November 16, 1890
|Siegelau 16th November 1890
Above all I wish you happiness and contentment on the occasion of your wedding and best regards to your young wife from the bottom of my heart. Your brother Franz Anton is about to marry too, and the wedding will probably take place on Thursday, the 27th of this month. It is a pity that you can not be present. However, there will not be such a big festive meal. That is, we will not go to the inn but rather have the wedding meal at home, to which the closest relatives and neighbors will be invited.
I am very sorry that I cannot be of better assistance to you, however, you know my circumstances I am sure and will understand that at present it is impossible for me to send a sum of money to America. I find it difficult to have to write this. however, I can not help it. At this time we will not conclude a transfer of the estate.* I believe that I am not quite old enough to retire to my old age estate. This is my feeling at present. Of course one can never know what one will do later. Probably your brother will write you soon too, but perhaps only after the wedding will be over.
We have had a very wet summer this year. We have had no fruit. The field crops have turned out all right, including feed, but there have been only a few potatoes.
The Winter farmer's Victoria died too, leaving two children.
Now I don't know what else to write you, therefore I will conclude.
Many regards and congratulations to your young wife and you from all of us, and to you especially from your Father.
&am p;nb sp; Fr. Anton Fahrlander
* According to Mr. Schweder's explanation, by the law of inheritance (and it is almost akin to that of royalty), a farm goes to the oldest son upon his marriage. He then assumes management, and compensates other family members for their share of the farm. The father retires, in a way, but is cared for by the oldest son. Mr. S. assumes that since in this case, Dad had relinquished his German citizenship and became a naturalized citizen of the U.S., the farm passed to Franz Anton. But the father does not feel ready to distribute interest in the farm, and also may not have been in a position to do so, cash-wise. Through all these letters it is apparent that farming is a cycle, i.e., crops raised are utilized pretty much on the farm to feed livestock, and, having a mill, they milled their own flour. The father speaks of livestock (cattle and pig) prices, but probably not many of these were sold. Transportation, it would seem, would limit such sales then, perhaps just what the Siegelau and Waldkirch butchers could utilize for immediate sale. The farms were evidently quite self-sufficient.
Mama includes at this point two photographs. One of Grandpa Hermann and his brother taken on his visit to Germany the previous winter and a wedding photo of him and Mary Gosch.