Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Wellers Who Lived at Concordia

This is a photograph of Johann George Weller, the first president of Concordia University. The image is taken from a Concordia webpage that no longer exists.

The Reverend J. George Weller (Johann George Weller), who from 1894 until his death in 1924 served as the first director of  the Evangelical Lutheran School Teachers Seminary in Seward, Nebraska. This school eventually became Concordia Teachers College and now has become Concordia University.

(Flickr page)

When the webpage did exist, the image was captioned as follows:

Director George Weller

The Rev. George Weller was called in 1894 to be the Director of the new synodical school in Seward, Nebraska. Prior to that time he was the pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Marysville, Nebraska, just outside of Staplehurst, Nebraska. Initially Weller taught all subjects except music to the students. He is pictured here in the study of his home, a room which also served as a college office, bank, and dispensary. Weller served as Director of the Lutheran Teachers' Seminary, as it was called in those days, until 1914. Following that he continued to teach there until his death in the mid-1920s.

This photograph certainly was taken in Faculty Lane House 1, where Weller lived from 1895 until his death in 1924. His surviving family continued to live in that house until 1930.

I have received several written records from George Weller, a great-grandson of J. George Weller, the first President of Concordia College and the first occupant of Faculty Lane House 1.

According to a family genealogy, J. George Weller was born in 1860 in New Orleans, Louisiana, and he married Louise Katharina Clara Eirich in 1882 in New Minden, Illinois. He died in 1924 in Seward, Nebraska. He and she had 11 children:

Johann Friedrich Heinrich (“John Henry”) Weller, born in 1883 in Staplehurst, Nebraska. He worked as an engineer and married Mary Wynne, a nurse.

Hulda Catharina Elisabeth Weller, born in 1884 in Staplehurst. She married Alexander Pitcaithley.

Heinrich Friedrich Weller, born and died in 1886 in Staplehurst.

George Ernst August Weller, born in 1887 in Staplehurst. He worked as a teacher and musician. He married Martha Sophia Gallmeier in 1913. He died in 1932 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Clara Anna Weller, born in 1890 and died in 1893 in Staplehurst.

Elsa Lisette Christina (Christine) Weller, born in 1892 in Staplehurst. She married Dwight Williams.

Helen Maria Amanda Emma Weller, born in 1894 in Staplehurst. She married Ernest August Paul (Bud) Gallmeier in 1920. She died in 1955.

Anna Marie Louise Weller, born in 1896 in Seward. She married Herbert Trier in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Paula Weller. She married Henry Ehlen.

Raymond Frederick (Bub) Weller. He married Merle.

Alfred William Tobias (Sam) Weller, born in 1905 in Seward. He married Judith Rogers in 1927 in Minden, Nebraska. He died 1965 in Glidden, Iowa.

The Weller family moved into Faculty Lane House 1 in 1895. At that time the family consisted of parents George and Louise and five children -- Johann (age 12), Hulda (age 11), George (age 8), Elsa (Christine) (age 3) and Helen (age 1). (Two children had died in infancy in Staplehurst.)

While the family lived in the house, four more children were born -- Anna, Paula, Raymond and Alfred (Sam).

After George Weller died in 1924, the surviving family continued to live in the home until 1930.

George Ernst August Weller (who was born in 1897), had an oldest son named Robert, born in 1914. Robert worked as a Lutheran pastor, and he married Clara Frieda Elisabeth Hoyer in 1941. She worked as a teacher. They had an oldest son, George, born in 1942, who worked as a physicist and research engineer. The latter George is the great-grandson who sent me the records. His oldest daughter Gretchen is a Lutheran pastor. George describes his daughter:

As to the "liberal" Wellers, yes, I would say so.

My daughter is an ELCA pastor, at St Matthew, Renton, Washington. She is sometimes known as "guitarchick" and as "the rock and roll pastor of Renton". You can guess where she stands on the recent ELCA churchwide meeting results.

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