According to Hortense…
As promised, here is the second set of biographical sketches from the Second Supplement to The History of Christian Metzger: Founder of an American Family, by Ella Metzker Milligan. As revealed in yesterday’s post on my Great-great-great-great Grandmother Nancy (Metzger) Weible, the book was published about 1941, the supplement about 1951.
The supplement moves through the family’s genealogy table, picking up with the sons and daughters of Jakob and Nancy Weible. From them, my line is: Jakob Weible – Frederick Weible – Franklin Eli Weible – Robert Ohio Weible – Suzanne Abbott Weible Ley – Janet Louise Ley Foutz – me.
These details concern my Great-great Grandfather Franklin Eli, and they come from his niece, Hortense Weible. Hortense was the second child of Franklin Eli’s brother, David. Hortense attended Dover public schools and graduated from New Philadelphia Business College. She found secretarial work in Canton and then St. Louis before establishing her own candy shop in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
In the supplement, she recalls that it was her uncle, Franklin Eli, who began spelling the Weible name “Wible” instead of Weible — would seem to be the other way around, but this is how the supplement records it — and that her grandfather, Frederick Weible, was “not at all pleased with the innovation in spelling”.
She recalls the great sadness in the family when her great-grandmother, Nancy Weible, passed away in 1886. According to our records, she was 95. Hortense’s sister — most likely Dorothy Jeffery — took issue with the supplement’s recorded date, recalling the kids grew up hearing that the family matriarch died just 18 months shy of her 100th birthday. Hortense’s great uncle Henry — the son with whom Nancy lived in her waning years — had been planning a big party, and to my own great-great-great grandfather, Frederick, “it was a great blow that he had to die before his mother” the year previous.
According to Hortense:
I was ten when my great-grandmother was brought to our home before she was to be interred in the Crooked Run burying-ground. It was the lovely old farmhouse where my grandfather Frederick and grandmother Susan had celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. It was near the countryside cemetery. Uncle Henry Weible… brought the body for burial. The casket was opened at our house. Many people came to see her. I remember just how she looked — the black dress, a large cream fichu and the lace cap.
Hortense’s father, David, had taken over the farm from her grandparents, Frederick and Susan, but died at just 40. It was on the homestead that Hortense’s mother, Laura Hard (a Canadian), learned the Weible family history. According to Hortense, “My mother often said, ‘No one can doubt the veracity of my children, because G W (George Washington) patted their grandmother (Nancy Metzger Weible) on the head.'”
And thus from Hortense, there you have it.