Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Full Circle 48

This full circle was really fun!


The photo you have is of my grandfather Irwin Walter Dietrich who was born in 1891 in Berks County, Pennsylvania. The handwriting is my grandmother's, Katie Eva Bierman Dietrich. They lived in Kutztown, PA. My grandmother also wrote "Annie Banner" on your photo 466, however I have no idea who Annie Banner was.

I cannot tell you how emotionally overcome I was to see my grandmother's handwriting on your web page. I recognized her script instantly, especially the distinctive D and I, then I ran to get my letters from her and held them up to the computer screen to compare. I've had some happy poignant moments tonight reading her letters to me.

Thank you for posting the photo, which led to my reading the letters I saved for decades. It has inspired a lot of memories and thought and emotion this evening. It also is a wake-up call to me to scan the letters and photos that are really important to me.



P.S. What a mystery that the photo ended up in Minnesota!

Irwin Dietrich DL

Photo Number 470

Irwin Dietrich back of card

The mystery continues with Annie Banner and Clara Adam both are written in the same hand.

Clara Adam back

Annie Banner back

Cecelia is researching both of these ladies to see if she can find a connection to her Grandmother.

Anyways I mailed off the photo.

Hi Connie,

Irwin Dietrich's photo has found a home! Thank you so much for your wonderful website and collecting old photos to find homes for them. It is marvelous that we live in the Internet Age which facilitates these reunions.

Irwin Dietrich was born in January 1891 in Berks County, PA. He married Katie Eva Bierman in October 1916, at St. John's Church in Kutztown, PA. They had five children together, and later divorced. Irwin was a teacher and later owned a pet store. He died in Arkansas in 1964.

Irwin's smartest move ever was to marry Katie Eva Bierman Dietrich - she was a fantastic cook whose potato stuffing and wonderful edible cabbage delicacies are fondly remembered by all her grandchildren. Katie doted on her grandchildren, she had beautiful handwriting and always sent Valentine's Day cards and Birthday cards and encouraging letters to her grandchildren. She lived to see her first great-granddaughter. Her favorite movie was The Sound of Music, and I thought of her as Christopher Plummer (Baron Von Trapp!) finally won an Oscar and made his Academy Award acceptance speech last week.

Irwin's male descendants have read the nice comments posted by early viewers of the photo on your website, and all are flattered and claiming a family resemblance.

I am attempting to locate homes for the other photos inscribed by my grandmother.

Thank you again!


I was very pleased that Cecelia emailed me.  She found the Forgotten Old Photo through a search. That is what encourages me to keep going, sooner or later someone will end up here to claim a photo that has a name. 

Clara Adam is photo 518

Annie Banner is photo 466

I will mail these photos when a connection has been found and write more Full Circle posts!

Thanks for stopping by, do come again:)


  1. According to the 1930 US census, Irwin and Katie lived in Muhlenberg, PA which is just north, outside of Reading, PA and adjacent to Temple, PA (Clara Adam may have lived in Temple.)

    Katie was born in 28 JUN 1894 in Perry, Berks, Pennsylvania to Samuel and Ellamanda Trout Bierman. In the 1910 US Census she is listed as living in the Wilson P Mengle household (at the age of 15).

  2. Fascinating full circle post!!! I enjoy the photos for the clothing, hairstyles, old cars, etc. but I am always especially thrilled when one photo miraculously finds its way "home."

  3. Clara Adam seems to be related to the Mengel (Mengle) family - I haven't found a direct link between Clara's mother (who was a Mengle) and Wilson P. Mengle.

    I believe Photo 518 is Clara M. (nee Adam) Smith (b Mar. 23, 1880 d. Jul. 15, 1917) married Joseph Benjamin Smith (1881 - 1949). She was the daughter of Benjamin Gardner Adam (1819 - 1890) and Catherine M. (nee Mengel) Adam (1837 - 1924). Clara Adam's brother, Simon Mengel Adam married Clara Mahala Schappell (which is who I thought Photo 518 was originally).

    Source http://www.bergergirls.com/getperson.php?personID=I019463&tree=Strausstown and http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=ancestral%5Flight&id=I43177 and http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=67574966

    There were a number of Mengle - Adam marriages in/near Perry Township, Berks County, PA.

    There is also at least one Dietrich - Mengel marriages. Such as Clara Ann (nee Dietrich) Mengel (1871 - 1950) who married Samuel Mengel (1869 - 1934).

    Of Annie Banner - I've not seen a link to her (yet).

  4. It's a great day for a reunion! Congratulations!

  5. How exciting!!! And how odd for the photo to have turned up in the Mid-West! There is hope that something for my Maryland families may one day appear here!

  6. I'm curious why they got divorced. It must have been something pretty bad as people didn't divorce much back then did they?


Hi, Thanks for the comments, your input on these old photos is appreciated! English only please! All comments will be moderated! Connie