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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Paepcke, Hilken, and Nitze Families Papers 1806-2019

© 2019 University of Chicago Library

Acknowledgments

The Paepcke, Hilken, and Nitze Families Papers were organized and preserved with generous support from Mrs. Antonia P. DuBrul and Mrs. Paula P. Zurcher.

Descriptive Summary

Title:

Paepcke, Hilken, and Nitze Families. Papers

Dates:

1806-2019

Size:

5.5 linear feet (4 boxes, 1 artifact)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

The Paepcke, Hilken, and Nitze Families Papers contain correspondence, biographical and genealogical information, a diary with clippings and photographs, certificates, awards, ephemera, and a trophy from several generations of the Hilken, Paepcke, Nitze, Schneider, Wagner, and Zurcher families. The material is in English and German, and the majority of the German documents are accompanied by English translations. The collection offers insight in to the lives of family members who immigrated to the United States, where many first settled in Texas, as well as those who remained in Europe. It ranges in date from 1806-2019, with the bulk of the original documents dating from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Information on Use

Access

The collection is open for research.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Paepcke, Hilken, and Nitze Families. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

This collection contains material from several generations of the Hilken, Paepcke, Nitze, Schneider, Wagner, and Zurcher families, including the individuals listed below. Researchers can also consult the biographical notes for the collections in the Related Resources section for more details on some of these figures. Additional genealogical information can also be found in some of the documents in the collection, as well as in the footnotes to many of the translations.

Catherine Kirchoff Hilken's first marriage was to Heinrich Menzel, with whom she had two children. After he died she married Lüder Hilken, who died in 1879. Their children included Marie, Friedrich, and Henry (Heinrich).

Henry (Heinrich) Hilken (1847-1937) came to the United States from Germany in 1867 when he was 20 years old. He married Emma Hinrichs Hilken (1855-1902) on March 21, 1876. Their children were Marie Theodora (1876-1877), Paul Gerhard Lüder (1878-1959), and Anina Sophie (1879-1960).

Anina Sophie Hilken married William Nitze (1876-1957) in 1901 in Baltimore, Maryland. Nitze went on to become a professor in the Department of Romance Languages and Literature at the University of Chicago. Their children were Elizabeth Hilken (1902-1994) and Paul Henry (1907-2004).

Elizabeth Hilken Nitze married Walter Paul Paepcke (1896-1960) on April 16, 1922 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Walter's parents were Hermann Paepcke (1850-1922), who was born in Germany and came to the United States in 1872, and Paula Wagner (1857-1909), who was born in Texas. They were married in July 1878 in Indianola, Texas. Walter's siblings were Sophie (1879-1957), Lydia (1881-1932), Emilie (1883-1892), and Alice (1885-1978). Hermann Paepcke was president of Chicago Mill and Lumber Company, which his son Walter took over after his death. Walter founded the Container Corporation of America. He and Elizabeth supported numerous arts organizations and were involved in promoting the development of Aspen, Colorado.

Peter Joseph Schneider (1797-1871) was a noted doctor in Ettlingen, Germany. He was the son of Elizabeth Deger and Ignatz Schneider, who were innkeepers. He married Sophie Engelberger (1796-1863), whose parents were Maria Franzisca Bernard and Ignatz Engelberger.

Sophie and Peter Joseph's children included Emilie Schneider, who married Julius Wagner in 1849. Emilie and Julius' children included Paula Wagner, who married Hermann Paepcke.

Scope Note

Series I, Hilken and Nitze Families, contains correspondence, a diary containing photographs and clippings, ephemera, and biographical information. The material is mostly written by or addressed to Henry (Heinrich) Hilken, his wife Emma Hinrichs Hilken, or their daughter Anina Hilken Nitze. It ranges in date from 1830-1938 and is arranged chronologically. The letters cover topics such as marriage and relationships, daily life in Germany and the United States, and health problems and treatments. Most of the material is in English, although some is in German. In most cases the German documents are accompanied by typed English translations completed by Paula Zurcher in the 2010s.

Series II, Paepcke Family, contains correspondence, biographical and genealogical information, and two reports and two photographs relating to Hermann Paepcke's business ventures. The majority of the material is either addressed to or written by Hermann Paepcke or his son Walter Paepcke. In addition to family members, their correspondents included University of Chicago professor Karl Pietsch. Hermann Paepcke’s correspondence covers topics such as participation in a military campaign in Europe, his life in Texas in the 1870s and later in Chicago, business affairs, family news, travel, and World War I and its aftermath in Germany. Walter Paepcke’s earlier letters include a few brief discussions of his time at Yale University. His later correspondence covers topics such as his marriage to Elizabeth Nitze, the death of his father, and his efforts to help his extended family in Germany in the 1920s.

The original material ranges in date from 1860-1941 and is arranged chronologically. Much of the correspondence is in German, although some is in English. In most cases the German documents are accompanied by typed English translations completed by Paula Zurcher in the 2010s.

Series III, Schneider and Wagner Families, contains correspondence, certificates, awards, biographical and genealogical information, and a trophy. Additional Schneider family material can be found in the Oversize Series. The majority of the material relates to Peter Joseph Schneider, his wife Sophie Engelberger Schneider, and their daughter Emilie Schneider Wagner. There are also a few documents related Emilie’s husband Julius Wagner. The material ranges in date from 1806-1926 and is arranged chronologically. Most of the material is in German and is accompanied by typed English translations by Paula Zurcher that were completed in the 2010s.

Series IV, Zurcher Family, contains two documents for Johannes Zurcher from 1852-1853. The documents are in German and accompanied by typed English translations by Paula Zurcher that were completed in the 2010s.

Series V, Oversize, contains material too large to fit in standard legal-sized folders. There is one document from the Hilken family and four from the Schneiders. The material is all in German, and most are accompanied by typed English translations by Paula Zurcher that were completed in the 2010s.

Series VI, Addenda, contains material that was added to the collection after the original portion was organized and made available to researchers. It contains a booklet from December 1832 with a handwritten nuptial poem, in German, for Catherine Kirchoff and her first husband, Henirich Menz. Also included is an English translation of the poem by Paula Zurcher from 2019.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:

http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/scrc/findingaids/topics.php

Elizabeth H. Paepcke. Papers

Walter P. Paepcke. Papers

Nitze, William A. Papers

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Series I: Hilken and Nitze Families

Series I, Hilken and Nitze Families, contains correspondence, a diary containing photographs and clippings, ephemera, and biographical information. The material is mostly written by or addressed to Henry (Heinrich) Hilken, his wife Emma Hinrichs Hilken, or their daughter Anina Hilken Nitze. It ranges in date from 1830-1938 and is arranged chronologically. The letters cover topics such as marriage and relationships, daily life in Germany and the United States, and health problems and treatments. Most of the material is in English, although some is in German. In most cases the German documents are accompanied by typed English translations completed by Paula Zurcher in the 2010s.

Box 1   Folder 1

Letters, C. Preckel to Lüder Hilken and L. Meyer to C. Preckel, 1830-1834, and translations, circa 2017

Box 1   Folder 2

Unsigned letter to Catherine Kirchoff (Hilken), offering advice on choosing a husband and married life, 1831

Box 1   Folder 3

Translation of 1831 letter to Catherine Kirchoff (Hilken), circa 2015

Box 1   Folder 4

Lüder Hilken to Rauschenberg, 1855, and translations, circa 2017

Box 1   Folder 5

Correspondence between Heinrich (Henry) Hilken and his parents, Catherine and Lüder Hilken, 1874-1876; telegraph, Heinrich (Henry) Hilken to Emma Hinrichs, 1876; letter 1889; list of birth and death dates, after 1937

Box 1   Folder 6

Letters to Heinrich (Henry) Hilken from his parents and sisters Marie and Sophie, 1881, and translations, circa 2015

Box 1   Folder 7

Ephemera – German cards and World’s Columbian Exposition ticket, 1893, 1896

Box 1   Folder 8

Correspondence between Emma Hinrichs Hilken, Heinrich (Henry) Hilken, and Anina Hilken, 1897; letter from Heinrich (Henry) Hilken to Hermann Rauschenberg, 1898

Box 1   Folder 9

Letters to Anina S. Hilken, 1897-circa 1900

Box 1   Folder 10

Clipping – review of “Lohengrin,” circa 1899

Box 1   Folder 11

Paul Hilken letters to Henry Hilken, 1898-1900, and translations, circa 2016

Box 1   Folder 12

Anina Hilken European trip diary, including clippings, photographs, and postcards, Volume 1, 1899; notes and cover added later, undated

Box 1   Folder 13

Anina Hilken European trip diary, including clippings, photographs, and postcards, Volume 2, 1899; cover added later, undated

Box 2   Folder 1

Last page of letter from Paul Hilken to Anina Hilken, 189?

Box 2   Folder 2

Letters from Anina Hilken to her mother Emma, 1900

Box 2   Folder 3

Letters from William Nitze to Anina Hilken/Nitze, including regarding his first few days at the University of Chicago, 1900, 1904

Box 2   Folder 4

Copy of telegraph to William Nitze from 1904, undated

Box 2   Folder 5

Letters from Anina Hilken Nitze to her husband William Nitze, 1911-1912

Box 2   Folder 6

Letters, photographs, and cables to Anina Nitze from Ernst and Mathilde Hassel, 1912-1923

Box 2   Folder 7

Letters to Anina Nitze, 1913-1917

Box 2   Folder 8

Letter from Anina Nitze to her father, ephemera, and certificate, 1914; translation of letter, circa 2014

Box 2   Folder 9

“Four summaries of arguments on the question of ratification by the Senate of the treaty with Germany, including the League of Nations Covenant,” circa 1919

Box 2   Folder 10

Letter from Antonie Hinrichs Fade to her niece Elizabeth Paepcke, 1938

Box 2   Folder 11

Article on German submarine Deutschland, calendars for 1914-1919, and note, circa 2010

Box 2   Folder 12

Biography of Louis Fade by one of his children, undated, and translation, circa 2017

Series II: Paepcke Family

Series II, Paepcke Family, contains correspondence, biographical and genealogical information, and two reports and two photographs relating to Hermann Paepcke's business ventures. The majority of the material is either addressed to or written by Hermann Paepcke or his son Walter Paepcke. In addition to family members, their correspondents included University of Chicago professor Karl Pietsch. Hermann Paepcke’s correspondence covers topics such as participation in a military campaign in Europe, his life in Texas in the 1870s and later in Chicago, business affairs, family news, travel, and World War I and its aftermath in Germany. Walter Paepcke’s earlier letters include a few brief discussions of his time at Yale University. His later correspondence covers topics such as his marriage to Elizabeth Nitze, the death of his father, and his efforts to help his extended family in Germany in the 1920s.

The original material ranges in date from 1860-1941 and is arranged chronologically. Much of the correspondence is in German, although some is in English. In most cases the German documents are accompanied by typed English translations completed by Paula Zurcher in the 2010s.

Box 2   Folder 13

Letters from Hermann Paepcke, 1860-1863

Box 2   Folder 14

Letters from Hermann Paepcke to his mother, 1870, and translations, circa 2014

Box 2   Folder 15

Letters from Hermann Paepcke to his sisters Elise and Auguste, 1872-1874, and translation, circa 2014

Box 2   Folder 16

Letters from Hermann Paepcke to his mother, 1873, and translations, circa 2014

Box 2   Folder 17

Letter from Hermann Paepcke to his brother-in-law, 1873, and translation, circa 2014

Box 2   Folder 18

Letters from Hermann Paepcke to his mother, 1875-1878, undated, and translations, circa 2014

Box 2   Folder 19

Letter from Hermann Paepcke to his brother-in-law Franz, 1881, and translation, circa 2014

Box 2   Folder 20

Business accounting of Hermann Paepcke’s firm, 1887; National German-American Teachers Seminary Certificate of Membership for H. Paepcke, 1889

Box 2   Folder 21

Letters from Hermann Paepcke to Karl Pietsch, 1895-1916, and translations, circa 2014

Box 2   Folder 22

Letters to Hermann Paepcke from his brother Karl, 1907-1923, and translations, circa 2016

Box 2   Folder 23

Copies of letters from Walter Paepcke to his father Hermann Paepcke from 1913-1914, undated

Box 2   Folder 24

Correspondence between Walter Paepcke and his father Hermann Paepcke, January-April 1915, and translations, circa 2018

Box 2   Folder 25

Correspondence between Walter Paepcke and his father Hermann Paepcke, May-November 1915, and translations, circa 2018

Box 3   Folder 1

Correspondence between Walter Paepcke and his father Hermann Paepcke, December 1915-February 1916, and translations, circa 2018

Box 3   Folder 2

Chicago Mill and Lumber Company stock report and envelope, 1916

Box 3   Folder 3

Walter and Hermann Paepcke correspondence, including with Yale University, 1917

Box 3   Folder 4

Letter to Elizabeth Julia Hanway Meade Paepcke from Helene Baetcke Paepcke (wife of Hermann’s brother Karl Paepcke), 1920

Box 3   Folder 5

Letters to Hermann Paepcke from Alex Pflüger, 1921-1922

Box 3   Folder 6

Letters to Walter Paepcke from family in Germany, 1921-1925, 1930, and translations, circa 2018

Box 3   Folder 7

Letters to Walter Paepcke from his sister and brother-in-law Sophie and Alex Pflüger, 1922-circa 1925, 1936-1938 and transcriptions and translations, circa 2017-2018

Box 3   Folder 8

Karl Pietsch letters to Walter Paepcke, 1923 and translations, circa 2014; letter from Erna Pietsch to Department of Romance Languages and Literature and reply, 1983; note from Elizabeth Nitze to Karl Pietsch, undated

Box 3   Folder 9

Letters to Alex Pflüger regarding family history, 1931-1932, and translations, circa 2017

Box 3   Folder 10

Translation of “The Pflüger Family: In Homberg on the Efze, Nienburg on the Weser, Erichshagen, and Bremen,” by Alexander Pflüger, 1932, circa 2017

Box 3   Folder 11

Letter to Elizabeth Paepcke from Johanna Schmidt regarding family history, 1935, and translation, circa 2017

Box 3   Folder 12

Letter from Sophie Paepcke Pflüger[?] to Alice[?], 1941

Box 3   Folder 13

“Paddle-ships on the Mississippi River bearing lumber from Hermann Paepcke’s plantation at Greenville, Mississippi,” two photographs, undated

Series III: Schneider and Wagner Families

Series III, Schneider and Wagner Families, contains correspondence, certificates, awards, biographical and genealogical information, and a trophy. Additional Schneider family material can be found in the Oversize Series. The majority of the material relates to Peter Joseph Schneider, his wife Sophie Engelberger Schneider, and their daughter Emilie Schneider Wagner. There are also a few documents related Emilie’s husband Julius Wagner. The material ranges in date from 1806-1926 and is arranged chronologically. Most of the material is in German and is accompanied by typed English translations by Paula Zurcher that were completed in the 2010s.

Box 3   Folder 14

Letters to Peter Josef Schneider, including one from his father Ignaz Schneider, 1806, and one from Sophie Engelberger, 1816; biographical sketch of Ignaz Egelberger, circa 1813; and translations, circa 2014

Box 3   Folder 15

Peter Josef Schneider and Sophie Engelberger certificates, including for medical degree and practice, marriage, and religion, 1811-1816, and translations, circa 2016

Box 3   Folder 16

“The Feast of Honor in Recognition of the Services Rendered by the Medical Advisor Dr. Peter Joseph Schneider…” pamphlet, 1841, and translation, circa 2010

  • SEE ALSO related trophy below
Box 3   Folder 17

Letter from Emilie Schneider Wagner, living in Texas, to her parents in Germany, 1851, and translation, circa 2013

Box 3   Folder 18

Copy of transcription of 1863 parish records of death of Sophie Engelberger Schneider, undated, and translation, circa 2018

Box 3   Folder 19

Letter, Peter Josef Schneider to Emilie, 1871, and translation, circa 2013 Folder 20: Letter and honor to Julius Wagner, 1897, 1900, and translations, circa 2017

Box 3   Folder 21

Tribute by German Ambassador to Julius Wagner at celebration of his birthday in Chicago, 1899, and translation, circa 2018

Box 3   Folder 22

“Family Tree” narrative by Sophie and Carolina Wagner, 1926, and translation, circa 2015

Object 1

Cup of Honor Trophy for Dr. Peter Joseph Schneider, 1841

Series IV: Zurcher Family

Series IV, Zurcher Family, contains two documents for Johannes Zurcher from 1852-1853. The documents are in German and accompanied by typed English translations by Paula Zurcher that were completed in the 2010s.

Box 3   Folder 23

Auction and transaction instructions for Johannes Zurcher, 1852-1853, and translations, circa 2018

Series V: Oversize

Series V, Oversize, contains material too large to fit in standard legal-sized folders. There is one document from the Hilken family and four from the Schneiders. The material is all in German, and most are accompanied by typed English translations by Paula Zurcher that were completed in the 2010s.

Box 4   Folder 1

Hilken family – Pension Tscheuschner oversize brochure, sent from Anina Hilken Nitze to her husband, 1911

Box 4   Folder 2

Schneider and Wagner families – certificate for Dr. Peter Josef Schneider for his “treatment of the impoverished sick” in Ettenheim, 1832, and translation, circa 2016

Box 4   Folder 3

Schneider and Wagner families – Award of the Commander of the Cross Second Class of the Zähringer Lion to Peter Josef Schneider, 1868, and translation, circa 2016

Box 4   Folder 4

Schneider and Wagner families – Original newspaper obituary of Peter Josef Schneider, 1871?

Box 4   Folder 5

Schneider and Wagner families – biography of Dr. Peter Josef Schneider printed in Old Ettlingen newspaper, 1935, and translation, circa 2016

Series VI: Addenda

Series VI, Addenda, contains material that was added to the collection after the original portion was organized and made available to researchers. It contains a booklet from December 1832 with a handwritten nuptial poem, in German, for Catherine Kirchoff and her first husband, Henirich Menz. Also included is an English translation of the poem by Paula Zurcher from 2019.

Box 3   Folder 24

Nuptial poem booklet for Heinrich Menz and Catherine Kirchoff, December 1832

Box 3   Folder 25

English translation of nuptial poem booklet, 2019