Saturday, August 27, 2022

Kollman Family, Effingham County, Altamont, Illinois 1911

Susie Kollman writes to her parents, Andrew and Christina, in September 1911:

"Dear Papa and 
Mamma and
all. We are all well and
hope the same from
you it is pretty wet
out here now it is
a little to ??? to
plow and how is the 
wether out there. I have 
got about 100 ??? of 
peaches canned the
trees were so full
they broke but the peaches
did not get very big.
From, Susie"

Susie's father, Andrew Kollman, was born in Germany in 1848 and immigrated to the United States when he was 18. He married Christine Stroot in 1875 and the couple had nine children: Herman, Mary, Suzanna (or Susie), William, Anna, Joseph, Louis, Clara, and Elizabeth. The family lived for many years on a farm in Effingham County, Illinois, near the town of Altamont.

In 1903, Susie married William Schell, a baker. They had one son together, Arthur, but the marriage was short-lived and the couple eventually divorced.

Sometime between 1900 and 1910, Andrew and Christine moved to Fairdealing, Missouri. Herman, Louis, Anna, and Elizabeth joined them in Missouri, while Joseph and Susie stayed behind to run the farm. 

Susie was 29 when she sat to write this postcard to her parents in Missouri. Unfortunately, she didn't identify the people in the photograph, probably assuming her parents would recognize everyone. I would guess that the photo includes Joseph and Susie herself, as well as her son Arthur, who would be 5 or 6 when this was taken. It might also include her brother, William, her sister Mary, Mary's husband George, and their son William, who lived nearby. Her sister Clara, who worked as a maid for a nearby family, may be pictured as well. As for all of the unhappy-looking children, it's hard to say who they belong to. 

After Andrew's death in 1913, Christine and her children returned to Illinois to be with the rest of the family. They would lose another member of the family, Anna, in 1917. 

Susie lived in Effingham County, Illinois, with her family until her passing in 1931 at age 49. I wonder if the Kollman family farm is still in Effingham County and if they still grow peaches there. 

If you know who these folks may be, let us know in the comments!

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