Kohlenbach, 27 March 1899
We received your letter on the 10th of last month and it made us very happy
to hear from you, yourself and family, as I learned from your parents what
you had told them, for we get together a lot now and I often ask your Father
for advice. As I learned from your letter, your Father has already written
you of the undertaking that is imminent. We are building a beautiful
three-story house in Kollnau, with a store in it. One could almost speak of
two houses with one entrance which separates both houses from each other.
The lot is in Kollnau where lots are rather expensive. I had to pay five
marks per square meter and it is a rather small lot which cost almost 4000
marks, just for the lot, and thus the house will be expensive. It costs more
than many a farm.
We "gave away" (sold) the farm. The Godmother* is suffering much and she
could not take care of the household anymore, and strange servants are
expensive, and Joseph would like to be a farmer too. He wanted to marry and
married a beautiful girl from Katzenmoos.
Wilhelm was a blacksmith and had to work away from here and thus a
blacksmith shop was thought necessary in Kollnau, or even a second one, for
the former blacksmith does not know what to do with all the work he has. A
second blacksmith shop is being built next to the house. Also, August, the
barber, is moving into the shop. He can pursue various things, whatever is
possible. Kollnau is increasing or growing, a lot. There are 2000
inhabitants there and still no barber.
Xaver is married, in Vienna, but I do not know what his business is there.
It is true he writes well (meaning his station is a good one). However, I
believe that it is better to stay home than to move away into the wide
Dear Hermann, we are separated from each other by a wide distance, and I can
hardly believe that we will see each other again. Life is short and flees
fast. I was 60 years old and then one learns to treasure both time and life.
We also read in your letter that you again have received a little
"prince".** Even in America, under the burning sun, boys prosper. We wish
you happiness and health, and as we can see from your picture, all are
strong and powerful. You also wrote that this winter was pretty cold in
America. We in Germany had no winter at all this time around. It was almost
rather warm. Only now in April when I am writing this letter, it is snowing
heavily and rather cold besides.
Otherwise there was nothing much new I could write you for since you left
again many things have changes. The old blacksmith in Siegelau died a short
time ago. His inheritance fell to his distantly related heirs. He had torn
up a will which he had written before, two days before his death because he
was mad at the owner of the Hirsch Inn, and because he (the innkeeper) was
listed as heir.
Your brother Franz Anton has sold a lot of wood, for wood is expensive for
us here. He works hard and can make good use of this income since they have
a rather large group of descendants, consisting of girls and boys.
I do want to conclude my letter now with best regards. Many regards
especially from your Godmother and from all of us.
Your Cousin, Christian Reider
* It appears that Christian's wife was Godmother to Dad, and Joseph is a
** The little "prince" just arrived that year, would be Arnold.