Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Swaddled in History! (The Multi-Generation Story of My Baptismal Clothes)

[Cross-posted from other blog: Notre Dame in the Civil War]

I've had the great privilege of being interviewed by bloggers Donald Thompson (here and here) and Robert Redd (here) in which I was able to explain from whence my interest in history, generally, and Civil War history, especially, come.

I was pondering lately, though, why I would have more than an interest it, and rather a passion.

Perhaps it's because I was literally "swaddled in history" almost from birth as witnessed in the clipping below from the June 16, 1964 edition of the Hays (KS) Daily News:

Off and On Main Street
By L. M.

It is too bad this baby was unaware of the distinction which surrounded his baptism but he will doubtless be reminded of it many times when he reaches the age of understanding for it is a set of most unusual circumstances which will be of interest to readers in this area.

James Michael Schmidt, son of Mr. and Mrs. Terrance C. Schmidt was baptized at Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Topeka on May 31. Grandparents of the baby are Mr. and Mrs. Alvin M.Weigel of Pratt and Mr. and Mrs. Elmer C. Schmidt of Hays.

For his baptism James wore a hand crocheted cap which had been worn by four generations and a hand sewn dress which had been worn by three generations of his family. The cap was first worn by James F. Giebler of Severin, 72 years ago at his baptism on July 10. The dress was made by Mrs. James F. Giebler and will be 49 years old in August. It was first worn by their eldest daughter. The cap and dress have been worn at baptisms by twelve children, 39 grandchildren and one great-grandchild of Mr. and Mrs. Giebler and it has been worn in Texas, Nebraska, Colorado, Florida and many parts of Kansas.

The four generations wearing the cap are: James F. Giebler, maternal great grandfather, Mrs. Alvin Weigel of Pratt, maternal grandmother ,Mrs. Terrance C. Schmidt of Topeka, mother, and James Michael, son of Mrs. Schmidt.

So, there you go! Maybe that's where I get my passion for history!

Do some quick math and you'll see that the cap is now 119 years old and the gown is now 96 years old!

The cap and gown are still in our daughter was the fifth generation to wear it, in 1986!

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