Scholla: Treasure Trove July 23, 1941

Treasure Trove                 7/23/1941

Don’t ever tell the Hon. Daniel K. Hoch that something is lost. Not after the remarkable discovery of the marriage certificate of John DeTurck and Deborah Hoch, both of Oley, wedded in the year 1740. Last Labor Day the Hoch-DeTurck families held a joint family reunion. On that occasion  the two-century old wedding scene, uniting the two families, was reenacted. The ceremony, costumes and guests were shown in an exact portrayal of the great event of 1740. Only one item was missing. The original marriage certificate had been preserved was general knowledge but its whereabouts was a mystery to all of the freundschaft.

D.K. Hoch was especially interested in trying to locate the missing document. His natural bent for historical research fortified him in his hopes that the certificate would be found. One warm day in June 1941 he was called to his daughter’s bedroom and there, on a bureau, neatly framed, stood the missing certificate. It was obvious that it had been found, but how? There developed the following interesting chain of circumstances.

Joseph Hendel went to the vincinity of Hill Church for the purpose of purchasing some roofing tile from a man named Dry. Hendel and Dry could not agree upon terms and the tile was purchased elsewhere. On his return journey Hendel passed the home of Dry and informed him that there was no further need to discuss the tile deal. Then Dry suggested that Hendel might be interested in purchasing a cigar box filled with old postage stamps. Dry had bought the stamps at a public auction. The deal was made. When Hendel examined his stamp accumulation he found a crumpled piece of paper mixed with the philatelic assortment. Upon examining the piece of paper Hendel observed the name Deturck. Among Hendel’s acquaintances there was a Mrs. Loose, of Pennside, whose maiden name was Deturck. On the chance that she might be interested Hendel showed her the ancient manuscript. Mrs. Loose sensed its value and suggested that Hendel show it to Daniel Hoch.

Accordingly the salvaged wedding certificate was brought to the Hoch home in Reading and Miss Laura Hoch, recognizing the framed document for what it was accepted it and provided her father with a delightful surprise. Now photostatic copies have been made of the certificate and the evidence it contains never will be lost again.

by Leroy Gensler
by Leroy Gensler
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