Indianapolis, Ind. 15 Sept. 1884
I was not a little surprised to receive a letter from you. Before I left
Germany I had intended to inquire after you. However, I found neither the
opportunity nor the time. I once met your brother Anton at Stollen (Mike,
this is typed over , not certain about the second letter, the "t"?) where I
immediately asked him about your place of residence. He however did not know
th precise name but promised me to communicate your place of residence to me
just as soon as we got together again. Unfortunately, however, we did not
meet anymore. At that time no one knew yet that I am going to America. For
two years I was playing with the thought of going to America. My brother
Julius died three years ago and after that my parents did not want to let me
go. I then went to Guterman (umlaut over the u) in Gutach, in the stock
room, and was employed in the business for three years.
However, more and more the thought grew in me to go to the Far West. I
finally managed to obtain my parents' "yes" and I packed up my few
belongings as fast as possible and departed from Bleibach on the 21st of
June. On the 6th of July I landed in New York and then arrived here at my
Uncles on the 8th of July. Up to now I like it fairly well in this country,
but I can not refrain from admitting openly that it is not as beautiful by
far as it is in Germany, especially in comparison to beautiful Baden. Is not
that so? Of course I still recall those beautiful days in which we together
covered the distance from Schlossle to the "Saubecke" and "Saustall".* What
adventurous plans didn't we hatch, particularly in regard to America, and
what was it that most drew us here? I don't think that Volz will come here
for he is in Folkstone in England with his sister Amalie.
I would really enjoy it if we could see each other once again.
It is not because of military service that I left, for during the second
examination I was declared free (not fit) for military service. The first
time they had drafted me to the cavalry.
I had thought that you would be out in the Far West with the Indians where
you could experience adventures. If you should move again, try to come here
to be close, for I am sure that we would have a lot to tell each other. As
far as getting rich is concerned, that is probably a good way off for me,
for if one does not even the language, one has no right to make great
demands. I would think that we will keep up a busy correspondence in the
future, and that we would see each other soon.
Concluding with this wish, I remain, as always, in trust and friendship,
your friend, who will allways think well of you.
C. A. Santo
*"Schlossle" meand "Little Castle", which is the castle Hansrudi called
"Castle Berg", the ruins of which overlook Waldkirch, where Dad and Santo
went to school.
This copy of an old faded postcard view of the market
place in Waldkirch shows the ruins of the ancient castle brooding over the
twon. See historical notes following letter of 15 Sept., 1884.
On this very old picture of Waldkirch, someone, probably Dad's father, has
written in Gothic Script, translated, "Rebstock", to identify the building
on the left. This is the inn where Dad ate lunch when attending school in
Waldkirch, and where he spent the night when he arrived in Waldkirch en
route to Siegelau for a visit in 1889.
("Rebstock" means "Grapevine".)
Note sign on right, "Friseur", which then meant men's barber. Now it also
refers to women's hairdressers.
The pile of wood on the left, at the side of the street, makes tyhe picture
even more interesting.
Then this page follows:
Kastelberg - Waldkirch
The ruins of the old castle overlooking Waldkirch have always intrigued me
since my father told of exploring it with school friends during a two or
three hour noon intermission at school there. Hansrudi said it had been
destroyed some time in the 1600's. I do not remember the exact year if he
did state it, but it was at the same time that Heidelberg castle was
There were two terrible wars during that century: the Thirty Years War
(1616-1648) and the War of the Palitanate (1688-1697), and in each war
Heidelberg was devasted, and in both wars there was the possibility of the
French armies overrunning Baden and the Waldkirch area. In 1638, Breisach
was forced to capitulate. Breisach was a fortress on the Rhine, about 18
miles west by southwest of Waldkirch. The Thirty Years War was one of
horrors, as are all wars; not restricted to military personnel or
installations, but civilians and property mercilessly destroyed,
In March, 1689, Louvois, French Minister of Defense during the War of the
Palatinate, persuaded Louis IV to let him devastate the Palatinate in order
to deprive the enemy of any subsistence from the land as they moved. French
armies sacked and burned Heidelberg, Mannheim and other towns, and parts of
the margraviate of Baden; nearly all of the Rhineland was ruined. Waldkirch
was only some 18 miles from the Rhine, and would surely have been
Now I wonder who occupied the castle prior to destruction, a count, or a
knight, who reigned over a small territory.
I suppose Dad and friends might even play a game of being knights and of
defending the castle. A letter from his school friend, Charles Santo,15
Sept. 1884, newly arrived in Indianoplis, reminds Dad of their school days,
the castle, and their "...adventurous plans...Particularly in regard to
Historical notes on the wars. In May 1685, 43 years after the end of the
Thirty years War, Louis IV claimed part of the Elector Palatine's estate as
inheritance due to Charlotte Elizabeth, the sister of the dead Elector.
Charlotte was now the Duchess d'Orleans. Tensions rose. Sept. 22, 1688,
France invaded Germany, sent divisions to the Rhine and took in one month,
Kaiserslautern, Neustadt, Worms, Bingen, Mainz and Heidelberg. It was
following this, in March 1689, that Louvois persuaded Louis IV to permit
French armies to Devastate the Palatinate to deprive the enemies of any
subsistence; they sacked and burned Heidelberg, Mannheim, Speyer, etc., and
parts of margraviate of Baden, nearlyt all of German Rhineland in ruins.
Sept. 20, 1697, the Peace of Ryswick (near the Hague) ended the War of the
Palatinate. France kept Strasbourg and Franche-Comte (west central part of
France); regained Pondicherry in India and Nove Scotia.
Only to prepare for another war - of the Spanish Succession, when Charles II
of Spain would die without a living heir.