Old Family Letters     

From Maria Bernadine Finke (geb. Nieland) to Bernard Christopher Nieland, September 1957
Von Maria Bernadine (nee Nieland) Finke an Bernard Christopher Nieland, September 1957

This letter is from the collection of Christina (nee Nieland) Weber.  Maria Bernadine "Dina" Nieland (1888-1980) in Borken, Germany sent the letter to her brother Bernard Christopher Nieland (1874-1965) in Minnesota. Bernard emigrated from Germany in 1895. He lived at first Breda, Iowa. Later the family moved to Minnesota. In the letter Dina writes about the recent deaths of her two brothers in America—Herman Franz Nieland (1888-1957) and Heinrich Joseph Nieland (1972-1957), who both lived in Breda, Iowa.

Transcribed Hildegunde (Nieland) Gerwin and Heinz Münstermann. Translated by Verena (Nieland) Sinnhuber,

Borken,  ?.9.57

Bernhardine "Dina" (nee Nieland) Finke with two of her brothers — Hermann Franz Nieland, and Franz Josef Nieland. Herman lived in Breda, Iowa; Dina Finke lived in Borken, Germany, and Josef Nieland lived in Osterfeld, Germany.    

Dear brother!

On Thursday we got our brothers' Totenzettel [remembrance cards].  It is really a shock that Heinrich followed Hermann so soon. Lord let them rest in eternal peace. For that we will pray a lot — it's the only thing we can do for them.

My dear Bernhard, how are you doing?  And all yours? Are you still healthy? Here we are OK. Father [Dina's husband, Anton Finke] is always ratteliing in his throat and that bothers the mother [Dina], too. When we have nice clear weather his asthma is not so bad, but it's been raining every day. The grain and hay harvest have been good, but you had to ...[harvest?] it soon if you wanted much yield. Now it's very bad for the potatos. They are good, but if they are on wet ground they rot.

How was the harvest there? Is it raining as much there, too? Some time ago I read in the newspaper that there was a heat wave in America, but this time it did not come here. So, everything will be OK. You must write me again, if even only briefly. Last summer was so wonderful, when you and Hermann were with us. Do you still think about the two of us when we shucked beans? Dear brother we, Josef and I, did not know to whom Hermann should bequeath his farm and I also spoke with him about it.  What will Josef and I get of the estate?  It will not be much since $1,000 will go to the [St. Bernard] seminary. The executor Hess sent 30 Totenzettel and a letter, which must be from the funeral. There are many names on it, including yours.

The three Nieland brothers who emigrated — Bernard Christopher Nieland, Heinrich Joseph Nieland and Hermann Franz Nieland. About 1945.

Do you know anything about Hermann's last weeks? Had Heinrich been really ill? You have to excuse my many questions, I'd like to know something about it and there is no one else who can write me besides you. Sending you all heartfelt greetings, especially to you.

The Finke family

especially Dina


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ChristinaNielandWeberCollection_Letter 2 Translation for Kay.doc