Editor’s Note: We received this letter along with a donation and are happy to share it with you in its entirety. We hope you enjoy this bit of history as much as we did. Thank you to the Fortwengler family for their years of support.
Dear Society of St. Vincent de Paul,
Enclosed is a check for $1,200, from my wife and I, as a donation in honor of my grandfather, as well as a photo of him and his family, and an accompanying story that you might use in your newsletter if you find it interesting. If so, feel free to edit or shorten it. It would be nice to have some of the great-great-grandkids to be aware of the St. Vincent connection in the family tree.
Herman Fortwengler, A neighborhood Story
Enclosed is a check in the amount $1,200 we received as a Covid-19 government stimulus check. We want it to go toward the feeding and care of those in need, a job that St. Vincent de Paul does so well. We also want the donation to be given in honor of my grandparents, Herman and Josephine Fortwengler and family. My grandfather, Herman, volunteered with St. Vincent de Paul to help feed and care for the poor and told me about it a few times in the early 1950s when I was a kid. Herman, of German heritage, lived in the St. Vincent Neighborhood at 222 E. Ormsby (a two-story house he purchased in 1916 for $2,000) with his wife Josephine and eight children.
Herman, everyone called him “Pop,” walked to St. Vincent frequently to do his volunteer work. He was a skilled saddle-maker and didn’t make a lot of money so some of their children had to trade-off their extended education to find jobs and work, as was common back in the day, to make ends meet.
The enclosed family photo shows family members from left to right as; Ed, 4/25/16; Albert, 6/23/1907; Alice, 8/19/1911; Herman P., 5/20/1909; Helen, 1/11/1905; George, 9/30/1913; Mary Jo, 3/21/1919; Herman “Pop” Fortwengler, 1/29/1878 and wife, Josephine, 2/22/1883; married 9/1/1903; Joe, 9/26/1925.
So as my grandfather would say, use the money to continue the great humanitarian work that St. Vincent de Paul has done since it started in 1853.
Phil and Jill Fortwengler
We have sheltered, fed, and nurtured those in need since 1853, and we remain committed to our mission now more than ever.
St. Vincent de Paul Louisville is a 501(C)(3) Nonprofit registered in the US under EIN: 61-0727110