Archives for Immigration

Eckert

Coming to America – Weilers and Wagners

The Weiler/Wagner ancestors came to America from Germany and Switzerland between 1834 and 1891 during the mass immigration of Europeans. Some came as eager young teenagers leaving their parents and homeland behind, others were older with spouses and children seeking a better life for their family. They came without knowing the language or what they could expect. They settled the new land and farmed, smithed and used their talents to make a good life in…
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Canton

Old Bill Wagner

Jacob William (later dubbed "Old Bill") was born in 1840 in Elleringhausen, Germany. At the age of 6, he and his family joined the waves of German immigrants after their friends in Quincy, Illinois, kept writing for them to come. Six-year-old William took his little sister Henrietta by the hand and led her up the gangplank onto the ship. She never forgot the smell of tar coming from the cordage coiled on deck. They had…
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Alexandria

Reverend William Weiler Autobiography

A fantastic taste of life in a small German peasant village in the late 1800's and the voyage to America, hand written by the flying parson himself. This is the autobiography of Reverend William Weiler, the father of my grandmother, Louise Adelaide Weiler Wagner. Rev. Weiler wrote it at the age of about 79, but he did not finish it, leaving off at the age of 15. I have transcribed it just as he wrote…
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Civil War

Hanning Freyhofer Story

One cannot tell the story of the Hannings without the Freyhofers. With scenes that could be straight out of a movie or an episode of Little House on the Prairie, our ancestors came looking for the American Dream and they found it in Indiana and Kansas, along with a few nightmares. Their stories are filled with indians, locusts, droughts, and buffalo hunts. The Freyhofers immigrated from Switzerland through New Orleans in 1834 and the Hannings…
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Immigration

S.S. Columbia sailing [video]

A short video of the Columbia, the ship Rev. William Weiler came to the in May 1891 on, filmed only 3 years later in June 1902. It shows the ship as it gets under way in Hoboken, with waving passengers. I suspect the scene would have been similar when it left Hamburg. Bonine, R. Camera, American Mutoscope And Biograph Company, Paper Print Collection, and Niver. "Columbia" sailing. United States: American Mutoscope & Biograph, 1902. Video.…
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Immigration

Dear Nephew Frank

A letter from William "Old Bill" Wagner to Frank Funkenbusch regarding his journey to America. "Old Bill" William Wagner Frank Funkenbusch   Canton, Mo, Feb 22, 1927 Dear Nephew Frank, I think letters Father got from friends in American influenced him somewhat and he also thought he could better himself and family by coming to America as I have frequently heard him express himself so to Mother and others. Father owned a fair sized house…
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