Letter from Wilhelm Nockemann to Gottlieb Wilhelm Findeisen


Letter from Wilhelm Nockemann to Gottlieb Wilhelm Findeisen


Emigration and immigration


Letter from Wilhelm Nockemann, Milwaukee to Gottlieb Wilhelm Findeisen, care of Henry Martin, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, August 26, 1850, with a translation from the original German.

Notes from the submitters, Laura and Nicola Kaftan, great-great-granddaughters of Findeisen: "The letter (3 pages and a translation) is written in Kurrent, an old German script. It mentions Mrs. Mühlhäuser, wife of Johannes Mühlhäuser, first president of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. Mühlhäuser, along with John Weinmann and William Wrede, were the founders of the Wisconsin Synod in May, 1850. Also mentioned in this letter are Ernst Reichmann and Wilhelm Nockemann, author of the letter. We believe these men were teachers in the church school. Henry Martin and Mrs. Müller, also mentioned in the letter, are Germans living in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin according to the 1850 census. Gottlieb was married in 1852 to Carolina Maier in Grace Lutheran Church in Milwaukee by Pastor Johannes Mühlhäuser. He and his wife settled in Fond du Lac, and in the 1856-57 Fond du Lac city directory, G.W. Findeisen is listed as a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Chuch vestry.

Why did Gottlieb Findeisen change from the Lutheran to Episcopal Church? According to the Rev. Harold Wagner in his book, "The Episcopal Church in Wisconsin 1847-1947," a convention of churches held in 1847 determined that the churches should share resources. Lutheran churches remained true to Lutheran practice and doctrine, but were in some situations ministered to by an Episcopal priest. There is no Lutheran church listed in the 1857-58 city directory, so it appears the Findeisens attended the Episcopal Church instead."


Nockemann, Wilhelm




Published by Recollection Wisconsin with permission of the submitter.








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Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin


Milwaukee 26 Aug. 1850
Kindest Findeisen.
Your valued letter of the 19th of this month arrived yesterday and indeed with a really striking
coincidence. On Saturday evening I brought several letters to the pastor's wife from her post
office box; I have taken on this errand during the absence of our brother Conrad. At delivery our
friend Reichmann was present. Mrs. Mühlhauser opened your letter with the exclamation: “From
Findeisen and also a letter to Reichmann!” When she gave the enclosure to the latter, friend
Reichmann opened also it and both read. The pastor's wife finally read the words: “forward the
enclosure quite soon to Nockermann.” How?___ to Nockermann was questioned; and all of us
considered this to be a mistake or a mix-up of names. ___ Mr. Reichmann also! After the church
service yesterday Reichmann handed me your kind letter and said that he found only after a more
careful reading, that the letter is addressed and directed to me and we could only be surprised by
our blindness.
Concerning the reply to the contents of the written suggestion we, I and my dear wife, have
decided to go forward accordingly, i.e., on the assumption that Mrs. Müller just like you wishes
to live in our proximity as apartment neighbors. We want to regard it then as a decree of God,
that he leads us more closely together and want to relinquish to him humbly this closer linking.
He leads one as he chooses.
As I understand, here in Werners brick house are 3 rooms, two of which Mr. Martin had occupied
earlier, available to rent inexpensively. By the way, there are elsewhere enough empty rooms; of
course for the winter such in a brick house would be always preferred if the rent is not too high.
Our month runs out on the 16th of September and by then, what follows will be determined. ___
Regarding the renting of an apartment, I would moreover like to see either you or Mrs. Müller so
that we can advise each other.
Mrs. Mühlhauser sends hearty greetings to you and Mrs. Müller and is in full agreement, that for
the latter here in the city, particularly relative to the church, it would be better and more pleasant
than there. She wishes that the suggestion which was made to live and reside together with my
family, so to say, with the will of God, would be fulfilled and thinks that for our young parish, as
also for Mrs. Müller herself, it would be of great interest, that she returns to our local city. Mr.
Reichmann greets you and all friends there and wishes that I mention for him, that it might be
difficult for him to come this week and that his arrival might well be postponed until next week.
Your kind further decision and determination we will see in your forthcoming answer, fondly
We cordially greet you, Mrs. Müller and all friends and acquaintances there and I close with
friendly respect and love.
Your W. Nockemann
Mr. G. W. Findeisen
care of Henry Martin
Fond du Lac

Original Format



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Nockemann, Wilhelm, “Letter from Wilhelm Nockemann to Gottlieb Wilhelm Findeisen,” Recollection Wisconsin, accessed July 6, 2022, https://recollectionwi.org/items/show/45.

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