May 28, 2024

The Weger Painting


For many years, most of the artifacts that were a part of the Delphos Historical Society Museum on the second floor of the Old Commercial Bank Building remained unseen, the only access  to them being from  a Third Street  door.   But all that has changed.  As part of our recent  expansion/renovation, we put a door between that building and ours,  installed a stairway,  and soon will have an elevator for those who cannot manage the stairs.  With the inclusion of the old museum and the newly opened second floor of our building, we have more than doubled our display area.  Judging from all the “oohs” and “aahs” during Canal Days, people like our new look.


One of the artifacts that has been marking time in the old museum is a very large oil painting, and according to Jim Weger, there is a most interesting story associated with it.


A young woman, Elizabeth Dietzel, lived in Baltimore, Maryland, and was being courted by two gentlemen, Frank Weber and Adam Deupert, both of whom had asked to marry her.  One rainy day, Elizabeth was in church praying about this very important decision she had to make.  As she was leaving the church, young Frank Weger was there with an umbrella in his hand.  She took this as a sign and chose to marry him.


Mr. Weger was a barrel-maker, also known as a cooper.  As the timber was depleted in the Baltimore area, he and Elizabeth moved west and settled in Delphos to raise their 7 boys and 3 girls.


When Frank died at the age of 70, the news reached relatives in Baltimore and also reached  Adam Deupert who had become very prosperous.  He began a correspondance with the widow Weger, and as things progressed, Mr. Deupert, who had been the unsuccessful suitor of Elizabeth those many years ago, ultimately became the successful suitor.  Since some of Elizabeth’s family were still living at home with her, she requested that Mr. Deupert provide a suitable place for them to live in Delphos.  He obliged by having a new house built and happily  took his new bride back to Baltimore.


Elizabeth was Jim’s grandmother and she died before he was born, but he believes the painting came from Mr. Deupert’s collection in Baltimore. It hung in his childhood home on Third Street and was donated to the museum by his mother, Mrs. Anthony (Lucille) Weger.


The museum is open every Saturday & Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. and every Thursday from nine to noon.  We are located on the west side of Main St. between 2nd and 3rd St. and right along the Miami-Erie Canal.  Come see our new look.




Printed in the Delphos Herald October 8, 2011


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