Siegelau 2 January 1899
Once again I must write you some lines to tell you how we are. You probably
believe that we have forgotten all of you since I have not written for so
long. Well, I do not have much of an excuse. Sometimes one does not have the
time and other times one does not feel like it and thus time passes and we
do not even know how. Well, you will not be angry with me.
I also read the letter you had sent to Father and I learned that you bought
some property next to Peter Xaver. You will probably have quite a bit of
work connected with that until everything is in order, but if everyone is
well things will be all right.
Well, how is Benedict doing? Is he still living near you? What is he doing
these days? Please give him our regards too.
Dear Brother, I can really praise the past year. I have had a thresher made
which did cost a lot of money, but it will pay for itself later, I am sure.
It is operated by a wire rope connected with our mill; runs well. We
threshed 50 to 60 sheaves of oats in an hour, a little less rye. Quite a few
people here have acquired machines but they were horse driven which is hard
work for horses. The entire matter has cost me 650 marks altogether.* The
rope is 220 meters long.** Laborers are becoming more and more expensive
here for factories are growing rapidly to colossal dimensions. It is almost
impossible to get people without paying a large amount. Everyone goes into
factory work. So we can thank God that our own are growing and can be
Our smallest girl died last summer. She was three-fourths year old.
As I can see from your photograph, your family is growing slowly too, but to
judge by their looks, all are well and strong, which is the most important
thing. They will come in handy later for strangers do cost heavy money.
Under those circumstances little is left for us to have a glass of wine.
So far we have had a mild winter but today is quite stormy and snowy. The
home of the Gscheit family burned down last summer too, but with hard work
has been rebuilt. Perhaps Father gave you that information already. Franz
Joseph Riter celebrated his wedding too. His wife comes from
Unterspitzenbach. The daughter of Farmer Schatzle (umalaut above the a),
connected with the Riter family, wants to build another house in Kollnau for
Schmidt. Franz Joseph, the miller, bought a horse. His father-in-law is
still living with him. The baker in the village moved away to Untermedingen
in the township of Waldshut. Old Mrs.Baier purchased his house.
There are no other news items I have to tell. Thank God we are all well
which is the main thing and all of us can work fine. We wish you great
happiness in the new year and that all of us will write more than in the old
year. Best regards to all, your wife, children and parents-in-law.
Franz Anton and Wife and Parents.
When we are well we will have a family picture made this summer and mail it
to you. Please reply soon.
* According to The Arms of Krupp (Manchester), in 1883, 750 marks equalled
$561.40. If same value 16 years later in 1899, 650 marks would be about
** 220 meters are about 720 feet.