Siegelau, 2 November, 1897
Even though I have not written you for a long time and have to accuse myself
as a very negligent correspondent, I was, nevertheless, very happy to
receive your letter. From your letter I can see that your family and you are
well which is what I wish for you. It is true that I would have time to
write. However, as I am getting older I become more and more negligent in my
correspondence. Otherwise I am always busy. I am still taking care of the
milling and in the latter part of this year I again took out most of the
manure, and thus I always have something to do, which I like when I am well.
On the 10th of October we celebrated a beautiful church festival here,
namely, the festival of dedicating our bells. We received four new,
beautiful bells. They were cast in Freiburg, by the bell caster Koch. Farmer
Winter and I picked them up there on the 7th of October. The largest has a
weight of 507 pounds; the second one of 420; the third of 280; and the
fourth of 150. The bells are toned to the notes of C, D, E, and G, or first,
second, third, and fifth, that is, the upper octave, and their sound is
beautiful and harmonic. The old bell tower was taken out and a new one put
in which sets on the top of the beams below and that way on the wall, so
that we need not be afraid it is any danger to the tower because of the
And all of this was brought about by the acting parish priest Franz Kuderer,
born in Oberkirch in the district of Durbach. The large bell was donated by
Matthias Kury (the Kury farmer) in Mussbach. To fill you in, Kury sold his
farm last year, since there were no children, and lives by himself on his
retirement income. The small one was donated by Franz Joseph Reich, the
Vogtseppli__ farmer. Everything else which was not covered by the value of
the metal of the old bells, was paid for out of church donations, mostly
from outside of our town. We are obligated with great gratitude to our
acting parish priest. We owe it only to his inexhaustible eagerness and the
great trouble he took that we now have such beautiful bells. Parish priest
Kuderer has been with us a little more than a year and a half.
I do not have much other news to write you. The weather here this year was
rather favorable in the spring and summer until the middle of August, when
it started to rain and things got worse and worse, until the end of
September, to such an extent that it was almost impossible to bring in the
harvest. We had to leave a few wagonloads standing, but did harvest it well
later. The fruit harvest was quite low. There were some pears, to be sure,
however, no apples. In the vineyard areas the wine was not good either, due
to the long period of rainy weather. In general, this vintage cannot be
counted among the good ones.
The wife of old Mr. Schmidt died on the 4th of October. Schmidt himself is
72 years old but in spite of that it is said that he wants to marry again
Now, however, I want to conclude with best fatherly regards to your wife and
you, and also to your children from their unknown Grandfather, and at the
same time the best wishes for the new year and all you undertake, so that
all your hopes will come true in the fullest measure possible. No one more
lovingly than your Father.
F. Ant. Fahrlander
At this point there is a copy of a business card with a message
written on the front and back in German.
As early as six years ago my dear mother died, on the 24th February 1892 (on
birthday, or Saint's day, of our dear father). I am an orphan now and have
lost my dear home for good, the dear house in the Blumenstrasse that we had
been living in again for seven years.
My dear husband is first teacher (principal) in Villigen.
My dear good father died the first of April, 1898; you probably know
already. He was found lying dead in bed in the morning. He had been heard to
shout at 5:30 in the morning. My sister-in-law, who kept house for my father
since my marriage three years before, rushed into his room immediately.
There the loyal heart was lying and had already died. He had suffered a
This undated message was written on a business card of M. Weber, Hauptleher
(principal) in Waldkirch, and has no signature nor date. Mr. Weber was a
revered teacher of Dad's while in school Waldkirch. It may have been
enclosed with a letter from Dad's father or brother. After checking dates
and letters, I have concluded that it was written by a daughter of M. Weber,
to tell Dad of his death. Dad's father's letter of 12 June, 1892, states
that the wife of teacher Weber in Waldkirch died, and the writer of this
card says her mother died 24 February, 1892. She describes the death of her
father on 1 April, 1898, so the card must have been written some time later.
I find no letters dated 1898 among those surviving.
The delicate handwriting resembles that of Elizabeth Weber in her letter of
25 March, 1887