The Fort Dodge Daily Chronicle: Sept. 11, 1908

Memories of The Past Are Awakened by Visit to Leipzig

Mrs. John F. Duncombe Writes an Interesting Letter of Her Revisit to the German City She Resided in For Three Years With Her Daughters – Other Matters of Interest.

We are now in good old Leipzig with lovely weather and both of us well, and  having a good time. We have visited the place the girls and I called home for three years and as John and I entered the hall door and walked up the familiar stairs, memories of the past came over me and I could not but feel sad. The friends of long ago, where were they all? Gone, move of them, to that bourne from whence no traveller returns. I remember how pleased your father was with our beautiful little German home, and of his saying, “Well, I heartily approve of this, it if fine,” but that is all in the past.

John and I went all through the great conservatory. All the students have gone for their vacations and the whole place is being renovated and made ready for the fall term. I took John through the Auerbachshof, the wine cellar in which Goethe wrote Faust – made famous by Keller. We enjoyed the collection of renowned Faust pictures, dating back to the year 1525. We also visited the Furinjerhof and the celebrated Thomas Kirche – (church) where we used to go to hear the boys sing on Saturday morning. I called on some of my old German friends and they all knew me at once. We went to find Mrs. Nicholson and Nana, but they are up on the Hartz and will not be back until next week, so we were disappointed and I feel sure they will regret not seeing some one from home. John and I went to view the battle ground of Leipzig, and we saw the fine monument Germany is erecting to the memory of this great victory. They already have a small stone placed where Napoleon stood when commanding his army. It is all very interesting and as the morning was a bright, beautiful one our drive was very enjoyable. We will leave here for Dresden tomorrow, and remain there until we have seen all we care to see;  then on to Berlin and be ready for a plunge into Switzerland.

I hope my cabled greetings tot he old settlers, through Professor Findlay, president of the Historical Society, reached there in time and that the day was fine and all the old settlers living could be present and enjoy it themselves. They certainly deserve it after their long years of privations and hard work.

We h ad a long sea trip of seven  hours crossing over form Queensborough to Flushin, Holland. The sea was very rough and many were very sick. John enjoyed the canals and dykes and and windmills of picturesque Holland. We have been very fortunate as to weather, bright and cool, not one entire disagreeable day since we landed. John often says at eventide, “My, but this has been a grand day to me.” We are book to sail in the Hamburgh (sic) American steamer, The Kaiserine Augusta Victoria, a sister boat to the Amerika, and which sails on Oct. 2nd. When we went up to the steamer offices, we were obliged to answer a number of questions as to occupation, sex, color, etc., etc. When John heard me say white, he remarked: “Put me down green.”

I was very sorry to read of Senator Allison’s death. It seemed very pathetic and too bad that his last days should be embittered by strife in his own state, after so long a service to the public. He died on Tuesday and Thursday morning I was reading about his death in Edinburgh, Scotland. The wireless makes the world seem small.

Mary A. Duncombe

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