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Wessling Letter to the Editor 10/15/20

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To the Editor:

Once again, you published work of Mary Baumhauver, and as always, Mary’s work is delightful. Mary works to show that old adage, “You cannot know where you are going until you understand where you came from.”

As a longtime history buff and genealogist, I was thrilled to see a brief post about my Uncle Anton Broich. The original newspaper dubbed him the ‘Godfather,’ and my uncle was that. I remember him a fun fellow who did a lot of work around Carroll, at Graham Park, and he was a caretaker; often, kids would leave their bats and balls and them come to his house and ask if he found them, and yes, he did.

Uncle Tony, as other Broich sibs and cousins, created a lot of things around Carroll County. Which brings me back again — you cannot know where you are going until you understand where you came from. Oftentimes in the past, people and, yes, sometimes genealogists, focus only on the mail family line. Not so with me. I suspect there was a reason my Uncle Tony, my dad and, well, I guess me too, had this urge to create things.

My great-great-great-grandfather Weber and his wife and four daughters came to the USA in the 1840s. The passenger list listed him as a carpenter. They settled in Pennsylvania in 1845 with his parents and sister and two of his daughters. Sophie married Kasper Werner, who came to Pennsylvania in 1845 with his parents and sister and two brothers. The Werner/Webers came to Iowa. Later, I learned, two of Sophie’s sisters also came to Iowa, and later, Kasper, after Sophie died, brought his children and second wife to Carroll, where he helped bring about the church in Willey. Later, Kasper, his wife Theresia and some of his children moved to South Dakota. Oh, my great-grandfather Joseph remained in Carroll County.

Joseph’s brother, Tony, out there in South Dakota, like my Uncle Tony, became a godfather to many of the pioneer children. My great-grandfather Joseph Werner’s brother Anton out there in South Dakota was a blacksmith, carpenter/bricklayer at a shop near the church, so when families brought their newborn babies and needed a godfather, he was called, and so many babies in that small community called him Godfather.

Thank you so much for Mary Baumhover’s articles.

Phyl Broich Wessling

Garner, Iowa

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