Hackers were giving me fits in the month of May, but I think we’ve righted the ship. Leonard Database is back on line and better than ever!
Real People, Real Stories
Early on in my family history research, I had the impression that my great-great-grandfather was either estranged from his birth family or completely cut off from the civilized world. That impression was based on the lack of evidence that they had communicated or visited one another.
Turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong, as demonstrated by the following letter mailed from Leonard, Iowa (the post office named in Uncle Dan’s honor) to the editor of the Adams County (Iowa) Free Press…
Time flies, and all that crap. And yes, I should’ve thought of a more creative title for “Letters, pt. deux.” Get over it.
When we last spoke, I promised to share a bit of what my g-g-grandfather had to say about his cabin, and the traffic that passed by the front of it. The cabin, as you might’ve guessed, is the very one pictured here, taken from the original painting (done from memory) in 1899.
When was the last time you sent or received a hand-written letter from a friend or relative? “Hand-written” rules out the annual word-processed Christmas “here’s my life in pastel colors” letter. “Letter” rules out the thank you note or get well card, although I can see either of those becoming an heirloom down the line.
No, I mean an honest-to-goodness, pass it around the coffee clatch letter from home? I’m ashamed to admit it’s been years. But a recently discovered letter, mailed in 1889, just might inspire me to write a few of my own. To wit…
In my earliest days of researching my family history, I tried to put myself in my ancestors’ shoes. I wondered what it was like to pack up as many earthly belongings as would fit and LEAVE my family and friends, with a very real possibility I might never see them again.
Worse yet, I wondered what it would be like, given the lack of telephones or even telegraph, to send or receive a long delayed notice that a family member had DIED. Now I know. Ann Frankenburger Nicklas, granddaughter of our common benefactor Jennie Leonard Hutchinson, recently provided us with just such a letter.