October 2, 1881
Siegelau, 2 Oct. 1881
We have been waiting eagerly for a letter from you for quite some time again. Well now on the 24th of September, what we had longed for arrived. We were all very happy to hear from you, particularly when we learned that you are well. We also remembered the 7th of September of last year when you said farewell to us in order to seek your luck far, far away. It would appear that up to now you have not been particularly favored by luck, discounting though that you are well, which is and will remain the greatest good fortune. We all want to pray to God that He will continue to keep you well and then we do not want to lose our courage and our hope. Everything may and will turn better again.
Xaver Peter, or as he is called, Peter Xaver, who left from here for America a year before you - I want to enclose his address for you - sent a letter to his friend Anton Burger on the Resch farm, and this was this summer about four weeks ago, according to which he feels well in America. I read the letter myself. In it he says that his wages in the State of Iowa are fairly good. This summer during the harvest he had earned two to three dollars engaged in binding. A worker earns about 80 marks a month. He wrote further if Casimer Holzer keeps writing things are bad in America, he should only come to see him, there is lots of money to be made. Perhaps you will want to write him once. He probably could give you some detailed information. Perhaps it would be even better if you went to him. Of course I cannot give you any specific advice since I am unfamiliar with the circumstances. It is my general understanding here that things are better inland than in New York. Try and write to Xaver Peter. He will write you the truth in any event. Casimer Holzer's mother has not heard from Casimer for a long time. She has asked me to write you to be so kind as to inquire about him and to tell him if possible, that he should write his mother soon. If this should turn out to be impossible, then you should tell us what you know about his situation. I ask you therefore to comply with her wishes. You could also give him Peter's address and inform him that according to what he writes, he has a good income and he could turn to Peter.
My brother Fidel has been here again for two weeks. He arrived in the evening of the 14th of September. He continues to talk of leaving again. I do not know whether he will stay this winter or not. You well know he does not consider things too carefully; otherwise he is well.
We will have the photograph made as soon as possible and mail it to you immediately. You ask whether the mill is ready to go again., It is repaired again, so that you could work it again, and the new arrangement has succeeded. You should know that a new mechanism has been inserted made completely from iron. The water wheel is not quite as high now as the old one. The old one was 18 feet high: the new one only 13. The water from the pond driving the wheel is conducted straight from the mill, through the garden into the brook. The long ditch through the meadow is supposed to be returned to the meadow. The turning beam is made of iron; the interior of the wheel is entirely cast iron. It runs a lot better now than before and there is no need to be afraid that if one leaves it for a little while and then returns, that something is broken. It achieves a lot more than the old mechanism, with a sufficient supply of water. To be sure it did cost a lot of money.
Kruz (?) died last spring, and so did the Castle Shoemaker.
Minnie Schild of the Abram Hof has this last summer passed away as a result of tuberculosis of the lungs. The innkeeper of the Adler (Inn) of the estate and household, took it over now. and on the 12th of September Walter's daughter in Mersburg by the name of Therese, married him.
As I wrote you in my last letter we have had a dry summer and all of August and the beginning of September it became rainy which continued then for several weeks. Those who mowed or cut _______________* early enough were able to save the crop. We had left it stand and just now they had pretty good luck in getting it under roof. ________________* to the corn, and we will by Tuesday begin digging the potatoes with a promise of a good crop.
The teacher Herterich is leaving until 24 October and he left for the Black Forest, a good location with 551______________.**
Well dear Hermann, I do not know too many things to write to you. We are, thank God, well and wish you the best of health. Everything else will take care of itself if you have your health. If the outlook is gloomy and the future looks dark, all at once it can clear up again. Would it not be better if you would learn a trade of some kind? As already mentioned, you have to know yourself what is best for you. In a short time, right soon, we will send a package and until then all of yours greet you and wish you everything of the best. Please give me a report. We never get to hear enough from you. Our heartiest greetings.
Father, Franz Anton Fahrlander
The address of Xaver Peter, care of Henry Brandt, Council Bluffs, Iowa, Box 194. We have seen in your picture that you have your home well in rememberance. (Evidently Dad drew a picture of his home in Germany and sent it to his Father; possibly the same time that the colored drawing was made that we have.)
*Not certain as to translation.
**Not discernable whether reference was to salary (marks) or population