Otto Weik was born to Jacob Weik and Gertrude Huber on October 21, 1840, in Katholisch, Ketsch, Mannheim, Baden, Germany. It is not known if he had a middle name. He is my great-uncle.
His other siblings were Eduard Albert 1837-1913, Franz (Frank) Wilhelm 1838-1908, Eva (Donna) Katharina 1842-1916, Ludovikus 1844-?, Louis 1846-1923, Verena Susanna 1847-? John Edward 1848-1927 (my great grandfather) and Richard Weik.
Otto Weik came to the United States in 1854 with his family as per the 1910 Census of Illinois. He was fourteen years old at that time. In 1863 the country was in the middle of the Civil War. Otto enlisted as a Union soldier on June 30, 1863, he was just twenty-two years. He was unmarried and he was a Cooper by trade.
A Cooper is a person trained to make wooden casks, barrels, vats, buckets, tubs, and other similar containers from timber staves that were usually heated or steamed to make them pliable. Journeymen coopers also traditionally made wooden implements like rakes and wooden-bladed shovels.
It is not known when he meant Eva Sophia Seltzer, but they were married on October 29, 1863, in Stephenson County, Illinois probably around the Freeport area. They started their family by having a daughter Emma K 1864-1959, then Elizabeth (Lizzie) 1867-1947, and finally Malinda Weik 1871-1911 to make their family complete.
They lived and raised their family in Freeport. Emma K Weik married Walter P Putnam and had two children Archibald William 1889 and Merriell Putnam 1898. Elizabeth (Lizzie) married William S Cumming and it is unknown if they had any children. Malinda married Edgar U Miller and it is unknown if they had any children.
Eva Sophia had been ill for several years and at the age of fifty-three, she died on February 28, 1900, in Freeport. Otto was now a widower and never remarried. The 1900 Illinois Census shows him living with his oldest daughter and her family as well as in the 1910 Illinois Census. He had retired from being a Cooper for so many years.
He went on to enjoy his retirement life for another thirteen years until his death on June 11, 1913, in Freeport. He was seventy-two years old. Otto and Eva are both buried in the Freeport City Cemetery.
Emma K Weik Putnam died in 1959 at the age of ninety-five, Lizzie Weik Cumming died March 22, 1947, at the age of seventy-nine, and Malinda Weik Miller died February 8, 1911, she was only thirty-nine years old. All of them are buried in the Oakland Cemetery in Freeport, Stephenson, Illinois.
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