Letter Dated 15 March 1878, Parisville, Michigan

Lieber August,

By the time you receive this letter, I am certain your arm will have healed and that you are once again playing violin. Keep practicing. I will do the same. And we will think of one another.

Most settlers here come from Prussia. They are so eager to be entirely American that they break ties with European ways. For example, people here call me Bertha! Imagine! They say it sounds more American than Berta. So to fit in I am learning English, but it is not necessary. People here rarely speak it! They speak Polish or German, just like back home. And while we are all Prussians trying to fit in, there is one old habit that we will never reject: Germans and Poles here are as suspicious of one another as they are in Prussia. This discord is so blatant that the Parisville church is strictly Polish while just a mile down the road there is a German church. Unbelievable! Two churches to serve so few people! At least the economy in Parisville is better than in Prussia! It’s doing so well, in fact, that William and I are building a hotel. Papa was right — things are better here in America!

Deine Schwester,