Jackson County, Illinois

Schwartz Letters

Donated by Gayla Putt

The following information about Edward Schwartz II, comes from an article found in the Foertmeyer family Bible. The article was printed in the "Elkville Journal", page 8, on Friday September 8, 1950. The article is recorded here in its entirety.

The letter printed below is one of several Mr. and Mrs. James Gossett found in the attic of the farm home they occupy south of Elkville. The letter was written by Edward Schwartz, who at the time was about 21 years of age. He was the grandfather of Mrs. E. D. Graeff, Mrs. Mercy (Kimmel) Thornton, Claude Casleton, Edward Lemming and others around here. It was written to his brother, William Schwartz, who at the time was in college at Lebanon, IL.

The Philip Kimmel mentioned in the letter was a father of the late E. E. Kimmel and grandfather of Leslie and Bryan Kimmel of Elkville, Phillip and Mrs. Entsminger of Carbondale and Roger of Murphysboro and Roy of Long Beach, California. The Jake Kimmel mentioned was one of two bachelor brothers, who resided west of town many years ago. Mrs. Dan Will or Lizabeth was a sister of the Phillip and Jake Kimmel mentioned in the letter. The writer, (NOTE: recipient) William Schwartz was the father of the late W. A. Schwartz of Carbondale, and Mrs. J. D. Hays (NOTE: Helen Schwartz Hayes).

Jackson County, IL

February 15, 1849

Dear Brother,

I received your letter on the 10th inst. which stated that you are well. I am glad to hear such news, for it is not often we can hear people say so here. Still we are all well as could be expected at present.

Yesterday morning, I happened with a tolerable bad accident. Jim got to cutting up some of his spells and throwed me off and liked to have made a finish of me. I fell right on my head on the frozen ground and cut two tolerable smart gashes in it, but I am most well again so as to be about.

Now I must commence something that you will not like to hear, but is not our work. It is God's work, the manager of all things and creator of things, and He takes them away when he sees cause to do it. He has took one of our neighbors away, never to return again to this unfriendly world and that is Old Mother Kimmel She was taken away very sudden. She was taken sick on Wednesday, the 7th of February and expired off on Tuesday following.

The poor old woman has been exposed to a great deal of hardship. It is a great wonder that she has not been taken away sooner. She was out at Daniel Will's and then on Philip some time, some three or four weeks and while she was out there, the old man was unwell and sent after her and it was very bad weather and I expect that she ketched cold which was the occasion of death shortly after she came back. She had day or two sickness but she appeared to be quite well again, but in a few days she was taken again which proved fatal.

The reason I presume, was the rheumatic fever and was let run on carelessly till it was too late, and inflamation was taken place in the bowels when the doctor came and he said that it was caused by taking too many pills and worked her too much. They had two doctors with her the night before she died but it was all to no affect.

She was buried here today and the funeral was preached in our house by Mr. Wood. The reason he preached here was there is no stove in the school house.

Now I will inform you that Philip Kimmel has been very sick, but the last account I had of him he was getting better. He was not here when his mother died nor Lisabeth nor Jacob. Jake is away up about O'Caw, going to school and I don't suppose that any of them knows it yet.

I will inform you that Samuel Woodsides has buried his wife and one child.. I am told that they have a dreadful disease over there. It cuts down both great and small. I suppose it is what they call the black tung. Your wrote to me and wanted to know about young Glotfelty, where he had come or not. He has not come nor never will. Glotfelty got a letter stating that he was dead.

Now I must write you something about a wedding. Robinson Cheatam and Sarah Kimmel was joined together in the bands of matrimony. They was married on Wednesday, the 7th of February. I tell you there was a set of sweet children there. They had a tolerable frolic there.

Now I will inform you that I don't intend to go to McKendree College next session and another thing I will not be caught in Lebanon without it is in the night for it is the meanest place that ever I was in and the people is not civilized and I don't like to be among such. I would like to go to school someplace, but it will be most impossible for me to leave home. I will try and wait till you finish your education and then I will go. Amen.

I could write a good many things if I had room but as it is I will leave the subject. One more word, do not let the professors run over you nor my letters. I remain your affectionate brother,

Edward Schwartz

Would like to hear from you when you can make it conveniently to write.  Would like to know what you intend doing when you return. Perhaps you would like to be a preacher. If would, I want you to write so, and I will appoint meetings in good yearnest, Billy.

Some notes on the letter:  

Old mother Kimmel was Rosina Geeting Kimmel, wife of Henry Kimmel and mother of the Philip, Lizabeth and Jacob mentioned in the letter. Although referred to as Old Mother Kimmel, she was just 40 years old when she died. She is listed in the mortality schedule at the back of the 1850 census book. Cause of death is given as consumption. Philip Kimmel became the b-i-l of Edward Schwartz. He married Eliza Schwartz. Lizabeth Kimmel m. Daniel Will and Jacob (and brother Abraham) remained bachelors.

William Schwartz, recipient of this letter, came home to Elkville to marry Sarah Kimmel later in 1849. Sarah was another daughter of Henry and Rosina Geeting Kimmel. William went on to serve in the Illinois State legislature and was instrumental in getting the University of IL built at Carbondale. Somewhere in one of Edward's diaries, there is an account of how they took the train up to Carbondale to the laying of the cornerstone and atmosphere of the occasion. William died suddenly in 1871 while serving in the legislature.

Interestingly enough....after the death of Rosina Kimmel, her widower Henry married Rebecca Reno in 1855. Rebecca was the widow of Eli Reno of Randolph Co. Emeline Reno, daughter of Eli and Rebecca came to live with her mother and step father, Henry, in Elkville. She later became, in 1860, the wife of Edward Schwartz, who was the author of this letter.

The Schwartzes and Kimmels in this letter were all cousins. The grandmother of Edward Schwartz was Catherine Kimmel Schwartz, daughter of George Kimmel who was a son of Johann Philip Kimmel. George Kimmel's brother, Philip Kimmel had a son named Abraham who was the father of Henry Kimmel of Elkville. Abraham's wife was Elizabeth Heiple Kimmel. Heiple is another common name in Jackson Co.--Gayle Putt


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