Charles August Wey

Charles August Wey, who was engaged in the butchering business in Peru for twenty years and is now retired, is an old settler of this town, where he first took up his residence on July 17, 1869. He is now in prosperous circumstances and happy and contented with what he has gained in the world, but about thirty-six years ago, when he came up the Missouri river from St. Joseph, he had only five cents with which to pay in part his passage across the river by ferry boat. Such contrasts in material circumstances are not the result of good fortune or chance, and in this particular instance unflagging industry and a pertinacious grip on the business in hand have steadily wrought increasing success for Mr. Wey. He is a man of true worth and integrity and relia- bility, and deserves and retains the esteem of all his friends and associates.

Mr. Wey was born in Saxony. Germany, in 1837. His father, Frederick Martin Wey, was born in Saxony, March 9, 1804, and died in Germany in i860, leaving his second wife and seven children, five by his first wife and two by the second. His first wife was Kathrina Doll, who died at the age of thirty-six, leaving five of her nine children, namely: Elias Wey, is a farmer in Germany, aged seventy-six years; Mary Elizabeth came to America in 1847, heing six months on the passage, and died soon afterward in Huntington, Indiana, at the age of eighteen years; Frederick came at the same time with his sister; Andrew, who came to America in the early fifties, is now the owner of a confectionery store in Peru, Indiana, of which town he was trustee for twenty-five years, and he has five children.

Charles August Wey. who was the youngest of the children left by his mother, enjoyed a fine schooling in Germany, and was reared to his father's business of butchering and beer brewing. He served a year and a half in the German army. He came to America in 1867 and landed at New York May 20th, having six hundred dollars in gold at the time of his arrival. He came to Peru, Indiana, and butchered there for two months, and then went to St. Louis, Missouri, where his half-brother George, who had graduated from a German school, was engaged in teaching the German language in one of the schools, and he is still living in St. Louis, being a bookkeeper, and has a family. Mr. Wey remained with his half-brother two days, and then embarked on a boat for St. Joseph, Missouri, where his brother Fred was in business. He ramained there from June, 1867, to March 9, 1868, and then came to Brownville, Nebraska. He had lost his six hundred dollars, and had just five cents to pay the ferryman at Brownville. He remained in the latter place about three weeks, being unsuccessful in his efforts to gain steady employment, and from there went to Nebraska City, where he found employment at his trade at a salary of thirty-five dollars a month and board. After leaving there he came to Peru and opened the first meat market in this town. He was in trade for twenty years, during which time several competitors started rival establishments but all failed. Mr. Wey now owns his nice home and two and a half town lots, besides a forty-acre timber and fruit farm in the precinct. He still does some butchering for the old settlers and their children. He has made all that he has by his unaided efforts, and well deserves his prosperity and easy retirement from the hard labor that characterized his early life.

August 15, 1884, Mr. Wey was married to Miss Mary Margaret Wissig, who was born in Germany, March 16, 1862. She came to America in 1880, with a sister, locating in Ottawa, Illinois, where she worked as servant for wages of a dollar and a half to two dollars a week for three years. In November, 1883, she and her sister came to Peru, and here she and Mr. Wey met and were married. She has been a most excellent wife and mother, and is an estimable woman in every sphere of her influence.Mr. and Mrs. Wey the parents of nine children, but lost three in infancy, the others being as follows: Anna Catherine is a young lady of eighteen years, at home and through school; Julius Andrew works on his father's farm; Charles August is also employed; Mary Eliza and Frieda Louise, aged respectively thirteen and twelve, are bright young girls in school; and Frederick, a boy of ten, completes the family. Mr. and Mrs. Wey are Lutherans, and he has always voted the Republican ticket.
A Biographical and Genealogical History of Southeastern Nebraska, Volume 1
Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1904