Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Walter Hanni letters Part VI

Gravama, the 28 Sept 1913
                                                                            (don’t know where this is in Utah???)

Dear Martha!

I have received you dear letter and read it with great joy. It makes me feel so good to receive mail from you. You are so very good to me and I know that will always be in the future the same, I don’t doubt that. You are the dearest to my heart and I want to be true to you throughout eternity. I will provide for you and take care of you with all my strengths and being. 
I am longing for the day we will live together and built a beautiful home. How happy will I feel to come home after work and be able to go home to my dear wife who will welcome me with a kiss. Let us always be faithful and true to the Lord and in return he will guide us and provide for us. Let us be strong in prayer and God will always remember us. 

So, Martha, you will be in Salt Lake in September. A new life will begin for you. Do not be worried or afraid, all will be well. You will not experience the real life. Learn the English language for it will be of advantage for you. There are many good people, but if one does not know the language one is like a lost sheep without a shepherd. Take the book (Book of Mormon) and study it, you probably have never really done that.

 I will soon write to you in English and you have to learn the language so you will be able to read my letters. That will be interesting if we someday converse together in the English language. I will kiss you in English and embrace you. Now it is soon time for General Conference and I wished I could be there and attend it. My cousin comes from Stiching, Alberta to be there, as well as Bingerer, Kaner, Steiner and Cie. How many of the well-known elders will be there? (I assume he is talking about General Authorities or former ward members), (perhaps dear sister Frieda Ryter will also attend)
 That will be a superb day. You have the wonderful opportunity to be there and attend it. 
I am happy that all goes well for you and that you are healthy. You are my dear Martha, oh, that is so certain, my dearest “Schueggerli” (sweetheart). I wished so much I could kiss you now and embrace you. 

Be always loyal and good to me

Greetings from your loyal and dear Walter.

P.S. I dreamt that you were on a mountain and I came to visit you. When I was doubting again, you walked a few steps with me. That was all you walked with me and that was not very nice of you and did hurt me.
 These flowers will welt and dry up but the loyalty and the love will last forever, dear Martha.

Give my greetings to the Leo Woodruff family. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Walter Hanni letters Part V

Colten, the 12 Sept. 1912

Dear Martha

Did you receive my letter? We are having beautiful weather here. But it is cold during the night hours. In the morning there is a little frost on the ground. Everything is going well. I have enough to eat. I have met a colleague who is from Walperswyl, only 5 ½ kilometer from Biel. He knows Fritz Gutmann. He has been here already for eight years. I recognized right away the he was a Swiss man, first by his accent and second because of his milk (pale) face. One can always recognize when someone is from Switzerland. How are you doing in Brigham? Keep on eating those peaches faithfully, they are healthy and good for you. I always eat plenty and I will not marry you until you are “fat”. So you can eat as much as you want, and I will do the same. You have to take care of your health and be sure not to have too much free time on your hands.

I visited the Niederhaeuser family and had a good time with them. Bieri send me a group picture from the Basel Conference. Gutmann and I are looking good on it; too bad that you are not in that picture. But you always look good and I know that the two of us are a beautiful pair and will look good on a picture. The photo was like a post card and Bieri did not wrap it very good. The frame was broken and the picture torn on one side. Brierli sent a note with it, however he only wrote five lines, kept it very short. I guess I have not been very good in writing to him. 
I wish I was in Brigham, a visit is overdue. I have given peaches to Mathilde. I was not able to eat any more when I found out the news about my work. May God keep on protecting you. Let us remain faithful at all times. Please write to the local post office in Colten.

Greetings, from your Walter.

Lehi, 19 Sept 1913

Dear Martha

I did receive your letter, It was sent back to Thistle, Utah. I was so happy to hear from you. We are now in Lehi, have to repair a large part of the old train. Lehi is five miles from SLC. There is much work to be done here and the mosquitos are wild here. One can’t go outside in the evening hours without being bothered by them. Brigham is probably not plagued as much by mosquitos. I received a photograph from the Basel Conference. Bierly put the picture inside an envelope and it got ruined. Too bad. We all look good on the picture but Martha is not on it. It is a beautiful memory from Switzerland and it stirred up memories inside of me. 
Once we get used to life here and have our own home we will feel just as happy as we were in Switzerland. We just need to be patient, all needs time. The dear Lord will bless us and He will prepare thing for us.

Did Adele receive the money by now? I send 34 Dollars while in Thistle, Utah. The Swiss guy from Walperswyl wants to go to Switzerland next year. He is single, just like Adele is. He has a farm in Colorado. I told him that I know a single Swiss girl and she wants to also go back to Switzerland. Perhaps those two can travel together. He is a larger man, handsome and has red cheeks. Adele would travel in good company until they reach Biel. We chuckled about this, but please don’t mention anything to Adele. 
We have to keep all the commandments and you dear Martha, please attend all the church meeting whenever you have an opportunity to do so. I am not able to do so right now. I wished that I had a work schedule so I could attend Sunday meetings. It would be a lot more beneficial to me than working on Sundays. Now I keep on praying that the dear Lord will prepare a way so I can attend Sunday meetings and hear about Him. But I do not doubt the truth.

You are writing and informing me that we should buy land from Leo and that Leo would love to have us as neighbors. How do you feel about it? I know we would get along fine with Leo; but what about the rest? I have also looked at Alfred’s area. I love peace and want to have peace. That is my opinion. It is good that your siblings are now apart and you will appreciate each other more and learn from each other more. Freedom is like a choice flower. We will look into this some more. It would be a beautiful place to live, but I have to see where I find work. Please let me know your opinion about this. I agree, Martha, it is a quiet place and would be nice to live there. We will just have to see what will happen. Leo is a good guy but he is not really settled yet. How are you doing dear Martha, are you healthy? Keep on eating, you are now in a  spa town and I wish you much luck and the Lords richest blessing.

When will I be able to kiss you again? I am healthy and good. Greetings to Leo, how is Sanni doing?
Please write to me to the following address:
Walter Haenni
c/o Joe Witlock
B & B Dpt. D8R.G.R.R
Salt Lake City

Greetings from you loyal Walter, whom you sometimes claim to love

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Walter Hanni letters Part IV

8th Aug 1913

Dear Martha

We have been gone from Thistle for a while and work not about 28 Miles away from Thistle. 
Yesterday we returned to Thistle since there was a flood and it destroyed a bridge. We drove back straight to get there and worked until midnight. While in Thistle I go to Mrs. Blackitt's to eat, she prepared good food. I sleep in one of the railroad cars, one that we transfer goods in. It is not really comfortable when so many of us sleep so close together. Sometimes you feel more tired when you wake up then you did when you went to bed the evening before.

We always have to work on Sunday and it is not a good feeling if one can’t attend Sunday meetings. 
It is hard to be with inactive members who have fallen away, they become dangerous and can’t be trusted. If it was not for some others, I would have probably been beaten up. Living in these conditions, one learns the principle of humility. I have much time to think about things here. It surely is not a moral lifestyle here, Martha, it is more a life of a vagabond, I would not want to live my life like this. That is something for single people and I sure hope it will get better soon. 

I am learning English quite well. No one speaks German here. How are you doing with your English, are you learning more words? Just talk English to everyone; it will be of benefit to you. You are not learning the language for anyone else, but for yourself. You should try it very hard, I just mean well for you. And how are you? Are you healthy, “I am healthy”. 

I am wondering when I will see you again. It is hard to get away when one has to work every Sunday. I am not a specialist here, only a laborer/worker. So if I don’t appear for work, I can surely lose my job. Americans are just a little different, one day they say this and tomorrow they mean something else. Perhaps I can manage that we can see each other.

Martha you are my beloved, I love you very much. Even I can’t always show my love and you might not see it as such, but you will experience it once we are together. I will make sure that you will have a good life with me as my wife. I just wish that the time would be here already. I am sure many have to work hard like me, if they want to come to Zion.
 I hope to see you very soon. I have received the package and the letters. They were forwarded to Tucher (?) where I am working since August. Mister Blackitt works with us here. He brought the things to me when he arrived. Please write me your detailed address in Brigham City. 

Thistle, the 11 August.

I came back from Tucher to Thistle today. I have received all the letters and have read them and know now how everyone is doing. Two letters were from you and I was so happy to hear from you and from home. I did not have much time to write to everyone, and I apologize for it. I am happy that I am back in Thistle. I am sending you the letter I received from home. All is going will and I hope that is also the case for you, dear Martha.

I can’t tell you when I will be able to see you but I will try that it will be as soon as possible. Well, Martha, I always pray for you, for my parents and for everything, I feel the urge to pray much. Please keep on writing to me, dear Martha.

Dear Martha, you mean everything to me, I love you. Do you feel about things the way you write to me? Please do not leave me, dear Martha. Good bye my beloved. 

Greetings and kisses from your Walter.

Greetings also to the Woodruff family.

Please excuse my bad penmanship.

 Provo, the 2nd September 1913

Dear Martha

I was happy with anticipation, but it was not possible again for me to visit you. I was hoping that we could have spent some good time together. I was for a very short time in Riverton, only 18 miles from Salt Lake. We worked only two days there and then we had to leave again for Colton, which is situated high in the mountains. Dear Martha, we will work long hours until the 1st of October and if I would leave for Salt Lake and the others are being transferred to another place as expected, it would be very bad for me and I had to battle with this by myself.

I would be so happy if I could come and visit you; that would be so wonderful, my dearest Martha and I could embrace and kiss you. I am often thinking for many hours about you, you mean everything to me and I love you very much and you are all I have here. Let us be faithful and stalwart and not get discouraged. The first opportunity I have, I will come and visit you, and it might even be in the middle of the week and unexpected. I know we will see each other again; we just need to have patience.

Again, let me assure you that you are my love and my all. Do not get discouraged and start to doubt. I will never leave you. It is too bad that you can’t write to me. We are staying everywhere for a very short time and I can’t receive your letters. But I am always writing to you so you will know how I am doing.

I send the money to Adele, 24 Dollars. Please keep to yourself what I write to you. Give my greetings to the Woodruff family. How is Alferd doing? Tell him hello from me. Did you forget to send the comb? I have received all the things and I wrote you about three weeks ago.

Greetings and kisses,
Your loyal Walter.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Walter Hanni letters Part III

17th August 1913

My dearest Martha,

I have received the little package you send and thank you very much for it. It is sad that most of the fruit was spoiled, I could only eat about four pieces; the rest was mush. Please don’t send any more. You paid 22 cents for postage and that is quite a lot. I can buy an entire paper sack of fruit here for 10 cents which is much less. But it was wonderful that you thought about me. You are so good and have a good heart. Please don’t be offended about what I wrote. See, the fruit here comes from Provo and Springville. I am not very fond of fruit; however it would be of interest and joy for me to see one of those fruit farms. 

I have read your dear letter. I could tell it was so hard for you to have to wait so long for a letter from me. I was not sick, thank heavens, however we were gone and that was the reason for me not writing earlier. I ask for forgiveness. You know the saying “and please don’t eat me" (because she was upset about him not writing). 

No, Martha, I will never leave you alone, because I love you with all my heart. You mean everything to me, you are so good and I hope you will always be good to me; that would be so great. If you love me as much as I love you, it will be wonderful to be together, my dear Martha. I wished for that time to arrive soon, my Schnugerli (sweetheart). God may lead and guide all and that means all will be well. What was that bad dream you had all about? Forget about it, it is nonsense. Just remain true to all your beliefs and to your associations, that is most important. I do the same. I am healthy and I am getting fatter. It is quite boring here.

Marie wrote me a letter and she complained that I don’t write a lot. It looks as if I don’t think that much about my relatives, but that is not true. Sometimes I wished I could be in their presence. I have answered Marie right away, I also wrote to Aunt Friede? and to the Guttmann’s. Everyone seems to complain that I don’t write enough. But I write to all those that mean a lot to me in this life. Now I will also write to the friends in the ward, which might hopefully do some good. Marie wrote that our Pappa (father) has been active and has improved much. He raises pigeons again and the cat is trying to eat the pigeons. All seems to go okay, according to Marie, but Pappa needs to be more knowledgeable in the Gospel. Now he has done things that no one expected! He is preaching and correcting the members, which shows that he must have been quite upset. It does however take courage and nothing gets people more upset or wound up than religion. I have experienced it here, especially with jack Mormons.

I know I can deal with everything and have to deal with things, however it is sometimes hard. But we have to experience everything for a purpose. 
I have been thinking about how I would react if I would accept my father if he would come into my presence. I am ashamed of how my father treated your parents. Wonder what they think about me now? I will write to them. I am sorry that things happened between our parents. I am still wondering how things could have progressed so fast. I am a little hurt about Marie's letter to me. I know that we will be able to start our own family and get our own home. All beginnings are hard but it can only be better from now on.

I received your letter on the 17th. I was so happy and your wise words have thrilled me. You are wonderful and good, and I, your Walter, will always be good to you. You don’t have to be worried, my loyalty and my love will shield you and keep us together, my dear Martha. While we are far apart right now, our love is strong and keeps us together. I have learned to value and appreciate you more than ever before. You are so very good and I know you will remain that way, dear Martha.

Thank you also for forwarding the greetings of your parents to me. How do they feel now that you and I live so far apart? It is too bad that your family can’t be here with you also. If we are patient time will work for us. Patience will award you with roses; first buds are growing and then grow the blossoms. We just can’t get offended and have to endure in love. There are many who are suffering like we are and who are going through trials.

We now have to learn the language and that is very hard. But each day we are progressing with the language. We are many people sitting at the table. They always ask me something in English. Since they are aware that I am just learning to speak the language, they think I will answer something stupid and are ready to laugh. But I am not upset about it at all. I always seem to answer somehow and I know I have to keep on learning the language. It is all okay and we don’t have to be afraid, we just have to watch and study. Talk as much as possible with your relatives.

Today is Friday evening the 22nd and I have not yet received my vacation pass. I have reported it to my superiors. They promised they would call the office in Salt Lake City. Only with that official pass can I leave here and come and see you. I sure hope that it will work out and that the superiors will really follow up with this and that I will have the pass by Saturday. I can’t wait to see you again. It will be a wonderful reunion for us, I am sure about that. It is often times so hard to be without you. You are my chosen one. Please send the mail only to the postal office.
I wished we could be together already.

Kiss and greetings, your loyal Walter

Walter Hanni,
Thistle Utah

Greetings to the Woodruff family

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Walter Hanni letters Part II

The next group of letters appear to be written after the move to America but before they got married. Our translator couldn't figure out what "banten" was but it appears to have to do with his work. He was working for a railroad company at the time.

2nd August 1913

Dear Martha

I have received your letter and thank you for it. I was glad to know that you are in Brigham City. Recently some new “Banten” surfaced of which I had not known before. I asked myself how much longer this might last? If I am required to stay here, it will be until November.

I feel often times very discouraged and have to tell myself “you have to truly fight/battle”, I have never thought that this would happen to me. I don’t know where the end will be. Perhaps these are trials, I just don’t know. Things happen how they are supposed to. I am happy about your paper (maybe a drawing?). I do not laugh about it, for I have forgotten how to laugh. I will laugh again in the future, and I don’t know if that will be in Switzerland or in America. 
I have hiked too much in the Swiss Alps and I am constantly thinking about it. In my mind I vision see the elder bush in the yard were we loved to sit while the moon was shining. Some things are not as clear on my mind as others.

I always think about you, Martha. 
But now I want to discuss another subject. I have promised to marry you. But now I am making way fewer wages than in Switzerland and that makes me think about the future. You have had to wait so long already and I have not fulfilled my commitment to marry you yet. Your sisters are all doing very well and I would like to have the same status for you. In Switzerland I was doing very well and would have had a good future. I love you and I do not want another one in my life. But if you have a better choice, besides me, then it is up to you. You need to decide. Please don’t be upset with these words for I want everything to be okay for you. I am sure your dear parents don’t know what to think about our situation. May the dear God guide and lead us. I have been having deep thoughts about this. I want you to know that I will never leave you, Martha. What I have promised you I will keep. Please answer me as soon as possible, please dear Martha.

Something else:
 Please send me the following: three shirts one of which should me my white hunters shirt, hair brush, razor knife, cloth brush, a mouth harmonica, the small one which is in the photo box or the suit case, the letter box which is on top of the closet. 
Also three pairs of socks of which one will still are stuck inside my Sunday shoes. The keys are in back of the bed in one of the boxes. 
Money for postage is inside the black box in the wooden suitcase. You can take some of it for your work in my behalf. 
Ask Adelle if she can deposit my money in the bank; please give her my savings book. She can deduct money for her time spent on this. I will send her money once she lets me know how much I owe her. I am not allowed to keep money here, so I need it put in the bank. Send me please the address from Adelle.

I send my greetings to all, to you hugs and kisses,

Good Bye.

Underlined side remark: Private Mail
remark on top (should be inserted somewhere but I don’t know where) the tools are behind the bed, please wrap them in paper and put in the suitcase.