In 1912, Katherine Stollmayer, age 18, left Arad, Hungary, to join her older brother, Joseph, living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She sailed on the Prinz Freidrich Wilhelm from Bremen, Germany. After a 12-day voyage to New York she traveled to Pittsburgh by train. Her brother placed a housework-wanted ad in a local paper, and Katherine was soon hired as a governess with a wealthy family. She stayed with the family for 14 years until her marriage to another Arad native, John Schmidt.
In 1925, Katherine sent for her parents, Anton and Elena Stollmayer, who longed to see their only children. The aged couple journeyed across Europe and sailed to New York from Le Havre, France.