News from Osnabrück

Osnabrück citizens. The master smith August Heisenberg and his wife of the Lohstrasse are celebrating their golden anniversary today. At a celebration with family in their home the pastor Dr. Regula presented them with a bible, a gift from the church deacons, and a representative from the magistrate presented the golden medal of marriage jubilee from the king. The honored couple is an example of one of these craftsmen families who once represented the bourgeoisie in Osnabrück which brought honor and significance to its native city. The robust 78 year old honoree only retired two years ago from his workshop after an accident, caused by old age. Counting his apprenticeship years, he spent 58 years with anvil in front of the fire, and had a circle of customers who sought out his solid knowledge and his professional skill. His participation in civic matters as well as his great conscientiousness in all matters gained him the respect of the citizenship and the esteem of the city council. He has served many years as the caretaker of the poor, an office he still holds today. In his workshop a large number of apprentices were trained to become capable smiths who nearly all achieved a secure lifelong position, capable of sustaining their livelihood. The jubilee couple both hail from Osnabrück. Master Heisenberg was born in Lohstrasse and Mrs. Heisenberg came from the Bramscherstrasse. Both owe their education to the Succentor Dreinhöfer who was in his day quite renowned here. After his confirmation Heisenberg was sent by his parents to apprentice in the house which is now his own and which then was a shop owned by a member of the Holstein family. A younger son took over the father’s own business which is still flourishing today. Back then every master had his apprentices living with him and did not only supervise their training but their entire education. After four years as apprentice, Heisenberg became a journeyman and after having continued his training here in several other shops, he went on his wander years which took him via Braunschweig and Magdeburg to Berlin . There he worked for a few years, and intended to continue on to Vienna. During a visit at his parents’ home in February 1855, he learned from his former master, who had no children of his own, that he wanted to retire due to old age. So it soon came to pass that the old master convinced the young journeyman to take over his shop. Soon the required age of twenty-four was reached which allowed him to take the master examination; after passing it, he swiftly began the work to pursue his own life’s purpose. At the time the gas works were being built and the young and capable master was in great demand. Now the master also needed to have a “Mrs.” Master; in those days a master held the same esteem as a leader in business now holds, or an owner of a factory. Little wonder that Heisenberg would not be without ‘good prospects’. However, he did not focus on the amount of any inheritance with a blind heart, but instead chose a daughter from the flourishing estate at the Bramscherstrasse, for his capable wife. Now both of them have spent fifty years in the busy life with its toil, its joys and also sad days. The master worked tirelessly in the shop and the mistress oversaw an outstanding household and worked in the field and garden, since in those days a farm was part of any well-to-do Osnabrück household. Of the seven children the jubilee couple was blessed with, two died young. Of the other five, three daughters are here in Osnabrück. One of the two sons is a university professor in Würzburg, the younger a merchant in New York. Now they all are here together with their wives and children to celebrate with their parents. May the jubilee couple whose life is representative of a certain bourgeois segment of Osnabrück’s citizens have a long and happy life ahead!

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August Wilhelm Heisenberg with his two Grandsons
Erwin and Werner; Osnabrück 1906

Family pictures ca. 1920

From the left: Erwin Heisenberg, Ellen Mutert(neighbor),
Werner Heisenberg, Mr. Free, Dr. Mutert, August Heisenberg, Karl Heisenberg
Below: ?, Helen Heisenberg, Aunt Anna Free, Annie Heisenberg
and Grete Bauermeister

Dr. Mutert, Werner Heisenberg, Ellen Mutert, Erwin Heisenberg, August Heisenberg,
Dr. Mutert; around table: Anna Free, Karl Heisenberg, Helen Heisenberg, ?,
Annie Heisenberg and Grete Bauermeister

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