Tombstone Tuesday: Fred and Emma (Stübe) Wiese

Fred and Emma (Stübe) Wiese were German immigrants who lived out their adult lives in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. Although both were born in 1867 in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, an area of present-day Germany located along the Baltic Sea, they left their homeland as infants. Fred – or Fritz – was the son of Joachim and Sophia (Cammin) Wiese and is believed to have been born near Wendisch-Baggendorf;1 Emma was the daughter of Ernst and Friederike (Wagner) Stübe and was likely born in what is now Friedrichshof, Wasdow, Germany.2 These rural communities are only ten miles apart, but separated by the Trebel River, the Wieses were residents of Pomerania and the Stübes were residents of Mecklenburg.

Both Fred and Emma arrived in America before 1870.3 While the Wiese family settled immediately in Chicago,4 Emma spent her childhood in rural Huntley, McHenry County, Illinois before moving to the city after her father’s death.5 It’s possible that Fred and Emma crossed paths as early as 1880; by that time, Emma’s presumed uncle, Carl Stübe, lived in the same building as Fred’s presumed uncle, Carl Wiese.6 They may also have become acquainted as members of the Missouri Synod First Bethlehem Lutheran Church of Chicago, located in a neighborhood that saw much of its growth in the years following the Great Chicago Fire.7

It was there that the couple married on 19 February 1887 when they were nineteen years old.
8 They would have five children together, the first born that summer: George Charles Wilhelm Wiese (1887-1975), Lillie Johanna Josephine Wiese (1889-1897), Rosa Minna Emma Bertha Wiese (1892-1918), Oliver William Charles Wiese (1896-1969), and Leonard John Christian Wiese (1900-1947). The early years of their marriage were spent in Chicago’s Fourteenth Ward, near their parish in Wicker Park.9 Tragedy touched their lives when their oldest daughter succumbed to cerebral meningitis at the age of eight;10 a few years prior, weeks before the opening of the Chicago World’s Fair, Emma had tended to her sixteen-year-old sister as she died of the same illness.11

Grave_Wiese_Fred_Elmwood_Cemetery.jpg

Grave of Fred Wiese (1866-1914), Elmwood Cemetery, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois; 2006, privately held by Melanie Frick, 2015. Note: Fred’s date of birth on his gravestone is incorrect. He was born in 1867.

In 1902, seeking a fresh start, the family moved west from Wicker Park to a large home in the Montclare neighborhood. Their two-story Victorian home, which still stands today, was located on a corner lot and undoubtedly provided more space for the couple and their four surviving children.12 Fred supported his family as a cigar maker until his death from cirrhosis of the liver on 14 October 1914 when he was forty-seven years old. He was buried at Chicago’s Elmwood Cemetery.13

Grave_Wiese_Emma_Elmwood_Cemetery.jpg

Grave of Emma Wiese (1867-1937), Elmwood Cemetery, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois; 2006, privately held by Melanie Frick, 2015.

Emma remained in their home for more than two decades, crocheting “fancywork” as a modest means of support. She kept chickens, a garden, and was by all accounts a formidable housekeeper who used a rod to smooth the bed coverings to ensure that no wrinkles remained. In her later years, she had a German Shepherd, Sally, and her home was the gathering place for the weekly Saturday meal that she prepared for her children and their families. While her grandchildren considered her to be strict, she was not unkind, offering them dimes for the movies and pennies for the organ grinder’s monkey.14 After Emma’s death from a stroke at the age of seventy on 6 November 1937, she, too, was buried at Elmwood Cemetery.15

Copyright © 2015 Melanie Frick. All Rights Reserved.


SOURCES
1 “Hamburg Passagierlisten, 1850-1934,” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 July 2013), manifest, Electric, Hamburg to New York, leaving 1 November 1868, Joachim Wiese; citing Bestand [inventory no.] 373-7I, VIII, A1 (Auswanderungsamt I [Emigration List – Indirect]), Band [vol.] 022; Staatsarchiv Hamburg microfilm series K1701-K2008, S13116-S13183, and S17363-S17383.
2 “Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany, Census, 1867,” Friedrichshof, Ritteramt Gnoien, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany, Emma Stübe; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2013), citing Mecklenburg-Schwerin (Großherzogtum), Volkszählungsamt, “Volkszählung am 3. Dezember 1867,” Landeshauptarchiv Schwerin, 5.12-3/20 Statistisches Landesamt (1851-1945), and Wikipedia (http://www.de.wikipedia.org), “Wasdow,” rev. 19:50, 28 January 2015.
3 “New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 October 2013), manifest, S.S. Silesia, Hamburg, Germany to New York, arriving 12 October 1869, Ernst Stübe; citing National Archives microfilm M237, roll 319.
4 1870 U.S. census, Cook County, Illinois, population schedule, Chicago Ward 15, sheet 753A, p. 315 (penned), dwelling 1903, family 2873, Fritz Veis; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 July 2013), citing National Archives microfilm publication M593, roll 208.
5 1880 U.S. census, Cook County, Illinois, population schedule, Chicago, Enumeration District (ED) 144, p. 257-C (handwritten), dwelling 25, family 74, Emma Stüve; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 October 2013), citing National Archives microfilm T9, roll 196.
6 1880 U.S. census, Cook County, Illinois, population schedule, Chicago, Enumeration District (ED) 144, p. 38 (penned), dwelling 243, family 403, Charles Wiese; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 July 2014), citing National Archives microfilm publication T9, roll 196, and 1880 U.S. census, Cook County, Illinois, population schedule, Chicago, Enumeration District (ED) 144, p. 38 (penned), dwelling 243, family 404, Charles Stube; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 July 2014), citing National Archives microfilm publication T9, roll 196.
7 “History,” First Bethlehem Lutheran Church (http://fblcchicago.org/about-us/history : accessed 15 November 2015).
8 Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index, 1871-1920,” database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2013), entry for Fred Wiese and Emma Stueve, 19 February 1887, Chicago; citing “Marriage Records, 1871–present,” Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records, Springfield, and First Bethlehem Lutheran Church (Chicago, Illinois), “Marriages,” p. 44-45, Fritz Wiese and Emma Stueve (1887); parish rectory, Chicago.
9 1900 U.S. census, Cook County, Illinois, population schedule, Chicago Ward 14, enumeration district (ED) 453, sheet 9-A, p. 320 (stamped), dwelling 64, family 164, Fred Wiese; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 February 2014), citing National Archives microfilm publication T623, roll 623.
10 Cook County, Illinois, death certificate no. 20672 (reg. no.), “Lillie Wiese,” 24 October 1897; digital image, Cook County Clerk’s Office: Genealogy Online (http://cookcountygenealogy.com : accessed 15 November 2015).
11 Cook County, Illinois, death certificate no. 17693 (reg. no.), “Minnie Stueve,” 9 April 1893; digital image, Cook County Clerk’s Office: Genealogy Online (http://cookcountygenealogy.com : accessed 15 November 2015).
12 Cook County, Illinois, death certificate no. 27281 (reg. no.), “Fredrick Wiese,” 14 October 1914; digital image, Cook County Clerk’s Office: Genealogy Online (http://cookcountygenealogy.com : accessed 15 July 2013), and visit by the author to 2502 N. Neva Ave., Chicago, Illinois, in 2006.
13 Cook County, Illinois, death certificate no. 27281, “Fredrick Wiese,” 14 October 1914.
14 Phyllis (Wiese) Adam, conversation with Melanie Frick, 2013; notes in author’s files.
15 Cook County, Illinois, death certificate no. 31298 (reg. no.), “Emma Wiese,” 6 November 1937; digital image, Cook County Clerk’s Office: Genealogy Online (http://cookcountygenealogy.com : accessed 5 March 2013).

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