Thursday, February 7, 2013

Justus Weise (1808-1884)

I believe this is day eight in my writing. I wasn't sure I would get this one out since my computer and other things were working against me. By the way, if you download Microsoft Office Pro 2013 - 64 bit be aware that you may have problems installing it. It has taken me three days to get the right configuration for it to work on my computer. The 32-bit version worked right away on the other computer without a problem. Now that that issue is resolved, here is my story about my 3rd great-grandfather, Justus Weise.

Justus Weise was born on 29 October 1808 in Lippe-Detmold, Falkenhagen, Germany. His parents were Christopher Weise (1754-1824) and Christine Bruns Henke (1756-1826). As usual, I don't have much information on his life in Germany but I have researched his life in the United States. Justice and Anna Margaretha Wilken were married in 1832. Soon after they left Falkenhagen and relocated in Holland where their four children were born.

He arrived in New York through Castle Gardens on 5 April 1854 aboard the William Tapscott departing from Liverpool, England. His name was recorded as Justice Wyse (age 45). His family consisted of his wife Anna Margaretha age 52), and children Justice (age 19), Anna Margaretha (age 18), Louisa P (age 16) and Anna (age 12). Justice listed his occupation as farmer. His wife, daughters Anna Margaretha and Louisa P were listed as servants. His son Justice, was listed as a laborer. The youngest daughter, Anna, is listed as a child. Both Justice and his son Justice changed their name to August once they arrived in the States.

William Tapscott
The picture to the left is of the William Tapscott. This is the ship that the Wyse family took in their migration from Europe to the U.S. during March/April 1854. The average travel time for this voyage was about 31 days but could have taken over 45 days depending on weather. The William Tapscott was one of the finest ships of its time. It was one of the largest full-rigged ships built in Maine during the 1850s.

The ship had three decks. The passengers slept on the two lower decks. The second deck was entered through a trap-door hatchway. On each side of the deck, there were numbered cabins. Each cabin contained sleeping “berths”. Each cabin also had light from a large porthole covered with very thick blue glass. Two long tables ran down the middle of this deck. Benches, fastened to the floor, bordered these tables. When the sea wasn't rough, the porthole window could be left open.

The bottom deck was entered by a trap-door hatchway on the second deck. Like the deck above, there were cabins with berths around the sides. There weren't any portholes on this deck. For light, there were lanterns. It was very dark. It was described by a passenger on this deck as “… so dark that you could not see for awhile till your eyes got accustomed to the gloom.”  

There was a cooking gallery for the common use of all passengers. In the center of the cooking gallery was a very large stove, about 10 feet square. Around this stove was space for passengers to stand and hold onto their pans as they cooked. The toilet closet was a large hole with a bar to sit on. A passenger described the closet as “…The only place I was frightened was when we had to go to the closet, there was just a straight stick across and of course you could see the ocean. How I did cling to my little sister when she was on that bar, for it was a large enough place to let a grown person down, let alone children.”

After plying the oceans for about forty years the William Tapscott was lost in the English Channel in 1888. The figurehead from the ship was salvaged and is now on display at the Bude-Stratton Museum in Cornwall, England.

Upon their arrival, the family made their way up the Ohio River to Cincinnati, Ohio. When settlers arrived in Cincinnati they were grouped together and directed up the Miami-Erie Canal where they eventually settled near Ft. Loramie, Shelby County, Ohio. Once he arrived there he began buying and selling land. 

Justice filed for naturalization in Shelby County, Ohio and was granted citizenship on 29 October 1856. His naturalization records reads as follows: "Be it remembered that on the Twenty Ninth day of October AD 1856, personally appeared before me Saml McCowan Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas within and for said County and State, Justice Wise, an Alien a Native of Amsterdam in Holland and subject of William 3 King of Holland or Netherlands, who being sworn according to law on his oath doth declare and say that it is bonafide his intention to become a citizen of the United States and to renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign Prince, Potentate, State or Sovereignty whatever and more particularly all allegiance and fidelity to William 3 King of Holland, whose subject he is. Thereupon his papers of Intention were issued in due form of Law October 28th, 1856."
Wise daughters.

The 1860 US Census for Sidney Post Office, McLean Township, Shelby County, Ohio, lists August (age 53) and his wife Anna (Age 63) living on the farm. The real estate vale was $400 and his personal value was $100. In 1870 the couple are living in Berlin Village, McLean Township, Ohio. His real estate value is $350. But his personal value has increased to $1150. Justice is listed as 62 years old and his wife is 73. One problem with this census is that it lists his wife as Louisa. They also have a child, John Rhoma, age 2, living in their home. This child is the son of his daughter Louisa and her husband Martin Romie. Martin died in 1868, leaving Louisa a widow. However, Louisa remarried in 1871 to Jacob Gaier and had five children from that marriage. Justice's wife, Anna died on 23 April 1874.

Wise Sawmill (after 1894)
In 1880, Justice, being 70 years old and widowed, was living with his son August. This family consisted of August (age 43), his wife Theresa (age 41), children August (age 6) and Louisa (age 4), and two boarders Robert Davis and William Davis. August and the Davis brothers are listed as teamsters and probably worked for the local sawmill.

In 1881, Justice purchased a sawmill about one mile north of Loramie from the estate of Conrad Brucken. The sawmill was steam powered and was an awesome sight with all the belts and pulleys operating off the central shaft. This sawmill was moved into town by his son August (Justice) in 1894. 

Justice Wise headstone, St. Michaels Cemetery
Justice died on 25 December 1884 in Fort Loramie, at the age of 76. He is buried in St. Michaels Cemetery, Ft. Loramie, Ohio. His headstone lists his name as Justus Wais. There is also a window on the St. Michaels Church that was donated by the Wise family when the church was constructed. His wife Anna was buried in Lock II Cemetery, New Bremen, Auglaize County, Ohio. The reason the two were buried so far apart has been attributed to Anna being Lutheran and Justice being Catholic. Each one was buried in their specific cemetery based on religion.

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