The Illustrious Career of Frank Abbott Weible
Here’s part three as I continue to mine the bejeweled pages of the Second Supplement to The History of Christian Metzger: Founder of an American Family, by Ella Metzker Milligan. I first wrote about and quoted from the supplement in my post two days ago about my great-great-great-great grandmother, Nancy (Metzger) Weible. The book dates to 1941, the supplement to 1951.
This installment concerns the family of Franklin Abbott Weible, an older brother to my great-grandfather, Robert Ohio Weible.
Frank and his twin Charles Forrest Weible entered the world on March 10, 1880, in Dover, Ohio, children of Franklin Eli and Esther (Goddard) Weible. Charles would die in infancy, just 10 months later.
On June 15, 1905, Frank married sweetheart Myrtle Harney of New Phila. They busied themselves, over the next six decades, by pursuing an active life in the Moravian Church and in various local societies, and by raising two musically-gifted daughters, Jayne Abbott and Alice Louise. I’ll get to them in a moment.
According to the supplement, Frank was a Mason, Knight Templar of Massillon, and a York Right Aladdin Shrine of Columbus. He was a professional electrician and contractor for more than 50 years, and at the time of publication, predicted a surge in electrical expansion throughout the country.
The Weibles were very active in their church. Frank served 17 years as treasurer for the Ohio Moravian Foreign Missionary Society. He and Myrtle regularly visited church leadership organizations in Bethlehem, Pa. and Winston-Salem, N.C., and were well-known. According to an article published in The Moravian, in March, 1946:
At the Christmas Eve service, Dover, Frank A. Weible, local electrician, raconteur and wit, was presented with a gift on the occasion of his fiftieth year of service in decorating the church for nativity season. For perhaps the first time in 50 years, good Brother Weible was rendered speechless.
The couple made their home at 505 N. Wooster Avenue in Dover. Frank was most well-known around town for his expertise as electrician. After 50 years in the profession, the New Philadelphia Times-Reporter paid him tribute in its pages:
Mr. Weible, who was on the job as usual today, couldn’t begin to count the thousands of miles of wiring he has installed… not to mention many electrical systems. He can look at countless buildings and homes in Dover and remember the year he wired them.
“But that is not so unusual,’ he laughed, ‘when you consider that I became a contractor May 28, 1896, just after being graduated from Dover High School. A man can do a lot of work in 50 years.”
Their Kids were (More Than) All Right
One of the cuter traits of Milligan’s Supplement is that she often introduces the biographies and achievements of the kids before circling back to the parents. Which gives the pages a sort of literary humility, and charm.
Of the daughters mentioned above, we learn of a shared talent for music.
After graduating from Dover High School, Jayne attended the University of Cincinnati. There, she built upon her prowess as a concert harpsichordist to earn a degree in music education. At the time of publication, she was a vocal music instructor at Kent State University. She married Park Urban, of Canton, and they had one son, John Arthur Urban, born in 1937.
Alice was always regarded as “the singer of the family,” according to her mother, Myrtle. She attended Kent State, and “has taught school almost continuously,” according to the supplement. History was also a passion, and she entertained attendees of the second national Metzger reunion at Dover in 1949 with an address outlining the social experiment at nearby Zoar. At the time of publication, she was married to Doran Travis of Sugarcreek. They had two children: Susan Jane and Michael Doran.