Otto Richard Weik is my grandfather and someone I never got to know except through genealogy. My father Merle Otto Weik never really talked much about him as was true with most of his relatives. The information I did learn or pictures I have in my collection are from what my mother Nancy Gertrude Brumley collected from other relatives and passed down to me.
Otto was born January 5, 1885, in Leonardville, Riley, Kansas to John Edward Weik and Elizabeth Brandt. His siblings were Edward John 1874, Peter Jacob 1877, Elizabeth Katherine 1878, Susan Ann 1880, Louis Franklin 1883, and Maude Weik 1889. As the family grew they moved around in Riley County. In the 1900 Kansas Census, they were living in Sherman, by 1905 they were living in Zeandale. His father was a farmer.
Otto was a good looking twenty-three-year-old that caught the eye of Ruby Jemima Pultz. On February 20, 1908, they became husband and wife at the Court House in Clay Center, Kansas. She was a teacher and he was a farmer and off they went to Leonardville, Riley, Kansas to start their life together.
As they settled into married life in Leonardville they started their family. Leo John was the first born son in 1908, then came Edward Hugh 1909, Don Charles 1910, Lola Mae 1912, Elsie Elizabeth 1914, Ina Marie 1920 and Merle Otto Weik in 1922.
On September 12, 1918, Otto signed up for the WWI Draft, he was thirty-three years old. He was described as a farmer, he was short with a medium build with brown eyes and black hair and his nearest relative was Ruby his wife. I have not discovered if he served anywhere but all men had to sign up for the draft at that time.
Otto and his family lived on the Hulse farm three miles west of Manhattan, Riley, Kansas. On January 26, 1923, he sold the farm and had a public auction. He would then move his family to Wildcat Township, Riley, Kansas close to the Pottawatomie County line.
One day while tending to one of his horses, the horse kicked him. The injuries he received was serious enough that he never recovered from them. On June 16, 1926, Otto died, he was only forty-one years old. My father Merle was just three years old at the time of his death. His obituary was very telling of the type of man he was – “He was always ready to help anyone in a time of need or help with sickness and death. He was a kind son, loving husband, and father, and a good neighbor, and will be missed by those who knew him.” I wish I could have known him. He was buried in the Sunset Cemetery in Manhattan, Kansas.
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