Friday, October 3, 2014

An Ancestor's Poem: "Actions Speak Louder Than Words"

I'm busy looking through the small town paper where my family has lived since the early 1870's. I lived there when I was young and have many relatives still in the area. These small papers are full of interesting articles!

One article I found this morning said that my second great grand uncle, or the brother of my second great grandmother, had "entertained those present [at a 'big dinner'] by reciting one of his German poems." Oh, how I wish I could read that poem!

But, then I found one published in the newspaper! (And maybe there are more?) It was published about 6 months before this gathering. How wonderful to actually find one of his poems! And, yes, the family was German, but this poem is in English. I'm not sure if they called his other poem "German" because he was German (this is the generation that immigrated), or if he actually wrote it in German. But, I'm thrilled to have this poem written in English!

Poem by Emil Werther,
Actions Speak Louder Than Words, Arkansas City Daily Traveler, Arkansas City, Kansas, 15 Dec 1908, page 6, column 4;
digital image accessed 03 Oct  2014)

In preaching 'Peace on earth and to man good will'
While having a pistol in your pocket concealed,
And building fleets and guns with intent to kill,
Is your deceitful sham revealed.
                                - Emil Werther (1854 in Germany - 1942 in Kansas)

Note: This poem could actually be written by Emil's son, Emil Jr (1882-1917), but I think the poems are by the father.

Do we share common ancestors? I'd love to talk! Please leave a comment or write me at

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