Family and FriendsFamily_and_Friends.htmlshapeimage_2_link_0
Next PageMary.htmlshapeimage_4_link_0

John & Ellen

Return to John & Ellen BleyJohn_%26_Ellen_Bley_Contents.htmlshapeimage_5_link_0

John Hugo Bley

Born: 3 August 1834 in Quedlinburg, Sachsen, Germany

Married: 1856 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois

Died: 22 December 1907 in Appleton, Outagamie County, Wisconsin

Photo taken from an old tintype found in the old Bley homestead after the death of his grandson, John B. Bley.  The farm had passed from John Hugo Bley to his son, James W. Bley, to John B. Bley.  The tintype was cracked and chipped which accounts for the black spots on his shirt.

Ellen (Cannon) Bley

Born: 2 February 1833 at Rosbeg, County Donegal, Ireland

Wife of John Hugo Bley

Died: 4 March 1907 at Center, Outagamie County, Wisconsin

This photo was taken from an old, yellowed and faded photograph by Crowns Studio of Kaukauna, Wisconsin.  It was in the possession of Ellen’s daughter, Eliza (Bley) Glassnap, who gave it to her granddaughter, Joyce (Glassnap) Krieser, about 1954 or 1955.

The Great American Melting Pot in Action:

German Immigrant Marries Irish Lass in Chicago, Illinois.

John and Ellen Bleys’ backgrounds were worlds apart, a true study of contrasts.  He was from Germany and spoke German.  She was Irish and Gaelic was her native tongue.  He was Evangelical Lutheran.  She was Roman Catholic.  His father was a well-to-do lawyer.  Her father was a poor farmer.  He came from an aristocratic family that traced it’s heritage back to nobility.  She came from a peasant family that barely survived the Great Irish Potato Famine.  He was well educated, as were his people.  Her father signed his name with an X.  He was restless and a bit spoiled as he came to America to “sow his wild oats”.  She provided the strength and stability in their home that was needed to to keep it going during the hard years that followed.  John was an energetic and prosperous farmer as well as a community leader and Justice of the Peace in Center until he was struck by lightning in the field one day.  After that he was in and out of the hospital exhibiting classic signs of lightning-strike victims.  Ellen’s stability and endurance got them through those rugged years when John couldn’t always work.  He received periodic finances from Germany which helped them get through the lean times, possibly from an inheritance after his father’s death.  Maybe their different backgrounds became their greatest blessing and strength.

The Bley Family Children

The John Bley family had four children who lived to adulthood and there was at least one infant death in the family.

UPPER LEFT:  Mary (Bley) Haas, who was born on 7 September 1856 in Chicago, Illinois where the Bleys lived before moving to Center, Outagamie Co., Wisconsin.  She was probably named after her maternal grandmother, Mary (Lyons) Cannon.  Mary was the Bley’s oldest child of record.  She married Frederick Haas on 17 December 1874 at the age of 16.  They had one daughter, Anna.  Mary died 5 September 1939.

UPPER RIGHT:  James William Bley, was born 6 March 1863 in Center, Outagamie Co., Wisconsin.  He was named after his grandfathers James Cannon and Karl Wilhelm Bley.  He married Mary Ann McKeever on 9 September1889.  They had seven children.  He died 30 May 1950 and is buried in the Bley and Cannon family plot in St. Edward Cemetery, Mackville, WI.

LOWER LEFT:  Eliza Beth (Bley) Glasnap, was named after her paternal grandmother, Eliza (von Bueltzingsloewen) Bley.  She was born 26 February 1868.  On 11 February 1896 she married Henry August Glassnapp.  They had two sons who lived to adulthood, Henry and Albert.  Eliza died 2 April 1956.

LOWER RIGHT:  Ellen Bley, Born 17 February 1871, was never a strong child and she didn’t marry.  Nutrition was a family problem during the lean years.  Ellen died 11 September 1920.