Old Family Letters     

From Henry Nieland to daughter Sr. Sigmunda, April 23, 1941
Von Heinrich Nieland an seine Tochter (Sr. Sigmunda), 23. April 1941

This letter is from the collection of David Nieland of Breda, Iowa. Henry Nieland (1854-1949) wrote the letter to his daughter, Sister Sigmunda, FSPA* (Mary Magdalene Nieland, 1892-1972). Henry immigrated in 1868 and settled on a farm near Breda, Iowa. In the letter, Henry describes a visit from two of his granddaughters, Mildred Wittrock (Pappe, 1921-2005) and Clara Mueggenborg (Gruntmeir, 1918-1981), and their cousin Paul Mueggenborg, who had traveled to Breda from their home in Okarche, OK. Also mentioned are his daughter, Anna (Nieland) Wittry and her husband Jacob, and the wife of his son, Louis Nieland.

Translated by Sr. Sigmunda and transcribed by Elaine Pappe Lawson.

Photo: Henry Nieland with two of his daughters,
Sr. Florina and Sr. Sigmunda, FSPA (right)

Breda [Iowa] April 23, 1941

Dear Daughter,

We got your letter and the Easter eggs. Clara and Mildred Wittrock were visiting, they had been brought by Paul Mueggenborg. We ate the eggs and they enjoyed it a lot. The girls were here visiting with family for a week. On Sunday they returned home.

Jacob, Anna and Louis' wife are in Des Moines today. At the beginning of last winter we had a heavy snow storm. Many trees were frozen. My apple tree and the plum trees did not suffer but the grape vines were damaged. Most probably there will be few grapes, but there will be enough for us. The raspberry bushes were also damaged by the frost.

I have almost completely seeded my garden. The tomatoes and beans must be planted soon; however, it is still too early.

The farmers are finished with the sowing, making the land ready for corn.

For now that’s enough.

With best wishes

Henry Nieland

Photo: Mildred Wittrock (center) and Clara
Mueggenborg (right), and friends, about 1940


Click image to enlarge


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*FSPA, Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration