Michael Henry Breitenstein and Elizabeth Ann Steinmetz Breitenstein had nine sons between 1888 and 1908. In 1955 eight of the nine brothers had a family reunion at the farm in Okolona, Jefferson Co., Kentucky. In order from left to right and by descending by age are: Edward Lawrence Breitenstein, Michael Henry Breitenstein Jr., Theodore Peter Breitenstein, John Louis Breitenstein, Herman Joseph Breitenstein Sr., Carl Ernst Breitenstein Sr., Emil Raymond Breitenstein Sr. and Julius Clarence Breitenstein. Lawerence Jacob Breitenstein, the fifth brother who would have been in the exact middle, the only one I never met, passed away in 1952.
A wonderful second cousin, Mara Sprott, sent me a copy of this photograph along with another one of all the attendees. Her branch of the family did not come up from Tennessee for this event. Her father, Uncle John, is the tall man in the center. One of Uncle’s Mike’s daughters and her children also missed the day.
There is a line in one of the Cheaper by the Dozen movies, something like, “without you, we are only, just like, eleven.” I feel that way about my great uncles, without Uncle Lawrence they are only eight brothers, not nine. How amazing, to be one of nine brothers, it was very important to my grandpa and I imagine for the other brothers too. I am on the lookout for a photograph of the nine brothers, without their parents or spouses.
It bears repeating, second cousins have photos you wish you had. Ask them.