(Originally published in the Spring 2007 MAGIC Newsletter)
If you drive around the village of Mishicot, chances are you know of this house at the corner of Elizabeth and Jackson Sts. But what you may not know is how significant it is to the history of the village. According to our research, we believe this to be the original house of the founders of Mishicot, Daniel and Elizabeth Smith, who came here in 1844 to build a saw mill. The house was probably built around 1845 on a site along the river near the laundromat on Main St. A newspaper photo of the house in 1947 for the centennial of the village states it was moved "a block north". That move was probably done following the death of Elizabeth in 1883.
Elsie Rick (1886-1965) stated in a 1958 Green Bay Press Gazette article about Mishicot, that her parents purchased the house from the Smith family. Her father was Dr. Joseph B. Rick, ( 1857-1929), a physician who established a practice in the house. He continued his practice in the home until his death. Elsie, his daughter who was a nurse, continued to live in the house until she sold it in 1964. In the same Green Bay newspaper article, Elsie stated she remembered the house as being the site of many social gatherings. Dr. Rick had also been president of the local school board. The Rick family are buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Manitowoc.
A great granddaughter of Daniel Smith, Irma James, (1900-1994) wrote in a letter as recently as 1991 that she remembered being told that Daniel often had strangers and Indians, for whom he had a fascination, stay in the heated attic of his house during the cold of winter. Danielís obituary in 1858 stated,
"His comfortable mansion was the home of hospitality--the poor and the distressed were the objects of his generous sympathy and to his friends he was faithful and true." An earlier article in the Two Rivers Reporter dated 1852 said: "There are many persons in the county who have never visited MISHICOT, and who have no practical knowledge of the beauty of its locality or the extensiveness of its improvements. We had often heard of the extensive mills of SMITH and SPRAQUE and naturally supposed that its chief interest consisted in its lumbering facilities, but were most pleasantly surprised to find.........in the midst of which stands the hospitable mansion of DANIEL SMITH. Here is home for you, that dwellers in eastern towns and cities might envy. Large-conveniently-arranged with every possible comfort, it seems the abode of peace-home of plenty. It is seldom that such an ancient looking homestead is found in what was but yesterday the North West Territory."Elsie Rick sold the house in 1964 to George Schmidt Sr. (1887-1975). He lived there with his son George A. Schmidt until his death. His son George continued to live in the house until he was hospitalized in December of 2006. He often mentioned the beauty of the house and that he had not taken care of it, something he regretted till the time of his death on April 22, 2007. The fate of the house is yet to be determined, but its importance to our history will live on.
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