Voice From the Grave; Sepia Saturday

Travis Ada Blanche and BillRecently, my Aunt sent me a story she transcribed from one my Grandfather wrote for a book called Memories of Elsie 1865-1965.  When I first started to read it, I couldn’t help feeling like I could hear Grandpa talking, perhaps even narrating the whole thing.  It was almost as if I was watching on of those movies where the person reads a letter, but it’s the voice of the letters author you hear.  It was a pretty strange feeling, because I have not heard my Grandfathers voice since 1987 when I shipped out to Germany.  

Within this book, that I did find on line,  I learned all kinds of things about both side of my Grandparents family.  It has been pretty exciting, and led to additional discoveries that I’m still scouring for information.  I have to say that this genealogy bug has one hell of a bite, when it finally gets you.  I just can’t seem to get enough.

I’m going to post that story my Grandfather wrote, or at least a portion of it.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  I can tell you, I learned my Great, Great Grandmother was one tough cookie.  I’ll never think of “hard Times” in the same way.
“Heinrich Wedekind and his daughter came to the USA in 1858. We don't know how much time elapsed from the time they arrived in America till they settled in or around Beecher, Ill.

Dorothea Wedeking met Henry Schweer and later married him in 1873 at Beecher, Ill. (Elsewhere I see that Henry was born in Berlin, Germany, on Dec. 8, 1849.) The oldest son, Christ Schweer, was born in Washington, Ill. First born, a girl, Dorie (Schweer) Grummon, July 14, 1874; and second girl, Friedrika (Schweer) Thaden, were born in Beecher, Ill. Then Christ Schweer was born may 18, 1877. Somewhere in here another infant was born and died.

Then in 1877 they moved by wagon train to Fillmore County, Nebr., and settled on a farm south and west of Ohiowa, Nebr., where they raised their family. Dorothea helped Henry with the farm work. One cold, snowy day, when hauling in a load of hay, the rack tipped over sideways and crushed Dorothea's left leg. It had to be taken off, just below the knee, nothing to kill the pain or sterilize it but boiling hot water, which they would pour in at the front of the wound and let it run out at the other side. She told me the pain was so bad that she would just go to sleep (pass out), and when she would awaken it would be all done for another day.

At first she had a peg leg that she wore, but it finally wore out and she was never able to get another one
schweerhy66ythat she could stand to wear; they never could get one to fit her stump; so she used a kitchen chair to walk with and drug that thing around with her, doing her housework and everything else, while bringing up her family, 12 children. (WHO the HELL could stand to do that now?) In late years that leg would hurt her very much, and she would have to rub it with her hand and work with it till it would quiet down again.  She died Oct. 23, 1938 and is buried near Ohiowa, Nebr. (82 yrs. old)”
Now you see what I mean, My Great, Great, Grandmother was one tough cookie.

For more fabulous pictures, and wonderful histories, check out the other sites participating in Sepia Saturday.

19 comments:

Vicki Lane said...

One tough cookie, indeed! Thanks for telling her story!

Eric S. said...

Thanks Vickie, she sure was. I used to think I had a high pain tolerance, but I'm not sure I could handle that.

Barbara and Nancy said...

Ow,ow,ow! I'm going to be dreaming about that tonight. That poor woman.
I'm looking forward to more of the story of this family,

Eric S. said...

I know, bad enough to have it done in that manner, but then to raise 12 kids, and do all the house work of the age while dragging a chair around to walk and stand, Sheeeesh.

Alan Burnett said...

A very tough cookie indeed. What a find to have these stories recorded. What a joy it must be to make a connection to such brave and resourceful people.

Eric S. said...

Thanks Alan, It is so very interesting to find these little tidbits. It paints a picture for me of those who came before, and that I knew very little of.

Pat transplanted to MN said...

She really redefines "tough cookie." I find that is the way they were back then, so many. I am sharing your fascination with genealogy having spent many hours the past weeks again digging through, sifting along, etc and searching through Ancestry.com. It must be a joy to have that book and so much information now!

Eric S. said...

Thanks Pat. Yes it is great to have that book. The web master of the site is even going to send me a PDF copy of it. I just keep finding more and more information on line. Sometimes I have to take stock and sit back to absorb it all.

TICKLEBEAR said...

such a courageous woman, to have accomplished all of this in less than desirable circumstances. but there was no medal for such women back then. all we can offer now is gratitude for their achievements.
:)~
HUGZ

Nancy said...

Wow! She already had several children by the time of the accident. Did she have help from neighbors or family, I wonder. How did she and the rest of the family get through that time. It seems like having lost her leg didn't keep her down. A tough cookie, indeed!

Eric S. said...

@ Ticklebear, Your so right. It wasn't as if they could head on down to the doctors office ten minutes away. The housework and kids wouldn't wait for them to feel any better, so they did what they had too. I don't imagine things like that would happen today, but I could be wrong.

@ Nancy, I'm sure there was help, the community was very tight, still is. It wasn't uncommon for neighbors to help each other out in times of need. It was more like a big family in itself.

Jennifer said...

Great story, I'm glad you shared it. Tough cookie indeed! I never cease to be amazed at the power of a personal or family story - how it can change you just by knowing it.

As it happens, I spent a day while on my holidays visiting the gravestones of various family relatives, and my dad told us a number of stories about the people. Reading this is timely!)

TICKLEBEAR said...

nowadays, social services would get involved and it would be a big mess. at least, the families stcuk together, for better and for worse.
HUGZ

Eric S. said...

@ Jenifer, Thanks. You know, I love hearing those stories my family tells. The oral histories are a fascinating part of the genealogy process. Many times they can lead to to look in places you never would have before. One of these days, I'm going to have to go on a tombstone hunt. It sounds like a lot of fun.

Eric S. said...

Ticklebear, you are so right there. DSS sure can mess things up when they get involved, all that bureaucratic red tape. Thankfully the family circle was a lot stronger in those days.

tashabud said...

Wow! What a courageous person she was. Strong as steel to have lived till she was 82 years old, inspite of her condition. I'd have killed myself from depression if I were in her shoes. LOL.

As always, I enjoyed reading your stories. You've inherited your great, great grandfather's story telling and writing talents.

Tasha

Eric S. said...

I know, I sure wish I had met her, but she was way before my time. I can just imagine how much effort it took to do everything the way she had to. Thanks Tasha.

Fisher and Staff said...

You are an amazing powerful writer and I suspect a pretty good plumber, too. Isn't life grand?

Eric S. said...

Thanks Fisher, I'm going to have to buy a larger hat now. Yes life is grand, even when its not.

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