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 it with only a few minor edits.
The epilogue is the biography of the rest of his life as I have been able to compile it from his letters and the words of his family.
Updated 9/10/2018: I just updated the PDF. I found some new information about his time in Lafayette, Indiana when he first came to America. He said that he stayed with his mother’s sister, but never identified her by name. I figured out who she was and where they lived. I also got more information about the Lahrs who he went to live/work with soon after, including photos of them! I reached out to some descendants of the Lahrs on Ancestry to offer a copy of the excerpt that talks about their ancestor.
I also added some new maps of Lafayette that provide a better idea of the lay of the land, including one that shows the covered bridges he talks about, plus a few more photos I found online to the chapter about Schlierbach in Germany where he grew up.
Even if you’re not related, I think you’ll enjoy the history and photos. If you have read it, please download it again and check out the separate “coming to america” chapter download (see link below).
Updated 9/11/2018 – Right after I emailed everyone the 9/10 version, I found a trove of newspaper clippings on newspaper.com that had been added since the last time I checked. They included insightful reports of his getting into trouble preaching peace, a car accident, getting the Spanish Flu (most additions are in the Epilogue).
Updated 9/13/2018 – I realized a mistake – William’s sister Mary did not come over with them in 91. She came over in 92 and later married Christ Keller. It must have been Christ’s sister Maria who came with them.
Updated 6/14/2020 – I discovered a video of the ship he came over on (see link below), and more photos taken on the ship that I added to the PDF, plus a few minor text edits.