- Lititz legend: Mourning the loss of Ron Reedy
- Beyond ‘Hearthside Hymns’ — The Marlene Hershey story
- Acapella voices will ring in the holiday season
- Warwick stages ‘Animal Farm’ this weekend
- 5K fun run/walk will benefit Warwick grad
- Oysters on the square: Ted’s tiny diner was a big deal at Broad and Main
- Picturesque parade!
- Heart of Lancaster craft show is Labor Day weekend at Root’s
- Escape Room: real life fun, in a world ruled by virtual games
- Florence Foster Jenkins: the Moravian connection
Aaron Wissler’s time capsule, part 3
This is part 3 and the final installment of the Aaron Wissler notebook, which was found tucked inside a wooden time capsule behind the date stone of his home built in 1872. like before, when a word could not be identified, a blank or question mark is placed in that space. continuing on:
Started out market street there he saw at a distance a woman carrying two pails with a yolk over her shoulders. A curiosity struck him he could not keep his eyes from her. When they came near to each other, who should be meet but his wife. They recognized each other she was on her way to market with milk which was her custom every morning. She did not go to the market with that milk.
To her place carrying the milk back for they _______ was too great to waste in market after that they settled down in Germantown at Brandywine Creek Pennsylvania after living there to an ripe old age and some 11 children. One of their boys named Andrew Wissler left to seek a home ______ in the woods and west came on to Middle Creek (my birth place). There he stayed with Hans Groff family. Hans Groff wife’s name was Shenk.
Andrew Wissler’s father’s name also Shenk. This created some friendship between them. Hans Groff only had one daughter to this daughter this Andrew Wissler is so married. Lived and died there and having three sons John the oldest then Jacob an infant died. Then my grandfather Jacob the youngest. John died at the age of 21 years. He wanted another Jacob because his brother Jacob died. Hence the cause of my grandfather’s name.
He inherited all of the land that same 5 to 600 acres belonging to Hans Groff. My grandfather married one by name of Anna Eby. My grandfather was when young with his father down to Brandywine to see his grandmother. She being old and blind. Called my grandfather to her bedside to feel his size. All this my grandfather told me when I was young yet. I kept it in my memory now right my grandfather had seven boys 8 girls ____ Jacob, Christian ______.
Catharine, Levi, Sem.(?) and Mary, 5 of them are dead now. Jacob, Martha, John, Catharine, Sem (?). My father Ezra took unto him Mary Bauman to wife. They both are living yet September 2nd 1872. I am John B. Wissler are the only children. John B. Wissler took onto wife Caroline Eberly. Had four children three girls an infant son died _______________.
John K. Wissler ______ to write a few lines in this book. That we live 5 years in this little old house.
In these last few pages, John K Wissler (Aaron’s son) lists names of the businesses that were in Brunnerville during that time including:
“a coach maker, a tailor, there are 29 houses inhabited in this little village of Brunnerville”. This ____ contains a foundry and machine shop. _____ my grandfather and father Keller and Wissler are the ?”
The last page or two in the notebook are not legible. There is, however, a beautiful hand-drawn eagle with a banner clenched in its teeth. Underneath the drawing, “E Pluribus Unum” is written. Is it alleged that it was drawn by John Wissler.
This notebook and all of the contents of the time capsule that were discovered serve as an invaluable piece of not only Brunnerville history, but Lititz area history as well. As I discussed, Aaron Wissler was very ahead of his time who among other things, invented many patents that proved to make life in his generation a little easier. We can look up to him not only as an innovator, but as a family man and successful business owner as well.
As we bring this three-part story to a close, I am honored to say that the contents of the time capsule lie safely in the hands of the Lititz Historical Foundation, and is currently on display for all to enjoy. Items like these need to be studied and preserved for future generations to enjoy.
Thank you Aaron Wissler for placing this unassuming wooden box — a time capsule –behind the date stone of your then newly built home way back in 1872. You have given us a first-person rare glimpse into your everyday life and surroundings. By listing the names of many of your workers in that notebook, at least one person living today learned that one of their ancestors worked for you.
Your notebook’s very first entry started off with “Brunnerville is the name of this place at present,” and I am happy to report that this wonderful village is still a great place to live and do business in, and is still filled with many wonderful and hard working residents. The Brunnerville Foundry and Agricultural Works may be gone, but it’s memory lives on thanks in part to your notebook you left for us to find. From Brunnerville
to Broad Street By
Cory Van Brookhoven More WISSLER, page A17
About Cory Van Brookhoven
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