Saturday, September 6, 2014

August D Wise (1834-1902) "52 Ancestors"

Hi everyone, this is week 36 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. I have been pretty busy working on the Westerheide and Brucken lines since my computer was fixed last week. This bit of work is mostly due to two people who e-mailed me recently asking questions about my research. Both of them were told about my blog by their relatives and wrote to tell me they appreciated someone writing about their ancestors. So, as I began sending each of them information on their families I realized that they were both related (3rd cousins). Then as I began researching a little more into individuals I realized that there were more ties. So, over the next couple weeks I plan on writing stories about Wise, Westerheide and Brucken research. This week I will starte with my great-great grandfather August D Wise (1834-1902) and his connection to my 2nd cousin 4 times removed, Conrad Brucken (1819-1879). The reason that I chose these two will become apparent as you read the stories (or if you have read some of my previous stories). Enough of that, now let's get on with the history lesson.

August D Wise was the son of Justus Weise (1808-1884) and Margaretha Wilken (1798-1874). The first records I have for August are from the 1851-1853 Netherlands Population Register listing his birth date as 19 September 1834 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. There are two records, indicating his residence was 7 Haarlemmerdijk and 28 Bethanienstraat in Amsterdam. The residence at 28 Bethanienstraat was also the home of his parents. He is listed as a single man in these records. During his early years, August was employed as a baker.

August immigrated with his parents and siblings to the United States in 1854. There is a little confusion on the specifics of his immigration. One set of records show that he arrived in New York on 1 May 1854 aboard the ship Franklin in steerage class after departing from Hamburg, Germany. However, another set of records for him and his family state that they departed from Liverpool, England aboard the William Tapscott and arrived in New York one month earlier on 5 April 1854. Maybe one day I will find a definitive record for his immigration.

So far I haven't found the 1860 census for August Wise but I am still looking. I am assuming that he was living near Ft. Loramie, Shelby County, Ohio by that time since his father's naturalization papers in 1856 were in Shelby County. August married Theresia Terling (1839-1926) on 30 October 1860 in Shelby County. Theresia was born in Germany on 26 January 1839 and immigrated to the U.S. around 1859-1860. He registered for the Civil War draft on 29 June 1863. He listed his age as 27 years old. I have found a record for Pvt. August Wise in Co. F, 101 Ohio Infantry but I don't think this is him. We know that August was involved in farming during this time and sold his farm to B. Bourdell and John Puthoff before moving into town in 1870.

In 1870, August is living in Berlin (Ft. Loramie), Shelby County, Ohio and is listed as a day laborer with a personal value of $2150 and real estate worth $500. That equates to about $39,000 in personal value and $9,000 in real estate value today. We know that August was attending the Catholic church in town because he is listed in the St. Michael's parish census. There is also a stained glass window in the church that was donated by the Wise family.

August and Theresia waited about 14 years after their marriage before they had their first child. Records state that they had two children, August Jacob (1874-1946) and Mariam Louisa (1876-1926). The 1900 census has two children born and Theresia's obituary states that there were two children born. However, I have found a Shelby County birth record for Ann Wyse, born 9 March 1870 in McLean Township with August Wyse and Theresia Wyse listed as parents. I haven't found any other records for this child besides this one. Maybe Ann died early and no one spoke of her later in their life.

By 1880, August is listed as a teamster. Teamsters were the people who drove the horses carrying cargo. I am assuming that he worked for the Brucken family saw mill which was started by Conrad Brucken and purchased by the Wise family around 1881 or 1882. He had two lodgers in his home who were also teamsters. They were Robert and William Davis. His two children are listed as August (age 6) and Louwisa (age 4). His father Justus (age 70) is also living at the home. August operated the Wise sawmill, which was purchased from the Brucken family for many years. In the early part of the 1890s, around 1894, he moved the sawmill into town.

The saw mill was a dangerous place. There were large belt driven machines run on steam power. An example of how dangerous it was to work in the saw mill can be found in a description of an accident that occurred in the saw mill on 10 July 1888. A local newspaper, the New Bremen Sun reported the following on 13 July 1888.

While Henry Hilgefort was in the act of mending a fly wheel belt in a saw mill near Berlin, 6 miles south of here, he was caught in some way and hurled with tremendous force around the machinery, mangling him in such a way as to produce instant death. He was picked up in pieces, and could not be recognized.

In 1900, August (age 64) is listed as a saw miller and his son August J (age 26) is the head sawyer. Charles Bernholt is listed as a lodger in the home and is employed as a teamster. The family, August, Tracy and their son August J, are listed as living on Farmers Pike Road. August died on Sunday, 16 March 1902 at 4:00 pm and was buried in St. Michaels Cemetery on March 19.

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