Page:Memoirs of Henry Villard, volume 1.djvu/53

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Robert's, Mrs. Caroline Decker, one of the daughters of my great-great-uncle Friedrich Engelmann, a man already of advanced age when he emigrated with his large family from Rhenish Bavaria. She had married a German-American lawyer in St. Louis, who died, after a few years of happiness, and left her without means, but with a son and daughter to support and bring up. She resolutely started a boarding-house for the better class of Germans, and she was keeping it at the time. She made me feel at home at once. We remained there three days, seeing as much as we could of St. Louis and of some other relatives there. We then went by rail to Belleville, in St. Clair County, Illinois, only fourteen miles distant, stopping over night at the house of John Scheel, whom I knew, as he had visited us in Zweibrücken some years before. He had emigrated with Friedrich Engelmann, having been his assistant in the forestry service, and had married over here his youngest daughter Betty. He was a very active, shrewd man in a business way, and had succeeded in accumulating a moderate competency. He was very popular, and held at the time the lucrative office of Register of Deeds and Clerk of the Probate Court. He lived in a commodious house, enlivened by three small children. This very kind-hearted couple gave me a most cordial welcome, and invited me to remain with them as long as I liked. But Robert and I thought it best to drive to my uncle Theodor Hilgard's farm the next morning.