Smidt Furniture's very beginning came courtesy of
John J. Wipf, who in 1901 opened a hardware store in Freeman called Wipf Bros. The development of that family owned and operated store led to an expansion in both inventory and location, and the eventual establishment of Smidt Furniture as it is known today.
In 1928, John's son, David, opened a second store in Menno 16 miles southwest of Freeman. Eighteen years later he sold his share of Wipf Bros. in Freema, added appliances to his store in Menno, and renamed it Wipf Appliance. Brands being sold included Maytag and Copper Cladd stoves.
In 1949, Harry Smidt married Joyce Wipf, daughter of David Wipf, and began working at Wipf Appliance the following year. Harry bought the business from his father-in-law in 1955, discontinued hardware sales and began to sell furniture and floor covering. In 1965 he opened a second store in Freeman, his hometown.