My dad was Ernest Jacob Borchert. His father was Ernst Borchert, who arrived in New York from Hamburg, Germany on the S.S. Hammonia on May 16, 1857. He was born September 26, 1823, so he was 34 years old when he came to America . I recall Dad kept a gold U.S. coin--subsequently lost--minted in 1823, to commemorate his father's birth date. The immigration records gave no village or province for Ernst Borchert's origin. His occupation was listed as "joiner". He came directly to Crown Point, Indiana, and went to work as a cabinet maker and carpenter. His naturalization certificate, issued at the Lake County courthouse in Crown Point, is dated October 9, 1860. The certificate said that he renounced forever his allegiance to the King of Prussia and declared his intention to be a citizen of the United States. That was something of an understatement, for there is no record that he had any contact with "the old country" after he sailed from Hamburg.
Around the time he was naturalized, Ernst Borchert married Sophia Wagenblast, daughter of Johannes Wagenblast, who had migrated to Crown Point in 1848 as a widower with seven children. The Wagenblast family came from the village of Hönig, near the church and local market center of Rupertshofen, south of the city of Schwäbisch Hall, in the hill country of Schwabia. Born in the 1780s, Johannes was in his mid or late 20s when he was impressed into Napoleon's army for the march to Moscow in 1812-13. He was one of the tens of thousands who deserted or simply perished en route east. He survived--most likely deserted. Family lore told of his walking back from the East, arriving home ragged and barefoot. When Germany fell into political and economic turmoil in 1848, that was the last straw for him, as it was for many other thousands. He gathered his children and headed for a port and passage to America. He went straight to the frontier in northern Indiana, and soon he was beginning to clear a small farm on the rough, stony glacial moraine midway between Crown Point and Cedar Lake. Like Ernst Borchert and many others, Johannes Wagenblast severed all contact with the old country.
Ernst was about 37 years old and Sophia about 18 when they married. They had nine children who lived. Two sons led the parade, followed by six daughters, then dad. One son, William, died in infancy. Most of the children were born, and all were reared, in the family home at 613 West Joliet Street. The land records show that Ernst bought the lot on February 14, 1866. Soon after that, with his own hands and tools, he built a very small house, about 18 by 25 feet. At some time he added a wing which slightly more than doubled the size of the place. Unmarried daughters Katherine and Clara continued to live in the house until 1979. Elridge ("Honey") Hall, who married Clara in the early 1920s and moved in with them, added to the house with his own hands and tools. He built a bedroom, bathroom, partial basement, and installed central heating and indoor plumbing. I recall helping him and dad in a small way with the excavation and jacking up the house. The home has been owned and occupied by Danny and Joyce Wolfe since 1979. I have tried unsucesfully to contact them.
Among the children, Rudolph was the first son; and John was the second. Rudolph was born in1861, John in 1863.1 Dad also had six older sisters. Elizabeth was the oldest, born in 1865, Rose in 1870, Catherine in 1872, Matilda in 1875, Louise in 1877, and Clara in 1880.2 Dad was born in 1883, when his father was 60 and his mother about 42. He was the youngest of the children who survived. I believe William, who died in infancy, was younger.
Matilda graduated from High School June 1, 1893--the 11th graduating class in history of Crown Point High School. (My class was was the 54th; the class of 1995 was the 113th. Even I was comparatively a "pioneer".) It's a little surprising that the first public high school graduation would have been in 1882, 50 years after the town was founded. A private academy must have served before that. Matilda was her class valedictorian! This was a great achievement for a family in those circumstances at that time. From older brother Rudolph--by then establishing himself in business in Nebraska--she received a gold watch which he had promised her if she graduated from high school. She had a scholarship offer from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana--then, as now, a good quality Quaker school. She accepted the watch but passed over the scholarship, choosing to teach in a one-room elementary school east of Crown Point. After 2 or 3 years she married Charles Pfeil, a farmer in the neighborhood of the school. I remember Aunt Til as plain, jovial and gentle, organized and energetic, selfless, well-spoken. Rose also married a local area farmer, William Wilkening, and Louise married a Crown Point storekeeper, Melvin Ross. Katherine never married, and Clara married a local store clerk and handy-man, Elridge Hall, when she was in her forties. I know almost nothing of Elizabeth; she had married a man named Boesel, and I believe died when I was very small, or before. Her daughter, Pauline Jacobs, son-in-law Walter Jacobs, and grand-daughter, Margaret (my second cousin), lived five doors east of us on Joliet Street when I was a boy, and I knew them fairly well. Walter was a house painter, and painted our place a couple of times. I recall excellent roller skating on their sloping concrete driveway, Pauline's butter cookies and Margaret's giggle.
Dad's graduation from high school about 1900 was a considerable achievement, too. His father died September 8, 1896, at age 73, when dad was 12 or 13 yrs old. While he attended high school, Dad worked nights at the brickyard and after school at the livery stable, to help support the fatherless family. He still found the time and energy to make an excellent grade record. I remember his high school report card, though it was eventually lost; the grades were typically in the 90s.
Meanwhile, John and Rudolph emigrated from Crown Point to the Midwestern farming frontier on the new main line of the Burlington across southern Nebraska, between Omaha and Denver. According to an essay by Rudolph's daughter, Sadye, in a volume on Phelps County, Nebraska, history, both Rudolph and John left Crown Point in 1881. They stopped first in Chicago, where they learned bricklaying and masonry. They went west to Nebraska in 1884, reaching Holdrege, shortly after the Burlington railroad was completed to that point. Rudolph sold a tract of land near Cedar Lake, southwest of Crown Point, at that time.3 I'm guessing that his disposal of the parcel was associated with his decision to leave home.
Rudolph settled in the Phelps county seat of Holdrege, worked as a bricklayer, and soon started his own business. He became a trusted junior associate of Morton Johnson, a substantial entrepreneur in the booming, predominantly Swedish settlement. In 1897, Johnson decided to go into the furniture and undertaking business and enlisted Rudolph to build a suitable brick building downtown and run the store. Known as Johnson and Borchert, the business prospered. They sold it in 1906. The newspeper reported that he had "won the respect and admiration of his customers and the businessmen of the city". Rudolph then returned to masonry contracting and built numerous business and public buildings in small towns across southwestern Nebraska through the 1920s.
John worked for several years also as a bricklayer (The 1900 census lists his occupation as "plasterer". In 1891 he married Frances Winthur--a transplant from Mankato, Minnesota. Mrs. Sandra Slater, at the Phelps county genealogical society checked the property records from 1893 to 1919 and found only a lot in Holdrege, at 812 Hancock Street, purchased by John in 1902 and sold in 1904. But some time after 1900 he took up a farm near the small hamlet of Atlanta, west of Holdrege. They had a very tough time and apparently returned to Holdrege in the dry years of the 1910s. (In March 1997 Jane and I looked for the parcel they farmed west of Atlanta; unlike most of the land in the area, his piece likely included a lot of rough terrain with thin soil.) He again worked off-and-on as a bricklayer, sometimes itinerant, gardened, and raised chickens, and eventually moved to Lincoln.
(It's worth noting that the same land record book which shows the sale of Rudolph's small parcel near Cedar Lake, Indiana, also shows several transactions involving Solomon and Benjamin Willson. Two of Jane's ancestors with those names migrated from upstate New York to the West in the years before the Civil War. It's at least possible that these were indeed those Willson brothers. It would have been an extraordinary coincidence (though subsequent research suggests that it probably was only a coincidence!) for an altogether different pair of brothers with those fairly uncommon names to show up out here at that time. They dealt in several parcels near Lowell, in southern Lake county, and in the northwestern corner of the county. The latter are most interesting. In June, 1857, Solomon Willson bought 20 acres that are now part of the Amoco Oil refinery in Whiting.4 We did not find the record of his eventual sale of the tract. In 1870 Benjamin Willson sold a piece which is now part of the Gary regional airport!5 We didn't find the record of his purchase of that land. But it's clear that the Willson brothers were in the right place, just a bit early. That part of Lake county was pure dune-and-marsh wasteland at that time. Even the gun clubs from Chicago had not yet come out there. Most of the family of mainline railroads from the East had not yet come through. The enormous Calumet industrial complex was at most no more than a few disparate dreams.)
Shortly after he finished high school, Dad left Crown Point for what must have been an interlude of several years. Some time about
1901-1903 he worked as a farmhand in Oklahoma, near El Reno or Enid, for a family named Babb--unfortunately a common enough name in that part of the country to make it impossible to place. That was very early in the settlement of Oklahoma. Organized only a decade earlier from "Indian Territory", it was the last agricultural frontier at that time. He once recalled to me a few of his impressions when he rode a Frisco passsenger train from St. Louis through the Ozarks and into central Oklahoma. But I lacked the sense to press him for more of the story.
When he left Oklahoma, I believe he went north to work with his brothers in Holdrege and Atlanta, Nebraska. He helped John on the farm but worked mainly for Rudolph in the store. That probe to the West might have been simply to satisfy his curiosity about the challenge and opportunity of the frontier. But I think there was more to it. From occasional conversations when I was a boy, I understood that when he left home he had, or thought he had, tuberculosis, and went west to either die or recover without burdening his mother and sisters. (Clearly he satisfied his urge to go west, and he recovered.)
He returned from the West and went to work at Bennett's store in Crown Point from about 1904 to 1908--a continuation of the store-clerking work he'd followed in Holdrege. Toward the end of his tenure at Bennett's, his mother died, on September 20, 1908, at about 67 years of age. Bennett's was a grocery and general store, but most importantly it also housed the post office. It was there that he became familiar with the United States Postal Service. He became a part time, then full-time, rural mail carrier some time between 1904 and 1908. From the Official Register it appears he had become full-time by 1907 but not in 1905.6 The 1907 Official Register lists him as a Rural Delivery Clerk at an annual full salary of $900. That was good money for a 24-year-old. It must have been a turning point in his life. I think he also took the railway postal clerk course sold by the Inernational Correspondence School at Scranton, Pennsylvania.
He always seemed to have vivid and fond memories of his horse-and-buggy rural route. The route covered the countryside northeast of town, along the old Merrillville road. When we owned our first family car--a 1927 Willys Whippet--he always liked to ride out along the Merrillville road and reminisce about his rural mail carrier days, the farm families and farmers' daughters who lived along the route. Even in the 1920s and 1930s Merrillville was only a hamlet. I remember a derelict water-powered grist mill on Deep River, a general store, garage and gas station, depot, lumber yard, and a few houses, along the 16-foot-wide concrete strip of highway. (Although the highway was not paved until I was in grade school, a national volunteer association of motorists had already identified it as the "Lincoln Highway" and marked it with silhouettes of Lincoln painted on the telephone poles.) Merrillville is now the transplanted, predominantly white-race part of the city of Gary, and the entire area of small farms he served is urbanized, complete with malls, office buldings, hotels, hospitals. The change is a dramatic vignette of the transformation of the Manufacturing Belt since World War II.
Some time in late 1907 or early 1908 dad took the exams and qualified for the Railway Mail Service. His first run was on the Chicago, Monon and Cincinnati Railway Post Office (RPO), through Indianapolis--route of the famous Hoosier Limited. The Monon railroad's Louisville and Indianapolis-Cincinnati traffic flowed together on a busy single-track line to Monon, Indiana, about 100 miles out of Chicago; and a few years earlier that run had one of the most spectacular head-on collisons in Midwestern railroad passenger lore. The wooden mail car was telescoped. Dad used to recall how one of his fellow crewmen always knelt and prayed as they passed the site of the wreck. This was the same time, incidentally, in which "progressive" clerks in the railway mail service were agitating for improved safety and working conditions on the trains.
An assignment soon opened up on the more important Chicago, Richmond, and Cincinnati RPO--on the "Panhandle" division of the Pennsylvania; and in the 1909 Official Register he was listed as a clerk on that run at an annual salary of $1100. A very respectable wage for the time. (More than a generation later, in 1941, Jane was paid $1200 a year as a high school teacher, with a college degree and two years' experience, in Carrington, North Dakota!)
In June of 1916 dad married Maude Gorndt. They lived in a flat in Chicago, at 4866 North Ashland Avenue (I think Grandma Gorndt lived in the 1900 block on Ashland at that time.). That was home when I was born at the North Chicago hospital in October 1918. In the spring of 1918 they bought the house at 711 East Joliet Street in Crown Point and moved there. They lived on that property for the rest of dad's life. The albums Jane has put together contain pictures around that house and yard.
Dad ran on the Chicago, Richmond and Cincinnati--the "Chic Rich", as the clerks called it--for 34 years, until he retired in 1945 at age 62. He logged more than 1.3 mllion miles. Many memories of him in his working role crowd my mind. He was on the road in roughly alternate weeks. His work shift was always longer than it would have been if we had lived at one of the terminals, either Cincinnati or Chicago, because he had to "dead head" from Crown Point to the terminal where his run began. For much of his career he headed out of Cincinnati, which required a 260-mile deadhead from Crown Point simply to go to work and a repeat trip to get back home. At first he ran on the day trains, 216 and 217. But some time in the 1920s he took the over-night run, on trains 236 and 237. My guess is that he made the change for economic reasons about the time my younger brother, Bill, was born. The night run carried a differential salary, and it also opened the chance to advance to the rank of clerk-in-charge, which added a further pay advantage.
For years my mother always met his train when it stopped at Crown Point on its southbound trip. He'd be on board southbound every other day; since it took two days to make the round trip from Chicago to Cincinnati and return. On the day run he'd come through about 10:30 in the morning. Until I started school, my mother and I would walk to the depot to meet the train and give him a bag lunch she had prepared. There were usually a few extras for the rest of the crew. On the night run, we would walk to the depot (drive after 1927) to meet Number 236 when it rumbled in at 10:19 p.m. We not only gave him a midnight lunch but also a letter which brought him up to date on what had happened during the previous two days on the home front. If I behaved, and if I wrote a letter reporting honestly on my own activities, I would get to stay up and go along to the depot. I always came through; it was a good deal.
If the Crown Point mail was heavy enough to hold the train for an extra minute, Dad would let me climb into the car and say hello to the crew. The six or seven of them worked in a busy, narrow pathway running the length of the 60-foot car between rows of letter cases and piles of mail sacks and tables covered with letters to sort and package. The crew were a friendly bunch of guys who took great pride in their work and their role in the communication system of the country. Understand that as late as 1925 intercity first class letters outnumbered long distance phone calls and telegrams eight or nine to one. Railway mail was most of the nerve system of the American society and economy!
Dad had a lot of homework. As clerk-in-charge he had to fill out regular "trip reports" detailing the number of mail sacks handled and a lot of quality-control data for each run. He also used to spend some time stamping slips--that is, stamping in advance the "Chi Rich & Cin" postmark on slips of paper he would use on his next run to label packages of sorted letters to throw into waiting pouches. Clerks did this on their own time to speed up their work on the train. They were an unusually conscientious lot.
But most memorable was "correcting schemes" and studying for his semi-annual examinations. Eastbound the clerks sorted and dispatched mail from Chicago and points west, to and from points between Chicago and Cincinnati, and to points south and east of Cincinnati. The routine was just the reverse westbound. So he had to be able to look at the post office address on a piece of mail and know which RPO run to dispatch it to, at which junction along the line. Eastbound he had to know every post office in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia and the optimal RPO routing for a piece of mail from his train to that post office. Westbound the states were Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Besides that, he had to know to which of the long runs out of Chicago and Cincinnati, respectively, to dispatch letters for major distribution centers in all of the western and southeastern states.
The wall in front of him in the mail car was a honeycomb of boxes, each for a particular RPO or transfer junction. His task was to read the address on the envelope and stick the letter in the right box. When a box was filled, he had to tie the bundle of letters and toss it into the appropriate sack. When the sack was filled, it had to be locked or piled to one side or in the adjacent storage car or put off at the appropriate station stop. And each of those routines was supposed to be performed as quickly and accurately as possible. If the crew failed to dispatch all the mail received before the time came to "lock out" at the end of the run, they had "gone stuck". And that was tantamount to disgrace.
"Schemes" were the voluminous, prescribed combinations of routes for each post office and connecting line, which had to be corrected monthly for changes in routes and schedules of the mail trains. The schemes were accompanied by a complete set of "schedules"--hip-pocket-sized books containing the schedule, route, and major station stops for every one of the ten thousand mail trains that criss-crossed the U.S. each day.
"Examinations" were an exercise in which he had to place cards simulating letters, each with a post office name printed on it, in the correct box of a simulated letter case. The number of cards was specified, time was kept, and the acceptable level of accuracy was prescribed. Clerks who did exceptionally well had their names, scores, and times published in the weekly "General Orders" of their division of the Railway Mail Service. Dad always did very well. He owned a big portable simulated case like the ones used for the examinations. He used to set the thing up on the dining room table to review for the exams. He also used the dining room table to spread out his schemes for the clipping and pasting necessary to update them. As a small boy I took pride in being assigned the other side of the dining room table for "writing" and "drawing". As an adolescent that became my assigned location to do my homework for school. His work habits set the tone.
To keep up with the homework as well as working eight-hour marathons in speeding, lurching mail cars took a lot of mental and physical stamina and a good memory. A small addendum to those requirements was the requirement that he be able to protect the mails from train robbers--an anachronism from early days. He had a government-issued 38-caliber revolver, with a GI ration of ammunition. He had to take a target-shooting exam periodically; and he was required to use his ammunition in home practice between the exams. I recall joining him for target practice on quite a few occasions. We'd walk along the Erie railroad tracks east of Pfeil's farm, where the line was in a fairly deep cut through hills on the Valparaiso glacial moraine. We'd put tin cans on the embankment and shoot at them with the revolver. I fired far more shots as a youngster than I did in my three-plus years in the army. We had a gun in our house; and I knew where it and the ammunition were kept. But I don't recall any risk that I'd use it for lethal mischief. The noise and recoil of the gun and the speed and impact and caroming of the bullets in that railroad cut were truly sobering. For that matter, we had a 22-caliber rife, too. Dad sometimes took me hunting in Sauerman's woods. We'd shoot at rabbits and squirrels. I don't think either of us wanted much to hit one of the creatures. They seemed innocent, and they were tough to clean and tough to eat.
We did not have many family vacation trips. Dad seemed to have--to use one of his favorite expressions--a "belly full" of travel from his work; and he never really accepted automobiles. Particularly memorable was a trip to meet dad in Cincinnati. The occasion was my completion of 7th grade. He skipped one round trip and laid over in Cincinnati. I took the day train from Crown Point to Cincinnati on my own. He got his day's sleep after the previous night's run from Chicago. He met me at the spectacular new Cincinnati Union Depot, and we had dinner at the Gibson hotel. He was a regular customer there and proudly introduced me to all of the staff at the desk and in the dining room. The next day we rode the city's impressive system of inclined trams and streetcar lines through the downtown, up the bluffs, and across the rolling uplands to the college campuses, parks, zoo, and suburbs. One of dad's crew took us to dinner in his suburban home and drove us to the heights overlooking downtown lights at night. The second day we viewed the city from the top of the new, already bankrupt (it was 1931!) 43-story Carew Tower, rode the streetcars across the Ohio to the Kentucky suburbs and the Latonia racetrack (I was struck and puzzled by the unpaved streets in suburban Covington and the generally lower economic level on the "Dixie" side of the urban area). Then took the big side-wheeler "Island Queen" up the river to the amusement park for dinner. The excursion ended when we both got on the night Train 237--he in the mail car and I in the coach--and pulled out to return to our normal activities. It was an exciting introduction to the similarities and differences among the cities of the metropolitan world beyond Chicago.
We took very few automobile trips as a family. Dad went along perhaps twice on the fifty-mile trip to visit Uncle Bob and Aunt Mary in Chicago's west suburbs . We took a three-day vacation to Turkey Run state park when I was about 14 and Bill about 7. The park lies just south of the Wisconsin-age glacial boundary; so the terrain is a good deal more stream-dissected than it is in northern Indiana. There are rock cliffs and canyons and a large stream with rapids. Bill and I and some friends we made at the hotel hiked almost frantically to experience every foot of trail in the short time available. We were pressed at every meal in the dining room to be on our best behavior. For we seldom ate out, let alone at a fairly classy place as the Turkey Run Inn was perceived to be. Two years after the family moved up to a new Studebaker, dad decided he could and would ride along (but not drive) to Nebraska in the summer of 1937 to see his surviving "Western" relatives. I can't remember any other family tours that exceeded a one-day drive--and not many of even those.
His most important pastime was his garden. Our lot was long and deep. The garage and grape arbor bordered the small lawn behind the house and the wider swath of lawn on the half-lot west of the house. A large tomato and onion patch, rabbit hutch, my own rock garden, the sand box under a towering buckeye tree, and the chicken house lay immediately behind the grape arbor. About eight hens normally inhabited the chicken house, though the number dwindled as we killed them for meat through the year. A large garden, about 30 by 90 feet, reached from the garage to the back alley. It was impeccably kept--razor straight rows, correct hills, never a weed. I learned to spade, to turn under the grass cuttings, garbage, and chicken manure, and to weed. And I learned to behead hens who had become pets. I had to pluck, singe, and clean the carcasses. My mother would butcher them. Those were my jobs when dad was on the road, and it seemed he was on the road a lot. The garden yielded peas, beans, carrots, spinach, sweet corn, potatoes, and beets. There were large strawberry and raspberry patches and apple, pear, plum, and cherry trees. For some reason, when I left home for college, I left most of my interest in gardening and poultry behind; though I never lost my taste for raw, fresh vegetables.
Dad retreated more and more to his summer garden and his couch in the den after he retired. I had left home by that time, for college then the military. So my observations were spotty. But he seemed to lose his energy and his zest for living. Jane, with year-old baby Dianne, spent a week there in the summer of 1944. She enjoyed long visits with dad in his garden. She noted his general fatigue and his desire to reach age 62 so he could retire. (I believe he had given up the night run by that time; indeed a snapshot I acquired in 1997 appears to me to show him inside the mailcar door of day train #216 at Logansport in 1940.) His symptoms, in retrospect, resembled my symptoms when I was in the late stages of starvation and bloating with a duodenal ulcer in the 1970s. Unfortunately, he didn't have good medical diagnosis or care. He died in Crown Point in late1950, at age 67.
1. From a phone a conversation with Marion Borchert Damke, in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1995. John was Marion's paternal grandfather. Incidentally, John married Frances Winthur in 1891. Their only child, Homer, was born in 1892. Homer moved to Lincoln to work as a butcher and married Pauline Hesse in 1917, when she was 18 years old. Marion, their daughter and only child, was born in January 1918. In 1906 Rudolph built his second house in Holdrege, later occupied by his son Ernest and Ernest's wife Gladys. It was a substantial brick place; he must have been well-established in business by that time.
2. From a letter from Charles Sauerman, her grandson, who lives in Crown Point, in 1995. Margaret Pfeil, widow of my cousin Walter, who was the youngest of Aunt Til's three children, in February 1996 sent me the following handwritten memo, which she said she received at some time from "Ern" (I assume she meant Ernest F. Borchert in Holdrege, Nebraska; the entry for Dad's death date is in the same handwriting as the others, which pretty much rules out the possibility that Dad wrote the memo):
Ernst Borchert, born Germany, Sept 26, 1823, died Crown Point, Sept 9, 1896.
Sophia Borchert, born Germany, May 9, 1840, died Crown Point, Sept 20, 1908
Rudolph G. Borchert, born Crown Point, June 27, 1861, died Holdrege, Nebraska, May 22, 1926.
John Henry Borchert, born Crown Point, January 16, 1863, died Lincoln, Nebraska, October 31, 1944.
Elizabeth B. Borchert Bosel, born Crown Point, October 27, 1865, died Crown Point, April 15, 1898
Rosa Ernestine Borchert Wilkening, born Crown Point, August 22, 1870, died Crown Point, February 8, 1929.
Catherine W. Borchert, born Crown Point, December 9, 1872, died crown Point, October 24, 1967.
Matilda R. J. Borchert Pfeil, born Crown Point, October 16, 1875, died Crown Point,
October 2, 1963.
Louise K. Borchert Ross, born Crown Point, December 10, 1877, died Crown Point, January 17, 1941.
Clara Eva Borchert, born Crown Point, December30, 1880, died October 2, 1963.
Ernest J. Borchert, born Crown Point, May 10, 1883, died Crown Point, December 1, 1950.
3. From the General Index of Deeds (columns headed Grantor and Grantee) in the Lake county courthouse. Jane and I inspected those records in September, 1995. The parcel was 15 acres in the SE quarter of Section 23, Township 34, Range 9. Notes 4 and 5 from same source.
4. The West1/2, SW 1/4, NW 1/4 of Section 8 Township 37 Range 9.
5. Lot 4 in the West 1/2, NW 1/4, Section 35, Township 37, Range 9.
6. Notes from Official Register of the United States, Vol 2, 1907, p 131: Ernest Borchert, Rural Delivery (RD) Clerk, paid $900/year. Not listed in Railway Postal Service section that year. 1909 Vol 2, p 552, Ernest Borchert, Chicago Richmond & Cincinnati Railway Post Office, paid $1100/year. 1911 Vol 2 same listing, no change in pay. Hence, it appears he had become full-time by 1907 but not by 1905. He must have worked on the Monon only a short time between the 1907 and 1909 listings. The Official Register was published biennially in odd-numbered years. Unfortunately, the section covering postal employees was discontinued after 1911.
X-From_: firstname.lastname@example.org Tue May 9 20:08 CDT 2000
Date: Tue, 09 May 2000 20:08:38 -0500
From: Sandra Slater <email@example.com>
To: John Borchert <John.R.Borchertfirstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: John Borchert farm
I went to the courthouse this morning and found the property your relative John Borchert purchased in Phelps County, NE. The land was in the SW 1/4 of section 32 in Rock Falls Township. They purchased the property in December of 1890 and sold it in March of 1893. Farmers were having a difficult time about then. I have photocopied the property deeds for you.