What were they thinking?

 

Copy of the cover

Copy of the cover

Occasionally, a book comes along that just makes you go “Huh?”

I’ve got one like that now. It is the German language Praktisches Kochbuch für die Deutschen in Amerika, (second American edition) by Henriette Davidis, published circa 1897 by Geo. Brumder of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I say “circa” because some former owner (or possibly some unscrupulous seller) has scratched out whatever was directly above the printer’s name on the title page. In a first edition, this missing information would most likely be the city and state of printing. That may also be true for this book, but it could also have been the publication year, removed because it did not match the copyright notice on the reverse.

Frontispiece (my copy)

Frontispiece (my copy)

I know I don’t have the first printing of the revised edition because openlibrary .org has a scanned copy, and not only is their frontispiece different, but their title page is helpfully stamped with the Register of Copyrights stamp, dated November 30, 1897. I think it highly unlikely that George Brumder whipped out a first printing early in 1897 and then issued the second printing with new illustrations before the end of the year.

But that’s OK. It is an interesting book nonetheless. Wikipedia calls Frau Davidis “… the most famous classic cookbook author in Germany…” and says she was the German equivalent of Mrs. Beeton. That was probably a fine analogy for her time, but nowadays she might be likened to Martha Stewart, at least in the early years when Martha was still a only a homemaking expert and not an ex-con.

But back to the book. The Max Kade Institute for German American Studies has a fascinating article on  The Story of Immigration as Told Through Cookbooks  which mentions this book by name and gives an excellent account of the enhancements that arrived with the second edition, including the one that makes me wonder: What were they thinking?!

The snippet below is a scan of two recipes from the Suppe (Soup) section.

Sample recipes

Sample recipes

I’ve taken a crack at translating the first one, and it seems a pretty fair approximation of my own grandmother’s recipes: Sweat a little butter with a spoon of flour till yellow. To the necessary quantity of boiling water add blanched rice and raisins, sorted and washed. Let cook and stir in salt, sugar, some wine, egg yolks and cinnamon. How much butter? A little. How much water? Enough. And how the heck do you blanch rice?

Pretty standard for a time when women were expected to know a thing or two about cooking and shouldn’t need to be told every detail. (Or in some cases, apparently, any detail.)

What really caught my attention were the English titles in parenthesis behind the German titles. They have not only been added in this manner throughout the entire book, but there is a separate 22 page index of titles in English, following the equally lengthy index of titles in German.

It is possible that the English title in the recipe section might be helpful to the German Frau practicing her English. (“Ja, ich mache Reissuppe mit Rosinen — how you say? Rice Soup with Raisins.”) But I am at a loss to understand what good the English index would do. Someone who needed to look up a title in English would be pretty much unable to read the recipe once they reached the page it was on.

I would love to know what they were thinking!

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Never mock a Minoc! (It hurts their feelings)

The Natural History of the Minocki of the Lakeland Region of Wisconsin - front cover

The Natural History of the Minocki of the Lakeland Region of Wisconsin – front cover

What do the Field Museum of Natural History and I have in common? We both own a copy of The Natural History of the Minocki of the Lakeland Region of Wisconsin, by Professor Richard C. Schneider (self published, 1980).

I know why I own this book. It had the words “Lakeland Region of Wisconsin” in the title and seemed to be fairly obscure, so I bought it. I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting, but I was interested.

The title page calls this book “The whole cloth edition.” I don’t believe that refers to the binding.

The entire book is an elaborate parody of the natural history genre, focused on the charming but elusive woodland creatures known as Minocki, pronounced Min-ah-kee. (The singular form is Minoc, pronunced Min-ahk.)

These curious creatures, first described and given their scientific name (Homino minocus oculescans) by the author, are small invertebrates made entirely of soft clay (in their animated form).  There is an inanimate (Minoc-less) form of hardened clay which is essentially a Minoc’s old body left behind in the fission process, when the Minoc enters the earthen clone it prepared for itself.

A snake shedding its skin is nothing compared to the Minocki’s life cycle process. Lizards may grow back lost tails and crabs regenerate missing claws, but this total body switch may be the most unusual restoration/regeneration in nature. It’s almost beyond belief.

The rest of the book offers equally amazing insights, described in the quasi-scientific literature for the first time . It covers such standard topics as anatomy, color, sex life (a very short chapter), sustenance, locomotion, habitat, social life, nests, predators, pathology and more.

It also covers some less standard topics such as the aforementioned fission, communications, meteorology, and sports and diversions. Within the communications section lies what is possibly the first ever Minockian-English dictionary. Since Minocki don’t have mouths, they use a form of sign language, and several pages are devoted to illustrating the various signs and their meanings.

The author concludes this book with two additional sections. One is comprised of obscure historical documents, the originals unearthed (possibly after being buried in the backyard for a few weeks) and photographed by the author. These make interesting reading and offer a glimpse into the creative mind(s) of their pioneer author(s).

Last, but most certainly not least, are the Minocki How Stories, close kin to Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories. Various mysteries of the natural world, such as how the Monarch butterfly got his coat and how the chipmonk got his stripes, are explained, revealing the deep seated influence the Minocki have had on the flora and fauna of their native territory.

All in all, I am delighted to have added this fine piece of research and writing to my natural history collection, and I hope that the Field Museum of Natural History appreciates it as much as I do.

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Strange bedfellows, or Everything old is new again

SocialDemocraticPartyBookI always have my eye out for unusual books about Milwaukee history, and History of the Social Democratic Party of Milwaukee: 1897-1910 by Marvin Wachman (University of Illinois Press, Urban, Illinois, 1945) seemed to fit the bill.

I don’t have much interest in politics, but the book covered a sufficiently early time period that I thought someone (probably not me, but I do have customers) might find it interesting. Plus it met one of my primary criteria: There weren’t many copies on line.

Although I didn’t expect to be riveted by the content, I did flip through the book while cataloging it and was surprised at how much information of interest it contained.

Even though I had always known (learned in school or picked up somewhere along the line) that Milwaukee once had a Socialist mayor, I always dimly thought that was just the name of his party. By the time I was aware of such things, “Socialist” was used almost interchangeably with “Communist.” Communists were evil, and Milwaukee would never be associated with anything like the socialism that got such a bad rap during the cold war.

Boy, was I wrong!

Milwaukee’s socialist party platform was all about destroying capitalism and giving the workers control of the means of production. Interestingly enough, though, it distanced and distinguished itself from Communism, as explained by Victor L. Berger, one of the movers and shakers of the party.

…Our aim is Socialism, not Communism. We want this understood. Between Socialism and Communism there is a great deal of difference….

Socialism simply demands the collective ownership of the means of production and distribution. we will produce in common, but the consumption will remain individual. socialism will control only our capital, not our property. A Socialist Commonwealth will not do away with individual ownership of property, but only with individual ownership of capital.

It is Communism that denies individual ownership of all property. The communists want to produce and consume in common.

(The Vanguard, VI (January, 1908), 79-80)

Still sounds pretty red to me, as do other elements of the Socialist Democratic platform, such as: We demand that the city be given the power to take over and manage such public industries as are not in private hands…

But that’s not what really captured my attention. What was really interesting was the issue of an armed citizenry. Victor L. Berger (who was almost synonymous with the Social Democratic party), wrote in The Social-Democratic Herald (Milawukee. April 15, 1905):

…I would like to see a systematic way of arming all the people. Not for the sake of “revolution,” but for the sake of peace and progress.

Frederic Engels once said: “Give every citizen a good rifle and fifty cartridges and you have the best guarantee for the liberty of the people.” Thomas Jefferson held the same views exactly.

An armed people is always a free people. Even demagogues and parasites would have a great deal less to say than they have today….

With the nation armed in a systematic way the capitalist class need not fear any sudden uprising — there are less riots in Switzerland where the people are armed, than in Russia where they are disarmed. But with the nation armed, the workingmen are not in danger of being shot down like dogs on the least provocation.

Frederic Engels, by the way, co-authored (along with Karl Marx)  The Communist Manifesto. Whether he shared any other views with Thomas Jefferson is unstated by Berger, but he does seem to share some views with the modern National Rifle Association.

What I find fascinating is not only the argument for gun ownership, but the shift in those propounding it. Who would have thought that the super patriotic NRA would have anything in common with Marxists and Socialists?

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On saying good-bye to my books

Fiction booksNo doubt all booksellers come to a point when they reconsider their business models. If the model has been working well, it may be tweaked. If it hasn’t, it may be drastically modified or even abandoned.

I find myself at that stage now, teetering between a major revamping and a total abandonment of my bookselling business. Fortunately, once that decision has been made, the two options can be attempted sequentially.

In either case, I need to disburse a lot of stock, but what should go and what should stay? To stay, for now, are all my books about Milwaukee and Wisconsin history, my books about horses and possibly about other animals. That is where I want to spend my attention. If, in the end, I decide to close up shop completely, many of those books will return to my personal library.

Ah, but all the others, purchased from anywhere and everywhere because I thought I could sell them — they all need to be reconsidered. They do sell, slowly, from my website, all but the fiction titles. I know there are specialty dealers who can make a go of first edition fiction, but I don’t have enough of the good quality stuff to attract a steady customer base, so my lovely fiction languishes on my shelves. Not only is it lonely and unappreciated, but it takes space away from other kinds of books that I’m much more interested in.

As with most of my big decisions, planning for this one began at my kitchen table, with a empty notebook page in front of me, and a steaming cup of coffee beside me. I have just under 1000 books cataloged. If I want to be out of the book business in a year, I need to get rid of about 100 books a month. If I don’t want to be out of the the business entirely, but decide to concentrate on my specialties, then I should still divest about 100 books a month, but I’ll stop before they’re all gone.

Now eBay has made my job easier. They are offering 50 free auction listings per month, and fixed price listings at $0.05 each. I can give these books one more chance to find their buyers, and if they can’t make the connection, off to the donation box they go!

I will be ruthless. I will be cold hearted. I will ignore that small thrill that runs through me when I pick up a Fine/Fine first edition, that sensual heft of a well made book in its smooth, unrumpled jacket that feels so right in my hand. I will stifle my affection for book as artifact, something to be loved and appreciated because even the most modern edition represents centuries of learning, of craftsmanship, of civilization and the incredible gift of preserving the product of the human mind in concrete form.

Away they will go, the ones that don’t sell! Unless, perhaps, I haven’t read them yet.

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Autumn Meditation – a poem in terza rima form

I’ve been wanting for years to capture the way I feel when I look at autumn foliage, and I’ve finally approached it with an old rhyme form: terza rima. Dante used it to write The Divine Comedy, and much latter, Percy Bysshe Shelley used it to write his “Ode to the West Wind.” Not that I place my poetry in a class with theirs by any means.  I mention it only to establish the long pedigree of the form.

While the poem may be written in any meter, iambic pentameter is preferred in English, and the rhyme scheme is: a-b-a, b-c-b, c-d-c, d-e-d, e-e. There is something very pleasurable about making one’s verse fit a pattern.

AUTUMN MEDITATION

 Of all the seasons, Autumn is the one
That most persuades me there must be a God
Whose works grow prayerful when their working’s done.

The roads are flanked by boughs of goldenrod,
The Summer’s warmth replaced by nights of chill,
And seed and fruits are fallen to the sod.

The urgent push to procreate is still.
Impending Winter’s dormancy will reign,
But trees have one more duty they fulfill.

The Spring’s new birth, the Summer’s work, sustain
The species; yet for Autumn’s final days,
Without the possibility of gain,

In orange and red they set themselves ablaze
In silent, solemn, joyful songs of praise.

 

 

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On the things we leave in books

The odd looking illustration for this article is an index card I found in one of my book purchases. Some frugal bookseller made the front and back of a single index card do for four books, with an equally efficient swirl crossing out each used up entry as the book sold. I discovered that my book was listed on Amazon and was slated to be listed on eBay, which is where I bought it. The seller had a note to add a photo to Amazon. The original seller paid $2.00 for it. I paid…more. The forgotten piece of ephemera offered me an interesting insight into the methods and practices of another bookseller.

The very handy Mirriam-Webster on-line dictionary provides several definitions of ephemera, pointing out that it is generally used in the plural. That’s good to know, because the singular and plural forms are identical.

  • Definition 1:  something of no lasting significance —usually used in plural
  • Definition 2: (plural): paper items (as posters, broadsides, and tickets) that were originally meant to be discarded after use but have since become collectible.
  • Bonus definition for English as a Second Language students: things that are important or useful for only a short time : items that were not meant to have lasting value 

Setting aside the second definition altogether because it confines itself to collectibles and I am interested in the broader usage, I like the third definition best. Comparing it to the first, it seems to me that there is a world of difference between something of no lasting significance and something not meant to have lasting value. One is a description of the item itself and the other describes the intent of its creator.

That’s the stuff! Things that no one expected to last, and yet here they are. And sellers of used books find scads of it in their inventories.

I always like finding the things that previous owners have tucked into books. Most often they are bookmarks of some sort, ranging from things intended for that function to whatever happened to be close to hand: bus passes, grocery lists, business cards.

And then there are the momentos. These are often more problematic. The purple pansy plucked so blithly on a summer’s day or the four-leaf clover that unluckily met its fate when some sharp-eyed stroller harvested it leave their stains on the page. Newspaper articles, carefully clipped from the local, hardly acid-free or archival quality newspapers, leave tan marks wherever they rest for long periods.

Even so, I think I would rather find these things than not. They form a connection, often over decades or even a century or more, with those who owned and used the books before.

I find that big, thick books are most often the repository for the memento items. Bibles, dictionaries, substantial local histories. I like to imagine that those were the treasured books in the household and were seen as fitting repositories for whatever memories the ephemeral items held.

And I myself am not immune from the desire to keep things in books. Eleven years ago to the day, at my mother’s funeral, each of her eight children was given a rose at the gravesite. Mine still resides in the largest, heaviest book I own. The leaves and petals are brittle now, but still hold some color and grace.

Perhaps, some day, a bookseller who is not me will find it and wonder what it means. What it meant. The unknown bookseller will wonder, but I will know. Books are the repositories of our lives. They hold their author’s memories, but also our own. They are where we tuck scraps that are immediate and quickly forgotten and also where we place what is fragile but important. Like the memories I have of my mom.

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The merchant spam detector

Image from The Pilot and Compass to Character Building, by Henry D. Northrop, 1900

A book seller, just like anyone else with an email address, gets lots of spam.

While we can be as skeptical as the next guy (or gal), we often have an added reluctance to discount an email addressed to the business because it might — just might — be from a customer. Though we love them dearly, there have been cases where real customers offer up disconcertingly spam-like emails.

But there are a few signs that can allow even the most conscientious merchant to consign an email to the trash bin without response.

Here’s a standard “hope the merchant is desperate for a sale” email I received recently:

Hello.

Top of the day to you. I am Wilson Williams, I would like to place an order from your store but before i proceed, i would like to know if you can ship to USA or UNITED KINGDOM and accept credit card as a method of payment, If you do kindly get back to me with your valid website address for selection of items needed.

I await to read from you today. Reply to [email address]

Regards

Well, Will (can I call you Will?) I’m wondering how you managed to send me an email if you don’t know what my web address is. You haven’t told me the product(s) you want or asked what the cost might be. In fact, all you seem to care about is whether I will accept your credit card and ship to a foreign address. Sorry, but I’m looking for a more discerning customer.

And….we have a winner! This scammer wrote to me this morning, with a very detailed request. At least he’s including books:

From: Tokunboh Troy [email address]
To: [Troy’s email address]
Subject: Mail Order

Dear Sir/Ma,
How are you with business,Hope Fine…..I will like to place an order for the listed books, So get me the prices and availability as Follows :-

Robbins & Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease, 8th Edition By: Vinay Kumar & Abul K. Abbas (Author) Format: Hardcover ISBN: 9781416031215
Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry 5th Edition By: David L. Nelson (Author) Format: Hardcover ISBN:- 071677108X
Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Ninth Edition By: Bryan A. Garner (Author) Format: Hardcover ISBN: 0314199500
Franklin Electronic Bible with Holman Bible Dictionary KJV/NIV (BIB-475) ISBN: 1590744314

Awaiting your prompt reply soon and have a great time in business.

Sincerely Yours,
Tokunboh Troy

It does present a difficulty that I sell only used books and have none of those titles. Of course I do have real customers who sometimes ask me to acquire books for them, but they usually send their emails showing me, and not themselves in the “To:” line. Just for the heck of it, I looked these books up on Amazon and they range from $170 to $73 new, somewhat less used. You have expensive tastes, Mr. Troy.

To sum up, there are a few of the things that relieve me of the responsibility for even thinking twice:

  • Addressed “To” any email other than my business email. Showing blank or undisclosed recipients or the sender him- or herself in the “To” field is the sign of a mass emailer.
  • Email asking for my website URL or anything else the sender should already know. If you wanted to do business with me, you wouldn’t have to ask.
  • Email that doesn’t mention any product I have for sale.
  • Email asking if I accept credit cards and ship to foreign countries combined with any of the characteristics above.
  • Email asking me if I will use the emailer’s shipper even if no other scam characteristics are present.

And there are a few things that will make me think twice:

  • Email with significant grammar mistakes in English, especially when it purports to be from an English-speaking country. (These will usually have other spam-like characteristics.)
  • Email where the sender’s domain is a free email service, such as yahoo or gmail.

The customer may always be right, but scamming spammers? Feel free to delete away!

 

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On the Delights of Obsession

Woodland Carex Of the Upper Midwest, by Linda Curtis, 2006.

One thing most booksellers learn early on is that specificity sells. It may not sell quickly, but when you have something that’s so detailed and esoteric that ninety-nine percent of the population couldn’t care less, that remaining one percent will find it and be forever grateful to the one who preserved it for them.

No one is better at specificity than a writer whose passion for a subject borders on obsession. Like Alice in Wonderland following her nose, one thing leads to another, and before she knows it, a girl who loves botany has compiled an entire field guide on Woodland Carex of the Upper Midwest. (Linda Curtis, Curtis to the Third Productions, 2006.)

We are not speaking of all of the 100+ species of Carex, but only the 63 species in the herb layer (there’s an herb layer?) of woodlands, forests, swampy woods, river and lake woods, and thickets. Those Carex that inhabit sunny bogs, marshes, prairies, fens or open sandy woods will have to find their own obsessive champion.

Sample pages from Jean Sanford Replinger’s History of Rural Schools of Rusk County, Wisconsin

Delightfully obsessive compilers can be found in many areas of endeavor. Jean Sanford Replinger’s father and mother were the Rusk County Superintendents of Schools from 1925-1931 and 1931-1945 respectively. Ms. Replinger found a box filled with the remnants of an 8th graders’ project suggested by her mother in the 1932 to 1934 years that involved documenting some basic facts about their communities.

From that start grew her own book, History of Rural Schools of Rusk County, Wisconsin. (Rusk County Historical Society: Ladysmith, Wisconsin, 1985.) The book is a compilation of the work of the original 8th graders with new material based on interviews with teachers and others she tracked down. It is illustrated with period photographs of schools and classes from the 1930’s. With more than 70 schools and communities covered, it appears comprehensive.

World Bibliography of Bibliographies

Of course, none of this is new to booklovers, who are obsessive in their own right. The field is rife with bibliographies, which are nothing more than detailed lists of books of one type or another. I have any number myself, ranging from the relatively slim and specific 180 page Arabian Horse Bibliography (Arabian Horse Trust, 1985) to the massive five volume World Bibliography of Bibliographies, Fourth Edition (Bowman and Littlefield, 1971). Yes, it’s actually a detailed list of books which are themselves lists of books.

And speaking of obsessives, those likely to buy bibliographies — or write them, for that matter — are book collectors themselves. There’s more than one bibliographic forward that announces, with a kind of modest pride, that the compiler owns, or has at least handled, every book listed.

As a bookseller, I love them all, from the obsessive documenters who create those esoteric tomes my customers love to find, to the obsessive bibliography writers that help me find them, to the obsessive customers who must own them once found. Delightful!

Posted in Book collecting, Book selling, Wisconsin history | 1 Comment

Training vs Breaking – An old teaching a dog book

Practical Dog Training; or Training vs. Breaking, by S.T. Hammond. (New York: Forest and Stream. 1892.)

I can’t remember exactly when I bought this little book — probably 35 years ago. I do remember where I bought it: at the Renaissance bookshop (if one can call a four floor warehouse a shop)  in downtown Milwaukee. A pencilled notation on the first free end paper reminds me that I paid $4.00 for it.

Four dollars was probably a fair price back then, and it’s not worth much more now. It’s not a first edition, as evidenced by “Revised and Rewritten” on the title page. It’s not even a “first thus.” The copyright date is 1885, and that was preceded by an Author’s Note dated 1882, which no doubt marks the date of the true first edition.

It was once a handsome book, with the Forest and Stream logo stamped in gilt on the front cover and the title of raised letters in a gilt box set off by decorations in black ink. But even before I bought it, its green cloth cover was soiled and worn and the spine ends and corners were bent and frayed. Its first free end paper, tanned and brittle, achieved full freedom at some point in my stewardship and now is simply laid in, while the lower page edges are adorned by a tide mark that reveals a past not entirely free of water damage.

And yet this book enchanted me from the moment I opened it. Its dog training techniques wouldn’t raise an eyebrow in this day and age of animal rights, the ASPCA (let alone PETA!), and Cesar Millan, the dog whisperer. Training with kindness and understanding, teaching in small steps, shaping behavior in increments with frequent rewards, happy dogs and loving owners are what we think dog training should be nowadays.

Not so when the entries of this book were first written as columns in the journal Forest and Stream. In his note, the author says:

The system of dog training described in this book is a new one….This system is humane and rational. It is also practical and efficient. Dog training differs essentially from dog breaking, both in method and spirit, and also in what may be accepted as the test of all systems, namely — the results attained.

The first paragraph of the first chapter gives a graphic description of the dog training methods common at the time this book was written:

Nearly all writers upon the subject of dog training appear to think that there is but one course to pursue: that all knowledge that is not beaten into a dog is worthless, for all practical purposes, and that the whip, check-cord and spike collar, with perhaps an occasional charge of shot or a vigorous dose of shoe leather, are absolutely necessarily in order to perfect his education.

Hammond’s methods were far different. His first lessons begin with the arrival of the puppy at six to eight weeks old and emphasize affection, praise, food rewards, and slow steps toward the final goal.

Gretchen, keeping an eye on the backyard.

I had a German Shorthaired Pointer at the time, though I didn’t hunt myself. Yet, I was able to teach her to make and hold a solid point and quarter a field using the methods in this book. I thought at the time, and I still think, that it is an excellent primer for someone who wants to develop a hunting dog and doesn’t live in the country or have access to birds all of the time.

In his Note to the Revised Edition, the author remarks on the number of grateful correspondents who have written with praise for his method of training by kindness. He says:

If it be true — if the public have found that they can train their dogs by kindness instead of “breaking” them by cruelty — then the object of the author has been attained, and the satisfaction that he feels in believing that through his efforts the condition of man’s best friend has been in some degree ameliorated is a sentiment that he cannot express in words.

There have been many books that were harbingers of a new era in their own fields, and Mr. Hammond may not be the only writer of his time who espoused kind treatment in the training of hunting dogs, but he is the one that marks the transition for me. I’m very glad I found Practical Dog Training, for just four dollars, all those years ago.

 

Posted in Books about animals, The books I keep | 1 Comment

What ever happened to St. Matthews?

Commemorative booklet 1909

Just over one hundered and two years ago, the community of St. Matthews Evangelical Lutheran church published a booklet commemorating their newly built church and its consecration on December 19, 1909. The church was located on the corner of 10th and Garfield streets in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The pastor at that time was August C. Bendler.

The booklet provides a brief history of the congregation’s buildings and members from the beginning through 1909.

The first picture of a building, dated 1865, depicts the small Erstes Gotteshaus (first church — the entire booklet is written in German). It was situated between 10th and 11th Streets on Beaubien Street, which was renamed Garfield shortly after that president’s assassination in 1881.

First building, 1865

A second picture, dated 1870, shows a larger, two story structure with the church above and a schoolroom underneath.

Second building, 1870

Another photograph, dated 1875, shows an even more classically church-like building complete with a handsome steeple and rectory behind the church.

Third building, 1875

Finally there is a photograph from 1909, showing the subject of the booklet, the new church, with a tall clock steeple and bell tower. A pencilled notation on the photograph points out a water tower “200 ft high” in the distance behind the church.

The subject of the commemorative pamphlet, 1909

I don’t know if any more church buildings were erected on that lot, but the congregation survived there for almost another fifty years. A Milwaukee Sentinal article, dated September 6, 1958, documents the closing of the church and its move west to North 84th and West Melvina Streets. According to the article, the Rev. Arthur Halboth succeeded his father-in-law, August Bendler as pastor in 1929 and cared for the congregation there for another three decades. (Bendler was pastor when the 1909 church was built).

St Phillip’s Lutheran church took over the 10th and Garfield property in 1958 and opened a church and school, which it maintained until that congregation moved again in 1965.

There is a St. Mathews Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wauwatosa, but it does not appear to be a descendent of the original St. Matthäus-kirche because the Wauwatosa church was founded in 1920, at which time the Milwaukee congregation was still going strong.

And apparently they still are, according to their facebook page, which gives the current address of St. Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church & School as 8444 W Melvina St, Milwaukee, WI 53222. Their current building has eschewed the skyscraping spire for a more modern, low-profile building, but a school is still part of the proposition.

The current church

View Larger Map

I wonder if the founding members, almost 150 years ago, could ever envision the progress and travels of their church, as it grew and moved across the city. In 1909, the community created a booklet to commemorate their history and progress. Today, it’s recorded in facebook and Google.

Women's Society, 1879

We’ve come a long way, grandma!

Posted in Books in German, Genealogy, Milwaukee history | 2 Comments