WEYE H. WEYEN. The work of Weye H. Weyen, for many years a prominent farmer of Macoupin county, was brought to a termination by his death, March 15, 1889, and, judging by what he accomplished, it may truly be said that he was one of the remarkable men of the county. He demonstrated the possibilities awaiting in America for any ambitious and capable young man, who may be obliged to start at the bottom of the ladder, which scarcely a dollar in his pocket, and yet may reach the top. He was born in Hanover, Germany, October 20, 1820, and grew to manhood in his native land. He secured the foundation of an education in the public schools, but as his parents were in need of his services he was early obliged to leave school, to assist in the maintenance of his father's family.
In 1851, desiring more favorable opportunities than he saw about him, he went aboard a sailing vessel at Bremen and after a voyage of several weeks landed at New Orleans, Louisiana. He came by boat up the Mississippi river to Alton, Illinois, and began his active career in America as a farm hand in Madison county. Later his parents came to this country and located in Macoupin county, Illinois, where they spent the remainder of their lives. A year after reaching America Mr. Weyen was married, and found in his wife a most helpful and loving companion, a large measure of his success being due to her advice and encouragement. At the time of his marriage his total cash capital consisted of five dollars, but he set industriously to work, continuing in Madison county for thirteen years during a large part of which time he cultivated rented land. In 1865 he removed with his family to Macoupin county and purchased a farm on section 8, Cahokia township, where he established his homestead. He was a man of remarkable energy and perseverance, being also the possessor of unusual business ability, and he acquired more land until he became the owner of seven hundred and twenty acres and gained a reputation as one of the most successful farmers in this part of the state.
In 1852 Mr. Weyen was married in Madison county to Miss Meta Johnson, who was born in Hanover, Germany, February 17, 1827. She came to America on the same vessel with her future husband and spent the year preceding her marriage at Alton, Illinois. Of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Weyen five survive, namely: Heye, a business man of Bethalto, Illinois, who married Minnie Meiniecka and has three children, Willie, John and Mabel; Mary, who married George Osterkamp, of Honey Point township; Tase, record of whom appears elsewhere in this work; Tennie, who is the wife of John W. Schmidt, of Gillespie township; and John R., whose sketch is presented on another page of this work. The mother of these children died on November 25, 1910, having arrived at the advanced age of eighty-three years.
Religiously Mr. and Mrs. Weyen were identified during their entire lives with the Lutheran church, and politically he gave his support to the democratic party. Few more convincing examples of the power of well directed perseverance are to be found than that of Mr. Weyen. In the years when it was necessary he practiced self-denial, and the result was an abundance in later life. His record cannot fail to encourage the young man starting upon his own resources, who has the laudable desire to accomplish something worthy of the name. He was a man of deeds rather than of words and it is to such that the country must look for its true leaders.