Monday, June 24, 2013

An Unexpected Piece of Family History

This is my great grandmother Anna and me.  I have written about her before.  She was born in 1869, married in 1893 and then came to America from Germany.  They traveled to the Neillsville Wisconsin area where some of her new husbands family lived.  They established their life and had seven children.  Then in 1906 her husband, my great grandfather, got sick and died.  Her youngest child was only seven months old.  Through a lot of hard work and gumption, she managed to survive and raise all of her children to adulthood.  We know quite a lot about her.  In fact, we still own the home she lived with her husband and raised her children in. 

Photo of the original home.

We have many documents and pictures of her and her children, but we don't have any photos of her husband.  We have a description of him from an old military book but that is all. 

My great grandmother and me in 1949
This is his obituary.
Dux, William (10 AUG, 1868 - 17 NOV 1906) 
William Dux died at his home in this city (Neillsville, Clark County) Nov. 17, 1906, after an illness of five weeks. His age was 38 years, and his place of birth was Germany. In 1893 he was married and the same year came to America. Since coming to Neillsville he has worked in the furniture factory besides taking care of his green house. He was a man of good morals, very industrious and a good citizen in every way. His death is a particularly sad one, as he leaves with his widow, seven small children. The funeral took place at the Lutheran Church Monday, Rev. Brandt officiating.

I didn't realize that there was a hint about him in this obituary until a couple weeks ago.  My sister Janice came for a visit.  She had a box with her.  She said that it was something she got years ago from our parents.  She didn't really have room for it and wondered if I would like it.  It was a special piece made on a scroll saw by our great grandfather.  From the obituary we learned that he worked in a furniture factory and apparently had a talent for woodworking.  I had seen this piece when I was young but always thought that my grandfather made it.  I asked my dad and he confirmed that it was made by his grandfather.  It needs a little repair, but there are extra pieces to accomplish that.

This is the piece.  I'm not sure if it has a purpose or is purely for decoration.

Extra pieces kept all these years.

Close up photo of the intricate design.

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