Schmidt, Augusta (1894-1991)

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Augusta Schmidt was born 3 March 1894 in Goessel, Kansas, and was well prepared to become a General Conference Mennonite missionary. She taught in rural schools for three years, received a BA degree from Bethel College (1922), spent one term at Witmarsum Seminary (Bluffton, Ohio), and earned a nursing degree from Bethel Deaconess Hospital (Newton, Kansas, 1927)

Augusta was ordained a missionary on 4 August 1927, and left for India on 10 October, arriving in Bombay on 24 November 1927. Stationed at Korba where medical facilities were almost nonexistent, she engaged in a widespread healing ministry. She earned the title "Sadhuni" (the holy one) because of her devotion to her task. Her life was a personification of obedience to Christ.

From November 1935 to 1938, and from February 1945 to March 1950, Augusta was principal of Funk Memorial Girls School and manager of the girls' hostel in Janjgir. From 1938 to 1945 she was principal of the Jagdeeshpur Mission Middle School. When the male teachers refused to work under a woman administrator, she hired substitutes until the regular staff returned. Later she served as superintendent of nursing at Sewa Bhavan Hospital and was also busy as a midwife. She also became active in a cooperative to enable weavers to improve their economic status. From August 1951 to 1956 Augusta was superintendent of nursing at the Bethesda Leprosy Hospital and Homes in Champa and principal of Kirkham School there.

Augusta retired from India in August 1956 and helped start what later became the "Northview Development Center" in Newton, Kansas, where she taught weaving. She entered the Bethel Home for the Aged in 1978 and continue there until her death on 11 January 1991. She was buried in the Tabor Mennonite Church cemetery.


Augusta Schmidt, a leaflet issued by Literature Committee of the Women's Home and Foreign Missionary Association (GCM).

India [GCM] missionaries, Twenty-Five Years With God in India.

Jantzen, Kathryn. "In Remembrance." India Calling. Summer 1957.

Jantzen, Lubin W. "A Tribute: a Missions Giant Dies." Mennonite Weekly Review (24 January 1991): 11.

Notes from Augusta's mother's diary submitted by Martha F. Graber.

Ratzlaff, Mrs. Harold [Ruth R.] Editor. Fellowship in the Gospel, India: 1900-1950. Newton: Mennonite Publications Office, 1950: 48-51, 132.

Schmidt, Augusta. "School Fees." India Calling. Christmas Issue, 1940.

Author(s) Harold Ratzlaff
Ruth Ratzlaff
Date Published 1989

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MLA style

Ratzlaff, Harold and Ruth Ratzlaff. "Schmidt, Augusta (1894-1991)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1989. Web. 26 Mar 2023.,_Augusta_(1894-1991)&oldid=134648.

APA style

Ratzlaff, Harold and Ruth Ratzlaff. (1989). Schmidt, Augusta (1894-1991). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 March 2023, from,_Augusta_(1894-1991)&oldid=134648.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 798. All rights reserved.

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