Monday, June 23, 2008

Gramma Elise Susanna

My Gramma Elise Susanna S. was born in Germany. She emigrated to the USA as a young adult in 1888 with her parents and at least two of her siblings, Barbara and Conrad. She was a serious woman, steady and faithful. Pretty, too. And strong in her Christian faith.

The family tells a story about Gramma and her future husband, Karl Friedrich H.
Karl had come to the USA himself from Germany as a teenager, arriving in New York in 1880. He traversed the continent and ended up in the Portland, Oregon area. Gramma's sister, Barbara, was there and they became acquainted. Why she was there we do not know for Gramma and her parents were still living in New York City.

Karl and Barbara liked each other (I'm sure Barbara was as pretty as Gramma!) and they planned to marry. Then Karl came down with typhoid fever and it was Barbara who nursed him through the illness. Then Barbara, too, came down with typhoid. And she died. Karl had never met her family, but he put her body in a coffin and took her by train, again traversing the continent, to her parents in New York City. It was there that he met Barbara's sister, Elise.

Karl and Elise were married in 1891 and their firstborn arrived ten months later. Then they moved to Illinois where two more sons were born. Then one Thanksgiving, against their neighbors advice about traveling in winter, they put their children in a wagon and headed to Midland County, Michigan, arriving by Christmas. The rest of the children were born in a cabin on their homestead. Some years later they moved to Nebraska, again by wagon, where they lived out their remaining years.

I think Gramma is adorable in these two photos. (You can click for a closeup.) The first, because she is so pretty as a young woman. The second, because I remember seeing her sitting daily in her kitchen reading her Bible. By then she must have been in her eighties. She had no teeth. She was stoop shouldered. And her hair was thin. But she was still a serious woman, steady and faithful, strong in her Christian faith. And beautiful.

I hope I finish as well as she.

1 comment:

cinnamongirl93 said...

I love the story about your grandmother. What an interesting history she and your grandfather had. I'm sure you must dream about their lives. I hope you share more of their story.