Nierstein, January 24, 97
Dear brother and family,
I presume you can remember that you also have a brother in the old homeland named Fritz. I was just a boy when you went to America, and because I am now the youngest of your brothers, I have a mind to reach out to you in that faraway world by mail. Because of a change in mail carriers in Nierstein, it so happened that, one year before our fathers death, a letter from you came into my hands. In it, I read that you intended to give your old homeland the pleasure of paying it a visit in 2 years. But I did not find your address in this letter. I would have liked to write to you back then that you should not put off your visit for so long. For I knew that our father was already suffering badly from the weakness of old age. From that time on, I kept asking him for your address, but he always had an excuse. Once he said I just don’t have time. Another time he said, I’ll send it to you. And the third time, he said, I’ve already written to Georg. To this day, I don’t know what his problem was. You know this was just a quirk our father had. He never let us read one of your letters. He would just say George wrote thus and so, and that was all. Well, to get beyond all that now, I want to write and tell you how I’m doing.
I have been married for 15 years and live in Nierstein out on the Kreutz [cross; name of a street?] in the former Gabel house. So far, I have the pleasure of being the father of 7 children. I will tell you their names: Kätchen is 15 years old, Lenche is 11, Karl is 8, Fritz is 6, and Elischen is 3 months old. Jakob and Lieschen, who come after Fritz, preceded us in death, to our great sorrow, so now we are a family of seven. I have lived here seven years and am employed at Senfter, where brother Andreas used to work. I make good money and get free living quarters. I have just begun my fortieth year of life, and my wife, née Lenche Wild from Erfelden, is 38 years old. I don’t know how big a family you have. You can tell me the details.
You probably already know where all your other brothers and sisters are, but if you are uncertain about anything, you can ask me about it in the letter that I hope to get from you. I would be glad to provide you with information.
I’ll have to stop writing, for, as you can see, I’ve run out of space. If I were to write you everything that has happened since your departure for America, it would be far too much and take a lot of time. I’ll tell you more next time.