Family history documents and stories to supplement the genealogical information at

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tena to Katie, 27 Dec 1893

Canal Dover, Dec 27th

Dear Sister and Brother,
I will write a few lines to let you know that your letter of Dec 23 was duely received and was glad to hear from you all. Also the two dollars and the pictures was received, many thanks to you for so kindly remembering my children and sending them a Christmas present. We never thought of such a thing. Thanks to you for the picture; it is quite good.

Well Christmas is past once more. Where did you spend it? I was at home all day. My baby is not very well. He had such a fever Sunday afternoon, Christmas Day Night and on Christmas Day I went down. I almost think it is teething. He has four teeth.

Katherine is well and enjoyed her Christmas as children always do. She went to the Christmas tree and got a little book and a bag of candy. At home she got a book and slate. Her Aunt Rose from Lorain sent her a doll and Albert a book. Her Grandma Weinsz (gave) them over 2 dollars in money and many other little things they got.

William is working at present. He is working for the C and M Railroad Co.; the car inspector went on a visit during the holidays and Will is working in his place till he comes back. They think the furnace will start to work next month then there will be some work again.

The Mrs. Wendling out on the farm died a few weeks ago. The folks out home are all well. They butchered last week and we took one half of a hog on account of lard. I got over five gallon which will last me a long time.

Now I will close writing, wishing you all a Happy New Year.

I remain your sister, Tena
Our regards to all. Write soon.

Notes: I hope I haven't made this too confusing by posting these out of chronological order. The letter I posted on December 23 was written four years after this one. If I posted them in chronological order, I'd be posting one every 3 or 4 months for 6 years. For now, I'm sticking with my idea of posting them on the day of the year in which they were written, and I'll wrap it up with one Katherine wrote to her aunt in December 1899.

Back to Tena's letter, I wondered if she meant Christmas Eve by "Christmas Day Night". She said it was Sunday and Christmas Eve was on a Sunday that year, so the answer appears to be yes.

I also wonder when Christmas trees started to become popular home decorating items. I assume that when she says Katherine went to the tree and got presents, she means the Christmas tree at church. Tena and William were both children of German immigrants, so the custom of the Christmas tree would have been familiar, but it sounds as if they didn't have one at home.

We don't know who "the Mrs. Wendling out on the farm was", but believe that the farm in question is that of her mother-in-law, Barbara Loehrer Weinsz. Barbara's husband, Nicholas Weinsz Sr., died 4 years before the date of this letter.

And I'm not done wondering. What would $2 buy in 1893? A local newspaper, The Ohio Democrat, had a small amount of advertising on December 21 and most of that was in the form of printed text just as if it was a news story. I got sidetracked reading the ads - much more fun than any modern ads I've seen lately. I've highlighted some of my favorites. Click through to read at full size.

Labels: , ,


At December 27, 2008 1:34 PM , Blogger Annie in Austin said...

A gift of two dollars could make a big difference, couldn't it? Even in the 1950's a girl with a couple of dollars could pick up small toys for under fifty cents to give to siblings. Thanks for all the historical links, Entangled!

A large family of Wendlings show up on the 1880 census for Dover - you probably already noticed Charlotte, born abt 1842 as a possibility for the unfortunate Mrs Wendling. The family is in Enumeration District 215 in 1800 while Barbara & Nicholaus show up in ED 216 in 1880, but on the 1900 census the now-adult Wendling children appear on the census roll just before the Weinsz family, so my bet's on Charlotte.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

At December 28, 2008 9:02 AM , Blogger Entangled said...

Annie: I thought 2 dollars was probably a very nice present in 1893, so decided to check the local newspapers on then lost track of time reading them.

I hadn't investigated the Wendlings - it's not a name I was familiar with - so thanks for the lookup! We guessed she might be someone who was doing housework for Barbara Weinsz, who was getting on in years at that time and had no daughters to help her. We know much more about Tena's side of the family than Will's.

At December 28, 2008 11:51 AM , Blogger Annie in Austin said...

I'm glad the snippet from the census was useful. The name Wendling jumped out at me from the page, Entangled!

Wendlings got into my own extended family tree research as the maiden name of a cousin's wife. My Wendlings started in Alsace-Lorraine and were established in New York State by 1840. They eventually moved to Michigan where their Caroline met my Harold.

Do you have access to the census records? I found William's family on the 1880 rolls as Nicholaus Weiens.


At December 30, 2008 9:46 PM , Blogger Entangled said...

Annie: Small world, huh? You never know; there might be a connection. How many Wendlings could there be?

I use for the census records now, but haven't looked for any of these people for a long time (probably before I was on I can just barely remember going to the Archives and cranking microfilm ;-) Anyhow, I should probably revisit some of these records in light of information gained since the first time I saw them.


Post a Comment

<< Home