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Hablitzel, Emilie
Correspondence of young Ms. Emilie Hablitzel, of Waterbury, Connecticut, written to her parents and sisters, while she was studying music at the Königliches Konservatorium der Musik zu Leipzig (Conservatorium der Musik), and living in Leipzig, Germany, 1891-1892

Collection of 99 letters, 812 manuscript pages, dated 1 September 1891 to 5 October 1892; letters are tied together with string at the top upper left corners, several letters are chipped at edges, otherwise in good condition, written in ink, in a legible hand.

Most of the letters were written from Leipzig, Germany, by 16 - 17 year -old Emilie Hablitzel to her mother and father, Edward and Lena Hablitzel, of Waterbury, Connecticut, and her younger sisters Ida and Lucy. Emilie went to Germany to study music under Theodor Coccius at the famed Königliches Konservatorium der Musik zu Leipzig (formerly called Conservatorium der Musik) founded by composer Felix Mendelssohn.  The correspondence contains much on Emilie’s lessons with Coccius, her progress, the pieces she was working on, the daily regimen, events, and concerts of the school, the social activities with other students at her boarding house, as well as trips around Leipzig and its suburbs. Two letters in April of 1892 were written from Dresden, Germany. She also appears to have traveled within Germany during the summer before departing home and wrote from several cities including: one letter from Gotha and seven letters from Markt-sleft, Bavaria. She also wrote two letters from Ludwigshafen am Rhein and two letters from Hamback, also in August of 1892. 

Emilie Hablitzel (1875-1941)

Emilie Hablitzel was born about 1875, the daughter of Edward Hablitzel (1841- ?) and his wife Lena (1854-?). Her parents were German immigrants from Wurttemberg. Her father immigrated as a child in 1850, settling in Waterbury, Connecticut, where he found work in a button shop (1880 Census) and later worked as a tool maker (1900 and 1910 Census). The family lived on Main Street. Emilie (Amelia) had two younger sisters: Ida born in July of 1878 and Lucy, born about April 1883.

Emilie went to Leipzig, Germany to study music when she was16 years old. She traveled by steamer to Germany with her mother and after getting settled in, her mother returned to America. Emilie was living in Leipzig from September 1891 to October 1892 and did some traveling within Germany during her stay. A ship manifest for the ship Erns, shows her leaving Bremen, Germany and arriving at the Port of New York on 18 October 1892, events borne out in the correspondence offered here.

Emilie studied at the Königliches Konservatorium der Musik zu Leipzig (formerly called Conservatorium der Musik) under German pianist and pedagogue Theodor Coccius (1824-1897). Coccius was born in Knauthain near Leipzig in 1824. He was a pupil of Sigismond Thalberg. He taught at the Leipzig Conservatory from 1864 for the rest of his life, alongside Ignaz Moscheles and Carl Reinecke. His notable pupils included Oskar Merikanto, Aleksander Michałowski (1867–69), and Algernon Ashton. He was the elder brother of the ophthalmologist Ernst Adolf Coccius (1825-1890). He died in Leipzig in 1897, aged 73. Today the Königliches Konservatorium der Musik zu is known as Hochschule für Musik und Theater "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" Leipzig. The school was founded 1843 by composer Felix Mendelssohn as the Conservatorium der Musik (Conservatory of Music) and is the oldest university school of music in Germany.

Once back in America Emilie Hablitzel became a music teacher in her hometown of Waterbury; she married physician/surgeon Joseph Andzulatis (1865-1916) on 29 June 1898 in Waterbury.  Emilie is found in the 1890s city directories for that location until she married and moved to New Britain, Connecticut where her husband’s practice was located. She is found in the 1910 Census with her husband and daughter Milda in New Britain. Her husband was a Russian immigrant, who came to America about 1892 and became a naturalized citizen. He was an allopath and started his practice at New Britain in 1895, with a license to practice in both Connecticut and Maryland. After her husband’s premature death on 29 December 1916, she moved back to her hometown of Waterbury, where is found in that city’s directories in the 1930s. She died in 1941.

Emilie’s sisters, Ida and Lucy, both became public school teachers. In 1897, Ida was appointed to teach sixth grade at the Bishop Street School in Waterbury. Ida is listed as a teacher in the 1900 Census for Waterbury living with her parents and sister Lucy. In 1902, Lucy graduated from the Waterbury Training School for Teachers and became a teacher. Lucy’s first job began that year at the Mill Plain School teaching 5th to 7th grades. Lucy and Ida are enumerated in the 1910 and 1920 Census records as public-school teachers. Their father died sometime between 1910 and 1920, as in 1920 only Ida, Lucy and their mother were found enumerated together.

        Sample Quotes from the Letters:

“Leipzig, Ger., Sept 3 /91


Dear Papa, Mamma, Ida, Lucy,


This morning I took my first lesson of Coccius and had very good luck. Herr C. says all I want is strength and so he gave me several very difficult exercise so as I would get strong in the fingers. He was  very nice to me. He explained thing to me very plain.


There are four of us in the class and all of them are awfully homely things. I was the first one to get up and play and when I sat down on the stool Herr C. says how I want to see how you have picked that out by yourself you have had no one to help you have you and I said no. So I commenced and he stopped me to tell me how well I had done. You may believe I felt good and went home as happy as if I had won millions of dollars.


Fraülein Schawbe said to me the other morning that she had said to her sister that by my practice she could hear that I was going to be more than an ordinary player.


The girls are very nice they come in to see me in the daytime often when I am not practicing. In the evening after supper we go over to Schawbe’s and take our work and crochet until we go to bed, which is not very late. Last night we went to bed late because we went away. You know it was [Sedan fair]. In the afternoon we went to see the parade in which 118 societies took part. It was very nice there were 20 music bands and Oh! what music grand.


In the evening there was to be fireworks so F. Sena and Miss Fux and I went alone. The fireworks was great. One out of the lot was a man on bicycle. He was as far from our house to Hayes St was grand Street looked at first like little lights, then fire flew from each then they represented a shower of meteors. The whole half of the sky was sparks just like it shows in the [centuary] we have at home. Then at last there was a crown and the Prince Albert’s name in fire and the signs of Hope which were an anchor, heart, cross and all fire. O! it was grand. I never saw anything like it…


With all my kisses, your daughter and sister, Emilie”


“Leipzig, Ger., Papa’s birthday 1891


Dear Papa, Mama, Ida, Lucy,


I first of all wish papa a great many more birthdays & hope he is enjoying it, it being his 50th


In the morning when I went to the conservatory, I saw Herr Seifert the one we met in Weimar and he gave me a ticket for the theater in the evening where I heard ‘Der Freyschütz’ and he gave me another card and told me to come every once a week with it and he would give me a ticket for some opera which I chose. We pupils all get tickets once a week and when there is a big concert we only have to pay half for a ticket. The gen and house concerts are entirely free to us. I enjoyed that evening very much. The music [was] grand and the singers were also very fine.  ‘Agathe’ in the play sang very high and she is very young yet. I think she will make an expert. The third act in which they make the ballets is just so an act as in Foust where the ghost and skeletons and everything the devil and all such horrid things come forth but the scenery is grand in this act…


I went for my music lesson Coc was not there and it said down in the hall that he would give no lessons that day. So yesterday when I came what did I see but a Coc with a tied up head a big bandage over his right eye. Just as if he had been fighting and he looked altogether white and so thin. All he let us girls know was he had had ‘ungluck’ with his head an eyes. He was real good to e and I should only keep  courage a while and  he see what I can do. I did not think he would give me a new piece but he did and said I had improved very much the last week. I have now got Beethoven’s Polonaise.


I have to say now I only once more wish papa many more birthdays. I will send papa a flower from my plant for a present…


With my loves and kisses to you all, your loving daughter and sister, Emilie”



“Leipzig, Ger. Sept 17, 1891


Dear Papa, Mama, Ida, Lucy,


As I said in the other letter that I would write more this afternoon, I will now sit down and do so. I am sure that Mama is home today telling you all about everything and everybody. I suppose she was so glad when she landed safe she could hardly stir. I hope she had a pleasant voyage as it was a long while 12 days against what we took coming over, but if the weather was nice and she was well, she did not mind it much.


I cannot tell you how patiently I have been waiting for the news to come in the paper and finally it did come. Where ever I was I did not enjoy myself like the others because I thought where can Mama be, but now I am alright and happy as anybody in the house and even more so. My work will now commence as I told Herr Coccius I could practice better now than before. H. C. was very anxious about you too, asking every day when I took my lesson if I heard from Mama and this morning I told him yes and he said he was glad as he knew I had been worrying about you. He does not live far from here ad my class is the last one in the morning so we always go home together as he goes the same way that I do. Fraulein S asked someone about Coc and that person said that I was very lucky in getting him and that there was not a better teacher here than him. I had not had any private lessons yet until last Tuesday and Miss Bird did not know it and she said one noon at dinner I don’t think Coccius will take the time to give you private lessons as I heard that he does not give them to anyone unless if he sees the pupil is very talented and if he takes a notion to them. I did not like this but I know better for the next day I was to go in the morning to his house and take a private lesson. F. Schabe did not like it either, but what could she say.  So, the next morning I went and at noon time they asked me where I had been in the morning at 9 and I told them well if you had seen the faces on the girls and on Mrs. Bird you would have laughed and Fraulein S says ‘Now Miss B. that shows that F. H. has got very much talent and he takes interest in her learning. That’s a compliment she says.’ That noon Miss B. was stunned and did not say another word about music. I was there an hour and a half. He gave me a different exercise for the fingers without the notes. He gave me no notes he just played them once and then I had to know them and play them. I learnt them so quick that he kept giving me more. This morning I had a very hard study and one measure was awful hard…


Your daughter and sister, Emilie Hablitzel”


“Leipzig, Ger., Mama’s & Papa, 17 anniversary of their marriage


Dearest Mama, Papa, Ida, Lucy,


First of all I wish you many happy returns of the day and hope that you are all well and enjoying yourselves this very day…


I generally get up at a little past 7 and then breakfast at 8, from the time I eat until 9 I take a walk, then I come home and practice 1 ½ hours. Then I go out for a ½ hour, then I practice until dinner which is always two hours. After dinner I go out again for a ½ hour and then practice until coffee time which is 1 ½ hours. After coffee I practice again 1 ½ hours until it gets dusk. Then I put on my hat and coat and go up town with Frl. Jennie or Sena and get something for supper. After we get back I practice again until supper. After supper we either dance or go into Frl. Dryers room and take our work, but it is very little we work we take a book and sing like old harry.

I took a lesson this morning and pleased Herr C. very much. I was the only one to whom he said good. I have a piece every week and new studies and what studies. I am nearly through my book of studies. I have had a Rondo by Weber, op (xx); it is just the nicest little piece you can hold of; it is so lively and goes real fast. Herr C. has an awful tiny house. Every room is furnished in different plush furniture and grand. Last week when I took my lesson they were putting in lovely gas fixtures. His wife is real pleasant. When I go home the servant stands out in the hall and puts on my cloak and buttons it. Last week she forgot it and Herr C gave her a scolding. I don’t like it to be so fussed over like a baby but that is the fashion here with the rich people…


Ever your loving daughter & sister,

Emilie Hablitzel, Pension Schaube, Braustrasse, No. 1 part. Leipzig”