Industrialist Michael G. Weidner Had Charming Victorian Home On Cameron Hill

Monday, May 23, 2022 - by John Wilson

The industrialist Michael George Weidner had a charming Victorian home on Cameron Hill just below the East Terrace at 509 West Ninth St. The ornate two-story brick home featured a turret in the center.

Weidner came to Chattanooga from Portsmouth, Ohio, in 1886, and for some years followed his trade as a boiler maker. He later formed a partnership with John King in the manufacture of boilers on a small scale. King sold his interest to Patrick Walsh, and then the firm of Walsh & Weidner was established.

It grew to be one of the largest boiler manufacturing plants in the South and was the forerunner of Combustion Engineering and later Alstom.

Weidner, after arriving in Chattanooga, spent time at the Stanton House and also boarded at 301 Fannin St. in the early 1890s. Fannin was a block away from Carter Street going south from Ninth to Montgomery Avenue (Main Street). 

Weidner then built a home at 405 W. Third on the lower slopes of Cameron Hill. The Weidner family lived there until around the turn of the century when the Victorian beauty had been completed. The house at 405 W. Third then passed to Louis Granert, who was a photographer. Granert then moved up in the world to 20 East Terrace, and the home on W. Third went to Joseph G. Tucker, who was the secretary for the Chattanooga Paint Company.

Weidner served three terms as alderman of the Third Ward, retiring with the inauguration of the commission form of government. It was said that "although a man of retiring disposition, Mr Weidner had strong convictions and could not be swerved from what he believed was right. As an alderman he gave the city valued service, being conscientious and painstaking in his public duties."

Weidner was a member of the Elks, Knights of Columbus and Turnverein, and a leading member of the Catholic congregation of the city.

He married Anne Friend, a daughter of John Friend, a former well-known Chattanoogan who moved away to Cincinnati. Their marriage was in 1893 when she was 19. The wife died in 1910, leaving eight children - four boys and four girls.

Weidner also had two sisters. Mrs. Andy Wolfe at one time lived in Chattanooga, but had returned to Portsmouth, Ohio. Another sister, Mrs. George Leffler, also lived at Portsmouth. Weidner was also a brother-in-law of Capt. I.G. Barkla of the Chattanooga Fire Department, who also made his home on Cameron Hill.

Michael Weidner also died fairly young - at the age of 57 in 1916. All eight of his children had survived. Funeral services were held at Sts. Peter and Paul's Church with the Rev. Father Francis Sullivan officiating. The pallbearers were: Active - P.J. Neligan, John Stagmaier, Ed Herron, Leo Straley, Sr., J.P. Winn, and H.F. Lawrence. Honorary - L.W. Liewellyn, A.H. Chapman, George T. Smith, C.L. Mertin, Ed Schweiger, John Dowling, Pat Delaney and T.P. McMahon. Burial was at Mt. Olivet. 

Linus W. Llewellyn became president of Walsh & Weidner after the death of Michael G. Weidner.

Annie, George A. and Michael G. Weidner were still living at the homeplace in 1918, though both parents had passed. By this time the address was known as Carlile Place. The change had been made for a short section near the top of West Ninth Street.

The Victorian mansion was then sold and by 1920 Annie, George A. and Michael G. were living at 104 (later 404) Cameron St. - still on Cameron Hill. Cameron was a short street near Boynton Park with an outstanding view. Their neighbors included Commodore Albert Lenoir Key and the wrecker inventor Ernest Holmes. Their home was previously owned by C.M. P'Pool, who operated a furniture company.

In 1924, the house at 104 Cameron St. was occupied by Catherine, Dorothy, George A. and Myra Weidner. The next year, the sisters were still there. George A. had moved to Lookout Mountain and Michael G. was on Chamberlain Avenue.

Annie Weidner married Thomas Hanley first and then John Beall. She spent the majority of her life in Manitowih, Wisconsin. Dorothy married Luke Farley and had three children - Ilien Rose Farley, Luke Adrian, and Dorothy Ann (Dottie).

Myra Weidner married Ed Steiner and they had eight children. Mary Ann married Clyde Hendee and taught at Notre Dame School for many years. Others were Ed, Catherine, Shirley who married Don Prey, Myra, John "Jack" who operated Ruby Falls, Carol and James.
 
William Weidner, a son of Michael G. Weidner, had two daughters and three sons. Third generation descendants still living in Chattanooga include William Jude Weidner, Michael George Weidner, Myra Weidner Adkins and John Patrick Weidner. Mary Weidner Morgan lives at Eugene, Ore.

 

Fourth generation Weidner descendants still living here include Corinne Henderson, CPA , daughter of Jack Steiner.

 
In the last days of Cameron Hill, E.N. Wood was living at 404 Cameron, next to Mose Siskin. The home the Weidners built at 405 W. Third was divided into upstairs and down.
 
The Victorian home on Carlile Place was divided into five apartments. A line of brick buildings was built beside it so that it was jammed up against Jacobs Grocery before it all was knocked down.

 

 


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