Alice Schmidt's house, personal items for sale at Columbus auction
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Alice Schmidt's house, personal items for sale at Columbus auction

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It’s been a year since Alice Schmidt’s death left a hole in the Columbus community, but she is still making an impact and leaving quite a legacy for the future.

Schmidt, a former teacher, always carried a passion for education. Schmidt served on Columbus School Board and was a driving force behind the Columbus Area Endowment Fund. Before her death, she requested her home and personal items be gifted to the Columbus School District.

The district decided to hold an auction, Saturday, Oct. 19, to sell Schmidt’s property and possessions. The auction, hosted by Wilkinson Auction and Realty, begins at 10 a.m. with the house available for bids staring at noon.

“It is all going to charity,” said Wilkinson auctioneer Donnie Bleich. “Both the personal property and the real estate sale. It will all be going to a great cause. It’s a nice gift that Alice provided to them.”

Bleich said the house has an assessed value of $125,000, but will likely sell for a lower cost, perhaps $95,000 or less. He believes $85,000 would be a strong offer, but in an auction, bidding can be unpredictable.

“The most interesting item that everyone has asked about is the house,” Bleich said. “That’s been the No. 1 thing.”

According to Bleich, he’s fielded questions from several interested buyers and thinks the property could go quickly. Schmidt’s two-floor house has three bedrooms. Bleich said the home is in solid condition and received regular maintenance.

The endowment fund helps students and teachers through scholarships and money for training and educational programs. At the Oct. 14 Columbus School Board meeting, Superintendent Annette Deuman said the auction should be well-attended.

“The endowment has set up the Alice Schmidt Memorial Fund and that fund will begin administering grants in the spring of 2021,” Deuman said. “Those grants will be given to any staff member in the district who would like to continue to further professional development, and education to become more of a master of their craft, whatever that might be. It can be any staff member.”

Bleich said while several valuable items were already sold earlier this year, there is still plenty of rare antiques and collectibles to bid on. Items include: Cowboy dolls and horse; old toy baby buggy; large assortment of dolls; jewelry; M. Hohner harmonica; Frankoma Collector Plates; Carnival glass vase; Shirley Temple glassware; DeWitt Clinton replica train; two China sets; silverware set; old metal cookie cutters; white pitchers; hat pins; doll cradle; Farmers & Merchants Union Bank cash bag; postcards from 1920s; cut-out paper dolls; doll rocking chairs, high chairs, table sets; multiple doll tea sets and kitchen utensils; doll clothes and hats; large assortment of old books; large assortment of old records; glass vases and planters; child’s tea set; metal roller skates; primitive benches; sewing machine; wash tubs and much more.

Furniture and appliance items include a flat screen TV and stand; Apple MacBook laptop computer; wood chest; full bed and matching night stand; bedroom sets; dining room table and chairs; recliners; couch and recliners; end tables; china hutch; day bed; lamps; lawn chairs; folding chairs; chest of drawers; multiple mantel clocks; hall mirrors and more. Schmidt, an avid gardener, also left plenty of tools, including her favorite tree; plants, garden and hand tools, bushel baskets; weed whip; and hoses.

“It’ll have a little bit of everything,” Bleich said. “Something for everyone. All of the items are very well-kept and taken care of; real nice.”

In addition, the Columbus Area Historical Society, of which Schmidt was a member, will serve tea, coffee and hot chocolate, along with other breakfast snacks and, for lunch, hot beef and turkey sandwiches.

Schmidt loved dolls and history and both will be on display at Saturday’s auction. Along with her rare dolls and accessories, Schmidt kept old World Book encyclopedia’s and history books. For more information, go to

Follow Kevin Damask on Twitter @kdamask or contact him at 608-963-7323.

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