This letter was passed along to me by Dick Conrad, who is a descendant of Charles E Conrad. It was handwritten by my great-great- grandfather Harry W Conrad (who was born Hendrick Coonradt). It and came along with two photographs, which I will attach to this posting if I am able. The letter is addressed to his brother Charles Conrad (who I believe was born Edgar C. Coonradt). I will include footnotes at the end because there are several family references that I’ve been able to identify but who were typically identified by Harry only by their first names.
HW Conrad, 49 North Hartman St, York, PA, 10-24-15
C. E. Conrad
Received your letter a day or two ago but am too busy days and too tired nights to write as I am getting pretty good again but will never be able to walk as I did before altho I can walk better than I did when I came here. As you will see by the card I am with a new concern here and shall put them on the map as I did Pullman and when I do shall have stock in the business. The Doctor who pulled me back from the brink of eternity is a part owner in The Bell Motor Car Co and it was thru him that I came here with the firm. We have moved over two miles from where we were so as to be near the office so I can walk to my work in the morning and back after dinner in about seven minutes and they take me in a car the rest of the time. Of course Grace (1) has to take a car when she wants to go to town but everything is brot to the door or she can order it by phone and we are very nicely located. I knew that you had attended to the papers as Joe (2) sent them to me to have me get Verna (3) to sign them as he don’t know where Bert (4) is and they did not know at Tunkhannock (5). Father (6) said that he had heard that Bert was in York State with another woman but he did not know where he was and seemed to feel terribly hurt that Bert had left him to shift for himself and did not seem to appreciate that Leon (7) and Allie (8) was giving him a good home. Of course I did not enjoy the trip as well as I would have as I was so weak and a Nervous break down unnerves one so that I thot the old man (6) would drive me mad. He seemed to think that I came purposely to see him but you just can’t make him hear a word. Went to mother’s (9) grave and found her buried just back of the old Brick burying ground in a piece they are adding on. He had put some small Granite head stones up but I thot if he missed her as much as he said he did that he might at least have kept her grave clear as it was grown up with weeds and little red sumach that you could hardly see it. As I was not able to do anything I just broke down and turned away. We are enclosing some small snap shots which Allie took while we were there. I don’t look as if I had fallen away much and even did not show it much when I first got around again but I never expect to be so near deaths door again and live.
I very much appreciated Clarence (10) signing the release as I felt that we owed that much to our poor old mothers memory and while I felt that you would cheerfully do so I did not know how we felt about the matter. Leon signed it and I have sent it to Verna and when she returns it all that will be left is Bert and I told Joe that he must look after Bert himself. All he seemed to think of was to paw over poor old mothers things and take what he wanted but he did have our own fathers (11) letters written to her when he was in the army which I brot away with me. Leon told me that I should look her things over and if there was anything I wanted to take it but I was not much interested in life then so did not bother them but Allie brot me the letters and asked me if I wanted them so I brot them home.
I well remember what you said when you came back from the east how much Leon had improved when I met him as he is a steady hard working man and certainly has done fine with Allie to keep them all together.
I saw by the Courier that your odd fellow gathering was there last week so presume you were pretty busy. Hope you had a good time. Grace is all worn out from moving and trying to get settled – in face she never has got rested up since I was sick as we just could not keep a nurse. I was irrational and wouldn’t have her around so it made it hard on Grace altho we had a man from the factory nights and all other times we needed help. Grace sends love to all and she will write when she feels better.
Love to all. Ever your Brother, HW Conrad.
Retyped by Kyle Dane, March 12, 2010.
(1) Harry’s wife Grace V (Greene) Conrad
(2) Joe appears to be the lawyer that handled their mother’s estate
(3) Verna is Laverna Rosengrant, the wife of Bert Rosengrant (see 4)
(4) Bert Rosengrant is Harry and Charles’ half brother
(5) Tunkhannock is a small town near Scranton, Pennsylvania where the Rosengrants and Harry and Charles Coonradt had lived when the boys were growing up.
(6) “Father” and “the old man” here refer to Harry and Charles’ stepfather, Charles Rosengrant
(7) Leon Rosengrant is Harry and Charles’ half brother and Bert’s full brother.
(8) Allie Rosengrant is Leon’s oldest daughter. Reading between the lines here, it appears that Leon’s wife died unexpectedly and Allie had to take over the mothering duties for her younger siblings.
(9) Cordelia Bailey is their mother
(10) Clarence Coonradt is Harry and Charles’ oldest brother.
(11) Daniel Coonradt, who was in the 107th Pennsylvania Infantry in the U.S. Civil War and died in a Confederate prison after being captured.
The attached snap shots
Harry and Grace:
Harry, Aunt Cass, Allie, Grace:
Allie, Aunt Cass: