I wasn't sure that this article was about Sophie's parents, but I think it was...I was confused when the article mentioned Mrs. Schmidt's brother Adolph Luedtke. Matilda's maiden name was Exel. But I found a marriage record of Mary Exel to Adolph Luedtke, and realized that Adolph was Matilda's brother-in-law, which the article failed to mention. Whether Matilda actually divorced from Edward, I don't know. I didn't find any other articles about it. All the census records show Matilda as a widow.
La Crosse Tribune | La Crosse, Wisconsin | Monday, October 07, 1907 | Page 6
FEARS HUSBAND; SEEKS DIVORCE
MRS. EDWARD SCHMIDT ASKED THE COUNTY COURT
THOUGHT IT AN EASY MATTER
Judge Refers Her to Higher Tribunal—Husband Will Be Released
From Jail Soon.
Fearing the wrath of her husband upon his release from the county jail, where he is serving a term of ninety days for assault and battery, Mrs. Edward Schmidt, 2225 Seward street, today applied to Judge Brindley for a divorce. Judge Brindley sentenced the man to the county jail, and the opinion prevailed with the woman that she could secure a divorce as easily.
The modest request was made by Mrs. Schmidt. She expected that Judge Brindley would say something like this:
"Why, certainly, Mrs. Schmidt, here is your divorce," meanwhile handing her the legal document destroying the binding ties.
In this respect Mrs. Schmidt was fooled, for judge Brindley enlightened her upon the subject of divorce and the manner to secure a legal separation.
The husband of the woman was committed to the county jail on Aug. 29, after locking his wife in a room a prisoner for three days, threatening to crucify the year old baby, and beating his wife on the bare shoulders with the butt end of a horsewhip. Mrs. Schmidt was released from her prison room by neighbors. Schmidt had gone to a saloon and had informed his wife that he intended to kill her upon his return.
When Adolph Luedtke, a brother of Mrs. Schmidt, heard of the terrible treatment he mauled Schmidt. When the prisoner was arraigned in county court he bore a mass of bruises. His eyes were blacked, and his teeth gone, and body covered with discolorations.
Warrant for Luedtke.
Charles Selonke, 1200 South Eleventh street, a saloonkeeper, secured a warrant for the arrest of Luedtke Saturday on a charge of assault and battery. The defendant has not been found.