100 Years: Civic Engagement

Over the next year, we're celebrating the Countdown to our 100th Anniversary by sharing our stories from our past. The history of our founder, Titus B. Schmid, and all those that impacted him, play a vital role in the creation of Crescent Electric Supply Company. Join us as we take a stroll down memory lane in preparation for our Centennial celebration in April, 2019!

Story 10: Civic Engagement

In an earlier vignette we discussed Titus Sr (1850’s), and his sons, Alphonse, Titus and Albert’s (late 1800’s) involvement in building business and civic relationships in the Dubuque community.  It is no surprise that this tradition of giving back to the community was carried on by Titus B. Schmid, Crescent’s Founder.

One of the earliest records we have of our founder, Titus, commitment to his community was this summary of a meeting held on December 1, 1934.The country was in the depths of the Great Depression.The Mayor of Dubuque asked Titus to Chair the Remodeling and Repairs Committee focused on helping families in Dubuque living on relief. 

December 1, 1934

December 1, 1934

A few years later in February 1936, Titus was elected President of the Dubuque Chamber of Commerce.

Titus was reelected President the following year: 1937 Chamber President, Titus B. Schmid.

The local newspaper decided to print the entire speech that Titus gave at the Chamber Dinner in 1937.  Titus gave a resounding speech on “Dubuque-Today and Tomorrow”.  In his speech he calls on all citizens of Dubuque to embrace his call to action.  The entirety of this article is included in the link below if you are interested in reading it.

1937 Dubuque Chamber of Commerce Meeting

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Titus received notes of congratulations upon his reelection to a 2nd term.

In 1938 Titus welcomed the National Chairman of all the U.S. Chambers of Commerce to Dubuque, Iowa for a formal visit.


During his second term as Chamber of Commerce President, Titus lead a successful fundraising campaign to support the Chamber.  Maybe it was his rousing speech and the visit from the President of the National Chamber which helped the fundraising campaign beat its goal!

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Titus joined the Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of Northeast Iowa in December, 1938.

During WWII there were many battles in the sky.  The use of aircraft after the war was beginning to be discussed throughout the country.  Titus served on a committee that worked to get an airport built in Dubuque.  This was no small task as resources for building were severely limited during the war.  Eventually the airport was built.

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Tom Schmid

Titus was not the only Schmid to be involved in the Chamber of Commerce.  Titus’ oldest son, Tom, joined the Chamber of Commerce in the mid 1950’s.  Tom’s role in the Chamber began as Chairman of the Industrial Expansion Committee and eventually led to him being elected President of the Chamber in 1959.  While he was Chairman of the Industrial Expansion Committee in 1957, Tom wrote a guest editorial in the paper asking the citizens of Dubuque to convey to all visitors the positive attributes of the city.  The city had recently invested in building an industrial park and were in the process of trying to attract new industries to locate in Dubuque.  We have included here Tom’s Guest Editorial:

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Below are Chamber President Tom Schmid’s comments in the Chamber news bulletins from July, August and September of 1959.  He sounds very similar to his father and shared the same hopes and dreams for the City of Dubuque.

July 1959

July 1959

August 1959

August 1959

September 1959

September 1959

Bill Schmid

Civic engagement and volunteerism are part of the DNA of the Schmid family. The commitment of giving back to the community was instilled in all of Titus and Josephine’s children.  In 2007, we captured Bill Schmid, youngest son of Titus, speaking of the importance of helping people in need.


Bill Schmid devoted 31 years to the Boys Clubs of America.

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Janet (Schmid) Rhomberg & Mary Schmid

Mary Schmid, Crescent Community Health Center employee, and Janet (Schmid) Rhomberg in front of the Crescent Community Health Center in Dubuque, IA.

Mary Schmid, Crescent Community Health Center employee, and Janet (Schmid) Rhomberg in front of the Crescent Community Health Center in Dubuque, IA.

Titus and Josephine’s daughter Janet, and their daughter-in-law Mary (married to Jim), have continued to carry the commitment to giving back in the city of Dubuque, Iowa.  Today they are still actively involved with The Crescent Community Health Center.

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Dr. Douglas Schmid

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Dr. Douglas Schmid, grandson of Titus, is shown here volunteering at the health center.

Eva Schmid

Eva Schmid, a fourth-generation family member volunteers at the Crescent Health Center.  In this video she explains the importance of the Center in meeting the health needs of patients.


Dick & Carrie Schmid

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Dick Schmid (deceased), eldest son of Tom and first-born grandchild of Titus and Josephine, developed and supported the Schmid Innovation Center which helps people with a hand up!

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National Mississippi River Museum

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The Dubuque River Museum is also a beneficiary of Schmid engagement in the Dubuque area. Jerry Enzler, retired president and CEO of the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium said, “I remember when I was working on the very first campaign to establish the museum in about 1980, I first met Jim Schmid as we made calls together. The family and the company were very supportive of our efforts and we were successful in reaching our goal and establishing the museum.”  Since that time many of the Schmid’s living in Dubuque have contributed to the museum.  Last year the museum held a very popular exhibit on the history of brewing in Dubuque.  The Dubuque Brewing and Malting Company, owned by descendants of the Schmid family, was part of the display.  Did you know that beer was touted as a “health tonic”?

Special Spaces

The third, fourth and fifth generation of the Schmid family now live many places beyond Dubuque.  This means the commitment to giving back is extended well beyond the community of Dubuque.  Special Spaces is one of the many great cause supported by members of the Schmid family.  The Swain family and their Piekenbrock and Schmid cousins have made a difference in many children’s lives.  This video shows how Special Spaces has teamed up with Crescent to make a difference in a sick child’s life:

Solidarity Bridge

The entire Schmid family has been aligned on giving back to their communities in different ways.  Beyond the Crescent Health Center, Schmid Innovation Center, Dubuque River Museum and Special Spaces, individual Schmid family members are involved in many charities sharing their time, talent and treasure.  While we cannot cover all the charities in this vignette, the pictures below highlight some of the charities we support.


Cousins Connecting In The Community

A picture board from a recent reunion, “Cousins Connecting In The Community”, captures some of the charities we are committed to serving.

We are very thankful that our ancestor’s role modeled for us the importance of sharing time, talent and treasure with others less fortunate. Our family continues to this day to encourage all family members to volunteer and give back. We are proud that members of the Schmid family are involved in many wonderful causes.

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About the Project as Explained by the Author:

Author Mary Schmid Daugherty is a third generation Schmid family member. Content for this Project, a historical narrative, was selected from the personal archives of many members of the Schmid family. The narrative itself required the author to cull and categorize hundreds of pieces of information (old newspaper articles, photos, interviews, movies and physical memorabilia). She then fit the pieces together to share this story of the Schmid family and Crescent Electric over the past 100 years. The resulting Project is a series of vignettes, of which this is one.  She hopes you enjoy reading and watching these vignettes.  

To learn more about the Author’s professional qualifications visit her website: https://www.stthomas.edu/business/faculty/directory/daugherty-mary.html

© Mary Schmid Daugherty May 2018

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