Louis Eichhorn Letter August 1860 Castroville, Medina County, Texas


Louis Eichhorn Letter

Castroville, Medina County, Texas

August 15, 1860


 Below is a letter that Louis Eichhorn wrote to his father, Peter Eichhorn, on August 15, 1860.  Louis would soon be turning 11 years old on September 22, 1860 and he is listed on the 1860 Medina County census in John Hoffman's household.  Louis' father, Peter Eichhorn, was likely living in San Antonio, Texas with his daughter, Carolina "Lina" Rummel, and her family.  John Hoffman was a practicing physician in Castroville according to the 1860 Catholic Parish census and 1850 Medina County Census.   Mr. Hoffman and his wife, Petronella, never had children of their own, according to Castroville Historian Connie B., but Petronella had a daughter from a previous marriage .  From other letters it appears that Louis may have been living with the Hoffman family as early as 1852.  Louis' mother, Ernestine, was not listed on the 1850 Medina County, TX census with the Peter Eichhorn's family, but she was listed on the 1850 Medina County Mortality Schedule having died from breast/birth? complications after 8 days in September 1849.  Louis was born on September 22nd.  I have been unsucessful in finding where Ernestine was buried and have not been able to locate a marriage certificate for her and Peter.  It is assumed that Ernestine and Peter married in Texas, as she was not listed with Peter and his children on the Leo manifest.  Louis may have been put in the care of Mr. and Mrs. Hoffman as a infant or toddler.   

Janet Eichhorn Fletcher, descendant of Louis Eichhorn, has granted me permission to place this letter on my genealogy pages.  It was with great pleasure to be able to post the letter here.  Janet paid a professional translator to translate the letter.  She forwarded to me the progress that the translator made while translating the letter.  This letter was apparently written in a old German dialect that is no longer existing.  Many resources were used by the translator trying to decipher the letter.  There were also several other letters, but they were not fully translated because they were very difficult to read by the translator, as well as the expense in doing so.  Another letter gives statements by the Hoffman's about Peter not putting ideas into young Louis' head.  We got the impression that Louis may have wanted to live with his father and perhaps his father was giving Louis some hope that may happen.  We also got the idea that although the Hoffmans didn't adopt Louis, there must have been a understanding that they would raise Louis.    


Castroville, 15th of August 1860



                  My dear father,

I feel a need in myself to get a few lines

written down to you, and I hope that

these same lines may find you in the

best of health.


As far as concerns me, thank Heavens

I'm always healthy and chipper. I go to

school every day, and exert myself to

learn worthwhile things, so that I won't go 

down in history for getting lost in the world. 


We are having very difficult times here,

it has been so dry this whole summer

that the Medina has completely dried 

out, and most of the wells aren't giving

water any more.  Grain there was none

at all; also the grass is so poor that we

fear many of the cattle will have to die.

It has looked better now for a few days,

since we got a very good rain last week,

and there is hope that we will still get

healthy and abundant grass.


Mr. Hoffman and Madam Hoffman said

to give you their friendly regards. I hope

you will also write a few lines to me again,

so that I may hear when it suits you.

Greetings to All, and especially to you

affectionate regards!

                  Remember fondly

                          your dearly loving 




Castroville, den 15 August 1860



                  Mein lieber Vater,

Ich fühle mich gedrungen einige Zeilen

an Dich zu schreiben, und ich hoffe, daß

Dich dieselben bei guter Gesundheit an-

treffen mögen.


Was mich anbetrifft, so bin ich Gott Lob

immer gesund und munter. Ich gehe

alle Tage in die Schule, und bemühe mich,

etwas anständiges zu lernen, damit ich nicht

mit Ehren in der Welt fort kommen kann.


Wir haben hier sehr schlechte Zeiten,

es ist so trocken gewesen diesen gan-

zen Sommer, daß die Medina ganz aus-

trocknete, und die meisten Brunnen kein

Wasser mehr hatten. Korn hat es gar kein-

es geben; auch ist das Gras so schlecht, daß

man fürchtet, es wird viel Vieh sterben müssen.

Es sieht jetzt seit einigen Tagen besser aus,

da wir vorige Woche einen sehr guten Regen

hatten, und es ist zu hoffen, daß es noch

heil + üppig Gras geben wird.


Herr Hoffman und Madame Hoffman

lassen Dich freundlich grüssen. Ich hoffe,

Du wirst mir auch wieder ein paar Zeilen

schreiben, damit ich erfahre wann es Dir

passt. Ich grüsse Alle, und besonders Dich

recht herzlich!

                  Behalte lieb

                       Dein Dich liebender





Click here for Louis Eichhorn's Genealogy

This page is part of Renee's Family Genealogy

This page was created on April 30, 2002

Last updated on May 06, 2002