Invitation to Indiana

In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hans Weinhardt sent a letter from his hometown in Bavaria to Lafayette, Indiana, hoping that it might end up reaching the descendants of distant relatives who had moved there decades earlier. Not long afterward, he received a response from William Weinhardt, the owner of a Lafayette detective agency who would turn out to be Hans’ third cousin.  The distant relatives struck up a correspondence that would end up transforming the lives of Hans—later John—Weinhardt and the rest of his family.

The text of this exhibit was written by Julia Wycital and edited by Atiba Pertilla and Isaiah Thompson. Our thanks to John G. Weinhardt and William J. Weinhardt for providing their family letters, photographs, transcriptions, and translations. We also thank Detlef Ott for permission to use images of Schwabach, Germany.