Monday, September 16, 2013

Happy Belated 135th Wedding Anniversary!

    That kind of made me catch my breath a little when I calculated the 135 years!When I think of these people in my tree, they don't seem so distant from me. It's when I put it to paper and see the actual numbers that it begins to blow my mind a little bit.

   Let me introduce to you, Fritz and Sophie Wille....

Freidrich Christoph Wille, (better known as Fred...even better known as Fritz) was one of at least 9 children, most of which were born in Germany. Fritz was born in the year of 1854 in Elk Grove Village, Illinois after they emigrated from Beckedorf, Germany around 1852/53.

His lovely bride, Sophia Elisabeth Christiane Boeckenhauer, or, simply, "Sophie", had family that had immgrated from Mecklenburg, or Lukas, Germany. (Lukas I can not find on a map any longer) She was a small stretch younger than him, being born in 1860.

As you can see below, when they married, Sophie was still not of the age
of legal consent, although Fritz was already 24. Her father, John, signed off on the wedding certificate, giving his underage daughter's hand in marriage to Fritz.

                       It was a love, or at least a marriage, that lasted. In 1938 the DuPage County Register reported the large celebration of Fritz and Sophie's 60th wedding anniversary in their paper.

for those of you who had never heard the word "feted" before... You are not alone. And to those of you who don't have superhuman eyesight, the article was written as follows....

       29 Apr 1938 , Des Plaines, Illinois       

"Back in the year 1878 on April 24, wedding bells rang out for Mr. Fred Wille and Miss Sophie Boeckenhauer with the marriage ceremony being performed by Reverend Ranlow, then pastor of St. John's Lutheran church of Elk Grove.

Now let us turn the pages of time sixty years which brings us to April 24, 1938, as we again visit St. John's Lutheran church, some happy event is about to take place and as we make inquiry we are told the occasion is a two-fold surprise celebration, one to commemorate the twenty-fifth annivesary of Pastor Gehrs at his post in that congregation, and the second to help Mr. and Mrs. Fred Wille especially mark their sixtieth wedding anniversary. The affair is so carefully planned that Reverend Gehrs thinks the service is only for the Willes while they in turn think it is all for the pastor.

Thus is was that on Saturday evening last, our bride and groom of sixty years ago found themsleves surrounded by their children as they worshipped in the church where they have been faithful members through the years, and later enjoyed a special chicken dinner served in the school hall.

With the large crowd of friends, the service and dinner, however, were just the start of the evening for the happy couple were next taken to the Elks' Club rooms in Des Plaines, where a large crowd of relatives and friends had gathered to help them celebrate. For those who desired there were cards and dancing to pass away the hours with an anniversary supper served later in the evening. There were many gifts of flowers and cards and an immense wedding cake which held the center of attraction.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Wille are the sole survivors of their respective famlies, he will be 84 in October and she will be 80 in June. He is a pioneer native of Elk Grove township, while Mrs. Wille was born in Germany. All of their nine children are living and were present at the celebration. There are also 37 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. They lived on a farm in Elk Grove township until 1918 when they retired from active farming and moved to Des Plaines where they reside at present.

Mr. Wille, who is very active and alert for this fourscore years, is a director for the Main Mutual Fire Insurance Company which post he has held for forty years. During that time he has also served the company as president.

One son, William F. Wille, resides at Schaumburg, two more children, Henry Wille and Mrs. Henry Freundt live at Elmhurst and the rest live in or near Des Plaines. They are Mrs. Louis Oehlerking, Mrs. Charles Krumwiede, Mrs. Louis Schuldt, Conrad Wille, Mrs. Harry Mensching and Clarence Wille."

I found it to be a fantastic article! Then again, these are my great great grandparents, so I am a bit biased. 
What I found even more fantastic, was the photo from their 60th wedding anniversary. You can see below that they had a hard time containing their immense joy and from the looks of the photo, partied hard in true German fashion.....

  Ahhh, those good old Prussian virtues.... ;)

So Happy belated 135th Wedding Anniversary to my Great Great Grandparents!
It looks like I missed quite a party. :D

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