Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Weyres, Valentine

The Weyres Family lived on Corbett Road, Town of Somers

1880 U.S. Federal Census
Valentine Weyres, born about 1847 in Prussia, age 33
Mary Weyres, born about 1859 in Wisconsin, age 23

Valentine and Mary Weyres
Valentine (Valentinus) Weyres (Weires) was born March 6, 1846 in Feuerscheid, Bitburg Prum, Eifel Region, Rheineland-Palatinate, Germany.  He was the son of Thomae Weires and Annae Margarethae Thiltges or Thieltges.  Valentine married Miss Mary Niederprim, daughter of Wilhelmus Niederprim and Magdalena Thiessen-Niederprim September 8, 1879 in Waukegan, Illinois.  Read more about the Niederprim family.

Valentine Weyres arrived in the U.S. on October 1871 - Detroit.
(Source:  Naturalization Records, Kenosha County)

Children of Valentine and Mary

Mathias (Matt) Weyres, born July 1, 1880 in Racine.  Died March 18, 1918 in Racine.

(©2014 Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson.  Photo Courtesy of Lynn Thompson Powell)

"Mathias Weyres, a progressive farmer, died last night at the age of 37 years.  He was born in Kenosha County and lived in Mount Pleasant and Somers for the last 20 years, where he was quite well known and had many friends.  He is survived by three sisters - Mrs. Joseph Lotz and Mrs. Peter Mandernach of Mount Pleasant, and Mrs. Gus O' Day of St. Paul; and three brothers, William Weyres of Washington, now in the airplane service, Thomas Weyres, with the U.S. forces in France, and Joseph Weyres of Mount Pleasant.  The remains will be taken from Beffel's funeral parlors this evening to the home of his sister, Mrs. Joseph Lotz, and the funeral services will be conducted Saturday morning from St. George's Church in Kenosha."
(Source:  Racine Journal Times March 21, 1918)

Mary (Mamie) Elizabeth Weyres, born October 2, 1881 in Racine.  Mary married Joseph Lotz at St. George Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin on May 2, 1900.  Mary Weyres Lotz died September 28, 1941 in Racine, Wis.

Children of Joseph and Mary Weyres Lotz
Edmund John Lotz, born about 1901 in Mt. Pleasant, Racine County
Lawrence Valentine Lotz, born about 1903 in Mt. Pleasant, Racine County
Bernard Frank Lotz, born about 1904 in Mt. Pleasant, Racine County
Rose Lotz, born about 1908/09 in Mt. Pleasant, Racine County
Robert William Lotz, born about 1912 in Somers, Kenosha County
Mary Elizabeth Lotz, born about 1914 in Somers, Kenosha County
Aloysius Joseph (also known as Louis J. on census) Lotz, born about 1921 in Somers, Kenosha County

The Joseph and Mary (also known as Mamie) Weyres Lotz family
(©2014 Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson.  Photo Courtesy of Lynn Thompson Powell)

Angelina (Annie) Weyres, born October 31, 1883 in Racine.  Angelina married Fordyce Cyrus Miles in 1940 in Iowa.  Angelina Weyres Miles died November 10, 1976 in Duluth, Saint Louis, Minnesota.

(©2014 Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson.  Photo Courtesy of Lynn Thompson Powell)

Helena (Lena) Weyres, born March 8, 1889 in Racine.  Lena married Peter Mandernach on November 11, 1908 in Racine, Wis.  Lena Weyres Mandernach died August  9, 1968 in Kenosha.

William Weyres, born October 4, 1891 in Racine.  William married Lillian M. Schrader on August 21, 1919 in Racine.  William Weyres died Feb. 9, 1976 in Racine.

Thomas Weyres, born October 24, 1895 in Racine.  Thomas married Ida Marie Behrens on October 11, 1921 in Racine.  Thomas Weyres died May 7, 1935 in Racine.

Margaret Weyres, born January 1894 in Racine.  Margaret died August 3, 1894 in Racine.

Joseph Theodore Weyres, born October 3, 1902 in Town of Somers, Kenosha County.  Joseph married Gertrude Catherine Mueller (also known as Miller) on May 5, 1927 in Racine.  Joseph Weyres died December 10, 1983.   Gertrude Mueller Weyres was born July 31, 1903 and died March 19, 1967.
(Information Courtesy of Lynn Thompson Powell)

Joseph Weyres and Gertrude Mueller Weyres
(©2014 Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson.  Photo Courtesy of Lynn Thompson Powell)

Joseph Weyres and Gertrude Mueller Weyres Wedding
Maid of Honor is Fran Blackburn (Seitz) and Best Man is Bernard Lotz
(©2014 Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson.  Photo Courtesy of Lynn Thompson Powell)

Joseph Weyres ObituaryJoseph T. Weyres, 81, 2521 14th Place, died Saturday (Dec. 10, 1983) morning at his home.  The son of Valentine and Mary (Niederprim) Weyres, he was born Oct. 3, 1902 in the Town of Somers.  He attended Kenosha County schools and moved to Koshkonong, Mo., in 1975.  He moved back to Kenosha in October of this year.  On May 5, 1927 he married Gertrudge Mueller in Racine.  She died in 1967.  He installed awnings for Godske Awning Co., Racine, for more than 35 years and retired in 1975.  While living in Kenosha he was a member of St. George Catholic Church.  He also was active as a baseball and softball umpire in Kenosha for many years.  Surviving are a son, James Weyres, of Koshkonong; two daughters, Mrs. Richard (Rosemary) Thompson, Somers, and Mrs. Harland (Beverly) Reidenbach, Kenosha; 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by three brothers, William, Thomas and Mathias; and three sisters, Mamie Lotz, Lena Mandernach and Annie Miles.

Joseph Weyres driving The Godske Co. truck, May 19, 1941.
(©2014 Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson.  Photo Courtesy of Lynn Thompson Powell)
A Story About Joseph Weyres, Godske, Air City Airport in Sturtevant, Sylvania Airport in Sturtevant, Wisconsin

James B. Weyres (1933-2011) was the son of Joe and Gertrude (Mueller) Weyres.  James was a professor at the State University of Arkansas.  He had a pilot's license and regularly flew from Little Rock to Kenosha to visit family.  Joe also flew with James but it is not know if he was a licensed pilot.  Prior to retirement, Joe Weyres worked for the Godske Awning Co., operated by Carlyle Godske, who also managed the Air City Airport in Sturtevant, Wisconsin located along Durand Avenue, east of Eight Avenue (now 90th Street).  A large cement block hanger building (used as a warehouse by Auer Steel) remains at the time of writing this article.  The grass runway that roughly paralleled Durand Avenue (Highway 11) has been built over by commercial developments including Farm & Fleet and the Kilarney Apartments.  In 1943 and 1944, a POW (Prisoner of War) camp was located at northwest (kitty corner) from the airfield.  A Phillips gas station was located on that corner, prior to the POW camp.  The station was operated by Les Feuerer whose son, Les, Jr. married Rita Miller, a niece of Gertrude Miller Weyres.

During the decade preceding WW2, Air City was a busy place on weekends, during the summer, and fall.  Air shows, parachute jumping, stunt flying (barnstorming) as it was called, and appropriate too since there were two large barns, Pierce and Mikleson farms, on two boundaries of the runway.  I remember stopping off at the airport when walking home from catechism class at St. Sebastian's on Saturday afternoons with sisters Fran and Marie.

The airport was financed by a Dr. Ross who envisioned a great future for Air City.  The Air Port Inn Tavern, and the hanger in which versions of the Canadian Canack aircraft were built, are about all that remain of Air City Airport.

Two miles west of Air City on Durand Avenue, another airfield attracted barnstormers from about 1928 to about 1938.  Carlyle Godske was instrumental in creating this airfield.  Mr. Godske employed Ed Hedeen to manage the facility which was located on farmland owned by Peter Braun, brother of John (Johannes) Braun, my grandfather. (Just south is the east/west road called Braun Road in Racine County).  Peter had followed John from the Verscheit area of Germany, settled in the Sturtevant area and raised a large family, most of whom migrated to the Milwaukee area in the 30's.  The house and farm buildings remain, having been purchased by the Creuzinger Farms of Sturtevant.  The airfield utilization was short lived and is thought to have been abandoned in the mid-30's.  No structures remain.

About a mile northwest of this site there is the Sylvania Airport, a small privately owned airfield started by the Koser family, that hosts private airplane owners and has limited events such as skydiving, made safer by the development of "steerable" parachutes.

Less that two miles to the south was the University of Lawsonomy airstrip, located between Braun Road and "KR" Kenosha-Racine County Line Road and east of I-94.  It has returned to agricultural use.  Information can be found in the "Grass Roots History of Racine County."

Carlyle Godske was instrumental in obtaining the A.J. Horlick property on the northwester side of Racine for use as the Racine Airport, once known as Horlick-Racine Airport.  It is now known as Racine's Batten Field.

There were a number of privately owned landing strips located around the county such as the one at the former Fancher's Nursery on Highway 20 and H.  The need for support facilities at a central facility led to the demise of the dream of "an airplane in every driveway."
(Source:  Compiled by Hubert H. Braun, September 2013 and copy courtesy of Lynn Thompson Powell)

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