Above: Old Wissler Homestead. ca. 1750 stone farmhouse. Google Maps Street View.
The Wissler Homestead is also known as the Groff Homestead, because the Mennonite Groffs were the first European settlers on those farms. This stone farmhouse was built ca. 1750s by John Groff (1724-1798) and wife Anna Mary Shenk. John's parents, Hannah and John Jacob Groff, had first settled here ca. 1720s. The homestead's current stone barn was rebuilt in 1849, according to the barn's datestone.
The land was surveyed in 1733. John and Anna Groff's daughter Anna Magdalena married Andrew Wissler in 1767, and generations of Wisslers continued here on these farms.
The Wissler Mill:
Portrait: The Wissler Family Record.
Above: Christian Wissler. Built the Wissler Mill in 1843.
Below: The Wissler Mill as seen on Google Maps Street View.
This limestone grist mill was built in 1843 by Christian Wissler (1805-1878), who had grown up on the Wissler Homestead nearby. Christian married Anna Hostetter, and the couple settled on this 64-acre farm which they received from Christian's father in 1834.
The mill measures 40 by 50 feet. It was powered by an undershot water wheel, and later by two turbines. The mill had a six-foot high mill dam. Christian Wissler also built the stone house across the road, for his family's home.
Above: Another view of 1843 Wissler Mill. Google Maps Street View.
1904 Map of Wissler Farms and Mill:
Published in The Wissler Family Record by Henry Wissler (1904):
Satellite View of the 1904 Map: Wissler Farms and Mill:
View these farms in a larger Google map.
The Mill Owner's House at the Wissler Mill:
Photo: The Wissler Family Record.
Above: The mill owner's house at the Wissler Mill. House and mill built by Christian Wissler. 1904 photo.
Below: The same house, as seen in Google Maps Street View.
The Joseph B. (Sr.) and Lizzie Wissler Farm:
Above: The Joseph B. (Sr.) and Lizzie Wissler farm, beside the Old Wissler Homestead. Google Maps Street View.
Joseph B. Wissler Sr. and wife Lizzie owned this farm across the creek from the Wissler-mill farm. By 1905 Joseph retired from farming, and moved the family into a large home in Lititz, at 10 N. Broad St. Their Lititz home was an ornate, Second-Empire-style house. It was located on the square, on "Cottage Row." This row of Victorian houses was the town's most fashionable address. Today those Victorian houses are gone. The Mutual Insurance building is there instead.
The Wissler's Lititz house was built ca. 1882 by Jacob L. Stehman, former president of Manheim National Bank. Stehman joined the Mennonite church in 1904, a year before his death. He was buried at Hess Mennonite Cemetery with his wife Eliza McDowell Stehman who had died five years before him, in 1899. Eliza was a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Lititz.
Joseph Wissler Sr.'s parents were Mennonite, as were many of his relatives and ancestors. But Joseph did not join the Mennonite church until he became ill late in his life. (So Stehman and Wissler, the first two owners of that Cottage-Row house, were both baptized into a Mennonite church late in life.) Joseph Wissler and his wife are buried at Hammer Creek Mennonite Church, with Joseph's parents and several of their children.
Their son, Joseph Jr. was Pennsylvania district attorney from 1924 to 1928. This Judge Joseph Jr. had received a law degree from Harvard University, after attending Lititz High School and Franklin and Marshall College.
Below: The Joseph B. (Sr.) and Lizzie Wissler family. Posing in front of their farmhouse ca. 1904.
Photos: The Wissler Family Record
Above: Sandstone corner quoins on the bank bank of Joseph B (Sr.) and Lizzie Wissler. Google Maps Street View.
Below: The Middle Creek in front of the Joseph B. (Sr.) and Lizzie Wissler farm. Google Maps Street View.
Source: Wissler information and portraits: Wissler, Henry B. The Wissler Family Record. Toronto: Bryant Press, Ltd. Full text online here.