Regarding the land of our ancestors at the time of Spanglerís research in the late 19th century, from Edward W. Spangler, The Annals of the Families of Caspar, Henry, Baltzer and George Spengler, York, Pennsylvania: The York Daily Publishing Co., 1896., Genforum Subscription Transcription, , p 7 and 8.
Respected Sir:--As per your request of January 5, I have the honor to submit the following report concerning your ancestors in the pastorate of Weiler, as also of the present extension of the family Spengler-Weiler-Hilsbach. ....
Your ancestral home lies midway near the railroad line between Heidelberg and Heilbronn, District Sinsheim, whence you can reach (in ?? hour) Steinsberg, on the summit of which Weiler is situated. Steinsberg is visited daily by many strangers, especially antiquarians, from far and near, mostly in the summer season. From the enclosed description you may get a good impression of the same. The present population comprises 630 Evangelicals, (Protestants), 317 Catholics, and 20 Jews.
Weiler is in the parish (pastorate) of Hilsbach, distant 25 "minutes," and the pastor at Hilsbach conducts services there each Sunday and Holyday. The youth of the community is instructed in the common (public) school, taught by a Protestant principal and a Catholic assistant (as also by the pastor). The Protestants in the community are sacredly loyal to their Prince and overflow with enthusiasm for Kaiser and Kingdom.
As shown in enclosed program, there will this month be presented here a play by local talent in an improvised theatre; entitled "Gustavus Adolphus." I witnessed the performance yesterday evening. It was attended by about 250 persons from Sinsheim, Hilsbach, &c. The leading part, "Gustavus Adolphus," was personated by Martin Spengler (born December 2, 1854), who possesses ample dramatic talent to represent that great historical person, and elicited the wonder and admiration of all who were present.
Concerning the character, (standing. &c.) of the three branches of the Spengler-Weiler-Hilsbach family, I can conscientiously testily that during my pastoral labors of 25 years in this community, ALL of the inhabitants of this name have been, without a single exception, honorable citizens. As to their personal effects (property), their possessions are moderate, yet all enjoy comfort, being frugal and industrious.
The oldest members of the family are:
The inhabitants of Weiler are mainly occupied in husbandry, cattle raising, extensive fruit and wine culture; wheat, barley, tobacco, sugar beets, potatoes, chicory, hemp, &c.
The Ev. (Prot.) congregation has little property, and meets its expenses for salary, &c., from assessments on the Ev. community. Last fall the inside was repaired and renovated and a new organ will be placed in position next April, which means additional assessments during the next four years.
I submit this information in the hope that it will prove satisfactory, in aiding you to find the original ancestors and all your relatives.
The statement on my part, to members of the Spengler family that a descendant and relative of theirs in America has written to me caused general joy, and I am requested to convey to you the kindest regards and good wishes of the three branches of the Spengler family.
With heartiest greetings from the home of your ancestors,