From the book Building America, A History of the Family
Feick (Feik-Fike) by Anita Gundlach Feick, pages 81-83
J. Charles Feick
"Charlie", the only child of John A. Feick and
Lizzie Zipfel, never left home. He and Mylitta Taubert were married while
Charlie was attending college, Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh. Charlie came
home from school one weekend and Mylitta went back to Pittsburgh with him. An
elopement! They were married in Canada at Niagara Falls. Mylitta said "it
was very thrilling and romantic".
Mylitta never had a home of her own. They always lived with
his parents. Charlie always worked for his father and never received a paycheck.
Any money to spend they had to ask "pa" for. They could have anything
they wanted but the money came from "pa". Mylitta on two different
occasions had houses rented and was ready to move but "pa" cried and
she relented. So they stayed . she never had to get up with the children at
night - grandpa did. For new clothes, a corset, a buggy for the baby - she could
have anything she wanted - but she had to ask.
And the children loved grandpa (papa they called him) and he
loved the children. They were practically the only children in the Zipfel
family. The Zipfel family was a large one but not prolific. the Zipfel sisters
spent every afternoon at the Feick's with sister Lizzie. The Feick children were
surrounded by adults.
The only furniture in the house that Mylitta could move (and
how women love to move furniture!) was her bedroom. Like all women she
rearranged the room one day and then went off to visit her parents down the
street. After dark, Charlie came to her parents house to get her and he was
furious! It seems he went into their bedroom to change clothing and sat on the
bed, or where it had been, without turning on the light. she never again moved a
piece of furniture.
Charlie always wore vests. He found them very convenient for
his business. He took them to the tailor and had the pockets elongated so his 6
foot rule fit in one and pencils etc., fit in one and the others could hold the
various things a builder needs at hand. Various prominent businessmen who were
friends would save the vests from their suits for him. When Tom was married the
bride's family were disappointed for they were so hoping he would come wearing
one of his famous vests.
Mylitta was a beautiful young girl and a beautiful woman.
Would you believe that young men drank wine from her shoe? steal kisses? True.
Mylitta had only one brother who was named after the uncle
Christian Strobel. Christy married twice. Divorced from his first wife, Alice,
the children of this first marriage were reared by their grandparents, Lewis and
Katherine Strobel Taubert who lived on Monroe Street. Christy then married Ruth
Meinert and had one son, Richard, who lived in Sandusky until recently. Uncle
Christy and Ruth were divorced after Richard was grown. Christy lived with Mr.
& Mrs. Reed Brinker on Central Avenue and in a state of depression, he took
his own life. Both of his wives remained friends of the family. Alice, the first
wife, was a beautiful, beautiful woman. Her second husband was Greek and they
often came to Sandusky to visit with Mylitta and Charlie Feick.
For ten years we, Edward and I. lived next door to Charlie and
Mylitta on Decatur Street. The house was small and five children filled it to
overflowing. But when we decided that we would move, Charlie was unhappy. He
loved having the children around. He used to take Mary Anna with him on the
truck and would buy her clothes, especially when he went to Huron to
Gunzenhausers' Department Store. He called her "Windy" Feick (a
reference to an uncle of mine who was always called Windy Gundlach) for she
would entertain him with long discourses.
Charlie had always used bad language - utilizing many
four-letter words. Surprisingly, none of his children ever acquired the habit of
swearing and it has always been a rarity to hear one of them doing so. But, one
day, Charlie was standing in front of our little house on Decatur Street talking
with one of the very prominent men of the city when his cute, tiny, little
three-year-old granddaughter in her pigtails and pinafore came over to them and
said "Get your G--D--- feet off our gwass." Astounded, grandpa said,
"What did you say, honey?", so in her little high baby voice she
repeated herself.... and grandpa watched his language from then on.
Charlie sat down to eat at noon sharp. Didn't matter who was
or was not there; no waiting. Not only did Charlie eat dinner at noon sharp but
he ate his dessert first. that was just in case there was not room for it when
he finished dining. And if the dessert was pie, or cake, or pudding or
whatever...a scoop of ice cream went on top....and it did not matter what kind
of pie or what kind of ice cream. There were some great combinations.
Grandmother Mylitta fed at noon whoever was around - children,
friends, salesmen - there was always room for one more a the little round table
in the kitchen.
And she had a most inconvenient kitchen. No cupboards in the
kitchen....everything was kept in the pantry...no counters in the pantry... it
was walk, walk, walk, walk. Finally Charles remodeled the old kitchen and made
it into a modern serviceable one, a joy to work in.
As all builders do, Charlie took care of his own house last,
and one of my favorite stories, and which I related to each of my
daughters-in-law as I acquired them is the story Mylitta told me when I married
Edward. It seems she always wanted a washing machine and some laundry tubs.
Especially the laundry tubs, for as the bulk of the dirty clothing went to Uncle
Lewis Feick's "Mahala Laundry" there were always the dainties that had
to be hand washed. Finally laundry tubs were ordered for 321 Decatur and they
sat outside of the back door until time was found to install them. They sat
there for five years until Mylitta finally had one of the workmen remove them to
the warehouse in back and so ended the laundry tubs. My thoughts as she related
this to me, were, "maybe YOUR husband but not MINE!!!!" Oh, yes? I,
too, found out that builders are tired of building and when they return home
they are not too interested in doing more of the same thing. Home looks good the
way it is - not the way it should be or the way you would like it to be. It
takes a builder longer.
by Anita Gundlach Feick