Breaking the Ties that Bind: One Woman’s Story of Leaving Family to Settle New FrontiersIrene Freeman was born and raised in New York State, moving at least three times as a small child. Her mother died soon after Irene was born and she was raised in part by her maternal grandfather; after his death, her father and new step-mother moved her across the state to spend her teen years in Jefferson County, New York. After marrying “the boy next door,” she moved with her husband to the Michigan frontier, then to the Iowa wilderness, and, after the Civil War, to the war- ravaged state of Tennessee. Along the way, she gave birth to at least six children, only three of which survived, and managed the household while her architect/builder husband chased jobs around the state. She is an example of the strength of woman survivors in the 19th Century. The paper trail she left behind will be examined following the narrative presentation.
Elisabeth: The Story of a German ImmigrantIn 1864, 36-year-old Elisabeth Huberta Thenée left her home and family, including five young children, in Bonn, Germany, under extreme circumstances. In a first-person narrative, this presentation tells her story: why she left, how she got to the United States, and what her life entailed after arriving in America. The original story, written by Pauline Miller Wilcox, granddaughter of Elisabeth, provides a new perspective of why a person might leave her homeland for an uncertain life across the ocean. The presentation is followed by a description of how the alleged facts in the story were proven true or false, giving some basic information on researching German and Civil War records. This presentation is appropriate for all ages, though young children may be uninterested in the second half.
John Adam Hollaender: SurvivorAt the age of about 13, Johann Adam Hollaender was orphaned in the Bavarian village of Edesheim, Germany. With only two older sisters, both living in America, as his immediate relatives, Adam left his home and extended family to make his way to the new land. His experiences are detailed in a narrative, presented in first person by his wife, Caroline Maria Trapschuh, who shares how he acquired a trade, joined in the Civil War effort, and eventually established the first hairdressing and wig-making salon in Milwaukee. A short explanation of how his story was pieced together follows the narrative. By examining the many documents and letters left behind in the Hollander estate, studying other records, and applying the first-hand stories, received by Adam and Caroline’s granddaughter, Virginia Johnson Wilcox from her grandparents, the life of John Adam Hollaender is reconstructed. This presentation is appropriate for all ages, but younger children will probably be uninterested in the second half.
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Forget me not: The Story of a Milwaukee Pioneer