Thistles and Lace a Photographic Journey Part II: The Webers

Weber, Martha Nill. "Thistles and Lace a Photographic Journey Part II: The Webers." Prairies 7, no. 6: May 1984, 26-32 & 34-35.

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Heinrich Weber, also known as Henry Weber, was born on December 12, 1866 at Crimea, Russia. He died on March 20, 1916 in Ashley, North Dakota.

His father was Johannes Weber, born on August 9, 1834 at Worms, Russia. Heinrich’s mother was Elizabeth Jacobine Metz, born on February 5, 1840 at Bessarabia, Russia.

Johannes and Elizabeth had the following children: Louise (Mrs. Christ Zimmerman), born on April 19, 1862 at Crimea, Russia; Christian born on November 2, 1874 at Crimea, Russia; Regina, born August 23, 1878 and died December 1, 1878 in Russia.

Pauline, born on May 10, 1880 and died August 29, 1880; Margaretha, born on December 13, 1881 and died in January 1882; Elizabeth (Mrs. Math Hafner), birthdate unknown; and Mary (Mrs. Wilhelm Huber), birthdate unknown, Mary died of pneumonia in 1891, within a year after she was married.

Johannes and Elizabeth came to Hutchinson County in present-day South Dakota, after leaving their home in Baden, Russia, in 1880.

They endured hard times. Winters were extremely cold with severe blizzards. They had to struggle to have shelter and enough food for the family.

There was also a bad flu epidemic, during which many people died.

Johannes had two brothers, Peter and Michael Weber. They were members of Ebenezer Reformed Church in Freeman, South Dakota.

Johannes’s wife, Elizabeth, died at Freeman. They had a son Jacob, who was born on January 13, 1890. Later, Jacob was killed in Belleau Woods in France during World War I. Jacob was a half-brother of Heinrich.

Emilie died at Freeman in 1899. Johannes married Christina Will on June 7, 1900 at Freeman. They were members of Salem Reformed Church. After Christina died, Johannes lived with his daughter, Louise, and her husband, Christ Zimmerman in Eureka, South Dakota. Johannes died in Eureka in May 1919.

Heinrich’s wife, Johanna Huber Weber, was born on April 2, 1867 at Crimea, Russia. She died on April 5, 1916 in Ashley. She came to America on September 19, 1887.

Her father was Philip Huber and he was born in 1840 in Heilbrunn, Crimea, Russia.

Her mother was Emilie Huber, born in 1844.

Philip died in Russia in 1882, shortly before his last son, Philip Jr., was born.

Emilie came to America on September 19, 1887 with her children.

Johanna had five sisters, two brothers, and one half-brother. Her sisters were Christina Huber Kilber, Katharina Huber Huber, Christiana Huber Ellwein, Maria Huber Ulmer, and Emilie Huber Kaul.

Her brothers were Philip Huber Jr, and Wilhelm Huber, and her half-brother was Jacob Weber. Her brother Wilhelm came to America in the early 1880s. Johannes Weber was her step-father.

Johanna’s sister, Katharina Huber, was married to Jacob Huber and they lived in the Zeeland, North Dakota, area.

Their children were Mary, who was married to Henry Reiner (she died in 1945); Gust Huber, who married Elizabeth Oschner; Reinhold, who married Pauline Martell (he died in 1982); and Jacob Huber, who married Emma Pfeiffer (he died in 1954).

Heinrich and Johanna Huber Weber were members of the Reformed church in Ashley.

They had eight children:

-Lydia was born at Menno, South Dakota, on October 14, 1891 and died on March 5, 1980 in Ashley. She was married to Edward J. Schaeffer. He died on May 7, 1935. She then was married to John Roth on February 22, 1943. Lydia and Edward Schaeffer had seven children: Mildred Harsch, Florence Nies, and ElVida Fischer. Henry, John, Velma Mae and Marie Joan died.

-Edward Johannes Weber was born at Menno on March 4, 1894 and died on August 22, 1954 in Wishek, North Dakota. He married Martha Nill. They had five children: Irva Lenora Paslak, Raymond Wilbur Weber, Marion Naomi Lacher, Ellis Harold Weber and Myron Wenzel Weber died. They were members of the Reformed church at Danzig and Wishek. Martha is now a member of Salem Reformed Church in Ashley.

-Reinhold Weber was born at Menno on January 3, 1896 and died on September 18, 1960 in Ashley. He married Emma Hoffman. They had four children: Douglas Weber, Melvin Weber, Sharon Ann Weber, and Richard Weber.

-Lena Weber was born at Menno on December 5, 1898 and died on January 27, 1951 in Fargo. She was married to Christian J. Schaefer. They had three children: Rev. Clarence Schaeffer, who is at present the pastor of the United Methodist church in Milnor, North Dakota (he has been pastor for 41 years, and he and his wife Frieda, reside in Milnor); Robert Schaeffer; and Wilbur Schaeffer. Wilbur died.

-Wilhelm (William) Weber was born in Menno on June 15, 1900 and died on October 9, 1947 in Ashley. He married Ida Miller. They had four children: Clarence Weber, Eunice Schnathorst, and Gladys Kelly. James Weber died.

-Edwin Weber was born in Ashley on August 28, 1902 and died on October 2, 1956 in Ashley. He had no family.

-Arthur Weber was born in Ashley on December 28, 1904 and died on August 9, 1976 at Bridgewater, South Dakota. He had no family.

-Raymond Weber was born in Ashley on August 20, 1906 and died on December 28, 1943 at Menno. He married Lillian Roth. They had two children: Glenn Weber and Alvin Weber.

Heinrich and Johanna Weber moved from Menno to Ashley in 1900.

Martha and Edward J. Weber farmed the Weber homestead after their marriage on July 2, 1916 until March 22, 1922, when they moved to a farm 7½ miles northeast of Danzig, North Dakota. The homestead at Ashley was the birthplace of Ellis and Myron Weber and Lenora Irva Paslak.

The Webers were Christian people and attended services regularly. They thank God for their many blessings. Most of them were Sunday school teachers.

When Grandfather and Grandmother Johannes and Elizabeth Weber came to America, they went through difficult times. It was their faith and strength in God that helped them through their hardships.

Similarly, Martha Nill Weber, looking back over her long and productive life, has found comfort and direction from these words:

In everything give thanks,
For this is the will of God.

1 Thessalonians 5:18


From rising of the sun
Unto the going down of the same,
the Lord’s name is to be praised.


Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller