Diary of TRAUGOTT UMBBREIT (1836-1899)
The human life is of short duration. It goes along quickly as if it would fly away. It is full of labor, work, also full of (unrest?). Where are the ancestors and how suddenly and quickly we follow them. Thank God there is a home where no death is, where no pain of separation is experienced; it's a home of eternal duration. This is also my goal and the goal of my family and may it please the Lord, that we get there all together happily. Amen.
The paternal grandfather, David Umbreit, was born 1772 in the village of Wolfe in the Duchy Sze-Coburg Gotha. He lived and he died in the place of birth in 1820 when he was 48 years old. The grandmother, his life partner, was born in the place in the year 1771 and her name was Martha Katherine. Also she lived and died in the same place, 1830, Feb. llth at the age of 59 and was a widow for 10 years.
This marriage produced 8 children, 3 sons, Abraham, the eldest (who is still living at the present date 1877), Friedrich and Johannes, the second youngest (Johann). This Johannes is my father. And five sisters of which Henrietta, the youngest of the five, is still alive and living in the above named village. Carl Reittermann is her husband. On the mother's side, this grandfather's name was Michael Jacob Wagner, born In the year 1787 in the village of Stutzhausen which is one hours walk south of Wolfes. When he was 24 years of age he moved to Wolfes where he founded his family and he must have been blind for the last half of his life. I have known him for six years and I have often been his guide. He was a very strong man and indefatigulable worker and had a very unhappy marriage -- on this account he many times was nasty and irritable, nevertheless he was magnanimous and especially toward the poor. He visited the church frequently and often I have guided him into the church. He died in February 1848 when he was 61 years old. His sickness was bleeding. The grandmother, his wife, was named Ava Elisabetha, ne Nollkott. (Those Nollkotts came from Steinbach, Rurhessen (?). She also was born in Wolfe in 1784 and was the only daughter and she had a most piteable and unpeaceful later life and the last two years she spent with my parents ... and she died after a long illness in the ninth month of the autumn in 1843. One hopes in peace.
They bore 9 children of which six children have now been alone for a long time, four died when they were very sick; one in the 17th year and another In the 23rd year; the rest are still alive. Our mother is the eldest of the living children. Heinrich Wagner who is still in Wolfe and is supposed to be a rich man, had nine children of which 3 or 4 have died and a number of them are married. Johanna Giesler who lives In Gera, about four hours from Wolfe, her husband's name is Metzer, are also well off and have 9 to 12 children of which part died and part are married.
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NOTE: It seems that one page of the manuscript is missing here.
|The name of my father is Johannes and he was born July 31, 1811 In Wolfes, Dukedom of Heisen, Coburg Gothan, Germany. He was educated in grade school and when nine years old, his father died and when 17 his mother died. So he became an orphan in his 14th year he finished grade school. He went to the village of Keawinckel (?) in order to learn the cobblers' trade. He was an apprentice for three years. Since he was finished with learning and very hungry, he went to Wantorsleben. He worked there as a journeyman. After a short time he went to Ohrdouft where he worked six years with his master. He also served In the Army. Also there he was fortunate and after a short time he became Didnasice (?) to Duke at his summer castle, Reinhardtebrunn (?). Then he should have travelled with the duke about the world but he left and returned to his home and started his own household. He made a masterpiece and became a master shoemaker of Wolfes where he married in his 24th year on the 30th August 1835, Anna Rosina Wagner.|
Mother vas also born at the same place Oct. 28, 1819. She had little schooling. Work was her destiny ever since childhood. She had little care and when 14 she was confirmed (in the old Lutheran belief). The whole country is all old Lutheran. She then went with her father into the trade. Her father deled (?) in butter and vegetables whereby she often had to carry several hundred pounds of goods for 6-10 hours distance and had a hard life especially when her father became blind. When she was 25 years old she married. So we meet them both on Aug. 30, 1835 before the actor. (?)
The home of our parents: She lived the next year with the grandfather, M. J. Wagner. They had a small inheritance consisting of 12 acres of land and $200. He had a little saved and he bought a house and the barn he built. He made good progress in the profession. He obtained journeymen apprentices. This was -about the way his best years were spent. After six years he went back to live with the grandfather after long -and urgent requests. When living with the grandfather he did some farmwork. Music was made during that time and it was one of his regular habits. The kitchen was ordered and built into the house, and there was much commotion but unfortunately not for the better because too many irons were put in the fire. Namely, building, music making, the profession, the female and more farm help, the journeymen, the apprentices, the grandparents, small children, shortly everything went backwards, much work, disquiet, no peace. After 3 1/2 years everything was packed up and they moved into their own home after much money of the resources had been lost along with the best clientele. Then my father wanted to go to America, to northern Texas, but the mother didn't want to go along, so it was postponed. There was much work done in the fields and the profession of music. ... looked after the children especially the older ones had to work hard. So 1853 was approaching.
|In the winter of the above year the desire to sail for America became dominant. As far as I was concerned I had the urge for a long time and also the mother became willing. In any case, one could see a higher hand in the play. So in the spring everything was sold and farewell was taken at 4 a. m. on July 24, 1853. The farewell from house and home, friends and enemies,|
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fatherland and everything, who knows, perhaps forever. The inhabitants of the place all congregated, the bible was read, a sermon was spoken and afterwards step and step were taken, heavy steps. The Uncle H. Wagner and Frederich Reinhart drove us with oxen from the church 3 1/2 hours away to the railroad station of Dietendorf. In the afternoon the last farewell was taken from the closest friends which was the hardest, a loss look and nothing more. The next morning we went by steam to Ehrfurt, Halle, Magdeburg, Braunstewig, Hanover, Bremen from there to Pracke, one the Weser, and after five days delay we were put aboard on a two masted sail boat and we had 125 passengers. In Pracke the small sister Caroline, 5 years old, was badly burnt with boiling soup on the head and neck.
Thus on the 11th of August we were on the boat, 8 heads making up our family. After a rough journey of 49 days we landed finally happily on September 29th during (next line cut off) ...was sick as long as she was aboard ship. We stayed at the inn with the name Treischutz from Saturday night until Monday where some interesting things happened. There (Then) we went by steam boat to Albany, by rail to Buffalo, from there to Detroit, by steamer, thence to Chicago by rail, steam to Milwaukee, the final goal of our journey.
Until then we were cheated and lied to many times by inn keepers and agents and especially by Germans who were trusted by the emigrants. It became so bad that we no longer believed anyone. In Milwaukee we stayed six days in a German inn called Bechtel. Here we recuperated had a good Innkeeper and we looked around with the idea of staying. The journey was so difficult because of the six children the smallest 2 years old, little money -and everything had to be done cheap as possible, travelling in stearage on the boat, at which time we became infested with bugs. One had to travel third class on the railroad in addition to a large amount of packages which had to be carried by hand, each had his bundle. Furthermore, another family travelling with us so far from Ordruf, their children gave us much trouble. In spite of all incidents and accidents, everything went fairly well, perhaps better than with other emigrants. So we came to Milwaukee with $500 in the pocket, we felt at home and in the evening we made music. The father had rented a house, got a job in a shoo factory and so he settled down.
There came, by chance, a countryman from Ohrdorf who had come here four years earlier to Milwaukee with team and wagon. He lived 100 miles west of Milwaukee. These people persuaded our parents to live with them in the country. Our trip companion (G. Winnie, is her brother-in-law) she immediately went with them and finally the parents gave in and they came to the country. This In spite of our special interest to concentrate on the music field and to make our life easy and finding in Milwaukee suitable condition and the opportunities.
Man proposes. God disposes.
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The journey was made by horse and wagon (the railroads didn't go any further west than Milwaukee) it took 2 1/2 days and we got there at 2 p. m., on October 17, 1853, three months less six days on the way. The place where we stopped was the town of Manchester, Green Lake County, Wisconsin (at that time, Marquette) five miles south of the small village of Kingston. But what an arrival, a wilderness, very little tillable land, very few people, poorly constructed log houses. Hardships of all kinds. The mother cried aloud, "This that America? Are those our houses? Our stables at home were much better."
A painful disallusionment went through all of us. We all wanted to return to Milwaukee. During the first night 22 people slept in the living room. This happened to be at Schatz, only little sleeping but not due to the fact that we had to sleep on straw on the floor but the bed bugs wanted to eat us up and it looked to me like an army.
The next day a house was to be sought but the father could find none after several days. Several children went to work for the neighbors gathering fruits of the field. The next day at about 2 o'clock I received the first meal which the mother prepared. The table was a box and the chair was a stump. The menu consisted of potato soup containing only potato water and salt. Because there was nothing to be had even for money. Nothing tasted right. I also worked later on with a farmer and I liked it much better.
|After several days of fruitless hunting
even to within 1/2 hour of Milwaukee, Conrad Weisel took
us in for two weeks. My father started to make shoes
again until a few days later a certain G. Rapp offered to
sell his farm consisting of 82 acres of land and pasture
and a log house. I persuaded the father and he bought it
for $600 of which he paid only $400 and owed $200. He
bought a cow for $30 and a pair of oxen for $60 bit he
could only pay $20 on the bulls because that was all he
The Lord blessed our work. We grown children worked for hire, the father made shoes and everything was progressing with much work and hard-ship. Fifteen acres of the farm were fertile, otherwise the land was full of stones.
Everything was cleared and other things were done. The many stone walls were proof of the heavy work which was my lot as the oldest because the father remained home sitting on the cobbler' s stool as long as I was at home.
The first winter, I worked 5 months with one of our neighbors, Pete Brockwitz. I got $2 per month. My sister Henrietta, also worked for $1 per month. So then everyone worked hard to make the farm profitable, all levers were pushed, A went slow bit sure. After a few repairs were made on the old log house, some additions were made and in 1858 a now stone house 27 x 38 was built which is still standing and cost much sweat. At that time, I learned something of carpentry, stone cutting and masonry. Four years later, the father built a barn and stable which were enlarged later on by additions. The father also bought more land, namely 160 acres and had nice gardens, vine-
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yard and everything was well taken care of so that our parents could look forward to a comfortable evening of the life.
There were 11, I say so, of which 4 died. The series: I as first was born on Feb. 6, 1836 under very trying times. The father then laid in bed close to death from nerve fever, yes, once he lay for 8 hours as if dead, the mother had a hard time for three days at which time she was close to death. The doctors had to come to help until the birth was effected (?) (although the wrong way). After two weeks were over, I was christened, as was the custom and after my father and mother were out of danger and could go to church where I received the name, Traugott, also a historical meaning. Henrietta was born September 24, 1837. Franz was born Dec. 10, 1838. He lived to be six years and 2 months, was a strong boy and fell in the autumn from a pile of straw, struck his head, received a big gash, which later healed. The following winter he fell sick of a brain inflammation and died. I loved him dearly. Heinrich Emil was born Jan. 14, 1860; August Herman was born March 20, 1841 but died after five weeks from cramps. Johann Christian was born April 26, 1842 Emma Ammande was born June 27, 1844 and died in December 1846 due to a spine inflammation when she was 2 1/2 years old; Friedrich Herman was born October 25 (or 26) 1846 and died at the beginning of August 1852 due to spine or brain inflammation (5 years, 10 months old); Adolphine (Adolfine) Caroline was born August 19, 1848.
Friedrich Wilhelm was born April 19, 1851. All the above were born in Wolfes, Duchy of Sze, Coburg, Gotha. Philip was born April 22, 1854 in the town of Manchester, Green Lake County, Wisconsin, USA. Of our 11, 7 are still alive at the present time (1877) all have their own families. All went to America at the same time in 1853 but have partly scattered. The school education of the older children was usual and with the younger one it was deficient due to the circumstances.
In 1857, the oldest sister, Henrietta, was married (when she was 21 years of age) Her husband' a name was Wilhelm Sauer. She was not very happy. She was well off with earthly goods, but was poor in spiritual blessings because her husband was a bitter adversary (atheist). These marriage was blessed so far with 10 living children, all living in the county seat of Columbia County, Wisconsin.
I married on March 1. 1860 and about that a little later.
Heinrich Emil was married in the beginning of November 1860 when he was 21 years old, this wife was Sophie Blockwitz, a grandchild of Peter Blockwitz. They live very happily in the town of Manchester, Green Lake Co Wisconsin. Their marriage is so far blessed with 9 children of which 6 are alive and 3 died when young. He owns a good property at the same place.
Christian married Feb. 5, 1865 when he was 23 years old. His wife was a daughter of Jacob Blockwitz, a neighbor of fathers; she was the youngest daughter of the family. This married was based upon funny circumstances (Her parents did not wish this to occur, solely out of mischief be-cause of religious reasons.) She was married in Mazomanie by August Hunter in my apartment where I lived at the time. They are living so far happily and
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made progress in the acquisition of worldly goods and have three children. They are living in the town of Randolph, Columbia County, Wisconsin.
Adolphine Karoline (stet) married on April 12, 1868 when she was 20. Her husband is Andreas Betz. They so far live happily together but they have not acquired many earthly things because of laziness. They live with the parents in Manchester. (NOTE: This is our direct ancestor!)
Wilhelm married Dec. 5, 1872 when he was 21. His choice is the daughter of the well-known August Kaufmann of Louistown. Marie Kaufmann. So far as can be judged both are living happily and are on the say to becoming well fixed. To date they have had five children of which 2 died and have been living in Empire County, Iowa.
All those families are farmers.
Philipp married on Feb. 8, 1876 when he was 22 years old. His wife's name was Clary St. John, the only daughter of an Englishman living in Columbia County, Wisconsin. He also lives there and is a dealer. They have one son.
I saw the light of day on the sixth of February in Wolfes as I said before. I spent my years (from 1 to 7) partly with my parents and with my Wagner grandparents where I guided my blind grandfather as a 3 year old boy. In my fifth year, an accident happened to me which could easily have caused my death. One summer Sunday afternoon about 6 o'clock, I went to a bowling alley located two doors from grandfather' a house and I placed myself close to the alley about 4 paces from the place where the balls are thrown. There a young man of 27 years threw a ball with full force but held it tight in his hand so that it hit the back of my head. Everything disappears and I fall down like dead. Many believe I am dead. I was carried home, vomitted greatly and I fell into a very deep sleep. They got cold water and applied it to it which was very good. The doctor was summoned right away from Krawinkel, who declared my condition was very dangerous. I kept sleeping until noon the next day and as I came to I did not remember anything. I felt well until they shoed me the hole in the head and A was the general opinion that you could have put a cup in it. In a few days I was again recovered, The Lord's strong arm had protected me: So I will that he remains, etc.
In the winter of my seventh years there was scarlet fever and measles. I got the measles badly and my life was in danger. Seventeen of my classmates died from the fever, I recovered through the Lord' s favor.
Almost at the same time when I was 7 years old, I went to school. I started with music and a little later I started to learn the cobbler's profession. The director of the school was only a minor affair, our teachers were of the old kind and had too many pupils. I was the second or third best in my class until I was confirmed. I took music seriously and I used some of the evening hours. The first instrument was the violin, later the fendenlhorn (?) and bass. I started to play in public in my 12th year and for three years with a regular corps (from 14 to 16 years old) almost no Sunday at home from one affair to another.
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In my ninth year our Kantor taught me how to sing and from then on I was a singer in the church choir. I also sang at funerals. I prosecuted the profession assiduously and I was made a journeyman in my 13th year by the build at Krawinkel where they concregated.
Besides those activities I had chores in the field (to guide the cows, make hay, cut wood, digging, chopping, etc.) in my 13th year. I plowed a large field winter wheat for ourselves and for others. The father was lame. I had to thresh with a flail and push the wheelbarrow.
I am not aware of any youthful play only work of all kind from early morning on. When I was a small boy ... 6 years old... I was taught a small trade by my grandfather. I sold grass for him and bought eggs and butter and I got a percentage. This trade was to my liking. Later on I had to do the same trading for my father, delivering shoes, collecting money and that I had to do on Sunday many times walking three or four hours in the forest of Thuringia, Louisenthal, Stutzhausen and Schwarzwald.
I was otherwise healthy and strong in spite of the fact that I had many headaches since youth but only small attention was paid to it. I was the largest among my classmates and when we graduated at 14 years I was almost the smallest and I remained that way until I was 19 years old at which time I budded out. Without doubt, the overwork, etc., retarded my growth. I was the oldest of a very poor family and so it remained until we emigrated.
The youth disappeared rapidly. I was exposed to great dangers in every sense of the word and I came in contact with bad company, knew high and low class people and I neither heard nor saw many good things the Lord's strong arm protected. When I reached the 17th years, the time of emigration approached and A suited me very much because for a long time I had a similar intention. In our village there was no future to make a living without worrying as to where the food might come from. If I wanted to become a master cobbler I would have to wander. The military service was also repugnant and so I was ready to go to America.
I shared the hand of farewell with many of my friends and comrades almost without tears. I was walking behind the coffins of my sisters and brother of which four are buried in the old churchyard. Those I will see again in heaven.
I was always ready to leave. Father and mother were overcome by regret but I was not. Move forward was my desire, come what may. There were storms and dangers of all kinds and all obstacles were overcome. America was the goal. Why only the Lord knows.
Also I arrived happily and life went on in the same way as in the fatherland; work, work, work in the field, in the virgin forest, prosecuted the profession, made music here and there at a so called ball in log houses, worked as a day laborer, worked by the month, worked on a threshing machine, briefly, I did anything to make money and where work was to be
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done, I was at hand, opportunities were plentiful, forward it went. I was possessed by a deep desire for money, for an estate in order that I might amount to something; no on the contrary, because I know they had hard going to support themselves and their children. I undertook everything which came along and as I remained in the parental house until I was 25 years old, I did not want to marry earlier or until I had some prospect of the ability to support a wife. Hard work was done (repairs were made on the stone house, It was reroofed, and the many stone walls were made, clearing the land and many koubzen. In addition, I had to drive oxen and walk some miserable trips by foot to Portage, 22 miles away, with a roll of leather on my back and then j journey home again, all that lies behind me.
When I was 20 years old, after I finished the job at my fathers In the autumn of 1856, I went to a rich prarie farmer and husked corn at the rate of every 6th and 7th bushel until I had earned 130 bushels, the father let me have that for my own. I sold it late and bought a 2 year old ox for $40. This was my first property. In the following autumn I did the same thing so that I could buy the second ox, both amounted to little as draft animals later on.
When I was 20 years old in 1857, 1 attempted to do something. I rented 20 acres of land 2 1/2 miles from home from a Welsh man for 1/3 of crop. The father advanced the said money which I returned later on. The crop amounted to 300 bushels of what, 1 100 I gave for rent, $30 for seed and I had seed for the coming year. So I had some left over which amounted to something over 100#(bushels). I worked together using father's horses and wagons doing his and then my work. Wheat brought 85 (lintz) per bushel.
In the coming year, 1858, I rented 30 acres from Katscher Williams 1/2 mile further away. We again worked as before. (At that time, everything was made by contract and naturally I was the contractor. Between 3 and 5 acres were plowed each day. I had 20 acres of what which were completely bad. It was a big as caraway. I got 110 bushels for my part, I couldn't sell anything. I got 10 acres of oats which was cheat but good. My money from the previous year was gone before everything was paid for.
In that autumn I rented 40 additional acres of new land for 1/2 the crop from Joen Rabrits. I exchanged the oxen which couldn't be broken in for a pair of horses, adding $120. I paid $20 down and he got $100 at 10% for six months from Johann Tischer. I also acquired a plow.
I saved for an additional month to pay for a threshing machine which was owned by Peter P. Jacob Blockwitz and H. Burman. I worked for a whole month for $24. This machine was ruined at the first trial. She went through a large stone, mainspring was broken and bent and it would not work. It must have been punishment for working Sundays because this machine was tried for the first time on Sunday. Monday it was broken.
The crop in 1859 was extremely rich about 30 bushels per acre. We still worked together. I hired a man for a month. Wisner, a tailore who was a great kidder (clown). He started by promising much pleasure, the poor tailor was _______. but we had a lot of fun on the praried at Conrad Werner's where we settled. We made no progress with the communal work, the father
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became dissatisfied. The rich crop was harvested and I had 10 acres of very good oats.
I bought the share of Heinrich Burman and was a partner of Peter and Jacob Blockwitz. The machine was repaired again and much threshing was done. I hired very to spare until my part had been worked for I received $1 1200 bushels of excellent wheat and plenty of oats. I sold everything and paid the debts of which I had plenty. The $100 debt for the horses. I left for a whole year and had to pay 40% interest for the last half of the year. I also got a wagon and other farm tools for $75. But there was enough wheat and the price was poor. (The price was 63 to 67 cents per bushel) and I sold everything. Now I had no debts. I was now a regular farmer and I again rented the land with some addition, a total of 60 acres. All that was plowed in the fall and winter came.
The Werners could not do a great deal for me anymore although they did as much as they could. They were poor. Mrs. Werner was lame. The house was in poor condition. The stable was made of straw. So A couldn't go on longer. The mother could no longer work, what now? You have to marry. I was 24 years old, a house was on my farm and so I took the necessary steps to marry. On March 1, 1860 1 married Katharine Blockwitz. Mathias Haural, an Evangelical minister, was the minister and married us. A was an impressive holy hour.
After the marriage ceremony, a band of 60 men came. They ate and drank much until all were full. On March 4, Sunday wedding occurred. The meal was well prepared but the guests weren't worth it. They all ate and drank like beasts and when they were full, they quarrelled and fought with each other. A nice friendship.
My wife was known as a very industrious farm girl who knew how to cook, bake, wash, saw, milk cows, chop wood, dig, bind, briefly she could adapt herself to anything. That is the way I knew her. It must have been God's guidance and will that we married. Everything was wonderful.
She was the second youngest daughter of Jacob and Katharine Blockwitz who as farmers lived close to my parents. She was born in the south of Germany in the village of Zweibrucken, Rheinplaitzon, April 6. 1839. When she was a girl six years old (1843) she came to America with her mother and sisters to her father who had come over 5 years earlier. He settled close to Zingsing about 30 miles from New York on the North River. They remained there for five years and went to Wisconsin to the town of Manchester and settled down on a farm. She was then 11 years old.
Her education was rather questionable because her father was a poor day worker and because he was a lover of rum and paid little attention to her education. The mother was Industrious and because of the many children many things were neglected. She was always forced to work hard and that was good. She loved school but in spite of her talents she had little opportunity to get a good education. Her religious education was normal. She always had to rely upon herself.
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The father, Jacob Blockwitz, was born close to Zweibrucken in the year 1800. He has some sisters and brothers there. His ancestors came from Poland. The mother was also born in Zweibrucken on Feb. 10, 1802. Her maiden name was Rein and she had a number of sisters and brothers of which several are alive. They married Feb. 10, 1825 and are still alive at the present time. Their marriage was very happy and was blessed by 8 children.
In the year 1840 the father left and went to God-blessed country, America, in order that he give a better life to his own. About five years later, after he had sent several dollars, he sent for his family to come to Zingsing, 35 miles from New York on the North River. After another five years they saved enough to settle in the West, so in the year 1850 they came to Wisconsin when they bought some land for themselves and their children.
There were 8 sisters and brothers. Seven were born in Germany and one here, six girls and 2 boys. One daughter died when young. The oldest was called Phillipine and she married Phillip Kumbach, they had 7 live and 3 dead children and six grandchildren. They live in the town of Randolph in Columbia County.
Magdalena Nonberg, nee Burmann, first married H. Burman with whom she lived very happily for 16 years and they had 8 children of which one died. In 1864 her husband died and she remained a widow for six years and then she married Andreas Nonberg, a widower with 7 children, with whom she had one child. They live In Manchester, Green Lake County.
Peter married Elizabetha Sauer, they had 7 children, live In good circumstances in the same town.
Adam married twice. First Wilhelmina Burbac with whom he had five children and she died. His second marriage was with Sophia Keller and they have now 2 children and live in Randolph.
Eva married Jacob Scharf and had 10 children, 9 alive. Eva died in January 1875.
Katherine my wife:
The youngest was Louisa who married my bother Christian, as I have already mentioned. These are her relatives. Now we are married and were in heaven. After I had obtained everything necessary for the house, all my money was gone.
On March 19, 1860 we went into the country pack on back to a small farm house. It was early in the spring and the sowing was done early and I received a large crop. During the summer I had little do so I cut wood for fall. I also plowed some prarie together with a Welchman.
Here I want to mention how hard I had to work when I sowed the last wheat. I sowed 14 acres by hand and drag harrowed, by evening I was dead tired. The time of harvest came and I had to take 2 men at $1.50 each per day in order to get the rich crop in. The wife helped with it immensely.
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The brothers-in-law Peter Blockwitz also helpted to stack it. I had 15 stacks of wheat and 2 of oats.
We started to thresh. I had the threshing machine together with my father-in-law in Cozanni. The brother-in-law Peter worked for him. We hired Jacob Sauer by the month. He was an extraordinary lummox who broke everything. After three weeks threshing the _______ was in pieces and we had to order another for which we waited another 3 weeks. Then the threshing was again continued until December. We sent Jacob home because we wanted a man with more sense.
The threshing was a terrible time, haggling and rankling almost every day, the brother-in-law Peter was a inhumane, he cussed all day long without equal and many times I was involved and how many times did I wish it would stop. Finally, we gathered the crop from Nov. 10 to 16 and everything was fine. We got 1600 bushels of wheat and 400 bushells of oats, my part was half of it.
The rental arrangement was not exactly to my liking so I bought a small farm from C. Roberts for $1, 000. The farm consisted of 80 acres, I mile south of my fathers farm. There was no house, no well no fences. Eighteen acres were tillable, in general, it was a good piece of land. So I bought it paying $400 until March 1. 1861 for the balance of the $600 1 took a mortgage for 10%.
|I had to move this fall in order to vacate for the next tenant. I moved all my things including cattle to my fathers and we lived in the upper room. My cattle consisted of 2 horses, 2 colts, 2 cows, 2 calves and 2 pigs. During the winter I sold my wheat which was the best I ever planted, the price I received was low and I sold the wheat at 68 to 73 cents per bushel. Now I made the preparation for my land. I acquired lumber and got a carpenter who helped me for 12 days. His name was Boosack. The house was built in March 1861 and cost was $100 at that time. All other things I made by myself, simple In order to stay within my means. I hired a young man named Emil Melcher, for three months who was supposed to do the plowing and other chores. I gave him $8 per month. The first thing I did on my farm was to fell a black oak and almost before I started the first blow, I fell on my knees and asked the Lords blessing.|
When we lived with my father, my young son was given to us by the Lord at 5 a.m. on Jan. 7, 1861. It was a difficult and hard birth, but the Lord helped. He was christened on Feb. 23, 1861 by Mathias Haurot and was named Christian August.
In April 1861 we moved into the little house which was not quite finished. We worked extremely hard that summer, making fences. etc. The clearing of 12 acres off land was particularly hard because young trees had to be cut and dug out, stone had to be cracked and moved away, all this done until July. With God's help, I finished that and I had to pay $4.50 per acre to clear it. The work was done by Americans and they did a very poor job because they left all the stumps.
In general, the harvest was small. I got 200 bushels of wheat, 102
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of oats, and 180 of corn. We did all our work alone and also got a little fruit. Now we ought to pay our bills but we had so little income. Wheat this year brought 75 to 80 cents per bushel. It was hard to pay the interest and nothing could be done. I had to commit myself to more debt. There was much hard work to be done this fail. The house had to be finished, part of the stable had to be built and also a fruit house. The Lord gave me health and so everything progressed. During the winter, I made several farm tools, like a harrow, roller, sled, shoe tree for myself and others which brought me some money though not much.
And so 1862 arrived and much work was to be done as usual, especially further clearing of the 12 acres of land. Again I had to make many fences to enclose the cattle. Nine additional acres were made, tillable and that job was very good. The hay for the cattle grew half the hay for the cattle and the rest I got as far away as 10 miles.
The father bought a reaper, which was the first in the neighborhood so we gathered our crops together. We reaped for others as well and other things we did by ourselves so that no money had to be spent. The harvest was only medium. I got 400 bushels of wheat, 200 bushels of oats and hardly 100 bushels of corn because most of it froze in the summer. I was deep in debt as you can imagine. The Civil War had started in 1861 and now it became more pressing. But we had to sacrifice to pay for soldiers so that we did not have to go ourselves. The price of wheat rose to $1 and more from previous level of 81 cents to $1. 10. That was the first time since coming here, every-thing possible was sold on the market. I also sold as much as I could and straightened out debts especially the pressing ones.
On October 15, 1862 a small daughter was born to us who was later christened and named Emma. Under the present circumstances I could not afford a dairy maid and so we lived as well as possible. The beginning of November, I sold my old horses to my brother-in-law Kumbach for $110 and a pair of oxen with whom I had been fooled a great deal because they were unmanageable. I had them for a year and then sold them for $60. I also had two colts which became 3 to 4 years old next spring. That was a poor span but it had to do.
And so the spring of 1863 arrived. There was no lack of work because I had no team and wagon and had to clear more land. During that summer I continued to clear land only a few acres by myself alone. We again harvested with my aprents and father gathered my crops. The results were very good, I had 781 bushels of wheat, 184 bushels of oats, and 450 bushels of corn. The prices were also fairly high ... $.98 to $1.07 per bushel. I worked hard and long hours so that I reduced the debts to $200. How glad I was to again get rid of my debts because interest was disagreeable to me and without going into debt I world have been unable to do any-thing if I had not taken this chance.
In the fall I did a very dumb thing: the oldest of my colts sometimes did not want to pull the wagon. I must confess, I spoiled it some myself. Then I got the idea to get rid of it and although I knew that this man was a good for nothing, I never the less I swapped my horse for one of
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his large blacks. And now I was fooled because this one would not even pull an empty wagon. After several days of anger I sold that damned beast for $50 and then I bought a good horse for $125 thereby increasing my debt by $75.
The winter was very hard and cold and extremely severe. The coldest winter I ever lived thru, the snow was 5 feet deep in some places. I worked as usual and made shoes for my self and my family during the winter.
We got an orphan this spring by the name of Amelia Kruger. Her parents were killed by the indians in the fall of 1862 in Minnesota where hundreds of families were massacred. The girl was 11 years old and thru her experience many disagreeable things on her account but we kept her because of the dreadful circumstances.
And so 1864 arrived, cold, stormy. In February my children complained of pains In their throats and soon ft was diagnosed as diptheria as we feared, which took so many children's lives. It was a rather unknown throat disease. The orphan was recooperating fairly so the wife was also sick but not so serious, but Augsist (?) was very bad and close to death.
August was sick for 8 weeks and the small girl, Emma, was also became sick and suffered terribly for eight days, the poor child. I went for doctors, wherever I could find them but there was no help. After terrible suffering she died on Feb. 12, 1864 after a sickness of slightly over two weeks. At that time August was already better but soon he became worse until one Sunday he was close to death. That made an enormous impression upon me and I went into seclusion to look for the great doctor of the soul. I promised to be obedient to the Lord's laws and from that hour on he became better. During that spring, I worked in the field as usual but I didn't feel so well myself possibly due to the sicknesses at home.
I caught a cold in my stomach and dispepsia resulted from it. I suffered much and in addition to that I had a tape worm so that I was completely without strength. I used all kinds of medicines without success until I put myself on a strict diet and that with a special medicine cured me. I got rid of the pains in my stomach and the tape worm, thank God.
After the field was plowed, fences and house repaired some acres were cleared with difficulty. The crop was not very large. I had 8 acres of clover which gave a good crop. We had 434 bushels, oats l25 and corn 4OO bushels. A good price was obtainable. $1.40 to $1.60 also $1.32 to $1.77. I had quite a few beasts, the pigs brought a very high price and I sold everything.
I disposed of all my debts and gave up farming. I rented my farm to my brother Christian. I have him a horse, wagon, harrow, plough etc. also part of the cattle. I retained a horse personally and got a buggy for $125. 1 bought some clothes and still had some pocket money left. The reason for all that was my religious life. I haven't spoken about it so far but now I will go into detail.
Wonderful are the Lord's ways. In my youth I received the usual education and in my 14th year I was confirmed and was second from the top of the class. At that time, I was not aware of a special religious urge or awakening. I
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showed a rather rough exterior and so it remained until we came to this country when on the second Sunday, after our arrival here, I was told that a missionary would talk in the church. We went there and everything appeared new to me. Briefly I looked at it outwardly. The second time it was clear to me. Many times in Germany I had been thinking or wondering if we weren't misled, that we all have to go to heaven regardless of our life on earth. But after the second preaching, it became clear to me that in order to become holy, you must live a holy life.
I said to my colleague, if that isn't so we would get to heaven. So gradually I came to the conclusion and Johann also agreed that it was necessary to convert oneself and the biggest impetus to it was Brother Stegner, a country man. So seven years passed and during those years I was thoroughly convinced of my conviction but I disliked to go out as a young bachelor. Nobody in this section of the country converts people. I had nothing to hold to, so the devil wanted to convince me that I could not do it. In spite of that, the whole matter became fogged and I lived in sin through All the hours of the day knowing that I would be lost after my death. There were some sorrowful hours during the day and night; yes some hard battles without prayer. Finally, I decided that I would convert myself as soon as I had married.
In 1860, at the beginning of February, my father attended the dedication of a church and after a poor man who lived 6 miles away had taken my father and C. Werner by horse and wagon, both were enlightened and through the Lord's benevolence converted. They were the first in this section. I had spoken many times to C. Werner about being converted and now it was the other way around. In March, I married, my wife was converted when 9 years old in a Sunday school near New York by a God fearing woman. But, unfortunately later she cooled off leaving a good foundation. Although her parents were not only not God-fearing but they were against everything holy especially conversion. Nevertheless she desired to live another life because she was enlightened the same as I, as will be shown later. The first summer we lived through many bitter hours full of anxiety and accusations. Sometimes we went to prayer meeting where we were greatly shaken. Shortly the Lord influenced us greatly. And so life passed until the winter when we both lived with father. At the beginning of February there was a meeting in my father's home which lasted several days. These dears worked for us, prayed for us, but nothing made any Impression upon me. In the last evening, Monday, Brother 10. Hauert gave an invitation which was also accepted by my mother-in-law, but she was only a hindrance. I withstood that invitation and pretended to be cold and without feeling, as I was. As soon as I left, the inner battled started. After 3 hours of praying and weeping, It seemed to be that it was too late. My wife was need of penance but her mother wanted to prevent her so she went home full of anger. I was not convinced that the Lord had taken me in although I was very quiet and content. Because I wanted to have a good reason for it, I stood my ground and the prayed meeting was ended. Now I was seized by a strong desire that the meeting should last longer. Two weeks later there was another meeting at Narywater (?) when the time arrived an immense battle raged in me.
Finally I was the victor and I decided to go. The father and their maid went along. Because the road was so bad the father wanted to return home, but
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I decided to go on at any cost and finally we arrived there. I neither ate nor drank after my arrival, but went directly to the hall which had formerly been a dance hall. There I sat down with the wish that my conversion should occur. Brother Hauert prayed for a long time after the services were finished and I fell on my knees with a sincere decision not to rise until I was blessed. The congregation assisted with song and prayer. Finally Brother E. Schulz also encouraged me and confirmed me in my belief. My faith in the Lord was strengthened and I can not forget even yet the peace and deep joy which has come over me. Everything appeared anew: the sun, the earth, praise the Lord. This happened on the 23rd of February, 1861. As a new man I went home, but my wife was full of sorrow and she should have done more and more penance. I made her parents swear that they would not give up their faith. Next Sunday there was a prayer meeting at my fathers. The whole family prayed and I continued with the family prayer the following morning when I came home I noticed an inward resistance but the Lord helped me to win. And so 17 days went by with my wife suffering deep anguish. Then Sunday came and Brother Schulz prayed that afternoon. In inquired if there were other prayer meetings and I was told that there would be another one at my fathers. Brother Schulz carried on the prayer and the power of God descended. There was singing and crying by those who were seeking help. It was a memorable day. Mother Lintner was overcome and my wife was overcome after a hard battle she almost flew around in the air. There was strong cries of joy in the congregation and only those who were not convinced were deeply wounded, a memorable evening, March 10, 1861.
Now the persecution started and the worst behavior was by my wife's friends, cussing, cursing, Shortly every misdeed was presented to us, many times with a wooden stick but we kept on praying and in spite of those threatening actions, our small group grew and we were more And more confirmed by this persecution. My wife's mother formally estranged herself. She didn't want to be called mother, spit at both of us and did not pass our thresh hold for two years. A brother-in-law, Adam, called upon us one day and for three hours tried to convince me of my stupidity. The net affect was just the opposite. Finally, because he couldn't turn me, he started to cuss and say bad things about us, but I thanked him for it and I was willing to suffer pains for Christ's sake. Then he quickly departed and that was the last we saw of him. In spite of all adverse conditions, God's work progressed.
The first class consisted of 8 families, Gottz, Fritz (both families lived closed to Marquette) Freitag (near Manchester) Fischer (near Kingston), Lintners (near Randolph). The father and I and the Werners (three miles in the prairie, also 18 miles from one another) only seldom was one absent. At 10 in the morning everyone was here if not by horse and buggy, then by foot or by ox and wagon. Gottz was class leader, father was admonisher. It was usual to hive visitors to our meeting who either came for penance or they ran off. Here is a case, we once had a prayer meeting at a certain Brother Arnt's. The Lord was with us, a Catholic family visited us to make penance, a neighbor was also here. This man became so excited and full of fear that he dashed out and ran away. Although he lived along half a mile away, he was so excited that he could not find his place until about 4 in the morning and then he came to his home half dead thinking he was obsessed by the devil. And so we battled to victory, one family after another was won like S. Burmanns, Hans Pott, Ruho, Jungers and Arntz. The class was spit in the fall of 1861 when father became class leader
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and Werner admonisher.
My first visit to an Evangelical church occurred when I visited Brother Borsack in March 1861. People thought at first that I was the new preacher as I entered and I thought I was entering the Lord's kingdom. What feelings I Brother Singer came and preached his first sermon. Then I had a feeling that I knew a little about it.
My father's house was the center of the preaching where lengthy congregations were held. Prayer meetings were also held in the blue school house. The neighbors started to miss our prayer meetings. They were influenced at the time by a Lutheran preacher who inspired them to prosecute us. This human being had done many bad things. He did especially bad things to our family and to the brother and husband of the sister. Brother Zukrouk was our preacher and he organized a congregation for Sept. 13th. Only 7 tents (?) were required, only one soul was won. She is now in heaven. The visits of strangers was large and the impression made on them was rather strong so that after the meeting heated arguments took place. One person got fed up with the whole thing, namely the sister-in-law Burmann. She was at that time adversary without limit. I had to suffer much from this woman. I wanted to kill her. Out of her mouth came strong words. Once she said she wanted to see God who brought her all her trouble. At another time she wanted to cut her throat rather than be converted. But something must have happened to her secretly because she later came to our prayer meetings. She was fully converted next summer at our congregation at Maeahm where she laid on her knees and face and did penance. Before the people.
We attended a congregation at Maeahn, our first one, and it remained unforgetably in our minds. There were 32 tents, a nice city. The power of The Lord was so great that there was incessant singing, praying, laughter and crying day and night. Here Father Lintner was converter. Forty persons were converted of which many are now dead.
Here I want to again mention how wonderfully God guided us. When we came to America it was out desire to accumulate earthly goods the easy way. We wanted to particularly make music the field of our endeavor. When we came to Milwaukee all doors were open to us but the Lord wanted it differently. We went out into the wilderness and in spite of it we still had the desire to make our livelihood by means of music. We worked and made music as long as there was any demand but the pay was very poor. We often made plans to increase our income so we arranged a ball on July 4, 1856. There were many bleeding heads but little money. After everything had cooled down we again planned a Sunday entertainment at which time we would play for a dance. We planned to have a dancehall back of the house, a bar and a bowling alley just at the time we had the first congregation. We also planned to play every Sunday and make money but nothing came of it although nothing was in our way except __________. When the house was being built we planned to have another ball at least for until the house was paid for but the Lord also prevented that. As soon as the roof was on the house Brother Stegner came to us and asked the father when we would have our first dance. But because the house was not finished and ready for a ball by the 4th of July, the father made believe he was a God-fearing man saying that no ball would be held at all. He would rather have a prayer meeting or congregation.
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So Brother Stegner and took him at his word and ordered a congregation for November 3, 1858. So it happened that everything went contrary to our wishes especially those of mother and so the time came when the congregation was to be held. For the first time I went on my knees to receive the holy communion as so the flower of darkness died away and that house became the birthplace of many sins that finally became God's place from which the Lord's blessings came in multitude for us.
The place where the dance and bowling alley were to have been became the place where many sinners were converted.
The Lord made the judgment of the sinners to naught and everything turned out for the best. Halleluhah to God. Although the music was the greatest tie, nevertheless, finally we overcame this desire. The band broke and we were free of all desire. Praise to the Lord.
During this year I had clerical office. We organized a Sunday School and I was elected president of it and although I was very inexpierienced and had no advice, my heart was full of fire. In the spring, we attended the congregation at Meeahn and in the fall we had a congregation on my father's land. Brother G. Schafer was our preacher and F. W. Kaugmann trial preacher and H. Schnacke congregation admonisher. We had nine tents and it was a congregation really blessed: 111 persons converted and 12 went along but the devil opposed. But we went along in the name of God because our first purpose was to take care of our members in spite of the fact that everything looked dark and hopeless. Usually we won in the name of God.
Christmas eve of 1863 was celebrated at my Father's, the presence of the Lord was strongly felt. There were two people, a man and wife, making penance, name Ruh. They both battled for a time until finally the man ran out. We kept on praying and soon the man returned and he fell into the room headlong and there was a hot battle going on until shortly before 12, both were blessed. There was enchantment and with singing we went into the new year.
My first prayed meeting was held in October 1862 in a very poor log cabin of Brother Martin. Brother Werner unexpectedly asked me to officiate. The father happened to be in another class. I became scared and had to withdraw alone. The Lord blessed me. I returned into the house and read the first verse of Psalm 4, 8 and 10 in the name of God. The Lord blessed me again and we had a wonderful time. There something happened to me. In 1863 our admonisher, Brother Werner moved to Minnesota with other Brothers, Utzinger and Farywater. The farewell was difficult and took place in the house of Brother Fischer. It was unforgettable. Faith was promised until death. It was May and I was elected as admonisher and I received a second chance which I accepted humbly. My incompetence and poverty made me adhere to the cross more and more. In the spring we visited the congregation at Maeahm and in September we held our own. Brother Schelp was our preacher, Schnacke was our admonisher as usual. It was a large victorious congregation, many strange people visited us, the battle was hard and great was the ridicule. During this congregation, my brother Heinrich and wife were converted, Christian was converted the year before during a congregation as was Phillipp. The joy was great because the devil had made agreement with them by way of grandfather, P. Blockwitz
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namely, that they would be without any inheritance if they intended to be converted or receive $1,000 if they would not do such a thing. The Godless priest, Dielmann, preached that way but it did no good. They were converted and so we celebrated one victory after another, thank God. During the winter, we had a very much blessed congregation. The class was getting considerably smaller. The people of Marquette formed a community and also those of Randolph, we remained between them.
In this year, I read the bible from cover to cover for the first time; so came a hard winter followed by a wonderful summer.
The inner desire became stronger the longer I waited, nothing would help. I could find no peace and many times in the field, the inner call would say, "Go. where I will send you. " I was confronted by mountains of difficulties, namely the lack of intelligence, lack of schooling, lack of knowledge of preaching and lack of knowledge of the language in addition to that we had just settled down on the farm with much sweat. My wife sensed pretty well what was going on and asked me not to give in so easily. There were heated arguments the churched called but also the fields needed attention so I was undecided for a long time until the Lord decided differently and took one of our children.
Through that, our decision became apparent and we held on to our decision to submit completely to God's will.
The conference took place In Lomira and I went there Saturdays and remained until Mondays. The impression which I got was very good. I considered the man of God as special saints. During this conference, our class of Fox River was abolished and a Portage mission was founded. Our new admonisher was A. Hulser.
The last and best congregation was held on my father's land in June. We had 12 tents. Brother 0. Ragotz was our preacher. It was a real God's feat. Two girls were converted before the tents were completely up, both prayed intenseively and God blessed them. One was Varia Kaufman, the other Yarin Brown. The congregation was opened victoriously. There were also debts before the congregation met. Brother-in-law Burman died the week before. I prayed a little but the preaching was done by Brother Scheibe, that was Saturday morning. Brother H. Port brought his oldest girl which was 2 1/2 years old. The girl burnt her foot insignificantly but died latter on from cramps on Sunday afternoon. Brother A. Hulzer preached the funeral sermon on Tuesday. Some of our friends started some lies and mrade up stories about the whole affair as if we were responsible, etc. During that period, I was elected preacher.
Saturday, June 25, 1864 my election was submitted for approval and accepted. I was now allowed to preach. It was a memorably hour during which many tears flowed and many well wishes given.
I already had attempted to preach, namely on May 29, 1864, but finally did so at Brother Freitag's. In the lovely May I had enough courage to enter a difficult and responsible field. That Sunday I preached twice and also at Brother Gotz. After the congreation, I preached almost every Sunday and helped Brother Rogatz whenever I could.
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Soon we received to order to go ahead from admonisher A. A. H. ''Make ready as soon as possible because in the fall you have to go away." I would rather have remained at home until the next conference. I would rather have helped Brother Schelbe in the Fox Riber district but obedience is better than sacrifice so I tried to be ready for the journey by October. As mentioned before I transferred everything to my brother who was single and remained at home in my house and my wife also remained for a year and cooked for him. On September 23rd, I started for three months in Leistown but it was hard work nevertheless, lot of blessing during this period. My wife was also here. We bought $100 worth of clothes, etc., but were cheated by a Jew.
I was advised by V. A. to go to Dane County and to preach there for three months where arrangements were supposed to have been made for two preachers. I started from home Sept. 9, 1864 and traveled over the Empire Prairie where Leitner's had settled and visited them. Thereafter, 5 miles further, passed Lodi where I met Brother A. Hilse, G. Schwantes and Brother H. Uphof who also were supposed to be accepted as preachers. Schwantes made an angry face and I noticed it. I also begged Brother Hilse to let me go, but nothing came of it. I had to preach evenings and I had to promise to return in six weeks and to assist Brother Schwantes. So I had to come back on Saturday, return home and took another horse, went to Beutlers and preach there Sunday. That was an immense trip.
I was waiting for orders but none came. I wrote to Schwantes but received no answer. On Oct. 22, 1864, I started out as a travelling preacher for several weeks, full of courage in the Lord. In the evening, I went to Brother Lentner but found no orders. I preached there in the morning and to Lodi where I preached in the evening. There were no orders either. Mondays I travelled to Maizomanie where Schwantes resides. He received me very coldly and asked me what I wanted when I asked him for orders, he dismissed me very shortly saying he could not give me any and I ought to go home because the district did not want a second preacher. But the crux of the matter was that he didn't want me and he feared that I expected to get some money which made a very poor impression on me. Soon I had to go back with feeling which I can not describe. Should I go forward or backward? The way home would be unforgettable to me. My history as a preacher, what a battle. At home to be exposed to ridicule. I regretted it 10 times. I decided there and then never to visit Dane County. Brother 0. Ragatz had pity on me and wrote immediately to the head of the congreation. I also had to write, etc.
I worked on quite a few things at home and soon a letter came from the head of the congregation with the order to go to Dane County and await orders there. After long persuasion by Brother Ragatz, I finally decided to go there. A letter from Schwantes also arrived with orders so I started on the journey November 10th. I had to travel over mountains and valleys, through fog, the weather was unpleasant and I again became down-hearted. I finally arrived in Maizomanie but did not find Schwantes there. But I did find orders which were not very clear, possibly intentionally so. So we worked together until New Years when we had a quarterly congregation in Maizomanie. The admonisher got us both together. Brother Shwantes got a good balling out. We made peace and both of us worked together until the conference. I personally received many of God's blessings and there was no absence of mental tribulations. The conditions in the
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district made feel downhearted and I believe this is the most insignificant district. Of course, I had to experience many things of which I was not aware before.
One day in the beginning of December when I went to Madison, there was snow a foot deep. I left the buggy in Madidison and used Brother Schultz sleigh. Towards evening Zuckerbusch where I had to call on a very poor man named Stoppelworth, I arrive there quite late. It was bitter cold. There was no stable or fodder for the horse. The stove was cold, no wood to burn and a very poor supper. Because nobody came I had to remain alone. There was no bed and finally I had to sleep with the old people. Oh what a night. The tempter said to me, "How nice was it at home, your work doesn't amount to anything?" I slept very little, prayed much and I decided to return home the next morning. When it became morning, I first had to go to Brother Messelhausser. There I could feed the horse. I was cordially received. There was a warm oven, etc. This changed my desire to return home and I remained.
On Feb. 2, 1865 a daughter was born to us at a time when I happened to be home. Everything went well and the month went by quickly, fighting and winning until the conference which was held in Menominie Falls.
There were new battles and temptations and I was particularly concerned over my examination because of my dumbness but everything went better than I expected. My order was to be with Brother Fleischer as the head in the Dane County district. That suited me pretty well because my family was still home. My brother was not yet married so my wife could take care of him. With respect to charity I had a principle to give away 1/10th of my income. My colleague Brother Fleischer did pretty well during the second year in the Dane County district. He moved to Mazomanie where Brother Schwantes bought a house. It was located in the middle of an Irish neighborhood. I believe he expected to remain there. Out congregation occurred on Wittes property in Blooming Grove. It was well blessed and only one mishap occurred. On the last evening, Brother Hulstere's new buggy and Brother Hausmann's horse and harness were stolen. We never heard anything more of them. From there we went to Bank where a conference was held. My wife was also there as well as my parents and some of my sisters and brothers with their preacher 0. R. It was a friendly and nice meeting. There were also a dozen preachers there, none of any importance.
So the summer went by quickly when suddenly I received a letter saying Brother Fleicher had moved so now I was alone. I had enough courage and took over his duties. There were 11 additional visitations to be made which I fulfilled regularly every two weeks and so harvest time came with much work. I went home and helped my brother for a few weeks.
At home the ground was broken for a new church. I helped to collect money and if I must say it, I collected the most. I also helped to carry wood. I personally gave $100 to the church. That small class had to make large sacrifices. My father had a great responsibility because 0. R. didn't know anything about building. We kept building until one day before Christmas the church was finished and paid for. It was consecrated. It was a delicious feast. My sister's
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husband was taken on Satan's hands. Thank God for it.
I attended that consecration. Brother Escher was present, after the feast I went home and Henry and Christian brought to us to Mazomanie with the wagon to the preacher' s house.
The farewell was difficult and in the course of the fall, near the end of October, I became seriously ill, suffering from a fever in the nerves of the head.
I became deathly sick in a strange country and no one helped us. Every thing was left to my wife. That was a bitter experience. But the Lord helped in all our needs.