ENGELBERT WEIS. The soldiers of the Civil war, who valiantly upheld the cause of the Union, earned the undying gratitude of all friends of the republic, and are justly entitled to the credit of fighting for the liberties of man. Many of the brave men who wore the blue are still living and bear witness to their personal courage, the scars received in battle being indisputable evidence of their faithfulness in the hour of danger. Among this number should be named Englebert Weis, of Staunton, who lost a leg in defense of the stars and stripes and has for many years been a respected citizen of Macoupin county. He is a native of Baden, Germany, born November 5, 1840, a son of Peter and Mary (Nitz) Weis. The father was a farmer and he and his wife spent their entire lives in the old country. They had five children, namely: Engelbert, of this review; Augustina, deceased; Mary and Carl, both of whom are now living in Germany; and Mrs. Theresa Arndt, of Staunton.
Engelbert Weis possessed advantages of attendance at the public schools of his native land. He came to America in his boyhood with an uncle, who entered the mercantile business at St. Louis, Missouri. In his uncle's store the growing youth secured his introduction to business methods, and while thus employed he became acquainted with Captain Ulysses S. Grant, later General Grant, who lived on a farm near St. Louis for several years in the ‘50s and hauled wood to the city. Mr. Weis has a distinct recollection of the man who was destined to become the most noted general of the Civil war, but who gave little evidence of his remarkable talents until after he had been tested in a post of large responsibility. Mr. Weis learned the upholsterer's trade, at which he worked until the outbreak of the great rebellion. On the 22d of April, 1861, he enlisted as a member of Company A, First Regiment, Missouri Volunteer Infantry, and at the expiration of three months' service reenlisted for a period of three years. Soon afterward he was wounded at the battle of Wilson's Creek and the loss of a leg incapacitated him from further military duty. After recuperating for a year at St. Louis he engaged in farming in Madison county, Illinois. In 1865 he purchased a general store at Staunton and was actively identified with the mercantile business in this city until 1899, since which time he has lived retired. His two sons are now conducting the business under the title of E. Weis & Sons and are carrying it forward with marked success. Mr. Weis is the owner of the store building and also of four acres of land in the city and other valuable interests. He and his family occupy one of the beautiful residences of Staunton and he is known as one of the substantial men of the community.
In 1866 Mr. Weis was married to Miss Anna Zimmerman, who was born in Hanover, Germany, a daughter of William and Dora (Meyers) Zimmerman. Mr. Zimmerman emigrated to America with his family in 1860 and took up his residence at Mount Olive, Macoupin county, Illinois, and later purchased a farm in Madison county, near the Macoupin county line. Here he and his wife spent the remainder of their days. They had four children: Dietrich and Albert, both of whom are deceased; Anna, now Mrs. Engelbert Weis; and Gretchen, who is also deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Weis have two sons, Carl and Engelbert, who are associated in business at Staunton.
In politics Mr. Weis has been a supporter of the republican party ever since he cast his first ballot and for twenty years he has served as justice of the peace at Staunton, discharging the duties of the office in such a way as to meet the hearty indorsement of the people. He and his wife are members of the Lutheran church, in the faith of which they were both reared. He formerly held membership in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Grand Army of the Republic, but during recent years has taken no part in lodge affairs. He is now enjoying in comfort the results of earlier labors and is fully entitled to the esteem in which he is held by the people of Staunton and vicinity.