The Hensel House — Prologue
My name is Mary Frances Hensel and I was born in 1838, in the town of Meadville, Pennsylvania, located in Crawford County. I’ve lived in Meadville all my life. My beloved husband of eighteen years, Harry, died on October 14th as a result of an industrial accident while working at the railroad roundhouse in Ashtabula, Ohio, some thirty miles away. Harry and I have two children. Our daughter Etta is 18 years old with an infant daughter and our son Harry Jr. is 14 years old. If you asked my children how they would describe me, they would be quick to tell you that I’m a fearless trailblazer. And they would be exactly right. This is my story.
On the way home from visiting my husband’s grave today, I stopped at the post office to mail a stack of thank you notes for the many messages of condolence and the meals that were prepared for us since the funeral. On my way out of the post office, the clerk called out to me.
“Mrs. Hensel, I’m glad you came in today. A special delivery letter came for you.”
I returned to the counter. “Special delivery, you say? Thank you so much.”
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