Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


When energy, determination and perseverance are arrayed against obstacles, trials and difficulties the result is practically certain, and it has been through the possession of these traits that Ludwig Schmidt has gained the victory in the battle of life. He came to the United States with no capital save youth and ambition and is now numbered among the most successful business men of Watsonville, owning one of the finest bakeries in northern California.

Mr. Schmidt is a native of Germany. He was born in Wurtemberg in 1887 and at the age of fourteen became a baker's apprentice, devoting seven years to learning the trade, which he followed in Frankfort, Hamburg and other cities of Germany and also in Switzerland. Like many of his fellow countrymen, Mr. Schmidt decided to seek his fortune in the new world and in 1912, when twenty-five years of age, he arrived in New York city. He had no friends in the city and was unable to speak English but it was imperative that he obtain employment without delay, as he had very little money. He worked for a time in small bakeries and then secured a position as baker on one of the ships of the Hamburg-American line, making trips between Panama and New York. In 1914 he came to the Pacific coast and was made manager of the bakery department of the Mead Bakery & Restaurant Company of San Francisco, building up tht branch of the business. He was also employed as baker on the Spreckels line of boats, working on the steamers Sierra and Ventura, on which he made trips to Australia. During this period he had been gaining valuable experience, and in 1920 he decided to venture in business for himself, choosing Watsonville as the scene of his activities. He purchased the Nolla & Ulmer Bakery on Main street, which had been established in 1902. Mr. Schmidt installed modern machinery and infused new life into the business, which has grown rapidly under his progressive management, ranking with the largest of the kind in this part of the state. He is unsurpassed in his line, and his product, which bears the name of Golden Crust bread, is known throughout the valley as the finest on the market. His business is conducted under the style of the Pajaro Valley Bakery, and in its operation he has obtained maximum efficiency.

In 1915 Mr. Schmidt married Miss Marie Kurtz, who was born in Berlin, Germany, and came to the United States in 1913. She ably assists her husband in the conduct of the business, and theirs is a most congenial and happy union. They are the parents of a son, Herman, who was born in California and is six years of age. Mr. Schmidt is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, belonging to Pajaro Lodge, No. 90, and is also a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. He has worthily earned the distinctive title of "self-made man" and in every relation of life has acquitted himself with diginity, fidelity and honor, thus winning the approbation and esteem of his fellow citizens.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.