The success which has attended the subject of this sketch since he began the battle of life for himself has been steady and constant. He has encountered the usual difficulties that beset the pathway of nearly all enterprising men and with a will which no obstacle could weaken and a purpose born of determination to succeed, he has overcome them and won for himself a prominent place among the leading farmers and substantial citizens of his township and county. Mr. Weber is of German lineage, the name itself suggesting Teutonic origin. His father Henry Weber, was born in the fatherland, and grew to mature years near the place of his birth. The industrial and financial conditions of his native land being unfavorable to a young man of his aims and ambitions, he determined to go to a county abounding in better opportunities. Having read and heard much of the great land beyond the sea to which so many of his countrymen has emigrated, he long entertained the idea of going thither, and at the age of twenty found himself in a situation to carry out this cherished purpose. Accordingly, in the year 1847, he looked for the last time upon the familiar scenes of his home and set sail for the United States, which he reached in due time, ready to enter upon a new life and a new destiny. During the five years following his arrival in this county he lived in Butler county, Ohio, as a renter and while there married Miss Elizabeth Humbach, who was also of German birth. Mrs. Weber was brought to the United States when quite young, and spent her early girlhood in Pennsylvania, where her parents originally settled. Subsequently, the family moved to Butler county, Ohio, and it was there she grew to womanhood and met the gentleman who became her life companion. The marriage of Henry and Elizabeth Weber resulted in the birth of six children, namely: John C., who married Anna Hawk and lived in Center township, Hancock county; Louis J., of this review; William E., of Sugar Creek township, married Katie Ostermeier; Caroline is the wife of Louis Jacobi, a farmer of Sugar Creek, and Henry died in infancy.
In the year 1855 Henry Weber came to Hancock county, purchased eighty acres of land in the township of Sugar Creek and soon became one of the leading farmers in his community. By industry and thrift, he added to his place at intervals until his farm numbered three hundred acres, of which he cleared and prepared for cultivation all but a small piece of woodland containing about twenty acres. He was a man of progressive ideas and achieved much greater success than falls to the lot of the majority of agriculturists. Reared in the school of industry and self-reliance, he impressed these ideas upon the minds of his children, all of whom profited by their early training and became useful men and women. He farmed extensively and added very materially to his income, by raising live stock, being especially fortunate in the latter. When a youth he attended school in his native country and became quite well educated, being always a reader and intelligent observer. His passage to America exhausted nearly all of his hard-earned savings and on reaching Ohio he found himself the possessor of only a few dollars. He began here by working for the mere pittance of six dollars per month, but he always made it a point to lay aside a part of his income, be it ever so small. By living according to this rule he always had a surplus and when favorable opportunities presented themselves he invested his earnings in real estate, which in due time increased in value and made him a wealthy man. As a citizen he was highly esteemed and in his immediate neighborhood no man was more respected. He led a quiet life, free from all contentions; his influence was always on the side of right, and those who knew him best were loudest in their praise of his many virtues and sterling manly character. In his political belief he was a stanch Democrat and in religion a humble and devout member of the Evangelical church; fraternally he belonged to the order of Odd Fellows. Mr. Weber departed this life at his home in Sugar Creek township November 27, 1900, aged seventy-three years; his wife preceded him to the eternal world, dying on the 9th day of November, 1886.
Louis J. Weber, by whose name this article is introduced, was born November 8, 1850, in Butler county, Ohio. When five years old he was brought by his parents to the county of Hancock, from which time until his twenty-fifth year he lived and labored on the home farm in Sugar Creek township, meanwhile of winter seasons attending the public schools. He made substantial progress in his studies and the training received under the direction of his teachers was afterwards supplemented by general reading and intelligent observation. He was early imbued with the idea that industry is a virtue and idleness a vice, consequently his life has been along the avenues of honest labor, wise economy and well directed enterprise. He remained with his parent until 1879, when he began life for himself, choosing as an assistant helpmeet Miss Katie Schlosser, to whom he was united in the hold bonds of wedlock in April, 1879. Mrs. Weber was the daughter of Peter Schlosser, a native of Germany and an early settler of Hancock county. This marriage resulted in the birth of one child that died in infancy, the mother dying soon after. On the 20th day of November, 1883, Mr. Weber was married to his present companion, who maiden name was Mary Kraft. Her father, Frederick C. Kraft, was born December 10, 1824, in Germany, and when a young man came to the United States and located in Indianapolis. Being poor he was obliged to borrow money to pay his passage to this country, and after going to Indiana he worked for some time at any honest employment he could find to earn sufficient means to settle the debt. Mr. Kraft was married in this state to Mrs. Sophia Smith, widow of Ferdinand Smith, after which he settled at New Palestine, Hancock county, and opened a shoeshop. He worked at his trade until sometime during the Civil War, when he was induced to enter the army as a substitute for a man that had been drafted, receiving for such service the sum of nine hundred dollars. He was with his regiment but a short time when the war closed, after which he returned to Hancock county and invested his savings in forty acres of land, with the object in view of turning his attention to agriculture. Subsequently he disposed of his land at a liberal advance upon the purchase price and bought a farm of eighty acres in Sugar Creek township, on which he lived until his death, September 10, 1887. He was an honorable, upright citizen, a thrifty farmer and stood high in the confidence of his neighbors and friends. He died of heart trouble, without a moments warning, dropping suddenly in his tracks while sowing wheat in the field; his widow survived him until 1900, in October of whish year her spirit returned to its Maker.
After his second marriage Mr. Weber moved to his present place of one hundred and ninety-seven acres in the township of Brandywine, where he has since carried on farming and stock-raising upon quite an extensive scale. He has made a number of valuable improvements, including buildings, fences and drains, the latter consisting of one thousand rods of tiling with a diameter of from three to twelve inches. It is difficult to estimate the value of this drainage system to the land through which it runs. The fertility of the soil has been greatly enhanced and its productive capacity increased to the extent of adding many hundreds of dollars to the value of the farm.
Mr. Weber occupies a place in the ranks of Hancock countys most enterprising and successful agriculturists. He believes in progress and spared no pains to make his farm one of the best in the township, while he is an extensive grower and feeder of hogs, horses and cattle. He carries on general farming and prosecutes his labors according to the most advanced methods of modern agriculture. He is a public-spirited man and for a number of years has been a leading factor in the township of Brandywine. Personally he enjoys a large degree of popularity, and by a careful observance of the ethics of life has won the kind regard of his neighbors and fellow-citizens. A Democrat in his political faith, he has never aspired to public status, preferring the quiet life of the farm to the distraction of office and the domain of private citizenship to any public honors within the gift of the people. His family belong to the Evangelical church and he has been liberal in his donations to promote the cause of religion and morality in the community.
Mr. and Mrs. Weber are the parents of children as follows: Augusta E., is a student in the Greenfield high school; Alta E., is also attending the same institution; John H., Earl K., Lawrence A., and William R.
Transcribed from Biographical Memoirs of Hancock County B. F. Bowen, Publisher, Logansport, Indiana, 1902 Pages 284-287.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI July 16, 2002.
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