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Jun 07

A Letter Concerning a Gravestone

I recently came across this old letter, written to my great-grandfather Ludwig “Louis” J. Schumm (1851-1938). The letter was written on 26 August 1909 and is from C. F. Germann, Wren, Ohio.

1909 letter from C.F. Germann to Louis J. Schumm.

It is a very short note and unfortunately most of it is written in the old Gothic German script. I can read some names, dates, places, and some basic church information that is written in the old script, but reading a letter is beyond my capabilities.

However, since the letter is so short, I tried to enter the letters and words as best as I could into Google Translate on-line.

I did not have much success, but from the few words I could decipher this letter was written to Louis about a check and a tombstone. I cannot read the letter word for word, but I was able to translate a few important words.  

The letter begins,

Schwager Ludwig [Brother-in-law Ludwig]

C.F. Germann (1849-1932) was indeed Louis’ brother-in-law. Germann was married to Louis’ sister Hannah (1853-1926).

I was able to make out the word grabstein/gravestone and mutter/mother. Going by the date the letter was written, it probably had something to do with Louis’ mother’s tombstone.  

Louis’ mother, Barbara (Pflueger) Schumm Buechner, died 13 November 1908 and her family was likely buying her tombstone about that time.

The letter went on–

….one check for $7.22…was all that remained/left over of your mother paid

Perhaps Germann was returning Louis’ over-payment for his share of his mother’s tombstone.

The letter is still in its original envelope, with nice 1909 postmarks from both Willshire and Wren.

27 August 1909 Wren postmark, from C.F. Germann to Louis J. Schumm.

1909 Willshire 1909 postmark, from C.F. Germann to Louis J. Schumm.

Maybe some day I will get the whole letter translated.

Maybe someone out there can translate and read it…

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