Friday, April 4, 2014

Joseph Reiss (1844-1924) "52 Ancestors"

Greetings everyone. This is week 14 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. I decided to head back to my side of the family for a little while this week. This story is about Joseph Reiss, my great great grandfather.

Joseph Reiss was born 19 June 1844 in Shelby County, Ohio, the son of George Reiss (1817-1879) and Seraphine Lump (1825-??). George immigrated from Germany about 1842 and Sarah immigrated with her parents when she was two years old. George filed a certificate of intention for citizenship in Shelby County, Ohio on 10 December 1852. Joseph's siblings were William Leonard (1847-1941), Mary Catherine (1853-1933), and Josephine (1862-??). Josephine was an adopted child according to the 1870 census.

The first record that I have found for the family is the 1860 census. This census has George (age 43), Sarah (age 35), Joseph (age 15), William (age 13), and Mary (age 7). The family was living in McLean Township, Shelby County, Ohio. George's real estate is valued at $300.

George and Joseph both fought in the Civil War as part of Company C, 118th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Joseph worked in the hospitals and was also an ambulance driver during the war. After the war, Joseph learned to operate steam engines and went to work for August Wise in the saw mill. The 1870 census has Joseph (age 24) listed as an engineer living in the home of Louis Morman and family. Louis Morman is employed as a miller and I am assuming that he worked for the Wise Sawmill also.

Magdalena and Joseph Reiss
On 12 November 1876, Joseph married Magdalena Gaier, the daughter of Ferdinand and Appolonia Siegel Gaier. The witnesses for the wedding were Leonard Reiss, Joseph's brother, and Catherine Gaier, Magdalena's sister. Joseph and Magdalena had the following children; John Ferdinand (1877-1945), Catherine (1879-1960), Edward Leonard (1884-1955), and Leo Bernard (1891-1959).

The 1880 census lists the family as living in Berlin (Ft. Loramie), McLean Township, Shelby County, Ohio. Joseph (age 33) is employed as a laborer. His wife is listed as Madline (age 24) and their children are John (age 2) and Catherina (age 8 months).

The 1900 census has the family listed as living on Main Street, Loramie Village, McLean Township, Shelby County, Ohio. Joseph (age 54) is working as a fireman at the sawmill. His family consisted of his wife Magdalena (age 45), and children; John (age 22) employed as a teamster for the sawmill, Katherine (age 20) employed as a servant, Edward (age 12) and Leo (age 7) both attending school. In addition, Magdalena's father, Ferdinand Gaier (age 90), is living with the family.

On 23 July 1901, John Reiss married Anna Mary Pieper and on 16 June 1903, Catherine Reiss married August Jacob Wise. Catherine and August were my great-grandparents. The other two sons, Edward and Leo never married. Leo had a birth defect that left him partially crippled and Edward took care of him.

Ed, John, Joseph, Magdalena, Catherine, and Leo Reiss.
Joseph's occupation in the 1910 census is listed as engineer at the sawmill. He is 65 years old by this time. His wife Magdalena (age 55) and two sons, Edward (age 21) and Leo (age 17) are living in the home. Edward has taken up the trade as a carpenter by this time.

Joseph is still working at the sawmill as an engineer in the 1920 census when he was 74 years old. He continued working in the sawmill until near the time of his death in 1924. Magdalena, his wife is listed as being 64 years old. Edward (age 26) and Leo (age 21) are still living at home. Edward is working as a carpenter and Leo is listed as a laborer in the sawmill. Notice the ages of the family members during this census compared to the 1910 census. Edward and Leo only age 4 to 5 years during this time frame.

In June 1923, Joseph was stricken with an illness but was still able to get around and continued to work for a while. In November the illness became more sever and he was forced to remain in bed. He died at home on the morning of 18 February 1924. The cause of death was listed as epithelioma of the face which he had for 1 year and 4 months. His funeral was held on 21 February and he was buried in St. Michael's Cemetery in Ft. Loramie. He was survived by his wife, four children, nine grandchildren, two great grandchildren, one brother and one sister. His wife, Magdalena, died five years later, at the age of 76, on 25 August 1929. Her cause of death is listed as myocarditis.

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