Bode presents program to Dayton historians about German heritage

Danny Bode was the guest speaker at the July 30 meeting of the Dayton Historical Society.

The Dayton Historical Society met Monday evening, July 30, at Parker Hall with 44 in attendance.  President Lester Ray Wisegerber called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone.  Johnny Miller led the opening prayer and Larry Wadzeck led the pledges to the flags.

Reports were given by Caroline Wadzeck, Cynthia Miller, Lester Ray, Mary Beth Jamison, Dr. Jessica Johnson, Doug Crayton, and Jeanette Frick.

Larry Wadzeck introduced the evening’s program presenter, DHS member, educator, and historian Danny Bode, who shared his passion for researching his German heritage.  Danny has been a member of the German-Texan Heritage Society for over 20 years, serving six years on their board of directors.

He has written 32 articles for their publication, The Journal, and he shared information from a couple of those articles.  He talked about his great-great-grandfather’s sister, Wilhelmine Haferkamp Meyer and her family who came to Texas in 1881, settling in Washington County, close to Brenham.  Her oldest child, Henrietta, is the grandmother of DHS member and retired educator Maureen Moore.   Much to their surprise, Bode and Moore learned of their relatives in common several years ago.

Danny gave information about the family of his great grandmother, Marie Blankenstein and shared letters that she wrote back to her family still living in Germany, one dated March 15, 1886 and another dated June 21, 1892.  He received the letters from his Grandmother Bode’s first cousin, Gertrud Danker, in 1982.  Gertrud lived in Helmstedt, which at that time was in West Germany.

Danny recently had them translated and he read them aloud.  One letter congratulated her parents on their silver wedding anniversary and told of her happiness living in Texas.  The other told her mother and sister about her children and also encouraged them to remain faithful in the Lord.   All present enjoyed the interesting information that Danny presented.

The next meeting of the Historical Society will take place on August 27 at 6 pm at Parker Hall, located behind The Old School Museum on Houston Street.  The public is very welcome to attend.

From community reports


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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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