Brown haired, blue-eyed William was born at home on Chestnut Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts to German immigrants and lived in the Merrimack River Valley throughout his life. His education was through the 5th grade and he could read and write.
1910: In the 1910 census, he was 17 years old, living in his parents’ (Frank and Mary Miller Vieweg) home and working as an operator in the fiber matting industry along with his younger brother, Frank, whose job title was twister. The Plymouth Mill was the largest of approximately 12 such mills in the United States at the time. Employees earned approximately $11.41 per week or $1.90 per day. William’s older sister, Emma, worked as a mender at the Woolen Mill where her father was a weaver. Their younger siblings were at home with their mother.
1912 – 1916: January of 1912 marked the beginning of the two month long Bread and Roses strike that encompassed the city. William enlisted in the Army in October of 1912. and served through 1914. The Great War had not yet begun so it is interesting that he would enlist at this time. Did he decide that mill life was not for him or just wanted to do something different? After he left the service he married Elizabeth Sinclair (written as St. Claire in the marriage registration) on 10 January 1915. William and Elizabeth had 8 children. William enlisted again and served from June to November 1916. There is no record of why his service was short.
1919: William and Elizabeth had moved to 8 Sargent St. in Lawrence.
1930: William and Elizabeth lived at 16 Mystic St. William is listed as a foreman PPMC
1942: William, now 50 years old, registered in the WWII draft which was commonly referred to as “The Old Man Draft” as it registered adult men who were normally considered older than normal draft age. At the time he was described at brown haired, blue eyed man 5’6 and 155 pounds. William and Elizabeth were living on Pelham at the time and William lists Elizabeth’s employer as Axelnad (?) Real Estate Company.
1956: William and Elizabeth were living at 35 Pelham St in Methuen in one side of a duplex shared with their son and daughter-in-law, Fred and Eva Vieweg at 33 Pelham.
William died in 1974.