Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pauline’s Treasured Photo Album

Pauline Altman, daughter of Gottfried Altmann

and wife of Robert Delang. 

She was my father’s grandmother.

Pauline Elizabeth Altman (1857-1908)

 I’ve already written about Pauline’s parents and made references to her husband, Robert Delang about whom I will write more in my next blog. In this entry, I’ve decided to write about Lena’s treasured possession, a photo album, which came to me just a few years ago.

In the front of the album is transcribed: "Presented to Lena Altmann for Christmas present. Lowell, Iowa. A date appears which looks like 1889, but since Lena and Robert DeLang married in 1879; perhaps it is 1869.   I hadn't realized she was called Lena. I wonder if Robert called her Pauline or Lena since he had a sister Lena, whose given name was also Pauline. My father and grandfather said her name was pronounced in the German way as if it was spelled Paulina.

My grandfather, Louis LeRoy DeLong, remembered that his mother enjoyed music and played a concertina (a small version of an accordian). Louis was only 17 years old and away at school (Howe’s Academy in Mount Pleasant, Iowa) when his mother died in a measles epidemic. He was devastated by the loss and cherished her memory. Years later, among the poems he wrote was this one, beautifully describing the album and its significance to its owner and to her son as well.

MY MOTHER'S ALBUMby Louis LeRoy DeLong

I have a little album, queer,

A remnant of the long ago;

It was my mother's treasure dear,

The friends and faces she loved so.

A book of plush with neat design,

Of color gilt, and gold and gray;

White studs, and gilded hasp, so fine,

A gift of beauty in its day.

The quaint tin-types beneath its band,

Depict a garb of ancient lay;

The relics of a foreign land

Were once the glory of their day.

And as I turn to faces there,

That knew my mother's fondest gaze,

Their features now are still as fair

As they were in those long-gone days.

I thrill to think that as I look

Upon these objects of her love,

That there reflects from this small book,

Her thots and features, from above.

My mother's gift, oh, gift divine!

Its sacred histories came to me

Across the fleeting years of time;

Thru lives that I shall never see.

Unfaded still, the rose of youth,

Beyond the toll of stealing years

Is there displayed in honest truth

'Mid mem'ries that my thot reveres.

The mem'ries that thru life shall last,

Dear is their ancient history;

The ties that link us to the past

Are still as sweet as yesterday.

--genieBev (genealogy Beverly)
For ideas about how to do Family History, visit:

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