Frederick Jacob Weckesser

Jefferson County, New York

Frederick Jacob Weckesser was born in Clayton, New York 14th November 1867, and was one of Jefferson County's energetic and successful sons.

Frederick Jacob WeckesserHis parents where born near Heidelberg Germany, and Frank Joseph Weckesser and Susan Grimm where married in this country. Frank Weckesser was apprenticed to the trade of butcher and followed it all through life. He served as a German soldier during the Revolution of 1848. When after twenty-five years of age, he came to America and located at once in the Town of Clayton. Soon after, he moved to LaFargeville New York, where he engaged in business for himself as a butcher and meat dealer. This occupied his attention until his death on 5th October 1887, aged 61 years. His wife Susan died 10th May 1886, aged 51 years. They were members of the German Evangelical Church and Mr. Weckesser supported the Republican Party in political affairs. They were the parents of three sons, Frederick J., John A. and Joseph Weckesser , the elder of who was his father's successor in business at LaFargeville.

Frederick Jacob Weckesser grew up in LaFargeville attending the public school of that Village until seventeen years of age. In the meantime, he had spent some time during vacations in the store of George Lingenfelter and passed five years altogether in that establishment. He gained knowledge of general stocks and valuable experience. For three years he worked at Bush, Bull and Roth who were large merchants in Watertown, New York.

On land originally donated by John LaFarge, Fredrick Weckesser and Jerome Snell help to finance the beautification, on Grove Cemetery in LaFargeville, New York, were Fredericks' parents Frank Weckesser and Susan Grimm, and his brother John A. Weckesser, sister in law Carrie Workman, are buried.

Frederick Jacob Weckesser was married 15th June 1892 to Anna Elizabeth Hammond who was born 3rd September 1870 in Rutland, New York. She was a daughter of George Hammond and Fanny Sawyer, the latter a daughter of Joseph W. Sawyer. George Hammond was the son of William Hammond and Elizabeth Jones of Dry Hill in Watertown New York. Frederick and Anna Weckesser were parents of two daughter, Esther Fanny, and Marion.

In April of 1894, he entered the employ of Mr. Fred M. Kirby, a former Watertown New York man, of Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania whose early experience was much like his own. The first work with Mr. Kirby was the opening of the 5 & 10-cent store in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, of which he had charge for one year. Another similar store was opened in Baltimore, Maryland where he took charge there for a year. His energy and efficiency made him a valuable man to his employer, and he was called to Wilkes Barre and made buyer and confidential man at the central office, which was now controlling thirty-two stores. This arrangement continued for eleven years with mutual satisfaction to all parties concerned.

Fredrick J. Weckesser was counted among the valued citizens of Wilkes Barre. He was interested in some of the lending financial institutions, was a director of the Luzune County Trust Company, a member of the Westmoreland and Wyoming Valley Country Clubs, and president of the Franklin Club which was a leading social organization in Wilkes Barre. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of that city and was an enthusiastic Republican though not a practical politician.

Wilkes-Barre's unusual Gothic Revival Public Library at 71 South Franklin Street is a early example of adaptive reuse, originally built in 1848 as the First Presbyterian Church of Wilkes-Barre, and used as a meeting house and gathering center, it became the Osterhout Free Library in 1889 when Isaac S. Osterhout, a local merchant, left his estate "to establish and maintain in the city of Wilkes-Barre a free library." In 1981 the Library added a children's' wing, designed by Eyerman Csala Hapeman.

Frederick Jacob Weckesser and his wife Anna Elizabeth are found in the Pennsylvania 1910 census in the county of Luzerne, Town of Wilkes Barre, with two daughters Esther age 6 years and Anna age 4 years.

In 1916 Frederick J. Weckesser, an executive of the F. W. Woolworth Company, had massive mansion designed in the French Chateauesque style by New York society architect Charles H. P. Gilbert. This grand house (Weckesser Hall) located at 170 South Franklin Street is now a part of the Wilkes University campus, and serves as meeting rooms and offices for the President and other University administrators.

Mr. F. J. Weckesser, of Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania was listed as a patron in the The Mallinckrodt, 1935 yearbook for St. Ann's Academy. The St. Ann's Academy, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania was founded in 1885, conducted by the Sisters of Christian Charity, is a flourishing and rapidly growing boarding-schools for girls, part of the Diocese of Scranton.

In the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Volume 125 page 22, you will find Anna Elizabeth Hammond Weckesser wife of Frederick Jacob Weckesser, and daughter of George William Hammond and Fanny L. Sawyer listed under DAR ID # 124071. Anna's application runs through her ancestor Thomas Sawyer of Sterling Massachusetts.

George William Hammond 1833 - 1899, married Fanny L Sawyer 1832 - 1883.
Joseph Wheeler Sawyer 1794 -1874, married Mary Pepper 1797 - 1873.
Thomas Sawyer 1757 - 1825, married Susannah Wilder 1756 - 1825.

Thomas Sawyer appears with the rank of Private in Captain Solomon Stuart's Company, part of Colonel Josiah Whitney's regiment 1777, he marched on the Bennington Alarm. Thomas Sawyer also served during the War of 1812. George and Fanny Hammond, Joseph and Mary Sawyer, and Thomas and Susannah Sawyer are all buried within the Old Grounds of Brookside Cemetery, Watertown, New York.

"I remember my dad, Everett Barrett, recalling an unexpected visit of the Weckesser family. " His mother and grandmother Rexford were in the midst of doing laundry, and they were rather embarrassed to have relatives of their social status call when things were in such disarray!" Ann Keefer.

In 1912, the late Fred M. Kirby who merged his interest in a chain of variety stores with Franklin Winfield Woolworth Company, established The Kirby Foundation.

Baltimore Maryland Newspaper Article - 21st January 1997 
F. M. Kirby Foundation Grants $2 Million To Kennedy Krieger For Research.

The prestigious F. M. Kirby Foundation has awarded a $2 million grant to the Kennedy Krieger Institute to support research on the brain. The grant to Kennedy Krieger will be used for ongoing research on the mechanisms of brain development, injury and repair.

"Kennedy Krieger has established itself as an international leader in the care and treatment of children with disabilities, as well as pioneers in research that is shaping treatments for children with disabilities around the world," said Fred M. Kirby, II, president of the F. M. Kirby Foundation, based in Morristown, N.J. "The Foundation was created precisely to offer a helping hand to worthwhile and important endeavors like Kennedy Krieger's research."