JOSEF LOUIS WALLNER
44.. Josef Louis5 Wallner (Josef4, Andreas3, Andreas2, Andreas1) was born 23 October 1873 in Pastetten Bavaria24, and died 08 February 1953 in New Hyde Park, North Hempstead, Nassau Co., New York25. He married (1) Elfrieda Huch 17 April 1898 in St. Joseph's RC Church of Yorkville, 404 E. 87th St, New York, NY 1002826. She was born 19 February 1878 in City of Hannover, Hannover, Prussia27, and died 16 May 1907 in Ridgewood, Queens Co., New York28. He married (2) Wilhelmina Augusta Kraft 02 September 1911 in Our Lady of Lourdes RC Church Rectory, 11 DeSales Place, Brooklyn, NY 1120729. She was born 08 September 1879 in Albany, NY30, and died 21 August 1954 in Nassau Hospital, No. Hempstead, Mineola, Nassau Co., NY30.
Children of Josef Wallner and Elfrieda Huch are:
Child of Josef Wallner and Wilhelmina Kraft is:
Josef Louis Wallner was born 23 October 1873 in the village of Pastetten in Bavaria. He was the oldest son of Josef Wallner (son of Andreas Wallner and Elisabeth Bauer) and Elisabeth Brunner (daughter of Lorenz Brunner and Magdalena Spanner). His birth appears in the records of the Kath. St. Martin Catholic Church in Pastetten. His middle name does not appear on these church records, but it is recorded by his son, Albert Joseph, on Albert's Adj. Bureau of Navigation form.
Like so many generations of Wallners before him, Josef was trained in the blacksmith's craft. He would have begun his apprenticeship when he was between the ages of 12 and 15, and was probably taught his trade by his father. An apprentice would typically arrive at the blacksmith shop early, make the fire, and keep himself busy making nails until the blacksmith arrived. In Josef's case, his father's smithy was next to their home. As he would have been attending school, it is likely he apprenticed with his father before and after he attended classes. In the next stage of the blacksmith craft, Josef would have then become a journeyman or "Wandergeselle" for 5 to 7 years. It is unknown what stage of the craft Josef achieved before leaving Pastetten for America at age 17.
Josef Wallner and his sister Johanna Wallner immigrated to the US aboard the ship S.S. Friesland from Antwerp Belgium, arriving in New York City NY on 7 October 1891. Josef is listed as age 18, citizen of German, arriving for a "protracted stay". Johanna's age was 19. On the same ship was J. Dollack, whose identity and relationship, if any, to Henry Dollack, Johannas future husband, is unknown. The ship's record also indicates that aboard the S. S. Friesland were Fanny Zoeller, age 32, servant, destination NY, with 1 piece of luggage; Jeanette Zoeller, age 31; and Joseph Zoeller, age 4. (According to the birth records of the Kath. St. Martin, Francesca would have been 34 at the time, not 32.) The ship's record indicates the Zoellers were all to be permanent settlers, and that their native country was "NY". Francesca (Fanny) and Jeannette were Josef and Johanna's Aunts, the sisters of their mother, Elisabeth Brunner. According to the oral tradition of the family, Francesca and Jeannette had immigrated to America at an earlier date. The "native country" entry of NY on the ship's record may be an error, or it may confirm that they had arrived in America at an earlier date and had become citizens when their husbands were naturalized. It is very possible that Francesca and Jeanette returned to Pastetten so that they could escort Josef and Johanna to their new country.
The S.S. Friesland was a 7116 gross ton vessel built by J & G Thomson, Glasgow in 1889 for the Red Star Line. Her details were: Length 437 feet x beam 51.2 ft, clipper stem, one funnel, four masts, steel construction, single screw and a speed of 15 knots. There was accommodations for 226 first class, 102 second class, and 600 third class passengers. The S.S. Friesland sailed under the Belgian flag. (Click here for on-site additional information and photo of the S.S. Friesland)
From 1 August 1855 through 18 April 1890, immigrants came through Castle Garden, also known as Castle Clinton. The State of NY opened the first examining and processing center for immigrants, Castle Garden, on an island off the southwest tip of Manhattan. Immigration remained purely an affair of State, not Federal, government until 1882. The court decision affirming Congressional supremacy over immigration (under the commerce clause) came down in 1875. But Congress did not act until passing the Immigration Act of 1882, which authorized the Treasury secretary to contract with the states for enforcement of that law. From 1882 the reception of immigrants was handled as a joint State/Federal system. The Secretary of the Treasury signed a contract with the NY State Commissioners of Emigration to continue its services at Castle Garden.
On 1 April 1890, the Secretary terminated the contract and on 18 April 1890, the Treasury Dept. assumed total control of immigration at the Port of NY. The NY State authorities refused to allow the federal government to use the Castle Garden facilities. So on 19 April, 1890 the US set up a temporary center in the old Barge Office near the Customhouse on the southeast foot of Manhattan. It was in the Barge Office that Josef Wallner and his sister, Johanna Wallner, were processed when they arrived in New York on 7 October 1891 from Antwerp Belgium.
Ellis Island officially opened on 1 January 1892. On 13 June 1897 the original wooden structure burned to the ground. All the administrative records for Castle Garden for the period 1855-1890 and most of the records for the Barge Office and Ellis facilities were lost. From 14 June 1897 through 16 December 1900 the Barge Office was reactivated and used until the new Ellis Island facility opened. The Ellis Island Immigration Station was reopened on 17 December 1900 and immigrants came through Ellis Island until 1924. After July 1924, only those immigrants held for hearings physically "went" through Ellis Island. The vast majority were processed on board and did not set foot on the island.
The Wallner's immigration experience at the Barge Office in the Fall of 1891 was probably less pleasant than the Koehler's might have been at Castle Garden twenty years earlier. The manner in which the immigrants were "handled" usually was dictated by the passenger class, first and second class immigrants were treated better, and many times their inspections were courteously conducted while still on board the ship, while third class, or steerage passengers, experienced far worse, both on the voyage and in the immigration process. It is unknown in which class Joseph and Johanna Wallner traveled but it is known that their brother Ludwig who arrived the next year was in the steerage class. As immigration increased, the temporary Barge Office facility became greatly overcrowded and by 1900 the crowded conditions at the Barge Office and the treatment of the immigrants had authorities promising that the "completion of the new buildings at Ellis Island will mark an end to the misfortunes that newly arrived immigrants are overwhelmed with, and that after the new quarters are opened there will be no necessity for herding together the newcomers like sheep". (" Immigrant's First Experience in Land of the Free Not Happy", The New York Times, 3 June 1900.)
"The immigrants are transferred from their vessel to the lower end of Manhattan Island in river boats kept by the Bureau of Immigration for that purpose, and as the boats are towed along the river, the chatter of many strange tongues and the melancholy wails of babies are borne to the ear.
Upon reaching the pier that forms a rear porch to the Barge Office, the boats are unloaded. The process, however, is often a slow one, and there may be such a crowd inside as to make it necessary to detain the new ones until room can be made by the discharge of those who arrived first. Sooner or later, however, the occupants of the boats are hustled out and into the back door of the building. All the while the air echoes with the shouts of "Move on, move on", and gradually the confused group of temporary prisoners is pushed and shoved up stairs to the "pens". ("Immigrants First Experience in Land of the Free Not Happy" , The New York Times, 3 June 1900)
"So, landed from the boat that has taken them off their ship, divided into groups that will, individual by individual, be passed through America's great immigration mill, the newcomers stand or crouch patiently, hundreds at a time. The discomforts of the voyage, too, are forgotten. Are they not on the threshold of their hopes, and have they not already caught one sight of the land of gold, America - they heard discussed so eagerly over their country side, in their village lanes, or their cities alleyways?" ("The Barge Office - 1898. The Arrival of the Immigrant" by Cromwell Childe. New York Times Magazine, 14 August 1898.)
Josef Wallner's name is inscribed on the American Immigrant Wall of Honor at Ellis Island on Panel 647. Additional biographical information on his place of origin (Pastetten, Bavaria, Germany), Year of Entry (7 October 1891), Port of Entry (New York), and Name of Ship (S.S.Friesland) has been added to the database at Ellis Island which will be kept forever as a permanent part of Josef Wallner's record and as a time capsule for his descendants.
Sixteen days after Josef Wallner arrived in the United States, he celebrated his 18th birthday. Although the ship's record lists his age as 18, the Pastetten Kath. St. Martin's record of his birth confirms that he was actually only 17 at the time of his arrival. There has been speculation that the timing of both Josef's and his brother Ludwig's arrival in the US shortly before they reached the age of 18 was more than a coincidence. At the age of 18 they would have been eligible for the German military. An oral tradition of the family is that they crossed the Alps to escape the Kaiser. (See Josef Wallner, his father.)
Johanna, Josef and Ludwig Wallner arrived in New York City, and each settled in various German communities of New York City, and the Brooklyn/Ridgewood area of Queens, New York vicinity.
There are no known photographs of Josef as a child or young adult. The photograph of the young man in the "Strangers In The Box" could very well be Josef around the time of his marriage to Elfrieda Huch, but positive identification has not been made.
Beginning with the mass immigration of the 1830's, German communities, or "Little Germanys" had sprung up. In the 20th century there were certain regions where Germans preferred to live. From New York through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, the so-called German Belt existed, with extensions into Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas. The scenery and the climate of the German Belt corresponded more closely to Germany there than anywhere else in the United States.
In New York, Germans preferred to live on the lower East Side for many decades until they moved north and founded a new quarter in Yorkville. (Josef Wallner was married to Elfrieda Huch at St. Joseph's Church of Yorkville, and their first child, Hildegard's, baptism is also record at this church.) The Bowery was once the center of German life and there was also the Bohne-Viertel in Brooklyn.
These German communities were more than theaters and beer gardens. There were German shops in which German food and other German goods were sold. The German language could be heard everywhere. German churches and schools existed there, as well as German libraries, organizations, and clubs of all kinds. Mutual aid societies, voluntary fire and police organizations, and German institutions for various other purposes were also typical of these communities. These German enclaves in American cities helped preserve the German heritage.
But the role of these communities was not limited to the conservation of traditions, they also provided protection and support for members during the time of their adjustment. They learned how to cope with a strange environment, learned the English language, and prepared the immigrants for the future. Josef, Johanna, and Ludwig had not only family members in America, but the benefit of these German communities, to help ease their transition into their new country.
On 17 April 1898 Josef Wallner was married to Elfrieda Huch, the daughter of Agnes Deidrich and Johann Christof Huch, in St. Joseph's Church of Yorkville, 404 E. 87th Street in New York City by A. Lammel, a Catholic priest. Their marriage certificate #6172 indicates that Josef's brother Ludwig (Louis) and Erna Schlanberger were witnesses to their marriage. At the time of their marriage, Josef's residence was 294 E. 52nd street. His age was 24, and his birthplace was listed as Germany. Elfrieda Huch's residence was 299 E. 88th Street in New York City, her age is recorded as 20.
Josef and Elfrieda's first child was born on 9 October 1898. Their daughter Hildegard Elizabeth was baptized at St. Joseph's Church of Yorkville by Rev. J.B. Weber, the same church were they were married. Hilda's sponsor was her grandmother, Agnes Huch. The church does not have any other records of the Wallner or Huch families. The oral tradition of the family is that Elfrieda's daughter Hildegard (Hilda) was delivered by her mother, Agnes (Deidrich) Huch, who was a midwife.
Click here to see Elfrieda Huch's family information and photographs in the Descendants of Joannes Huch.
A few months later, on 30 December 1898, Josef Wallner became a naturalized citizen. The record in the US District Court of New York, #51D, lists his occupation as blacksmith, his date of birth as 23 October 1873, his former nationality as German, his date of arrival as 7 October 1891, and his address as 229 E. 88th Street in New York. His wife Elfrieda's address at the time of their marriage is recorded as 299 E. 88th Street. Either they were living in the same area as Elfrieda's parents, or one of the addresses is an error, and they were living with Elfrieda's parents. Joseph Zoeller, 243 South First Street, Brooklyn, NY, occupation Expressman, was the witness recorded.
In the 2 June 1900 census for Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, Josef, his wife Elfrieda, and daughter Hildegard, are enumerated in the 28th Ward living at 347 Grove Street. The residence is recorded as rented. Josef's occupation is listed as Blacksmith.
At the time of Josef and Elfrieda's second child's birth they were living at 345 South First Street in Brooklyn, the same street where Josef Zoeller was living when he witnessed Josef Wallner's naturalization in 1898. Albert Joseph Christopher Louis Wallner was born on 16 February 1901 at the South First Street address, and baptized on 10 March 1901 in the Church of the Annunciation of the B.V.M., 259 North Fifth Street, Brooklyn, NY by the Rev. Peter Hahn.
On 23 November 1903, Josef and Elfrieda's second son Josef was born. He died at 2 days old, on 25 November 1903 and was interred at Most Holy Trinity Cemetery, 675 Central Avenue, Brooklyn NY, Block 35, Row 8, Grave 26.
Josef Wallner witnessed his brother Ludwig's (Louis) naturalization on 6 January 1905. At that time, Josef and his family were living at 209 Onderdonk Avenue in Ridgewood, Queens Co., NY.
Josef was employed as an ironworker with Thomas W. Kiley & Co. Inc., 57 Grand Street in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, a hardware wholesale and jobber that made iron tools. When his brother Ludwig came to America, Josef found him employment with the same company. Many years later, on Josef's Social Security Application dated 30 November 1936, it indicates Josef was still employed by Thomas W. Kiley & Co.
Josef and Elfrieda's fourth child, Elsa, was stillborn on 7 May 1907 and was interred 10 May 1907 at Most Holy Trinity Cemetery, 675 Central Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, Block 35, Row 8, Grave 26. The records of the cemetery are listed under Joseph Wallner, her father's name. The name Elsa does not appear in the cemetery records, or on the gravestone. The only record that can be located naming this child as Elsa is in the Stammbuch das Johann Christof Huch, in which Elsa's maternal grandmother, Agnes (Diedrich) Huch recorded Elsa's birth and death in this family record book. The dates in the Stammbuch record correspond to Catholic Cemeteries' record for Holy Trinity Cemetery.
Six days after her daughter Elsa's burial, Elfrieda died. Her mother, Agnes (Diedrich) Huch, recorded her daughter's death in german in the Huch family Stammbuch: "Gestorben am 16 Mai 1907 Mittags 11:30 Begrabnis au 18 Mai Begraben bei ihr Vater Christof Huch in H. Dreieinigkeit H. Trinite Kirchoff." (Died on 16 May 1907 Midday 11:30 Burial on 18 May near her father Christof Huch in Holy Cemetery Holy Trinity Church.) Another entry also appears later on in the book, written in English, so perhaps the entry was made by Elfrieda's daughter Hildegard years later after her grandmother died: "Elfrieda Huch Wallner Born Feb 19, 1878 Died May 16 1907 Wed. 12:30 pm 7 days after stillborn birth. Blood poisoning/circulation."
Elfrieda (Huch) Wallner was 29 years old at the time of her death, dying 9 days after her daughter Elsa. She was interred on 18 May 1907 in the Most Holy Trinity Cemetery, 675 Central Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. (The cemetery and their records are now under the care of Catholic Cemeteries located in Middle Village NY.) John J. Gallagher handled the arrangements, and his funeral home is no longer in existance. Her grave is located in Block 35, Row 8, graves 26 & 27, where she was buried with her father, Johann Christof Huch, son Joseph, and daughter Elsa.
Josef Wallner married his second wife three years later. At the time of their marriage, Josef Wallner was a widower, with two children, Hildegard Elizabeth and Albert Joseph. Wilhelmina Augusta Kraft was born 8 September 1879 in Albany, Albany Co., New York, and was known as "Mina" or "Minnie". She was the daughter of William Kraft and Caroline Preuss. Her first marriage was to William John Brandenstein on 27 November 1901 in St Johannes Ev. Lutheran Church, Brooklyn, Kings Co., NY. He died sometime before 1911.
Click here to see Wilhelmina Augusta Kraft family information and photographs in the Descendants of William Kraft.
Joseph Louis Wallner and Wilhelmina Augusta (Kraft) Brandenstein were married on 2 September 1911, in the Borough of Brooklyn, City of New York, New York, Certificate #8662. Wilhelmina's residence at that time was listed as 244 Kingsland Avenue in Brooklyn. She is listed as 31 years old, and a widow on this marriage certificate. The marriage was performed by Rev. M.H. Malloy in the church rectory of Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church, 11 DeSales Place, Brooklyn, New York. Witnesses to their marriage were Walter E. Fentzke (husband of Elizabeth Dollack) and Caroline Kinzinger, Wilhelmina's half sister. On the marriage certificate Josef's address is listed as 225 Hull Street in Brooklyn.
Josef's daughter Hilda by Elfieda Huch married John Sylvester Hewitt on 6 October 1919, according to Marriages Reported in 1919, Borough of Manhattan, Certificate #26559. They were married in St. Pancras RC Church, 72-22 68th Street in Glendale, Queens Co., NY.
In 1919 Josef and his family were living at 119 Schley Street (65 Place) in Glendale, Queens County, NY. Information from the Greater Ridgewood Historical Society states that "our records only show "Wallner" at 119 Schley St. during 1919-20. The houses on this block are 6-family brick tenements of an attractive design. The houses on the east side of the street (the odd house numbers) were built by the Ivanhoe Company starting in February 1917, with the first house sold August 14, 1917. The family therefore could not have lived here prior to that date. Old No. 119 would be between 70th Avenue and Central Ave., not quite at mid-block, but closer to 70th Ave."
The 14 January 1920 census for the 6th Ward in Ridgewood, Queens Co., NY at 2333 Catalpa Avenue, shows Josef at age 46, his wife Wilhelmina, age 40, son Albert age 19, and daughter Irma age 7, living in this rented residence. His occupation is blacksmith.
Wilhelmina and Josef's daughter Irma Elizabeth Wallner was born 6 January 1913 and was baptized in St Aloysius Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn New York. Josef was Catholic, and Wilhelmina was Lutheran. The oral tradition of the family is that Josef's brother Ludwig (Louis) was "holier than the Pope" and became very upset when Josef married out of the faith. When Irma Elizabeth was born, she was baptized in a Roman Catholic Church, but she was confirmed later in a Lutheran Church.
By 1925 Josef had moved once again, and was residing at 659 Sandol Street in Brooklyn. In 1936, on his Social Security Application, his address is 78-09 62nd Street, Glendale, Queens Co., NY. Evidently the brothers made up their differences. In the period 1930 to 1960 Louis was living at old 2230 Hughes Street in Ridgewood, Queens Co., NY (the new address was changed to 59-20 68th Street), which it is believed he purchased from his brother Josef Wallner. This can not be verified, out of all the addresses found for Josef Wallner, no information includes a record for Hughes (68th Street), although it is possible Josef owned the home sometime between 1925 and 1930.
In 1930 Josef's daughter Hilda and John S. Hewitt were divorced. Hilda met her second husband, Barney Joseph, while she was nursing his wife Ann (Neuweiler), who died of cancer. She and Barney Joseph married on 30 December 1930, per Marriages Reported in 1930/31, Borough of Brooklyn, NY Certificate #485. Hilda and John S. Hewitt had a daughter (information is private) and there were no children of this marriage to Barney Joseph.
On 21 January 1931 Josef's son Albert Joseph Christopher Wallner married Helen Barbara Catherine Schaefer in St. Matthias RC Church, 58-15 Catalpa Avenue, Ridgewood NY. Helen was the daughter of George Albert Schaefer and Katherine (Kati) C. Koehler and was born 11 November 1903 at Wyckoff Avenue and Summerfield Street in the Evergreen Borough of Queens, City of New York NY. Information on Albert and Helen's children is private.
On 23 November 1935, Josef and Wilhelmina's daughter, Irma Elizabeth, married Clifton C. Dauphin at Covenant Lutheran Church, Ridgewood, NY. Clifton Charles Dauphin was the son of Charles L. Dauphin and Mary H. Young (Jung), born 28 December 1906 in Brooklyn, Kings Co., NY. Information on the child of Clifton and Irma is private.
Josef Louis Wallner died on 8 February 1953 at the age of 79 years, at 12:30 pm at his residence at 87 Aberdeen Road, New Hyde Park, North Hempstead, Nassau Co., NY. On his death certificate, the cause of death is listed as Coronary Thrombosis due to Arteriosclerotic heart disease with hypertension and cardiac decompensation. Thomas F. Dalton, 29 Atlantic Avenue, Floral Park NY handled the funeral arrangements. His funeral service was held at the Church of Notre Dame in New Hyde Park, and he was interred in the family plot purchased by Henry Dollack at St Johns Cemetery in Middle Village NY, Section 24, Range Q, Plot 24 Nos 1-3, No. 1. Wilhelmina Augusta (Kraft) Wallner died the following year on 21 August 1954.
Obituary of Joseph Wallner
WALLNER - Joseph, formerly of Glendale, L.I. on February 8, beloved husband of Wilhelmina T., dear father of Irma E. Dauphin, Hildegard E. Joseph and Albert J. Wallner. Brother of Louis Wallner. Survived by 7 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. Reposing at the Thomas F. Dalton Chapel, Atlantic Avenue, Floral Park, L. I. Solemn mass of requiem Wednesday 9:45 am at the Church of Notre Dame. Interment St. Johns Cemetery.
According to information from the Nassau County Surrogate's Court in Mineola NY, there are no wills or probate records for Josef Wallner or Wilhelmina (Kraft) Wallner.
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