January (?), 1903
| Siegelau_____January 1903
Dear Hermann and Family!
My hope that with the new year a letter from America would arrive, did not deceive me, and the hoped for letter dated the 26th of December of last year arrived here on the 10th of January. Above all, all of us would like to express our thanks for your good wishes for the new year. We in turn wish all of you , your wife and your dear children, happiness in the new year that has just begun and we do so from the bottom of our hearts. May God's grace grant all of you health and contentment, the greatest values of this earth, in full measure. May God's blessings follow on all of your endeavors and may all misfortune be kept away from you. Let us hope that our wishes will be realized.
The many pictures you sent made us most happy and we particularly liked the picture showing you feeding the pigs. It is really a pity about the many animals you lost due to the swine epidemic. Could it be possible that the infectious substance might be hidden in the place where the swine live and take affect only with the appropriate warm weather when the animals are more susceptible to infection? Have you tried to consult an expert? If your pigs are as fat in the summer as they can be seen to be in the picture, this may be a cause that they are more susceptible to disease. Here with us, breeding hogs are not that fat, but it nevertheless occurs frequently too, that one dies.
Following your request we will in the course of the spring of the spring send you a picture of our house and the surrounding area. We assigned your brother the task of talking to the photographer in Waldkirch. A son of Mr. Burger, who is our merchant here in the village, who is a trained grocer himself but is serving in the military in Lahr at present, has acquired photographic equipment for himself and took a picture of the village here last summer. I want to include a small picture of that. You will probably recognize the individual houses in it. Nevertheless, I will identify the individual houses by numbers.*
After having been spared for five years, my illness, rheumatism of the joints, took hold of me again this winter, that is, in the beginning of December. Not as badly as before to be sure, but I had to stay in bed 12 days and never quite recovered since. I am unable to work to work well; have little strength. In short, there is a lot missing in all my limbs. I would hope that things would improve in spring when the weather gets warmer.
I again send our best regards and conclude with greetings of friendship from all of us to your wife and children and you.
Your Father, Fr. Anton Fahrlander
*This photo survives but is so faded and dim it is impossible to distinguish between buildings. It was taken from some high point, showing mainly roof tops. The buildings were numbered and listed as follows:
!. Church 8. A little bit of _______________
2. Eagle (Adler) Inn 9. Our house
3. Eagle Inn Stable 10. Our barn
4. School building 11. Trenkler's house
5. Roof of the house Becker 12. Trenkler's barn
6. Building for the fire engine 13. Our mill
7. Customs (?) building next to railway station 14. House of the Schreiner