Tragedy Tuesday

Sometimes I don’t like what I find in my research. Scandals are always interesting, until something so dreadful happens it feels like it is getting too sad and I question the reasons for my research and whether or not to continue. But families aren’t families without drama or tragedy and today’s is a doozy.

Since I’ve been researching my Dorwart line, I began research on the Nixdorf part. Sarah Nixdorf was married to George Dorwart and they lived in Lancaster, Pennslyvania (maternal fourth great-grandparents on the Conner side). Sarah was born to Henrich and Catherine (Maier) Nixdorf. Henrich and Catherine had five other children besides Sarah: Joseph, Henry, Elizabeth, Johannes (John), and Jacob. Since there wasn’t a lot of information on Henrich or Catherine, I began a different process of research, starting with one of her brothers and his family, that I had verified information on, and then moving outward through her siblings and their families and upward. Sadly, it seems like there was a lot of tragedy among many of Henrich and Catherine’s grandchildren. Not only did their granddaughter, Sara, die in that boiler explosion, but three other grandchildren landed in prison and one committed suicide.

It seems that Jacob’s son, Levi and William Nixdorf, were arrested for robbing the United States mail (I’ve lost track of the year). Apparently, they were employed as mail carriers and twenty-three letters were found hidden in their employer’s livery stable, and money was stolen from them. The two young mean were carted off to jail.

The next one is a read at your own risk if you have a strong stomach (no pun intended). Joseph’s son, Frederick, Nixdorf, was carted off to jail for five days because of public drunkenness. In my opinion, from reading this, he was not just an alcoholic, but obviously severely mentally ill, which is why he may have been an alcoholic actually. Anyone that can cue themselves open and pull out their intestines is very ill. His alcoholism was so severe before this, that his wife and children had to leave him because he could not take care of them. What I find so horribly sad is that the details of this would even be printed for the public to see, where one of his children may read it, or others, and who knows what they would hear and repeat what they read. It makes it even sadder to learn that one of his children also died by his own hand 20 years later. There was a lot going on on the Nixdorf side.

It’s a little illegible but maybe that’s a good thing.

Thanks for reading!!

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