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,
feel a need in myself to get a few lines
down to you, and I hope that
same lines may find you in the
far as concerns me, thank Heavens
always healthy and chipper. I go to
every day, and exert myself to
worthwhile things, so that I won't go
in history for getting lost in the world.
are having very difficult times here,
has been so dry this whole summer
the Medina has completely dried
and most of the wells aren't giving
any more. Grain there was
all; also the grass is so poor that we
many of the cattle will have to die.
has looked better now for a few days,
we got a very good rain last week,
there is hope that we will still get
and abundant grass.
Hoffman and Madam Hoffman said
give you their friendly regards. I hope
will also write a few lines to me again,
that I may hear when it suits you.
to All, and especially to you
Castroville, den 15 August 1860
Mein lieber Vater,
fühle mich gedrungen einige Zeilen
Dich zu schreiben, und ich hoffe, daß
dieselben bei guter Gesundheit an-
mich anbetrifft, so bin ich Gott Lob
gesund und munter. Ich gehe
Tage in die Schule, und bemühe mich,
anständiges zu lernen, damit ich nicht
Ehren in der Welt fort kommen kann.
haben hier sehr schlechte Zeiten,
ist so trocken gewesen diesen gan-
Sommer, daß die Medina ganz aus-
und die meisten Brunnen kein
mehr hatten. Korn hat es gar kein-
geben; auch ist das Gras so schlecht, daß
fürchtet, es wird viel Vieh sterben müssen.
sieht jetzt seit einigen Tagen besser aus,
wir vorige Woche einen sehr guten Regen
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
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