Thursday, June 28, 2012

I Know Why You Are Here

Rudolph Maurer (1844-1912)

My husband's second great grandfather

Bradford William Pack --> Patsy (Pat) Marilyn Fresh Pack --> Marie Johanna Maurer Fresh --> Emil Maurer --> Rudolph Maurer

Rudolf was born in Switzerland.  Two days after his 29th birthday, he married Maria Franziaska Ruggli.  He was Protestant, she was Catholic.  Maria was disowned by her family.

Eleven months later they had Emil, then two years later Elise, and then two years later they had Rudeli.

The same year Rudeli is born, 1878, three seemingly minor events take place that will change the family forever.

1. They move from Zurich back to Rudolph's family home in Russikon.
2. Rudolph gets into an argument with the Parson.
3. He develops a high fever and becomes delirious.

The Parson uses his power and takes advantage of Rudolph's illness and has him committed to a mental hospital in Zurich.
Rudeli dies one week shy of his four month birthday.
Maria becomes ill and dies eight days later in Zurich.

Rudolf's brother, Jacob and his wife Sophia agreed not to tell Rudolph about Maria's death.  As they walked into his room he said, "I know why you are here.  You have come to tell me that my Maria has died.  I have seen my Maria and know she is gone.  She came to me in this room.  She had on a beautiful white dress and told me she had come to tell me goodbye."

For the next 33 years he would try multiple times to escape the mental hospital.  Finally, in 1911, he was successful and moved in with his daughter's family.  He died a year later.


  1. Who were Jacob and Sophia? Heather this is wonderful. Thank you!

  2. Jacob was Rudolph's brother and Sophie was his wife. I need to refresh my memory, but Jacob died leaving Sophie with their own children plus two small relatives. Sophie tried very hard to continue to care for them, although she was far from affluent.

    Heather,what you have done is beautiful and appreciated. Thank you.

    Pat Pack

  3. Sorry about the confusion, I got it fixed.