Our Letchworth History Photo Album

Photo 204

The Lingenfelter Family at Lauterbrunnen


Black and White Photograph

Unknown Photographer


John R. Lingenfelter came to Letchworth in the spring of 1917 when he replaced J.O. Howard as Park Superintendent. Born in Maryland in 1869, Lingenfelter married Annie Gettermann in 1890. The family was living in Camden, Maryland in 1910 where John worked as a gardener for a private family. By the time the Park job opened up, the family was living in Washington D.C.

The family had only lived at Letchworth a few months when this photographed was made at Lauterbrunnen, the official resident of the Park's Superintendent. Sitting on the porch is John, with his wife Anne (Anna) and 21 year old son Albert behind him. (Albert also worked at the Park.)

It is not so easy to identify the girls on the lawn. The Lingenfelters had four girls. We are sure that Mae (11 years old in 1917), Ruth ( 9 years old) and Irene (7 years old) are the ones in the photo. Caroline, who would have been 24 at the time was probably no longer at home and not in the photograph.

The problem arises with the identification that was provided with the photograph. Someone, perhaps a descendant, labeled the girls from left to right as Mae, Irene, and Ruth. That doesn't seem to fit the apparent ages of the children. It seems more likely that it is: Ruth, Mae, and Irene. Perhaps a descendant of the family can help us solve this small problem.

John Lingenfelder spent a dozen years as the Park's superintendent. He was replaced in 1929 by Harry Walker. The family moved the following year to Scottsville where John found work in a greenhouse. He died in 1956 and is buried in White Haven Cemetery in Pittsford NY. Anna died in 1954, Albert in 1959, Mae in 1983, Ruth in 1987, and Caroline passed away in 1992. Irene was the last of the Lingenfelters to have lived in the Park - she died in 2000. (Dates are taken from the JohnsonSnyder Family Tree found on Ancestry.com.)

Below the photograph are two more images - an enlargement of the family, and a scan of the labeling found on the back of the mount.

We thank John Thomas for sharing this view with us!





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