Henry Weber and his wife Elizabeth Hofferber were born in the Village of Frank west of the Volga River in the district of Saratov, Russia. The history of the German colonies dates back to 1763, during the reign of Catherine the Great. Catherine, a German herself, invited her countrymen to colonize in Russia. In return they were promised free lands, no taxation for 30 years and exemption from military service for themselves and their descendants. The first Weber to answer the call was Johan Heinrich and his wife, Maria Tetsch Weber, from Kurpfalz, Oberklinten (Überlingen, Germany) they arrived in Russia in 1766. They came on the same boat at Johannes Hoffarber, his wife, Anna and their three children, Elizabeth’s ancestors, from Erbach, Samptbach, Germany. A century later our Heinrich Weber was born. By 1874 the last vestiges of the promised privileges to the German colonists had been revoked and many colonists were leaving to find better opportunity abroad.
Henry and Elizabeth were part of the large groups of Germans immigrating to the United States, Canada and South America from the Russian colonies during the 1870’s to 1917. As the situation became increasingly unfriendly toward the German colonists and the military draft was reinstituted many decided enough was enough it was time to find a new homeland, a place where they could make a better life for their families or join family members already living there. According to his naturalization petition, Henry and Elizabeth arrived in the United States in October 1901. The Weber’s settled in Ellinwood, Kansas where Jacob & Anna (Hofferber) Stroh, Elizabeth’s sister and her brother Jacob Hofferber lived. The German settlers chose the plains states: Kansas, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, where they could carry on their agricultural livelihood. Five of Henry and Elizabeth’s children were born in Ellinwood, Kansas, including Gary’s father, Jacob Adolph Weber.
By 1937 Jacob had moved to Worland, Wyoming. He met Violet Packer who was attending high school. We don’t know how they met, but they were married May 16, 1938, Violet graduated a week later on May 24, 1938.
ADELIA VIOLET PACKER
The Packer Family has been part of this country since 1683 when Phillip Packer II immigrated to the colony of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from Oxford, England. The first four years Phillip served as an indentured servant for which he received 50 acres of land. He married Hannah Sessions in September of 1685. The Packers belonged to the Society of Friends or Quakers except for a brief 40-year period from 1760 to 1800. This included the years of the Revolutionary War. Because they were not Quakers at the time Aaron and his son Jesse served in the Colonial Army in the war against England. Had they been Quakers at the time they would have been disowned for this act, as Quakers do not believe in taking up arms.
The Packers remained in Pennsylvania for several generations until Moses Packer moved his family to Perry Township, Ohio 25 miles from Kirtland. It was here in Ohio that Moses Packer’s three youngest sons – Nathan Williams, William Hamilton and Jonathan Taylor joined the newly organized Mormon Church, and moved west with the saints to Utah. Our line goes through William Hamilton while Boyd K. Packer’s line is through Jonathan Taylor.
Oliver Burgess followed his father to Utah. In 1872, he married Josephine Florence Warner. Oliver and Josephine lived in Idaho for a while, next we find them in Vernal, Utah where Frederick Glenn was born in 1885. By 1894 the Packers were residing in Worland, Wyoming. It was here in Worland that Frederick Glenn Packer met Adelia Wostenberg.
Adelia was born in Julesburg, Colorado, the daughter of Henry Wostenberg and Louisa Loudan, immigrants, from Mecklinberg, Germany. Frederick and Adelia married in 1907. They stayed in Worland where they had six children. Their youngest daughter, Violet, was born in 1920. When she was just a year old Violet’s father passed away and shortly after her seventh birthday her mother died too. Violet spent the next eleven years of her life being shuffled from one family member to the next. It was a difficult time for her.