1882: The last month in Bozeman

The month of January 1882 brought severe cold. The thermometer sunk down to less than negative 30°R (-37.5°C or -35.5°F). I had to spent several nights in the kitchen because it was unbearable in the attic. – One day there was big excitement going on in town: Charles Krug, the co-partner of the brewer, was beaten by a strange butcher-boy. The Germans were very upset and wanted to catch the delinquent the next morning. I promised to help as well, for which Kopp let me borrow his precious fast horse Blatter. However, the plan had to be put aside for the time being because no one was able to tell where the lad had escaped to. It was assumed that he had run to the Crow Indians. Suddenly, after four days he reappeared, whereupon he was issued a severe monetary penalty of four-hundred dollars.

[This incident was reported in the local Newspaper on January 12th, 1882. See picture]


January passes with most diverse work in the butcher shop, as well as in the office and practical work in the slaughter house, with curing meat and making sausage, cutting wood etc. From Barmen there were urgent requests for me to return home. On January 11th I received a cash remittance of 120 dollars from Barmen, an amount, however, insufficient for the journey, hence, I stay longer. A few days later, on the 14th, my brother comes to town from the farm with the news that he had balanced accounts with the farmer and was now ready to rent a store in town, as soon as possible, in order to continue the business alone. The same day I received a telegram from Barmen whereby I am to leave for Barmen right away, more money was on the way.

On January 17th Rudolph and the Gottschalk Family came into town. In the butcher’s business rooms, as a result of some messages my brother delivered to me, it came to a heavy argument between the Farmer and I. It was close for it to become violent, that is how harsh the mutual accusations became under thundering rumbling. It was a so called “friendly agreement” about the dissolution of the company Dahl & Co. The next day Kopp with family (wife and a one-year-old son) and my brother drove to the farm, where the latter packed his belongings in order to relocate to town. I have to cook my lunch myself today. Since I had been preparing beefsteaks for breakfast for a while now, I have gained some skills. A few days later Kopp saddled his horse Blatter, a precious chestnut mare, in order to go to Yellowstone and pick up cattle there. Mrs. Kopp sends me a message, in which her sister explained that she was very sorry that it came to the incident between her husband and I. Therefore, she suggests a reconciliation which I agree to.

The days went by fast. After being gone for three days, Kopp came back from his business trip. A few days later the Gottschalk family came back, without us having had the time to talk things out. Later the Farmer’s wife sent a message through her sister, letting me know my brother and I were to come to the farm the next Sunday, the 29th of January. Unfortunately, the execution of this intention was impeded by a random incident. Therefore, I had no chance to go back to the farm before my departure. Later on I regretted that very much since I had enjoyed great friendship on the farm for a long time. In order not to delay my now urgent travels home, I thankfully accepted Mrs. Spieth’s offer to lend me money. She gave me 120 dollars and I gave her the promise to send it back after my return to Barmen. On January 31st I made all the preparations for my departure which was set for the next day. Mrs. Spieth gave me a package and pictures for her relatives in Germany. In the evening Rudolf Wolferts came by and brought by three bottles of California wine. A cozy farewell-party at the Kopp’s house followed.

translated by Julia Strehlau-Jacobs

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