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Cherokee County Biographies

Joseph Weis

Joseph Weis, was born in Baden, Germany, February 10, 1836 and is a son of David and Anna (Eichenlaub) Weis.  At the age of seventeen years he came to America, his father giving bond to the Government for his appearance when called upon for military service.  He lived with his father's brother near Rochester, New York, until his family followed him three years after his own emigration.  They remained at Brockport, New York, until the fall of 1856 when they came West and settled in Dubuque County, Iowa; there they improved a farm of 180 acres and made it their home until 1861 when they removed to Delaware County, Iowa.  Joseph was inclined to enter the army, but his father persuaded him to remain at home, as he had come to this country mainly to avoid military service in his native land.  Mr. Weis was married October 20, 1861 to Miss Odelia Plaster, and remained on the home farm until 1863 when he secured a farm near by on which he lived until 1872.  Desiring to engage in other business he entered the employ of an agricultural implement firm at Dyersville, Iowa, and continued there three years at the end of which time he purchased property in Dyersville and engaged in the liquor trade until 1881 when he rented the business and removed to Lyons, Iowa.  Mrs. Odelia Weis died January 14, 1880 and Mr. Weis was married a second time to Mrs. Mary Meyer, widow of Bernard H. Meyer.  She owned a saloon business at Lyons of which Mr. Weis assumed the management.  Two years later he bought this property and traded it and his Dyersville property for the land on which he now lives.  He has a fine tract of land of 232 acres well adapted to grain and stock-growing.  Mr. Weis's first family consisted of ten children, two of whom died in infancy: Kate, wife of Thomas Daley; Joseph; Louisa, wife of L. Kurtz; Will and Ben, twins; Louie, Josephine and Henry.  Josephine, now a girl of fourteen years lives with an uncle, Rev. Henry Plaster, a Catholic priest at Hammond, Indiana.  The children of Mr. and Mrs. Weis are:  Anton, Odelia, Pauline and Mattias.  The children of Mrs. Weis by her first husband are:  Christian, Frank, Bernard, George, Elizabeth, Mary and Casper.  Bernard died November 9, 1888 in his twentieth year, his death being the result of an accident; in drawing a loaded gun from a buggy the trigger caught and the gun was discharged, shattering his right arm; after seven days' suffering he passed away.  He was an especially bright and amiable boy and his death was a severe blow to the family.  Mrs. Weis was born January 17, 1845, near the city of Chicago, her parents being John and Mary E. (Hoffman) Fagen.  Her marriage to Bernard H. Meyer occurred May 14 1865 and he died March 31, 1879.  He had three children by a former marriage: Henry, Richard and Anton.  

Source: Biographical History of Cherokee County, IA, W. W. Dunbar & Co Publishers, 1889

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