Family history documents and stories to supplement the genealogical information at

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tena to Katie, 18 March 1894

Dover, Ohio, Mar 18th

Dear Sister and Brother,
I will answer your kind letter which we received some time ago. It seems as tho I hardly get time to write. The children been having such bad colds that it takes me so much time to take care of them. In fact the baby had the cold all winter and part the time he had a high fever from teething. He has six teeth now. He was one year old the 2nd of March. He walks from chair to chair and along the wall all over the room and he walks a few steps alone.

What beautiful sunny weather we have in this month of March. It seems as tho it would stay spring. Will has spaded up most of the lot and we have put out a bed of mullet [sic] seed. I think it a little early yet.

Will has no steady work yet, although he has worked some two weeks ago. He worked five days at the rolling mill and last week four days; this week he has no work.

Last Sunday the children of our church had examination; this Sunday they were confirmed. I suppose the same at your church in North Amherst.

Katharin enjoys herself these nice sunny days. There is a robin comes to the back door and sings, and Katharin sings. Every morning she has to see if it is here yet. She calls it her robin.

Katharin also is glad that Easter is coming, and the Rabbit will bring her some nice eggs. She made her rabbit nest last week in an old market basket.

The boys out home have their oats ground ploughed.

Now I will close writing, hoping to hear from you all.

I remain, as ever, your sister,

Regards from all to all


Mullet seed? I feel sure this is an error in transcription, but the transcription very clearly reads "mullet seed". I can only think of two possibilities for what Tena originally wrote.
  1. Millet seed, although this seems an unlikely crop for a town garden.
  2. Sallet seed, an alternative spelling of salad which generally meant lettuce or other greens.

    My German dictionary says the German word for salad is Salat, by the way. Early spring would be the time of year to sow it, although as Tena said, mid-March may have been a little early. The gardener in me wonders where they got the seed and what kind it was and how the crop turned out.

Confirmation. The Ragersville Historical Society transcribed and published the record books of St. John's Evangelical Church in Dover, the church to which Tena refers. It seems Palm Sunday was the usual day for confirmations and March 18 of 1894 was Palm Sunday. Pastor D. J. Helmkamp had a class of 21 confirmands, and among them I see a few familiar names.

Eduard Zoller, son of Heinrich Zoller and Maria nee Oehling. Little Katherine's future husband's mother was Celestia Ailing. The original spelling of Ailing was Oehling. Maria is surely a relative, but I don't have an exact match in my notes.

Klara Feil, daughter of Christian Feil and Anna Maria nee Hammann (Harmann). Klara's much older sister Anna Catherine, married Will Weinsz's brother, Louis.

Karl Wendling, son of Ludwig Wendling and Charlotte nee Weber. Charlotte may have been "the Mrs. Wendling out on the farm", refered to in Tena's letter of 27 December 1893.

Somehow I never thought of the grass in an Easter basket as being a rabbit's nest. I always thought it was for the hen to lay her eggs in.

Labels: , , , , ,


At April 17, 2009 9:26 PM , Blogger Annie in Austin said...

The millet/mullet thing is interesting, Entangled. Since millet is part of bird seed mixtures would people grow it for hens to eat?

This article says people made nests for the Easter Rabbit AKA Oschter Haws in German an Pennsylvania Dutch communities.


At April 19, 2009 11:10 AM , Blogger Entangled said...

Annie: That's a possibility for millet seed - wonder what people fed chickens in 1894? They lived in town, and had nearby relatives on a farm, so would they even have kept chickens? More things to think about...

Thanks for the link to the Easter rabbit's nest info! When I Googled it, I found lots of references to rabbits as fertility symbols, but not how they would be connected with eggs.


Post a Comment

<< Home