Adolph Dietrich Wessels

Adolph Dietrich Wessels

Varel, Landkreis Friesland, Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), Germany
Death 18 Jul 1964 (aged 81)
Prairie Valley, Fayette County, Texas, USA
Burial West Point, Fayette County, Texas, USA
Plot 84
Memorial ID 75290401 · View Source
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The Adolph Wessels Family
Written by George F. Wessels Sr.

Adolph Wessels arrived in Galveston with his parents Georg and Katherine Wessels, along with his brothers John and Carl, as well as their sister Annie on October 12, 1896 on the vessel Crefeld.

The family settled in the Prairie Valley area. Georg purchased a tract of land and began farming. Adolph, the eldest, married Hilma Ullmann, a neighbor, and Carl married Hilma's sister, Elsie. Both of these couples settled within a very short distance of one another. Carl and Elsie remained on the original site while Georg and Katherine retired to West Point to be near their son John. Descendents of Carl and Elsie, Walter and Phillip Wessels still reside and work on the property today. Their daughter, Annie, married Herman Wessels (no relation) and lived in the Prairie Valley community as well.

Adolph and John were the mechanical ones of the family. John married Mione Frels and settled in West Point where he owned and operated a garage for his entire life time. With the coming of the highway through the area and the increase in automobiles, John also built a "filling station" on the highway near Prairie Valley along with a dance hall which was called Wessels Hall. The "filling station" was operated for several years by a nephew, Johnnie Wessels and later by his son-in-law and daughter, Vastine and Laura Havemann.

Adolph farmed for the most part, however, his love of mechanics found him working in the Luck gin in West Point during ginning season. Cars were coming in rapidly and Adolph delighted in working on them. His greatest mechanical achievement was a tractor that he made from all the parts that he had accumulated around the house. It was quite a comical sight and did not in any way resemble tractors as we know them, but it accomplished any task that he needed done on the farm. It was nicknamed the "Doodle Bug" by all the grandchildren. First one could hear the doodling sound of the motor; next, you could see Adolph's straw hat and a puff of smoke from his pipe, and then you would see his beautiful white Spitz dog, Billy trotting on behind. Life in those days was slow and there was no need to hurry.

Hilma was a very resourceful woman as all pioneer women of that day were called on to be. She canned, gardened, sewed, and crocheted. She was very well known for her beautiful crocheted bedspreads and doilies.

Adolph and Hilma were the first couple to be married in St. Peter Lutheran church on Nov. 3, 1901. They were the parents of six children. Their eldest, George, married and spent most of his life in Houston. The second son, Johnnie, who worked as a mechanic, spent most of his life in Columbus. They had twins, Otto and Erwin (Ervin). Erwin spent most of his life in and around the Houston area. Otto, known to most people as Pat, married Leota Moss of La Grange and spent most of his life in La Grange. He was a serviceman for Adamcik's for many years. Their daughter, Elsie, married Herbert Witt of Rabb's Prairie and lived in Austin. The other daughter, Annie, married Henry Frers and lived in West Point all her life.

Adolph and Hilma were the example of the early immigrants who came to America, raised a family under difficult economic conditions, but they did not let difficult times interfere with their love and devotion for each other and their family. They let their faith be their stronghold.

Note: During WWII, when resources were scarce, farmers across the nation often had to create their own "tractors" from commercially offered kits and/or parts from used cars or trucks. These were commonly known as "doodle bugs".

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  • Created by: William Wessels
  • Added: 21 Aug 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 75290401
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Adolph Dietrich Wessels (3 Nov 1882–18 Jul 1964), Find A Grave Memorial no. 75290401, citing Prairie Valley Cemetery, West Point, Fayette County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by William Wessels (contributor 47588360) .