Saturday, October 10, 2009

One of My Grandfathers

A letter to my kids:

When we have the Lord with us we can handle anything.

I was looking through the family genealogy and noticed that your great great great grandfather Dr. Peter Eppler lived in Lincoln Park. I remember riding through that area on the L when we were in Chicago this summer. It's close to downtown.

Peter moved to Lincoln Park from Stuttgart, Germany as a boy. When he was twelve years old Cholera spread through Chicago and his parents died. The disease was so swift that people died very suddenly. Peter was spared because he had gone to see a circus for the day. When he came home, he was told he could not go back to the house. An Irish woman took him in. The only thing they took from the house was a Bible and a hymnal. Everything else was burned. Peter's parents were buried in Lincoln Park. But there is probably no grave stone. In many cases these people were buried in long ditches and were buried as soon as they died.

But these people had their faith in Jesus. St. Paul said, "It is not I who live but Christ who lives in me. The life I live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself up for me" (Galatians 2.20). Remember that when you think you are overwhelmed with life's problems.

Peter married Augusta Schliepsick (daughter of an LCMS pastor). They had a daughter named Dorothea, who married Valentine Walther, who had immigrated from Rostall, Germany (near Nurenburg).

Dorothea and Valentine had a son named Johann Frederick Walther. They just called him Fritz. He is my grandfather and your great grand father. I'll tell you some more about Valentine and Fritz some other time.