Tuesday, February 21, 2012

As Paul Harvey said, This is the Rest of the Story...

   Saturday, February 11th, I once again met with the Staffinger descendants at the Robert Johnson farm near Carthage, Illinois.  They had invited me to see the newly acquired photos and documents a lady gave them that now owns the Christopher Staffinger home. I'm not sure where they were in the house that they were missed the day of the sale, attic maybe. I wasn't prepared for what I saw. The "few" items I expected to see turned out to be a boxful, about 12" x18" x24", I'd guess. It was amazing. When Amanda handed me the first couple of pictures of Christopher as an elderly man, I couldn't even see them at first, because my eyes filled with tears. Oh, what a treasure it was!

Christopher with one of his grandchildren...

Christopher leaning on his hand plow (he died while plowing his garden)...
  These were the tip of the iceberg. I scanned as much as I thought I had time to prepare for my presentation at the German American Heritage Center, Davenport, IA, on Sunday afternoon. Nine members of the family traveled to Davenport to attend my presentation. It really made the event special having them there.I know the audience  enjoyed seeing them there.
   I'll need to make a couple more trips to the farm to get the rest of the material scanned. There were so many letters to and from the Army Pension Board and all kinds of legal documents. I don't think the family even has had a chance to thoroughly study them all. It really is going to fill in almost all the gaps in the story for me.

  This is a testimonial letter a friend wrote to vouch for Christopher's injury and right to claim a pension...
   It's really so sad to read the extent of his injuries. He suffered so terribly his entire adult life and yet remained so upbeat and lived life to his full capacity.

  Here is his injury in his own words...
  His fellow soldiers told of his laying on the battlefield for 3 days, Chris only remembered being there overnight. I'm sure in his condition, he was probably unconscious most of that time and had no sense of the time. Regardless how long, it was too long to be that seriously injured and lay unattended.

 Here is his family in the 1880's or early 90's (Henry, his only son died as an infant) Bertha is the youngest in the center. Isn't her hair beautiful?
  Keep checking in as I'll be sharing lots more, but it's now past my bedtime! Keep stitching...



  1. What a lovely treasure to be discovered. So much information! Wow.

  2. How wonderful that the family shares all the photos with you and you with us!

  3. What a great story that you have uncovered,,this man was so greatly injured, so sad. I love reading about this family and I think they have adopted you as one of their own almost. You do a great job with this..thanks