|Birth: ||Oct. 26, 1847, Germany|
|Death: ||Feb. 19, 1933|
1933: The Hartford Times, Vol. XXXIX, Number 27, Front Page: Friday, February 24, 1933
Town Erin Loses Civil War Veteran and His Wife During Past Week.
John Piek, Sr., 80, and Companion of Nearly 60 years, Cross the Great Divide---Numbered Among the Best Known of the Early Day Settler of Southern Part of Erin Township.
United for nearly sixty years of married life to remain undivided in death characterizes the union of Mr. and Mrs. John Piek, Sr., prominent town of Erin residents who passed away within three days of each other at their home near Holy Hill.
Mrs. Piek was the first to go, dying Thursday morning, February 16, 1933, at 11 O'clock. On Sunday morning, February 19th, her partner of over 50 years followed to the realm of the Great Beyond. Due to a general breakdown brought on by his advanced age. Mr. Piek had been in poor health for the past three or four months, so that his end was not unexpected. However, a recent attack of influenza so weakened his wife that after an illness of a little more than a week, she was the first to succumb.
Mr. and Mrs. Piek were the possessors of a broad acquaintanceship in the western portion of this county, which had been their home for nearly 80 years. They were the founders of a large and worthy family, members of which are highly regarded in the localities in which they reside. Valiant pioneers themselves during their lifetime, they had the privilege of watching the development of this section of Wisconsin from a wilderness into a highly prosperous and rich locality.
The Holy Hill region, their home community, changed from a picturesque wild to the annual Mecca of thousands of religious pilgrims and tourists. Mr. and Mrs. Piek not only witnessed these transformations but played a strenuous part in achieving them.
By hard labor, they made their farm productive. By the force of their own ideals of industry and thrift they trained their children to useful lives. By their participation in the affairs of their parish, they were active in the upbuilding of their church.
Of the two, it is hard to tell which had the greater influence in home and community -- the father, who matched his brawn and muscle against the stubborn forces of nature, or the mother, who tended to the needs of the family, and in addition worked beside her husband in field and meadow.
Certainly at the close of their long careers as home-builders and agriculturists and of their married life of nearly sixty years, it is only fair to give all credit to both of these doughty pioneers.
Mrs. John Piek, Sr., nee Anna Scharbach, was born in the town of Germantown, September 18, 1853. Thus at her death she was in her 79th year. She and Mr. Piek were united in marriage at St. Patrick's church, Thompson, Wisconsin, April 18, 1875. They immediately established themselves upon the farm of the groom in the town of Erin, which he had bought the year before, and from which they retired in 1909.
They were the parents of twelve children, six of whom died in early childhood. Those surviving Mr. and Mrs. Piek are: Joseph, on the homestead; John, Engelbert, William, Peter, Catherine (Mrs. Wm. Bluhm) Milwaukee. Also she leaves 39 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; three sisters; Mrs. E. Wolf, Milwaukee; Mrs. Lena Fleischmann, Uniontown, Washington; Mrs. George Zollner, Portland, Oregon; two brothers: Joseph Scharbach, Lewiston, Idaho; Paul Scharbach, Killiam, Alberta, Canada.
Funeral services for Mrs. Piek were held at St. Patrick's church, Thompson, on Monday morning, February 20, with burial following in the adjoining cemetery. The Carmelite Fathers of Holy Hill officiated at the last rites.
John Piek, Sr., was born in Germany, County Cologne, near the Rhine river, October 26, 1847. Thus at his death he was 85 years of age.
When Mr. Piek was 8 years of age, he came to this country, locating in the town of Richfield, Wisconsin. Besides his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren mentioned above, he is survived by one sister, Mrs. Charles Mosher, of Milwaukee; and by one brother, Jacob of Oconto.
When 17 years old, following the example of great numbers of his fellow German-Americans, he espoused the Union cause in the Civil War. John served in the Wisconsin Volunteers: War of the Rebellion.
He enlisted December 30, 1864 as a private in Company K, 14th Wisconsin Veterans, Volunteer Infantry, 16th, Army Corp. and Mustered out at Mobile, Alabama on October 9, 1865.
In late years he paid tribute to the Civil War soldiers by being most active in the Grand Army of the Republic, holding membership in the G.A.R. post, No. 165, Hartford. In the years just preceding his death, he was one of the three surviving members of the organization. His war experiences filled him with an intense patriotism, which he was wont to express in a yearly poem written for the Hartford Memorial Day exercises. At these future observances, the picturesque sturdy figure of Mr. Piek, as he appeared reading his poem, will be missing, since now he has gone to assume his citizenship in a higher realm.
In addition to his patriotic interests, Mr. Piek found leisure from the hard work his farm demanded to serve his community in several ways. He was a member of the board of supervisors of the town of Erin for four years, and its chairman for two years. He served as assessor for nine years; and was on the board of his school district for fifteen years. Also he did duty on the income board for ten years and was treasurer for St. Augustine and Holy Hill parish for eight years.
Mr. Piek's funeral was held on Wednesday morning of this week at 9:45 O'clock at St. Patrick's church, Thompson, with the Carmelite Fathers officiating and with burial made in the parish cemetery. It was fitting that the close of the early career of one who had been so devoted to his country in his life, should be solemnized upon the birthday of George Washington, the leading patriot of his time and the Father of His Country.
Mr. and Mrs. Piek had the privilege of celebrating their golden wedding anniversary on April 18, 1925 with elaborate services and festivities. They had the honor of being the first couple to observe a golden wedding anniversary in the Holy Hill church. An especially noteworthy feature of this celebration was the fact that the groom of half a century carried in his buttonhole the same bouquet that he wore the day of his wedding fifty years before.
Military honors were accorded Mr. Piek at his funeral services on Wednesday morning. Delegations from the John E. Courtney post, from the American Legion Auxiliary, and from the Women's Relief Corps were in attendance. Most touching of all was the presence of John Kauper, his fellow patriot and Civil War soldier, and his comrade in many years activities in the Hartford G.A.R. Six of the Legion men acted as pallbearers; the firing squad was composed of men from this organization; two color guards and two color bearers, also Legion members, served. Taps were sounded by Edwin Tesch the official bugler. These military features to the obsequies, held in honor of one, who during his young manhood, had sacrificed in behalf of his country, added much to the solemnity of the occasion.
THE HARTFORD PRESS, PAGE 3: MAY 24, 1929
AGED WAR VET SENDS POEM
The following poem was offered to our colums by John Piek, Sr., of the town of Erin, one of the few veterans of the Civil War still remaining in this locality. Mr. Piek has made it his purpose each year to see that The Hartford Times and Press has a poem to publish worthy of the spirit of Memorial Day. For this thoughtfulness we thank him.
No drumbeats in the valley,
And no bugles on the hill,
Where the summer breezes daily,
All the battle plain is still.
When the starts come but at even,
Far above the glistening dew,
There's a phantom play in heaven,
There are armies in the blue.
They are marching yet to glory,
Where Potomac's waters shine,
And the old camps tell the story,
Of the heroes of the line.
By the peaceful winding river,
Spectral sentries watch the foe,
And their challenge sounds forever,
On the lands of long ago.
From out the dim dead distance,
Charge the squadrons blue and gray;
There is none to make resistance;
For they vanish like the spray.
Not a cry, no word is spoken
Mong the tall and sober trees,
Shortly banners catch the breeze,
And the silence is not broken.
See! a line of blue is marching,
There is a drum call in the street.
And the heavens over-arching,
Seem the veterans to greet.
But, oh! the graves which no man
Names or knows,
Uncounted graves which never can
Graves of the precious missing,
Where no sound,
Of tender weeping will be heard,
No loving step of kindred--oh, how flows,
And yearns our thought to them,
But nature knows her wilderness,
There are no missing in her numbered ways,
In her glad heart is no forgetfulness;
Each grave she keeps she will adorn;
We cannot lay such wreath as summer lays,
And all her days are Decoration days.
Let them rest;
Here let them rest;
And summer's heat and winter's cold,
Shall glow and freeze above this mold.
A thousand years shall pass away--
A national still shall mourn this clay,
Which now is blest.
by: John Piek Sr.
Anna Scharbach Piek (1853 - 1933)
Peter Paul Piek (1889 - 1988)*
Saint Patrick Catholic Cemetery
Created by: DM Scott
Record added: Jul 11, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 39317870