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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The birthday of Herman Henry Meyer 27.04.1881

Herman Henry Meyer on the left- copyright
Let me tell you a small life story about my grand father, the gentleman above on the far left, who would have had a birthday today, if he had lived this long. Herman in those days were spelled with a double 'r' or with a double 'n'

By the way, did you know that sometimes the German word Herman interprets as meaning Gentleman.

For many years people were under the assumption that my grandfather Herman was born in 1883, but no he was not. People also referred to him as Herman Henry to designate him from someone else. It really does have more of a ring to it than, if you were to say Henry Herman. I am sure there is more to the stories of the misconceptions, but since I am honoring him and his birthday today, I will leave that all to rest.

He was a gentle tall, broad relatively silent man. Sure he understood German and spoke a little of it, but he did speak English very well. After all he came from Oldendorf Germany with his parents and his four siblings when he was around three years old in the first week of April nearly one hundred and twenty seven years ago. He and his family lived at Oldendorf at a small 'hof' which his father owned in the forest area of the Goehrde where his father worked as a game warden.

Three years old
Heinrich Friedrich Herman Meyer was born April 27, 1881 at Oldendorf, Niedersachen, Germany. Afterwards the family went a few miles to the church at Nahrendorf to baptise him. He was brought up in the Lutheran faith all of his childhood and it remained with him. You will see all the information of his birth and that of his family at that link. You can find more information through out the blog on Him, than nearly anyone else.

I knew so little about his prior life, while I was a child raised in his household, and what I did know, I took for granted that everyone else knew it too. In that same thought, I seem to have failed to share more about what he was actually like. At various posts I have mentioned his lovely wife Anne SEIL and her many Jaeschke siblings, grandparents, who were involved in their life. As well as his and her devotion to her grandfather, who lived with them in Minnesota in the settlement years of their life. He and August Seil were attempting to be Gentleman farmers of their estate. Maybe I should say that those were the years they farmed and raised a family.

I can only tell you about Herman from bits and pieces of family lore, and pictures in the family album. Wel, l I suppose you don't often find pictures of the olden days of them working, and I actually have a few, but not of him.
If you were to glance at the many photographs of them in his personal photo album [ that probably was put together by Annie,] you would see that they traveled a little on some sight seeing trips and other times to be with family. I have seen evidence that Annie was involved with the 4- H organization of the Watonwan community. Herman was involved with support in the education of the youth as well, in his work at the country school across from his land a few yards down the road. For many years he held various offices at the meetings. They attended events there involving the local farming community. I have mentioned before that they had a gas station and diner at the five and ten mile corner, which kept them very busy and active outside the home.

Seil; Jaeschke; Meyer family tailgating gathering  about 1921-2
Annie was the picture taker of their family members. It was her life and her family that was his personal life, which made him a happy family man that you see on all those old pictures. [Sadly so many untold stories.] Or at least that is what I gather from the photographs. When she was gone, so was it seems, the light of his life. Annie died when her sons were grown to their end of their teen years and Herman remained single the rest of his life.

Maybe I should say the way of life and the kind of life, Many of those people [ associations] of his youth were gone. My mother did what she could to keep him busy with something, and bring things into his life that would maybe rekindle memories and joy.
I heard from a distance several references to music in his life. He had learned to play some kind of violin. I believe he was in a music group at some point of his young years. I heard him say the violin was gone, probably in the fire. I wonder if he would have played, if he had his violin in his later years.

Many people have commented to me that Herman was a large man. He was taller than his siblings by a few inches and enough by male Meyer standards. But Yes he was large, but he never seemed to be so to me, maybe due to his height.
..Herman Henry Meyer in nineteen forties or fifties before 1955. Copyright arootdigger

He wasn't so much in many photographs of his younger years. He developed heart problems and had a stroke, so he retired from the farm work. He still took care of the egg business side of he farm work and what ever else he could to help. His son, Dwight took over the farm and Herman was told to walk and rest. Which he did. As children we knew when he would be walking all over the farm on his walks.

He still had an interest in things, and people, but so many that were close to him had passed on, his remaining sisters lived in Iowa, and so many other states. When he could no longer drive, he was at home most of he time. He took on the role of Grandpa babsitter. Helper. Retired Farmer. One who welcomed friends and family visitors. etc.

I am not going to dwell on the dementia that took over his personality, I prefer to speak of Herman Henry MEYER as he was, when I was a child. Up until that time he was able to draw from the memories that he had as wonderful gentleman who had made for himself a fulfilling life.

It really is a wonderful day April 27th. - 130 years later of the day of his birth in 1881.
~ ~

~ Just me jo meyer arootdigger ~

1 comment:

  1. It's wonderful that you have so much information about his family's life in Germany and so many memories of him too. Dementia is a terrible thief; I'm glad you are able to remember him before it took over. I'm finding that harder and harder to do with my fil.



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