knit in 6th grade and would knit vests for World War I soldiers while walking to school. Many afghans, regular size and baby size, were knit and given to all family members. In 1994, at the age of 89, she was still knitting caps for newborn babies in hospitals.

Alice always had a large garden, preserving the harvest by canning and freezing. She loved God’s kingdom, knowledgeable about the birds, trees, plants, and flowers. Influenced by the depression, Alice recycled rather than discarded. She was always constructing and sewing something out of something else. Even at the age of 89 and in a nursing home, Alice was not without her Singer sewing machine. She mended clothing for the patients, quilted baby blankets for the homeless, and sewed pillows and wall hangings. Both Vern and Alice traveled a lot. They shared an interest in genealogy, tracing their families’ roots back to Europe. They were also active in the State of Iowa historical society.

Even though Alice did not use her formal education from Iowa State University for a job outside of the home, she and many others benefited as Alice had spent her whole life teaching, helping and caring for others. She passed away in 1999, at the age of 93.

Submitted 7/1/96; updated 2/1/15