Bio: Weber, Catherine (103rd Birthday - 1967)


Surnames: Weber, Heidle, Woelfel, Wiltgen, Voelker, Mertens, Jones

----Source: THORP COURIER (Thorp, Clark County, Wis.) 12 Jan 1967

Weber, Catherine (103rd Birthday - 13 JAN 1967)

Mrs. Catherine Weber will celebrated her 103rd birthday on Friday, Jan. 13, 1967. Catherine Heidle, daughter of Chris Heidle and Katherine Woelfel, was born on a small farm in a log cabin on Jan. 13, 1864 at Charleston, Calumet Co., Wis.

Her father, Chris Heidle, had served six years in the army of Germany before he came tot eh United States. United in marriage to Katherine Woelfel in 1862, the young father enlisted at Camp Randall, Madison, in the Spring of 1864 in the Union Army, when Mrs. Weber was about three months old. He died in late 1864 at Little Rock, Ark., and is buried in the military cemetery there.

Mrs. Weber's mother, Katherine Woelfel, at the age of 12 in 1849, came from Nuremberg, Germany to Milwaukee, Wis. Several years after Chris Heidle's death, the young widow married Lawrence Voelker, a widower with four children. The young family sold the farm at Charleston and moved on a farm near the village of St. Anna. From this union were born six children, of who three half-sisters of Mrs. Weber, (Mrs. Pauline Wiltgen, Margaret and Bertha Voelker) lived many years in Thorp and died here. Mrs. Weber's mother, Katie Voelker, came from St. Anna's to Thorp about 1926 and lived with her daughters, Mrs. Pauline Wiltgen, Margaret and Bertha Voelker until her death at the age of 91, in December 1928.

Mrs. Weber grew up from the farm in the community of St. Anna. Here, on Feb. 10, 1885, she married Michael Mertens. Mr. Mertens had come to Thorp in 1884 and had established himself in business, setting up a general store, jewelry, furniture and undertaking establishment. The young couple returned to Thorp after their wedding. Mrs. Weber has been a continuous resident of this community ever since.

Three children were born of their union: Oscar, Irma and Olga Mertens. There are 15 grandchildren, 56 great-grandchildren. Michael Mertens died on May 7, 1890 at La Crosse, Wis. In 1883 the young widow married Max Weber at St. Bernard's Church. One son, Frank Weber, was born of this union. Mr. Weber was a carpenter by trade and in the course of years built many of the houses in Thorp. Shortly after her marriage to max Weber, Mrs. Weber sold the merchandising business to Mile Wiltgen, who later married her half-sister Paulina. In 1906 the Weber family moved onto the farm about 1/2 mile N.W. of Thorp, where they lived until the marriage of her son Oscar in October 1911. The Weber family then moved into the new house built by Max, located on the southwest end of Thorp, where Mrs. Weber lived for the next 54 years. In the fall of 1965 she moved into her present home at 203 W. Stanley St., where she now lives with her daughter, Olga Mertens, Mrs. Frank (Irma) Jones having died on Oct. 15, 1966. Mrs. Weber has lived to see the passing of her husband Max Weber (July 20, 1925), her sons, Oscar Mertens (Jan. 26, 1957) and Frank Weber (May 31, 1960), and daughter Irma, mentioned above.

During her 103 years, Mrs. Weber has enjoyed continual good health, except for a broken hip she suffered at the age of 86. Until her 100th birthday she was still very active in the home with cooking and baking, still working and showing great interest in her garden. Up to the present time she enjoys good health, is up and around daily, her vision and hearing failing slightly. Her deep Christian Faith has enable her to face and accept the crosses of life with quite Christian cheerfulness. She has been a member of St. Bernard's Catholic Parish since its inception.



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