Tag: england

Letter from Rev. Hermann Emil Studier to Dorothea (Bohnsack) Studier

Wilhelm and Dorothea (Bohnsack) Studier
Wilhelm and Dorothea (Bohnsack) Studier

Dorothea (Bohnsack) Studier was the twin sister of my 2nd great-grandfather, Carl Hermann “Herman” Bohnsack. Rev. Hermann Emil Studier was born in Germany in 1859, and immigrated to the U.S. in 1869. His older brother, Wilhelm, was Dorothea’s husband. In 1939, Dorothea received a letter from her brother-in-law, Rev. Studier. While Dorothea and Rev. Studier were both born in Germany, the letter was written in English.

In the letter, Rev. Studier talks about his various ailments and daily activities. What interested me the most, and why I’m sharing the letter, is he writes about the war and Hitler. Rev. Studier spent most of his life in the United States, so I find his views interesting.

October 28, 1939
Lincoln, Nebraska
8:59 PM

Dear Sister-in-law Dorothea!

I received your lovely letter the first of this month and now have the first chance to answer it. You can thank God that you are healthy so far. In our older days it (health) does not come as freely as in our youth – that time is past. One is happy that one can always come around again. With me it comes and goes but for a couple weeks I was very sick. During the long hot time I probably drank too much ice-water, then I caught an awful cold when the weather became cool. Then I had problems with the gall bladder, a fever, an earache, headache, pains in the liver, so I felt very miserable.

Rev. and Mrs. H.E. Studier (photo courtesy of Ken Kelly)
Rev. and Mrs. H.E. Studier
(photo courtesy of Ken Kelly)

Then I had to travel, when I was not feeling completely well. Than at 8:15 I had to deliver a sermon for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the community in Barnston [sic, Barneston], where we were for 12 years. It went, thank God, very well, Now I feel completely well again. This week I was again gone for 3 days. The war occupies one so much, one must hear and read all the lies. With that, much time passes. Outside in the garden since the frost, there is no more work. You have probably had already had a harder frost than we have had. The leaves are now falling off the trees. In my garden this summer we did not have much that was bad – what I saw at the beginning has not sprouted again. This year we barely had any, last year we had so much. We did have strawberries and black raspberries this spring, also a few peaches & plums for the first time! took flowers to the fair and won 75 cents as a prize. I had many beautiful flowers.

Yes, with the war it is unpleasant. However, it is not Hitler who wants the war but the English who want to exterminate Germany – it does not please them that Germany is again numbed. Now they want to cut Germany down again, they will not succeed this time because God will provide through Hitler. Hitler is the last who wants war but what does one want to do, if their neighbor does not want peace. Hitler did not declare war, but the French & English and our government wants to help the enemies of Germany. That is the great injustice. Therefore, I fear that our land will come in (to the war). Roosevelt even wants it and here are so many English, whom we Germans hate so much. Suschie Schink and family were not with us, if they could have only come. At the beginning of December I must travel again, because I should give a nice sermon for the 30th year anniversary, in Johnson, where we were for 5 years, and were I had the nice church built thirty years ago. Now, hopefully, you are again healthy. God be with you. With heartfelt greetings.

Your brother -in-law,
Hermann Emil Studier

Greet all the relatives and acquaintances!


Biography: William Passmore

William Passmore

William Passmore is not a direct ancestor of mine.  His daughter Elizabeth Edna Passmore married James T. Davis, a nephew of my gg-grandfather John B. Davis.  Passmore was the coroner for the suicide of William Davis, brother of James T. Davis. His ties to the Davis family are why I’m posting his biography published in Portrait and Biographical Album of Jo Daviess and Carroll Counties, Illinois (1889), p257.

William Passmore, his wives Elizabeth and Sarah, and children Anna Marie, Salina, and John Yonatt are buried in Council Hill Cemetery. Unfortunately, I was unable to locate their graves when I visited Council Hill. Since I couldn’t find his headstone, here’s a panorama that I shot of the cemetery.

Council Hill Cemetery

William Passmore, Postmaster, grocer, and general merchant at Council Hill, is considered one of the most public-spirited men of his community. He has held the Office of Township Supervisor a period of twenty-one years; Justice of the Peace thirty years, and has occupied most of the other local offices. His years sit lightly on him, and he has the faculty of looking upon the bright side of life. He has an excellent command of language and is a natural auctioneer, a business in which his talents are often called into requisition.

Next in importance to a man’s own personality is that of those from whom he draws his origin. The parents of our subject were Richard and Elizabeth (Youatt) Passmore, natives of Devonshire, England, but born in different parishes. The paternal grandfather, John Passmore, was a man of note in his community, officiating as Clerk of his parish for years; was an auctioneer, and a blacksmith by trade. He spent his entire life in his native county, and died in 1827.

The father of our subject owned a farm of about twenty acres in Devonshire, where he spent his entire life engaged in agriculture and stock-raising. Both parents died in 1825. Their family consisted of two sons and two daughters. John died in January, 1889, in Michigan; Mary A. is a resident of Chicago, Ill.; William, our subject, was the third child; Elizabeth is a resident of Galesburg, Ill. William was born in Devonshire in the parish of Filleigh, and was left an orphan when a boy of three years. He was taken into the home of a paternal aunt, where he lived until he was fifteen, receiving a limited education in the parish school, and afterward worked on a farm. Later he began an apprenticeship at the blacksmith’s trade, which he followed six years.

In June of the year above mentioned our subject embarked for the United States at Liverpool, on the sailing-vessel “Lanarkshire,” and after a voyage of forty-five days landed in New York City. Thence he came directly to this county and located in Council Hill precinct, of which he has since been a resident. He occupied himself mostly at blacksmithing, putting up a shop and conducting it until 1850. On the 5th of April that year he sold his shop, and a short time later started across the plains to California. He was four and one-half months on the road, passing through Salt Lake City, where he heard Brigham Young deliver a Fourth of July oration. He commenced mining at Hangtown, but later established himself at Weaverville, and remained in that region until the fall of the year following. He then returned home via the water route, this trip occupying four months. The following spring he put up a new blacksmith shop at Council Hill, also a dwelling, and began the manufacture of wagons and other road vehicles, besides doing a general blacksmithing business. During the war he sold his shop and engaged in grist-milling, which he followed one year. In the meantime he had engaged in farming two years.

Mr. Passmore in the year of 1867, commenced operating as a grain-buyer and stock-dealer, and later engaged in general merchandising about the time of receiving the appointment of Postmaster. In 1872 he purchased back his old blacksmith shop, quit the grain business, but carried on his store. He has a snug home with ten acres of ground adjacent to his store and dwelling. He withdrew from his wagon-making enterprise in the fall of 1888, sold his shop again, and has since given his attention to the store and post-office, although officiating as auctioneer when called upon. A thirty years’ experience at this has rendered him an expert.

Mr. Passmore, on the 15th of January, 1849, was joined in wedlock to Miss Elizabeth Hughes, the marriage taking place at Council Hill. This lady was a native of Wales, and came to America with her parents in 1847. She departed this life at her home in Council Hill, Dec. 29, 1849, leaving no children. Our subject contracted a second marriage, Feb. 22, 1850, with Miss Sarah Hughes, also a native of Wales, and a sister of his first wife. Of this union there have been born ten children, only five of whom are living: George F. carries on blacksmithing in Radersburg, Mont.; Lizzie is the wife of James Davis, a farmer near Plainview, Pierce Co., Neb.; Ella married Dr. H. H. Hoagland, and they reside on a farm near Plainview, Neb.; William Y. is also farming in Nebraska; and Sarah O. Passmore, who also resides in Nebraska. The wife and mother died March 28, 1888. On the 11th day of March, 1889, Mr. Passmore was joined in matrimony with Miss Mary Jane Roberts, of Woodbine Township, Ill. In addition to the offices already mentioned Mr. Passmore has been a member of the School Board thirty years, and has served on the Grand and Petit Juries. Politically, he is a stanch Republican. Socially, he belongs to the Masonic fraternity (the R. A. M.), and the I. O. O. F. being in the latter a member of Subordinate Lodge No. 17.