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Kehrwecker Family Papers - MS 641
Dearest friend Johann Kehrwecker,
I did not get your letter of March 15th before June 25th, although it had arrived here already on March 21st. We went quite often to the post office, but were told that there was no mail for us. But since we had learned from the newspaper about the arrival of your letter my wife went back again and finally received the letter. You must believe me that I was already very worried not having heard from you for so long. I was afraid that something had happened to you.
You mentioned that you already wrote to me in February, but I never saw a letter. I regret this very much, especially since you asked about the land and that I should answer immediately. I am afraid it might be too late for that now. But I am planning to come to you next year and I hope to be able to bring 100 dollars. I had hoped to be in better shape financially, but our last winter was very cold and one cord of wood cost about 5 dollars. Provisions are very expensive, too. Flour is about 7 dollars. We had also a boarder from Germany, by the name of Goller, who worked with us on the railway. He still owes me 21 dollars, but I do not know if I ever will see the money. Christian Fruh, a hatter who is also from Vaihingen, is interested in coming with me. He has 100 dollars and we would like to buy land together.
Dear friend Kehrwecker, let me know if you think that this is a good idea. In case you think it would not be advisable to come this year, let me know. Would it be better to come by land or by sea? I have not heard anything from Friedrich Knagger. I cannot give you any news, nothing has changed. We are, thank God, healthy. The family is not growing yet.
Best wishes from myself, my wife, and my son.
Christof Friedrich Felger.
Greetings also from Christian Fruh. Stay well, dear friend.
Write soon. You know the address.
John Geo. Kehrwecker
in care of Eahlick
Westfield Post Office
Delaware County, Ohio
Fort Wayne, Oct 29, 1865
I hope you will not have any bad feelings because I have not written to you for some years. But I thought that you are always getting reports about how things are with us here, and we also hear about you.
The reason to write to you this time is to tell you about myself and give you some sad news. I went to Fort Wayne on October 26th to see Ropp, who has a saloon there. He told me that a man had come in and had given him the news that Georg Renz had died on their retreat. They had to march 60 miles for days and nights and were totally exhausted. They rested under a house. Renz was very weak. They called the doctor twice, but he could not help him. Renz had diarrhea and could not keep any food down. The man said he had written to you already about his death.
My family and I are, thank God, healthy, but this summer we too, had fever, except for our youngest child, which is one year old. This summer was very wet, the wheat harvest was not very good. The wheat which you sent me was not very good. I sold 340 bushels of wheat. The price of wheat was not always the same. Barley was good, but potatoes were bad because of the wet summer.
With this I will end my letter. I think if if it is they way I was told, you have to come yourself soon!
My dear friend,
Should you receive this letter in good health, I would be very happy. We are, thank God, healthy. I would have written to you earlier, but there was always something else to do. First I would like you to know that Gottlieb Stahl urged me to tell you that he could not die before seeing you and his old friends one more time. I told him that you are planning to visit here later in the year. But should that not be possible, and God gives me health, we would come to see you. My wife enjoyed our last visit with you very much and tells me over and over again that we should go to Ohio. I really like to do that and Dick would come along, too. After we left you we had lunch at home. Nothing special happened in the meantime. The harvest was good, wheat was excellent. I had 458 bushels of wheat, 378 bushels of barley from 7 1/2 acres. My potatoes are very good, too. From 1/2 acres 120 bushels. Some years back I only had 30 bushels from the same land. Clover is supposed to be good, but I have none. My corn is bad. What the worms did not eat was taken over by quick grass. From the California wheat I put nothing in, because it does not do well here. We get enough rain here. With the hay it is different. The worms ate a lot, I had only very little from 3 acres. I have nothing else to write about to you. About Richter I don't know anything. He has not been here since I saw you last. As far as I know he had 200 bushels of wheat. They are healthy. I am supposed to give you the kindest regards from Stahl. In case he should get to Grott he will talk to him about Roller. With that I will end my letter. Best regards to all the friends.
I greet you and your wife and the children. So long.
Your sincere friend, C.F. Felger.
Write soon about how things are going with you.
I received your letter which you wrote in November. I was sad to learn that you fell into the hands of robbers at Fort Wayne. But I am glad that you are free again with God's help. You also found your family in good health, which makes me very happy.
Now I would like to tell you about the law suit. I think I had written to you about it before. It was thrown out of court. The week after that I had an accident. My wife and I were on our way home when we approached a small hill. As usual the horses started pulling stronger, but I tried to restrain them, when suddenly one rope came loose. I was still holding on fast, when the horses started to move again. It was so sudden that my wife and I fell from the wagon. Nothing happened to my wife, but I sprained my hand badly, because I tried to hold on to the rein as long as possible.
One last thing I would like to let you know about my Christian and Kiechler. They could not settle their problem and I think it is now in court. I am not able to write more about that to you.
Clover seed, 50
I have to stop writing now, my eyes are getting tired. At the end of my letter I wish that it reaches you in good health. Kindest regards from all of us, especially from M. Kratt. Greetings to Renz and Georg Hack and his nephew and to all the others.
I remain your sincere friend,
We have received you letter and are happy to know that you are still healthy. We are thinking with sympathy of Renz's mother and the nephew, and we are wondering who is going to be responsible for the family now. But what I would like to say, we live until we are 70 years old or maybe 80, but then we should be ready when death knocks on our door, which can happen at any time. And then we should go in peace, because we will see each other again in heaven in great happiness.
We thank God that we are still well and healthy. Heinrich Richter's son Georg fell from the walnut tree and broke his leg above the knee, but he is fine again. His wife is always sick, too. But enough of that. I cannot help writing to you about my Christian. He behaved really badly, which I had told you before. He has not changed his bad behavior and it went so far that all his possessions have been sold. I bought his land. He had had this land for 16 years. He always stayed with me, but he was lazy. I had to charge him 50 dollars per year for room and board. Now I am going to keep the land. I have a contract for the land. He is very tame now, but he does not have anything anymore. He is still living with me.
I also would like you to know about the harvest. The weather was so bad that we had a really bad harvest. I had 150 bushels of wheat. The wheat that was good was spoiled by all the rain. We also had high water, and the potatoes and the corn were rotten. I have not potatoes at all and the barley was eaten up by worms. I also had 12 bushels of cotton. Wheat sells for 60 cents to one dollar, potatoes for 15-30 cents, barley for 30 cents, and corn for 45 cents. We also slaughtered pigs. I will come to an end now. So long.
My regards to you, your wife, and your children. I remain sincerely your friend,
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