love letters

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Here are three love letters from Edward Wachdorf to Irene Pfleger Wachdorf Wachdorf, saved all her life (actual images followed by transcriptions). Flirting, annoyed, repentant. In the spring I will find and add the one from the 1960s that he wrote when she went into the hospital, in which he reassures the kids that she is okay, and reminisces about knowing the first time he saw her that she was the one.

Love Letter number one, flirting. Note: the John Miller referred to is probably the same John F. Miller who signs their marriage certificate as witness. There is a John C. Miller, policeman, father of John F. Miller and Andrew Miller, living next door to the Wachdorf family in 1900 (and without his sons in 1920 and 1930). John F. was witness to Edward's marriage and Andrew was witness to his brother Joe's marriage

Presumably the envelope is addressed to the Great Northern Building, office of Mr. Spitzer, because Irene must've worked there at some point, though her daughter does not remember that she ever spoke of having worked.

Click on image to enlarge. Once enlarged, to zoom, move cursor to right of image, back onto image, and click again. Transcription beneath scans.

7-19-1905 page 1

page 2

page 3

the envelope

Transcription of letter one:

Joliet, July 19, 05

Dear Irene:--

Just at present time I am writing you a few lines as I told you I would. We are having a good time out here, John Miller and I, you know what that means. We're stopping at the Great Western Hotel overnight. Don't get lonesome because there is plenty of things to amuse yourself in Chicago with, and besides, I'll be with you in a short time. It's to hot here to say a word without a glass full. This is a great place for up and down hills. There is no girls out here to suit me so I guess I'll have to come back to you. The sun is sinking to fast for me because I can't see the lines anymore, so I guess I'll have to close. Hoping that you are well and happy because I am. John sends best regards and me too to all the folks.

Your loving friend, Edward Wachdorf

PS Excuse the writing darling because it was dark out  and I can't do any better. Ed



Love letter number two, jealous. Wonder who William was. Side note: they run off to Crown Point to marry in June, 1909 (and then marry again in St. Martin's Church in Nov. 1909) 

5-13-1908 page 1

page 2

page 3

page 4

the envelope

Transcription of letter two:

May 13, 1908

Miss Irene Pfleger:

As I have not much time to spare to call you up I thought a few lines would do just as well. You certainly are a peach after what you told me Sunday night. I thought you meant it then but it don't seem that way. You said when you would see him you was just going to recognize him and not go out with him again. I suppose you made arrangements to see him again because you know you feel sorry for him as you put it. Well in the future it can be William* all the time for all I care after that. But I will keep my engagements with you for Friday, Saturday and Sunday night and after that it's up to you, it's either going to be one or the other. Of course I have no right to say this and I suppose you still think me pretty nervy but if I'm going to keep company with a girl she is not going out with everybody that comes along and looks good to her or else I don't go with her. So you can act according to that if you want and if not why you can leave me know Sunday night after we get home from the show and then if you want to go with him why allright. I won't stop you. I've had to much experience with promises and I'm going to do one or the other. You told me you did not care for him. Why then do you keep it up? If after you read this letter and still wish to keep company with me why you can tell me. If you do and say you do not care for the other fellow I am going to tell him the next time I see him to cut it out tagging around after you as you do not care to have him do the same. I am going to meeting tonight and will be up to your house about eight-thirty or nine o'clock P.M. Friday night or if this time is not satisfactory you can let me know what time. I wrote this letter after I got home from work tonight and suppose you will receive it plenty in time. I told you over and over that if you wanted to go any place you only had to tell me and I'd take you but I guess you prefer going out with other ones and if so kindly let me know.

Very truly yours, Edw J Wachdorf

*he actually wrote "Willia"

Love letter number three, chagrined. He dated this 1911 but the postmark is 1912. Need to look up in the 1910 census which family member lived at 5740 Princeton. Side note: if this is 1912, as per the postmark, it is worth noting that their second child is born nine months later, 11-8-1912.

2-12-1911 o2 1912, page 1

page 2

page 3

page 4


Chicago, Feb 21st, 1911

Mrs. E. Wachdorf; My dearest wife,

This being the 22nd, your birthday, accept my heartiest and best wishes. I sincerely hope that you may live to see many more, and also happier ones than this one. I am very sorry that this little quarrell has come between us to deaden your love toward me but I hope some day you will be able again to put your arms around me and say that you truly love me above all. You know me perhaps better than any living person and know my faults. I am sorry that I have them and also that they displease you. When you told me the other night that you did not love me any more it hurt me more probably than you intended it to. I never thought that your love for me would die so soon. I have always tried to be a good lover and husband to you and try to do the right thing with you. When I married you I should of had money I admit instead of being in the hole but I thought some day I would make amends for that when I have a little extra. Even at present we are going along alright and getting out of the hole and I am trying my best to make your home as it should be that you will be proud of. And when I do, I hope to win back your love and keep it for the rest of my days. If I thought that some day you would be happy without me or that I would not be able to make you happy I would much rather pass away now rather than be separated from you my darling and Edward. I also beg of you to drop that idea of yours of trying to get work and try to avoid trouble. Some day you will probably see it the way I do now but I hope and pray  that you will drop it if not for my sake than for Edwards. No one can tell that either him or I would take sick and instead of having you to take care of us you would be away trying to avenge your anger on me. But girlie* don't let Edward suffer also for my faults . God only knows I love you better than any thing on this earth. How many times I have longed to kiss you of late but I knew I would only be repulsed by you. The reason why of course you stated that you almost hate me but I never tried to make you do that. Don't worry about me not getting out of the hole because already I can see my way clear now in a month or so you will be able to have a few nickels extra and then maybe things will go on a little better than they are right now. But for goodness sake honey let me have the duties of a man to pay for his own home and not have his wife pay for it. That little favor is all that I ask at present and hope that you will grant me that. But my darling all I can offer you at present is my best wishes and those are from the bottom of my heart and hope you will at least accept these on this event. God forgave all his followers of the wrong they did him so please try to forgive

your loving husband, Ed.

PS If you can forgive me please let me have the love I have coming to me and let me return the love that is all yours and no one else's

With love, Ed

*looks like he wrote "girlia"