Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Another clue on the Eckerdt trail…

We found this funeral remembrance card neatly tucked between the deteriorating pages of an old German book at the end of our bookshelf.  The book — undated, but I would guess a turn-of-the-20th century vintage — is printed in the Gothic looking old German script.  The front introductory pages, as well as pages beyond 246, are gone.  The heading on page 3 reads:  "Geschichten des Alten Testaments" or "History of the Old Testament."  It likely earned its dog-eared pages through use in the Pete and Dora Miller home in Whitney, Nebraska, and was likely the repository of many  newspaper clippings and other mementos over the years — all long since gone.  So finding this was a pleasant surprise.

The card honors Helene Eckert (Eckerdt), the second wife of Conrad Luke Eckerdt. 

Conrad's first wife is believed to have been Maria Dorotea Wilhelm.  About her, we know almost nothing, since it is believed that she died giving birth to her only child — Dorotea (Dora) Eckerdt.  Dora was born in Schwed, Russia, on January 8, 1892.  Her father Conrad  then married widow Helene Neuwirth sometime in the 1890's.  By the time Conrad Eckerdt and his wife Lena left for America in 1905, they had three children.  A daughter (Dora) by Conrad's first wife.  A son (Henry) by Lena's first marriage.  And their own son, Alex, born in 1900.

In the United States, while living in Longmont, Colorado, Dora Eckerdt met and would later marry Pete Miller on March 21, 1909.

Finding this remembrance card of Lena's rekindles our interest in learning more about Conrad Eckerdt and his first wife, Maria Dorotea Wilhelm, cold though that trail might be!