Richard and Catherine Weik 1872

Richard Weik is my great granduncle, and he was born on January 5, 1849, in Katholisch, Ketsch, Mannheim, Baden, Germany. His parents were Jacob Weik and Gertraud Huber.

Richard’s siblings were Eduard (Edward) Albert 1837, Franz (Frank) Wilhelm 1838, Otto 1840, Eva (Donna) Katharina 1843, Ludovikus 1844, Louis 1846, Verena Susanna 1847, and John Edward Weik 1848.

The Illinois Census of 1900, states that Richard came to America from Germany about 1856. It is not known whether the family came here all together or in two or more groups. The dates have ranged from 1854 – 1856. Richard would have been about seven years old.

Why they settled in the Freeport, Stephenson, Illinois area is not certain. Maybe it was other relatives that encouraged them here because of work or land was cheaper. His parents were into farming, and they had farmland around Cedarville.

He was eighteen when he came to Freeport to learn the wagon-making trade. He worked this trade for about ten or twelve years and during this time he became a Volunteer Fireman for the city fire department. When the Freeport Fire Department became a paid position, he spent eight years being a firefighter even becoming the Fire Chief for a time. The next chapter of his life was to be a saloon keeper.

At the age of twenty-three, he married Catherine (Kate) Marie Bangasser who was born January 25, 1852, in Silver Creek Twp., Stephenson County. She was twenty years old. Her parents were Michael Francis Bangasser and Mary Staebell. Richard was a Saloon Keeper by trade. Richard and Catherine were married on December 30, 1872, in Freeport, Stephenson, Illinois.

Richard Weik and Katherine Marie Bangasser Wedding Day 1872

They started their family in the Freeport area when their first son was born Albert Jacob in 1872.  Other siblings soon followed Helen Katherine 1874, Josephine Celestine 1877, Della Anna 1880, Charles Richard 1881, Mary Sophia 1883, Rose Cornelia 1885, Robert Henry II 1889, and Edwin Oscar Weik 1892.

Richard and Catherine Weik Home

On a cold day in December 1905, this family would have a huge shock. This is an excerpt of that day from his obituary. December 16, 1905, from the Daily Journal in Freeport, Illinois. There was much surprise expressed this morning when it became known that Richard Weik, one of the best-known citizens of Freeport, had been stricken suddenly with heart disease and expired a short time afterwards while he was being conveyed in a hack from the sample room in Galena Street to his home at 104 Washington Street.

Early this morning Mr. Weik left his home apparently in fair health to go to his saloon. He had been complaining several days ago that he was ailing, but as he was a man of such robust appearance no one thought that his indisposition would terminate fatally. Shortly after seven o’clock, he telephoned an order to the Katzemeier & Schubert meat market, which was delivered in person by Mr. Schubert about 7:30 o’clock.

When Mr. Schubert entered the saloon, he saw one of Mr. Weik’s sons leading him to a chair in the rear of the place. At one glance Mr. Schubert saw that Mr. Weik was dying, so he hastily summoned medical aid. In the meantime, a hack was sent for and Mr. Schubert, the driver, and Mr. Weik’s son carried him to the conveyance, and he was driven to his home as hurriedly as possible.

When the driver opened the door of the hack, he discovered that his passenger had died between the time they left the saloon and their arrival at the family residence. As Mr. Weik was a very large man, a chair was procured and he was lifted from the hack, placed in the chair, and carried into the house. Soon afterward Doctors Currier and Arnold arrived and pronounced him dead.

While he was ill at the saloon Mr. Shubert asked him several questions, but he did not reply. Perspiration was streaming down his face, and he breathed heavily. Mr. Schubert asked him if he were suffering any pain and the only sign of recognition, he gave to this question was a slight elevation of one of his arms to the region of the heart which indicated that he was suffering from heart trouble. Richard Weik was just fifty-six years old.

Richard and Catherine Weik Tombstone Freeport City Cemetery

Catherine (Kate) Bangasser Weik was now a widow and most of her children were out on their own by 1905, except Edwin who was thirteen at the time of his father’s death. Catherine never remarried and spent the rest of her life enjoying family and friends near and far. She was ninety-one when she died on March 4, 1943.

Albert Jacob born November 2, 1872, in Freeport married for the first time to Lou Electra Dawson on November 12, 1901, in Chicago, Cook, Illinois. One child was born to this union Walter Weik Moore II in 1905. Lou died at the age of forty on January 26, 1916. Albert married for a second time to Anna Mae ? born September 29, 1888, in Kansas and died January 3, 1969, in New York. Albert died December 25, 1949, in Salina, Kansas.

Helen Katherine born August 5, 1874, in Freeport married Charles J Bursing born November 22, 1867, in Oregon, Illinois in 1901 in Freeport. They had one child Hazel Bursing born in 1906. They divorced on February 22, 1908. It is not known if she remarried. She died on December 23, 1916, in Freeport.

Josephine Celestine was born August 7, 1877, in Freeport. She married in 1900 to  Henry G Landolt born June 1873. There were four children born to this union Katherine Viola 1901-1977, William Henry 1903-1986, Helen Josephine 1904-2000, and Lilyan M Landolt 1911-1996. Josephine died April 2, 1953, and Henry died December 3 of the same year in Los Angeles, California.

Della Anna was born July 25, 1880, in Freeport. She married Samuel Allison Yeager in 1903. He was born January 1, 1889, in Freeport. This union had two children Roselyn Marie 1904-1989 and Charles Wesley Yeager 1908-1972. Della died July 29, 1936, in Lansing, Ingham, Michigan. Samuel married for the second time to Jennie Haywood 1879-1938, but she died shortly after they were married. Samuel died February 23, 1962, in Harrisburg, Dauphin, Pennsylvania.

Charles Richard was born on April 14, 1881, in Freeport. He married Estella Jeanette (Stella) Larson 1884-1944 on October 1, 1927, in Independence, Buchanan, Iowa. Charles died December 4, 1936, in Waterloo, Iowa. Stella died in 1944 in Waterloo.

Mary Sophia was born June 20, 1883, in Freeport. She married Edward F Scanlon 1883 sometime around 1905 to 1907. They had at least one child Edward R Scanlon in 1907. Mary died August 4, 1930, in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio. It is not known the death date of Edward F at this time.

Rose Cornelia was born September 22, 1885, in Freeport. She married Edward Elsworth Germain 1887-1977 in August 1906. Their children are Edward Arnold 1907-1989 and Dorothy Rose Germain. Rose died November 9, 1959, in Los Angeles, California. Edward remarried for the second time to Leafy May Schriver 1889-1962.

Robert Henry II was born on December 5, 1889, in Freeport. He married Lillian Walters 1892-1987 on November 26, 1913. They had four children Robert Henry Jr 1916-2016, Richard 1924-?, Doris Arline 1927-2015 and Marian Joan Weik 1929-2018. Robert Henry II died on January 25, 1980, in Pinellas, Florida and was buried in Rochelle, Illinois. Lillian died December 7, 1987, in St. Petersburg, Florida and is also buried in Rochelle.

Edwin Oscar was born January 31, 1892, in Freeport. He married Lydia McGraw 1892-?, on November 18, 1939, in Cook County, Illinois. It is not known if there were any children born to this union.

Thank you for reading this blog post. If anyone has anymore information on this family please contact me.

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