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Joseph J. Philippi Family
Genealogy and Family History


Joseph J. Philippi
born: 22 March 1881 in Heckenback, Rheinland, Germany
died: 19 October 1963 in Oconto Falls, Oconto County, Wisconsin
born: 30 November 1830 in Niederheckenback, Heckenbach, Rheinland,
died 07 October 1904 in town of How, Oconto County, Wisconsin.
born: 07 November 1878 in Copel, Aachen Stadt, Rheinland
died: 1933 in Town of How, Oconto County, Wisconsin


  Descendants of Joseph Philippi

 1 Joseph Philippi   
           b: 22 Mar 1881 in Heckenback, Rheinland, Germany       
           d: 19 Oct 1963 in Oconto Falls, WI, Hospital   
       1st Wife of Joseph Philippi
        + Joanna "Minnie” Meeuwsen
              b: 28 Dec 1874 in Humboldt, Brown County, Wisconsin
              m: 5 Jun 1907 in DePere, Brown County, WI
              d: 20 Sept 1910 in town of How, Oconto County, WI   


                 Peter Meeuwsen
                     b:  22 SEP 1836 Zeeland, Landerd, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands

                     d: 29 JUL 1901 • Brown County, Wisconsin

                    shoemaker in Humbolt, Brown County, Wisconsin

                Maria JoannaVerbrugen;
                      b: 22 Sep 1836 • Zeeland, Noord Brabant, Netherlands

                      d: 29 JUL 1901 • DePere, Brown Co, Wisconsin

               child of Minnie Meeuwsen and Joseph Philippi
                 1. Infant Boy (Joseph) Philippi
                      b: 2 Sep 1908 Town of How, Oconto County, Wisconsin
                      d: 1908  in town of How, Oconto Count, WI
       2nd Wife of Joseph Philippi:               
        + Barbara Belle Weber
              b: 30 Sep 1889 in Fond du Lac County, WI
              m: 1913 Brown County, Wisconsin
              d: 16 Jan 1931 in town of How, Oconto County, WI
              children of Barbara Weber and Joseph Philippi:
                   1. Evelyn Philippi (4 children)
                        b: 1916 in Town of How, Oconto County, Wisconsin
                        d: 25 May 1939   Keshena, Shawano County, Wisconsin (now Menominee County)
                        m: + Louis Patrick Vique b: 11 Jul 1907, d: 7 Nov 2004
                  2. Anna Belle
(Anna Barbara Christine) Philippi (1 child)
                        b: 5 Jul 1917 in Town of How, Oconto County, Wisconsin
                        d: 13 Han 2005, Crivitz, Marinette County, Wisconsin
                        m: + Colson               
                  3. Joseph P. Philippi (1 child)
                         b: 14 Mar 1919 in town of How, Oconto County, WI
                         d: 15 Sep 1994 Oconto County, Wisconsin

                         m: +  Orpha Lorraine Hintz
                         m: + Stella Dalfior
                  4.  Marion Philippi (twin)
                          b: 4  Aug 1921 in town of How, Oconto County, WI
                          d: 19 Dec 1995 San Jacinto, Riverside, California   
                  5.   Martin Philippi (twin)
                          b: 4 Aug 1921  in town of How, Oconto County, WI           
                          d: 18 Jan 2008  New Holstein, Calumet, Wisconsin
                          m: + Mabel Roeh 1949 in New Holstein, Wisconsin
                  6.  Roland Philippi
                          b: 09 Jul 1923 in town of How, Oconto County, WI
                          d: 24 Dec 2003 in town of How, Oconto County, WI   
                          m: + Mary Behnke (1926-2008) 13 Feb 1945 Gillett, Oconto County, WI
                  7. Mary Philippi
                          b: 12 Jan 1931 in Suring, Oconto County, WI
                     1st Husband of Mary Philippi:
                           m: + Louis Clifford Januchowski  b: 11 Jul 1924 and d: 28 Mar 1986 in Milwaukee WI
                     2nd Husband of Mary Philippi:               
                           m: + Living  b: 15 Dec 1926 in Cloquet, MN

In The Rheinland, Europe


Joseph J. Philippi sits on the arm of a chair next to
his half sister Elizabeth Philippi. The photograph
was taken in Heckenbach, Germany, in late 1882 
when Joseph was about 18 months old.

Neiderheckenbach, Rheinland,

as it was when the Matthias Philippi Family lived there.
In 1938 the Nazi government removed residents and used the area, including Neiderheckenbach, for air force training prior to World War II, demolishing every building except the damaged St Pankratius und Margarita Church seen in the photograph. The church was later restored after World War II and other displaed German citizens  resettled the area.  

The Rheinland to Wisconsin


Joseph J. Philippi was born in the village of Niederheckenback in the southern part of the Rheinland during a time when it had been occupied by Prussia which was the first unification of Germany.  He was the second child of his parents' remarriages and had one older sister Maria Anna. He also had 5 half-siblings from his widowed father's first marriage and 3 half-siblings from his widowed mother's first marriage.

  At this time in the second half of the 1800s, the Prussian German army had mandatory duty for all healthy young men over age 16 years. This duty often lasted as long as 20 years, depending on the government's plans.

   The primary function of army non-officer personnel was years of hard physical labor building new roadways within the recently unified country through rough terrain in order to improve the transportation of goods and travel of military. The army also began mining operations for minerals and metal ore that the government used. Finally, army personnel built government owned factories for the smelting and production use of metals. Army wages offered years of meager income and minimal time for a personal life. Since there were strict laws that men had to have as fairly large amount of savings in order to marry, few were able to until their tours of duty were over at nearly the age of 40. Then they had to find jobs to save the money for marriage. Jobs were scarce and low pay unless there was family help.

   All these rules were introduced by Prussia for the first time to the people of the Rheinland, who had been living in an independently governed Rheinland until the Prussian occupation. Joseph Philippi's father, Matthias, was born and grew up in an independent Rheinland. He did not have to serve mandatory military service. Matthias' youngest brothers did serve in the Prussian Army since they reached maturity after the government transition. By this time, Matthias was a middle aged husband and father overseeing the family businesses.

   Matthias sent his oldest sons, by his first marriage, to Wisconsin before they were drafted innto the Prussian Army. In Wisconsin they would have help settling through the children of their oldest aunt. The Prussian government demanded they return for military service. When they refused, the government threated to have their father Matthias serve in their place or spend the time doing hard labor in prison. The family left for Wisconsin since the health of Matthias left him unable to survive either one.

  Originally Joseph's two older half-sisters Catherine and Elizabeth Philippi were to travel with them. However, at the last minute, the two decided to stay with a younger uncle and eventually contact was lost.


25 May 1883; Ship: SS Jan Breydel

Bremen, Germany and Southampton, England to Castle Garden, Port of New York


70 Phillipi (Philippi) Math 52 (age)  farmer

1 Christ (Christine Mueller Philippi)  38

2 Kath (Catherine Mueller) 11

3 Marg (Margaret Mueller) 9

4 John (Mueller) 6

5 Maria (Philippi) 3

6 Joseph (Philippi) 11 months


Joseph J Philippi immigrated with his parents, three half Mueller (later also Philippi) siblings, and 3 year old sister Maria Anna and then traveled to New Frankin, Brown County, Wisconsin where they settled. His mother Christine was already pregnant with their next son John when they boarded the ship, but she fearing she might not be able to sail, she hid under a cape made from a curtain. They landed May 25th and John was born was born July 22, less than 2 months later. The family spoke Rhenish German, a Low Franconian dialect from the Lower Rhine area, at home, like many in the community. English was learned at school. Joseph went through 5 years of rural school.


The family remained farming in New Frankin near relatives until April 1893 when they purchased land in town of How, Oconto County, Wisconsin. They traveled by oxen wagon and stopped in the small village of Hayes for directions and supplies at the general store owned by John Holl, whose family became close friends.  The property had belonged to a trapper from an old family named Pecor and had a sturdy log cabin with a loft along with a log barn and outbuildings. It snowed the night they arrived and the next morning Joseph age 11 and John age 9 teared up saying that they would starve in such a place “up north.”


Photo above L-R: John Mueller, Margaret Mueller, John Philippi, Philip Philippi, Joseph J Philippi, father Matthias Philippi, Christina Philippi, mother Christina Brust Mueller Philippi


The land had not been cleared for farming and some trees were cut first that spring so planting could be done around the stumps. Stumps were pulled and more and was cleared on the acreage. Eventually the cut trees were milled for building lumber and in by 1896 a new dairy barn was and built a Victorian home in 1906.

Philippi Barn Raising with Family and Friends

Joseph is standing in the middle with his hands on his hips.


Joseph and John were needed for work at home since their father’s emphysema had worsened. In Germany, boys left school for work at the age of 10 years. The boys were unable to attend school here any longer. They worked the farm during growing seasons and milked the cows year round. In winter they hiked to a local logging crew and, while still very young, sawed large limbs into firewood for 50 cents a week, and all the money went to their parents.

Joseph is standing on the roof of the cabin with his hands on his hips.


The brothers were tall at a young age and Joseph and John soon did a grown man’s work in the logging camps in the northern forests and all the money continued to go to their parents. It was traditional. This was taken at the Hammes Logging Camp which was located in what is now The Nicolet Forest.




25th Wedding Anniversary photograph of Anna Christina and Matthias Philippi


Joseph’s sister Maria Anna (Mary Ann) die from Tuberculosis at age 16. His half-brother John Mueller (also Miller) had left and married in 1902. His elderly father Matthias died in 1904, Younger brother Phil had finished school and was living in Shawano, Wisconsin. Joseph was considered the man of the family, as was custom, now being the oldest son at home. Brother John worked the farm with him.




Joanna "Minnie" Meeuwsen


Wedding of Joseph J. Philippi and

June 5, 1907 in DePere, Brown County, Wisconsin

Groomsman - John Philippi, brother of groom

Maid of Honor - Cleopatra "Cleo" O Keliher Meeuwsen - sister-in-law of bride.


For many years Minnie's brother, Peter Theodore Meeuwsen held the position of County Clerk of Court. It was early in this service that Joseph J Philippi struck up a friendship with Theodore while he often served voluntary jury duty, which was the system at the time. Through this relationship, Joseph met his first wife Joanna "Minnie" Meeuwsen.



Grave of Infant (Joseph) Philippi
2 SEP 1908 -- 1908
St Michael Cemetery, town of How, Oconto County, Wisconsin.
This was Joseph and Joanna Meeuwsen Philippi's only child.



c: 1909

(left) Minnie poses in a sleigh on the original Philippi farm in town of How, Oconto County, Wisconsin, the wind was very cold against her face.


Behind and to the right is the 1896-1898 dairy barn built by the family which still stand on the property.


(below) The dairy barn in 2004.



Joanna, age 35 years, died at home as a result of Tuberculosis. She was buried near their infant son.

This epidemic disease, in the area during the time, also took many of the family's members in several generations. The infection spread to humans, unknowingly, in this rural part of the country through unpasturized dairy consumption when infected deer grazing with dairy herds left the Tuberulosis on the grass that cows later ate. Once the cows were infected, their milk was also.



Barbara “Bella” Weber




(left) The Weber Family

Standing (L-R): Anna, Pete, Frank Louise, Matt, Barbara, John

Sitting: Katie, Christina, Paul, Fred



(right) Engagement Portrait of Joseph J Philippi and Barbara Weber in Green Bay, WI



Wedding of Barbara “Bella” Weber and Joseph J Philippi

Maryville, Brown County, Wisconsin

Joseph’s youngest brother Philip Peter Philippi is groomsman standing farthest on the left. Others in the party are Weber family members.

Joseph’s brother John left the farm when he married Catherine Holl in 1908. His mother Anna Christina Sr. and his sister Christina remained at the farm. With Barbara, Joseph had a hard working spouse. Children joined the couple every 2 or three years, including twin boys in 1921 until there were 6; Evelyn in 1914, Joseph Paul in 1919, Marion and Martin in 1921 and Roland in 1923.


Fraternal twin sons Martin and Marion          Joseph and one of the children standing on the horse drawn “Stone Boat’” sled.



Joseph did not “mechanize” and continued to use horses when he farmed. The “Stone Boat” sled (above) was used each spring before plowing to gather the fieldstone that worked their way to the surface during the fall and winter freezes and thaws. Walking along beside the sled, the children picked up the stone and threw them onto the sled while the horse moved down the already cleared area. Then the sled was taken to the edge of the field and the stone was unloaded by hand. It was hard work, necessary before the plowing and planting, so the plow blades were not broken. At times there were also hogs, sheep, fowl, and of course chicken raised for meat and eggs, besides the dairy cows, which were milked by hand twice a day. Rural electric did not come to the farm area until 1947 and it was a while before it was hooked up.


A fun family photograph, at the Philippi farm, from c:1930s where the participants dressed like the bank robbers who were rumored to be in the area at the time, hiding from the “G-Men.” The three men on the left are the Vigue brothers, friends of the family. Stilling on the roof of the truck are twins Martin (left) and Marion Philippi. Sitting on the fender is Roland. Standing to the right of him is Evelyn. AnnaBelle is sitting on the fender behind Joseph Paul.


 Joseph’s mother continued to live with them, but her health was deteriorating and she had lost much of her memory. Early in 1930, at the age of 44 years, Barbara was again pregnant. This was a late life child and Barbara was weak throughout. Mary Philippi was born on January 12, 1931. Although still weakened, things looked alright until 8 days after the birth when Barbara suddenly died at home. There was no time to get help. The death certificate stated “Cause of Death- Spontaneous uterine rupture and hemorrhage after birth of child.” She is buried at St Michael Cemetery.

Daughters Evelyn and AnnaBelle took over took over raising the tiny infant and younger children while doing chores. Son Joseph Paul was doing a man’s job on the farm at age 12. Joseph J’s mother Anna Christina was now quite frail and went to live with her youngest daughter’s family, Christina Philippi (Joseph) Holl, who had a large family of her own. Later in 1931 Anna Christina also died.


Martin lost his lower arm in a farming accident when he was still young. Evelyn married Louis Patrick Vigue in 1934 and AnnaBell took over all the household duties and some farm work until her marriage in 1935. Joseph Paul had married in 1938 and was living in Underhill, Oconto County, Wisconsin.


4In 1939 Evelyn Philippi Vigue suddenly passed away on May 25th from 5 day post childbirth hemorrhage the same as her mother Barbara.


By 1940 widowed Joseph J. Philippi was living at the town of How farm with daughters AnnBelle (22) and Mary (9), sons Martin (18), Marion (18) and Roland (16) as well as three of the late daughter Evelyn’s 4 children (4, 3, 1) and AnnaBelle’s daughter (4).

(right) Roland “Rollie” Philippi played baseball in the local league that hotly competed. Locals greatly enjoyed watching the competitions between Gillett, Shawano and other teams.


(below) Grandson Roland and Mary Behnke Philippi beside the farmhouse c:1955. He is one of the children of Marion Philippi.


Newspaper Articles and Obituaries

Peshtigo Times

AnnaBelle C. Colson
A Funeral Mass for AnnaBelle C. Colson, 87, of Marinette, was held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 17, at Holy Family Parish-Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Marinette. Rev. Fr. Joseph Dorner officiated with burial in St. Michael’s Cemetery in Suring.

She died on Thursday, Jan. 13.

The former Anna Barbara Christine Phillippi was born in Hayes, outside of Suring, on July 5, 1917. As a young teen her mother, Barbara, died and she left school to help raise her younger siblings and run the household for her father, Joseph. After her father remarried, she worked as a nurse’s aide at the hospital in Keshena, and married Orville Colson in 1935. She lived for two years in Oconto before moving back to the farm. When her father spent time in the logging camps, she went along to cook for the lumberjacks.

In the early 1940’s she worked as a cook at the hospital in Keshena, and after her divorce lived and worked in Milwaukee, Oconto and Marinette. She began working in Marinette at the former Pete Georgelan’s Cafe, then became head cook when Bernard Schriener bought the business and changed the name to Schreiner’s Restaurant. When Schreiner’s was sold to Tom Schloegel, she stayed on to cook for both Schloegel restaurants in Marinette and Menominee. After 33 years as head cook, many of her recipes still remain with Schloegel’s of Menominee and Schreiner’s of Fond du Lac.

Besides her cooking abilities, she earned a Practical Nursing Certificate through a correspondence course, was a self-taught knitter, and enjoyed music, dancing, reading and politics. She contributed many of her knitted items for church bazaars and charities.

After retiring, she asked the pastor of what was then St. Anthony’s Catholic Church if she could use the church basement to start a “Meals for the Needy” program because she felt too much food was going to waste in the community. The program was a success and the tradition is still carried on by the people of the Salvation Army.

In the fall of 1995, fighting a losing battle with Alzheimer’s, she entered the New Care Nursing Home in Crivitz.

Survivors include three children, Mrs. Richard (Carol) Tenner of Oak Creek, Orville (Jeanette Jacob) Colson, Beaver Dam, and Anthony (Donna) Phillippe of Crivitz; 14 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; one brother, Martin (Mabel) Philippi; a sister, Mary Januchowski; three sisters-in-law, Mary Philippi, Pat Philippi and Stella Philippi; many other relatives and friends.

Memorials are appreciated to New Care Nursing Home, P.O. Box 460, Crivitz, WI 54114-0460.

Hansen-Onion-Martell Funeral Home of Marinette assisted the family with arrangements.


Herald Times Reporter

Nov. 9, 2004

 Louis 'Pat' Vigue

Louis 'Pat' Vigue, age 97, of N1396 Silver Canoe in Keshena, passed away Sunday, Nov. 7, 2004 in Appleton.

Louis was born on July 11, 1907, the son of the late Paul and Barbara (Slovic) Vigue. Louis was the oldest living Menominee Indian.

Louis is survived by his children: Robert (Cookie) Vigue of Oshkosh; Patricia (Al) Roberts of Keshena; Roy (Shirley) Vigue of Two Rivers; Bernadine Haun of Keshena; Elizabeth (R.L.) Kilzer and David (Faye) Vigue all of Hattiesburg, Miss.; three stepchildren: Annalee, James R. (Kathleen) and Lawrence Tucker, all of Keshena; three generations of natural and stepgrandchildren; seven sisters: Ann Boortz, Barbara Woodward, Bertha Young, Ruth Gass, Irene Erickson, Lorraine (John) Kozole, all of Detroit; and Jennie Warrington of Keshena; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 11 at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Keshena. Family and friends may call at St. Michael's Parish Hall after 6 p.m. on Tuesday (TONIGHT) until the time of the service.

Swedberg Funeral Home, Shawano, is assisting the family with the arrangements


Shawano Leader

NAME & ADDRESS: Louis "Pat" Vigue, age 97, of N1396 Silver Canoe in Keshena, passed away Sunday, Nov. 7, 2004, in Appleton.
BIRTH & PARENTS: Louis was born July 11, 1907, the son of the late Paul and Barbara (Slovic) Vigue. Louis was the oldest living Menominee Indian.
INTERESTS - EMPLOYMENT: He worked as a painter for St. Anthony's . Hospital in Chicago and was an all-around handyman. Louis was a member of St. Michael's Catholic Church in Keshena, a Eucharistic minister, a member of the Knights of Columbus 4th Degree, a friend of the Schoenstatt Family Movement, and he served on the Commission of Aging. He played baseball for Shawano and Gillett teams. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening and spent a lot of time beading. He was a very loving father and grandfather who enjoyed spending time with his family and traveling to see them.
SURVIVORS: Louis is survived by: his children, Robert (Cookie) Vigue of Oshkosh, Patricia (AI) Roberts of Keshena, Roy (Shirley) Vigue of Two Rivers, Bernadine Haun of Keshena, Elizabeth (R.L.) Kilzer, David (Faye) Vigue of Hattiesburg, Miss.; three stepchildren, AnnaIee, James R (Kathleen), Lawrence Tucker, all of Keshena; three generations of natural and step-grandchildren; seven sisters, Ann Boortz, Barbara Woodward, Bertha Young, Ruth Gass, Irene Erickson, Lorraine (John) Kozole, all of Detroit, Jennie Warrington of Keshena; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
PRECEDED BY: Louis was preceded in death by: three wives, Evelyn (Philippi), Vinnie "Polly" (Wood), Esther (Tucker); his parents; seven brothers; three sisters; two son-in-laws; two great-great grandchildren; three stepchildren; one step-daughter-in-law.
FUNERAL SERVICES AND BURIAL: Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 11, at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Keshena with the Rev. David Barrett officiating. Burial will be in St. Joseph of the Lake Cemetery in South Branch. Family and friends may call at St. Michael's Parish Hall after 6 this evening until the time of the service on Thursday. A parish wake service will be held at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 10. Swedberg Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.


Martin "Lefty" M. Philippi, age 86, of New Holstein died Friday January 18, 2008 at the Willowdale Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in New Holstein.

He was born August 4, 1921 in Suring, WI the 5th child of 7 born to the late Joseph & Barbara Weber Philippi.

Martin graduated from Suring High School.

On November 12, 1949 he married Mabel Roeh at St. John Evangelical Reformed Church in New Holstein.

Lefty worked at Ernie Daun's service station, worked as custodian for M&I Bank and retired from the M-B Company in New Holstein.

Martin was a member of St. John United Church of Christ in New Holstein.

He enjoyed hunting, with bow and gun, fishing and helping his wife of 58 years with her gardening.

Survivors include his wife, Mabel of New Holstein; his son, Roger (Sue) Philippi of New Holstein; his grandson, Brian Philippi and his fiancée Marissa Lehman; a granddaughter, Kristalyn Philippi and her fiancée Steven Barta and his grandpuppy, Max.

Preceding him in death were his parents; a son, Gene Philippi and his very good friend Hans Kuehl.

Funeral Services will be held at 6:30 PM on Tuesday January 22, 2008 at the Sippel Funeral Home 2618 Altona Ave. New Holstein. Rev. James E. Werner, Pastor of St. John UCC, will officiate. Burial will be in the New Holstein City Cemetery.


Oconto County Reporter
Feb. 6, 1904

Mrs. Matt Philippi (Anna Christina) and son, Peter, drove to Suring on Tuesday.

Oconto County Enterprise
December 16, 1913

 Christina (nee Brust, widow of Matthias) Philippi, who has been visiting with relatives and friends at New Holstein and other places for a few weeks, returned home Tuesday. (visited John Mueller/Miller, a son from her first marriage living in New Holstein and the Weber family in Marytown, her daughter-in-law Barbara’s family)



Oconto County Reporter September 27, 1906

Jos. PHILIPPI (Joseph J Philippi) is progressing finely with his new house, he is hustling his work and is tasty with all, so he is making marked improvement on his place.

Oconto County Reporter
Nov. 5, 1908

A husking bee was given by Joe Philippi last Monday evening and was well attended.




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