Monday, September 06, 2010

The Werner side of my family

I'm afraid that my father's side of the family has dominated my genealogical discussions so far.  That's because I grew up in Ohio and knew them far more closely than I did my mother's side of the family, which was located in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  But they too have stories to tell, so I'm going to start in the middle, with the wedding of my Great Uncle Matt Werner to Dorothy  Elizbeth Bowler, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin on October 15, 1924.  The reason that I'm going to begin there is because I am so very fond of the wedding photographs that my grandmother Regina had in her possession.  Here they are:

Great Aunt Dorothy wrote to me in 1982 about the folks pictured above.   The adults from left to right.  Henry Schilder, Mary Cannon, Lee Meany (Dorothy said that he was a 'handsome rascal'), A. Matthias Werner, Dorothy Bowler Werner, Marci Etteldorf, Laura Plange (maid of honor), Ed Clemens (Matt's law partner), Josephine Schroeder Edmondson, Dr. Cannon.  The ring bearer was Werner Wolf, and the flower girl was my Aunt Florence.  My mother was just a baby at the time.

Great Uncle Matt, who was an attorney, the editor and publisher of the Sheboygan Press and a Regent of the University of Wisconsin, died in 1977.  Matt and Dorothy had 5 children, but I don't recall meeting them or their 26 grandchildren (!) who would have been nearer my age, except for once.  In 1980, when I was working as Special Assistant to the General Counsel at DoD, I did meet one of the grandsons, Matt III.  Matt III, who was in law school at the time,drove to my apartment in Old Town, Alexandria, VA one snowy winter evening, and introduced himself, pointing out that the high top leather shoes he was wearing, he had inherited from his grandfather. 

In addition to her older brother Matt, my grandmother Regina had two older sisters: Madeline (Magdalen), who married John Knopstein.  Dorothy wrote that she died in childbirth. And Lillian (Margaret Elizabeth), who married Harry Wolf and had, in addition to Werner Wolf, a daughter named Jarlath.

Below is a photograph of the Werner brothers.  The father of  Madeline, Lillian, Matt, and Regina is seated at right.  The brothers are from bottom left to right: Henry and Anton (my great grandfather), and top: Jacob and John Werner.

And here is another, earlier photograph of Anton Werner together with  his wife, Emma Deutsch Werner.  Anton was born in 1860 and died in 1912, while Emma was born in 1870 and lived until 1957.  Both were born in Washington County, Wisconsin.

Anton Werner was named for his father, Anton. The elder Anton was born on March 8, 1835 in Hunsrick, Germany.  His father died before he was born, and his mother, Elizabeth Schoen (April 7, 1808-Nov. 1, 1879), remarried.  The elder Anton's stepfather was Jacob Harwig (March 8, 1811-May 4, 1893) and the Harwigs had three other children, Eva, Simon, and Jacob.  Anton, his mother, and his step family emigrated to America in 1851 and settled in Washington County, Wisconsin. 

The elder Anton Werner married Philomena Diehls who was born March 2, 1839, at Schwalbach near Niesbaden (Wiesbaden?)  in Germany (d. May 24, 1923).  According to my grandmother Regina, her father was a real estate dealer and a farmer in New London, WI.  The internet shows that an Anton Werner also was a proprietor of Eagle Hotel & saloon in Kewaskum (1892), a saloon in New London, Wis. (1897 to 1905), and a  saloon in Appleton, Wis. (1906) (Stubler research).  Both Antons, father and son, died in 1912, the elder dying on February 11, 1912.   Anton, my great grandfather, developed a hernia from lifting heavy boxes and died of complications resulting from its strangulation and cirrhosis of the liver while enroute to the Mayo Clinic for treatment. My grandmother, Regina, the youngest of the four Werner children, told me that her father's death affected her greatly.  She was 16 at the time.

Regina, Lillian, and Madeline Werner


Dan Matyola said...

These are fine family histories, which will be real heirlooms for you children and grandchildren (and theirs).

Brussel sprout said...

Amazing photos!c