Family history documents and stories to supplement the genealogical information at

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tena and Katie to Katie, 31 March 1895

Canal Dover, Mar 31

Dear Sister, Brother, and all,

I will endevor to write you a few lines and let you know that I received your letter some time ago and was glad to hear from you. Well Spring has come, we are having nice warm sunny days and work is picking up most everywhere.

Will is working every day at the furnace. Last week one man was hurt at the furnace, he broke a leg right on the ankle. Mr. Peifer is his name, our neighbor. He is the boss of the furnace men.

Katharin and Albert had the measles. Katharin had them first and when she was almost over them, Albert begins with them. They are just about over them. Katharin goes to school every day when she is well.

To day the children had examination at church, next Sunday they will be confirmed. I suppose it is the same up there.

How are you all getting along, are you all well, do you get home often? I had a letter from Ma and Rose a few weeks ago. Now the work will begin on the farm and in the gardens. To day is a rainy day, it does not rain hard, but is drizzling all day. We have not had much rain yet. The boys out home are plowing. We have not made any garden yet.

I cannot think of anything more news, so I will close writing, hoping to hear from you soon.

I remain, as ever,
your sister,
C. D. Weinsz

(Albert writes: "a little note penned on the back of mother's letter by sister")

Dear Aunt Katie,
This is my first letter I ever wrote. I go to school. I go to school every day I can. Dear Aunt Katie how much I would like to see you and Grandma and Grandpa and all. I am glad that it will be Easter soon and the rabbit will bring me some nice eggs and Albert some too.

Katharin Weinsz

Notes to follow in a later post. The date of Tena's next letter is May 1.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Tena and Katie to Katie, 29 March 1896

Canal Dover, Mar 29

Dear Sister and Brother and Family,

I will answer your letter at once which we received a few weeks ago and were glad to hear from you all. We were quite surprised to hear you having a little daughter at present time. I expected to hear the news some months later. How are you getting along and how is the baby? I hope you are getting along finely. We wish you good luck to your young daughter and hope you will have the luck of raising her. Have you found a name for the baby? If not, I will mention a few, Christina "Dorothy".

How is the weather up there? The month of March was very changeable here. Cold snow rain, then the same thing over again all the month.

Will is still working at the Furnace every day. They have to work quite hard there.

The children are all well. There will be no school this week which will suit Katharin as she likes to play outdoors with Albert when the weather is fit to go out. Today it is very warm and I think that it will rain before long.

Today the children were confirmed in our church. There were about thirty this year.

I don't know enny news so I will close for this time, hoping to hear from you soon.

I will remain,
your Sister,
Tena Weinsz

Regards from all to all

(a note from Tena's daughter was on the back of this letter)
Mar 30, 1896

Dear Uncle and Auntie,

I will write you a few lines and let you know that I received your letter and was glad to hear from you all. I was very glad when I heard that I have a little baby cousin and wish very much to see it.

Dear Auntie I would like to come up to see you this summer but I don't know if I can unless Mamma can go too. Mamma can't spare me as she is not well. I have to bring in all the water and coal, and have to help Mamma a great deal.

Katharin Weinsz

This is Elinore Ruth, the new baby mentioned in the letters.

She looks like a happy child, don't you think? Elinore was born March 8, 1896, three weeks before the date of this letter. Her mother, Katherine Roth, married George Ruth in 1893 in Black River Township, Lorain County, Ohio. George Ruth owned a hardware store in Amherst, Ohio.

Confirmation. Tena's letter was written on Palm Sunday 1896, and she says there were about 30 young people confirmed at St. John's church that day. I count 34 in the published record book, and again see some familiar names. For more info on the published church books and some of the families mentioned here, see my previous post.

Karl Christian Aehling, son of Christian (+) Aehling and Marg. Feigert.

Eduard Bernhard Wendling, son of Ludwig Wendling and Charlotte nee Weber.

Daniel Jakob Zoller, son of Heinrich Zoller and Maria nee Aehling.

Friedrich Warther, son of Gottfried Warther and Anna nee Balsiger. Friedrich was a brother of Ernest "Mooney" Warther of the Warther Carving Museum fame. Well worth a visit, if you're ever in the area.

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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.

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Tena and Katie to Katie, 1 March 1896

Dear Sister and Family,

I will now answer your kind letter we received some time ago and indeed was glad to hear from you all. Well this is the first day of March and it is cold and snowing. We have not had much snow here this winter and not much awful cold weather, but we had so much changeable weather which was very unhealthy.

Will is still working at the Furnace. He has been working quite steady all winter. Katherine goes to school every day that she can. She wishes so often if she could only be with her Aunt Katie for a while. Albert will be three years old the second day of March. He has grown big and talks most everything. I will send you one of his pictures. They are small but very natural.

How is our parents getting along this winter? I have not heard from them for a long time, only what you wrote to me in your last letter. I have not heard from sister Rose since your last letter. I wonder how she is getting along and the baby.

Dear sister Katie I will thank you for the dollar you sent to Katherine and the 25 cts. you sent to Albert by mother. It was a part of her Christmas present. I got her a red dress; here is sample of it. It is not made yet. Grandma Weinsz gave them each a dollar for their Christmas and Uncle George gave Katie a lovely gold writing pen with a pearl handle for Christmas.

This will be all for this time, hoping to hear from you soon.

I'll remain
your Sister,
Tena Weinsz
Regards from all to all

[Note from Albert, the transcriber of these letters: My sister wrote this at the end of mother's letter]
Dear Aunt Katie,

I will write you a letter and let you know how I am getting along. I go to school every day. I missed one day of school this winter. I like to go to school.

Dear Aunt Katie how are you and Uncle George getting along? How is Grandma Ruth and Grandpa Ruth getting along?

I and Papa were out to my Grandma Weinsz today. Mamma and Albert stayed home. I like to go out to my Grandma house. I often go out there alone and my Grandma is very kind to me and my uncles all like to have me come out.

Dear Auntie this will be all for this time,
Katharin Weinsz

Tena frequently mentions Will working at "the furnace". She never says which one, but Dover was industrialized in the mid 1800s and remained a manufacturing center into the 20th century.

I'm not clear myself on just what the term "furnace" meant in 1896. Dover had blast furnaces producing iron by the late 1800s, but I also found a reference to a furnace which provided power to operate a salt well. It seems to have meant anything that burned coal to provide power for manufacturing.

In this letter, little Katie (my great-grandmother) added a note of her own to her aunt Katie (Tena's sister). She writes that she often goes out to her Grandma Weinsz's house by herself. Grandma Weinsz lived just outside of town.

I had imagined that it was a long way for a seven-year-old girl to go on her own, but through the magic of Google Maps I found that it was about a mile.

View Larger Map

I should have posted this yesterday, but didn't have my commentary ready. That provides another item for commentary, however. Today would be the 116th birthday of Albert Weinsz, the baby in these letters, and later the transcriber of them.

By the way, it was "cold and snowing" in Dover on 1 March 1896. It is cold and snowing in Fairfax, Virginia today 2 March 2009.

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