Gregorie Wieder (1849-1899), the founder of the Wieder family of Ocean Springs was an Alsatian immigrant. Circa 1873, he married Dora Armbruster (1848-1924), a native of Wurtemberg, Germany. The newly weds came to America in 1873, probably landing at New Orleans. They came to Ocean Springs circa 1876, as their first child, Magdalene “Lena” Wieder (1875-1931), was born in Louisiana. The remainder of the Wieder children came into the world at Ocean Springs: Joseph A. Wieder (1877-1960), Adolph Wieder (1879-1931), Francis Antony Wieder (1881-1954), John Martin Wieder (1884-1885), Philip James Wieder (1887-1985) and Mary Wieder Hovelmeir (1890-1986).
In Ocean Springs, Gregoire Wieder made his livelihood as a building contractor, a profession which most of his sons followed. Before his demise on June 21, 1899, he and his sons were erecting a cottage on East Porter for Ross Switzer (1875-1945).(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, January 1898, p. 3)
Madalene “Lena” Wieder (1875-1931) was born April 4, 1875, in New Orleans. She married Issac P. Carver (1873-1921), the son of David Carver (1836-1900+) and Matilda J. Breakfield (1846-1925). The Carvers had no children. In 1910, Mr. Carver made his livelihood as a house carpenter. Isaac P. Carver expired at his Ocean Springs home on December 8, 1921. Lena W. Carver died on March 11, 1931. The Carvers were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery on Old Fort Bayou.(The Daily Herald, December 14, 1921, p. 7 and March 12, 1931, p. 2)
Joseph A. Wieder
Joseph A. Wieder (1877-1960) was born on July 13, 1877. In December 1900, he married Maria Mathilda “Tillie” Endt (1873-1964) who was born at New Orleans on September 23, 1873. She was the daughter of Michel Endt (1823-1880), a native of Baden, Germany, and Theresa Herman (1839-1914), an 1866 immigrant from Rheishoff, Alsace, France. Joseph A. Wieder made his livelihood as a carpenter and house contractor. In 1910, he built the Frank H. Bryan home at 406 Jackson Avenue and very probably the Sheldon-Pattison-Cole home at 527 Cleveland Avenue. (Lepre, 1991, p. 103 and JXCO, Ms. Circuit Court MRB 7, p. 128)
J.A. Wieder and Tillie Endt were the parents of two children: Celia W. Davis (1902-1956), the wife of postmaster, Oscar T. Davis (1894-1963), and Joseph Charles Wieder (1905-1990), who married Lelia Cox (1911-1970) of Biloxi in March 1934 and Theodora Smith Seymour (1910-1970), a New Orleans native and the widow of Bernard P. “Bennie” Seymour (1908-1969), in January 1973. J.C. Wieder was a plumber and superintendent of the Ocean Springs Municipal Water Department. Joseph Street, formerly called Middle Avenue and Wausau, on the south side of WAMA was named for him by Sadie Catchot Hodges (1894-1973) when she was City Clerk.(J.K. Lemon, September 1993 and JXCO, Ms. MRB 22, p. 131 and MRB 120, p. 427)
424 Washington Avenue
The Joseph A. Wieder home, a Queen Anne raised cottage, was erected circa 1904 on the southeast corner Washington Avenue and Joseph Street, present day 424 Washington Avenue. The 150' by 100' Wieder lot, a part of Lot 14 and Lot 15-Block 4 (Culmseig Map 1854) was acquired by J.A. Wieder in May 1904 from Delphine Bellande Ryan (1844-pre 1926) for $225.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 28, p. 279)
On July 17, 1963, George A. Smith and Wanda W. Smith conveyed the property to James W. Wilson, Dempsey M. Levy, and Earl L. Denham, d/b/a Levi, Wilson & Denham, Attorneys-at-Law. The Denham group of advocates occupy this structure today.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 469, p. 348)
Joseph A. Wieder expired on September 18, 1960. Mrs. Wieder lived until April 6, 1964. She was a resident of 1006 Middle Avenue at the time of her demise. She and J.A. Wieder are at eternal rest in the Southern Memorial Park cemetery in Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, April 6, 1964, p. 2)
Adolph Wieder (1879-1931) was born at Ocean Springs on July 15, 1879. He married Catherine “Katie” Mueller (1882-1963), on April 15, 1918 at New Orleans. She was the daughter of Joseph Muller and Marie Landry. They were childless.(Lepre, 1991, p. 361 and Orleans Parish, MRB 40, p. 964)
Mr. Wieder was in the construction business at Ocean Springs before he became caretaker of the Benjamin Estate, that seventy-acre, park and garden setting created by Annie L. Benjamin (1848-1938) of Milwaukee. Situated on “Benjamin Point”, now “Sea Pointe”, Mrs. Benjamin’s domain consisted of magnolia, oak, palm, and pine on an isolated peninsula surrounded by over one and one-half miles of shoreline and marsh of the Back Bay of Biloxi and Fort Bayou.(The Daily Herald, September 4, 1931, p. 5)
Adolph Wieder was elected Alderman from Ward-at-Large and served Ocean Springs in 1929-1930. He expired on September 4, 1931 at the Biloxi Hospital following surgery in August 1931. Catherine M. Wieder died on July 18, 1963, in her home at 425 Porter. Both rest eternally in the Evergreen Cemetery in Ocean Springs.(Schmidt, 1972, p. 135)
Francis A. Wieder
Francis A. “Frank” Wieder (1881-1954) was born at Ocean Springs on April 27, 1881. On June 1, 1912, he married Rosa C. Ladnier (1886-1966), the daughter of Emile Ladnier (1868-1937) and Angeline Ryan (d. 1903), at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church. Mr. Wieder made his livelihood as a carpenter (1900) and bridge tender in his latter years. He worked with his brothers Joseph Weider (1877-1960) and Adolph Wieder (1879-1931).(Lepre, 1991, p. 361 and JXCO, MRB 9, p. 415)
In March 1920, Frank A. Wieder performed a heroic act on the streets of Ocean Springs, which may have save lives. The F.E. Schmidt bakery wagon was driverless with only its runaway horse in harness, when it came dashing from Government Street on to Washington Avenue. Wieder was walking on the sidewalk near present day Moran’s Real Estate and Insurance building when he attempted to halt the delivery wagon by grabbing the head of the nervous horse. Foiled, he leapt into the rear of the vehicle and rapidly got to the front of the wagon and held the reins until the animal quit. The incident was witnessed by the Chief of Police of Biloxi who was a pedestrian at Washington and Government when the runaway bakery wagon turned the corner.(The Jackson County Times, March 13, 1920, p. 5)
505 Washington Avenue
In November 1941, Edith Thomas Armstrong (1887-1967) and Walter G. Armstrong (1878-1945) conveyed their circa 1905 Queen Anne cottage at 505 Washington Avenue to Frank A. Wieder and spouse for $2500. Mrs. Rose L. Wieder legated this edifice to her nephew, Arthur D. Webber II, in January 1965. WAMA owns this lovely structure today which is opposite the museum.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 79, pp. 246-247 and Will Bk. 9, p. 277)
John Martin Wieder
John M. Wieder was born at Ocean Springs on January 8, 1884. He died August 6, 1885. No further information.(Lepre, 1991, p. 361)
Philip James Wieder
Philip James Wieder (1887-1985) was on December 30, 1887. On August 6, 1925, Philip J. Wieder married Mary Choyce Rouse (1895-1952), the daughter of Ambrose Rouse of Vancleave, at the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church. Their children were: Philip J. "Jackie" Wieder, Jr. (1926-1993) who married Georgia Nell Broome (1930-1996) and Edith Wieder; and Dixie Ann Wieder (b. 1929) who married Emil Roman Peltz (b. 1922) and Newton Perry Gautier (b. 1926). The family resided at 57 Ward Avenue.(Lepre, 1991, p. 361 JXCO, Ms. MRB 17. p. 3, MRB 62, p. 9, MRB 49, 341 and MRB 71, p. 447)
During WWI, Philip J. Wieder received his military training at Mississippi A&M College. While there, he was also trained in auto mechanics. Although he had worked with his father and brothers in the contracting business, Philip J. Wieder returned to Ocean Springs in 1919, and went into the auto repair business with Claude Engbarth (1893-1967) another local of German ancestry. The Wieder-Engbarth Garage building was located at 14 County Road, which is present day 1025 Government Street. It was erected in January 1920, on “County Road”. The name of this local, east-west thoroughfare was changed to Government Street in February 1920, by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen. A petition presented by a group of citizens requesting the name change. The city government, headed by Mayor A.J. Catchot (1864-1954), deemed this request appropriate.(The Jackson County Times, July 27, 1918 and January 24, 1920)
At this time, the automobile industry was rapidly growing in America and the rural South. The transition in transportation from animal power to machines was progressing geometrically. In 1920, Mississippi was estimated to have 55,000 automobiles. Of the coastal counties, Harrison led with 1300 motorcars. It was followed by Jackson County with 700 autos, while Hancock County had only 350 cars at this time.
In the spring of 1922, P.J. Wieder and Claude Engbarth dissolved their partnership. In May 1922, Engbarth built a garage and auto dealership structure on Washington Avenue at the present day location of Miner’s Big Stuff Doll & Toy Store at 927 Washington Avenue. Blossman Inc. demolished the old Engbarth garage in 1971.(The Daily Herald, May 23, 1922, p. 8 and The Ocean Springs Record, January 7, 1971, p. 1)
Phil Wieder continued his garage and repair business on Government Street and Cash, until September 1926, when he built a small gas station and associated garage building just west of his original garage. The new operation was called the Weider Service Station. Mr. Wieder sold Texaco products. Phil Wieder also had a coal yard on the property. The Jackson County Times of September 18, 1926, announced that:
Phil Wieder has opened his new auto repair and oil station near his former business place. He carries a line of auto accessories and tires. Phil is a good mechanic and should do well in his new place.
In February 1949, Philip J. Wieder sold his now Pan-Am Station on Government Street to Merril F. Scharr (1904-1977) and E.S. Josey.(The Jackson County Times, February 4, 1949, p. 1)
The original Wieder-Engbarth Garage was vended by Philip J. Weider to Casie M. Parker and Arnold Lavois Parker (1915-1953) in July 1944. The Parkers operated their feed store business from this building. The derelict structure was demolished in the fall of 1996 and replicated by Jerry Pelham, a native of Graceville, Florida. Lady Di's, a floral gallery, which opened in June 1997, is situated in the east half of the edifice today.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 87, p. 15)
Philip J. Wieder and Choyce Wieder resided on Ward Avenue. She expired on August 5, 1952. He lived a full life passing on August 16, 1985. Both were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery on Old Fort Bayou.(The Gulf Coast Times, August 7, 1952, p. 8)
Mary Wieder (1890-1986) was born August 21, 1890, at Ocean Springs. She married Henry B. Hovelmeier (1888-1954). He was born in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, the son of Joseph Hovelmeier and Louise Shrettcocke. His siblings were: Mrs. Andrew Thompson; Annie Hovelmeier (1887-1971); Katherine Hovelmeier (1893-1975); and Gus Hovelmeier (1896-1982).(The Daily Herald, March 22, 1954, p. 13 and SSDI)
Mary and Henry B. Hovelmeier were the parents of: Dorothy Hovelmeier (1918-2003) who married George V. Borries (1917-1974); Frances Hovelmeier (1923-1992) who married Arthur W. Carman (1923-1990), a native of St. Maries, Idaho and the son of Frances Carman and Pearls I. Ells; and Mary Alice Hovelmeier who married Ralph D. Owen.
Henry B. Hovelmeier was a career US Navy serviceman. He enlisted in 1909 and was a veteran of WWI and WWII retiring as a Chief Petty Officer. In February 1926, Hovelmeier was recalled to active duty after sixteen years of service. He reported to Hampton Roads for training before his duty assignment at New Orleans. Mr. Hovelmeier settled at Ocean Springs in 1917. He was a member of the VFW, American Legion, and worshiped at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church. Henry B. Hovelmeier expired on March 21, 1954. Mary Wieder Hovelmeier lived until July 23, 1986. She and Mr. Hovelmeier rest for eternity in the Evergreen Cemetery on Old Fort Bayou.(The Jackson County Times, February 27, 1926, p. 3 and The Daily Herald, March 22, 1954, p. 13 and The Sun Herald, July 25, 1986, p. A-2)
This particular series “German families of Ocean Springs” commenced in March 2003. Thank you for your patience, if the subject didn’t interest you. Hopefully, some benefited from my research. To close, I sincerely thank the many descendants of the aforementioned families who contributed their time and information in educating me about their forbearers.
I am including a chronological index of the German families in this article, which follows: Arndt-March 27, 2003; Bechtel-April 10, 2003; Behrens-May 1, 2003; Bellman-May 8, 2003; Beuhler-June 12, 2003; Boes-June 19, 2003; Buttner-June 19, 2003; Domning-July 3, 2003; Eglin-August 28, 2003; Endt-September 25, 2003; Engbarth-October 9, 2003; Forkert-October 30, 2003; Geiger-November 6, 2003; Goos-November 6, 2003; Gottsche-November 6, 2003; Granitz-November 27, 2003; Hellmers-November 27, 2003; Hoffman-December 4, 2003; Hovelmeir-December 18, 2003; Illing-December 18, 2003; Joachim-January 1, 2004; Kuppersmith-January 29, 2004; Letzler-January 29, 2004; Lorenzen-January 29, 2004; Mohler-February 5, 2004; Pabst-March 11, 2004; Pfefferle-March 18, 2004; Rehage-March 18, 2004; Riehm-April 1, 2004; Rupp-April 1, 2004; Scharenberg-April 8, 2004; Scharr-April 15, 2004; Schluter-April 29, 2004; Schmidt-April 29, 2004; Shrieber-May 13, 2004; Sidenstricker- May 27, 2004; von Rosambeau-June 3, 2004; Weyerstall-July 8, 2004; Wieder-July 15, 2004.
Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 4773, “American Telephone & Telegraph v. Frank Wieder”,December 1926.
Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 11569, “Georgia Nell Wieder v. Philip W. Wieder”, November 1951.
Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 11866, “Georgia Nell Wieder v. Philip W. Wieder”, September 1952.
Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 12480, “Philip W. Wieder v. Georgia Nell Wieder”, March 1954.
Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 12511, “Last Will of H.B. Hovelmeier”-December 1954.
Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 56132-“Estate of Joseph Charles Wieder”-(see JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 964, p. 54)
The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Local and Personal”, June 23, 1899.
The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, December 14, 1921.
The Daily Herald, “Ocean Springs”, May 23, 1922.
The Daily Herald, “Madalene W. Carver”, March 12, 1931, p. 2.
The Daily Herald, “Adolph Wieder Dies”, September 4, 1931.
The Daily Herald, “Hovelmeier Death”, March 22, 1954.
The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Mathilda Wieder”, April 6, 1964.
The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Lelia Wieder”, December 26, 1970.
The Daily Herald, “George V. Borries”, December 19?, 1974.
The Gulf Coast Times, “Mrs. Wieder Dies Early Tuesday At Local Home”, August 7, 1952.
The Jackson County Times, "Local News Interest", January 24, 1920.
The Jackson County Times, “Stopped Runaway Horse”, March 13, 1920.
The Jackson County Times, “Death of Mrs. G. Wieder”, February 2, 1924.
The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, February 27, 1926.
The Jackson County Times, “Pan-Am Service Station Sold By Phil Wieder”, February 4, 1949.
The Ocean Springs Record, "Former Essex Agency Falls To Progress", January 7, 1971.
The Ocean Springs Record, “Joseph Charles Wieder”, June 28, 1990.
The Ocean Springs Record, “Philip J. Wieder Jr.”, July 29, 1993.
The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, January 21, 1898.
The Sun Herald, “Mrs. Mary Hovelmeier”, July 25, 1986.
The Sun Herald, “Mrs. Dorothy Hovelmier Borries”, June 12, 2003.